Edwards Duthie Shamash > London, England > Firm Profile

Edwards Duthie Shamash

Public sector > Electoral Tier 1

Crime, fraud and licensing > Crime: general Tier 3

Edwards Duthie Shamash is known for acting for the Labour Party on multiple high profile investigations and prosecutions, but also works closely with the National Education Union (NEU) and covers a range of violent crimes and drug offences. The department is co-led by Rakesh Bhasin, Robert Dynowski, and Shaun Murphy. ‘Bright, hard working and tactically very astute’ Bhasin is a higher court advocate with experience in homicide cases and large scale conspiracies, Dynowski is particularly active on behalf of teachers, and Murphy has expertise in child care law. Shabaz Ahmed is particularly active on murder cases, and additionally covers firearms and drug offences and cash in transit robberies.

Practice head(s):

Shaun Murphy; Rakesh Bhasin; Robert Dynowski

Other key lawyers:

Shabaz Ahmed; Simon May


‘This is a firm with a good reputation. It is one of the few firms that is able to successfully mix crime with other disciplines.’

‘Rakesh Bhasin is a superb lawyer. Bright, hard working and tactically very astute.’

‘A strong team of lawyers, who conduct their work to a very high standard.’

‘Rakesh Bhasin is one of the best and most versatile criminal solicitors I know, whose ability with both client care and case management is first class.’

‘Edwards Duthie Shamash is a well established and very well respected firm with a specialism in criminal law. Their experience and the quality of their staff makes them a standout performer in their sector.’

‘Bob Dynowski – A brilliant lawyer with yers of experience. One of the senior statesmen of criminal law in London.’

‘The team is very committed to their clients, and is known for being committed to the individual.’

‘A firm which is very well established, which employs experienced and skilled lawyers and which routinely deals with many of the most serious crimes.’

Key clients

The National Education Union (NEU)

The Labour Party

Private client > Court of protection Tier 3

Edwards Duthie Shamash has lawyers who are ‘incredibly tenacious in ensuring that the best possible outcome can be achieved for P’. Melissa Law leads the team who along with Laura Mannering receive many plaudits for their representation of protected parties in complex health and welfare proceedings before the Court of Protection and the High Court as well as their representation of family members, paid Relevant Persons Representatives and other advocacy organisations. In addition it receives a steady flow of instructions from the Official Solicitor.

Practice head(s):

Melissa Law

Other key lawyers:

Laura Mannering; Liam Cunningham


‘The team has some of the best in the business and is likely to take a leading spot in the next five years‘.

‘Very experienced and good people here, with useful overlap across Court of Protection and related areas like community care and JR. Laura Mannering – very competent, experienced, effective’.

‘This is an experienced team of Court of Protection practitioners, with the benefit of colleague support when one member of the team is unavailable. Melissa Law is a very experienced, knowledgeable, and devoted Court of Protection solicitor’.

‘Strong CoP team with a wealth of talent, particularly at the junior end. Liam Cunningham is exceptionally dedicated and has judgement well beyond his years’.

‘In my experience the firm is person-centred and consistently works from a good thoughtful and ethical basis’.

‘Edwards Duthie Shamash is a client-centred, committed and compassionate practice. All staff are obliging, helpful and responsive. They undertake a range of complex and challenging cases, providing clear advice from a base of accurate, up-to-date understanding of the law‘.

‘The Edwards Duthie Shamash team, led by the brilliant Melissa Law, stands out for its technical excellence, breadth of experience, and its diligent commitment to fearlessly representing P (the protected party) by their litigation friend, the Official Solicitor’.

‘I cannot stress this enough – Melissa Law is an absolute pleasure to work with. She is highly intelligent, hardworking, and meticulous and insightful in her instruction. She has an excellent eye for detail, both factual and legal, whilst also being adept at maintaining the strategic overview’.

