General crime and fraud in Wales

Blackfords LLP

With a number of 'high quality lawyers' based in Cardiff, who display 'integrity, dedication and a willingness to fight every inch for their clients', and also often working alongside lawyers out of the firm's London office, Blackfords LLP has 'in-depth expertise with a national profile and skill', enabling it to handle a plethora of the highest-profile criminal and fraud cases in the market. 'A fantastic lawyer with an exceptional grasp of the law', Philip Williams provides 'proper old fashioned and inspirational leadership to his team, as well as exceptional legal acumen and an unruffled expertise based on a comprehensive knowledge of his cases and an imaginative approach to problem solving in heavy litigation'. 'Detailed, diligent and willing to go the extra mile', Nicola Mitchard  has a focus on matters involving fraud and money laundering offences.

Practice head(s):

Philip Williams


It is a fantastic firm which displays integrity, dedication and a willingness to fight every inch for its clients.

The firm leads the way in regulatory crime and fraud.

While many others assume that specialising in fraud means little more than announcing you are open to fraud cases, Blackfords’ Cardiff team has a real in-depth expertise with national profile and skill.

Philip Williams is not a dilettante running a general crime practice but a superbly experienced solicitor with years of experience in fraud and a deeply impressive list of past cases. That experience shows and is deeply reassuring to clients, as is his strategic approach.

Philip Williams is a key operator and provides excellent customer interaction.

Philip Williams is a fantastic lawyer with a exceptional grasp on the law and a practical edge that clients love… a clear star lawyer.

Nicola Mitchard is detailed, diligent and willing to go the extra mile

Leila Carballo-Williams is a great fraud lawyer with a meticulous approach to POCA and tax fraud.

Work highlights

  • Acting in a highly publicised case involving offences of human trafficking and modern slavery; firearms; fraud by false representation; cheating HMRC; theft; and handling stolen goods.
  • Acting in a case relating to the accessing of the CCTV footage of the post-mortem completed on former Cardiff City footballer Emiliano Sala.
  • Acting in a Very High Costs Case concerning alleged fraudulent trading linked to the Welsh Assembly.

Bowden Jones Solicitors

Led by Huw Bowden, the 'very experienced' team at Bowden Jones Solicitors has expertise across the gamut of criminal and fraud cases, for both private/corporate clients, as well as publicly-funded clients. Himself benefiting from higher rights of audience, Bowden has a 'wealth of experience dealing with large cases, requiring an eye-for-detail' and excels at handling white-collar criminal matters. Stephen Jones also benefits from higher rights of audience and in addition to his adroitness at handling serious violent crime and drug-related offences, has also developed a niche advising on cyber crime matters. George Shelley 'is excellent with clients and very experienced with representing those at the police station and before the Magistrates' Court'. Solicitor-advocate Tim Lewis  is also recommended.      

Practice head(s):

Huw Bowden


The team is very experienced and specialises in dealing with big cases.

The firm displays great client care with up-to-date legal knowledge and is always willing to put in extra effort for the client.

Invariably justice is more important than fees and the firm is very often prepared to work on cases that other lawyers have turned down as too difficult or not financially viable.

Huw Bowden has a wealth of experience dealing with large cases requiring an eye for detail.

George Shelley is excellent with clients and very experienced with representing those in the police station and Magistrates’ Court.

Work highlights

  • Involved in an investigation into the money laundering of an organised crime gang, operating both in the United Kingdom, in mainland Europe and in Ghana.
  • Involved in an investigation into a fraud allegedly perpetrated by four defendants acting as a sham claims management company.
  • Secured the acquittal of a youth defendant with a history of mental illness (requiring the services of an intermediary) in a murder trial.

de Maids Solicitors & Advocates

'Possessing a tremendous breadth of knowledge', which runs the gamut from white-collar fraud to murder, de Maids Solicitors & Advocates is 'always abreast of legal developments and strongly supportive of clients and their needs'. The team is 'meticulous in its preparation' and has expertise throughout the life cycle of a case, from representation at the police station, through to trial. In the event of the application of a prison sentence, Sarah de Maid's judicial review expertise enables the firm to represent clients in parole hearings. Combining 'extensive experience in the criminal courts and a personal approach', team head Matthew de Maid demonstrates 'a mastery of highly complex matters', and alongside the 'meticulous and hardworkingStephen Jones, is viewed as a '"go-to" for any individuals charged with a serious offence'.

Practice head(s):

Matthew de Maid


The team possess a breadth of knowledge from white-collar fraud to murder, drug offences to sexual offences, and is highly experienced in dealing with VHCC cases

The firm has a strong team of lawyers who are meticulous in their preparation of cases.

They are always abreast of legal developments and strongly supportive of clients and their needs. Their management and preparation in substantial complex cases is superb.

Matthew de Maid provides an excellent standard of client care. He combines extensive experience in the criminal courts and a personal approach to give clients confidence.

Matthew de Maid has represented defendants charged with some of the most serious cases in Wales and has demonstrated a mastery of highly complex matters. He can digest voluminous material and explain it simply and effectively to lay clients.

Matthew de Maid and Stephen Jones are standout quality lawyers. It is apparent from their meticulous preparation and management of cases that they are conscientious and hardworking solicitors.

Matthew de Maid and Stephen Jones are “go to” individuals for anyone charged with a serious offence.

Stephen Jones is hands-on from the beginning and is impressive in police interviews when police officers overstep the mark. He is meticulous in preparation of cases in the Crown Court and Magistrates’ Court.



