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Crime: general in North West

Burton Copeland LLP

Burton Copeland LLP handles work across the full spectrum of criminal law, from serious and organised crime to road traffic offences. Its road traffic department deals with cases ranging from routine offences to death by dangerous driving. The team acts for the Police Federation and handles investigations and proceedings against members of the medical profession. Louise Straw is noted for her expertise in sexual abuse and historic sexual assault cases. She jointly heads the practice with Gwyn Lewis and Daniel Weed, who focuses on representing police officers. Michael Mackey is also noted.


‘Burton Copeland are an exceptionally well-known and well-regarded crime and regulatory law firm. They are uniquely positioned in the marketplace to offer a range of services to professionals alleged to have committed criminal offences and breaches of the various standards of professional behaviour and codes of ethics.’

‘An exceptionally strong team of litigators.’

‘Well respected, knowledgeable and vastly experienced. The team embrace new and innovative digital systems to streamline effort, focus attention on areas of the case which would most benefit from it and deliver a first class service to the client. Highly organised and efficient.’

Key clients

Legal Insurance Management Ltd (Panel)

Arc Insurance (Panel)

All Med Professionals (DAS) (Panel)

Fostering Association (Panel)

ARAG Insurance (Panel)

Police Federation (Panel)

Forbes Solicitors

The crime department at Forbes Solicitors specialises in large-scale conspiracies to murder and defraud, as well as international drugs trafficking offences. The team also handles sexual offences cases, including internet-based, institutional and historic matters. Daniel King jointly heads the practice with Craig Liversidge, who has significant experience of international drugs trafficking conspiracies, complex gangland cases, human trafficking and cyber-crime. Associate Adrian Williams heads the firm’s proceeds of crime department.

Practice head(s):

Daniel King; Craig Liversidge

Other key lawyers:

Adrian Williams; Shane Parkin


‘They show an exceptional consistency of high quality service. ‘

‘Superb client care.’

JMW Solicitors LLP

The business crime and regulation team at JMW Solicitors LLP defends professional clients, particularly in cases of misconduct, dishonesty or sexual wrongdoings. Other key areas of work include parking regulation and legislation, the defence of motoring offences, and advising businesses and business-owners on investigation and prosecutions brought by industry regulators. Peter Grogan heads the team and has significant experience in cases of financial wrongdoing. Ian Lewis specialises in police law, with emphasis on misconduct proceedings, inquests and judicial reviews.

Practice head(s):

Peter Grogan

Other key lawyers:

Ian Lewis; Mike Rainford; Evan Wright


‘The team has great focus on the cases. They develop excellent rapport with the clients and are able to guide them as they are trusted. They fight hard and skilfully for the clients.’

‘The team has vast experience with serious offences.’

Key clients

Police Federation of England & Wales

Police Superintendents Association of England & Wales

ParkingEye Ltd

British Parking Association

Smart Parking Ltd

UK Parking Control Ltd

Horizon Parking Ltd


Olliers handles serious crime cases including drugs and firearms importation conspiracies, terrorism, historic sexual offences and manslaughter by gross negligence. Matthew Claughton heads the practice. The team defends prosecutions and investigations brought by bodies including the NCA and the Serious Organised Crime Agency. Alex Preston specialises in serious crime and inquests, and has developed a practice representing autistic clients. Mike Garstang joined from Garstangs Cartwright King LLP; he has more than 40 years' experience in dealing with serious and general crime.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Claughton

Other key lawyers:

Alex Preston; Mike Garstang; Matt Corn


‘Alex Preston is an exceptionally good criminal solicitor. Her broad range of expertise and experience and her outstanding client handling make her a natural choice for any defendant.’

‘Olliers are outstanding in a number of respects: (a) strength in depth – a number of very experienced fraud and general crime specialists; (b) an ethos of commitment to the client’s cause (including very often pro bono work); (c) excellent leadership.’

Work highlights

  • Represented a child accused of murder.
  • Represented a client from Brighton facing trial in Exeter charged with conspiracy to supply drugs and attempted murder.
  • Represented a client accused of murder following a firebomb attack.

