Burton Copeland Ltd > Manchester, England > Firm Profile

Burton Copeland Ltd
M40 5AG

Crime, fraud and licensing > Crime: general crime and fraud Tier 3

Burton Copeland Ltd‘s criminal and regulatory offering encompasses the entire spectrum of work, from serious sexual and violent allegations, organised crime, fraud and money laundering mandates, to regulator work and road traffic matters. The Manchester-based team is jointly headed by road traffic cases expert Gwyn Lewis, Daniel Weed, who specialises in representing police officers, and Louise Straw, who clients praise as ‘simply outstanding’. Instructions are frequently received from police federations, claims management companies who act on behalf of insurance companies,2 and members of the National Fostering Association.

Practice head(s):

Louise Straw; Gwyn Lewis; Daniel Weed

Other key lawyers:

Mike Mackey; Jonathan Wall


‘Burton Copeland has, for a large number of years, been one of the best, if not the best, solicitors’ firms in Manchester and the North-West. They consistently employ personable individuals with real talent.’

‘Burton Copeland is made up of a team of individuals that all excel in their own niche areas of law. From the most serious offences in the criminal calendar to road traffic offences, there is an expert in every field. All members of the team are incredibly hard working, from senior partner level to trainee solicitor, and nothing is too much trouble. Excellent team.’

‘Louise Straw is an expert in cases involving serious and prolonged sexual abuse. She also deals with foster carers who have been charged with offences, an area which is growing in work. She deals with a number of cases and puts 100% effort into each case individually.’

‘Mike Mackey and Jonathan Wall are first rate. Their attention to detail and the ability to distil complex material in a digestible form is highly impressive.’

‘Daniel Weed is excellent – he is able to get to the heart of the matter and his advice is first rate. Respected by police officers across the North.’

‘Leading criminal practitioners outside London. Thoroughly modern and extremely skilled in the use of technology, creating and using bespoke databases to analyse and manage complex and page-heavy cases. All this while managing to maintain a personal touch.’

‘Burton Copeland has always been a premier league firm. They have experienced and quality staff at the level of caseworker, assistant solicitor, and partner. Clients know that they receive a thoroughly professional service.’

‘The team have real depth in serious criminal matters, but also police discipline matters, and they can use this to their strength when the fields overlap. They are also very discrete, dealing with high-profile clients in an understated manner.’

Key clients

Legal Insurance Management Ltd

Arc Insurance

All Med Professionals

Fostering Association

ARAG Insurance

Police Federation

The Nursing & Midwife Council

Work highlights

The firm: Operating from the offices in Manchester and Preston, an extensive team of committed lawyers offers unparalleled breadth and depth of expertise operating a 24-hour, 365 days a year response. 2020 saw the firm win ‘Small Firm of the Year’ at the Manchester Law Society Legal Awards and are past winners of ‘Crime Team of the Year’ and ‘Regulatory Team of the Year’. The firm has also been mentioned in ‘The Times Best Law Firms’ every year since its inception (in association with Statista).

Two members of the current team are past presidents of Manchester Law Society and both Louise Straw and Gwyn Lewis are council members and chair the Legal Education Committee and the Crown and Magistrates Committee respectively for the Society. The firm is one of the largest legal aid crime providers, holds a very high cost cases accreditation and has a large private client department.

Types of work undertaken
General and serious crime: The firm offers advice on all aspects of criminal and related investigations and proceedings, representing clients in every level of tribunal, acting in many of the major trials involving the most serious of offences. The firm stands out for its expertise and has developed a pre-eminent specialism in the defence of historic sexual offences.

Business crime and fraud: The firm undertakes cases involving corporate fraud, VAT irregularities, HMRC investigations, money laundering, confiscation and asset recovery, BIS (DTI) investigations, copyright/trademark investigations, money laundering, bribery and corruption and mortgage fraud.  The firm provides representation for allegations of breaches of trading standards regulations and was successful in this area in defending a kitchen entrepreneur in the largest ever prosecution of its kind in the UK.

