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United Kingdom > Yorkshire and the Humber > Crime, fraud and licensing > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Crime: general

Index of tables

  1. Crime: general
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Crime: general clients in Yorkshire and the Humber using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


The 'excellent' and 'forward-thinking' practice at ABR Solicitors is considered 'a market leader in Yorkshire'. Managing partner Robert Rode is singled out as 'a leading figure' in this area and heads up the firm's general crime team.  Rhode has the capabilities to deal with a full spectrum of criminal matters, from instruction to appeal courts. Another key individual to note is Susannah Proctor,who leads the North Yorkshire offices and has 'a reputation as a fearless advocate'.

Cartwright King is 'an excellent firm' for criminal representation and attract praise for its 'professional, approachable, efficient and caring approach'. The department is headed by Andrew Vickers and Cheryl Weir in the Leeds office, and defends clients accused of serious crime, offering representation across all levels of the court system. The team also has particular expertise acting for individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Based in York, Howard & Byrne's criminal defence practice has significant experience representing individuals in serious and high-profile criminal proceedings.  The team was recently instructed to act for a young and vulnerable defendant accused of the murder of a seven year old. Colin Byrne led on this difficult and sensitive case. In another work example, the department is representing five protesters charges with several offences in a matter requiring complex legal argument. The group has additionally recently advised clients accused of robbery, rape and other serious offences.  Key names to note include the very experienced Kevin Blount and head of prison law Jacky East. 

Howells' 'very approachable and helpful' criminal department has capabilities to handle a range of complex matters, with particular experience in public order law, judicial review, advising youth offenders, and cases with a civil liberties, human rights or mental health considerations. John Gibson is regularly instructed by individuals accused of serious crimes, and leads the practice, which also includes the 'patient and supportive and extremely knowledgeable' Chris Wong. Wong is recommended for defending clients facing extradition. Rotherham-based Mary Rose Macadam has particular expertise in prison law, parole board work, youth court representations and cases including a mental health element.

The regulatory and criminal investigations group at Irwin Mitchell is led by Paul Haycock, who splits his time between the firm's Manchester and Sheffield offices. Haycock handles a range of matters including murder investigations and prosecutions, and has experience in successfully resisting extradition requests. Another key name to note is Emma Windle who works across the Leeds and Sheffield offices and specialises in white collar crime.

In Harrogate, McCormicks' corporate crime and risk unit, headed up by Geoffrey Rogers, has experience defending clients in the full spectrum of serious criminal allegations and prosecutions. The team is representing individuals facing allegations of kidnap, attempted murder, as well as drug charges. Peter Minnikin and senior associate Sara Morgan are names to note, particularly for firearm and regulatory offences, and professional regulatory work, respectively.

With a 'reputation for being reliable and capable', the criminal department at Minton Morrill 'puts its client first, is extremely professional and prepared to go that extra mile'. Associate Lindsey Lobley heads the practice, which successfully represented a care worker charged with wilful neglect of a patient in a hospital, achieving a not guilty verdict. Philip Goldberg (who is singled out for his 'experience and expertise') acted for two brothers involved in a multimillion-pound drugs conspiracy. The department also includes 'standout lawyer' Michelle Flaga who has been described as being 'a truly formidable opponent', attracting praise for her 'tenacious attitude'.

The criminal defence team at Switalskis Solicitors  has particular experience in representing vulnerable individuals, including those with mental health problems and young people. The department, led by Wakefield-based Rob Casey and Michael Devlin in Leeds, has expertise acting in abuse cases and those concerning mental capacity law. The team defended a client accused of rape, sexual assault and misuse of the police national computer, who was acquitted of all contested charges. The practice was also instructed in a conspiracy to supply class A drugs case, with Jim Littlehales, through mitigation, securing the client a sentence falling significantly below the suggested guidelines.

London-based Gregory Stewart heads GT Stewart Limited's criminal defence, appeals and police misconduct group nationally. In Leeds, supervising solicitor Murray Schiffeldrin and assistant solicitor Ben Tighe are both key names to note.


Index of tables

  1. Licensing
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • John Gaunt - John Gaunt & Partners
    • Paddy Whur - Woods Whur

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Licensing clients in Yorkshire and the Humber using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


The licensing department at DLA Piper UK LLP is regularly instructed by clients including educational providers, national hotel chains and cinemas on both contentious and non-contentious matters. Former regulator Teresa Hitchcock heads up the practice which has the capabilities to both, deal with large portfolios of premises licences and also achieve successful outcomes in sensitive matters, avoiding reputational damage. Other key names to note include Charlotte Gibson for alcohol, regulated entertainment and gambling licensing issues and +Eddy Steele who has particular experience resolving disputes.

