Attorney General Launched Review of Serious Fraud Office

Why Has the Attorney General Launched an Urgent Review of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO)?

In December 2021, the attorney general for England and Wales, Suella Braverman, launched an independent review following the conclusion by three Court of Appeal judges that the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) failed to disclose key information, which led to a businessman being jailed for bribery. The review will be carried out by David Calvert-Smith, a […]

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Interview with Court of Protection Team

Our Court of Protection Team – Meet Sarah Griffiths-Jones

On 4th April 2022, Reeds Solicitors opened the Bristol office of its Court of Protection (COP) department following the success of its team in Cardiff. The COP team, which is a Public Law Sector finalist at this year’s Wales Legal Awards is led by Sarah Griffiths-Jones, one of WalesOnline’s 30 Young Lawyers to Watch in […]

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Investigated by the FCA

What to Expect If You Are Investigated by the Financial Conduct Authority

As of January 2022, we are well underway with the high-profile investigation into the Woodford Equity Income Fund (WEIF), who are being Investigated by the Financial Contact Authority (FCA), following the suspension of the fund in June 2019. In a letter from Nikhil Rathi, FCA Chief Executive, to Mel Stride, House of Commons Treasury Committee […]

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PCR Covid Test Fraud

PCR Covid Test Fraud On The Rise

Society prepares the crime, the criminal commits it. (Anonymous) Now a new type of fraud is making the headlines – the rise of PCR Covid Test fraud. The Coronavirus pandemic has provided the perfect environment for criminal activity, for those so inclined to commit it. The speed at which governments around the world were forced […]

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Do I Need A Court of Protection Solicitor?

Do I Need a Court of Protection Solicitor?

Applications are made to the Court of Protection for lots of different reasons.  If you are an advocate, a family member or a carer and you have received court documentation from a Local Authority or a Health Board/NHS Trust and are not sure what to do next, we can help you. We are frequently asked ‘do […]

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How Social Media Influencers can Protect Themselves from Legal Action

How Social Media Influencers Can Protect Themselves from Legal Action

The use of social media ‘influencers’ is becoming an ever more commonplace and powerful marketing method used by businesses around the world. With this power, however, comes greater legal responsibility. The challenge for influencers and the businesses that rely on them is that there is a very real risk of inadvertently breaching a range of […]

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Deprivation of Liberty FAQ

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards FAQ: What you need to know

The Court of Protection can have its own language and something that we are often asked about is the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (which are sometimes known as DoLS). Below we have created a factsheet of the questions we are most frequently asked. What are the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS)? The Deprivation of Liberty […]

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Deputyship FAQ

Deputyship FAQ: What You Need to Know

When someone lacks capacity to make certain decisions, it is important that they have family, friends and/or professionals looking out for them and making sure that decisions are made in their best interests. In some cases, it may be appropriate to appoint a deputy to act on someone’s behalf. This can be a complex process […]

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Interview with Court of Protection Team

Our Court Of Protection Team – Meet Molly and Sadé

Reeds Solicitors, a Public Law Team of the Year finalist at this year’s Wales Legal Awards, opened another branch for Court of Protection in Bristol on 4th April 2022. Our incredibly close-knit team of COP solicitors is led by Sarah Griffiths-Jones who was one of WalesOnline ‘30 Young Lawyers to Watch’ in 2018. Sarah is also […]

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Reeds Solicitors LLP - Press Release

Press Release: Reeds Solicitors’ Service for Court of Protection in Bristol

Reeds Solicitors Launches Service for Court of Protection in Bristol Leading national law firm Reeds Solicitors LLP (Reeds) has launched a Court of Protection service from its Bristol office. The Court of Protection team will be led by the firm’s head of Court of Protection and partner Sarah Griffiths-Jones who is currently based in Cardiff.  […]

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Court of Protection in Bristol

Court of Protection in Bristol

As many practitioners will know, the Vice President of the Court of Protection, Mr Justice Hayden, published guidance last month on judicial visits to ‘P’*. Judges have long been willing to consider direct visits to P during the course of court proceedings but, as Mr Justice Hayden points out, the advent of remote hearings and […]

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Court of Protection FAQ

Court of Protection FAQ: What You Should Know

Our Court of Protection team are often contacted by advocates, family and/or carers. They may have received court documents from a Local Authority or Health Board/NHS trust and are not sure what they need to do. They might also worry about a friend or family member and are looking for some advice. Since its inception […]

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What Happens During a Coroners Inquest

What Happens During A Coroner’s Inquest?

