Firms To Watch: Crime: general

Keoghs LLP offers clients specialist advice in dangerous driving cases as well as providing assistance in regulatory cases from accidents in the workplace.

Crime: general in London

BCL Solicitors LLP

BCL Solicitors LLP offers high-profile and high-net worth clients advice on a range of criminal matters, with recent work including advising Kevin Spacey regarding allegations of sexual assault. The team is headed by the ‘exceptionalEllen Peart, who has recently seen an increase in her work defending FCA regulated individuals facing significant criminal charges. Other key team members include Mark Haslam, who is particularly adept at motoring cases, and David Hardstaff, who specialises in criminal litigation and is described as ‘very hard-working‘. Daniel Jackson is a key contact for sports and business professionals and was promoted to partner in October 2022 alongside Hardstaff. Associates Bethan Cowlam and Rishi Joshi are also key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Ellen Peart

Other key lawyers:

Mark Haslam; David Hardstaff; Daniel Jackson; Bethan Cowlan; Rishi Joshi


‘BCL are comfortably the best firm I have worked with. Each member of the team is diligent, thorough and clever. Being briefed by BCL is a collaborative experience where ideas about tactics and presentation are discussed, resulting in a much more effective trial strategy. They are the team I would recommend.’

‘BCL have an extremely good reputation in terms of both client care and legal aptitude. That reputation is well deserved, and I have seen repeated examples of how their attention to detail, ability to think creatively and determination to get good results have served their clients well.’

‘Ellen Peart is an exceptional lawyer. Anybody represented by her can rest assured that they will feel both comforted and intimidated by her ability. She achieves that perfect balance which all good criminal representatives should strive for. Daniel Jackson has justifiably progressed quickly in his career. He has an efficient legal mind and his clients reap the rewards. Bethan Cowlam is a lawyer to watch in the future.

‘A top-rate firm that is constantly working on new ways to help their clients. The people I work with are always well-informed on developments in the law which can benefit their clients.’

‘Ellen Peart – huge experience and sensitivity, wins the confidence of clients, always available to consider ideas and legal problems. David Hardstaff – very hard-working, leaves no stone unturned in the pursuit of the client’s interests, imaginative approach to the evidence, technologically very knowledgeable.’

‘David Hardstaff – super-smart, exceptional client handling, big picture vision, a young strategist with a massive future ahead of him.’

‘David Hardstaff – A pleasure to work with. He is bright, thorough and has an understated manner that belies his tenacious determination to succeed on behalf of his client. I cannot recommend him highly enough.’

Key clients

Dawn Ward

Oliver McBurnie

Kevin Spacey

Work highlights

  • Represented actor Kevin Spacey at trial in relation to sexual assault charges.
  • Successfully represented the TV celebrity Dawn Ward resulting in her acquittal on all counts following trial.
  • Successfully represented footballer Oliver McBurnie in relation to allegations of ABH resulting in his being found not guilty.

Bindmans LLP

The general crime practice at Bindmans LLP is headed by the ‘knowledgeable and pragmaticKatie Wheatley, with the team described by clients as ‘very strong and competent‘. The practice is experienced in the full gamut of crime cases at all stages of criminal proceedings, which includes murder, terrorism, extradition appeals, drug importation and supply, and sexual offences. Tayab Ali, solicitor advocate, is recommended for his work on counter-terrorism law, cybercrime, and international criminal law. Kate Goold is especially adept at defending high-profile clients in politically sensitive and controversial cases, while Catherine Jackson is experienced in representing professionals in criminal cases and high-profile individuals in historic sexual offences. Jude Lanchin is recommended for her work with juveniles.

Practice head(s):

Katie Wheatley

Other key lawyers:

Tayab Ali; Kate Goold; Catherine Jackson; Jude Lanchin; Anna Ford


Bindmans deserve their reputation for being utterly committed to their clients. No stone is left unturned whilst remaining practical and realistic at all times.’

Katie Wheatley is calm, efficient, knowledgeable and pragmatic as well as being excellent on the technical side. Kate Goold has fantastic client skills, superb oversight of the case and the important issues and whilst she is incredibly personable, she is also a fearsome opponent.’

Katie Wheatley leads a very strong and competent team that has a dominant position in a series of industry niches. They are particularly strong at the complex intersection of crime and public law.

Bindmans is a class act. The lawyers are diligent, knowledgeable, and meticulous.’

The team at Bindmans is fantastic. They are incredibly responsive to both clients and counsel. There is a real aura about them that they are in total control of the cases they have, and aware of the finer detail that would escape the attention of others.’

The team has an excellent mix of practitioners across a range of practice areas. Their dedication to each client and each case is impressive.’

One of the top names dealing with high-profile protest and human rights related criminal cases in the UK. The team are at the top of their game and every case is thoroughly prepared by solicitors who are experts in their field.’

Katie Wheatley has a nationally renowned niche in cases related to media and press freedom. Clients know that they’re getting the best advice possible. She is attentive to the needs of clients and provides frank and cogent advice. Her exceptional relationships with leading counsel mean that clients are capable of securing silks at short notice who would normally be unavailable for months.

Key clients

Jack Letts

Zhanbolat Mamay

Work highlights

  • Represented Jack Letts, who has been detained by Kurdish forces in Syria and is accused of participating in terrorist activity as a member of ISIS, which he denies.
  • Instructed by Zhanbolat Mamay to carry out an independent investigation into the reason behind his prosecution and the manner in which the government is dealing with him, as the client fears that he will not receive a fair trial and that the prosecution is designed to suppress him as a political opponent.
  • Conducted a criminal investigation and subsequently submitted a complaint to the International Criminal Court on behalf of high-profile journalists and their representative unions into Israel’s alleged policy of targeting journalists reporting on Israel’s international law violations.

Blackfords LLP

Blackfords LLP‘s crime practice is known for its affinity in high-profile criminal cases, particularly on cases involving professional clients such as company directors, police officers, and army officers. Gary Bloxsome, described by clients as ‘one of the best in the industry‘, brings expertise in serious criminal matters and allegations of war crimes and jointly leads the practice alongside Trevor Francis, who is particularly adept at advising on financial crime and high-profile murder cases. Other notable names within the team include Gary Rubin, who specialises in regulatory law, and Daniel Cundy, who is experienced in dealing with proceeds of crime and money laundering issues. Senior associate Jennifer Richardson and of counsel Rachel Wilson are also key contacts within the team.

Practice head(s):

Gary Bloxsome; Trevor Francis

Other key lawyers:

Gary Rubin; Daniel Cundy; Jennifer Richardson; Rachel Wilson


‘Led by Trevor, the team of partners are hugely experienced and knowledgeable. They have a feel for everything that is going on in the firm and an understanding of everyone who crosses the threshold. A big firm with a small firm’s acting attitude towards clients.’

‘Gary Bloxsome is a giant in the areas of crime and fraud. His strategic thinking and considered approach is highly impressive. Gary has a direct style with clients and other lawyers. His vision for how a case will unfold is always clearly expressed and his strategic insight is often invaluable. Rachel Wilson and Jennifer Richardson are highly effective lawyers. I have worked with both of them in fraud and general crime cases. They are professional, bright, and very effective at what they do.’

‘A really professional team, who I have been instructed by on a few occasions, but I have also referred work to.’

‘Gary Bloxsome and his team are passionate about defending their clients in the right way.’

‘Blackfords is a stand-out firm for the dedication the team gives to each individual client.’

‘Gary Bloxsome knows the business like few others. His tactical judgement is spot-on. He is tough but kind, smart but not superior, knowledgeable without a hint of pomposity. Jennifer Richardson is the young Superwoman who works tirelessly. You would want her on your team.’

‘The Blackfords team are one of the best in the industry, always provide a great product.’

‘Gary Bloxsome is widely regarded as one of the best in the industry; Jennifer Richardson is also very good.’

Work highlights

  • Acted in a fatal stabbing case, in which the Crown accepted a plea to manslaughter on the basis of diminished responsibility and the defendant was sentenced to a s.41 Hospital Order.
  • Represented a 21-year-old client charged with three counts of rape, and charged jointly with another defendant.
  • Acted in the defence of a nurse in relation to allegations of wilful neglect and mistreatment of residents at a hospital for adults with severe learning difficulties.

Corker Binning

The general crime team at Corker Binning, described as ‘superb‘ and ‘very strong’ by clients, regularly deals with the full range of serious crimes. Recent work has included advising individuals on investigations for perverting the course of justice, attempted murder, death by careless driving, and alleged sexual assault. The practice is particularly adept at dealing with novel issues within cases, and dealing with criminal matters of a cross-border nature. The practice is dually headed by Danielle Reece-Greenhalgh, who was promoted to partner in April 2022. Other key team members include Edward Grange, who specialises in extradition cases, Jessica Parker, who is adept at dealing with matters involving reputation management, and Maia Cohen-Lask, who was promoted to partner in April 2023. Co-head Paul Morris left the firm in August 2023.

Practice head(s):

Danielle Reece-Greenhalgh

Other key lawyers:

Edward Grange; Jessica Parker; Maia Cohen-Lask


‘Corker Binning sets the standard in the best quality advice and representation: excellent lawyers, brilliant strategists at the top of their game. New leadership recently has seen them go from strength to strength.’

‘Ed Grange is a fantastic strategist with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law. Clients trust his judgment.’

‘The firm offers magic-circle level productivity and quality in niche international areas connected with criminal law.’

‘Ed Grange is incredibly effective, good at managing very multi-faceted cases with many moving parts, always thinks ahead, ethically impeccable but also has a good sense of humour and brings a great spirit to international teams.’

‘Corker Binning has a superb team at all levels with enviable experience in dealing with all types of criminal cases including the most complex and high profile cases.’

‘A set of sensible, thoughtful, clever, available lawyers, with great personality and charm, and who are experts in their fields.’

‘Danielle Reece-Greenhalgh: She became a partner last year and is a superb lawyer, with real intellect. She is very well-organised and exceptionally hard-working, with excellent client care. She is one of the top junior partners in the area.’

‘I would refer my most valuable client or even a family member to the Corker Binning team if they had a criminal or extradition matter. They are all incredibly knowledgable and dedicated and get involved in the most interesting work.’

Work highlights

  • Advised Tom Tugendhat MBE VR, the Minister of State for Security and Conservative Party MP in relation to a road traffic matter that carried significant risk of disqualification.
  • Secured a favourable outcome for Oleg Tinkov, who was arrested without warning upon arrival to the UK in February 2020 on an extradition request from the US.

Hickman & Rose

The ‘outstanding‘ serious and general crime practice at Hickman & Rose is headed by the ‘first classJenny Wiltshire, who is experienced in advising on cases with high-profile cross-border elements. The team acts for a variety of individuals and businesses, with recent clients including a Premier League footballer, the daughter of a billionaire businessman, and a successful pharmaceutical company. Peter Csemiczky is recommended for his experience in minimising publicity in criminal cases, while founding partner Ben Rose is skilled at working for high-profile individuals, particularly in the investigation stage of a case. Aileen Colhoun and associate Rose Commander are also names to note within the team.

Practice head(s):

Jenny Wiltshire

Other key lawyers:

Rose Commander; Aileen Colhoun; Peter Csemiczky; Ben Rose


‘Hickman & Rose richly deserve their position as a top tier criminal firm. I regard them as a first division firm and have no hesitation in recommending them to private clients who approach me directly. You would want them on your side if you found yourself facing a criminal allegation.’