Stephensons Solicitors LLP

Stephensons Solicitors LLP handles general crime matters relating to motoring and transport offences, civil liberties, prison law and inquests, and is particularly known for its work on appeals and miscarriages of justice. Sean Joyce heads the team jointly with Correna Platt, who has particular experience in forensic matters and medical defence. Mike Pemberton leads the practice’s civil liberties group. Colin Rawson, who focuses exclusively on criminal litigation, is recommended, as is associate Duncan Phillips.

Practice head(s):

Sean Joyce; Correna Platt


‘They have a very strong criminal, regulatory team and offer fantastic levels of service.’

‘Correna Platt is a fantastically committed criminal solicitor.  She is totally committed to her clients and goes the extra mile all the time for them.’

Work highlights

  • Represented a client charged with conspiracy to commit attempted murder, conspiracy to commit violent disorder and conspiracy to commit GBH.
  • Represented defendants who were part of a large-scale drug operation expanded over county lines.
  • Represented a defendant charge with an offence of murder.

Tuckers Solicitors

Specialist criminal firm Tuckers Solicitors handles matters including appeals and miscarriage of justice, civil liberties, serious crime, military law, prison law and road traffic and driving offences. Leigh Wright is a key name, while Franklin Sinclair and Barry Tucker are the managing partners.

AGI Criminal Solicitors

AGI Criminal Solicitors defends clients in a variety of general crime, serious crime, fraud, prison law and extradition cases. Recent matters have included drugs conspiracy cases, multi-handed sexual offences, terrorism offences, murder, immigration fraud, grievous bodily harm. The team also represents prisoners. Yasmin Aslam directs the practice and has significant experience in both serious crime and extradition law.

Practice head(s):

Yasmin Aslam

Other key lawyers:

Michael Levy


‘The team at this firm of solicitors has an enormous wealth of experience.’

Work highlights

  • Represented a client in relation to complicated committal proceedings for contempt of court.
  • Represented a client on trial for a serious assault.

Cartwright King

The criminal defence team at Cartwright King handles cases including terrorism, murder and manslaughter, sexual allegations and drug trafficking. Other areas of work include criminal appeals, extradition, fraud and financial crime, driving offences and public order offences. Richard Cornthwaite and Michael Balmer are the key names.

Cunninghams Solicitors

Cunninghams Solicitors’ criminal defence team specialises in defending allegations of serious and organised crime. It handles matters including complex drugs offences, gangland homicide and serious sexual offences. The team also has significant experience in the conduct of complex and high value confiscation and restraint proceedings. The department advises clients based abroad who face criminal investigation or prosecution in the UK, including advice regarding extradition. David Caplin and Philip Lythgoe jointly lead the practice.

Practice head(s):

David Caplin; Philip Lythgoe


‘They have unrivalled expertise in serious crime such as murder, drug trafficking and organised crime.’

‘David Caplin is a charismatic director of the firm who is a master tactician.’

DLA Piper

DLA Piper deals with corporate and white-collar crime, and handles matters including internal investigation into senior management misconduct, whistleblower allegations and bribery and corruption. John Gollaglee, who has significant experience relating to corporate criminal liability, is a key name.

Other key lawyers:

John Gollaglee

Farleys Solicitors LLP

With offices in Blackburn, Preston and Manchester, Farleys Solicitors LLP is known for its work arising from homicides, conspiracies to import and supply drugs, serious frauds and extradition. As well as its established publicly funded work, the practice has developed its privately paid for private clients, businesses and insurance companies. Paul Schofield has a strong record in defending allegations of serious crime and financial crime; he co-heads the department with Jonathan Taylor, who focuses on the mainstream crime aspect of the practice.

Other key lawyers:

Bridgette Hibbert; Laura Walmsley


‘They provide a level of service to clients which has become very hard to come by over the last decade. No firm will do more for their clients. The amount of time devoted to the client is incredible. Their case preparation could be regarded as an unattainable model by other firms.’

‘They are leaders in the field. Always willing to go that extra mile for clients.’

