Leading Individuals

Crime, fraud and licensing: General crime and fraud in North

David Gray Solicitors LLP

David Gray Solicitors LLP’s crime team, stationed in Newcastle, is headed by Brian Hegarty, who focuses on financial crime and driving offences. Hegarty defends clients in the Court of Appeal and is a higher court advocate, while associate Sophie Allinson acts for clients in a wide range of criminal offences before the magistrates and crown courts. Senior associates Janice Hall and Michael Gibson specialise in advising clients at the police station with domestic violence, theft, assault and motoring offences. The team often collaborates with the mental health, immigration and family law practitioners.

Practice head(s):

Brian Hegarty

Other key lawyers:

Sophie Allinson; Janice Hall; Michael Gibson


‘From day one I felt the team took me under their wing and were personal, caring, guiding, caring and patient to say some. Just an all-round comfortable experience.’

‘Brian Hegarty were the best people I could have ever been teamed up with and will be forever in debt to those individuals on everything they have done for me. Caring, supportive, patient. Just all round excellent.’

‘A multi-talented team that is very attentive, courteous and professional.’

Work highlights

Hay & Kilner

Hay & Kilner’s crime team is known for its experience and expertise in defending clients in the Magistrates and Crown Courts, as well as the Court of Appeal. Specialist criminal litigation lawyer Mark Harrison, based in Wallsend, heads the team, focusing on computer crime, defending individuals charged with sexual offences and high value fraud, as well as POCA cases. Crown Court procedures expert, Karen Minhas, was promoted to associate in November 2022, while police station duty solicitor Matthew Purves and associate Mark Styles, who represents children and young people in the youth court, are key names to note. Jonathan Cousins is also an important team member.

Practice head(s):

Mark Harrison

Other key lawyers:

Karen Minhas; Matthew Purves; Mark Styles; Jonathan Cousins


‘Hay & Kilner are a local firm who punch way above their weight. Their criminal and regulatory team has real strength in depth from the most junior associate to the senior partner. They can be relied upon to provide timely, accurate and tactically astute advice and assistance from before arrests up to the court of appeal.’

‘The star performers are Mark Harrison, Matthew Purves, Jonathan Cousins and Karen Minhas. They show superior dedication and skill in representing their lay clients. They demonstrate real patience and empathy when dealing with young defendants or those who suffer from mental ill health. I rely upon them for timely and accurate instructions, and we always work effectively as a team.’

‘I feel what makes this team unique to other firms is their understanding of the complex needs of a lot of children and young adults who sadly enter the criminal justice system. This includes the team gaining a good understanding of any trauma they have experienced, asking for reports and advice on any additional needs or communication issues they may have and ensuring this is adhered to during interviews and court hearings. I also feel that the team’s interaction with children and vulnerable young adults is positive and that they display empathy.’

Key clients

New Park Court Chambers

Dere Street Chambers

Trinity Chambers

Work highlights

  • Represented a defendant, who has allegedly taken a leading role in large scale Class A drugs conspiracy, against a serious crime prosecution order.
  • Defending a client accused of fraud, having allegedly falsified her professional credentials as a consultant psychiatrist and having derived an income publicly and privately over many years as a result.
  • Defending a client against a jointly charged attempted murder, claiming she was coerced via duress.

Kenneth M Barrow & Co

Kenneth M Barrow & Co is a boutique criminal defence firm, specialising in serious crime, complex fraud proceeds of crime matters. The Durham based team, led by Ravi Khosla, deals with a broad range of prosecutions of a routine basis, including the NCA, HMRC, SFO, BEIS, HSE, border force and trading standards. The firm also leverages its robust relationships with a number of experts, namely forensic accountants, cell site analysts and psychiatrists in order to provide clients with a strong defence. POCA and confiscation matters are also areas of work the firm undertakes.

Practice head(s):

Ravi Khosla

Work highlights