‘Jenny Wiltshire is first class. You would have to look very hard to find any solicitor in general crime who equals her in ability, work-ethic, and experience. Rose Commander deserves a mention, with an instinctive feel for the tactical approach most likely to achieve the right outcome.’

‘An outstanding firm, offering a wide range of brilliantly talented lawyers.’

‘I recommend Peter for any client in need of a criminal lawyer – extremely responsive, puts clients at ease, calm in a crisis, strategically brilliant – simply everything you want from a lawyer.’

‘Jenny Wiltshire is one of the smartest general crime lawyers of her generation. Breadth of work is astounding – from miscarriages of justice to high profile footballer involved in sex cases. Aileen Colhoun has seen and done it all and has an ease with any case that demonstrates this. She is super well-connected and one of the nicest lawyers on the circuit.’

‘Hickman Rose offer a really strong team of partners and associates with a breadth and depth of expertise that allow them to provide a really first class service.’

‘Peter Csemiczky is a solicitor I really look forward to working with. He approaches every case with immense care and skill, working hard to make sure the client is fully advised and meaningfully engaged in the process at every stage. Peter is thorough and hard-working, his attention to detail is outstanding.’

‘Excellent firm with very strong private client base. The partners are effective lawyers and are highly efficient.’

Key clients

Benjamin Mendy

ITH Pharma Ltd

Alexander O’Connor

Work highlights

  • Acted for Premier League and World Cup wining footballer Benjamin Mendy, who was acquitted of eight of the ten charges of rape, attempted rape and sexual assault that he faced. He awaits re-trial on the remaining two counts.
  • Acted for ITH Pharma Ltd in long-running investigation and proceedings for Health & Safety and Medicines Act offences involving complex medical and scientific evidence.
  • Acted for internationally acclaimed singer-songwriter Alexander O’Connor (stage name Rex Orange County) charged with six sexual assaults.

Hodge Jones & Allen

Hodge Jones & Allen‘s crime team, complimented by clients for its ‘fantastic level of service‘ and ‘brilliant range of lawyers‘, is headed by ‘natural advocateRaj Chada, who is experienced in acting for high-profile clients, including MPs. The practice also advises clients on areas including protests, terrorism, sexual offences, and harassment. Mike Schwarz is recommended for human rights, while Kerry Spence is proficient in acting in multi-defendant cases; Graeme Hydari is adept at assisting defendants with autism. Laura O’Brien and Caroline Liggins were promoted to partner in March 2022 and are key names within the team.

Practice head(s):

Raj Chada

Other key lawyers:

Ruth Harris; Laura O’Brien; Kerry Spence; Graeme Hydari; Caroline Liggins; Mike Schwarz


Ruth Harris is a very caring and experienced solicitor.’

Hodge Jones & Allen are possibly the best firm of criminal solicitors conducting publicly funded work, and also offer an excellent service to privately funded clients. They have a large team that has continually prospered through recruiting excellent trainees and investing in people.

Laura O’Brien is fiercely committed to her clients and extremely diligent in ensuring that every case she has conduct of is carefully managed. She seems to be able to create almost infinite time to meet her clients’ needs and expectations, and never drops the ball.

A brilliant range of lawyers – from superlative financial crime experts to the best youth crime practitioners in the country to specialist sex lawyers and protester law work. All the lawyers are completely committed to every client and provide a fantastic level of service.’

Laura O’Brien is one of the best solicitors I have ever had the privilege to be instructed by. She is a tour de force.’

A group with a real sense of purpose and mission.

Raj Chada is the standout expert for protest law in the country. He is a consummate all-rounder: utterly fantastic with clients, a real team player, a brilliant strategist and a persuasive advocate on his feet. He doesn’t shy away from tricky arguments or issues, and gives every case his all. Simply the best in the field. Nobody can touch him for expertise and experience. The best of the best.’

Raj Chada is a brilliant out of the box thinker. He is clever, charming and committed to representing individuals. He has a great instinct and is a natural advocate. He has been a mentor and supervisor of many junior lawyers who owe their skills to Raj’s tuition.

Work highlights

  • Represented the Colston 4 in a case that attracted international attention and involved the toppling of the “Colston Statue” in Bristol during a Black Lives Matter march, in which the defendants were acquitted and the matter referred by the Attorney General to the Court of Appeal.
  • Appealed the conviction of Claudia Webbe MP in relation to allegations of harassment, which had a large amount of media interest, particularly as to whether she would be “recalled”, forcing a by election.
  • Represented Nicholas and Justin Elliot in a multi defendant murder trial, with complex analysis of voluminous evidence.

Kingsley Napley LLP

Kingsley Napley LLP is lauded by clients as ‘arguably the best firm of criminal solicitors in the country‘, with the ‘extraordinary‘ team headed by Louise Hodges, Sandra Paul, and David Sleight. Hodges leads in criminal litigation, while Paul and Sleight co-lead on general crime. The practice is experienced in advising both UK and international clients on the full spectrum of general crime matters, with recent work including advice on sexual misconduct allegations within the workplace, attempted murder, driving offences, and fraud. Other key team members include Rebecca Niblock, who is highly experienced in extradition matters, pre-charge advice specialist Edmund Smyth, and Matthew Hardcastle, who was promoted to partner in May 2023. Associates Edward Jones, Rebecca Smart, Emily Elliott, and Maeve Keenan are also names to note within the team.

Practice head(s):

Louise Hodges; Sandra Paul; David Sleight

Other key lawyers:

Rebecca Niblock; Edmund Smyth; Matthew Hardcastle; Edward Jones; Rebecca Smart; Emily Elliot; Maeve Keenan; Fiona Haddadeen


Kingsley Napley are arguably the best firm of criminal solicitors in the country. They have always recruited extremely well, resulting in a team packed with high calibre lawyers who deliver outstanding levels of service and client care. They have first-rate facilities and resources, a very effective team of support staff, and a reputation that immediately secures an attentive response to correspondence in litigation.

Sandra Paul is truly exceptional and is well known throughout the profession for her capability and dedication. Matthew Hardcastle is one of the brightest and best of his generation.’

The team around Sandra Paul, Matt Hardcastle and Maeve Keenan is highly professional, and every client should honour their honesty, professionalism and profound in-depth analysis of all options. Their thoughts do not only include the easy and obvious ones, but they are mind-blowing brilliant. Working with and being represented by them is the best decision.’

The team is incredibly diligent and insightful. Their skill in dealing with our particular situation was impressive.’

Sandra Paul, Maeve Keenan and the team possess a rare combination of professional skill and human compassion, making them an extraordinary team.’

My primary involvement was with Matthew Hardcastle, an exceptional partner, working in the field of youth crime. The 24hr emergency helpline was invaluable, as was the calm and reassuring manner in which the firm moved swiftly to deal with both police and youth offending teams.’

David Sleight – a lawyer who makes things happen, right at the top of his game, and has the best judgement in the game. So shrewd and focused. Matt Hardcastle – an amazing lawyer. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of criminal law, which he deploys to great effect. A go-to lawyer who will take every good point there is in the case and will invariably come out on top. Emily Elliott – just superb with the facts of the case and with clients. A dream to work with.’

Peters & Peters Solicitors LLP

The general crime team at Peters & Peters Solicitors LLP, described as ‘market leaders‘ and ‘strategically strong‘, is directed by the ‘formidably brightNick Vamos, who was head of special crime for the CPS before his move to the firm. The practice is experienced in serious crime in both the domestic and international spheres, with recent work involving cross-border criminal investigations and prosecutions across multiple countries. Other high-profile work includes acting for Post Office Limited in relation to criminal appeals. Michael O’Kane is recommended for his work on extradition and corruption cases, while Jasvinder Nakhwal is a key contact for issues involving criminal cartels and extradition. Anna Bradshaw, complimented for her ‘unwavering commitment‘, is adept at advising on proceeds of crime matters. Of counsel Rachel Cook and associates Alistair Jones and Kerri McGuigan are also key contacts for serious general crime.

Practice head(s):

Nick Vamos

Other key lawyers:

Anna Bradshaw; Alistair Jones; Kerri McGuigan; Michael O’Kane; Jasvinder Nakhwal; Rachel Cook


‘My experience of the Peters & Peters team has been that they are strategically strong, knowledgeable, and provide excellent levels of client service at all times of day and night.’

‘I instructed Anna Bradshaw (partner) and Alistair Jones (senior associate). Anna Bradshaw oversaw the case, with Alistair Jones running the case on a day-to-day basis. They both stood out for their unwavering commitment to their client, for their willingness to go the extra mile, and for leaving no stone unturned in seeking to achieve the best possible outcome.’

‘As an outfit, they are absolutely superb. Get Nick Vamos to lead the team and you could not be in safer hands. The Rolls Royce of general crime firms, in my view.’

‘Nick Vamos – former barrister – is outstandingly good. Formidably bright, excellent with clients and an all-round first division lawyer. He stays involved right through to trial, watching the team like a hawk. Keep an eye on Kerri McGuigan. She is going places. Charming, hard-working, utterly committed to every case and a great solicitor.’

‘Peter & Peters are market leaders. They have longstanding and exceptional experience in this area. They have recruited well and have a strong team at all levels.’

‘The team at Peters & Peters is comprised of solicitors of the highest calibre. In my view, the practice is unique because of their quality as legal practitioners, no gimmicks, simply excellence.’

Very experienced and smart solicitors.

‘Anna Bradshaw is extremely experienced, a fiercely astute lawyer, hard working and client conscious.’

Simons Muirhead Burton

The crime and regulatory practice at Simons Muirhead Burton offers clients particular expertise in media matters and frequently advises household media celebrities, as well as assisting clients on criminal issues such as sexual assault, perverting the course of justice, and harassment, with a wealth of experience advising well-known musicians. Phil Smith heads the team, with skills described as ‘first-rate‘. Anthony Burton CBE, founding partner of the criminal department, is recommended for representing individuals on death row by virtue of his work as chair of the Death Penalty Project NGO, with his case-handling described as ‘exceptional‘. Senior associate Henrietta Ronson is described as a ‘standout individual‘, with ‘unparalleled domain expertise‘ in media-related criminal matters.

Practice head(s):

Phil Smith

Other key lawyers:

Anthony Burton; Henrietta Ronson


SMB are passionate about their work and their clients. Their research is intensive. They show the fullest support for and liaison with clients and with case barristers. Quite simply outstanding and faultless.

Anthony Burton CBE is a senior, long-standing partner. His commitment to a client’s interests and well-being is total, and demonstrably awesome. To describe his handling of a matter as exceptional is an inadequate term.’

Phil Smith, Henrietta Ronson and their team are a simply brilliant set of crime solicitors – their record is simply brilliant.

The practice employs lawyers of deep experience and domain expertise in order to provide a very high standard of service. Communication throughout the firm is highly responsive and clear, both with regard to technical legal matters, as well as administrative issues.

Henrietta Ronson was the standout individual on the team. My experience working with her is second to none. She exhibits unparalleled domain expertise and always maintains a very high attention to detail, which was decisive at critical points in the work. Her communication was always prompt and she has an uncanny ability to explain complex legal concepts clearly and in laymans terms.

The SMB fraud and crime team is very strong – experienced, responsive, practical and personable. It benefits by having access to other practice areas within the firm – reputation management, employment, family and commercial.’