With 'exemplary' licensing knowledge, Gosschalks is considered to be 'one of the leading licensing practices' in the region. Highlighted for its 'availability, approachability and sound advice', the practice has significant experience handling issues surrounding the licensing of betting offices, supermarkets and pubs. The 'excellent and personable' Clare Johnson heads the team and acted for Morrisons in new licensing applications in Camden, as part of a £600m redevelopment scheme. The 'highly competent' and 'extremely approachable' Richard Taylor is recommended for his 'amiable, gentle approach to resolving problems' and was instructed by William Hill to deal with licensing aspects of its acquisition of the betting facilities at a number of English racecourses. Other clients include Cineworld, Virgin Active and Wellington Pub Company.

The 'well respected licensing specialists' at John Gaunt & Partners are praised for being 'quick to respond and thorough in their work'. The team is particularly experienced in representing clients in the hospitality and leisure sectors, on a range of matters, from new licences to disputing revocation of licences. It is currently advising Whitbread Group plc on new build licences across the UK, as well as acting for Fortuna Events opposing a closure notice issued following several alleged stabbings outside its Sheffield venue. In another work example, co-head Michelle Hazlewood was instructed by Sheffield Brewery to assist in securing a licence on its historic premises. This required analysis of the layout and negotiations to achieve the clients goals with mutual agreement from the authorities. Tim Shield leads the team alongside Hazlewood and is known for his significant litigation expertise. The well-respected consultant John Gaunt continues to act for clients and handled an out of jurisdiction supervision of a new build application for a Premier Inn on the Isle of Man. Other key names to note are Chris Grunert and associate and 'assured advocate' Paul Henocq.

With a 'formidable reputation' for licensing matters,boutique firm Woods Whur Leeds 'offers a personal yet highly professional service'. The practice advises clients on issues relating to alcohol and gambling licenses,  in addition to health, safety and food hygiene regulatory matters. The 'first class' Paddy Whur has 'great tactical awareness' and is instructed by Grosvenor Casinos, Mecca Bingo and Luda Bingo on the administration of all alcohol and gambling licences, including making new applications for Luda their new High Street Bingo product. Andrew Woods, the joint founder of the firm alongside Whur, advises well-known brands such as Revolution Bars and Travelodge on licencing issues, new applications and variations. The practice also represents local authorities and acts for Newham Council on licensing appeals. James Thompson joins the practice from Clyde & Co LLP Newcastle upon Tyne and is acting for Uber in relation to its high-profile taxi licensing issues including prosecutions in various courts in and around London.

Crime: fraud

Index of tables

  1. Crime: fraud
  2. Leading individuals

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Crime: fraud clients in Yorkshire and the Humber using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Rahman Ravelli Solicitors is considered 'the leading serious crime firm in the area, particularly in the area of financial crime and fraud' and continues to be instructed on some of the most complex and high value allegations of fraud, white collar crime, money laundering and tax evasion. The team advises both corporates, professionals and high-net worth individuals across a number of industries including the oil and gas sector, foreign exchange market, life sciences, conservation and steel. Practice head and 'real genius in the field', Azizur Rahman established the practice in 2001 and according to one client has 'for many years been the premier solicitor for fraud work in Yorkshire and the Humber'. Rahman, who splits his time between Halifax and London, is regarded as the 'orchestrator of strategy and the clear and focused driving force' behind the firm. The practice has been instructed in a number of high-value SFO global bribery and corruption cases. In these matters, the practice has developed an expertise in advising on deferred prosecution agreements. Senior associate Syed Rahman  (who 'goes the extra mile to get the best results for his clients') in leading on a multi-jurisdictional matter concerning this specialised area. The team has also represented clients in multi-agency investigations, including simultaneous investigations from the SFO, HMRC, NCA and the Pension Regulator. Another key name to note is senior associate Nicola Sharp who is a 'litigator of high calibre, with the ability to marshal hugely complicated facts efficiently and sensibly'. 

Noted for its 'fierce reputation for strong defence' ABR Solicitors is frequently instructed in complex fraud allegation, including multi-party matters and organised crime. Managing partner Robert Rode heads the 'excellent' team, which includes Keith Allen in Harrogate and Susannah Proctor who splits her time between the firm's Harrogate and York offices.

