Crime: general in North West

Burton Copeland LLP

Burton Copeland LLP has a strong reputation for general criminal work; it handles the full spectrum of criminal cases with experience spanning serious and organised crime, sexual abuse and historical sexual assault cases, regulatory work and road traffic cases. In addition to its criminal practice, the firm also acts on behalf of police officers and professional associations in inquests and disciplinary proceedings. Managing partner Louise Straw, who has a strong reputation in high-profile sexual abuse and historical sexual assault cases, and consultant Michael Mackey are noted.

Practice head(s):

Louise Straw; Gwyn Lewis; Daniel Weed

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Wall; Nick Terry; Michael Mackey


The team is very experienced and handles a range of criminal work

Farleys Solicitors LLP

Based across its Blackburn and Preston offices, the team at Farleys Solicitors LLP is experienced across mainstream criminal cases and is regularly engaged on national serious and complex criminal matters. Motoring offences, theft, burglary, assault, sexual offences, public order, DWP and RSPCA prosecutions, communications, murder and drug offences are key areas of expertise.  Associate partner Bridgette Hibbert specialises in serious fraud and serious crime cases. Paul Schofield in Preston and Jonathan Taylor in Blackburn lead the team.

Practice head(s):

Paul Schofield; Jonathan Taylor

Other key lawyers:

Bridgette Hibbert; Laura Walmsley


‘The firm has a fantastic track record in complex criminal cases.’

Forbes Solicitors

Forbes Solicitors is active across all areas of criminal work, with particular experience in serious, complex and high profile matters, including cases with an international element. It handles cases involving large scale conspiracies to defraud and international drug trafficking offences; and is noted for its experience in sexual offences as well as cyber crime. The team is also involved in cases involving people trafficking. The team has recently been bolstered by the acquisition of Maidments Solicitors. Firm managing partner Daniel King heads the special case work section. Craig Liversidge, who has 'outstanding client interaction', and David Ryan , who is 'superb in serious sexual offences and homicide cases', lead the Crown Court department, while senior associate Adrian Williams heads the proceeds of crime department.

Practice head(s):

Daniel King; Craig Liversidge; David Ryan

Other key lawyers:

Adrian Williams; Shane Parkin; Allan Maidment


One of the best firms in the North West; it is great on preparation and has very good client skills; it puts the client first

Forbes Solicitors is busy, not just because it has excellent coverage but also because it provides an outstanding service

Craig Liversidge is pure quality in every aspect of his work; his knowledge of all his cases is so detailed it is hard to believe he has more than one case on the go

Craig Liversidge is very hard-working; he has a shrewd eye for detail, wins the confidence of clients and secures outstanding results

The calibre of the solicitors and support staff is what stands out.

My overriding impression is of a team which is capable and confident with large and complex cases, and understands the law better than most but has not lost the touch that is required with criminal clients

David Ryan is calmness personified; he has great judgement and a clear focus on the important details of any case

Craig Liversidge has an easy and approachable nature with clients and fellow professionals

Work highlights

  • Defended client in a large scale, multi-million pound publishing fraud case.
  • Represented a Manchester gang member on conspiracy to supply cocaine and cannabis.
  • Represented a Salford gang member in case involving a large scale conspiracy to rob cash in transit vehicles.
  • Defended an individual in a murder case.
  • Defended a client in a substantial multi-handed conspiracy to evade duty on diesel.

JMW Solicitors LLP

The business crime and regulatory team at JMW Solicitors LLP represents individual and corporate clients on complex and reputation threatening investigations and proceedings, with experience in a range of matters involving allegations of professional misconduct, serious or sexual offences, dishonesty, domestic violence, motoring offences and regulatory issues. Team head Peter Grogan 'gets great results' and Mike Rainford has a 'fantastic reputation'. Elsewhere, Evan Wright is experienced in HMRC cases, Ian Lewis specislises in police law and Hojol Uddin  is head of motoring.