Phil Smith, head of department, is a first-rate criminal practitioner. He is very popular with clients and the barristers he instructs. Henrietta Ronson, is intelligent, hard-working, and cool under fire. She is at ease dealing with all clients and is a highly valued member of the team. I have no doubt that she will be made a partner soon, which she absolutely deserves.

‘Henrietta Ronson – She was just amazing – fiercely smart and fiercely kind. I couldn’t have got through the case without her diligent preparation and support. Phil Smith – excellent strategist and strong judgement.’

Work highlights

  • Advised on the Partygate scandal, giving evidence to the Parliamentary Privileges Committee, and the UK Covid 19 Public Inquiry.
  • Obtained an acquittal in a high-profile trial at Isleworth Crown Court for an UHNWI venture capitalist and investor.
  • Secured acquittal of leading academic in a high-profile trial attracting much media coverage.

Stokoe Partnership Solicitors

Stokoe Partnership Solicitors‘ criminal department is headed by founding partner Bambos Tsiattalou, who brings more than three decades of experience to the team. The practice regularly advises clients on criminal matters such as murder, drug trafficking, and firearms offences. ‘StrategistMaria Theodoulou is a key contact for EncroChat matters, while Brian Swan is experienced in assisting clients in the full range of serious criminal matters. Richard Cannon specialises in cross-border financial crime cases as well as extradition matters and is described by clients as ‘understated but brilliant‘. Solicitor advocate Abigail Ashford is also a recommended member of the team.

Practice head(s):

Bambos Tsiattalou

Other key lawyers:

Brian Swan; Abigail Ashford; Maria Theodoulou; Amjid Jabbar; Richard Cannon


The depth of the legal team’s experience. Collectively, the team have decades of experience working with highly complex cases and achieving excellent results.’

Brian Swan is understated but brilliant, with an understanding of POCA that is second to none. Amjid Jabbar is sharp and meticulous and constantly looking to give his clients the edge. Bambos Tsiattalou is an absolute workaholic, dedicated to achieving the very best for his clients. Maria Theodoulou – a strategist who always sees the bigger picture.’

The knowledge and expertise within the practice really is second to none. The strategic direction of the company is exemplary, and no stone is left unturned when representing clients.’

Maria provides 100 per cent commitment in identifying the best direction of defence – she has a wealth of experience and consults with the leading experts to ensure that decisions made are well-informed. I feel in very safe hands.’

The whole partnership treat you as family! They not only make you feel reassured you’re in good hands with their hospitality but with their huge level of knowledge and intelligence. They do not leave any stone unturned.’

Their experience is second to none. They know how to adapt to every scenario and situation. They understand life, people, and most importantly, the law. Extremely reassuring.’

The firm has a practice second to none, and has done for many, many years. They are involved in most of the significant trials throughout the country and spearhead the legal fight against the admissibility of Encro phones. They never cut corners, every case, regardless of how big or small it is, is prepared with impeccable care and attention.’

Nobody works harder than Bambos Tsiattalou. He is literally on it 24/7. That means he knows his cases better than anybody else and this knowledge means that he is prepared for every eventuality.

ABV Solicitors

Akhtar Ahmad and Robert Borwick jointly lead the complex crime team at ABV Solicitors, with clients describing the department as ‘standout‘ and ‘extremely dedicated‘. The practice is experienced in advising clients in matters such as attempted murder, joint enterprise murder, sexual assault charges, drug trafficking, charges relating to indecent images, and driving offences. The ‘unflappableHanisha Godhania is responsible for the practice’s Crown Court team and is particularly skilled in EncroChat cases. Sunita Mehta is praised for her ‘exceptional client care‘ and has recently led on matters involving murders, and high-profile clients charged with driving offences. Associate Fergus Harrington, who specialises in money laundering cases and complex white-collar crime, is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Akhtar Ahmad; Robert Borwick

Other key lawyers:

Hanisha Godhania; Sunita Mehta; Fergus Harrington


ABV Solicitors are a standout firm in the area of general crime. They have a wide spectrum of legal talent on their roster. They offer clients impeccable advice and a conscientious service, guiding them seamlessly through complex litigation when the stakes cannot be greater.’

They have a core of experienced solicitors who have been with the firm for over a decade. This means they are able to provide a comprehensive service, drawing on a wealth of practical experience across all levels of tribunal. They are extremely dedicated to client care and making an effort to match client to counsel.

Rob Borwick has an approachable style offering frank, clear, and careful advice. Akhtar Ahmed is highly experienced across the spectrum of criminal law. Sunita Mehta is exceptionally hard-working and diligent with the ability to dig deep into a case and carefully scrutinise complex, detailed, and novel cases. Hanisha Godhania is unflappable in her approach and is not afraid to give strong advice when needed.’

Sunita Mehta is a partner who cares. She dedicates time to her clients and her cases in a way that is unusual in the current very busy climate and as a result, is a pleasure to work with. The care with which she analyses the issues ensures her clients are able to make the best decisions in their cases.

ABV have real strength in depth, ranging from their partners to their trainees. They deliver a first-rate service to their clients through assiduous attention to detail and a highly committed approach to client care. Every solicitor I have worked with has shared that level of commitment, and it comes through in the case preparation.

Akhtar Ahmad is one of the best solicitors in London. He brings an intellectual curiosity and an enthusiasm for the law to bear on a diverse practice encompassing terrorism offences, serious violence, dishonesty and sexual offending. Sunita Mehta has exceptional client care at the heart of her practice. She deals with litigation very efficiently, and running a case with her is always an easy experience.

ABVs provide a premium service to their clients. They will go the extra yard to pursue lines of enquiry, instruct the best experts and demand a high level of service from their counsel.

‘Akhtar Ahmad (Partner) is bright, enthusiastic and hard-working. He is able to rapidly deconstruct cases and identify the real issues. He is particularly well regarded in cases involving allegations of murder and terrorism. He also represents clients very effectively in fraud cases. He has a keen eye for detail, which is a vital quality for that type of work.’

Work highlights

  • Advised in the high profile multi-rape and sexual assault trial of a Premier League footballer playing for Manchester City FC.
  • Advised a Sheffield United FC player in a highly publicised assault resulting in a pitch invasion by fans at Wembley Stadium.
  • Advised in the high profile gang murder tried at the Old Bailey involving rival gangs using the famous “drill music” as part of their murder operation.


Bark&co’s general crime practice covers the full gamut of crime work, including murder and manslaughter cases, money laundering, sexual offences, drug offences, as well as extensive experience on organised crime groups. The team is led by the ‘remarkable‘ founder Giles Bark-Jones, who also possesses significant experience in cases of criminal fraud, alongside advice on offences under anti-terrorism legislation. Senior solicitor Ria Kudrati is recommended for her representation of vulnerable children and adults, while fellow solicitor Karamjit Singh specialises in murder cases. Associate Vanessa Wiggins is a key contact for cases involving violent crime and drugs, while solicitor advocate Dharsh Lokaswaran’s recent work includes cases of modern slavery.

Practice head(s):

Giles Bark-Jones

Other key lawyers:

Ria Kudrati; Karamjit Singh; Vanessa Wiggins; Dharsh Lokaswaran


Every single member of the team at Barks is outstanding. I am regularly instructed by them and the preparation and client care are top-notch.’

A team of highly competent and successful lawyers. Giles Bark-Jones is remarkable across his departments and cases.’

Bark & Co. provide an absolutely gold star service to all of its clients. They combine experience, expertise and passion to bring about successful results.’

The strength of Bark & Co very much rests in its people. The firm has a real strength in depth amongst its lawyers, and a fantastic reputation for going the extra mile for its clients.’

The Bark & Co team will ensure that you are well-placed to win any piece of litigation. They go into battle ready and willing to fight. Competitive and tenacious!

Every fee earner I have worked with has shown exceptional commitment to the case on which they were working. They have extensive knowledge and understanding of the case and present extraordinarily well to the client.

Dharsh Lokaswaran is also excellent. She is capable, organised and very smart.’

Bark & Co is, quite simply, an excellent general crime firm – able to turn their hand to the whole spectrum of criminal allegations. They conduct legal aid and privately paid criminal cases. Experienced, professional, industrious – they won’t miss a trick.’

Work highlights

  • Secured the acquittal of a client on one of two conspiracies to murder following a ten-week trial at the Central Criminal Court.
  • Acted in a high-value theft case concerning an alleged conspiracy involving the acquisition of stolen car parts for international exportation on an industrial scale, securing a unanimous acquittal of the client after a nine-week trial.
  • Acted for a high-profile individual under investigation for alleged historic sexual offences.

Edward Fail Bradshaw & Waterson

Edward Fail Bradshaw & Waterson‘s crime practice is praised by clients for its ‘unfailing dedication‘ to clients, as well as the team’s ‘excellent representation at all levels of criminal defence.Paul Harris and Natalie Berman jointly lead the team, with Harris working on serious health and safety offences as well as violent crimes including murder. Berman, described as ‘diligent and meticulous‘, is highly experienced in military police court proceedings as well as in large scale drug conspiracies. Edward Preston and Kirsty Bishop are also key contacts within the team.

Practice head(s):

Paul Harris; Natalie Berman

Other key lawyers:

Edward Preston; Kirsty Bishop


Edward Fail is a firm that has a clear, strong reputation for high profile, complex and challenging criminal defence. They have a strong team system, in which solicitors support each other and clients can expect continuity of representation. They can be relied upon for excellent representation at all levels of criminal defence, but can be most confident with the most complex and difficult.

Kirsty Bishop is a partner and solicitor respected in the field. I have referred matters to her, knowing that she will respond immediately, offering the client reassurance. She will give the same attention to detail and commitment whether private or legal aid – and this makes Edward Fail and Kirsty Bishop different from other similar firms.

The level of contact they offered was fantastic – there was constant support and gave us confidence that the case was being handled with care.

Natalie Berman was diligent and meticulous, helping us explore every avenue.

Edward Fail, Bradshaw & Waterson are unique for their unfailing dedication to their clients. This is demonstrated by their hugely impressive speed of response, dedication to getting to the absolute detail of their cases, big and small, combined with an incredible knowledge of law, practice and procedure.’

Edward Fail have always been the firm that sets the example. They are always committed, always on top of their work, and always better than their competition. Briefs are prepared properly, thoroughly and skilfully. It is always much easier when they are the instructing solicitors.’

Edward Preston is the stand-out defence solicitor in London and has been for many years. His commitment to the highest standard of service remains undimmed. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of the law, allied with a preternatural sense of strategy.

‘The firm is well known in London with extensive working relationship with other legal personnel and law enforcement bodies.’

Work highlights

  • Represented a defendant charged with 5 offences relating to the fraudulent setting up of a company issuing fake covid certificates to confirm people were fit to fly.
  • Advised on a complex allegation of evasion of VAT by manipulation of figures on foods and services through a major company supplying wedding services.
  • Represented a defendant for murder who successfully ran the narrow defence of loss of self-control, resulting in an acquittal for murder and conviction for manslaughter.

GT Stewart Limited

The criminal defence practice at GT Stewart Limited is comprised of several specialist teams. The appeals team, led by Greg Stewart, deals with applications to the Court of Appeal and the CCRC. Melanie Krudy co-leads the team and is responsible for training and billing, as well as acting as a higher court advocate. Mel Stooks leads the youth crime team and is particularly commended for her work on cases involving the Modern Slavery Act and her advocacy in the Youth Court. Claire Dissington covers criminal matters in the City of London, while Will Russell leads on private client matters and the South East London team. Sophie Smith leads the South West London team, while Ronnie Manek is the head of the higher court advocacy team.

