Blackfords LLP > Cardiff, United Kingdom > Firm Profile

Blackfords LLP
8 St Andrew's Place
CF10 4DQ
United Kingdom

Crime, fraud and licensing > General crime and fraud Tier 1

Boasting a team of 'immense strength and talent' and also well-equipped to run litigation in the digital age through an excellent use of technology, Blackfords LLP is well-versed at handling a wide array of criminal matters, from serious frauds and environment cases to magistrates' trials, 'dealing with each with the same level of devoted care regardless of method of funding'. Noted for his 'mental dexterity', team head Philip Williams provides 'sterling advice' to individuals and businesses across a range of white collar/fraud cases, in particular, where clients benefit from his 'encyclopaedic knowledge of regulatory law'. Noted for her ability to provide 'calm and sensible advice', solicitor Nicola Mitchard is also well-versed in handling fraud matters as well as cases relating to drugs, murder and sexual offences. 'An absolute star in the making', chartered legal executive Annie Lawrence  is also a key member of the team and is 'particularly experienced in fraud and valuable in detail-heavy cases’.

Practice head(s):

Philip Williams

Other key lawyers:

Nicola Mitchard; Scott Bowen; Annie Lawrence


‘Blackfords boasts a team of immense strength and talent, from top to bottom.’

‘Blackfords’ Cardiff offering provides a unique service in Wales: a truly boutique criminal firm catering for all cases  and dealing with each with the same level of devoted care regardless of method of funding.’

‘Philip Williams is a rainmaker. A proud Welshman, he knows the Welsh business world inside out and maintains an equally comprehensive knowledge of Counsel and will always match the right barrister to the right case. He’s got huge experience and uses it to reassure and offer sterling advice.’

Philip Williams has an encyclopaedic knowledge of regulatory law.’

 ‘Philip Williams’ experience in large complicated frauds and serious crime is unsurpassed. He combines a mental dexterity in the law with an effortless ability to communicate with clients of all backgrounds.’

Nicola Mitchard has long experience of criminal law and offers calm and sensible advice in a way which is helpful to clients, even when its substance may not be welcome.’

Annie Lawrence has a Stakhanovite work ethic and is particularly experienced in fraud and valuable in detail-heavy cases.

Annie Lawrence is an absolute star in the making.’

Work highlights

  • Acting for a client facing 19 counts of historical child sexual abuse.
  • Acting for an individual in relation to a major fraud investigation by HMRC concerning a recycling/plant hire business.
  • Acting for a care home subject to a multi-agency investigation following the death of two residents and serious injury of another.

Crime, fraud and licensing > Crime: general Tier 1

Blackfords LLP‘s crime practice is known for its affinity in high-profile criminal cases, particularly on cases involving professional clients such as company directors, police officers, and army officers. Gary Bloxsome, described by clients as ‘one of the best in the industry‘, brings expertise in serious criminal matters and allegations of war crimes and jointly leads the practice alongside Trevor Francis, who is particularly adept at advising on financial crime and high-profile murder cases. Other notable names within the team include Gary Rubin, who specialises in regulatory law, and Daniel Cundy, who is experienced in dealing with proceeds of crime and money laundering issues. Senior associate Jennifer Richardson and of counsel Rachel Wilson are also key contacts within the team.

Practice head(s):

Gary Bloxsome; Trevor Francis


‘Led by Trevor, the team of partners are hugely experienced and knowledgeable. They have a feel for everything that is going on in the firm and an understanding of everyone who crosses the threshold. A big firm with a small firm’s acting attitude towards clients.’

‘Gary Bloxsome is a giant in the areas of crime and fraud. His strategic thinking and considered approach is highly impressive. Gary has a direct style with clients and other lawyers. His vision for how a case will unfold is always clearly expressed and his strategic insight is often invaluable. Rachel Wilson and Jennifer Richardson are highly effective lawyers. I have worked with both of them in fraud and general crime cases. They are professional, bright, and very effective at what they do.’

