Howard & Byrne > York, England > Firm Profile

Howard & Byrne
YO10 3EB

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

At Howard & Byrne, Colin Byrne is one of the market’s foremost experts for bribery and corruption affairs, having amassed a prominent track record in cross-border proceedings throughout the US, Europe, Africa and the Middle East; he co-leads the team with Kevin Blount, a lawyer whose distinct fields of expertise include murder, multi-defendant proceedings and confiscation matters in addition to Church of England-related safeguarding and disciplinary investigations.

Practice head(s):

Colin Byrne; Kevin Blount

Other key lawyers:

Lee-Anne Robins-Hicks


‘Howard & Byrne are a regional firm with international reach. Without losing the look and feel of a committed local criminal solicitors firm, Howard & Byrne excel nationally and internationally. They remain my firm of choice if ever asked to recommend criminal solicitors.’

‘Howard and Byrne is without doubt the strongest criminal law practice in York and beyond. They have a very strong team, all of whom are highly competent and responsive.’

‘This practice is without doubt the industry leader in criminal defence and fraud. It has depth in its team, lead by Colin Byrne, himself one of the UK’s foremost criminal defence practitioners. The firm has the ability to deal with significant international matters and national matters while still remaining highly focused on local work, often recognised for this.’

‘Colin Byrne is committed to his clients, and his team. Colin works hard for those his firm represent.’

‘Kevin Blount is a lawyer’s lawyer. Kevin is confident and able. Kevin has has the respect of his team.’

‘Colin Byrne is charismatic and highly persuasive – both excellent qualities in a criminal advocate.  Colin has a creative approach which enables him to challenge even the most fixed mindset.  He is very clear and realistic in his advice to clients at the same time as providing reassurance and a sense of safety – a very difficult balance to strike.

‘Kevin Blount is an intelligent lawyer with a calm and reassuring manner.  He is approachable and humane.’

‘Colin Byrne has exceptional ability, attention to detail, leadership and vast legal knowledge.’

Work highlights

    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 ByrnePartner, criminal defence specialist, higher rights advocate. Specialises in fraud, bribery and…
    Jacky East photo Jacky EastPartner and head of prison law department; representation of numerous life-sentence prisoners…
    Lee-Anne Robins-Hicks photo Lee-Anne Robins-HicksPartner, criminal defence specialist, including fraud, confiscation and animal welfare. Higher rights…
    Number of UK partners : 4
    Number of other UK fee-earners : 8