Irwin Mitchell

Irwin Mitchell is known for its white collar criminal litigators; the team advises companies and boards on criminal liability, compliance and multi-jurisdictional investigations. Key areas of work include internal investigations, bribery and corruption, compliance and managing criminal litigation risk. The practice has a good deal of experience in the education, financial services, manufacturing, real estate and TMT sectors. Paul Haycock heads the team, and focuses on defending criminal and regulatory investigations and prosecutions.

Practice head(s):

Paul Haycock


‘The team is very hard working and transparent. Always very helpful and deliver a very well researched and thorough set of instructions. Very highly thought-of among competitors.’

Keoghs LLP

Keoghs LLP stands out for the defence of regulatory breaches across all sectors, particularly prosecutions brought for corporate manslaughter and gross negligence manslaughter; health and safety-related offences; environmental offences; fire safety breaches; and care sector-related investigations. Key sectors for the department include retail, transport and logistics, leisure and manufacturing. The practice also handles a good deal of motoring offences, including serious or fatal accidents. Neena Sharma heads the crime and regulatory team, and defends complex motor prosecutions and health and safety offences.

Practice head(s):

Neena Sharma

Other key lawyers:

David Walton


‘Keoghs get fantastic results and offer a brilliant service for their clients.’

‘Absolute commitment to the lay client whilst understanding the needs and responsibilities to the insurer.  Unwavering dedication to do what is right in fighting the corner of their client.’

Key clients



Catholic Insurance Services






Hastings Direct


Markel Law LLP

The practice at Markel Law LLP focuses on business and regulatory crime, with significant expertise in cases prosecuted by the fire authorities, HSE, Trading Standards and CQC. Deborah Nicholson heads the team, and represents businesses and directors in the criminal courts; she also has acted for health and social staff and providers who have been accused of offences such as neglect, assault, sexual assault and theft. Associate Lauren Wilson is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Deborah Nicholson

Other key lawyers:

Gareth Martin; Lauren Wilson


‘Markel Law successfully combines first-rate, City professionalism with a refreshing, down to earth approach, providing practical and realistic advice and robust representation.’

‘Very good team that attracts high quality work from private individuals.’

‘Deborah Nicholson is very good; efficient, reliable and has an eye for detail.’

‘Gareth Martin is hardworking, straight talking and knowledgeable.’

‘Lauren Wilson routinely goes the extra mile for clients in terms of the work that she puts into her cases. Lauren’s client care is excellent, and she is always able to put clients at ease, regardless of the challenging circumstances in which they find themselves.’

‘Gareth Martin – superb client care and reactive to events.’

‘Gareth Martin is a credit to the industry; always professional, never fazed, totally dedicated to fighting for your corner.  His dedication is second to none and when required to he delivers. I would have no hesitation in contacting him should I require his services again.’

Key clients

Abbey Legal Protection

British Association of Shooting and Conservation

MSB Solicitors

Merseyside-based MSB Solicitors handles a range of work including criminal and regulatory cases and serious fraud. The practice is known for defending excise prosecutions and for their work in POCA proceedings. Jeremy Asher joined the team from Ashfords LLP in January 2020, to head MSB’s new private prosecutions team. Sean Sexton heads the department and specialises in representing individuals subject to criminal investigations by HMRC. Andrew Pearson has significant experience in representing defendants who are autistic or have Asperger’s syndrome.

Practice head(s):

Sean Sexton

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Pearson; Jeremy Asher


‘Sean Sexton has a well-earned reputation as one of the finest criminal solicitors in the North West. He works tirelessly for his clients and his encyclopaedic knowledge of even the largest frauds is remarkable.’

Slater and Gordon

Slater and Gordon specialises in representing police officers facing criminal investigations or misconduct proceedings, and in sensitive cases such as shootings, fatal road traffic collisions and death in police custody or following police contact. The team also handles professional misconduct proceedings, primarily in police discipline, but also in representing individuals in criminal investigations arising from their employment. Paul Reddy heads the department; he focuses on defending road traffic offences. Richard Black is also noted for his experience in defending police misconduct allegations.