Practice head(s):

Greg Stewart; Melanie Krudy; Mel Stooks; Claire Dissington; Will Russell; Sophie Smith; Ronnie Manek


Superb legal firm at the forefront of legal knowledge, tactical skills and supplying legal services. They are one of the few firms who are heavily laden on preparation long before counsel is involved. They have access to experts, know their cases inside out, and are industry front-runners.’

Will Russell is one of the best solicitors I have ever worked with. His preparation, tactical skills, legal skills, and work ethic are second to none. He is the player every team would want on their side.

The youth team cannot be beaten by other solicitors’ firms in London. It is headed up by Mel Stooks who is the walking book on all things youth law! Client care is exceptional, attention to detail and the solicitors’ cradle-to-grave style of casework is fantastic.’

A very good mixed legal aid and private practice characterised by extremely dedicated and committed professionals who always provide an excellent service no matter how big or small the case.

‘A really good firm, committed to criminal defence.’

‘Will Russell is an exceptionally talented criminal defence lawyer with a very good legal brain to match. Clients would be hard-pressed to find a stronger all-rounder in complex criminal cases.’

‘GT Stewart Solicitors deserves its reputation for providing top class criminal defence. The criminal team is unparalleled in its commitment to ensuring that all clients get the best possible representation, determinedly going in to bat for those whom they represent.’

Work highlights

  • Represented 3 Vietnamese nationals of good character charged with offences of producing a controlled drug of Class B and possession with intent to supply Class B drugs.
  • Represented a retired police officer charged with making indecent images. Acquitted following trial.
  • Represented one of 4 defendants prosecuted for conspiracy to defraud by being party to a bribery scheme that involved the Ministry of Defence and the Saudi Arabian National Guard.


IBB Law‘s general crime practice is commended by clients for its ‘depth of quality solicitors‘ and for its ‘sophisticated and professional operation‘. Joanne Gibbons and Eddie Tang jointly lead the team, with the former specialising in youth representation and the latter representing clients in complex matters such as murder, assaults, EncroChat, and kidnappings. Associate Anna Ford is particularly adept at assisting in Crown Court litigation as well as representing young and vulnerable defendants, while advocate Kam Varaitch supervises the firm’s Crown Court department and is complimented by clients for his ‘skill, sensitivity and care.’

Practice head(s):

Joanne Gibbons; Eddie Tang

Other key lawyers:

Anna Ford; Kam Varaitch


The sheer depth of quality solicitors within IBB means that if the solicitor or partner I am attempting to get in contact with is in court or busy, there is an abundance of fantastic other solicitors to be able to speak to and deal with my enquiry.’

Eddie Tang is a superb criminal lawyer who inspires complete confidence from his clients, and his mastery of his cases means he gets fantastic results.’

IBB provides a one-stop shop for general crime. The team has a wealth of experience, and the high-profile cases they deal with demonstrates the strength and depth of this.’

Always up to date on the case, really follow through on instructions and think sensibly and pragmatically.’

Eddie Tang – experienced, no nonsense, and a first-rate solicitor. He is able to cut to the heart of a case and provide pragmatic advice. Works collaboratively with Counsel, which secures the best outcome for clients.

The overall impression is of a sophisticated and professional operation who know exactly how to chart the most effective course through any pre-charge negotiation or post charge trial process.

Anna Ford – client care, understanding of cases, communication with counsel regarding cases.’

No one works harder than Kam Varaitch. He somehow manages to deal with all of the cases and defendants that he represents with the same level of skill, sensitivity and care, and is always available when you need him. A solicitor’s solicitor.

Work highlights

  • Advised and represented a client charged with murder and two attempted murders which occurred in Harrow Town Centre.
  • Advised and represented a client charged with conspiracy to supply 70kg of heroin, possession of firearms and ammunition.

Janes Solicitors

The general crime team at Janes Solicitors is experienced in cases involving EncroChat, high-profile extradition matters, drug offences, fraud, and violent offences. The team is led by Robert Berg, who is recommended by clients for his ‘decades of experience‘, and regularly acts on serious crime matters such as high-profile money laundering, sexual offences, and international drug trafficking. Other key team members include James Mullion, who is adept at advising clients on fraud and regulatory matters and whose recent work includes representing Gianluigi Torzi, who was allegedly involved in fraud on the Vatican City State. Fiona Gavriel is experienced in complex business and financial crime. Associates Alex Mincoff and Alex Chapman are also notable names within the team.

Practice head(s):

Robert Berg

Other key lawyers:

Alex Mincoff; Alex Chapman; James Mullion; Fiona Gavriel


Janes is one of a handful of firms that deals with principally private crime. It is better than all the competition, and that is why it attracts such high-end private work.’

‘James Mullion is the standout partner in my view. He is in simple terms an exceptional talent with incomparable judgment.

Janes is a small, but dynamic firm which punches above its weight in private-client criminal law work. They have a meticulous approach to case preparation and an exceptional focus on client care and getting the best results.’

Efficient and professional; Janes have been around a very long time, always maintaining their standards.

Alex Chapman greatly impressed with an exceptional work ethic and instinctively excellent judgment. He is by far and away the best young solicitor I have come across in recent years. A rising star.’

Robert Berg is an old-school criminal defence lawyer, with decades of experience.

James Mullion is an exceptional solicitor. He’s super bright, tenacious, does his research and is affable with it. David Janes is also extremely able, very smart and inquisitive. They are the safest of hands in serious criminal matters.’

‘This firm is excellent in all respects. They work very hard on their client’s cases and leave no stone unturned. Each practitioner is very experienced in all fields which are necessary for the preparation of legal cases.’

Lewis Nedas Law Limited

Lewis Nedas Law Limited‘s crime department is led by co-founder Jeffrey Lewis, and has recently assisted clients on cases of Russian espionage, sanctions breaches, organ harvesting, and fraud. Other key team members include Siobhain Egan, a Higher Rights Advocate and former barrister, the ‘powerhouseSean Reilly, and Tony Meisels, who clients describe as being at ‘the top of his game‘. Unan Choudhury is recommended for his recent work on murder and drug trafficking cases, while Miles Herman’s recent work includes manslaughter and robbery cases. Keith Wood is experienced in EncroChat cases. Leila Abdul-Rasool is another name to note within the practice.

Practice head(s):

Jeffrey Lewis

Other key lawyers:

Siobhain Egan; Sean Reilly; Tony Meisels; Unan Choudhury; Miles Herman; Keith Wood; Leila Abdul-Rasool


Sean Reilly is the powerhouse behind the LN criminal team. Sean’s team is tried and tested; trainees receive the very best training available and this is reflected in the quality of work, preparation and advice provided to their clients. This level of expertise and client care is why Sean and his team are so highly regarded and boast a large number of repeat clients.’

Sean leaves no stone unturned and always goes the extra mile for his clients, regardless of the funding status. A charismatic lawyer, both charming and skilled in equal measure. One of the genuine stand-out professionals working in the Criminal Justice System.

The team really goes above and beyond. So many firms now seem to not care about their clients, the opposite is true about Lewis Nedas. They really fight for their client, they go above and beyond.’

Tony Meisels is at the top of his game, and I never hesitate to recommend clients to him when they’re in a difficult situation. You can be sure that clients will receive a first-class service from a solicitor who is all over the detail and always keeps the client updated.’

Keith Wood is excellent, determined and hugely experienced.’

A great team that uses technology well and works well with outside experts.

Siobhan is so good with clients. Deals with difficult clients well. Keith Wood is a superstar and always sets expectations well.

‘This is a firm that punches well above its weight and routinely gets instructed above the more glamorous and well known city firms. Hard-working and fully engaged with clients.’

Lloyds PR Solicitors

Lloyds PR Solicitors‘ serious and complex crime team is particularly known for its experience assisting clients in litigation within serious crime cases, with recent work comprising fraud cases, murder, violent offences, and money laundering matters. The team is co-led by Harsha Rupasinghe, who is a notable expert in international matters, and solicitor Mohsin Ariff. Prasad Palihawadana supervises the Police Station and Magistrates’ Court departments and is regularly involved in extradition cases. Manoj Rupasinghe is also a key member within the team, and is experienced in human trafficking cases. Solicitor Ieva Giedraityte is also described as an ‘exceptionally talented litigator‘.

Practice head(s):

Harsha Rupasinghe; Mohsin Ariff

Other key lawyers:

Prasad Palihawadana; Manoj Rupasinghe; Ieva Giedraityte


Mohsin Ariff is quite simply a star. He is meticulous in his approach to preparation of cases and his attention to detail and tactical approach to cases, particularly fraud, never ceases to amaze me. One of the very best I have worked with.

Mohsin Ariff stands out as a very key driver of the success of the business. They also have excellent associate solicitors who work very hard to maintain the overall firm standards and to build on the success of the model. Ieva Giedraitye is an exceptionally talented litigator who puts her clients first.

Moshin Ariff has excellent client care skills.

A serious criminal firm capable of providing top representation across the field of criminal matters.

Harsha Rupasinghe has really sound judgment and works terrifically hard for clients. Manoj Rupasinghe has great tactical instincts and manages the firm’s caseload to ensure real quality of client care.

A very good firm with a real corporate spirit that is impressive. They are committed and dedicated to their clients in a world where crumbling legal aid fees mean that it is increasingly difficult to survive, much less provide the excellent service that they do. They also have strengths in all areas, from the juniors to the partners. Impressive.’

The team went above and beyond in pursuing disclosure. The firm has specialist internal resources in the field of mobile phone data that was extremely useful.

Manoj’s client care is second to none. There isn’t a detail of his cases he doesn’t know about. Counsel is selected from the outset with the client in mind to ensure first class representation from day one. Tactically astute, you could not find a better solicitor to fight your corner. Ieva is a real star of the firm ensuring no stone is left unturned for their clients.’

Work highlights

  • Represented the lead defendant in the UK’s largest ever fraud investigation where, at one point, it was alleged there were 20 victims every single minute as a result of this sophisticated fraud.
  • Successfully defended a client charged with murder, securing an acquittal through use of CCTV and psychiatric evidence.
  • Represented a defendant alleged to have conspired to commit fraud by obtaining and using false identities in order to make false finance applications to companies for high value vehicles, and at the end appropriate them.

Russell-Cooke LLP

Russell-Cooke LLP‘s general crime team is praised by clients for its ‘communication, professionalism and engagement‘, and regularly assists high-profile clients in cases with high public interest. The practice is highly experienced with criminal matters involving sexual offences, media related prosecutions, and serious organised crime. Jae Carwardine, described as ‘exceptional‘, leads the team, with Martin Rackstraw providing expertise in cases with political and security implications, as well as cases of homicide. Other names to note include associates Jacob Smyth and Abby Ewing. Frances Murray and associate Emily Russell joined the team from Rosenblatt in May 2022 and June 2022 respectively, followed by associate Joanna Schaefer from Kingsbury Ellis Solicitors in September 2022. Associate Keshina Bouri joined from Carson Kaye in January 2024, contributing her deep knowledge of fraud, homicide, and terrorism.

Practice head(s):

Jae Carwardine

Other key lawyers:

Frances Murray; Martin Rackstraw; Emily Russell; Joanna Schaefer; Jacob Smyth; Abby Ewing; Keshina Bouri


‘This is my first time working with a legal firm. I have been positively impressed with the communication, professionalism and engagement throughout the process.’