Key clients

Official Solicitor

Dorset Advocacy Group


Work highlights

  • Instructed by the Official Solicitor to represent LW in the case of LW [2020] EWCOP 50 in which the judgment handed down by Hayden J explored and provided guidance on patterns of behaviour that may amount to controlling and coercive behaviour.
  • Instructed by the Official Solicitor to represent P in the matter which was reported in the judgment of Kent County Council v P v NHS Kent and Medway Commissioning Group [2022] EWCOP 3 which considered complex issues regarding transparency, privacy and reporting in the Court of Protection.
  • Instructed by the Official Solicitor to represent SA in a section 16 matter. In this matter the local authority is seeking declarations relating to 9 different points of capacity.

Real estate > Social housing: tenant Tier 3

Edwards Duthie Shamash  ‘provides an exemplary service to all of its clients in defending possession claims, homelessness and challenges to allocation of social housing and disrepair‘. The practitioners have further ‘expertise across a range of adjacent areas, including community care, mental health and Court of Protection‘, meaning that the team is ‘well-placed to assist vulnerable clients with complex cases‘. ‘Very experienced and committedJames Harrison heads the team and is ‘able to deal with cases at all levels of court‘ with ‘no fears in bringing ground-breaking cases‘. Simon Mullings left the firm.

Practice head(s):

James Harrison


‘Excellent firm committed and caring and a valued part of the local community.’

‘Edwards Duthie Shamash’s housing team are of a very good standard. The firm has expertise across a range of adjacent areas (including community care, mental health and Court of Protection) which means that they are well-placed to assist vulnerable clients with complex cases, raising a range of issues.’

‘James Harrison is experienced, calm and a very safe pair of hands to handle difficult cases.’

‘Edwards Duthie Shamash is a leading firm in social housing law and provides an exemplary service to all of its clients in defending possession claims, homelessness and challenges to allocation of social housing and disrepair. The firm provides services from the duty scheme to high profile and difficult claims in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.’

‘James Harrison is a gifted lawyer and exceptional leader of the Housing team.’

‘EDS’ social housing team has incredible experience and expertise built up over many years operating in east and north London. This includes participating in duty schemes at several courts across the area. It has well-developed links with local advice agencies. As a result it picks up cases across the spectrum of social housing law. The firm is always focussed on achieving the best and most practical outcome for its clients.’

‘A strong social housing team with an established track record of assisting those in housing need.’

‘Providing high quality social housing law representation to tenants across the north and east London areas. Highly approachable and effective team who use technology very effectively to collaborate and deliver a seamless service.’

Edwards Duthie Shamash Solicitors are based in East London and Waterloo, with a unique mix of corporate, trade union, private client and publicly funded work.

Following the successful merger of Edwards Duthie and Steel & Shamash in June 2019 we now operate from seven offices.  With 14 Partners and just over 140 staff we are one of the largest London and Essex law firms.

Our services include: crime, commercial property, employment and dispute resolution, family, mediation, housing and social welfare, personal injury, medical negligence, wills and probate, court of protection, media law, parliamentary and electoral law, local government law and more.

Edwards Duthie Shamash Solicitors have a proven track record of success with a long list of happy clients benefiting from a successful outcome. The size of our firm and the resources available, have enabled us to build and develop a level of support for our clients that enable us to handle large volumes of work to exceptionally high quality standards. We pride ourselves on the care we take in maintaining our principles of client care and service that have enabled us to retain many clients year on year and help build our business.

Commercial property: We advise investors looking to protect the value of their assets, or who require assistance in understanding the liabilities in a commercial lease. We advise developers as to the legal difficulties of an exciting new development opportunity (and how to overcome them).  In each case expert advice and assistance is essential before committing to any property deal. We pride ourselves on developing close working relationships with our clients and getting to understand their needs.

Court of Protection: The Court of Protection can make decisions about the health and welfare, and the property and financial affairs of adults who lack mental capacity to make decisions for themselves. Our specialist team provides advice, assistance and representation to vulnerable adults who may lack capacity to make certain decisions. The team normally acts through a litigation friend, such as the Official Solicitor, an advocate or a Relevant Person’s Representative. We also represent family members, carers and other people interested in a vulnerable adult’s welfare.

