Firm Profile > Hughmans > London, England


Hughmans is recognised by both The Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners as one of the leading criminal law firms in London. It is a member of the Serious Fraud Panel and has dealt with many high-profile criminal cases.

The firm: Hughmans was founded in 1976 by Peter Hughman, as a specialist firm in criminal defence. Soon after, the firm expanded to incorporate civil work, including high profile litigation matrimonial cases and later conveyancing. The firm has, however, always been chiefly recognised for its criminal defence work, retaining a boutique air by only taking work from client referrals (the firm retains no duty solicitors) and focusing on client care.

The firm does continue to undertake general serious crime work including murders, sexual offences, and drug cases. However, in recent years the firm’s focus has shifted increasingly towards complex white-collar crime, whether legally aided or privately funded. Clients tend to fall into camps characterised by the prosecution as the leaders or lieutenants of ‘serious organised criminal networks’ or white-collar fraudsters, for example fund managers or company directors.

Hughmans dedicates its services to clients involved in civil or criminal proceedings. Aggressively supporting clients’ interests, it always strives to identify a position of advantage to maximise its chances of success, and prides itself on its thorough preparation, planning and presentation of clients’ cases.

A boutique firm attracting the highest level of work based on client recommendation, with traditional values based on working in the client’s best interest, it is the opposite to a ‘legal aid factory’ (which churns out hundreds of cases a year at low quality).

Types of work undertaken: Hughmans has built a formidable reputation in the area of criminal defence. Hughmans’ client base has expanded solely through the feedback of its clientele. The firm is known for its proactive defence of clients facing prosecution by a wide variety of bodies, including the CPS, SFO, NCA, FCA, and local authorities. It is a VHCC panel member. A large proportion of Hughmans’ work involves advising clients on appeals against conviction and sentence. Although a number of cases have attracted media attention, it is not Hughmans’ practice to court celebrities or publicity.

The criminal department is particularly well known for successfully defending in boiler room frauds, advance fee frauds and insider dealing cases. Less high-profile in terms of press, but a big part of the firm’s reputation, is its success in defending large-scale drug importations and money laundering cases. The firm has established a reputation in the growing sector of private prosecutions.

The civil department handles all types of civil cases, with particular expertise in developing novel points in matrimonial cases, civil fraud and property litigation. Its strong team has years of experience and a very impressive track record in all areas of civil law. The department is particularly well known for several high-profile divorce cases (client details confidential) and civil litigation against newspapers (again, confidential).

Hughmans is consistently ranked in the legal directories as a leading firm, with Peter Hughman, Lee Adams and Matthew Jenkins recognised as individuals. Areas the firm covers include:

White-collar fraud: the firm acts for individuals and companies in investigations and prosecutions brought by the CPS, SFO, NCA, FCA and local authorities into all kinds of frauds and regulated activities.

General crime: particularly in drugs and money laundering matters. The firm has extensive experience in overturning convictions on appeal and achieving excellent results in confiscation, restraint and property freezing order proceedings.

Property litigation: Peter Black and Simon Silver undertake a wide range of property disputes involving commercial and residential property, including neighbour disputes, cohabitation and landlord and tenant matters.

Civil fraud: Matthew Jenkins has extensive experience in handling civil fraud cases and an impressive reputation in this area. Many of the firm’s most important and high-profile cases over the last few years have been fraud cases, in particular MTIC fraud.

Family law: partner Peter Black is an experienced family practitioner having dealt with a large number of high-value ancillary relief matters, as well as cases involving children.

Conveyancing: Hughmans is Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) accredited by the Law Society, a recognised quality standard for residential conveyancing practices, and works in both residential and commercial property.

Department Name Email Telephone
Senior partner Peter Hughman
Managing partner Peter Black
General crime Lee Adams
White-collar crime Lee Adams
Civil litigation Peter Black
Matrimonial Peter Black
Conveyancing Peter Black
Number of UK partners : 5
Number of other UK fee-earners : 13