‘Everyone I came in touch with was absolutely exceptional.’

‘Jae Carwardine is an exceptional partner. I have never known a lawyer make themselves so available to clients, even the most challenging ones. She combines unparalleled commitment and empathy with sound strategic acumen. Martin Rackstraw is also very impressive. He has deep experience in crime and extradition. His measured and focused manner commands respect. Diligent, shrewd and a delight to work with. Highly recommended.

‘The service was excellent. The commitment to our case was exceptional. The level of detail was brilliant. Our lawyer collaborated with medical professionals to create a case that was insurmountable. We were hugely relieved and grateful for the outcome of our case, which was achieved by diligence, a keen instinct for strategy, knowledge and experience.’

‘We worked with Jae Carwardine who is an exceptionally good lawyer. Jae achieved the best possible outcome for us. She always took the time to make sure we understood what strategies she was employing and why. She was very supportive whilst remaining highly professional. She was able to reassure us whilst always being very realistic about the situation.’

Work highlights

  • Represented Kirtland Gill, who stood trial accused of supplying 300 rounds of ammunition to an undercover police officer.
  • Represented a local businessman accused of murder.
  • Represented an Uber driver charged with an allegation of rape, the circumstances being that our client was alleged to have raped a female customer in his car whilst she was very drunk.

Shaw Graham Kersh

Shaw Graham Kersh‘s general crime team is led by Raymond Shaw, who regularly undertakes crime related work in FCA investigations, and Madeleine Corr, who was promoted to partner in August 2022. The team frequently advises clients on gang related cases, sexual offence cases, homicides, and criminal contempt of court matters. Philip Hill, described as ‘highly forensic and meticulous‘, is a name to note within the practice, and works alongside Paul Graham and Michael Strauss, who specialise in murder and terrorism, and serious crime, respectively.

Practice head(s):

Raymond Shaw; Madeleine Corr

Other key lawyers:

Philip Hill; Paul Graham; Michael Strauss


Equal level of service to legal aid and private clients. They have a well-rounded team who can take any kind of work and take it to the highest instances.’

A very strong practice across the spectrum of criminal law. It is a relatively small team made up primarily of very experienced solicitors. As a result, the quality is excellent and very partner led.’

Madeline Corr is a star. She is approachable, tactical, and absolutely on top of the brief. A real joy to work with and deservedly a recently made partner.

An extremely impressive and professional firm offering a bespoke service to all clients. Each case will be prepared in detail, thoroughly and fantastically presented from Magistrates Court to appellate level, if necessary. Partners and paralegals work closely with counsel at all stages, which provides lay clients with a real team effort and sense of security.

SGK has always punched above its weight. A boutique firm that has successfully competed with global law firms in private criminal work, that makes no distinction between the lucratively and the publicly funded case: a rarity.

They are an extremely well run and committed firm who care passionately about their clients. The office exudes warmth and friendliness. They have maintained a very high-level of service to their clients for many years.’

I have been very impressed with partner Philip Hill. I have worked with Phil on multiple serious cases over the last ten years. Very recently we worked together on behalf of a barrister accused of forgery, in a complicated case involving a forged document served and relied upon in civil proceedings. Phil’s work on the case was highly forensic and meticulous.

Birds Solicitors

Birds Solicitors‘ crime practice is headed by Steven Bird, who has a particular specialism on cases with the potential of a miscarriage of justice. The team is experienced in advising on money laundering cases, bribery, corruption cases, insider dealing, and protest cases. Claire Bostock is the key contact for appellate work and leads this part of the department.

Practice head(s):

Steven Bird

Other key lawyers:

Claire Bostock


Steve Bird is an extremely experienced legal practitioner. His practice in South London has moved to national eminence as experts in criminal defence in the most complex of trials. Steve is a highly committed practitioner, with excellent resources, a brilliant support team, and a wonderful criminal appeals department.

Claire Bostock is an exceptionally knowledgeable and vastly experienced criminal appeal solicitor. She works incredibly hard for each client. She is the go-to solicitor for criminal appeals. She is unparalleled in criminal appeal work.

Birds is a market leader in crime, particularly in protest cases and in appeals. Steve Bird and Claire Bostock have years of experience in the area of appeals. Birds is unique in having decades of experience, still doing legal aid work, but doing it properly and to the benefit of their lay clients. The firm is devoted to getting the best outcome for their clients and will do their job extremely well.’

Both Steve Bird and Claire Bostock are excellent lawyers. Steve knows the law inside out, has a photographic memory, and gets through vast amounts of work which would not be possible for most people. Claire Bostock is an excellent lawyer, devoted to her lay clients and devoted to ensuring miscarriages of justice are corrected. Very easy to work with.

Fantastic firm for criminal appeals – they really know what they are doing and will be able to take a case apart to work out where it went wrong at first instance before they even instruct counsel.’

Claire Bostock is excellent with vulnerable women, has great analytic and legal skills.’

Birds have an excellent reputation for their criminal law work, particularly in the field of criminal appeals, where they have been involved in challenging some of the biggest miscarriages of justice in recent years.’

‘The firm has an enviable track record over a number of years of attracting careful, sensitive and thoughtful lawyers who treat each case as if it is their only one. It is unique in having a hands-on managing, senior partner, and brings young lawyers through the ranks, allowing them to grow.’

Cantaris Locke Solicitors

The general crime team at Cantaris Locke Solicitors has recently been active on murder, historic sexual offences, drug trafficking, and dishonesty related cases, with additional experience in extradition cases, complex crime matters, and complex fraud cases. Name partners Costa Cantaris and Natalia Locke head the five-strong team of lawyers, with Cantaris based in the Docklands and Locke based in Stevenage. Senior legal executive Mark Davies adds more than 30 years’ experience in criminal litigation to the team.

Practice head(s):

Costa Cantaris; Natalia Locke

Other key lawyers:

Mark Davies


Strong partners, with a good work ethic and commitment to the client. They have significant experience.’

Costa Cantaris is a superbly talented solicitor as well as an outstanding communicator who consistently delivers on behalf of every client. Natalia Locke has an enviable work ethic. They are the definition of excellence.’

Natalia Locke and Costa Cantaris go the extra mile for their clients. They fight as if fighting for members of their family.’

Work highlights

  • Represented three defendants in a staged robbery cash in transit heist where £920,000 cash was stolen.
  • Acted in a case of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, which was part of operation Venetic, an encrochat investigation involving over 46 kilos of cocaine.
  • Represented the defendant at Warwick Crown Court, who was involved in a global organised crime group shipping cocaine.

Carson Kaye

Carson Kaye’s general crime team is headed by John Kaye, John Carson, Ben Darabi, and Tana Adelmann, who lead the sixteen-strong team of lawyers through cases involving EncroChat, conspiracy to murder, financial crime, and terrorism offences. The team is experienced in cross-border cases and regularly works with international law enforcement agencies, with recent work involving Spain and the UAE. Other key names include associate Sophie Clarke, who are noted for extradition matters and serious crime cases respectively. Piers Desser arrived to the team from Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP in July 2023. Keshina Bouri has since left the firm.

Practice head(s):

John Kaye; John Carson; Ben Darabi; Tana Adelmann

Other key lawyers:

Sophie Clarke


Carson Kaye are market leaders in serious and complex criminal litigation. Their sophisticated approach and keen attention to the highest standards of client care provide the ultimate service for those accused of serious offences. A diverse skill-set and collegiate staff ensure that clients are given the best of fighting chances.’

John Kaye has a forensic eye for business and financial matters, whilst Tana Adelmann is an extremely sophisticated operator.

Carson Kaye understands their clients, and they deliver the best service to achieve their client’s goals. It is a joy to work with them.’

Sophie Clarke in particular stands out for her dedication and considered, comprehensive and careful case preparation.’

The team is very good indeed. Well-connected, they have a lot of high-end work in many of the most serious cases across the country. They have developed a particular specialism in EncroChat phone cases.’

Tana Adelmann is quietly but surely rising in the profession. Excellence is a given. No line of enquiry is ever too much for her. Deals effectively with challenging clients and ensures that personal issues do not impede the best presentation of the case.’

An exceptional team who provide a first-class service to all clients with their commitment, hard work and determination.

Ben Darabi – an absolute legend and a beast in criminal defence. Clients trust him completely, and his eye for detail in each case is unmatched. A class act in every criminal case, from preparation to trial. Sophie Clarke – hard worker, efficient, committed.’

Work highlights

  • Advised two of twelve claimants before the IPT, challenging the lawfulness of a warrant obtained at the start of the investigation.
  • Assisted in a case regarding a conspiracy to place two homemade explosive devices at the working address of a barrister instructed by the NCA in a large civil case, which was said to have been orchestrated by the subject of those civil proceedings.
  • Advised the client in a civil asset seizure case involving multiple businesses and assets.

Duncan Lewis Solicitors

Duncan Lewis Solicitors‘ crime department, which has a network of offices across London, including in Hackney, City of London, and Croydon, is commended by clients for both their ‘highly regarded‘ fraud practice and ‘excellent‘ confiscation team. Hardeep Dhaliwal and Sunjay Versani lead the team, with the latter being promoted to director in March 2023. Other key team members include the ‘dedicatedNoam Almaz, who is particularly experienced in extradition cases, and associates Laurence Grant, Simon Connolly, Linda Barker, and Olivia Amy Rose.

Practice head(s):

Hardeep Dhaliwal; Sunjay Versani

Other key lawyers:

Laurence Grant; Noam Almaz; Simon Connolly; Linda Barker; Olivia Amy Rose


Simon Connolly is one of the top experts in confiscation proceedings and puts in the extra time needed to succeed in these cases.’

Their confiscation team is well renowned and deals with some of the biggest money laundering cases around.

Linda Barker – senior, brilliant with clients, professional, great to work for, committed to her work, excellent with clients. Olivia Rose is a future star, very professional, hardworking, and will do anything for clients that she can professionally do.’

I work regularly with Simon Connolly and Laurence Grant, both of whom are stand-out in their fields. Their knowledge of confiscation and the POCA regimes is second-to-none. They are very personable and collaborative with Counsel.’

Noam Almaz is excellent; he is really clever, knows extradition law and procedure inside out and works terrifically hard. He and I just worked on a Canadian request which is the most complicated case I’ve ever dealt with, and he absolutely nailed the arguments.

Although Duncan Lewis are a large firm, they have not watered-down the quality of the service that they offer. They read and prepare their cases accurately and intuitively, so can provide realistic and appropriate advice. Their fraud department is also highly regarded within the industry generally.’

Laurence Grant provides expertise in many areas, including fraud and confiscation matters. He has been carving a niche in both of these areas for many years and so is recognised as an authority in these areas.’

Noam Almaz is a dedicated, unstoppable advocate for his clients. He will leave no stone unturned in the pursuit of justice for his clients for whom he cares passionately. He will undertake field research to get to the bottom of any legal issue and engages fully with counsel to ensure the case is prepped as well as it can be. He is an outstanding individual in a very difficult field.

Edwards Duthie Shamash

Edwards Duthie Shamash‘s criminal department is heavily involved in murder and attempted murder cases, as well as cases involving fraud, drug offences, firearms, and sexual offences. Shaun Murphy co-leads the team alongside the ‘enormously experiencedRakesh Bhasin and Robert Dynowski, with Dynowski regularly advising the NEU on cases of teachers accused of crimes such as assaults or sexual offences. Shabaz Ahmed frequently advises on cases of firearms and cash in transit robberies.