Criminal: We have a specialist team of criminal lawyers that provides a complete range of legal services to those accused of crimes.  We represent individuals and businesses who are under investigation, or are being prosecuted in the courts. We do so on a private or legal aid basis. This includes representation at interview under caution, in the Magistrates and Youth court, in the Crown court. and when necessary in the Court of Appeal (and the Supreme court). We have been involved in a number of significant and high profile cases, and bring that experience to bear on every case we are instructed in.

Electoral law: This is an exceptionally specialised area of law, and we have a fine reputation in all aspects of election law (local and parliamentary and incorporating European, Scottish and Welsh elections), Parliamentary boundary inquiries, Judicial review (Public Law), Local government law, Standards Board and Adjudication Tribunals for Councillors, and Parliamentary rules relating to the conduct of Members of Parliament. Gerald Shamash has been a member of the Labour Party since 1970, and has been solicitor to the Labour Party for over 20 years. He has been closely involved with legislative reform of electoral law.

Employment: Our employment specialists advise both employers and employees providing a complete service from the drafting of contract documentation, policies and handbooks for employers, to advising employees on issues ranging from redundancy and discrimination to settlement agreements and contractual disputes

Housing and social welfare: Edwards Duthie Shamash has a team of experienced and committed solicitors specialising in all areas of social welfare law. This includes problems with housing, community care and mental health.  Our dedicated team  work to the highest standards to assist clients to get the help and support that they need. We have a long-standing commitment to assisting the local community with all social welfare problems.

Local government law: Edwards Duthie Shamash have acted for the Labour Party since 1990. The Labour Party has a service for its’ councillors providing legal advice. All members of the Association of Labour Councillors are entitled to contact the local government lawyer and will receive a response to each separate query raised.  The scheme is funded through a levy to the Association of Labour Councillors. Members may be able to receive further advice and/or representation, depending upon the case.

Media law: We have a strong reputation in all aspects of media law. This is a specialised area in which we have considerable experience, covering issues such as reputation management, misuse of information, privacy (including phone hacking) and defamation – including libel and slander.  We have been at the forefront of the allegations of phone hacking against News International and Mirror Group Newspapers, and have successfully represented a number of claimants.