‘A really professional team, who I have been instructed by on a few occasions, but I have also referred work to.’

‘Gary Bloxsome and his team are passionate about defending their clients in the right way.’

‘Blackfords is a stand-out firm for the dedication the team gives to each individual client.’

‘Gary Bloxsome knows the business like few others. His tactical judgement is spot-on. He is tough but kind, smart but not superior, knowledgeable without a hint of pomposity. Jennifer Richardson is the young Superwoman who works tirelessly. You would want her on your team.’

‘The Blackfords team are one of the best in the industry, always provide a great product.’

‘Gary Bloxsome is widely regarded as one of the best in the industry; Jennifer Richardson is also very good.’

Work highlights

  • Acted in a fatal stabbing case, in which the Crown accepted a plea to manslaughter on the basis of diminished responsibility and the defendant was sentenced to a s.41 Hospital Order.
  • Represented a 21-year-old client charged with three counts of rape, and charged jointly with another defendant.
  • Acted in the defence of a nurse in relation to allegations of wilful neglect and mistreatment of residents at a hospital for adults with severe learning difficulties.

Crime, fraud and licensing > General crime and fraud Tier 1

Blackfords LLP‘s criminal defence and financial crime department fields one of the leading criminal teams in the UK, and covers the whole spectrum of criminal work. With a growing specialism in defending professional clients and company directors who are subject to criminal prosecutions, the department’s workload includes handling gangland killings, complex financial crime cases, and HMRC prosecutions. With a track record in handling high-profile national and international fraud cases, Gary Bloxsomeknows the market inside out’ and co-heads the firm’s financial crime team. Trevor Francis is the firm's managing partner and specialises in serious crime work, including complex fraud and money laundering cases. Diana Payne heads up the general crime team and is a renowned Youth Court expert, while Daniel Cundy focuses on white-collar mandates and Hannah Giles leads the criminal defence team in the Woking office. Lucinda Shand is also active in the practice.

Practice head(s):

Gary Bloxsome; Trevor Francis


‘They offer an excellent service to their clients. Careful instructions are taken, and no stone is left unturned in the defence of the people they represent.’

‘Hannah Giles is very impressive. She runs the office with enthusiasm and compassion. She is an excellent lawyer and a fine decision maker.’

‘Blackfords have decades of experience at the top and employ excellent staff.’

‘Trevor Francis is tough as nails, but also a compassionate and supportive solicitor. Gary Bloxsome knows the market inside out, a rainmaker extraordinaire with an intensely loyal following. Danny Cundy, first rate and tough defence brief.’

‘Every single case dealt with by Blackfords is thoroughly and rigorously prepared by lawyers who know exactly what they are doing and care about their work. From the smallest to the biggest case, they work hard, every time, to secure the best possible result. They are strategically razor-sharp and able to navigate the greatest complexity with ease and style.’

‘Hannah Giles is an extraordinary lawyer with an inhuman capacity for hard work and an ability to secure the most favourable results. Her cases are run with iron fists in velvet gloves.’

‘Blackfords is a go-to firm for serious high-profile criminal cases. Impressive experience and judgement across the team. Their client care is first class.’

‘Diana Payne is one of the states people of the industry. She stands head and shoulders above many of the more well-known individuals for her quiet, confident advice, strategic thinking and brilliant case management.’

Crime, fraud and licensing > Fraud: white-collar crime (advice to individuals) Tier 2

Displaying ‘massive strength in depth’, the Blackfords LLP financial crime team is praised for its advice in high-profile SFO prosecutions and complex tax fraud cases. The ‘strong niche’ practice has a track record representing company directors, business people, and HNW individuals in multi-jurisdictional financial crime cases ranging from investment fraud to bribery and corruption. Gary Bloxsome and Daniel Cundy co-head the practice, with the former described as a ‘charismatic rainmaker’ specialising in all aspects of serious fraud and money laundering matters, whilst the ‘adept’ Cundy has vast experience handling SFO, NCA, and FCA investigations. Managing partner Trevor Francis focuses on serious crime and complex fraud proceedings, while solicitor-advocates Diana Payne and Jennifer Richardson focus on major fraud offences including Ponzi schemes. In-house counsel Rachel Wilson is a specialist in money laundering cases, while solicitor Naureen Shariff concentrates on restraint orders.