Practice head(s):

Shaun Murphy; Rakesh Bhasin; Robert Dynowski

Other key lawyers:

Shabaz Ahmed


Shaun Murphy is a highly experienced and efficient solicitor with well over 30 years’ experience. He is the best kind of old-fashioned solicitor, old-fashioned in the sense that he is dedicated to getting the best outcome for his clients and is capable of achieving it.

Robert Dynowski is a tour de force when it comes to representation. He is organised, intelligent and sharp. He knows how to handle the most difficult of clients and has the ability to adapt quickly to any given situation. He is someone who is not fazed by anything thrown at him, in fact he relishes a challenge and invariably always comes out on top.

The team are super-efficient and quick at responding to counsel’s requests. They work collaboratively with counsel to achieve the desired outcome for a client.’

Freemans Solicitors

Clients praise the general crime practice at Freemans Solicitors for its ‘dedication and commitment‘, with co-heads Michael Field and Kishoree Kotecha-Pau described as ‘outstanding‘ and ‘compelling‘ respectively. The team offers advice on matters such as sexual assault offences, serious fraud, false imprisonment, and violent crimes. Names to note within the practice include Leo Martin for pre-charge advice, and higher courts advocate Peter Bedingfield for his twenty years of experience in this practice area. Clients also appreciate associate Deborah Hogg‘s ‘diligent‘ and ‘thoughtful‘ approach to cases.

Practice head(s):

Michael Field; Kishoree Kotecha-Pau

Other key lawyers:

Leo Martin; Peter Bedingfield; Deborah Hogg


Michael Field was outstanding, calm, reassuring, knowledgeable. I wish we could have found him earlier in our process.’

There is great teamwork. They show great dedication and commitment to their clients and their cases. I often recommend Freemans to people looking for legal assistance.’

Kishoree Kotecha-Pau: Behind her amiable and engaging manner lies a determined and ingenious lawyer for whom no detail is too small or line of defence too tenuous.’


Hempsons‘ regulatory and crime team specialises in advising professional clients on a range of criminal cases, with a particular emphasis on healthcare and doctors. Tania Francis, a former NHS junior doctor, leads the practice, and recently acted on an alleged case of wilful treatment by a care provider. Adam Smith regularly represents police officers in both criminal and regulatory work, while Surjit Dubb is adept at assisting clients in misconduct and disciplinary proceedings. Associate Robert Newbould is recommended for his experience in police law and in the representation of clients at all stages of criminal investigations and disciplinary procedures.

Practice head(s):

Tania Francis

Other key lawyers:

Adam Smith; Surjit Dubb; Robert Newbould


‘Commitment to client’s best interests in all respects, and from the start to the end were unwavering. No gaps, no pauses; always active and engaged.’

‘Rob Newbould has impeccable demeanour, great communication, and incredible industry knowledge and conscientiousness.’

‘Very dedicated team.’

Howard Kennedy LLP

Howard Kennedy LLP‘s business crime and regulatory department is led by Ian Ryan, who is experienced in representing and advising high-net worth individuals in serious fraud and criminal matters. The department also assists in cases of blackmail and harassment, road traffic offences, violent crimes, and drugs offences. Other key names to note include the ‘fantasticKyle Phillips, and ‘highly impressive‘ legal director Chloe-Jane Belton, as well as financial crime specialist and senior associate Jennifer Harper. Jonathan Huth joined the team from Kobre & Kim LLP in January 2023.

Practice head(s):

Ian Ryan

Other key lawyers:

Kyle Phillips; Chloe-Jane Belton; Jennifer Harper; Jonathan Huth


‘Howard Kennedy’s general crime team has an excellent reputation amongst legal professionals. They have a well drilled team who never let clients down. The quality of their case preparation is always high, combined with exceptional client care from committed lawyers.’

‘Kyle Phillips is a fantastic talent. He is highly regarded in the area of general crime. He works tirelessly for his clients, is always on top of his papers, and has an exceptional knowledge of the law. Kyle’s affable manner quickly gains the trust of clients. He works well with colleagues to ensure deadlines are met and the work done by his team meets his high standards.

‘Ian Ryan is a hugely influential figure in this area. He has a formidable reputation and never disappoints. Chloe-Jane Belton is highly impressive and methodical. Her legal acumen is only matched by her enthusiasm for her clients’ causes.’

‘Ian Ryan and Kyle Phillips run a good team and have good practical skills for handling client cases.’

‘Kyle Phillips is good for practical advice, and Ian Ryan is excellent in the field of SRA investigations. Jennifer Harper has a good reputation.’

ITN Solicitors

The crime department at ITN Solicitors is described as a ‘fantastic team‘, with the ‘brilliantItpal Dhillon heading the practice. The department has particular expertise on protest cases, terrorism, and national security matters, with Simon Natas providing proficiency on joint enterprise and protest cases as well as rights of assembly. Name partner and ‘fantastically smooth operatorNadeem Thanvi specialises in cases of organised crime, fraud, and homicide, while Hilary Doherty is the recommended name for serious and historic sexual assault allegations.

Practice head(s):

Itpal Dhillon

Other key lawyers:

Simon Natas; Nadeem Thanvi; Hilary Doherty


‘ITN Solicitors are one of the top criminal firms nationwide, with particular specialism in high-profile fraud and protest. A fantastic team of brilliant lawyers.’

‘Nadeem Thanvi is a fantastically smooth operator, who encourages his team to get the best results. Simon Natas is on the front line of criminal protest cases and knows his subject inside out. Itpal Dhillon is just brilliant. Great with clients, hard-working, smart, and wonderful to work with.’

‘They are supportive and positive in their dealings, and also importantly polite and considerate.’

‘Simon Natas – clever, personable and effective.’

‘They were a delight to work with.’

‘Nadeem Thanvi is a class act. He has an excellent knowledge of the intricacies of terrorist charges. He has an astute tactical knowledge of the nuances that apply during terrorist trials. And he was a pleasure to work with.’

‘In an age of cutting corners, Nadeem’s approach to case preparation is old style, spending time & effort getting to know the issues of importance to his clients and working determinedly to achieve the best outcome.’

Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP

The criminal litigation department at Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP is particularly adept at assisting clients at the investigation stage of cases, and is also regularly involved in appellate work for clients. The team, who also cover matters such as attempted murder, conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, and allegations of rape, are described by clients as ‘empathetic‘ and ‘highly professional‘. Head of the practice Rakeebah Rahim has more than 25 years’ experience in criminal litigation, while Associate Adebola Mayungbe is dual qualified in England & Wales as well as Nigeria.

Practice head(s):

Rakeebah Rahim

Other key lawyers:

Adebola Mayungbe


I have worked in particular with Ade Mayungbe who is highly competent and a committed professional who offers the highest quality of instruction and support to counsel in cases.’

Excellent at unusual issues such as diplomatic immunity.’

As a whole, the team provide a personalised service, and are empathetic to the client’s needs.

RFB offer a comprehensive service to their clients. I have observed the quality of their overall representation as counsel instructed in their criminal cases. They are well-staffed and resourced, with modern, well-equipped office facilities. Their highly professional approach is refreshing in that it is applied equally to their publicly funded criminal work as much as it is to their private litigation.

Key clients

Ying Zhang

Aaron Williams

Kieran Robinson

Work highlights

  • Acted for Kieran Robinson in a high profile conspiracy to murder case with multi-faceted and data-heavy evidence, which involved the first use at the Old Bailey of pre-recorded witness examination.
  • Acted for Aaron Williams in high profile conspiracy to murder case regarding a corpse found on fire in Mitcham Common.
  • Acted for a lecturer (Ying Zhang) at a leading university in a complex case of attempted murder brought before the Old Bailey.

Sonn Macmillan Walker

The ‘conscientious‘ and ‘second to none‘ team at Sonn Macmillan Walker is headed by Amy Cox, David Sonn, and Katy Smart. Advice offered to clients spans a large range of criminal matters, including murder, international drug trafficking, kidnapping, attempted murder, theft, and money laundering. Leah Connolly offers clients expertise in youth crime cases and is a founding member of the Youth Practitioners Association.

Practice head(s):

Amy Cox; David Sonn; Katy Smart

Other key lawyers:

Leah Connolly


The team are excellent on general crime matters and offer a level of service comparative to the best private crime firms. They are particularly good with complex, document-heavy Crown Court litigation and excel at client care.’

Stand out individuals include Katy Smart; excellent work and deep knowledge in the field of extradition.’

Katy Smart stands out. They cover every angle, have a strong grasp of this complex area of law and how political changes in the world impact on extradition.’

Amy Cox is a truly standout partner in the field of serious crime. Her unwavering commitment to clients sets her apart from others in the field and is reflected in her exceptional results.’

The team at Sonn Macmillan Walker are second to none. They strive always to achieve the very best results and are able to do so through their hard work and commitment to clients.’

Hands on service, really conscientious across the entire firm, including paralegals. Very personable, intelligent lawyers. Collaborative approach with counsel. Well resourced.

David Sonn brings vast experience to any case, stress tests every argument, and in the process showers case preparation with magic dust.’

SMW is a great firm, with great staff (from receptionists to partners). They really care about their clients and go above and beyond to ensure each client understands what is happening at every stage of the investigation process.

Key clients

Pietro Addis

Michael Moogan

Derek Ong

Work highlights

  • Represented a teenage defendant, Pietro Addis, who was accused of murder. Addis was later found not guilty of murder and guilty of manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility.
  • Represented a defendant, Michael Moogan, charged as part of a conspiracy to import several hundreds of kilograms of cocaine into the UK.
  • Represented a British national and former employee of Deutsche Bank, Derek Ong, on the first ever extradition request from the Republic of South Korea.

Stuart Miller Solicitors

Stuart Miller Solicitors‘ crime practice is complimented for its ‘succinct and nuanced‘ advice, as well as its ‘dedicated‘ approach to client welfare. The practice is split into four departments: serious fraud and crime, Crown Court, Magistrates, and police station. The team is highly experienced in all areas of serious crime, with recent work involving assisting on homicide cases, drugs and firearms cases, sexual assault, and money laundering cases. Abu Kibla leads the team and is particularly renowned for his assistance in cases of serious violence and riots. Other key contacts include Anna Sidgwick and associates Kate Blackmore and Sophie Lalaoui.

Practice head(s):

Abu Kibla

Other key lawyers:

Anna Sidgwick; Sophie Lalaoui; Kate Blackmore; Sophie Lalaoui


Abu Kibla is a director who knows his cases and his clients. Sophie Lalaoui has a thorough knowledge of all papers and chases everything in relation to every case quickly and efficiently.’

Kate Blackmore is an exceptional criminal solicitor, on top of all of the relevant details, and tenaciously fighting my corner. She kept Counsel on their toes, and anticipated where problems were going to arise, particularly in her dealings with the police and the CPS.

Individuals at Stuart Miller go above and beyond to ensure the very best standard of client care is always delivered; this is not just something they say they will do, it is done. Clients are supported from the very start of a criminal allegation being made, through to sentence if applicable.’

Stuart Miller provide a first-class service to all of its clients. They combine experience, expertise and passion to bring about successful results.

I always felt incredibly well looked after by Stuart Miller Solicitors. With a very difficult case, I never had any doubt that the team was working towards my best interests. The advice that I received was always succinct but nuanced, and anticipated most of the questions that I could ever think of asking.’