Criminal Defence and Family Shaun MurphyShaun.Murphy@edslaw.co.uk02085149040
Criminal Defence Robert DynowskiBob.Dynowski@edslaw.co.uk02078033963
Criminal Defence Rakesh BhasinRakesh.Bhasin@edslaw.co.uk02078033905
Criminal Defence Shabaz AhmedShabaz.Ahmed@edslaw.co.uk02084757426
Criminal Defence Simon MaySimon.May@edslaw.co.uk02085149087
Commercial and Residential Property Hilary GreenHilary.Green@edslaw.co.uk02085149039
Parliamentary & Electoral Law and Media Law Gerald ShamashGerald.Shamash@edslaw.co.uk02078033901
Dispute Resolution and Personal Injury Bradley WrightBradley.Wright@edslaw.co.uk02085149035
Dispute Resolution and Personal Injury Kavita RanaKavita.Rana@edslaw.co.uk02085149017
Employment Colin DavidsonColin.Davidson@edslaw.co.uk02078033914
Housing and Social Welfare James HarrisonJames.Harrison@edslaw.co.uk02084757453
Wills and Probate Anna OrpwoodAnna.Orpwood@edslaw.co.uk02084757431
Family Rajinder GarveyRajinder.Garvey@edslaw.co.uk02085149064
Family Gavin BlackmanGavin.Blackman@edslaw.co.uk02085149062
Family Anna PontingAnna.Ponting@edslaw.co.uk02078033918
Local Government Law Frances RandleFrances.Randle@edslaw.co.uk02078033919
Court of Protection Melissa LawMelissa.Law@edslaw.co.uk02078033967
Shabaz Ahmed photoMr Shabaz AhmedPartner
Olukemi Ajayi photoMiss Olukemi AjayiSolicitor
Alistair Banks photoMr Alistair BanksConsultant Solicitor
Rakesh Bhasin photoMr Rakesh BhasinPartner
Gavin Blackman photoMr Gavin BlackmanPartner
Michael Bonehill photoMr Michael BonehillConsultant Solicitor
James Bowker photoMr James BowkerSolicitor
Liam Cunningham photoMr Liam CunninghamSolicitor
Natalie Darko photoMs Natalie DarkoSolicitor
Colin Davidson photoMr Colin DavidsonSolicitor
Robert Dynowski photoMr Robert DynowskiPartner
Asya Erol photoMs Asya ErolSolicitor
David Forbes photoMr David ForbesConsultant solicitor
Amelia Freeman photoMs Amelia FreemanSolicitor
Rajinder Garvey photoMrs Rajinder GarveyPartner
Albert George photoMr Albert GeorgeConsultant solicitor
Hilary Green photoMrs Hilary GreenPartner
James Harrison photoMr James HarrisonPartner
Bernie Huber photoMr Bernie HuberPartner
Nahar Islam photoMs Nahar IslamSolicitor
Shweta Jethwa photoMs Shweta JethwaSolicitor
Marina Kanaris photoMs Marina KanarisSolicitor
Fathema Khanom photoMs Fathema KhanomSolicitor
Axel Landin photoMr Axel LandinSolicitor
Sarah Lerner photoMs Sarah LernerConsultant solicitor
Simon May photoMr Simon MayPartner
David McLaughlin photoMr David McLaughlinLegal Executive
Aysha Mirza photoMs Aysha MirzaSolicitor
Arthur Mullinger photoMr Arthur MullingerConsultant solicitor
Myriam Musumari photoMs Myriam MusumariSolicitor
Farah Naz photoMs Farah NazSolicitor
Charles Newman photoMr Charles NewmanConsultant solicitor
Anna Orpwood photoMrs Anna OrpwoodPartner
Anna Ponting photoMs Anna PontingPartner
Kavita Rana photoMiss Kavita RanaPartner
Frances Randle photoMs Frances RandleSolicitor
Bruce Reid photoMr Bruce ReidConsultant solicitor
Daniel Salter photoMr Daniel SalterSolicitor Advocate
Daveena Seepaul photoMs Daveena SeepaulSolicitor
Gerald Shamash photoMr Gerald ShamashPartner
Marcia Shields photoMrs Marcia ShieldsSolicitor
Nirma Suriyabandara photoMs Nirma SuriyabandaraSolicitor
Rojin Tasman photoMs Rojin TasmanSolicitor
Marta Udoh photoMs Marta UdohSolicitor
Niresha Umaichelvam photoMs Niresha UmaichelvamSolicitor
Claudia Vernege photoMs Claudia VernegeSolicitor
Suzanne Watson photoMiss Suzanne WatsonSolicitor
Bradley Wright photoMr Bradley WrightPartner
Naheed Yousaf photoMiss Naheed YousafSolicitor
Layla Zamanpour photoMs Layla ZamanpourSolicitor

Diversity in our people and our services through recruitment

Recruitment – We are committed both to the people who work for Edwards Duthie Shamash and those who potentially may do so. Diversity and inclusion are our goals. We wish to attract and retain talented people, and to benefit from employing a diverse workforce. In return we will offer a supportive working environment which allows our staff to flourish.

As part of our commitment to equality & diversity, we gather diversity data in respect of our workforce.

We recognise and accept ways in which we all differ both in terms of visible differences such as age, gender, ethnicity and physical appearance as well as other differences such as religion, nationality sexual orientation and education. Our commitment is to create and sustain a workplace in which such diversity is valued rather than allowed to become an obstacle to success. Our objective is to create teams of people from diverse backgrounds, with complementary talents who will feel motivated and develop better and more creative solutions for our clients.

We welcome applications for employment from individuals irrespective of their background and diversity.