Next Generation Partners

Rising Stars

General crime and fraud in South West

Burges Salmon LLP

Singled out by clients as ‘the very best business crime group outside of London, by a considerable margin‘, Burges Salmon LLP‘s stellar track record of successes spans cases concerning proceeds of crime, money laundering, bribery and corruption, as well as complex fraud-related work. ‘Strategic mastermindGuy Bastable heads up the corporate crime department, while David Hall oversees the broader disputes offering. The arrival of Andrew Matheson from Baker McKenzie in February 2022 further strengthened the team at senior associate level. Cross-border disputes make up a regular part of the firm’s workload, with recent highlights covering issues in India and Nigeria.

Practice head(s):

David Hall; Guy Bastable

Other key lawyers:

Sam Aldous; Andrew Matheson


‘They have an experienced multidisciplinary team, which allows them to handle a wide range of regulatory issues.’

‘My main contact at the firm is Guy Bastable – with a firm grounding in financial crime plus health and safety, Guy is very well placed to advise clients in respect to their fraud issues. Understanding the regulatory consequences of criminal issues gives Guy an advantage over many practitioners.’

‘A superb professional team utterly committed to the client’s interests and providing practical solutions.’

‘Guy Bastaple is building the very best business crime group outside of London, by a considerable margin.’

‘Guy Bastaple is outstanding: tenacious, fiercely intelligent and laser-focused on achieving the very best result for his clients. He is a joy to work with and has a remarkable success rate.’

‘Guy Bastable has a great team, very responsive and provide high quality answers.’

‘Guy Bastable is a very strategic mastermind in criminal procedural law, especially in the white-collar crime area.’

Key clients

Trustees of the DAS Legal Expenses Insurance Company Limited Pension and Life Assurance Scheme

Work highlights

  • Representing the trustees of the DAS Legal Expenses Insurance Company Limited Pension and Life Assurance Scheme in Court of Appeal proceedings arising out of the conviction in Southwark Crown Court of two senior employees of DAS Legal Expenses Insurance Company of conspiracy to defraud their employer.

Michelmores LLP

Michelmores LLP retains a core focus on commercial litigation connected with financial crime, including areas of overlap with investigations conducted by the police and regulators. The team is differentiated by the presence of specialised barrister Andrew Oldland KC, who previously held a number of senior regulatory and prosecution roles, including standing counsel to HMRC. Another key practitioner is Sara Chisholm-Batten, who leads the private wealth disputes practice, and regularly undertakes international enforcement work. Core non-contentious work for the group includes drafting ABC policies and procedures.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Oldland KC

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Kitchin; Sara Chisholm-Batten


‘The team is innovative and always well informed of current developments.’

‘The partner I know is an exceptional individual, with excellent personal skills, and good at spotting the central point in any matter he handles.’

Key clients


Bijou Weddings

Freedom Finance Global PLC

Saba Park Services UK Limited

W Stevenson & Sons Ltd

Clinton Devon Estates

Work highlights

  • Representing Bijou Weddings in a case against the Competition & Markets Authority concerning cancellations and refunds following the cancellation of the 2020 wedding season due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Reeds Solicitors

At Reeds Solicitors, the national offering is split between the complex crime and private crime teams, which are headed up by Oxford-based practitioners Julian Richards and Stuart Matthews, respectively; the former group focuses on large-scale fraud, drug conspiracies and HMRC work, while the latter spans a broad range of general criminal mandates. In Bristol, ‘keen legal mindStephen Clifford heads up the Crown Court practice, while Nicola Hutchinson oversees the private client and criminal department. Solicitor-advocate Andy Lee is noted for his ‘wealth of experience in serious and complex matters‘.

Practice head(s):

Nicola Hutchinson; Stephen Clifford; Julian Richards; Stuart Matthews

Other key lawyers:

Andy Lee


‘A wealth of experience across the board, seem to have somebody for all scenarios. Expert knowledge at all levels and a well-run machine.’

‘Julian Richards – he has a monster client base both nationally and internationally, never seen him flustered even in the face of difficult scenarios.

‘Stuart Matthews – manages to manoeuvre even the most difficult of clients to where they need to be with precise skill, an expert in getting cases dropped pre-charge.’

‘Highly knowledgeable, professional and reliable service. Reeds are well organised, personable and a stand-out firm.’

‘Team offers real strength in depth across the board. They rightly pride themselves on their client care skills.’

‘Stephen Clifford – remains at the top of his game. A real go-to solicitor for serious cases.’

‘A brilliant, hard-working, caring team of practitioners who are superb with clients and counsel alike.’