Practice head(s):

Gary Bloxsome; Daniel Cundy


‘Trevor Francis and Gary Bloxsome have a wealth of experience in all categories of fraud. Trevor is a powerhouse in fraud cases, and a strong shoulder to lean on for any individual caught up in this sort of wearing investigation. Gary has seen it all before but retains his enthusiasm and empathy for the client.’

‘Gary Bloxsome – stand out partner. Complete mastery over the sector and superb with clients. Jen Richardson – superb senior solicitor. Work ethic like few others. Plain speaking and great judgement. Rachel Wilson – fine up and coming in house advocate. Able to progress cases beyond her call. Simon O’Meara – top notch solicitor with wisdom and tactical nous.’

‘Daniel Cundy acts for high net worth individuals and advises corporations. He is the stand-out partner in this firm. Daniel is a brilliant lawyer with a razor-sharp mind and without a doubt a go-to lawyer when it comes to complex fraud and regulatory cases.’

‘Naureen Shariff is an exceptional lawyer who works tirelessly to get the best results for her clients.’

‘Danny Cundy is hugely impressive: he’s a pleasure to deal with and very adept at helping his clients navigate sensitive and complicated issues.’

‘Utterly dedicated. Hard working. Great lawyers but with real world nouse. if I was in trouble I would go to them for representation. Not a faceless corporate but a group of specialist individuals who know what to do in almost every situation.’

‘Jennifer Richardson: understated, dedicated, determined, effective, brilliant. Gary Bloxsome: charismatic rainmaker with great tactical oversight of all his cases. Trevor Francis: hugely experienced and knowledgeable member of firm who you would be lucky to have in any business crime case. Danny Cundy: legal ability second to none. Rachel Wilson: excellent junior as an advocate and non-advocate. Hugely talented, astute and great with clients.’

Work highlights

  • Representing a key individual from a major mining company which is the subject of an ongoing investigation by the SFO in relation to suspicions of corruption of foreign Government officials and of breaches of EU and US sanctions.
  • Representing a senior trader who is facing an FCA investigation in relation to Danish Cum-Ex trading and who is also a named suspect in the German Cum-Ex criminal investigation.
  • Acted for an individual in relation to the police prosecution of alleged multimillion-pound money laundering offences involving international gold bullion firm Stunt & Co.

Private client > Family: Kent, Surrey, Sussex Tier 2

Handling the ‘full range of family law work’, the ‘strong’ and ‘hardworking’ Woking-based team of solicitors at Blackfords LLP ‘delivers an excellent service’ for matters involving divorce and separation, civil partnership, financial agreements, domestic violence and adoption matters. With expertise in private and public law children cases and handling precedent setting cases, the practice is led by ‘excellent practitioner’ Nicola Chamberlain, who was described as ‘unfailing in getting the job done’; she has a broad practice covering family and matrimonial cases involving financial remedy elements, allegations of child abuse and parental alienation issues. Also of note are public law children work specialists Helen Worden, who demonstrates ‘dedication, tenacity’ and ‘thorough case preparation’, and the ‘simply excellent’ Kim Wintle, who regularly undertakes her own advocacy.

Practice head(s):

Nicola Chamberlain

Other key lawyers:

Helen Worden; Kim Wintle; Linda Lusingu; Terri-anne Taylor; Alexandra Pruvost


‘I dealt with Nicola Chamberlain who was always professional but also offered a sense of humour. My initial consultation made me feel completely at ease and reassured me that I had someone on my side who would be able to keep me on the right path. Nicola had a sense of humour which helped a lot to get me through the process. Nicola always responded promptly to any queries I had and was very knowledgeable and professional when dealing with the other party. I got the outcome I wanted and needed thanks to Nicola’s work and attention to detail. I was able to rest assured that Nicola was unfailing in getting the job done.’

