Firm Profile > Blackfords LLP > Croydon, England

Blackfords LLP

General crime and fraud Tier 1

Blackfords LLP remains a market leader in the crime space, with a proven track record in handling the most serious cases, including violent crime, drug-related offences and sexual assault. Preeminent practitioner Gary Bloxsome jointly leads the team with Trevor Francis and handles an assortment of complex matters including financial crime and fraud with an international aspect. Diana Payne oversees the 'exceptionally good' general crime practice and is noted for her decades of expertise in criminal proceedings. The core group also comprises Hannah GilesLucinda Shand, and counsel Rachel Wilson. On the fraud side, Daniel Cundy is the key figurehead with specialisms in white-collar crime, fraud, corruption, tax and money laundering cases. He also handles cross-border matters.


‘They are the standout private crime firm, both for general crime and fraud. They provide an exceptionally good service. They are highly committed and resourceful.’

‘Gary Bloxsome – I cannot speak highly enough of him; he is a brilliant tactician, hugely committed and can speak to anyone; he is little short of a legend. Daniel Cundy is quite exceptional. Rachel Wilson and Jen Richardson are both quite exceptional and real stars for the future.’

‘An exceptionally good all-round firm. They have expertise in handling private criminal clients as well as those being investigated or charges with white-collar crime. As many firms who have cornered that part of the market are beginning to become complacent, Blackfords retains its fresh enthusiasm for each case, no matter how small or large.’

‘Gary Bloxsome is a fierce and dedicated solicitor. An asset to any team.’

‘They have an exceptionally good group of people who work in all their branches who provide an excellent service both to the Bar and to their clients. I have genuinely not come across anyone who works for them who does not come within that description and it makes them a pleasure to work with.

‘Gary Bloxham is the senior partner whom I have known for many years. He has been very much the guiding force behind the development of the firm but still maintains a fierce interest ad concern for every aspect of their work which has a very positive effect on all those who work with him. Lucinda Shand and Anne-Marie Geraghty are both long-standing members of the firm who demonstrate all these qualities in abundance.’

‘Gary Bloxsome. The boss, the governor. Superb. One of the pre-eminent ‘pre charge’ lawyers – the person to get if you want to avoid being charged in the first place.’

‘Rachel Wilson is a dedicated lawyer. She handles clients very well and has very good judgement.

Family: Kent, Surrey, Sussex Tier 3

Blackfords LLP is known for its work in challenging cases involving children, particularly public law care proceedings, representing clients involved in proceedings with a number of local authorities in London and the South East. Many of their cases involve parallel criminal proceedings and serious medical issues, such as injuries to children which require investigation by medical experts. They also advise on private law proceedings involving children, such as divorces and Family Law Act injunctions. The practice is led by Nicola Chamberlain, who in addition to her knowledge of children matters is active in the areas of divorce proceedings and financial applications. Elizabeth Cape-Cowens is considered 'exceptional' for public law cases.

Practice head(s):


‘A hard working, dedicated and personable team. They have a strong work ethic can put the client first. They have excellent judgment and pull together to ensure that a client gets a wrap-around service.’

‘Helen Worden is empathic and meticulous. She has an excellent manner with clients, and is particularly good with vulnerable clients.’

‘Natalie Mitchell is an excellent strategist and fights her client’s corner with tenacity but also with realism.’

‘Terri-Anne Taylor is newly qualified but has experience and maturity beyond her years.’

‘Kim Wintle is a new addition to the team having practices previously in Nottingham. She has excellent judgment a strong grasp of strategy and gives focused accessible advice to her clients.’

‘Elizabeth Cape-Cowens has a work-ethic second to none. She is able to think outside the box and has a very good grasp of the law and legal principles.’

‘They undertake the full range of family law work, both within the private law field (child arrangement orders) and public law proceedings concerning the involvement of the local authority in allegations of child abuse. They are a sought-after firm for cases of non-accidental injury often where there is a high volume of complex medical evidence. Their commitment to these difficult cases and clients is exceptional and easily comparable to “high end” public law firms.’

‘Nicola Chamberlain is amazing. She deals with extremely complex cases and is always able to get to grips with very complex medical evidence quickly. She is regularly sought after in difficult children proceedings. She has a reputation for hard work and sensitivity which is well deserved.’