Work highlights

  • Successfully secured the acquittal of a client accused of murder, following a six-week trial in a four defendant joint enterprise case.
  • Successfully secured the acquittal of a client accused of cheating the Revenue (of capital gains tax) in a case prosecuted by the HMRC, involving land acquisitions and compulsory purchase order.
  • Defending a client involved in a high-value money laundering case, involving numerous businesses, transactions and properties over a five year period.

M & M Solicitors

Led by the 'savvy and tactical' Nadeem Majid, the Cardiff-based 'high level national criminal practice' at M & M Solicitors Ltd has the expertise to handle a wide array of complicated cases, including complex frauds and large-scale drugs conspiracies. Himself formerly a prosecutor on behalf of the Financial Services Authority, Majid has an excellent perspective of the regulators' mindset, thereby enabling him to effectively defend clients accused of financial-related fraud cases. Although the firm is based in Cardiff, the team is regularly engaged in Crown Court cases throughout the length and breadth of the UK, a testament to Majid's dynamism and ability to attract work irrespective of geography.

Practice head(s):

Nadeem Majid


The firm runs a high level national criminal practice from Cardiff that reflects the dynamism of its founder and the team as a whole

Nadeem Majid has unbridled energy and he brings that to getting work, but also to client care.

Nadeem is savvy and tactical, and on top of every case.

Clients have close personal attention from Nadeem – for example, it is not unusual for this firm to be running serious cases in Crown Court centres as far apart as Middlesbrough, Birmingham, Swansea and London and for him to visit each trial during the course of a week.


GHP Legal

Wrexham-based firm GHP Legal has an excellent reputation throughout north Wales across a wide range of criminal defence work, including as it relates to road traffic infringements, drug offences, murder and rape. The team includes a number of solicitors with higher rights of audience, thereby enabling them to handle their own advocacy, if necessary. Euros Jones  and Stephen Edwards co-head the criminal department and both have strong reputations across a range of serious cases, including on fraud-related matters, murder/manslaughter and drug conspiracies. Emma Simoes  leads the firm's prison law group and has helped numerous prisoners to secure release at parole hearings.

Other key lawyers:

Henry Hills

Work highlights

  • Secured a reduced sentence for a very vulnerable female (with complex mental health issues) accused of offences of arson with intent to endanger life.

Hugh James

Somewhat of an outlier in the ranking, Hugh James does not operate a traditional criminal law offering, and while it does handle some defence work for private individuals and corporate clients of the firm, it is undoubtedly best-known for its prosecution work for central and local government and various non-police prosecution agencies. Team head Martin Jones has significant experience across a range of fraud work and other aspects of regulatory crime. Associate and solicitor advocate Justin Davies 'is excellent in terms of support for case preparation and court advocacy', as it relates to prosecution work for numerous Fire and Rescue Authorities.  

Practice head(s):

Martin Jones

Other key lawyers:

Justin Davies


Justin Davies’ track record is excellent in terms of support for case preparation and court advocacy.

Key clients

Welsh Government

British Broadcasting Corporation

Capita Business Services

Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service

Work highlights

  • Handling an increasing amount of prosecution work on behalf of the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency, including a significant number of fraud cases.
  • Continues to be instructed by the Counsel General for Wales (the Welsh Government’s chief legal adviser) to prosecute all cases of alleged breaches of UK, Welsh and European fisheries legislation.
  • Continue to represent the South Wales Fire & Rescue   Service in prosecutions under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, as well as in appeals brought against Enforcement Notice and Prohibition Notices issued by the Service.

Morgan LaRoche

Led by the 'highly experienced, ethical and capableAndrew MannersMorgan LaRoche has the 'strength-in-depth' to advise across a wide range of financial crime mandates and is 'quickly able to gear-up to resource and cope with the biggest digital disclosure exercises anywhere in the country'. As well as traditional white-collar matters, the team is also gaining a strong national reputation handling private prosecutions of commercial frauds. The team also has niche expertise defending social care and early years education providers in regulatory compliance and enforcement matters.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Manners


The firm has strength-in-depth, prepare their cases properly and their close relationship with their civil department means they cover all angles.

What is unique is the strength and depth of its financial crime expertise with the resources of a big firm which can quickly gear-up to resource and cope with the biggest digital disclosure exercises anywhere yet is fiercely competitive on price being based in south Wales.

The highly experienced, ethical and capable Andrew Manners displays a calm, surefooted and forensic approach.

Andrew Manners is rigorous in his preparation, great with clients, a fount of knowledge of all aspects of a case and is always prepared to go the extra mile.

Slater and Gordon

Headed by the 'unflappableIan WilsonSlater and Gordon is best known for its representation of police officers facing criminal investigations or misconduct proceedings. The firm also has significant experience representing individuals in employment-related criminal matters, including in the context of health and safety investigations.

Practice head(s):

Ian Wilson


Top drawer in terms of preparation, litigation support, expert knowledge and experience.

The unflappable Ian Wilson really knows his field (police disciplinary) and  demonstrates sound judgement time and time again in the most difficult of cases.

Key clients

Jan Kingshott

James Clements

West Mercia Officers

Work highlights

  • After numerous hearings and trials, the firm successfully secured dismissal of proceedings brought against a Devon and Cornwall police officer, who was charged with gross negligence manslaughter offence following the death of a civilian who was taken into custody when he was the Custody sergeant on duty.
  • Secured the acquittal of a police officer prosecuted for assault occasioning actual bodily harm as a result of striking a male while holding his taser.
  • Acting for a West Mercia police officer being prosecuted for murder.