Bates Wells advises on wide range of party political issues, including MPs switching parties and the formation of new parties and movements. In addition to advising on Westminster elections, the firm also advises on Scottish and Welsh parliament elections, by-elections and referendums. The team is led by Simon Steeden, who advised the official Remain campaign group in the EU referendum campaign, as well as advising the Green Party on their electoral campaigns.
Electoral in London
‘Bates Wells are always reliable. I feel like I could go to them with anything.’
‘Simon Steeden gave outstanding support on an issue that required a speedy turnaround.’
The Green Party
Labour Campaign for Human Rights
Wales Audit Office
Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Compliance officer
- Reviewing and updating LexisNexis PSL practice notes on non-party campaigning.
- Advised on the establishment of a new political party in 2021.
- Advised an ex-officer and member of a leading national political party on a long-running contentious internal party disciplinary and appeals process.
Sharpe Pritchard LLP
Sharpe Pritchard LLP specialises in representing returning officers in contested election matters, as well as allegations of spending breaches during election campaigns. Practice head Emyr Thomas is often consulted during late-night election counts to determine if ballots are valid or not, and 'has an extensive and encyclopaedic knowledge of elections law'.
‘Sharpe Pritchard provides an excellent service in relation to electoral law, defending election petitions and advising returning officers and local authorities on issues relating to elections law and election petitions, which is a very niche area of law which is covered by very old statute law.’
‘Emyr Thomas has an extensive and encyclopaedic knowledge of elections law and he is the go to person when a local authority/returning officer receives an election petition. Emyr will ensure that a returning officer will go through the legal process involved in defending an election petition with minimum fuss.’
‘Very significant experience and expertise, in particular acting for Returning Officers’
‘Clear thinking and conscientious working, allied with a canny commercial attitude’
Four Returning Officers
Astraea Linskills represents Conservative Party politicians from councillors to MPs and peers as well as advising the party and staff on a range of electoral matters. Its work includes defending allegations of expense violations and elections petitions. Director James Roochove specialises in electoral commission investigations, election petitions and criminal trials regarding election fraud allegations. He leads the team in collaboration with Nama Zarroug, who also represents clients in relation to internal party complaints proceedings, and ‘is very thorough and leaves no stone unturned’.
James Roochove; Nama Zarroug
‘James Roochove was excellent to work with. Extremely responsive and obtained the desired result under considerable time pressure.’
‘A very focused team able to pool its strength in experience and knowledge about election law to the best effect for its clients. They are very approachable and willing to go the extra mile.’
‘James Roochove has a wealth of knowledge and experience of election law. He frequently advises candidates on a range of matters, including false statements against candidates’ personal character, expenses offences and compliance and campaigning. He is effective, approachable and has an astute awareness of tactics.’
‘Nama Zarroug has a strong criminal practice that she uses to great effect wherever there is evidence of electoral offending are made or made against candidates. She is very thorough and leaves no stone unturned in pursuing her clients’ cases.’
‘Unique expertise in electoral law matters – really have their finger on the pulse.’
‘James Roochove is a star in the field. Thoughtful, cerebral and very experienced.’
‘Nama Zarroug brings a useful and practical perspective, from a criminal law context.’
‘From the first contact, the engagement and advice received from Astrea were phenomenal and I felt thoroughly supported throughout the whole process. This made me feel much more confident when dealing with my legal issue and confident that everything was in hand.’
‘James Roochoove dealt with my case throughout and was incredibly supportive. He kept me updated on the case and was always available when I had any concerns. James really went above and beyond to make me feel comfortable throughout and was very helpful in helping me to understand the process and decisions of my case.’
Lee Anderson MP
Conservative & Unionist Party
Sara Britcliffe MP
Duncan Baker MP
Jo Gideon MP
James Daly MP
Monmouth Conservative Association
John Dwyer (Cheshire Police & Crime Commissioner)
- Represented Lee Ashford, the MP for Ashfield in threatened legal action against Google (specifically Google Ireland Ltd) for defamation and breach of data protection rights in relation to an advert displayed on the Google Adsense network, securing a public apology via a statement in open court (set for Feb/March 2022).
- Advised the Conservative Party in relation to Electoral Commission investigations, the disqualification of candidates for the role of Police & Crime Commissioner, providing training for Party activists and the Conservative Councillors’ Association.
- Represented Monmouth Conservative Association in following successfully resisting an application by Nick Ramsay (then Member of the Senedd) for a High Court injunction to prevent a Special General Meeting to consider a petition that ultimately led to his de-selection.
K&L Gates LLP
K&L Gates LLP advises individuals considering running for office, as well as matters relating to discrepancies in election counts and issues around lobbying. The team is led by Dylan Moses, who handles the individual side of investigations by the Electoral Commission. Former partner Piers Coleman, who worked with the Liberal Democrats since the party's formation, has now left the firm but does provide consultancy support.