Cartwright King's team defends clients in investigations and prosecutions brought by financial and criminal agencies and organisations, as well as industry-specific bodies such as the NHS Counter Fraud Authority and the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy. Consultant Mark Fowler is based in Sheffield and has 'an almost unrivaled back catalogue of experience in serious fraud related criminal work particularly involving HMRC prosecutions'. Elizabeth Madin left the team to join the Crown Prosecution Service.

The team at Ashmans Solicitors regularly defends clients in serious allegations with fraud elements, spanning from VAT fraud to charity fraud. The team is led by Imran Ali and Raja Atif Afzal and has the capabilties to handle particularly complex litigation. In a matter led by Afzal, the team is acting for an individual alleged to have been involved with the procurement and distribution of fraudulently obtained passports and conspiracy to facilitate unlawful immigration. The team now benefits from the addition of Sajid Majeed who joined the team from John Delaney & Co.

The 'superb team of lawyers' making up Cohen Cramer's fraud practice 'goes the extra mile for their clients' and are considered an 'obvious choice for quality representation'. It has experience defending clients in a full spectrum of financial crimes and fraud cases, including missing trader allegations, tax fraud, money laundering and care home frauds. The crime, fraud and regulatory practice is headed by John Goodwin, a 'master in the field of fraud' who is praised for his 'high-calibre legal knowledge and very impressive client care'. Goodwin handles the full spectrum of fraud work, ranging from property-related matters to people trafficking. The 'highly diligent' Helen Lynch heads the proceeds of crime department and is 'tireless in pursuit of her client's interests'. Lynch is adept at dealing with matters prior to charge restraint orders, through to confiscation orders.

Howard & Byrne's 'very impressive' practice represents local, national and international clients in cases involving fraud and financial crime. The team is representing two defendants accused of a multi-million pound conspiracy to defraud the NHS. It is also acting for a client facing allegations of fraud against Edge Hill University. Managing partner Kevin Blount heads the practice and handles high profile and high value proceedings. Another key individual is Colin Byrne who attracts praise for being 'tenacious, hardworking and diplomatic when the circumstances require a non-adversarial approach'.

The regulatory and criminal investigations group at Irwin Mitchell is known for its capabilities in handling complex white-collar crime fraud matters, including acting for companies and boards on criminal liability, compliance and multi-jurisdictional investigations. Paul Haycock heads up the team which also frequently advises on internal investigations, bribery and corruption, as well as financial services crime allegations. Other key names to note include Emma Windle and John Davies.

Geoffrey Rogers heads up McCormicks' corporate crime and risk department which is highlighted for its strength in defending commercial and white-collar fraud allegations. The team recently acted for an individual accused of fraud involving investment monies, in a case involving complex multi-jurisdictional issues. In another work example the team is representing an individual who allegedly defrauded suppliers throughout Yorkshire in missing trader fraud proceedings involving multiple defendants.

The 'excellent' team at Opus Law has 'a very high reputation for handling complex fraud work', advising clients being investigated and charged by authorities. The 'forthright and hardworking' Ben Jones  has been described as having 'a real instinct for a jury trial'; he heads the practice alongside Sarah Batty. The practice has an extensive track record in cases of the utmost complexity and value.

Harris Solicitors' Bradford-based practice is known for its representation of clients accused of serious and complex fraud cases and proceeds of crime matters. The team, headed up by Atta Rehman, regularly defends prosecutions brought by the CPS, regulatory bodies, the Serious Fraud Office and other prosecuting authorities, and handles matters from investigation to across all levels courts.

Howells’ criminal defence team benefits from three offices across Yorkshire in Sheffield, Rotherham and Barnsley, and has capabilities to handle complex and high value fraud proceedings. John Gibson heads up the practice which includes key names for representation in fraud allegations, Chris Wong and Helen White.

The regulatory and corporate defence department at Lupton Fawcett spans across the firm’s Leeds, York and Sheffield office and has a particular strength in fraud, Proceeds of Crime Act matters and those concerning cash forfeiture. Jeremy Scott leads the practice and has significant experience defending businesses and senior employees facing investigation or prosecution for serious offences. York-based Jonathan Cripwell is another name to note, having previously handled fraud prosecution work for government departments and local authorities, in addition to having experience acting in substantial civil fraud and bribery cases.

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