For the family and friends of a deceased person, waiting for an inquest to be carried out and the results released can be an extremely difficult and distressing time. Each year, tens of thousands of inquests are carried out across the UK by Coroners. In 2020, 31,991 inquests were opened, with 239 inquests involving juries. […]

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Fraudulent Advertisement and Legal Obligations

Fraudulent Schemes & Advertisement: The Legal obligations of Social Media & Advertisement Hosting Companies

Are Social Media Companies Accountable For the Advertisements They Host? On 8th February 2022, Channel 4 News covered the story of Australian Billionaire Andrew Forrest, who is taking Facebook to court in his home country, alleging breaches of anti-money laundering laws. Mr Forrest alleges that Facebook behaved criminally by refusing to remove cryptocurrency scam adverts […]

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A Bad Bounce - Bounce Back Loan Fraud

A Bad Bounce: Lessons Learnt from Bounce Back Loan Fraud

This article was published in inCompliance magazine, the member publication of the International Compliance Association, on 24th January 2021. To download the .pdf as it appeared in the magazine to read, print or share please click here. As the economy seeks to recover from the pandemic, the UK has been thrust into ‘Plan B’. Attention […]

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Director Allegations from Previous Role - Are You Protected?

Can a Director Be Protected From Allegations of Wrong-Doing in a Previous Role?

As a director, there is often considerable pressure to make decisions in the best interests of the company, its shareholders, and its employees. At the same time, directors have to comply with a strict set of duties under the Companies Act 2006 (CA 2006). This can lead to the potential for allegations against directors of […]

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Cryptocurrency Investment Fraud

Accused of Cryptocurrency Investment Fraud?

What Should I Do If I Am Accused of Cryptocurrency Investment Fraud? As 2021 draws to an end and we look forward to 2022, we can expect the recent rise in cryptocurrency investment frauds and scams to continue unabated. William E. Quigley,  high-profile investor and co-founder of the WAX blockchain in the US believes that […]

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Director and Officer (D&O) Liability Insurance Explained

Directors & Officers (D&O) Liability Insurance Explained

It is fair to say that pressure on company directors and officers has increased considerably in recent years. Greater scrutiny in the wake of corporate scandals, including Carillion, Patisserie Valerie, and BHS, has led to tighter company regulations around the world and a demand for improved corporate governance by investors and shareholders; all of which […]

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Complex Crime: Reeds Solicitors Appoints New Partner

We are pleased to announce that Mark Abbott has been made a Partner of Reeds Solicitors LLP, with effect from 1st January 2022.   Partner Mark Abbott joined Reeds in 2016 as a solicitor and Crown Court litigator from Blaser and Mills LLP where he had been a partner and head of the crime practice. […]

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Sexual Assault - Military Personnel - Court Martial

Military Personnel Accused of Sexual Assault? What to do next.

At some point in your career, you may find yourself with an investigation looming. Maybe you’ve been told that you are going to be interviewed by the service police? Or you have been interviewed and now you’re awaiting a decision? Or perhaps you have been charged and now awaiting a court martial date? Whilst all […]

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Serious Fraud Solicitors

Criminal Specialist Reeds Solicitors Appoint The ‘Great Train Robber’s Solicitor

Nominee for Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Joins Criminal specialist Reeds Solicitors as a Consultant Solicitor   Criminal specialist Reeds Solicitors have boosted their senior criminal team with the appointment of internationally renowned defence lawyer, Kristen Bender. When speaking about her new post, Ms Bender said she was delighted to have two reasons to […]

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Reeds Solicitors - Leicester Crime Team

Reeds Solicitors Expands Criminal Law Team into Midlands

Reeds Solicitors are pleased to announce the acquisition of the criminal law team of Bray & Bray in Leicester.  This marks the first foray of the firm into the Midlands, and will allow the experienced and dedicated team in Leicester lead by Mike Garvey to continue providing criminal law services to its extensive own client […]