Practice head(s):

Peter Grogan

Other key lawyers:

Mike Rainford; Sam Healey; Evan Wright; Ian Lewis; Hojol Uddin


An excellent firm with a tremendous reputation for hard work and success

Peter Grogan is highly experienced ; he is dependable and is excellent with clients


Key clients

Police Federation of England & Wales

Police Superintendents Association of England & Wales


Easipet Care



David Duckenfield

Donald Denton


Creative Parking Solutions

Work highlights

  • Represented JD, on a case where he lost control of his vehicle on a B road in Kent.
  • Represented FA on a murder and attempted murder charge following a shooting incident in East Manchester in June 2018.
  • Defended a company director in relation to allegations of assault.
  • The team continued to represent David Duckenfield, the match commander at Hillsborough in 1989 who is charged with 95 counts of gross negligence manslaughter, at Preston Crown Court.
  • Represented two GMP Detective Constables in gross misconduct proceedings.

Markel Law LLP

Markel Law LLP is best known for its experience in regulatory and criminal law. The team is regularly instructed by insured individuals and clients in regulated professions. It has specialist knowledge in acting for foster carers as well as care providers, and is also instructed by members of the Federation of Small Businesses.  It also acts for goods and passenger operators on licensing issues. Department head Gareth Martin has a 'superb manner with clients and combines charm with robust and direct advice'. Solicitor Lauren Wilson's 'knowledge of the interplay between the regulatory regime for transport operators and drivers under the Transport Act and secondary legislation is invaluable to lay clients facing such prosecutions'.

Practice head(s):

Gareth Martin

Other key lawyers:

Lauren Wilson


The firm has unique expertise in business crime and a particular niche in road transport crime

Defending road transport prosecutions brought by the DVA is a major strength

I would describe it as one of the North West’s go-to firms for road transport operators and drivers who are facing prosecutions brought by the DVSA

All lawyers deal with major insurers on a regular basis, and their excellent relationship with these insurance companies is to the benefit of client

Gareth Martin’s understanding of the business circumstances of the road transport industry is amongst the highest level of any solicitor in this area

Lauren Wilson stands out as a solicitor in the field of regulatory crime and also has expertise in road transport crime.

Gareth Martin is a true asset to the team; he is prepared to get to the heart of the issue.

Gareth Martin and Lauren Wilson are extremely well versed in professional regulatory procedure and practice as well as drawing on their inter-personal skills required to be a criminal solicitor

Key clients

Federation of Small Businesses

Fostering Network

Serendipity (Devon)

Greenacre Care Services

Work highlights

  • Represented Client A in respect of a Trading Standards investigation into sale of alcohol to persons under the age of 18 years and successfully negotiated a caution as opposed to prosecution.
  • Represented client A in respect of a council investigation into fly-tipping which resulted in no further action being taken.
  • Represented Mrs A in respect of a police investigation into allegations of child neglect. The matter concluded with no further action.
  • Represented client A regarding a police investigation into possible child sex offences which resulted in no further action being taken.  
  • Represented the three directors of a claims management company in respect of a far-reaching investigation by Trading Standards centred around alleged misrepresentation and unfair practices in respect of flight delay claims.


Olliers defends clients across a range of serious and complex criminal issues; it is experienced in cases involving serious sexual offences, regulatory matters, modern slavery, drug and firearms offences, robbery, assault, murder, manslaughter, terrorism, cyber crime and money laundering.  The team is experienced in cases investigated by the National Crime Agency, the Counter-Terrorism Unit and has handled Organised Crime Division prosecutions. The team is also experienced in representing certain client groups, such as clients with autism. Department head Matthew Claughton is 'outstanding'; Matthew Corn is a serious crime specialist; and Alex Preston specialises in serious crime and inquests. Toby Wilbraham and Stacey Mabrouk are also key figures.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Claughton


Matthew Claughton is an outstanding individual

Olliers is fantastic

Work highlights

  • The team has acted for John Cannan, the man believed to be ‘Mr Kipper’, the only suspect in relation to the 1986 disappearance of Fulham estate agent, Suzy Lamplugh.
  • Represented a senior education consultant facing two police investigations into historic sexual abuse at a special school in the 1980s.
  • Represented AB, a 17 year old autistic male who had ordered 150 MDMA tablets from Amsterdam using the ‘dark web’.
  • Represented WR, an actor facing an allegation of sexual assault.
  • Represented an owner of chain of takeaways accused of modern day slavery offences.