Regulatory law: The firm is involved in the defence of all investigations, including inquests, and prosecutions for breaches of health and safety regulations and breaches brought by other regulators such as the Environment Agency, the Financial Conduct Authority, the Security Industry authority and Gangmasters Licensing Authority. The firm has been involved in the longest running inquest in UK history which attracted worldwide publicity and has significant expertise in the area of public inquiries.

Medical and nursing care: The growth in recent years of criminal allegations against medical and nursing staff, especially in relation to the regulation of care homes by the Care Quality Commission, has resulted in the firm regularly being instructed by both representative bodies and individuals to advise and support through criminal investigations and proceedings.

Professional discipline: A specialist team provides a national service in representing members of professional and public service bodies including the representation of doctors, pharmacists, teachers, dentists and nurses in relation to regulatory and misconduct issues and criminal investigations and proceedings, backed up by the considerable focus and expertise of the main practice.

Road traffic:  Clients who are alleged to have committed offences in this topical area of law are represented by a dedicated unit, drivingoffence.com, providing a specialist and effective service with an enviable reputation in the successful defence of the full spectrum of motoring offences including speeding, dangerous driving, driving under the influence, mobile phone use, VOSA investigations and a niche specialisation in taxi regulation.

Clients: Clients range from government departments, public service bodies, small to medium business enterprises, national corporations, healthcare professionals, leading individuals from the worlds of business, sport and entertainment to the private individual confronted by the police, Crown Prosecution Service and other prosecuting authorities.

Department Name Email Telephone
Managing Partner and Head of Crown Court Department Louise Straw louisestraw@burtoncopeland.com 0161 827 9500
Compliance Partner and Head of Magistrates Department Daniel Weed danielweed@burtoncopeland.com 0161 827 9500
Senior Partner and Head of Road Traffic Department Gwyn Lewis gwynlewis@burtoncopeland.com 0161 827 9500
Professional discipline Daniel Weed danielweed@burtoncopeland.com 0161 827 9500
Inquests and Public Enquiries Jonathan Wall jonathanwall@burtoncopeland.com 0161 827 9500
Photo Name Position Profile
Tim Andrew photo Mr Tim Andrew Consultant, 25 + years qualified, is exceptionally experienced in a wide range…
Karl Benson photo Mr Karl Benson Solicitor – Karl is a duty solictor with the firm with a…
Richard Black photo Mr Richard Black Richard joined Burton Copeland as a Consultant Solicitor in early 2023. He…
Aidan Carr photo Aidan Carr Consultant – Aidan has particular expertise in the area of healthcare regulation,…
Samantha Corcoran photo Ms Samantha Corcoran Solicitor – Samantha is based in the Magistrates Court Department where she…
Suzanne Dooley photo Ms Suzanne Dooley A Partner in the firm, Suzanne has over 20 years experience providing…
Gwyn Lewis photo Mr Gwyn Lewis The lead principal and head of Burton Copeland LLP’s specialist road traffic…
Michael Mackey photo Mr Michael Mackey In a career spanning 45 + years, Mike has specialised in criminal…
Robert Moussalli photo Mr Robert Moussalli Solicitor and Head of Youth Crime Department
Elizabeth Ann Ridgway photo Mrs Elizabeth Ann Ridgway A Partner in the firm, Elizabeth specialises in providing advice and representation…
Louise Straw photo Miss Louise Straw Louise is the current Managing Partner of the firm and also heads…
Nick Terry photo Mr Nick Terry Nick is a partner in the firm and his experience covers a…
Celia Thorpe photo Ms Celia Thorpe Celia is a highly experienced criminal solicitor who joined Burton Copeland in…
Daniel Richard Weed photo Mr Daniel Richard Weed Equity Partner and Compliance Officer for Legal Practice of the firm, Daniel…
Number of UK partners : 7
Number of other UK fee-earners : 17
English (fluent)