‘Stephen Clifford is intuitive, bright and dedicated with a keen legal mind and an approach which instills complete confidence. Andy Lee is an exceptional solicitor with a wealth of experience in serious and complex matters. I would want both Stephen and Andy on my side.’

Stone King LLP

Fielding a team consisting entirely of solicitor-advocates, Stone King LLP is well placed to act on a broad criminal caseload - including matters relating to serious fraud, VAT and accounting fraud – across the full range of first instance and appellate courts. ‘First classMatthew Graham leads the national offering, and has particular expertise in working with those experiencing mental health issues. Andrew Banks, whose practice spans not only criminal defence work but also private prosecutions and civil proceedings, including standalone Proceeds of Crime Act applications, is singled out as ‘a confident, charismatic and understanding professional‘.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Graham

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Banks; Nicholas Wragg; Angus McWilliams


‘Right from the beginning, I have felt supported and understood by the team at Stone King LLP. The depth of knowledge, empathy and recommendations made by them have given me full confidence to place my trust in them for my safety and future. Dealing with a particularly emotive case, they have gone the extra mile to support me emotionally and have been available around the clock for any needs, concerns or reassurances I have required. I cannot recommend them highly enough and will be utilising them again for future issues.’

‘I have worked directly and exclusively with Andrew Banks – a confident, charismatic and understanding professional, I have worked with him now for a year on a particularly complex case. We have developed both a professional and personal rapport and I always find him to be on the ball and engaging. He has demonstrated exceptional patience and kindness throughout our working relationship. I have found his work to be faultless and some of the best I have experienced in the many experience I have had with different solicitors. I would recommend him without hesitation and have done so since working with him.’

‘My solicitor treated me as a person, was clear with my options and always treated me fairly.’

‘Just such a great team of people.’

‘They all worked hard for me. Angus McWilliams was just excellent and was so very good at everything he did.’

‘Stone King LLP offer a considered team around the client approach. Of note and worthy of special mention is the way in which they work collaboratively with each other and external organisations, to ensure the betterment of the overall professional care delivery.’

‘Stone King LLP is in a position to provide a bespoke service. They have excellent client care and consistently demonstrate meticulous case preparation.’

‘Matthew Graham and Angus Williams – both are exceptional in their case preparation and client care. It is my experience that lay clients are left feeling as though theirs is the only case that matters; nothing is too much trouble. First class.’

Work highlights

  • Representing a company in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.
  • Represented a client in a Court of Appeal case relating to sentencing for online offences.
  • Representing an educational establishment in an inquest.

Clarke Willmott LLP

With a particular focus on clients from the agricultural sector, Clarke Willmott LLP acts at all stages of the criminal process, from the initial investigation and interviews under caution, through to trials and appeals. In November 2022, senior associate Bridget Sanger joined the team from DAC Beachcroft LLP, bringing expertise in police-led prosecutions and investigations by HSE and CQC to the department, thereby broadening the offering. ‘First-rate solicitorSam Harkness is another key group member, noted for his ability to ‘steer his clients through highly-publicised and politicised cases with composure‘.

Practice head(s):

Bridget Sanger

Other key lawyers:

Sam Harkness


‘In the South West, there is no firm to rival their expertise.’

‘Sam Harkness is a very diligent, bright solicitor who has a bright future ahead of him. He is utterly committed to his lay clients, very good on the law and always happy to talk through tactical points. Clients respect his approach.’

‘Strong, able team with a friendly approach.’

‘Sam Harkness is the most committed solicitor. He works hard for his clients and is always on hand for queries. He is friendly, kind and easy to talk to. Excellent service!’

‘I have found them to be proactive in tackling litigation issues, anticipating points and providing solutions for the court. Always supportive and providing clients with a clear understanding of the path forward.’

‘Sam Harkness is a dedicated, intelligent solicitor for whom nothing is too much trouble. Infinitely reliable with insightful input.’

‘Sam Harkness – a first rate solicitor. He is fastidious in his case preparation, and consistently demonstrates excellent judgment in all areas of his work. He is approachable and amenable to compromise where appropriate, yet resolute in protecting his client’s interests. I have witnessed Sam steer his clients through highly-publicised and politicised cases with composure and the utmost professionalism.’

Key clients

South Somerset District Council

The Duke of Beaufort’s Hunt

Bristol Activity Centre Limited

Ireosa Limited

Worcestershire County Council

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented a young person in a GBH case before the Crown Court.
  • Successfully appealed against the sentencing of Ireosa in the Crown Court.
  • Advised a self-employed arborist on an interview under caution with HSE following the fatal injury of one of his colleagues on site.