Howard & Byrne > York, England > Firm Profile

Howard & Byrne
YO10 3EB

Crime, fraud and licensing > Crime: general Tier 1

Howard & Byrne is a strong choice for advice on all manner of criminal defence matters, such as general crime and police station advice, civil orders, regulatory investigations and prosecutions, prison law advice and appeals. In addition to having a first-rate reputation nationally, the firm is also highly active in international criminal defence work. Colin Byrne is an expert in fraud, bribery and extradition matters, particularly in opposing an extradition request made by the Russian Federation. Kevin Blount defends high-profile and wealthy individuals in criminal proceedings and also advises on private prosecution claims.

Practice head(s):

Colin Byrne; Kevin Blount


‘Colin Byrne is hugely impressive, both in his professional abilities and his commitment to achieving the best possible outcomes for clients. His proactive, no nonsense approach provides a real sense of safety and security for clients and referrers alike. Kevin Blount is an intelligent and focused lawyer. He is able to communicate assertively but sensitively with clients and the court alike.’

‘I have particularly worked with Colin Byrne, with whom I have co-defended in a number of significant cases. He is an intellectual lawyer with a thorough and analytical approach to evidence who genuinely cares about fairness and justice irrespective of who he acts for. I would also like to mention Kevin Blount who is also an exceptional solicitor, and both partners have the same ethos and work ethic which I believe stands out in the market.’

Crime, fraud and licensing > Crime: fraud Tier 3

Howard & Byrne has a highly regarded offering in relation to fraud and white-collar crime cases, as is reflected by its involvement in high-profile and multijurisdictional matters, as well as its strong flow of national referrals. Colin Byrne, has a wealth of experience in cross-border investigations; his expertise includes matters concerning fraud, corruption and bribery. Kevin Blount and Lee-Anne Robins-Hicks are other key individuals at the firm.

Practice head(s):

Colin Byrne; Kevin Blount

Other key lawyers:


‘Colin Byrne is very forward thinking- always trying to attract new areas of work to the practice via his own passion for the law Kevin Blount is tactically sound and excellent on client care. He always ensures high levels of client contact to ensure clients receive the best service.’

‘The team at Howard and Byrne are top drawer. They are a great firm that can handle complex crime and fraud cases. Real specialists with huge experience.’

‘Colin Byrne and Kevin Blount are both class acts. Hugely experienced and handle very complex work.’

‘Colin Byrne is an impressive criminal lawyer. He commands authority and respect from clients, courts and opponents alike and engenders a real sense of safety in those whose interests he represents. He is a very able and fearless advocate. Kevin Blount is calm, considered and unflappable. He takes on work with a real sense of commitment and is a great communicator.’

Work highlights

  • Defending a solicitor against claims that his firm was being used as a vehicle for fraud and money laundering – alleged scheme aimed at fraudulently targeting elderly and vulnerable victims.
  • Acting for defendant who is being privately prosecuted by a former employer regarding alleged fraudulent expenses claims.

Howard & Byrne is a specialist firm offering exceptional criminal defence representation.

The firm: Founded in 2000, the firm began as a high-street criminal defence practice. Since then, it has developed to become the leading supplier of criminal defence work in the region, with a national reputation.

Howard & Byrne now has a reputation in defending fraud and regulatory matters, as well as general criminal defence, acting in a number of high-profile cases.

Howard & Byrne is an established firm, which prides itself on the quality of its representation. It is recognised for its expertise in local, regional and national heavyweight crime, together with confiscation and Bribery Act work. Its cross-border investigations (including extradition) are also recognised. Although the firm has a significant private client base, it also has a legal aid contract to enable it to carry out all kinds of work, including VHCC and prison law work. It will also do agency work for other solicitors.

Types of work undertaken
General crime: everything from motoring to murder. When someone is facing prosecution or investigation, whatever the offence is, they require specialist defence services. Therefore the firm provides defence services across a range of offences. The firm also has a strong reputation advising in appeal work. Howard & Byrne’s expertise covers all types of investigation, including: police; Serious Fraud Office; benefits agencies including Department of Work and Pensions; Health & Safety Executive; foreign investigation agencies, including FBI and Securities and Exchange Commission; Environment Agency; Trading Standards; RSPCA; local authorities; and HM Revenue and Customs. It also regularly deals with the CPS specialist units and investigations by the SFO or SOPA. Its lawyers understand that being arrested is a daunting experience, and are on hand to ensure that clients know what is happening and what their options are. They can help clients feel better equipped to explain their side of things or advise them on when to use other options. With its specialist team, Howard & Byrne can examine the case against its client, give straightforward, easy to understand advice, and prepare the case for court. It has an excellent team of in-house advocates as well as access to specialist barristers to make sure clients get the best representation possible.

Fraud, confiscation, regulatory and Bribery Act: Howard & Byrne acts for individuals and companies, and has the expertise and capacity to act in a wide range of cases. Fraud, corruption and bribery allegations need a specialist team, with the ability to advance a proactive defence. The firm has experience in both national and international fraud, corruption and bribery, and is recognised by The Legal 500 for its work. It is also a member of the Exchange Chambers’ Fraud Forum. Howard & Byrne can also assist individuals and corporations, in the UK and abroad, that are being investigated under the Bribery Act or similar multi-jurisdictional legislation including FCPA. Its specialist team can provide clients with a bespoke Bribery Act compliance package. This is essential for companies to protect them from liability. The firm has experience of dealing with all prosecuting authorities and investigative agencies both in the UK and abroad. This includes, for example, the SFO, DOJ, SEC and FBI.

Senior partner Colin Byrne
Managing partner Kevin Blount
General crime Kevin Blount
Fraud Colin Byrne
Crime: corporate/regulatory Colin Byrne
Kevin Blount photo Kevin BlountPartner with wide experience in criminal defence, specialist dealing in confiscation matters.…
Colin Byrne  photo Colin Byrne Partner, criminal defence specialist, higher rights advocate. Specialises in fraud, bribery and…
Jacky East  photo Jacky East Partner and head of prison law department; representation of numerous life-sentence prisoners…
Lee-Anne Robins-Hicks  photo Lee-Anne Robins-Hicks Partner, criminal defence specialist, including fraud, confiscation and animal welfare. Higher rights…
Number of UK partners : 4
Number of other UK fee-earners : 8