Slater and Gordon

Slater and Gordon stands out for its experience in advising on a range of criminal law matters and is best known for its experience in representing the Police Federation as well as private clients. It represents police officers facing criminal investigations, misconduct proceedings, shootings, fatal traffic collisions and deaths in police custody, or following police contact. This also includes representation at inquests and public inquiries. The team also represents individuals in complex criminal investigations arising from their employment. Richard Black regularly handles complex and high-profile cases; Paul Reddy heads the road traffic defence team; recently promoted principal lawyer Christopher Fallows represents police officers facing criminal and disciplinary hearings; and associate litigation executive Alan Greenidge is 'first-rate'.

Practice head(s):

Paul Reddy


Paul Reddy and  Richard Black have vast amounts of experience in dealing with police federation-related criminal cases

Work highlights

  • Represented Darren McKie, a Manchester police inspector charged with murdering his wife.  
  • Represented Mr W who was acquitted of death by careless driving at Sheffield Crown Court.
  • Represented Mr N who was acquitted of the historical sexual abuse of a family member.  
  • Represented Mr L, a driver, who was involved in a collision with an illegal scrambler bike and was charged with death by careless driving.  
  • Represented Mr C and Miss A as serving police officers facing assault charges.

Stephensons Solicitors LLP

Stephensons Solicitors LLP handles a full range of complex criminal matters for clients across the country. It has experience across cases involving murder, manslaughter, serious sexual offences, GBH and other violent offences, firearms and drugs offences and motoring and transport offences. Local authority cases are also key area of expertise and the team is experienced in matters involving education, community care, Court of Protection, police complaints, prison law, inquests and judicial review cases. Recently promoted partner Colin Rawson, Mike Pemberton, who manages the civil liberties and public law department, Martin Pizzey, who is noted for his advocacy skills, and senior associate Duncan Phillips are key figures. Correna Platt and Sean Joyce lead the team.

Practice head(s):

Sean Joyce; Correna Platt


This is a highly experienced team where members are always involved in the big cases

Work highlights

  • Represented a client charged with causing death by dangerous driving and causing death by driving whilst uninsured.
  • Represented a client who was investigated for the murder/manslaughter of their daughter.
  • Represented a client who was charged with an offence of attempted murder.
  • Represented a client who was charged with historic sexual abuse.
  • Represented clients who were charged with conspiracy to produce and supply cannabis.

Tuckers Solicitors

Tuckers Solicitors specialises in criminal defence, fraud, regulatory, civil liberties and prison law cases. It handles general crime as well as serious, and complex criminal cases which have included serious drug offences, fraud, money laundering, IT fraud, white collar fraud, motoring offences, murder and manslaughter.  The firm has defended numerous individuals including public figures, high-net-worth individuals and business directors, and has also acted for government departments and corporate clients. The Manchester team also has particular expertise in dealing with restraining orders in international financial cases. Leigh Wright, who is head of complex crime, Asim Ali, who is head of road traffic work, and Franklin Sinclair head the team.

Practice head(s):

Asim Ali; Leigh Wright; Franklin Sinclair


The firm is noted for its strong criminal defence practice

Work highlights

  • Represented a client in a case involving complex fraud and misleading sales practices.
  • Represented a client charged with conspiracy to commit murder, racially aggravated public order matters and other offences.

AGI Criminal Solicitors

AGI Criminal Solicitors represents local and national clients on a range of crime, serious crime, fraud, prison law and extradition cases. Recent matters for the firm have involved GBH, terrorism, drugs offences, conspiracy, murder, drugs and serious sexual offences. Team head Yasmin Aslam is a 'clever and creative lawyer who provides an excellent service to her clients'.

Practice head(s):

Yasmin Aslam

Other key lawyers:

Michael Levy; Baljit Singh


‘Yasmin Aslam is prepared to take every arguable point and thereby provides an exceptional service to the client.’

‘The level of engagement is impressive and the firm ensures that it understands the needs of vulnerable clients.’


Work highlights

  • Represented Phillip Harkins on the longest running extradition case in the UK.
  • Represented a client in a conspiracy to burgle case.
  • Represented clients in a controlling and coercive behaviour case.
  • Represented a client in a case alleging street robbery involving the use of an imitation firearm.