‘Beth Cape-Cowens is an exceptional member of the team undertaking the most complex of public law cases with skill and tact. She is extremely tenacious as well as highly efficient.’

Crime: general Tier 1

'Class act' Gary Bloxsome co-leads the general crime team at Blackfords LLP with fraud specialist Trevor Francis. Covering the entire range of criminal work, the firm is particularly known for representing high-profile and high-net-worth clients. Recent cases have covered murder, gangland killings, street violence, money laundering, drugs, and serious sexual offences. In addition, the firm handles allegations of war crimes, corporate manslaughter, immigration and election law matters. Daniel Cundy is recommended for complex issues such as tax evasion and breaches of sanctions, while associate Naureen Shariff demonstrates 'exceptional client handling skills'.

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Other key lawyers:


The team are fantastic. There is no case too complex or large for them to take on.

Blackfords is a standout firm. Year-on-year, they expand the breadth of their corporate advisory/investigations work and complex multi juristrictional matters’

Blackfords are one of the best criminal firms. They often represent high profile clients and their cases frequently attract press attention. They are equally comfortable dealing with serious legal aid crime cases such as murder as privately funded white collar crime‘.

Danny Cundy has a brain the size of a planet. He is incredibly incisive and measured. He brings an aura of calm to any situation‘.

Gary Bloxsome is a class act. He won’t be intimidated or riled by any opponent. Whilst a fighter, he is also pragmatic, down to earth and easy to work with – a real team player. He is bright, trustworthy, discreet‘.

Naureen Shariff  is unflappable, good humoured and with exceptional client handling skills. Her work is of the highest quality and she has proven herself time and time at being adept at taking on new areas of law and doing so capably and effectively. Naureen is definitely one to watch for the future. An up and coming superstar‘.

General crime and fraud Tier 1

With a number of 'high quality lawyers' based in Cardiff, who display 'integrity, dedication and a willingness to fight every inch for their clients', and also often working alongside lawyers out of the firm's London office, Blackfords LLP has 'in-depth expertise with a national profile and skill', enabling it to handle a plethora of the highest-profile criminal and fraud cases in the market. 'A fantastic lawyer with an exceptional grasp of the law', Philip Williams provides 'proper old fashioned and inspirational leadership to his team, as well as exceptional legal acumen and an unruffled expertise based on a comprehensive knowledge of his cases and an imaginative approach to problem solving in heavy litigation'. 'Detailed, diligent and willing to go the extra mile', Nicola Mitchard  has a focus on matters involving fraud and money laundering offences.

Practice head(s):


It is a fantastic firm which displays integrity, dedication and a willingness to fight every inch for its clients.

The firm leads the way in regulatory crime and fraud.

While many others assume that specialising in fraud means little more than announcing you are open to fraud cases, Blackfords’ Cardiff team has a real in-depth expertise with national profile and skill.

Philip Williams is not a dilettante running a general crime practice but a superbly experienced solicitor with years of experience in fraud and a deeply impressive list of past cases. That experience shows and is deeply reassuring to clients, as is his strategic approach.

Philip Williams is a key operator and provides excellent customer interaction.

Philip Williams is a fantastic lawyer with a exceptional grasp on the law and a practical edge that clients love… a clear star lawyer.

Nicola Mitchard is detailed, diligent and willing to go the extra mile

Leila Carballo-Williams is a great fraud lawyer with a meticulous approach to POCA and tax fraud.

Fraud: white-collar crime (advice to individuals) Tier 2

The financial crime team at Blackfords LLP is noted for its experience in substantial and complex financial crime cases that include allegations of  bribery and corruption, investment fraud, money laundering and insider dealing. 'Exceptional litigatorGary Bloxsome co-heads the team and is experienced in cases prosecuted by the SFO, FCA, HMRC and CPS, among others. Daniel Cundy, who also co-heads the team, handles CMA matters and criminal and civil Proceeds of Crime Act matters. Trevor Francis deals with serious crime, complex frauds, MTIC investigations and regulatory matters.

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‘Gary Bloxsome has a constant stream of boiler room and frauds of all types, he and Trevor Francis have conducted some very high-profile and difficult fraud cases’.