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Legalities of Compulsory Vaccination

The Legalities Of Compulsory Vaccination

Whether or not the State has the right to demand you take the Coronavirus vaccination, or any other vaccination compulsory for that matter, is one of the most contentious subjects of our times. And it is not only ‘anti-vaxxers’ who are troubled by some Governments across the world stating that citizens will be excluded from […]

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Reeds Solicitors Pupillage Applications

Pupillage Applications for 2022 Open

[APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED] Reeds Solicitors is a large multi-disciplinary firm with offices across the South and Midlands. We are a growing practice enjoying success in a difficult market. Our success is driven by our desire to provide the best quality client service possible, while developing and maintaining efficient in-house practices. Reeds’ dedicated advocacy team […]

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Reeds Solicitors - HR Excellence Awards Finalist 2021

Reeds Solicitors Nominated for an HR Excellence Award

Reeds Solicitors has been shortlisted for an HR Excellence Award following their “life-changing” flexible working scheme. To learn more about the HR Excellence Awards, the nomination and our flexible working scheme entry, we’ve interviewed two of our HR team; Faith Bartlett and Lillie Debbage. For a full transcription of the video, see below. For careers […]

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Trainee Solicitor Applications Open

Trainee Solicitor Applications Open

Reeds Solicitors are looking for Trainee Solicitors to join our busy legal practice. We will accept candidates who have participated in the Legal Practice Course (LPC) and those who are considering qualifying under the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE). Trainee solicitor applicants should be motivated to work within our core areas of practice and be able […]

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Pollution and the Law

Landmark Decision on Pollution And Human Rights

R (Matthew Richards) v Environment Agency [2021] EWHC 2501 Just weeks ahead of COP26, the High Court has decided on a landmark case, clarifying important principles of law applicable in environmental/industrial pollution cases involving both Article 2 and Article 8 rights, including that a reduction in life expectancy qualifies as a “real and immediate risk to […]

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Bounce back Loans

Bounce Back Loans: Fraudulently Obtained Loans are Springing Back to Bite

A few weeks ago we wrote about the increase in furlough fraud investigations. In tandem with investigating and prosecuting businesses that wrongly claimed funds from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, Bounce Back Loans Fraud is also receiving significant attention and often fraud is uncovered via a probe by another regulator or government body. In October […]

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Parole Review

Parole Review: A Lifeline to IPP Prisoners ‘Lost in the System’

Reeds Solicitors successfully secure a release recommendation for a prison law client. This case highlighted the importance of representation from a Prison Law specialist. Leaving errors unnoticed and unchallenged may have a detrimental effect on the outcome of a parole review.   Parole Review Case  Our client Mr K, who is an IPP sentence prisoner, […]

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Court Martial Solicitors Team Secure Double-Acquittal

Reeds Solicitors secure a double acquittal on a two-handed court martial case before the Catterick Court Martial Centre (October 2021). Zoe Heron, Chartered Legal Executive Advocate of our Leighton Buzzard Office litigated the case where two soldiers were accused of assaulting a Major and Sergeant whilst on a night out on an Austrian Skiing Trip, […]

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Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act

A Quick Guide to the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018

As one of the world’s biggest economic and military powers, the UK has a legal and some would say moral obligation to ensure its ability to implement and support UN sanctions remains strong. Without the introduction of new legislation, Brexit could have resulted in the British Government being unable to fulfil its international obligations after […]

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Unemployment Benefit Fraud

Covid-Related Unemployment Benefit Fraud – How Serious Is The Problem?

Reports suggest that criminal gangs and fraudsters have swooped in to take advantage of the pandemic turmoil, resulting in a steep rise in Covid-related unemployment benefit fraud (Universal Credit). Although war and pestilence have been the curse of humanity since time began, the Western world has remained relatively free of both since the end of […]

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HMRC Investigation

HMRC Investigations: How They Are Ramping Up

A recent snippet in a London business newspaper provided a clear indication of how much focus HMRC are directing towards investigating major furlough fraud. City AM reported that the number of penalties issued to finance directors at large businesses by HMRC has dropped from 148 to just 20 in a year. With an estimated £3.5 […]

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Legal 500 Reeds Solicitors - 2022

