Crime, fraud and licensing: General crime and fraud in East Midlands

Cartwright King

Simon Dhillon, David Hallmark and Chris Wall head the criminal defence teams at Cartwright King in Derby, Leicester and Nottingham respectively; they work in conjunction with the Crown Court department, headed by senior clerk James Bainbridge. Nicola Hunter 'brings hard work and intelligent legal skills', regularly acting for clients involved in serious and complex Crown Court cases, and director Kevin Waddingham is a higher court advocate experienced in defending clients before all levels of the courts. Andy Cash has a specialisation in road traffic offences as well as the safeguarding of animal rights, frequently acting for the RSPCA.

Practice head(s):

Simon Dhillon; David Hallmark; Chris Wall; James Bainbridge

Other key lawyers:

Andy Cash; Nicola Hunter; Kevin Waddingham


‘Cartwright King comprises excellent lawyers in the area of fraud and financial crime. They have unrivalled expertise and a real commitment to their clients. They appear in some of the heaviest and most difficult fraud prosecutions tried by the courts and are very much to be recommended.’

‘Nicola Hunter brings hard work and intelligent legal skills to her work. She is keen to ensure that any client, no matter their background is engaged with the issues and is able to make real choices during the case. Their clients are always happy with the outcome as they have had ownership of the case from the early stages.’

‘Cartwright King Solicitors are a large scale firm with excellent facilities and resources. Conducting any case with Cartwright King behind you gives you an added advantage.’

‘James Bainbridge is very on the ball with his cases, he always has time to speak to people and knows what the case needs.’

‘Passion for delivering excellent results on all levels of criminal fraud work prosecuted by SFO, FCA, HMRC and CPS. First rate client care and thorough preparation. Extensive experience across the board.’

‘James Bainbridge is always available to take my calls, and goes the extra mile to assist with cases, very on the ball with his cases.’

Smith Partnership

With teams in Derby, Leicester and Swadlincote and a Crown Court department supporting theses offices, the criminal and business defence practice at Smith Partnership offers a 'first class criminal defence service' covering a full array of matters. The team handles matters pertaining to, among others, drugs conspiracies, criminal fraud and homicide as well as serious sexual assault, including historic cases. 'Outstanding litigatorKevin McGrath heads the business defence team and specialises in high-profile fraud cases. Andrew Oldroyd is 'outstanding in representing in court' and specialises in youth defence work. Beth McGovern is noted for her work on fraud matters.

Practice head(s):

Kevin McGrath; Andrew Oldroyd

Other key lawyers:

Beth McGovern


‘Andrew Oldroyd was outstanding. Right from the start he was friendly and assuring given the nature of my case, but still very professional; calm and carefully explaining the possibilities of what could happen.’

‘First class and very professional service. A highly experienced team, which is obvious through the services received and the results provided to me as a client. With fees charged on a fair and expected level. I am a repeat client as I am very happy with the team and the firm.’

‘Andrew Oldroyd deals with private client criminal matters. His level of client care is exceptional, dedicated and his approach to every case in which I have been instructed is to leave no stone unturned in the preparation of the best defence possible. He is extremely personable, dealing with clients from all types of background with ease and charm.’

‘Kevin McGrath is an outstanding litigator. Streetwise.’

‘Kevin McGrath is an amazing talent, brilliant intellect and fantastic with clients. Beth McGovern is also superb with clients and is a very capable lawyer.’

‘The Smith Partnership has an excellent reputation in the Midlands. The firm is large enough to have a very broad range of expertise, but not so big as to have lost the personal touch.’

‘Andrew Oldroyd provided excellent advice and reassurance for us at a very difficult time. He not only has extensive, in-depth knowledge of the court system, but also has time and compassion for his clients and provided excellent emotional support. The outcome was beyond what we had hoped for and we are extremely grateful to him and the Smith Partnership.’

‘The efficient way Andrew Oldroyd conducted initial meetings and how he collated all the facts so accurately has left a great impression both on me and my whole family. He was outstanding in representing me in court and was very successful. I was also delighted with the kind way their accounts department operated. Throughout my working career, I have had dealings with solicitors , but Smiths stands out to me and should I ever need legal assistance again, they will be my first choice.’

Johnson Astills

Johnson Astills fields an almost entirely female practice headed by Michelle Harding and 'brilliantHelen Johnson . Lauded for its 'exceptional client service', the 'high calibre' team represents clients at all levels, 'from the police station to the Magistrate's Court, Crown Court and Court of Appeal'. Johnson is experienced in conducting trials in Crown Courts and is appointed Under-Sheriff of Leicestershire acting as a contact to the High Sheriff of Leicestershire. The firm covers all areas of serious crime, including murder, manslaughter, drug offences, terrorism, fraud and child neglect.