Brian Koffman & Co

Brian Koffman & Co is best known for its experience in handling motoring offences, however the firm also handles general criminal cases such as fraud-related work, murder, serious sexual assault, money laundering, drug conspiracy, possession of firearms and assault. It acts for privately funded clients and has represented a range of professionals and individuals working in the sports and entertainment industries. Firm head Brian Koffman is a well-regarded figure in the market.

Practice head(s):

Brian Koffman


Brian Koffman has a fantastic reputation

The firm is excellent and is particularity strong on motoring offences

Work highlights

  • Represented client D on a charge of death by careless driving in relation to the death of an 84 year old male.
  • Represented client T on two separate allegations of dangerous driving, with one causing serious injury, following a road rage incident.  
  • Represented Mr G on a case involving allegations of possession of indecent images and causing or inciting sexual activity with a child.
  • Represented client V who was charged with driving under the influence of excess alcohol and careless driving.
  • Represented Mr D on an appeal against a conviction of driving while using a mobile telephone.  

Cartwright King

Cartwright King's criminal defence offering represents its clients in an array of general and serious criminal cases. The firm offers key expertise in cases involving murder, terrorism, robbery, assault, people trafficking, firearms, corruption and cybercrime. The team also handles drugs-related cases and regularly defends clients in relation to road traffic offences.

Cunninghams Solicitors

Cunninghams Solicitors is adept at handling serious and complex casework, with expertise spanning cases involving fraud, complex drugs, gangland homicide and serious sexual offences. It is also experienced in the conduct of complex and high value confiscation and restraint proceedings, particularly under The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. The practice acts for local and nationally-based clients and has represented internationally-based clients facing criminal investigation or prosecution in the UK. David Caplin, who is handling several cases involving historical sexual abuse in football, and the 'very able' Philip Lythgoe head the team.

Practice head(s):

David Caplin; Philip Lythgoe


The firm is experienced across a range of criminal defence work

Work highlights

  • Represented an assistant youth football coach facing historical abuse charges.
  • Represented a football coach accused as part of an ongoing police investigation and public enquiry into historical abuse in football.
  • Represented a longstanding client accused of gangland conspiracy to murder.
  • Represented an individual accused of serious firearms charges.
  • Represented one of 10 members of an alleged organised crime group responsible for a large scale conspiracy to remove and steal cash dispensing machines.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper UK LLP is instructed on a range of investigations and is experienced in corporate crime prosecutions involving various issues such as corruption, dishonesty, tax evasion and bribery. The team represents companies and individual clients on investigations and prosecutions by HSE, CPS, the Police, the Serious Fraud Office, HMRC and the Office of Fair Trading. The team also stands out for its cross-border expertise. Regulatory lawyer and criminal litigator John Gollaglee is a key contact.

Draycott Browne Solicitors

Draycott Browne Solicitors defends clients on a range of criminal cases including motoring offences, burglary, theft, assault, drug offences, murder, manslaughter, sexual offences, terrorism, human trafficking and cyber crime. Shaun Draycott is a key figure.

Practice head(s):

Shaun Draycott

Other key lawyers:

Rob Mann; Beth Mantel

Irwin Mitchell

Irwin Mitchell stands out for its experience in business crime, investigations, discipline and complex regulatory matters, and also handles a range of serious general criminal work such as cases involving assault, sexual offences, money laundering and conspiracy to supply drugs. Regulatory and investigations group head Paul Haycock is based across the firm's Leeds and Sheffield offices.

Practice head(s):

Paul Haycock

Keoghs LLP

Keoghs LLP stands out for its experience in advising on the criminal aspects of industrial accident investigations and acts on behalf of insurers, corporate clients and individuals. It regularly handles regulatory prosecutions and represents clients facing corporate manslaughter and gross negligence manslaughter, as well as fire safety, inquests, care sector investigations, motoring, health, safety and environmental offences. Neena Sharma specialises in motor crime and regulatory prosecution work; David Walton leads the Bolton-based crime and regulatory team; and Suzanne Drinkwater is particularly experienced in handling carbon monoxide cases.  Senior associate Kathryn Turner , who recently joined from Gateley Plc, and associate solicitor Heather Vyse are also key figures. Heather Vyse and solicitor Rekha Sharma

Practice head(s):

Neena Sharma

Key clients




Hastings Direct




Direct Line Group



Work highlights

  • Represented Philip Smith on an ongoing joint police and HSE investigation arising out of the Bosley Wood Mill explosion in July 2015, where four people were killed.
  • Instructed to represent an individual arrested for causing death by dangerous driving in a road traffic accident where a 28 year old motorcyclist was killed.
  • Represented David Thompson following a tragic road traffic collision.
  • Represented Lisa Perkins on a charge of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
  • Represented David Threapleton on a charge of causing death by dangerous driving.