The Legal 500: Reeds Solicitors Recommended as a Top-Tier Firm

‘Reeds is a professionally run, large organisation but continues to provide a personalised service’ writes The Legal 500 this week as the 2022 edition results are announced. The leading criminal defence and multi-disciplinary firm Reeds Solicitors is recommended as a TOP-TIER FIRM in 2 practice areas and is recommended in a further 3 practice areas. […]

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TfL Verification Letters

TfL Verification Letters: Receiving an Information Request Letter

When an individual is stopped by a TFL ticket inspector for fare evasion, they may be lucky enough to be offered an on-the-spot fine. There are times when the inspector decides against offering a fine. Instead you will receive a ‘TFL information request letter’, which TFL call a ‘Verification Letter’. The letter warns that ‘legal […]

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Fare Dodgers

Fare Dodgers – at War with the Law

The Difference Between Penalty & Prosecution The 4-part series on Channel 5 follows TFL inspectors as they grapple with ‘fare dodgers’. Whilst some may escape with a warning and a fine, others are passed to the Prosecution Team. This can lead to a criminal conviction. Fare Evasion Solicitor Nathan Seymour-Hyde provides his views on how […]

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UK Sanctions on Belarus

UK Sanctions Against Belarus: Neil Williams speaks to Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence

The UK has imposed a “significant new package” of economic sanctions on Belarus. Covering trade, financial and aviation sectors the sanctions have been announced on the one-year anniversary of the fraudulent election of President, Alexander Lukashenko. The UK’s move has been co-ordinated with similar decisions from U.S., Canada and the EU in response to the […]

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Top Rate Business and Serious Crime Lawyer Joins Reeds Solicitors

Serious and Business Crime Solicitor Neil Williams joins Reeds Solicitors as Deputy Head of Complex Crime nationally, and Head of London Complex Crime. Neil is acknowledged as one of the leading solicitors in the fields of business and serious crime. Throughout his career he has built a wealth of experience in dealing with large scale […]

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The logo of Hope and Vision Communities Charity

Reeds Solicitors Sponsor Charity Hope & Vision

It is a pleasure to announce Reeds Solicitors sponsorship of charity Hope & Vision. The charity’s vision is to help those leaving prison to pursue a better life. It offers services and accommodation aimed at assisting rehabilitation and re-joining the community. Hope & Vision provides community living to people that have demonstrated willingness to change. […]

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Acquittal Secured for Client Facing Sexual Offences

Reeds secure have secured acquittal for client facing sexual offences. Our client faced a week-long trial on a 13 count indictment for historic sex offences including rape, assault by penetration, and sexual activity with a child. Reeds took conduct of this case in January of 2021 after our client had been charged in January of […]

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Reeds Secure Acquittal for Attempted Murder

Our client was facing an attempted murder charge then a S18 and S20 as alternatives on the indictment against his estranged wife at Luton Crown Court, where it was alleged he stabbed her in the neck. He has been acquitted of all counts and instead received a 20 month sentence for breaching his non-molestation order […]

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Reeds Successful Against the Imposition of an Interim Sexual Risk Order

The police applied for an application for a sexual risk order. Tom Brymer, Partner, Solicitor, and Area  Manager based in our Reading branch, successfully argued against the imposition of an Interim Sexual Risk Order at the first hearing before the court listed a contested hearing. On that occasion the police failed to have their case […]

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Not Guilty Verdict for Client Accused of Burglary

Reeds Solicitors secure a fantastic not guilty verdict for a client accused of burglary of a business where the client had worked. There was forensic evidence in the form of footwear impressions and fingerprints that placed the client at the point of entry. After a considerable amount of time getting the case to trial due […]

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Court of Appeal: Excellent Result for Reeds Solicitors

Helen Chenery, Barrister in our Milton Keynes Office of Solicitors, had a good result at the Court of Appeal with a sentence being cut almost in half. The sentence of 48 weeks was quashed and substituted with a sentence of 6 months imprisonment, which has already been served.  