‘Trevor Francis is thorough, personable and tough and inspires confidence in his clients’.

‘Gary Bloxsome is vastly experienced and with a very loyal following’.

‘Blackfords enjoys a depth of experience with a firm fronted by a deep pool of both experience and talent’.

‘Daniel Cundy, their leading light in white-collar fraud, is a uniquely talented litigator’.

‘Gary Bloxsome has developed a brilliant practice for the rich and famous and is fantastic looking after reputation in highly sensitive cases’.

‘They have a breadth of practice across crime that is nearly unrivalled and the success of their City of London Office goes from strength to strength’.

‘They have a number of extremely experienced lawyers who are dedicated and always go the extra mile for clients’.

Health and safety Tier 3

Blackfords LLP offers health and safety advice to clients in the construction, education, energy, waste, rail and healthcare sectors. The team receives instructions from care homes and from individual employees and handles cases arising out of workplace incidents. Practice head Gary Rubin has extensive experience defending HSE investigations and prosecutions. Other key areas of expertise for the group include gross negligence manslaughter and corporate manslaughter, coroners’ inquests and regulatory offences.

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‘ Gary Rubin is one of the best and most experienced health & safety lawyers in the market. Years of experience and perfect judgement mean that the client is guaranteed a detailed and professional first class service from Blackfords. The whole team is hugely approachable and always available on the end of a phone. They offer sound and practical advice and are always up for a fight’

‘Blackfords’ Health and Safety team take on the cases other specialist firms seem to avoid – they offer specialist services to individuals and small businesses that would otherwise be out of their reach with the same level of professionalism and service that would be offered to larger corporate and private clients. They bring extensive experience of criminal law to health and safety in the criminal courts’

‘Gary Rubin is wholly invested in his cases and knows them top to bottom from day one. He is particularly skilled in dealing with the early stages of an investigation, including interview, and excels at ensuring equality of arms for his publicly funded clients. He goes above and beyond for every client, making sure no stone is left unturned in giving them the best possible defence’

‘A firm that is dedicated to achieving optimal results for its clients whilst maintaining a realistic and commercial eye towards the risks of litigation that effect both companies and particularly human defendants’

‘Philip Williams is a tactical master with a wonderfully diplomatic approach that literally pulls clients along and ensures that sensible and pragmatic decisions are made from the outset. He is adept at handling both large corporations or individuals. In short he is a class act’

‘Unlike most firms in the health and safety arena, rather than coming from an insurance background, the Blackfords’ team comprises true criminal lawyers who not only know their health and safety law but are experts in criminal procedure and tactics. This is particularly important given the ever increasing fines against companies and the greater likelihood for individuals convicted of H&S offences receiving a custodial sentence’

Professional discipline Tier 3

Noted for its focus on the health and social care sectors, Blackfords LLP's 'work standard is outstanding'. The practice represents clients at hearings before the GMC, GDC, Nursing and Midwifery Council, Social Work England, and Health and Care Professions Council. It also has considerable expertise in representing serving police and MoD police personnel in misconduct proceedings. Another area of note is acting for solicitors in SRA investigations, while a growing practice area is the representation of football professionals, who face historic sexual abuse allegations. Gary Rubin leads the regulatory team, which includes Trevor Francis, Gary Bloxsome, director Philip Williams and solicitor advocate Jennifer Richardson.

Practice head(s):


Very knowledgeable and good attention to detail

Blackfords can always be relied on to provide a top-tier professional service from cradle to grave. They have particular experience in representing medical professionals. Their long track record of successes (including successes against the odds) is testament to their conspicuous skill in this specialist area. Their specialism in this niche area makes them stand out above the rest.

Jennifer Richardson is a star. She is my first choice whenever I am asked to recommend a litigator in this specialist area. Her legal knowledge is second to none. She combines that with excellent judgement. That winning combination ensures that she always adopts the best possible strategy, tailored to the particular case, to secure the most advantageous result for the client. She is realistic but robust. She is absolutely dedicated to each case, however big or small. I have seen her on many occasions interact with clients – including very demanding clients; her approachable but professional manner never fails to instil confidence.’

The Cardiff office operates with a very smooth team indeed.

Philip Williams understands strategy in a way which gives clout and weight to every decision made. He applies resources to cases when they require it in a way which gives a direct benefit to clients.