‘I would particularly single out Nicola Chamberlain as an excellent practitioner. She is a joy to work with and goes above and beyond the call of duty for her clients. I cannot commend her highly enough in terms of her representation of parents in what are difficult and stressful proceedings. She is determined and brings a great deal of experience and skill to her cases. The advice she gives clients is always spot on and she shows the most outstanding judgment.’

‘The team is really well organised, focused and efficient. They deliver an excellent service.’

‘Helen Worden’s dedication, tenacity, thorough case preparation and client care have been a hallmark of her leadership for years and this leadership sets the scene and culture which trainees ‘grow up’ in. Kim Wintle is simply excellent. She is energetic, dedicated, strategic and has excellent judgment. She never backs away from a fight worth fighting and never shies away from giving firm advice where it is needed to protect a client’s best interests. Terri-anne Taylor works like a Trojan, stands up for clients and prepares them during interim stages by giving firm realistic advice as to how to optimise their case strategy. Alexandra Pruvost is very much of the Blackford mould and brings her hard work and talent for strategic planning to all her cases.’

‘This is a firm which offers a ‘Rolls Royce’ service. Whether you consider the head of department, the current trainee or everyone in between, there is the same ethic of hard work, excellent legal knowledge, good judgment, realistic advice, and fierce representation. I have no hesitation in referring acquaintances to this team and this illustrates how highly I regard the strength and depth of the team.’

‘Blackfords LLP has an extremely dedicated, hard-working and client-focused family team. The team goes out of its way to support and advocate for its clients, who are often vulnerable. On the other hand, the team is able to recognise the reality of its clients’ situations and provide objective and pragmatic advice.’

‘Helen Worden is one of the best public law solicitors I have worked with. She always knows her cases inside out and demonstrates an exceptional analysis of the strengths and weaknesses in them. She is able to identify when a case requires a different approach and is prepared to give cases the time and thought that they require. Kim Wintle is an extremely busy practitioner who is, nonetheless, always on top of her cases. She is able to identify the salient points in a case and focus on realistic outcomes for her clients. She is able to turn work round very quickly and is excellent in keeping me in the loop in our cases. She is a pleasure to work for.’

Work highlights

  • Acting for a husband in divorce proceedings involving assets of over £7m and complicated by the client having had vulnerable mental health.
  • Representing a child of 7 years in age, in an application brought by a local authority for a care order in relation to concerns about the mother’s mental health and extreme behaviour on the part of the child.
  • Acting on an application by a father who is a resident in Lithuania, under Article 21 of the 1980 Hague Convention for contact with his child, who resides in the UK with the mother.

Dispute resolution > Professional discipline Tier 3

Blackfords LLP is particularly focused on health and social care-related matters. The team's track record also includes acting for solicitors accused of criminal offences, as well as representing serving police and MoD police personnel in misconduct proceedings. Another growing area is acting for football professionals facing sexual abuse allegations of a historic nature. Gary Rubin, solicitor advocate Jennifer Richardson and senior litigation executive Jo Kaucher 'all produce high-quality work'; Trevor Francis' practice also incorporates professional disciplinary hearings; and Gary Bloxsome's caseload covers disciplinary investigations featuring potential criminal issues. Cardiff-based director Philip Williams is 'a driving force in professional discipline'.

Practice head(s):

Gary Rubin


‘Gary Rubin and Jo Kaucher are extremely knowledgeable and experienced in this area. They both work very hard and are always available to discuss issues.’

‘Gary Rubin and Jo Kaucher are always available to communicate with, and both have a wealth of experience, knowledge and expertise in the field of both criminal and police misconduct. Both are a credit to Blackfords LLP, showing empathy when needed, supporting the needs of clients through difficult times.’