Practice head(s):

Paul Reddy


‘The particular strength of the Slater and Gordon team is its knowledge of police procedure and structure. The firm routinely deals with prosecution of officers and it draws on its experience within professional discipline to robustly defend those prosecuted. Moreover, the partners have a wealth of experience in general crime and work closely in sharing information to ensure the best possible approach is taken to defending the lay client.’

‘Paul Reddy and Richard Black are  extremely able lawyers who have a faithful client base who would not think of going elsewhere.  They inspire confidence in their work.’

Work highlights

  • Defended a police officer accused of assaulting an alleged member of an organised football hooligan group in an IOPC-led prosecution.
  • Represented a police officer at the Anthony Grainger Public Inquiry; the officer had shot and killed Mr Grainger.
  • Represented a serving GMP police officer in an allegation of being drunk in charge of a motor vehicle.

3D Solicitors

3D Solicitors specialises in regulatory work, professional discipline and criminal law. Key areas of work include sexual allegations, professional discipline allegations, drugs conspiracies, inquests and criminal appeals. Daniel Berke, who has significant experience in both general crime and fraud work, heads the practice jointly with Deborah Britstone, who is known for her work in police law.


‘They provide a truly attentive and bespoke service to clients, hands-on and highly tactically nuanced at all times.  They are an outstanding small firm who provide hugely dedicated and expert service to their clients.’

‘Outstanding firm for handling difficult criminal cases.’

Key clients

Chief Police Officers’ Staff Association

Police Superintendents’ Association

F.A.C.T. – Falsely Accused Carers and Teachers

Work highlights

  • Acted for a senior barrister in relation to proceedings brought by the Bar Standards Board.
  • Acted for a defendant in respect of a multi-million pound confiscation order.
  • Acted for a retired police officer in the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse.

ABR Solicitors

ABR Solicitors focuses on criminal defence and prison law. Key areas of work are criminal conspiracy allegations, motoring offences and sexual offences, including historic sexual offences and indecent images. Managing partner Rob Rode concentrates on fraud, business crime and regulatory cases.

Practice head(s):

Rob Rode

Brabners LLP

The crime team at Brabners LLP often acts for high-profile sportspersons and media personalities, offering reputation management advice. The practice is particularly known for its expertise in firearms issues and firearms cases. Practice head Lachlan Nisbet has extensive experience in regulatory cases concerning health and safety, and criminal and disciplinary law.

Practice head(s):

Lachlan Nisbet


‘Brabners is one of the few firms in the UK with experience of running appeals under the Firearms Act 1968. Very few other firms have any idea of the niceties and complexities of this process.’

‘Longstanding specific skill set built up over completion of an extensive number of cases involving crime, fraud and general licensing work. Unparalleled experience within the field of firearms licensing and connected criminal cases.’

Brian Koffman & Co

Brian Koffman & Co specialises in purely privately funded criminal work, and is particularly known for defending cases relating to motoring offences. The team has also undertaken fraud-related work, including mortgage fraud conspiracy and money laundering. Brian Koffman leads the practice, and is highly regarded as a motoring law specialist.

Practice head(s):

Brian Koffman


‘Brian Koffman is incredibly responsive. He is very good at understanding the difficulties faced by corporate clients in responding to road traffic investigations and is my first choice when passing on client issues on a multiplicity of road traffic matters.’

Clyde & Co LLP

Clyde & Co LLP handles motor crime, health and safety, environmental crime and food safety cases for a wide spread of corporate and insurer clients. Key areas of work include death by dangerous/careless driving and corporate or gross negligence manslaughter cases. Chris Morrison heads the regulatory prosecutions team, while Kate Hargan leads the motor crime team.

Practice head(s):

Chris Morrison; Kate Hargan

Other key lawyers:

Nathan Buckley; Mark Brookes


‘The team has recruited very high quality individuals who are dedicated to their clients and very hard working. No stone is left unturned on behalf of the client facing prosecution. They have an exceptionally high success rate in my experience.’

‘They provide a very high quality service; their experience is second to none – best demonstrated by lawyers who are stand-out experts in the field.’