The firm are absolutely dedicated to the welfare of their clients. They work extremely hard to progress their client’s case from selecting the right counsel to ensuring the correct experts are instructed to making sure the defendant is fully involved in the process.’

Sophie Lalaoui is a rising star in criminal defence work. I was very shocked to learn that she is a trainee solicitor because she exudes the knowledge of a solicitor with many years’ experience. She is very bright. She keeps the CPS on their toes when they are not complying with court orders, and her work ethic is second to none.’

Abu Hassan Kibla is dependable, reliable, and efficient. He tells you the plan and is very open about the routes and outcomes. I like the fact that he communicates well, and you feel safe in his hands. You feel he is doing the best for you, which is what you want from the firm.’

Work highlights

  • Represented a client on charges of murder and manslaughter where he was acquitted of all charges after trial.
  • Represented a client on charges of attempted murder, in which he was the only one to have his case dismissed after successful submissions.
  • Represented a client on charges of murder after the gangland shooting of three people.

Advice Wise Solicitors Limited

The crime department at Advice Wise Solicitors Limited is headed by ‘high-class individualsShahid Khan and Abraar Ayaz, who lead the four-strong team of lawyers in cases of serious violence, terrorism, conspiracy to facilitate illegal immigration, firearms offences, and sexual offences. Clients commend the practice for its ‘exceptional‘ standard of care and willingness to ‘go the extra mile.‘ Associate Ian John-Baptiste is recommended for his experience in general crime work.

Practice head(s):

Shahid Khan; Abraar Ayaz

Other key lawyers:

Ian John-Baptiste


Passionate firm who will go the extra mile for their clients. They are always fully prepared and ready to go to battle.’

Abraar Ayaz and Shahid Khan stand out as high-class individuals. They are on top of everything and will know all of their cases inside out. They possess amazing skills.’

I highly recommend Advice Wise Solicitors for their exceptional criminal defence services. Their team of lawyers possess unrivalled case preparation skills, extensive knowledge of the legal system and unparalleled attention to detail. Their expertise ensures that their clients receive the best possible outcome for their case.

Work highlights

  • Represented a defendant charged on a five-hander, five count indictment relating to a conspiracy to facilitate illegal immigration.
  • Represented one of the main defendants in a 6-hander concerning the importation of Class A and B drugs, namely cocaine and cannabis concealed in a consignment of sweet potatoes from Jamaica and Pakistan.
  • Represented a defendant indicted on 4 counts related to encouragement of terrorism, in which it is said that the defendant published a significant amount of tweets on his twitter account which specifically encouraged the reader of those tweets to behead those who insulted his religion and to attack the governments of those countries said to be acting against Islam.

Brett Wilson LLP

Star partner‘ and disciplinary law expert Nick Brett leads the team at boutique firm Brett Wilson LLP, with the practice offering clients particular experience in pre-charge investigation. Recent work includes advising individuals on cases of sexual assault, grievous bodily harm, conspiracy to defraud, and road traffic issues. Other key team members include the ‘unparalleled‘ associate Sharron Boyce.

Practice head(s):

Nick Brett

Other key lawyers:

Sharron Boyce


Perhaps the most unique thing about Brett Wilson LLP is the firm’s star partner, Nick Brett, he is someone you can trust and will always try his best to help. He is very knowledgeable and super-smart, somehow finding a way through the problem.

Brett Wilson are a “go to” for private crime. Having worked with Brett Wilson on the most difficult and challenging of historic sex offences, I cannot recommend the firm more highly.’

Sharron Boyce is excellent. Her case preparation is unparalleled, and her clients trust her implicitly. You are in the safest of hands with Sharron on your case.’

A superb lawyer who works tirelessly for her clients, Sharron is hard-working and efficient. She shows an excellent command of the detail of her client’s case and while she is a realist who does not shirk from giving unwelcome advice when the case demands it, she is dedicated to achieving the best possible results for her clients.

I have recently conducted a lengthy case for Sharron Boyce. She’s brilliant – intelligent, tactical, sensitive to client needs but robust with it.’

Nick Brett is extremely personable, diligent and passionate in all that he does. A real leader in the criminal world, with an outstanding reputation.’

Brilliant boutique firm – excellent dedication and fantastic results.

Nick Brett is brilliant – he works relentlessly for his clients.

Key clients

James Rowe

James Heppel

Ibrahim Robin

Work highlights

  • Represented former Chesterfield FC football manager James Rowe on sexual assault allegations being tried at Derby Crown Court.
  • Defended James Heppel in huge crypto-currency fraud at Bath following a three year police investigation.
  • Defended Ibrahim Robin in attempted murder.

Central Chambers Law

With offices in Birmingham, Ilford, and Manchester, the general crime team at Central Chambers Law is well-placed to assist clients in a variety of criminal cases, with recent work involving advising clients on firearms offences, murder cases, proceeds of crime matters, and terrorism. Ahmad Jawad leads the ‘exceptionally knowledgeable‘ team, with support from Mahtab Aziz, who is particularly adept at Proceeds of Crime Act matters.

Practice head(s):

Ahmad Jawad

Other key lawyers:

Mahtab Aziz


‘An exceptionally knowledgeable team that works extremely hard to achieve results. The firm has a commitment to client care. A smart, professional, patient and extremely professional firm! The team produces results in the most difficult of cases.’

‘Ahmad Jawad and the whole team at Central Chambers Law – they put together a top tier team focused around the client. They have access to some of the best barristers (including King’s Counsel) and other professionals. The firm has a commitment to client care – and achieving results in the most difficult of cases.’

‘Large firm – covers wide geography of client base.’

‘Good client care.’

‘Ahmad Jawad and the whole team at Central Chambers Law – they put together a top tier team focused around the client. A smart, professional, patient and extremely professional individual.’

‘This is a very good firm which does its level best for clients.’

‘Central Law Chambers is a trusted law firm dealing with highly complex criminal cases with an emerging international profile.’

‘The firm has always tried their best to streamline things so they are efficient. In the past few years they have grown as a firm which is an indication of their success.’

Key clients

Jenaid Mahmood

Jacek Troc

Abubaker Khan

Work highlights

  • Defending Jenaid Mahmood, one of five defendants on charges of murder following a fight at a funeral at a West Midlands mosque in October 2022.
  • Defending Jacek Troc, one of 21 defendants involved in a case of duty evasion worth over £5.5 million.
  • Acting for Abubaker Khan, who was arrested on suspicion of acts of terrorism relating to a siege in a synagogue in Dallas, USA, involving Faisel Akram.

HSR Solicitors

HSR Solicitors‘ crime team is headed by Harsharan Singh Rana and is experienced in representing both private individuals and businesses in a range of criminal cases. Recent work includes advice on an environmental crime case, drugs offences, and cases of outraging public decency. Solicitor Jaspal Singh is another key name to note.

Practice head(s):

Harsharan Singh Rana

Other key lawyers:

Jaspal Singh


The team at HSR are always welcoming and caring with ears wide open, intently listening to any situation you may have, whether it is on the telephone or in person.’

‘Harsharan Rana has always been my go-to person for all different matters. Even if it is not something he is not able to deal with, he will go out his way to research the matter and point me in the right direction.’

They are a firm on the up; they genuinely go the extra mile for their clients.’

They are an excellent team, always going above and beyond for their clients, regardless of the size of their case. They are the go-to firm for many in East London and attract large scale, heavyweight cases. They leave no stone unturned in seeking out the best outcome for their clients.’

‘Harsharan Rana is incredibly personable, professional and, ultimately, brilliant at what he does. His client care is exceptional, and he builds a real rapport with clients.’

‘Harsharan Rana, a force of nature and one of the nicest and hard-working people you will meet.

The team at HSR are knowledgeable, and their work encompasses a number of areas of law. When asked for a recommendation, they would always be at the top of the list.’

‘Harsharan Rana is a very charismatic man who takes a very hands-on approach to his cases and works as many hours as it takes to prepare the case and assist counsel. He is very bright, an excellent lawyer and wholly committed to his practice.

Key clients

Nurul Amin

Kulwinder Singh

Work highlights

  • Assisted in the clearing of client Nurul Amin of being a `spotter’ in the plot to rob the former world boxing champion Amir Khan of his £70,000 diamond encrusted watch at gunpoint.
  • Represented Kulwinder Singh in allegations of conspiracy to commit courier fraud, being carried out by suspects in India and London.

JMW Solicitors LLP

The full service national law firm JMW Solicitors LLP is led by financial and business crime specialist Daniel Martin, who is lauded by clients as an ‘excellent strategist‘ with ‘an eye for detail‘. The practice, which includes serious sexual assault specialist Amy Shaffron, regularly assists clients in cases of organised crime, conspiracy to murder, complex fraud, and EncroChat matters. Senior associate Ben Hall is also a key name within the team.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Martin

Other key lawyers:

Amy Shaffron; Ben Hall


‘An exceptionally strong multidisciplinary practice offering a full suite of capabilities. One of the leading firms in criminal regulatory.’

‘Dan Martin is a stand-out partner. He exudes confidence and strong leadership qualities, along with a capacity for “out of the box” thinking. He demonstrably cares about the stewardship of his cases and his clients.’

‘I find them to be extremely professional and polished.’

‘JMW are an extremely strong boutique practice focusing on general and complex crime. I have dealt with the leadership team of the London practice frequently, and they rank with the best. Their core values are about delivering expert advice with the highest levels of client care.’

‘Ben Hall is a senior associate with the business crime department. He is always looking for the best barrister to suit his client’s needs and listens to the clerks and trusts their judgement. Overall, a superb professional.’

‘A highly-regarded firm known for its care of white-collar clients and companies, and with a number of dedicated team who work together seamlessly to enable a joined up service to business or individual client. Offering a full and expert service.’

‘Daniel Martin is tenacious and sophisticated in his approach to cases. He spots issues that arise and knows how to navigate the tactical options for the client and to present sound and clear advice. He will always seek out the best result for the client. Ben Hall is experienced in the criminal process and how to seek out the weaknesses in the opposing case.’

‘Dan Martin – star quality. An extremely able and focused solicitor, with an eye for detail and a commercial opportunity. A winning combination. Dan is also an excellent communicator and strategist.’

Key clients

Rory McGrath

Work highlights

  • Represented Rory McGrath, who was extradited from the US in relation to an allegation of ABH against a police officer in 1980.
  • Represented an individual charged with conspiracy to supply Class A and Class B drugs, where the evidence is based on EncroChats obtained by the NCA.

Payne Hicks Beach LLP

The crime department at Payne Hicks Beach LLP, which sits within the wider disputes resolution practice, regularly advises high and ultra-high net worth individuals in a variety of criminal cases such as sexual assault, harassment, drugs offences, and cross-border crimes. The ‘utterly exceptionalMark Jones leads the team, with support provided from Hanna Basha, Nick Grant, and associate Henry Watkinson.

Practice head(s):

Mark Jones

Other key lawyers:

Hanna Basha; Nick Grant; Henry Watkinson


‘The team is well-resourced and innovative, at the top of their game.’

‘Mark Jones is utterly exceptional – the man to see if you’re in trouble – and has an incredible gift for making things go away.’

‘A growing presence in the field of criminal law, particularly white-collar crime. Mark Jones, an outstanding recent hire, has raised their profile considerably.’

‘Mark Jones is a first class fraud lawyer, who is able to draw on his experience in defending complex and serious white collar criminal cases to defend in general crime as well. He is a great tactician, and he has first class client care skills.’

