Firms in the Spotlight Crime: general

ABR Solicitors

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CRIME, FRAUD AND LICENSING CRIME, FRAUD AND LICENSING ABR solicitors is a niche fraud, crime and regulatory practice with its head and back office in Leeds. It also has offices in Liverpool, London and Nottingham.  ABR is committed to operating in a digitalised court process.

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Crime: general in Yorkshire And The Humber

ABR Solicitors

Rob Rode leads ABR Solicitors' team, whose criminal defence expertise is complemented by its knowledge about mental health, regulatory and prison law issues. Rode undertakes private prosecutions on behalf of individuals and companies. Anna Moran defends individuals detained at the police station and she also acts as an advocate at the Magistrates’ Crown and Youth Court.

Practice head(s):

Rob Rode

Other key lawyers:

Anna Moran


‘Rob Rode is a very experienced and wise hand in this field. He gets the point about every case – he is a case winner.’

‘Rob Rode- leads the firm by example and wont do anything he would not expect his staff to do. His attention to detail, client care and a willingness to fight every case and every argument sets him apart from his peers.’

‘Dedication, personal input into cases and clients. Excellent client care.’

‘The whole firm has a tremendous work ethic and is staffed by highly capable lawyers and support staff they offer high levels of service compared with other firms.’

‘ABR have a stellar reputation for dealing with heavy-weight criminal matters.’

‘Rob Rode’s reputation precedes him, and he is a powerful presence in and out of court.’

Howard & Byrne

Howard & Byrne is a strong choice for advice on all manner of criminal defence matters, such as general crime and police station advice, civil orders, regulatory investigations and prosecutions, prison law advice and appeals. In addition to having a first-rate reputation nationally, the firm is also highly active in international criminal defence work. Colin Byrne is an expert in fraud, bribery and extradition matters, particularly in opposing an extradition request made by the Russian Federation. Kevin Blount defends high-profile and wealthy individuals in criminal proceedings and also advises on private prosecution claims.

Practice head(s):

Colin Byrne; Kevin Blount


‘Colin Byrne is hugely impressive, both in his professional abilities and his commitment to achieving the best possible outcomes for clients. His proactive, no nonsense approach provides a real sense of safety and security for clients and referrers alike. Kevin Blount is an intelligent and focused lawyer. He is able to communicate assertively but sensitively with clients and the court alike.’

‘I have particularly worked with Colin Byrne, with whom I have co-defended in a number of significant cases. He is an intellectual lawyer with a thorough and analytical approach to evidence who genuinely cares about fairness and justice irrespective of who he acts for. I would also like to mention Kevin Blount who is also an exceptional solicitor, and both partners have the same ethos and work ethic which I believe stands out in the market.’


Howells handles the full range of criminal defence work from three offices across Yorkshire. Chris Wong heads up the Crown Court team in Sheffield and Mary Rose Macadam leads the criminal defence teams in Rotherham and Barnsley.

GT Stewart Limited

GT Stewart Limited is well regarded for its criminal defence work and is one of only a few practices with a specialist Youth Court team. Managing partner Greg Stewart is a recognised expert in representing young people in the criminal justice system. Patricia Walker, who is the key litigator at the firm, has over 20 years of criminal defence experience. She is supported by Philip Mahoney, whose experience includes defending individuals against prosecutions brought by agencies such as the RSPCA and the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). Michelle Stewart joined in October 2020, expanding the group's offering in serious crime and sexual offences, firearms, motoring offences and prosecutions on behalf of the DWP and the Environmental Agency. Graham Whittingham is also of note.

Practice head(s):

Patricia Walker

Other key lawyers:

Greg Stewart; Phil Mahoney; Michelle Stewart; Graham Whittingham


‘The team is dedicated to providing high levels of no nonsense advice in plain terms. There is a great mix of the academic, practical and experienced throughout the team. it is people within the team that gives the firm its strength.’

‘Patricia Walker continues to attract grade A level work and always delivers her best for clients.’