‘Gary Rubin, Jo Kaucher and Jennifer Richardson all produce high-quality work.’

‘Philip Williams is a driving force in professional discipline. A star player.’

They always prepare the cases well, work collaboratively with Counsel, and respond quickly to enquiries.

‘Compared to other firms, Blackfords has an impressive diversity of expertise and relations with specialist barristers, and is in an enviable position to provide clients with advice and assistance across multiple disciplines.’

‘The Blackfords team is one of the best in the industry and always provides a great product.’

‘Gary Bloxsome is widely regarded as one of the best in this area – Jennifer Richardson is also very good.’

Work highlights

  • Handling a series of instructions on behalf of clients serving in the Ministry of Defence Police and the Metropolitan Police, which involve gross misconduct allegations.
  • Acting on behalf of a paramedic, where concerns had been raised regarding his fitness to practise after he was arrested by the Wiltshire Police on suspicion of two sexual assault allegations against two female service users.
  • Acting for various dentists, nurses, and other healthcare professionals, in relation to fitness to practise and misconduct allegations.

Employment > Health and safety Tier 3

Blackfords LLP‘s health and safety offering is experienced in handling the remit of matters, from criminal, which can involve HSE investigations and prosecutions, gross negligence manslaughter and corporate manslaughter claims. The team acts for both corporate and individual clients, with rail and healthcare being particular areas of focus. Its workload often includes inquests into workplace deaths and serious injuries. Experienced across the full scope of work, ‘first-class health and safety lawyer’ Gary Rubin leads the practice, which has considerable experience handling large-scale rail accident-related cases.

Practice head(s):

Gary Rubin

Other key lawyers:


‘The partners in the team are hugely experienced and knowledgeable. They are a big firm with a small firm’s attitude.’

‘Gary Rubin is a first-class lawyer with unparalleled experience and knowledge in the industry – he is the safest pair of hands.’

‘The team has an incredible range of clients and for a firm of their size they punch way above their perceived weight. The team have been involved in nearly all of the train or tram disaster health and safety cases in the last 30 years. They are client-driven, think outside the box and make the client’s best outcome their entire focus.’

‘Gary Rubin is an incredible tactician in health and safety cases, Trevor Francis is a modern-thinking managing partner, excellent with clients. Both have the great skill of knowing the best experts in their respective fields.’

‘Gary Rubin has vast experience in cases involving fatalities in many sectors such as education and health. His experience in serious criminal litigation is invaluable when navigating the inevitable police investigations and Coroner’s Inquests which overlap fatalities. He is able to identify well in advance the type of expert evidence that is required in a case.’

‘Gary Rubin has been involved in a number of the high-profile cases over the last 15 to 20 years. He has a great tactical mind and knows this area of regulatory work like the back of his hand. Gary Bloxsome is a well-known top flight criminal lawyer who is equally at home undertaking health and safety work.’

‘Gary Rubin is a star – loved by clients, he leaves no stone unturned and is fully engaged from start to finish. Sophie Payne is particularly good too, exceptionally responsive, clear-thinking and hardworking.’

‘Gary Rubin has almost unrivalled experience in rail-related health and safety cases, acting for individuals.’

Work highlights

  • Acted for a train driver in relation to the inquest into a workplace fatality, being the death of another driver who was crushed between two trains which were in the process of being coupled in a depot.
  • Acted for numerous gas engineers employed by the utility company SGN in relation to a police/HSE investigations into a gas explosion in South London, where a young child tragically lost her life in August 2022.
  • Acting in a series of investigations into alleged health and safety offences arising from the Grenfell Tower fire.

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 and international abduction cases. 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 ultra 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, international abduction, 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
Philip Williams photo Mr Philip Williams Specialises in all forms of criminal and regulatory defence work, including financial…
Number of UK partners : 6
Number of other UK fee-earners : 45
Total staff : 65