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Crime: general in South West

Clarke Willmott LLP

Clarke Willmott LLP acts for individuals, corporates and government bodies in criminal and regulatory matters, with experience handling investigations and interviews under caution, as well as trials before Magistrates and Crown Courts. An area of particular expertise for 'experienced and very smart' practice head Tim Hayden is defending clients in the agriculture and rural sector. Also key to the group is Daniel Gill. Promoted to partner in July 2019, GIll focuses on criminal regulatory matters, particularly in relation to agricultural law and the environment agency.

Practice head(s):

Tim Hayden

Other key lawyers:

Daniel Gill


Hands on in a way that most other firms aren’t; thoughtful pro-active and very high quality.’

Tim Hayden is one of the best criminal solicitors in the south west; Experienced and very smart.’

Diligent, measured in approach and will fight every inch for the client, no matter the case or size of client. I would heartily recommend them as a top tier firm nationwide but particularly in the South West.’

Clients love Daniel Gill’s down to earth approach and realism. He does not shy from difficult decisions nor from providing adverse advice but equally always provides a client with some hope, even in the most taxing of cases.

Key clients

Sophie Gent and Syncthermology


Work highlights

  • Successfully defended various members of the hunting community in prosecutions brought against them for alleged offences taking place in the context of hunts.
  • Represented Sophie Gent and Syncthermology throughout a long-running fraud prosecution which originally involved 15 charges against the clients but which has been resolved by the clients pleading guilty to just 2 charges, with the remainder being dropped.
  • Represented an individual in a case in which he was originally charged with causing death by dangerous driving but which was resolved by him pleading guilty to the much-reduced charge of careless driving.

Reeds Solicitors

Criminal defence is a core specialism for lawyers at Reeds Solicitors, which draws on 'universally professional, dedicated, thorough and diligent' team to advise on high profile matters. The group comprises highly experienced solicitor-advocates, including department co-heads Stephen Clifford, who leads on crown court issues, and Nicola Hutchinson, whose area of focus is the magistrates court practice and whom clients rate as ' great in the courtroom'.  Andy Lee is regularly called upon to assist clients facing allegations of murder, fraud and serious sexual offences.

Other key lawyers:

Andy Lee


Stephen Clifford leads by example. He is the kind of well briefed lawyer, with real attention to detail, that you would want representing you if you were ever unfortunate enough to be arrested. He cares about the quality of service levels delivered by the firm to clients and the Courts and that shows throughout the entire firm – whether his fellow solicitors or paralegals.’

Reeds has good depth of practitioners, both in terms of outdoor clerks and solicitor advocates. They are universally professional, dedicated, thorough and diligent. For example they attend to email traffic and requests from counsel expeditiously and thoroughly. Their client care is excellent and in my experience they  are good at keeping clients informed.’

Stephen Clifford and Andy Lee are both stand out practitioners.’

Nicola Hutchinson is great in the court room!’

Work highlights

  • Defended client  in contempt of court proceedings at the High Court arising from the client live-streaming a Judge’s sentencing remarks in a murder trial.
  • Defended client charged with multiple counts of perverting the course of justice arising from allegations made by the defendant about historical sexual and violent offences said to have been committed against him and others by his stepfather and prominent public figures
  • Defended client in a case concerning evasion of excise duty lost to revenue, amounting to in excess of £12m.

Stone King LLP

In Bath, the crime and regulatory team at Stone King LLP received a boost through the firm's merger with legacy Mowbray Woodwards, adding Matthew Graham, an expert in business crime and fraud work who now leads the department, and senior associate Nicholas Wragg, a solicitor-advocate who focuses on serious sexual and violent offences. Andrew Banks, who is also a solicitor-advocate, has experience in criminal defence, as well as private prosecutions, civil proceedings and standalone Proceeds of Crime Act applications.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Graham

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Banks; Nicholas Wragg


It is my opinion that Matthew Graham and his team not only provide outstanding legal services, but provide a road map, that if followed can improve the lives of their clients without the need for extreme punishment. This is not the easy option, but if the client wants to change their life, it is method that I believe I am proof that it works. Matthews intervention has changed my life.’

Stone King has a long established client base and having merged with Mowbrays is now the main player in the Bath region in private crime work. It has solicitors with a real depth of knowledge; their instructions to counsel make clear the amount of work they put into the case before it is sent out ; and they continue to be involved as part of a defence team making strategic decisions throughout the life of the case. They provide unparalleled client care and are always trying to up their game through their CPD events which I’ve attended and which often feature contributions from experts in other fields.

Nick Wragg is an extremely hard working individual who provides excellent client care and can think laterally about how to approach difficult aspects of a case. Andrew Banks will leave no stone unturned to assist clients or counsel in preparing a case.

Bobbetts Mackan

Giles Tippett heads the department at Bobbetts Mackan, handling all aspects of criminal defence before the crown court, and with a niche in court martial work. Solicitor-advocate Tony Miles is another name to note, and is experienced in cases involving murder, dangerous drugs, serious fraud, historic abuse and regulatory matters before NHS Protect, Trading Standards and the Health and Safety Executive.

Practice head(s):

Giles Tippett

Kelcey and Hall

Kelcey and Hall's founding partner Ian Kelcey is an experienced solicitor-advocate, with a varied criminal defence practice covering cases involving murder, violent and sexual crime and fraud.

Practice head(s):

Ian Kelcey

Sansbury Douglas

Sansbury Douglas is a Bristol-based criminal defence boutique, with a team that represents clients in criminal investigations and prosecutions. Consultant solicitor David Campbell is recommended for his experience in serious crime cases, while David Fanson leads on magistrates court work.

Practice head(s):

David Fanson; David Campbell