Firm Profile > Howard & Byrne > York, England

Howard & Byrne
YO10 3EB

Crime: general Tier 1

Howard & Byrne handles a wide variety of criminal cases, including highly contentious cross-jurisdictional matters covering extradition and international investigations. Other work handled by the team covers manslaughter and non-accidental death, sexual harassment and assault and drug trafficking, with roles on a string of high-profile cases serving as a reflection of the practice's strong position in the market. Colin Byrne and Kevin Blount head up the team, both holding significant experience across a range of areas, including miscarriage of justice and cases involving undercover police. Jacky East is a specialist in prison law, while Lee-Anne Robins-Hicks is recommended for her work on forensics.

Practice head(s):


Howard & Byrne manage to combine a highly successful fraud practice with a mainly legally aided general practice . They do this by providing the same first class level of service with legal aided cases as they do with private work.

Kevin Blount is a first class lawyer who is hugely committed to his cases and his clients. Very detailed preparation and leaves no stone unturned.

Key clients

Vice President of De Puy

R v Platt

R v Stapleton and Ogbonson

R v Fowkes

R v Nagadhana

R v Mcarthur & Wilson

R v Coakley

R v Mellor

R v Heywood

R v McDonagh

Crime: fraud Tier 3

Based out of York, the team at Howard & Byrne represents clients nationally and internationally in a range of complex financial crime cases, with proceedings ranging from bribery to money laundering and misappropriation of funds. The 'truly exceptional' Colin Byrne is a well-respected practitioner nationally with an excellent record in cases, working on several cross-jurisdictional matters. Byrne's co-practice head Kevin Blount is praised for his 'calm and assured manner' in criminal defence of wealthy individuals and experience in private prosecutions.

Practice head(s):


I have worked with and referred clients to Howard & Byrne for a number of years. As a firm they are quick to respond and have a breadth and depth of expertise which ensures that client needs are always met to a high standard of professionalism. They have the ability to handle exceptionally complex and demanding cases whilst maintaining a humane and non-judgemental approach. 

Colin Byrne is a truly exceptional criminal lawyer. He thinks creatively and strategically and instils a sense of confidence and safety in clients and referrers alike. He is a pleasure to work with and I have no hesitation in recommending him above others. Kevin Blount is a highly capable lawyer with a calm and assured manner which puts clients at ease.

Howard & Byrne have a fantastic profile for fraud work. They do huge, national and international cases. They have been involved in some major cases that City firms would love to be involved in.’

Colin Byrne is the charismatic senior partner. He often wins work by the sheer force of his personality.

The partners not only bring cases into the firm due to their reputation and ability but they then go on to roll their shirt sleeves up and get stuck in. they will involve themselves in the minutiae of every case in which they are involved.

Colin Byrne is a master tactician when it comes to trial strategy.

H&B have developed a strong national practice from their base in York. In that regard, they are unusual. This is down to Colin Byrne, who is an exceptional and highly committed lawyer. 

Colin Byrne is the major name at the firm. He has driven them forward, and continues to do so. He is committed and highly resourceful. If a close friend of mine had a major problem, I would recommend him without hesitation.

Key clients

Vice president of De Puy

R v Fowkes

R v Platt

R v Foster

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.

Department Name Email Telephone
Senior partner Colin Byrne
Managing partner Kevin Blount
General crime Kevin Blount
Fraud Colin Byrne
Crime: corporate/regulatory Colin Byrne
Photo Name Position Profile
Mr Kevin Blount photo Mr Kevin Blount Partner 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