Practice head(s):

Helen Johnson; Michelle Harding

Other key lawyers:

Rebecca Barrowcliffe; Rachel Diorio


‘This firm goes the extra mile and really listens to its clients and deals with delicate matters professionally, putting clients’ concerns about the particular situation at ease.’

‘Rebecca Barrowcliffe should be recognised for her exceptional client care. Her speedy turnaround on complex matters is quite remarkable, and she delivers results.’

‘Michelle Harding, Rebecca Barrowcliffe and Rachel Diorio have established themselves as a formidable threesome and deserve recognition for the stunning work they do without making a big song and dance about it.’

‘Helen Johnson is wonderfully clever, efficient, practical with superb judgment. An amazingly effective advocate with the ability to systematically dismantle the other side’s case and charm jurors. The full package.’

‘My dealings with Johnson Astills over the last couple of years have been a very positive experience throughout.’

‘The first thing to note is this department is full of inspirational dedicated women who show time and again that you can provide a top level service and tackle all the personal challenges facing women practicing in crime.’

‘The team is managed by the brilliant Helen Johnson and the very well respected Michelle Harding. They work together to ensure their clients get the best service possible and that their staff are well supported and looked after both from a professional point of view and from a personal well-being one.’

‘For me top ranking in the East Midlands goes to Helen Johnson. She is head and shoulders above the competition. If I had a family member needing representation I’d go to Helen.’

Richard Nelson LLP

A boutique law firm focusing on fraud and business defence, Richard Nelson LLP also handles tax investigations and professional disciplinary matters. Jacqui Callan is experienced in handling all manner of criminal matters, such as multi-handed money laundering cases and murder cases, and is, in particular, 'greatly experienced in dealing with sexual offence work', regularly acting before the higher courts. Richard Etherington is noted for his work in military court martial proceedings and Special Investigation Branch cases, as well as his 'immaculate trial preparation'.

Practice head(s):

Jacqui Callan; Richard Etherington


‘First class service provided to clients. They are great for taking clients inexperienced in the criminal justice system through the process. They offer realistic yet positive advice.’

‘Jacqui Callan is greatly experienced in dealing with sexual offence work. Good judgement and realistic advice. Richard Etherington is patient, great client manner. Solid police station advice.’

‘Nothing is too much trouble for them, they work all hours to suit. Compassionate, caring yet professional.’

‘Jacqui Callan is thoroughly prepared, a master of the facts of any case and incredibly well informed. Richard Etherington is a pleasure to work with, a great member of any team. A real star.’

‘Jacqui Callan’s clients frequently praise her personable approach – she takes the time to attentively explain complex issues. Richard Etherington’s no-nonsense yet ‘never say die’ approach to litigation coupled with immaculate trial preparation wins the respect of his clients and fellow lawyers alike.’

‘Jacqui Callan knows her cases inside out – a first rate lawyer; first rate on client care and diligence. Richard Etherington is a conscientious, hardworking lawyer who will go far. His manner with clients is both firm and understanding. Both reflect the ethos of the firm and the firm stands out due to the quality of the staff and their engagement with clients.’

‘A great team, very hardworking and excellent value for money in the private regulatory and private crime market.’

‘The team is able to offer a very personal service to clients and obtain the optimum result. Compared to many other firms they knew that good client care and the bottom line are not mutually exclusive propositions.’

Work highlights

  • Represented a husband and wife facing allegations of forgery associated with alterations of rare and collectable pottery to make certain items lucrative on the market. Enlisted a celebrity expert to assess the authenticity of the items.
  • Represented a student facing an allegation of rape at a university house party. The client was exonerated by the police and his university after a lengthy investigation.
  • Represented a client facing charges of making nearly 100,000 indecent images of children. Through careful selection of counsel and a psychologist, the client avoided prison.

Forrest Williams

Forrest Williams is a niche law firm focusing on criminal matters and with particular specialisms in sexual offences and road traffic matters. The team, headed by Steve Williams, assists clients on a one-to-one basis, with lawyers dealing with only one case at a time.

Practice head(s):

Steve Williams

Other key lawyers:

Katie Forrest


‘Every team member who had dealings with my case interacted with the utmost professionalism, sensitivity, care and compassion. Nothing was too much trouble. Forrest Williams undoubtedly shine above other firms by their forthright non-judgemental approach to the issue at hand, honesty of projected outcomes and tenacity to seek out justice for all parties involved.’

‘Katie Forrest has experience and a true understanding of the needs when supporting vulnerable clients. Katie has an abundance of natural talent.’

‘As a client of Forrest Williams you are quickly drawn into a very warm, supportive and secure bond with the entire firm, making the association feel less daunting, as many a lay person would otherwise find the experience very frightening indeed.’