Ms Alex Preston > Olliers > Manchester, England > Lawyer Profile
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Ms Alex Preston
Criminal defence and Inquests
Alex is a solicitor advocate specialising in serious crime and inquests.
She has successfully defended in the most high profile and complex cases – allegations such as murder, manslaughter, conspiracy and serious sexual offences.
She has used her extensive criminal defence experience to build a coronial law practice, representing doctors, custody staff, deportation officers and families. She was appointed as an Assistant Coroner (Manchester North) in October 2018.
Alex specialises in representing vulnerable clients. She trains lawyers on the needs of those with learning and psychiatric difficulties and in particular, those who are on the autistic spectrum. She has given evidence in parliament on the these issues, trained lawyers at the Inns of Court and is on the Criminal Justice Panel at the National Autistic Society, as well as on the committee of the Greater Manchester Autism Consortium.
Alex works as a Consultant Peer Reviewer for the Legal Aid Agency, which involves inspecting and assessing the quality standards of UK firms who practice legally aided criminal law. She cares about quality standards within the profession.
She also trains detectives at five police forces on the role of the criminal defence solicitor and other legal issues such as disclosure, bad character, hearsay and courtroom skills.
She is a founding member of Women in Criminal Law.
- Alex has successfully represented Simon Danczuk MP in respect of separate investigations by Lancashire Police and the Metropolitan Police in two allegations of rape. In both cases Mr Danczuk was not charged and the police took no further action . Read more Read more Read more Read more Read more Read more
- Alex represented a Manchester man convicted in 2014 of a historic rape. The client’s family came to Alex post conviction and our appeal to quash the Conviction was successful. At a re-trial in October 2016 he was acquitted.
- Alex represented a senior education consultant being investigated for historic sexual offences as part of a complex police investigation into abuse at residential schools in the North West of England. Following consideration of the matter, the CPS took no further action.
- Alex represented a newspaper executive during Operation Golding, the Met Police investigation into allegations of phone hacking at Mirror Group Newspapers.
- Alex represented an autistic man charged with the possession of a large number of indecent images. The client avoided a prison sentence and was given a community order.
- Alex represented a football executive in Operation Resolve, the criminal investigation into the Hillsborough Tragedy. Read more
- Alex successfully defended 3 former employees of a private security company facing trial at the Old Bailey following the death of Jimmy Mubenga, an Angolan man who died on a British Airways flight at Heathrow Airport. Following trial all three were found not guilty in a unanimous verdict by the jury. Read more
- Alex successfully defended a North West based footballer during the National Crime Agency investigation in to football match fixing. Following considering representations made about the reliability of the witness known as the “Fake Sheikh”, Mazher Mahmood, the CPS took no further action. Read more Read more
- Alex is instructed to represent a defendant in the first ‘Silk Road’ prosecution in the UK. Read more
- Alex is instructed to represent detention officers and managers following a death in custody at Harmondsworth Detention Centre.
- Alex represented two defendants charged with possession of a very large amount of indecent images Read more Read more
- Alex represented a world renowned conductor charged with a sexual offence that arose out of teaching at Chetham’s School of Music. Read more
- Alex represented a Manchester paediatrician charged with sexual offences arising out of Operation Notarise. Read more
- Alex represented a woman with significant learning difficulties who faced a manslaughter trial, following the death of a family member who had drunk concentrated vinegar in an effort to cause a miscarriage. The client was acquitted. Alex also obtained legal aid to represent the client during the subsequent inquest at which no blame was attributed to her and indeed the Coroner criticised the CPS’s decision to ever charge her. Read more
- Alex represented a young woman charged with murdering her two young children in North Manchester. The client eventually pleaded guilty on the grounds of diminished responsibility. Alex also obtained legal aid to represent the client at the subsequent inquest at which the 999 response was criticised by the coroner. Read more
- Alex successfully defended the manager of the Segregation Unit of a private prison in a high profile and unusual manslaughter trial, following the death of an inmate in custody. Read more
- Alex successfully defended an RAF flight lieutenant who was the co-pilot of a Puma helicopter that crashed during manoeuvres at a military base, causing multiple fatalities. Following a two year investigation, the police took no further action. Read more
- Alex defended the key defendant in the ‘Merchants of Death’ gun importation conspiracy case, the biggest of its kind in the UK. Read more
- Alex represented three employees of a private security company who ran a Secure Training Centre for children. Following the death of a child during a restraint procedure, there was a long running police investigation in to the death. The clients were not charged, but the Youth Justice Board was heavily criticised at the subsequent inquest for sanctioning potentially dangerous restraint techniques and following this, new guidelines were released for the restraint of children in custody. Read more
- Alex represented an American citizen who was extradited from New York and tried in the UK for a ‘cold case’ murder that dated from the 1980’s, involving the dismembering and dumping of a body in a bag in to a reservoir in Oldham.
- Inquest in to the death of RE – Represented a police surgeon who examined a man who died in custody in a Suffolk police station. The Jury made no criticism of his actions in their narrative verdict. Read more
- Inquest into the death of WB – Represented a police surgeon who examined a man who died in police custody in North London. Again, the jury made no criticism of his actions.
- Inquest into the death of PT – Represented an ambulance driver who the police alleged had failed to secure a wheelchair properly. The chair tipped over and the person using it died. Following a lengthy police investigation, the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to charge the client with gross negligence manslaughter. Alex also successfully represented the client at the subsequent inquest. Read more
- Inquest in to the death of NR – represented a custody officer from a Staffordshire police station where NR died in custody. The jury made no criticism of the officer’s actions. Read more
Trained at Malcolm Gregg & Co (qualified 1997); partner at Platt Halpern Solicitors; partner at RH Law; solicitor at Olliers.
Law Society; founding member of Women in Criminal Law; the Coroners Society; Association of Women Judges
Manchester University – Combined Studies (Arts) (1992 BA).
Manchester Metropolitan University – CPE (1994)
Manchester Metropolitan University – LPC (1995)
Manchester Metropolitan University – Masters in Legal Studies (1997)
Lawyer Rankings(Next Generation Partners)
Olliers, a criminal defence and regulatory law firm, specialises in the defence of serious general and financial crimes. The firm is recommended for its handling of regulatory issues, sexual offences, asset recovery, insolvency disputes and motor offences. Managing director Matthew Claughton heads the team, recognised for defending allegations of serious crime, fraud, regulatory matters and sexual offences. Matthew Corn deals with complex proceeds of crime confiscation matters and as well as cases involving fraud, drugs importation conspiracies, murder and terrorism. Alex Preston is noted for representing neurodiverse clients, as well as those with psychiatric and learning difficulties.