MSB Solicitors Ltd

MSB Solicitors Ltd offers a 'wealth of experience and tactical know-how which is invaluable'. It handles a range of work including serious fraud, criminal and regulatory cases in Merseyside. The team is noted for its specialist experience in POCA proceedings, and is also active on health and safety work acting on behalf of insurers.  Department head Sean Sexton is 'outstanding in all aspects', consultant solicitor Andrew Pearson regularly represents defendants who are autistic or have Asperger syndrome and Paul Gallagher heads the Crown Court team.

Practice head(s):

Sean Sexton

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Pearson; Paul Gallagher


The firm impresses due to its commitment to the client

Paul Gallagher works tirelessly in support of his clients; he is a tactical lawyer, with the legal know-how to achieve results

The firm is the complete package as far as a solicitors firm is concerned.

Sean Sexton epitomises the firm’s ethos and sets an very high standard for others to follow, and they do

Client service and attention to detail is the hallmark of the team

Work is excellently prepared and researched

Trial preparation is excellent

3D Solicitors

Boutique offering 3D Solicitors specialises in regulatory, professional discipline and criminal law. Criminal defence, inquests, police misconduct, private prosecutions and public inquiries are key areas of expertise. Daniel Berke has handled a number of high-profile allegations of serious sexual assault and has acted for several senior police officers in criminal, inquests and professional discipline allegations. Deborah Britstone is noted for her experience in professional discipline and police law.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Berke; Deborah Britstone

Key clients

Chief Police Officers’ Staff Association

Police Superintendents’ Association

Work highlights

  • Represented former Chief Constable Simon Byrne who faced 74 allegations of misconduct, at a gross misconduct hearing before an independent panel.
  • Represented Chief Inspector Andrew Johnstone who faced an allegation that he assaulted a police officer colleague at a careers event at New Scotland Yard.
  • Represented retired ACC Steven Heywood in an IOPC investigation into allegations of perjury, perverting the course of justice and misconduct in public office.
  • Represented a company director in a complex, high-value VAT fraud case.

ABR Solicitors

ABR Solicitors in Bootle is experienced across fraud, crime and regulatory cases and the team has a 'strong local following for general crime work' . Tony Murphy is a 'very experienced and hardworking solicitor' and represents clients on a range of criminal cases including motoring offences, murder and theft. Senior advocate Julie Murphy is experienced in handling fraud cases, confiscation proceedings and multi-handed drugs conspiracies.

Practice head(s):

Rob Rode; Tony Murphy

Other key lawyers:

Julie Murphy


The firm has a great reputation for looking after its clients and for preparing cases thoroughly

Brabners LLP

The 'professional and assiduous' team at Brabners LLP acts for a range of individuals and corporate clients on a range of matters which are often sensitive and require reputation management expertise; its client-base includes well-known sports and media personalities, as well as educational institutions, banks and major businesses. The team, which operates as part of the firm's litigation department, has particular expertise in firearms issues and handles a number of firearms cases. Team head Lachlan Nisbet, who works cross-office, is 'very experienced'.

Practice head(s):

Lachlan Nisbet


The firm has in-depth knowledge of firearms law

Lachlan Nesbit is first-class in his approach to problems


Key clients

Benjamin Stokes

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended England international cricket player Benjamin Stokes following his involvement in an altercation outside a Bristol nightclub resulting in a charge of affray.  
  • Advised a high profile client on an ongoing police investigation into alleged GBH following an altercation in 2018.
  • Representing a prominent registered firearms dealer charges brought regarding the alleged purchase of a Section 5 Firearm without the authority to do so.
  • Representing a client in connection with a charge of possessing a prohibited firearm without a certificate.
  • The firm was instructed to defend a client on charges regarding the alleged possession of a firearm without a certificate.