‘Mark Jones knows his law, has a great rapport with clients, and exudes class. Top drawer.’

‘Mark Jones is wonderful to work with. He has sound judgement, excellent client care skills, and is strategically a great tactician.’

‘Mark Jones provides an exceptional service both to clients and counsel alike: he is analytical, thoughtful, attentive and his instincts are spot-on.’

‘This relatively new team is going from strength to strength, attracting high profile clients.’

Reeds Solicitors

The crime practice at Reeds Solicitors is dually led by London-based Neil Williams and Oxford-based Julian Richards, and is particularly notable for its growing expertise on cryptocurrency matters within the financial crime sphere. Stuart Matthews is noted for leading on private crime work, while Sundeep Soor is recommended for his work in white collar crime and fraud cases.

Practice head(s):

Neil Williams; Julian Richards

Other key lawyers:

Stuart Matthews; Sundeep Soor


‘Reeds Solicitors LLP is a professional, well regarded, multidiscipline law firm hosting a number of excellent criminal defence lawyers.’

‘Of note within Reeds Solicitors is senior consultant solicitor, Sundeep Soor.  I can affirm that he is a highly experienced and knowledgeable criminal defence lawyer with exceptional case management and client care skills – he’s truly first class and my first recommendation if I am unavailable to deal with such matters.’

‘An excellent all round criminal firm.’

Rustem Guardian Solicitors

Timur Rustem leads the eleven-strong team at Rustem Guardian Solicitors, which is complimented for its ‘dedicated lawyers‘ and ‘indefatigable team‘. The practice advises clients in cases involving conspiracy to murder, firearms offences, perverting the course of justice, and fraud matters. Des Jenson is a recommended name for international fraud, while associate Katerina Tsibouklis is a name to note for murder and manslaughter cases.

Practice head(s):

Timur Rustem

Other key lawyers:

Katerina Tsibouklis; Des Jenson


The team at Rustem Guardian is known for having a collaborative and highly professional outlook. This helps to ensure that no matter how busy the practice is, clients can be assured a high level of service.

Tim Rustem has seen it all and done it all. He can service all levels of work, no matter how demanding the work, or the client, for that matter.’

Katerina Tsibouklis is an absolute gem. She is wise well beyond her level of experience. She works hard, is pragmatic, proactive, and always on top of her brief.

The team are a unique balance of client-focused and legally skilled. They have continually improved and developed into a powerful unit. They are a diverse team, which means they are well-placed to deal with international clients.

Katerina Tsibouklis is a solicitor with judgment and instincts beyond her years. Her client care is immaculate and her assistance to counsel is superb.

A small firm of dedicated lawyers dealing with very big cases and giving them everything they need and more. You can tell they love working there and their dedication to their work shines through.

Tim leads a small but focused and indefatigable team providing old-fashioned client care in legal aid and private cases alike.’

TV Edwards Solicitors LLP

The general crime team at TV Edwards Solicitors LLP assists both public and privately-funded clients in matters spanning murder, perverting the course of justice, assault, fraud, and false imprisonment. Adrienne Wright, complimented by clients as ‘one of the best defence solicitors around’, leads the team and is particularly active in complex and serious criminal cases. Team members Mark Ashford, Sean Richards, and associate Adam Shaw are also key contacts within the team.

Practice head(s):

Adrienne Wright

Other key lawyers:

Adam Shaw; Sean Richards; Mark Ashford


I would say that TV Edwards is one of the best around for pure client care and legal expertise, and quite rightly has a fantastic reputation in East and South London.’

The team has a strong dedication to client service, especially in Crown Court cases. They don’t simply hand the case over to barristers but remain strongly involved, analysing the evidence and providing full proofs and comments on evidence throughout. The client is advised and supported by the solicitor throughout to a high standard.’

TV Edwards’ client care is exceptional – they never cut corners and really fight for those they defend. As a barrister, they are my favourite firm to be instructed by because they adopt a collaborative approach with counsel and do everything they can to meticulously prepare the case. I always feel that the case is in very safe hands.

Cartwright King

Cartwright King‘s general crime practice is particularly experienced in dealing with financial crime cases subject to investigations by the SFO, FCA, HMRC, and other government agencies. Head of the team Laura Smith is adept at advising clients in complex fraud cases and proceeds of crime matters and is supported by colleague Richard Cornthwaite, who brings more than twenty years’ experience to the practice.

Practice head(s):

Laura Smith

Other key lawyers:

Richard Cornthwaite

Work highlights

  • Acted on behalf of a defendant alleged to have been involved in £123m cheat on the public revenue through a sophisticated scheme to avoid the payment of VAT and duties on goods imported from China.
  • Represented two senior executives of a multinational company under investigation by the SFO for falsifying analytical test results, enabling the sale of poor quality steel products into the international aviation industry.

Mishcon de Reya LLP

Mishcon de Reya LLP‘s crime practice is heavily involved in extradition cases, pre-charge advice, and criminal work related to corporate and commercial matters. Ben Brandon leads the team and is described as ‘knowledgeable and utterly competent‘ by clients, while Johanna Walsh is defined as an 'excellent lawyer'. Associate Nick Dent joined the team in May 2022 from Kingsley Napley LLP.

Practice head(s):

Ben Brandon

Other key lawyers:

Nick Dent; Johanna Walsh


‘Nick Dent is one of the finest criminal solicitors in practice. His eye for detail is frightening. As a result of that, his commitment to his clients and his knowledge of the law, he is rightly regarded as one of the very best.’

‘Ben Brandon is a barrister and solicitor at the top of his game. Knowledgeable and utterly competent; good on paper and clear in his correspondence and oral advice.’

‘Johanna Walsh is an excellent lawyer and Nick Dent is a stand-out at pre-partner level.’

‘The private client criminal team is world-class.’

‘Mishcon de Reya’s crime team is undoubtedly a force to be reckoned with. They are formidable in representing their clients right from the start of an investigation through to trial, combining an excellent knowledge of the law with astute tactical advice.’

‘Ben Brandon is particularly impressive. He brings with him his extensive experience at the Bar, such that his clients are effectively getting access to silk-level advice from the outset.’

‘Nick Dent is a fantastic lawyer who inspires confidence with his excellent manner with the prosecution team and with clients, and who has long experience and deep legal knowledge and skills. I would recommend him without reservation.’

‘Mishcon de Reya is one of the few firms which can cover the full range of criminal, civil, and international work. It has real depth of talent and is a fantastically resourced firm.’

MK Law Solicitors Limited

Director Manisha Knights and solicitor-advocate Hesham Puri co-head the crime department at MK Law Solicitors Limited, leading a team of sixteen lawyers. The practice regularly advises clients on actions against the police, cases involving military law, and matters involving proceeds of crime, as well as violent offences such as murder, assault, and sexual offences. Director Emma Lewis is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Manisha Knights; Hesham Puri

Other key lawyers:

Emma Lewis


A small firm punching well above its weight. They deal with some of the biggest cases around and are absolutely amazing.

Hesham Puri is outstanding. Hard-working, brilliant to work with, gets the best out of everyone and determined to achieve justice for his clients.’

Hesham’s instructions, responses to queries, and hands-on knowledge and involvement were first-rate. He instinctively won the confidence of these significant and heavyweight clients with his easygoing, get on with anyone personality, and as I say, a thorough knowledge of their case, both in terms of facts and strategy.

Work highlights

  • Represented Sarok Sarhad at Croydon Crown Court, in a 10-week trial for organised crime groups alleged to have conspired to burgle & rob commercial premises over a four-year period, from 2018 to 2022.
  • Acted in the case of Abdi Ali in a seven-handed gang-land murder trial at the Old Bailey.

Murray Hughman

Boutique firm Murray Hughman advises clients in the full gamut of criminal matters, most recently assisting a client charged with drug trafficking, advising a client on allegations of sexual assault, and advising on allegations of firearms offences. Grant Ambridge, complimented for his ‘excellent client handling skills’, leads the practice, with Peter Hughman bringing expertise in serious drugs cases. Katie Kipps, ‘assetLuke Gittos, and associates Melissa Ansah and Emma Lambie are also recommended within the team.

Practice head(s):

Grant Ambridge

Other key lawyers:

Peter Hughman; Katie Kipps; Luke Gittos; Melissa Ansah; Emma Lambie


They are a small but dedicated team. They are personable and very easy to work with. They are intelligent and savvy. A niche firm of ambitious lawyers.

Murray Hughman are at the top of their game representing individuals and companies in a broad range of criminal work, much of which is now private.’

Boutique outfit who are very knowledgeable in their respective fields. Real emphasis on the level of service and competitiveness in fees charged compared to others in the same position in the marketplace.’

Key clients

Peter Cordwell

Conrad Adams

Davane Greenaway

Work highlights

  • Represented Davane Greenaway during interview in a case involving counts of conspiracy to murder and possession of a firearm.
  • Advised Conrad Adams in a case of alleged joint enterprise murder, in which the defendant was unanimously acquitted of murder.
  • Advised Peter Cordwell in an EncroChat case, in which he is alleged to have conspired to supply 38 kilos of cocaine with a UK Organised Crime Network.

Roe Lawyers

The crime department at boutique firm Roe Lawyers is led by name partner Stephanie Roe, who is lauded by clients as ‘tenacious, empathetic‘, and ‘exceptionally hard working‘. The team also consists of Robyn Walters  and ‘talented‘ associate Selma Michli, and regularly advises on corporate and financial crime, corporate manslaughter, and money laundering cases, as well as violent crimes such as sexual assault and GBH.

Practice head(s):

Stephanie Roe

Other key lawyers:

Robyn Walters; Selma Michli


Stephanie Roe has worked extremely hard to create a team which can offer the highest level of bespoke service to specialist clients. The small team means that each of the solicitors and paralegals work extremely closely together, meaning everyone can input into cases.

Stephanie Roe fights extremely hard for each client. She is exceptionally hard-working and diligent in her approach. Her experience and insight into cases is of the highest calibre. She is personable and caring, but equally relentless and determined when she identifies a weakness in a case.’

Stephanie Roe is tenacious, empathetic, and totally committed to her clients and the profession.’

This is a boutique firm offering a highly personalised service to companies and individuals. It is the perfect set up for those paying privately who want a true champion marshalling their case with impressive availability at short notice as the case proceeds.’

Stephanie Roe is the drive and energy behind the firm. She brings real energy and focus to a case, delivering a bespoke service tailored to an individual client’s needs. She has an impressive ability to give clear, strategic advice and to push a case forward in the right direction.

Roe Lawyers is a boutique firm devoted to client care.

Stephanie Roe is dedicated and tenacious. Selma Michli is talented and tactically astute.’

‘Boutique practice, personal and attentive, high quality service.’

Wells Burcombe LLP

Wells Burcombe LLP’s crime team is jointly headed by David Wells alongside founding partners Alan Burcombe and Ravinder Khumra. The practice covers an array of serious and complex crime, as well as business crime, sexual offences, and terrorism offences. The team is also able to offer clients advice in criminal appeals, miscarriages of justice, money laundering cases, and murder cases.

Practice head(s):

David Wells; Alan Burcombe; Ravinder Khumra


‘Ravi Khumra is brilliant.’

‘They are consistently client focused and available – you feel that their clients matter to them.’

‘I cannot recommend highly enough. Ravinder Khumra is an exceptional talent, with a central London white collar background and training, operating in the public funded sector out of a sense of vocation and professional pride.’