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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > Wales > Crime, fraud and licensing > Crime: general > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Crime: general
  2. Leading individuals

Who Represents Who

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Aided by practitioners in London and the South East, the Cardiff office of Blackfords LLP has significant experience handling a range of serious crime matters running the gamut from serious sex offences and human trafficking to multi-handed drugs conspiracies. Praised for its ‘high level of preparedness and excellent briefs‘, the team is noted for its holistic representation of clients beginning with the ‘prompt and robust representation in the police station’, through to final trial, where solicitor advocates in the team are able to lead cases in the lower courts, as well as being able to do the work of juniors in the serious cases in the higher courts. Praised for his ‘ability to handle large cases with huge amounts of material and to disseminate the relevant from the irrelevant', Philip Williams has an excellent reputation across a range of matters including criminal investigations into health and safety and environmental breaches. Associate Nicola Mitchard is also recommended.

In the top flight of criminal solicitors in Cardiff‘, Bowden Jones Solicitors has the ‘strength-in-depth‘ to handle the gamut of criminal work ranging from minor traffic offences through to large-scale international drugs conspiracies, homicides and serious sexual offences. The ‘very experiencedHuw Bowden is ‘excellent at bringing in high-value casesand heads up the serious crime team. One of many solicitor advocates within the team, Bowden is able to provide a holistic service to clients through the life-cycle of a trial. The 'excellent' +George Shelley recently successfully represented one of the defendants in a high-profile prosecution brought by the Welsh regional organised crime division. Other recommended practitioners include Richard Hall, who has a anup-and-coming reputation for handling criminal matters‘, Stephen Jones and the ‘excellentSian Brain.

The long established and well-regarded‘ dedicated criminal defence firm, de Maids Solicitors & Advocates has a large client base in Cardiff and south Wales, and has the expertise to cover a diverse spread of matters ‘including cases of the utmost gravity and complexity‘. Recent highlights include successfully defending a client against a murder charge following a six-week trial in a four-defendant joint enterprise case, and securing the acquittal for a client accused of involvement in a conspiracy to supply cocaine in a multi-defendant case. The ‘diligent and hardworking‘ Matthew de Maid is ‘always prepared to go the extra mile on behalf of his clients’, and is a key member of the team that also includes +Sarah de Maid, who heads up the prison law department; +Bernard de Maid, who leads on the appellate front and excels in overturning miscarriages of justice; and Stephen Jones.

Able to tap into the expertise of a ‘number of outstanding solicitors‘, many of whom have higher rights of audience, the three-partner team at Wrexham-based firm GHP Legal has an excellent reputation for handling a range of criminal work for clients throughout north east Wales and the Shropshire borders. Promoted to the partnership in May 2017, Emma Simoes handles core criminal defence work, and also heads the firm’s prison law practice – which has been particularly busy representing clients in the newly established “super prison” in Berwyn, in Wrexham County Borough. Simoes recently successfully applied to the Magistrates Court to revoke a Criminal Behaviour Order due to the good behaviour of her client. Team head Stephen Edwards has higher criminal courts advocacy rights and provides ‘skilful and sympathetic‘ representation to clients in serious and high-profile criminal cases in the Crown Court and Court of Appeal. Other recommended practitioners include Welsh speaker Euros Jones and higher courts advocate Henry Hill, who is particularly accomplished at dealing with vulnerable witnesses.

Led by Zep Bellavia , Newport-based Harding Evans LLP has a strong reputation across an array of criminal defence work including murder, serious sexual offences, drugs conspiracies and fraud. Recent highlights include securing acquittals in both a multi-handed joint enterprise murder and for a defendant with significant mental health issues accused of assaulting a serving police. Stephen Ritter has higher rights of audience and is also recommended.

M & M Solicitors regularly handles very serious crime cases including litigation relating to drug trafficking, Proceeds of Crime, and extradition. The 'outstanding' Nadeem Majid is a 'very safe pair of hands who has unparalleled experience at handling the most sensitive and complex cases' and is appreciated by clients for his 'strategically astute advice' and 'ability to see the bigger picture, particularly in multi-handed cases'. Aided by Mike Prosser and Craig Bond, Majid recently successfully secured the acquittal of a defendant in a large-scale conspiracy to supply Class "A" drugs and firearms case. Other recommended practitioners include Catherine Reed, who heads the Magistrates Court department, and Anthony Abraham, who is part of the Complex Case unit.

Now headed by Sarah Grace following the recent retirement of founding partner Stuart Hutton, Hutton's crime and regulatory department handles the whole range of criminal offences, from straight forward motoring offences to complex murder or fraud investigations. Grace is currently instructed in relation to the defence of an £11m private prosecution that is ongoing and due for trial in 2018.

Praised for its  ‘attention to detail and tenacity‘, Slater and Gordon is primarily focused on representing police officers facing criminal investigations and misconduct proceedings. ‘Empathetic and knowledgeable‘ team head Ian Wilson is ‘able to draw on a wealth of experience and knowledge‘, and is ‘capable of looking at a case from a defendant’s perspective‘. Wilson recently successfully defended a Devon & Cornwall police sergeant who was prosecuted for gross negligence manslaughter following the death of an individual who was taken into custody when he was the Custody sergeant on duty. The ‘personable yet steely‘ Jon Nutman is also recommended and along with Wilson recently successfully secured the dismissal of allegations of misconduct brought against a south Wales police officer who was alleged to have failed to carry out a full investigation in the early stages of the complaints being received regarding the serious offences committed by Ian Watkins, the former lead singer of the Lost Prophets.

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