Back to United Kingdom - Solicitors

Firms in the Spotlight Crime: general

ABR Solicitors

ABR Solicitors logo

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, Harrogate, Bradford and Huddersfield. ABR is committed to operating in a digitalised court process.

View Profile...

Crime: general in Yorkshire And The Humber

ABR Solicitors

ABR Solicitors supports clients in a wide variety of criminal defence proceedings, including highly sensitive cases relating to murder, sexual assault, gang violence and firearms offences. The firm also has expertise in animal welfare and road traffic cases. Rob Rode heads up the practice and is widely praised by clients for his success rate.

Practice head(s):

Rob Rode


ABR are probably the number one legal aid criminal practice in Leeds. They provide an outstanding level of service and preparation on their cases.

Rob Rode is a very experienced criminal solicitor based in Leeds. He is highly respected and his cases are always well prepared.

The team, while headed by Rob Rode, has a number of very capable and experienced advocates. They have a highly skilled confiscation team.

Headed by Rob Rode he has driven the practice to the biggest and best in Yorkshire. In challenging times he has proven that running a criminal practice successfully can and does work.

Rob Rode has driven the firm forward over testing times to put the firm on a national platform.

Rob Rode is an exceptional lawyer and is always thoroughly prepared. He is exceptionally tactically aware and his client care skills are second to none. Rob’s team share his qualities and are supported by him in that each case is properly resourced. Andrew Stewardson, James Mcaulay and Mark Whitfield are all also thoroughly deserving of a mention.

Fiercely loyal to the client and they fight the client’s corner with great gusto. If you want to fight your case then got to ABR. They never ever give up.

Rob Rode is a complete legend. Huge experience. He loves the chase and he loves to win.

Cartwright King

Cartwright King handles all criminal defence issues, encompassing violent crime, drug offences, terrorism, extradition, hate crimes, and public order offences. Cheryl Weir leads a team with significant track record of work on cases in magistrates' and higher courts.

Practice head(s):

Cheryl Weir

Howard & Byrne

Howard & Byrne handles a wide variety of criminal cases, including highly contentious cross-jurisdictional matters covering extradition and international investigations. Other work handled by the team covers manslaughter and non-accidental death, sexual harassment and assault and drug trafficking, with roles on a string of high-profile cases serving as a reflection of the practice's strong position in the market. Colin Byrne and Kevin Blount head up the team, both holding significant experience across a range of areas, including miscarriage of justice and cases involving undercover police. Jacky East is a specialist in prison law, while Lee-Anne Robins-Hicks is recommended for her work on forensics.

Practice head(s):

Colin Byrne; Kevin Blount

Other key lawyers:

Jacky East; Lee-Anne Robins-Hicks


Howard & Byrne manage to combine a highly successful fraud practice with a mainly legally aided general practice . They do this by providing the same first class level of service with legal aided cases as they do with private work.

Kevin Blount is a first class lawyer who is hugely committed to his cases and his clients. Very detailed preparation and leaves no stone unturned.

Key clients

Vice President of De Puy

R v Platt

R v Stapleton and Ogbonson

R v Fowkes

R v Nagadhana

R v Mcarthur & Wilson

R v Coakley

R v Mellor

R v Heywood

R v McDonagh


Howells has offices across South Yorkshire, and represents clients on cases covering the full spectrum of criminal defence, including murder and manslaughter, historic sex abuse and drug importation. Specific strengths include cases relating to extradition, youth crime, mental health, and civil liberties. Practice heads Chris Wong and Mary Rose Macadam are highly rated, and often referred cases by their peers, specialising in high-profile murder cases and youth crime and educations proceedings respectively. Kathryn Lill continues to excel in work with vulnerable and younger clients, and Helen White has experience in protest-related and trade union experiences, contributing to the team's broad range of expertise.

Practice head(s):

Chris Wong; Mary Rose Macadam

Other key lawyers:

Kathryn Lill; Helen White


I have worked with several of the principal solicitors on numerous criminal cases over the last 20 years. They work very hard for their clients, even when it appears the result is a foregone conclusion – predominantly murders, child pornography etc.

The individual who stands out is Chris Wong – Chris works around the clock and through the weekends to ensure that his client’s cases are trial ready, and thinks outside the box to ensure all available avenues are investigated and exhausted.

Their criminal defence work is varied and extensive; what is consistent is their ongoing and unbending dedication to protecting the rights of defendants before the criminal courts.

Helen White is extraordinary. She is fastidious in her preparation of cases, managing to prepare any briefs and associated documentation efficiently and to a very high standard. She puts a huge amount of work into each and every case she takes on and cannot be faulted in her preparation. She is particularly dedicated to her clients and will put a huge amount of time aside for client care: She is a regular at all the prisons in the area! Due to her unbending dedication to defendants, much of her work is obtained through word of mouth – testament to the high standards she maintains. Helen is particularly interested in the human rights issues that many cases throw up and is regularly instructed in cases involving protester rights and vulnerable defendants (those who have mental health difficulties and victims of trafficking). She is quick to recognise abuses within the system. Her advocacy is engaging and passionate. Helen’s enthusiasm is second to none!

Helen White is particularly excellent in terms of her knowledge and understanding of what she believes needs to be assessed for her clients. For example I have seen clients who have significant learning disability and autistic spectrum issues, that would not be taken into account by the Court and other professionals had she not pushed to get their needs properly assessed and impacted pre-trial, pre-sentence and so on. Helen really cares about her clients, and fairness in terms of the way the law is applied.