‘The solicitors are passionate about getting the best outcome for their clients. The partners are personally involved in the cases. They are exceptionally well prepared and go the extra mile to gather defence evidence. They are always available to speak to and easy to speak to. They attract very good quality work.’


At McCormicks, Peter Minnikin leads the crime, corporate crime and risk department. He is instructed as a Higher Court Advocate in proceedings before the Crown Court, where he represents defendants charged with sexual offences, fraud and violent offences. Minnikin is spearheading the firm's regulatory prosecution offering, and is currently acting for a pharmacist charged with possession and intent to supply large quantities of prescription medication.

Practice head(s):

Peter Minnikin

Work highlights

  • Continue to represent the National Pharmaceutical Association in relation to a substantial number of cases. The pharmacists are arrested in relation to gross negligence manslaughter and other serious criminal offences arising out of their role as pharmacists including investigations by the NHS Fraud Prevention Team.

Switalskis Solicitors

Switalskis Solicitors' criminal law department has a strong track record acting for vulnerable individuals with mental health issues, and it is also noted for its involvement in adult abuse and child abuse claims, which complement its strong criminal defence expertise. Practice head Michael Devlin is a qualified CLAS Duty Solicitor and has higher rights of audience, undertaking his own advocacy wherever possible. He is also knowledgeable about the nuances involved in representing mentally disordered offenders. Barrister Jim Littlehales is experienced in complex cases involving murder, fraud, money laundering and large-scale drugs offences.

Practice head(s):

Michael Devlin

Other key lawyers:

Jim Littlehales


‘Experience, approachable, thorough.’

‘Commitment and preparation.’

Irwin Mitchell

Irwin Mitchell's Leeds-based white-collar crime practice is now led by senior associate Emma Windle, following Paul Haycock's departure. Windle specialises in financial crime and commercial fraud investigations, as well as advising clients facing cash seizures and complex restraint and confiscation matters. The practice also advises companies and boards on criminal liability, compliance and multijurisdictional investigations.

Practice head(s):

Emma Windle


‘The team are very professional and always deliver a full brief.’

‘Impressive facilities, high standard of work and turnover. The team is strong and the work is to a high standard.’

‘Depth of experience. IM have worked on many of the major fraud, financial services, cartel and money laundering cases and done so to an exceptionally high standard. Added to this experience, within the team is an almost unparalleled experience of defending murder, rape, drugs and organised crime cases over many decades. This means that they are not only able to bring to bear a depth of experience, but that they can provide a full service to corporate clients where individuals end up facing general crime allegations.’

‘Emma Windle – highly adept at dealing with cases with large amounts of evidence without ever losing focus. She is able to see the big picture and where the pieces come together in a case. A tactical and effective lawyer.’

Lupton Fawcett

At Lupton Fawcett, criminal litigators Jeremy Scott and Jonathan Cripwell each have over 25 years of experience defending companies (which range in size from owner-managed businesses to national blue-chip corporates), as well as their directors and other senior employees, in regulatory criminal investigations and criminal prosecutions. The team's expertise includes fraud investigations, as well as cases relating to motoring offences, assaults and serious sexual offences.

Practice head(s):

Jeremy Scott; Jonathan Cripwell


‘The solicitor was, encouragingly, very enthusiastic in progressing with the assignment and keen to help her client as much as possible. The questions raised to me showed that each avenue was being explored. Plus, as with good solicitors, there was an open invitation for me to add my expertise and suggest areas which might prove advantageous if they were explored.’

‘This team is very collaborative, both with outside counsel and within the team itself. They all pride themselves on doing the best for the clients and ensuring that they represent them in the best way possible. ’

‘The solicitors at Lupton Fawcett are conscientious, thorough and dedicated to each client. Jeremy Scott is particularly experienced, knowledgeable and fights his case with finesse and determination. Meghan Waldron provides the ultimate client care whilst ensuring the case is run expertly. ’