I would say that the unique aspect of Blackfords in this field is the extent to which the partner, Gary Rubin, takes an active part in guiding and assisting the whole team. It gives the practice team the feel of a barristers’ chambers; in the sense that you feel like you are really drawing on collective knowledge and experience that is being properly shared to provide excellent service. This is of course accentuated by the huge experience that Gary Rubin brings.

As set out above, Gary Rubin is the stand out partner. In terms of associates, Jennifer Richardson has impressed me with the speed at which she has progressed in this area and the level-headed and realistic approach she takes brings to cases. Gulcan Olurcan is also conscientious and thoughtful in relation to her cases, allowing her good judgment to show through.’

Gary Rubin, good to work with, knowledgeable and efficient in relation to professional discipline work.’

Blackfords LLP is a leading regulatory and business crime litigation firm, including fraud and serious and high-profile cases. It also provides specialist family law services with notable expertise in child care. It has offices in London, Croydon, Woking and Cardiff.

The firm: The firm enjoys an excellent national and international reputation and is known for combining creative solutions and success with a friendly, sensitive approach for clients who want a pro-active and combative legal team dealing with their issues.

Blackfords enjoys a large volume of client referrals from the magic circle corporate law firms and accountancy practices. Clients include private individuals, sports and entertainment celebrities, politicians, journalists and a variety of international businesses and international governments. Legal aid instructions are taken where such funding is available.

The firm receives many instructions from high net worth clients who require assistance with reputational issues.

Gary Rubin who is a recognised expert in the fields of health and safety at work and regulatory heads the regulatory team which covers cases throughout the UK and Northern Ireland.

Blackfords is accredited under the VHCC arrangements and its lawyers belong to a variety of legal bodies including: The Solicitors Association of Higher Court Advocates (SAHCA); London Criminal Court Solicitors Association (LCCSA); Criminal Law Solicitors Association (CLSA); Fraud Lawyers Association (FLA); Association of Regulatory & Disciplinary Lawyer (ARDL); Proceeds of Crime Lawyers Association (POCLA); Financial Services Lawyers Association (FSLA); Extradition Lawyers Association (ELA); Female Fraud Forum; Association of Lawyers for Children (ALC); Resolution Trained Mediators; Law Society’s Children’s Panel; Registered Lawyers under the FA Football Agents Regulations.

Types of work undertaken: The firm handles cases in all courts from the Magistrates or Youth Court to the Crown Court, through to the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court and the European Court of Justice or European Court of Human Rights. Advice is given regarding investigations by a range of official bodies, including the Serious Fraud Office, Financial Conduct Authority, PRA, NCA, HMRC, CMA, Crown Prosecution Service Special Casework Team, Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority and the Electoral Commission.

The firm specialises in pre-charge advice during the investigation of criminal and regulatory wrongdoing, arrest, complex criminal proceedings leading to trial, handling press intrusion and Proceeds of Crime Act issues.

The firm is involved in defending individuals in many of the largest ongoing cases being prosecuted by the SFO, FCA and HMRC throughout the UK and other British Overseas Territories.

Additionally, the firm deals with disciplinary and regulatory hearings for lawyers, medical professionals, parliamentarians and athletes, health and safety matters, trading standard matters, care home regulation, Coroners’ Inquests and motoring offences.

The firm also has a niche specialist child care and family team, with leading lawyers and mediators in the fields of child care proceedings, adoption (national and international), domestic violence and complex matrimonial financial disputes to divorces, separation and mediation. Civil partnerships, their creation, associated pre-nuptial agreements and dissolution are also specialisms.

Other offices: London, Woking, Cardiff

Department Name Email Telephone
Managing partner Trevor Francis
Dispute Resolution Team Gary Bloxsome
Dispute Resolution Team Daniel Cundy
Regulatory work Trevor Francis
Criminal Defence Diana Payne
Family and childcare law Nicola Chamberlain
Health and safety at work Gary Rubin
Photo Name Position Profile
 Diana Payne  photo Diana Payne Partner, Solicitor-Advocate (Higher Court criminal proceedings) Heads up one of the busiest…
Number of UK partners : 6
Number of other UK fee-earners : 45
Total staff : 65