Irwin Mitchell

Led by Paul Haycock and assisted by senior associate Jason Newall, the team at Irwin Mitchell advise on a wide range of criminal cases, including manslaughter, assault and affray, drug possession and supply, dangerous driving and sexual misconduct, representing private clients across the UK, alongside legal aid cases in the Yorkshire area. The practice also acts for personal and corporate clients in areas where they could face criminal liability, including environmental regulation violations and health and safety cases.

Practice head(s):

Paul Haycock

Other key lawyers:

Jason Newall; Emma Windle


Irwin Mitchell has have a well-deserved reputation for excellent client care and expert legal representation and advice. Their approach to cases, irrespective of the size, is always professional. They are specialists in criminal regulatory work in particular, health and safety prosecutions. The unique selling point of the firm is that they are able to combine their considerable experience of criminal defence work with genuine commercial acumen.

Emma Windle is a very experienced criminal defence lawyer. She is the kind of instructing solicitor that barristers always want. Her expertise on matters of law and trial tactics is always on point and is always welcome. She provides sensible and timely advice to her lay clients and clearly places their best interests at the heart of the case.


McCormicks works across Yorkshire and the UK as a whole on high-cost cases ranging from motoring offences to murder, with particular specialisms including historic sex abuse, regulatory offences, and corporate manslaughter. Practice head Peter Minnikin specialises in drug-related and violent crime cases. Geoffrey Rogers has retired from the firm, with corporate and fraud-related work handled by new commercial head James Towler.

Practice head(s):

Peter Minnikin

Other key lawyers:

James Towler


Peter Minnikin is hard working and insightful with good client skills.

McCormicks are a strong multi-discplinary proactice rather than a boutique or niche firm. They can offer a wide scope of services to clients.

We enjoy a referral relationship with the firm. Peter Minnikin is an experienced and astute advocate, a well known face in the region, who has stepped into the partnership role with apparent ease since the departure of Geoff Rogers. Geoff would be a hard act for anyone to follow but Peter has more than stood up to the plate in this respect. He has made the role his own and continues to attract high quality work.

Key clients

National Pharmaceutical Association

Leeds United FC

Professional Games Match Officials Ltd

City Football Group Ltd

Work highlights

  • Representing the National Pharmaceutical Association in several clinical negligence manslaughter cases against pharmacists.
  • Defending against conspiracy of child sex offences charges.

GT Stewart Limited

GT Stewart Limited has a specific focus on representing vulnerable younger clients, often the victims of abuse and trafficking, defending them against state prosecution and arguing fitness-to-plead cases. Primarily working on legal aid cases, the team has expanded its work with private clients. The 'client focused' Patricia Walker leads the team in Leeds.

Practice head(s):

Patricia Walker


GT Stewart’s criminal team is very proactive in its approach to defending clients. It sets about its task quickly and thoroughly. It has a very experienced team of practitioners with a nationwide reputation for excellence.

Patricia Walker is a very experienced senior solicitor at the firm. She is very client-focused but has a healthy no-nonsense approach which ensures that the real issues in cases are rapidly identified so that no time is wasted in preparing a defence.

Elizabeth Rowley is a very very caring lady who does an excellent job getting to the very core of the matter.

Lupton Fawcett

Lupton Fawcett represents private clients in proceedings relating to violent crime and road traffic violations, with new arrival Donald Maloney particularly focused on the latter. Associate Meghan Waldron defends in proceedings relating to murder, grievous bodily harm, and sexual assault, as well as supporting businesses in health and safety prosecutions. Jeremy Scott leads the team.

Practice head(s):

Jeremy Scott

Other key lawyers:

Donald Maloney; Meghan Waldron

Switalskis Solicitors

Switalskis Solicitors specialises in representing vulnerable clients in proceedings relating to serious and violent crime and motoring offences, with a team including two solicitor advocates and an in-house barrister. Michael Devlin heads up the practice.

Practice head(s):

Michael Devlin

Wilford Smith

Wilford Smith focuses on major, publically notable criminal defence work regionally and nationally, with cases including drug trafficking, public misconduct and homicide, and a particular specialism in defending high-profile sexual offence prosecutions. Clients include celebrities, public servants, and business leaders. The practice is led by Rebecca Smith-Bains, who has defended a broad range of cases across the firm's focus areas.

Practice head(s):

Rebecca Smith-Bains

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Smith


A modern and vibrant firm that is remarkably busy due to its old fashioned values. The staff bend over backwards to serve those in need in South Yorkshire.

Steve Smith is an exceptionally talented solicitor who has seen it all. He has an aura and a presence that puts all clients at ease.’

Eldwick Law

Eldwick Law handles highly sensitive matters relating to violent crime, drugs offences, sexual misconduct and gang violence, including a number of high-profile cases across Yorkshire and the North of England. Mohammed Sarwar Khan heads the practice, with extensive experience of complex serious crime proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Mohammed Sarwar Khan


Substantial reputation in the field of general crime with thorough preparation and commitment to clients.

Sav Khan is very highly respected throughout Yorkshire and nationwide . Amjid Javaid is very thorough in his preparation of cases and is respected by the clients.

Very good well run firm in Bradford with excellent client care skills and preparation. One of Bradford’s best criminal firms.

Sav Khan is a very experienced and highly skilled solicitor leading an excellent team.’