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Driving Car

Exceptional Hardship

12 Penalty points and ‘Exceptional Hardship’ Any driver facing the imposition of 12 penalty points upon their driving licence faces a mandatory 6 months disqualification from driving– right? This statement is of course true unless you argue and persuade the Court that a 6 month driving ban will cause ‘exceptional hardship’ to you or any […]

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Two Clients Successfully Defended Facing Allegations From Same Incident

Simon Macfarlane, Solicitor-Advocate, and Jo Hooper, Solicitor, both from our Bristol branch, represented a couple last week, the first charged with assault and the second with using threatening behaviour with intent to cause fear of violence (s.4 Public Order). The defendants faced allegations from the same complainant all from the same alleged incident. The case […]

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Doggy Jail

A Dog Is For Life

A dog is for life, not just for Christmas – especially if you end up with a banned breed The Dangerous Dog legislation has been the cause of much controversy and criticism. The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 (amended in 1997 and 2014) was introduced due to many high-profile dog attacks on people. Section 1 of […]

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Successfully Defend Client Charged with Murder

Emma Ćojder, Senior Legal Executive based at our Basingstoke branch [now part of our Reading Office], instructs and assists Alistair Grainger and Paul Hynes QC of 25 Bedford Row who secure an acquittal for our client who was charged with murder. Following a hearing at Oxford Crown Court, our client, who was due to stand trial […]

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Successfully Overturn DVLA’s Decision not to Renew Driving Licence

Stuart Matthews, Solicitor-Advocate, Partner & Head of Private Crime at our Oxford branch, successfully represents our client in overturning the DVLA’s decision not to renew his driving licence due to alcohol dependence. Stuart commissioned blood tests and instructed an expert who concluded that our client was neither dependent upon nor misusing alcohol. The DVLA accepted […]

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Bristol Magistrates’ Court: Successfully Defend Two Clients

Simon Macfarlane, Solicitor-Advocate, and Jo Hooper, Solicitor, both based in our Bristol office successfully co-defended a case heard at Bristol Magistrates Court on Friday, 8 January. Our clients were both of good character charged with violence to secure entry, assault and two charges of criminal damage. Following a successful trial, both clients were found not […]

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Client Charged with Drug Offences Successfully Defended

On Wednesday, 13 January Tom Brymer, Partner, Solicitor & Area Manager based in our Reading office, represented a young man for a 2-counts of possession with intent to supply cannabis. Despite the Crown Prosecution Service arguing that this was a matter that had a starting point of 12-months in custody, Tom was able to successfully […]

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Reeds Successfully Defend Client Charged With Conspiracy to Defraud

Following a trial at St Albans Crown Court, Mark Abbott, Solicitor and Crown Court litigator based at our Milton Keynes office, successfully secures an acquittal for our client charged with conspiracy to defraud in a £1.2 million ‘crash for cash’ conspiracy spanning a 2-year period involving over 50 staged traffic collisions. Working with Mark Abbott, our client’s […]

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Central Criminal Court: Successful Application to Dismiss

Mark Abbott, Solicitor and Crown Court litigator based at our Milton Keynes office, makes a successful application to dismissal at the Central Criminal Court. Our client was one of 2 charged with attempted murder & possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life. This was an Operation Trident led investigation into the attempted execution of […]

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Client Successfully Defended Following Trial at Harrow Crown Court

Mark Abbott, Solicitor and Crown Court litigator based at our Milton Keynes office, successfully defends our client following a trial at Harrow Crown Court. Our client was one of 6 charged with conspiracy to supply significant quantities of class A controlled drugs with regional distribution through vehicles with custom made concealed compartments in vehicles. The advocate […]

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Reeds Secure Successful Appeal at Leicester Crown Court

Mark Abbott, Solicitor and Crown Court litigator based at our Milton Keynes office, successfully appeals a case heard at Leicester Crown Court. Our client was one of 23 charged with conspiracy to commit violent disorder and attempted murder following 3 separate altercations on the same date in central Leicester. Although our client was convicted at trial, […]

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Amersham Crown Court: Acquittal Secured for Client Facing a 7-count Indictment

Following a 6-day trial at Amersham Crown Court, Reeds successfully secure an acquittal for our client who was facing a 7-count indictment which included attempted arson, threats to kill, common assaults, and possession of a bladed article. Our client had 11 previous convictions for Arson and was initially remanded into custody before being secured bail. […]

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Cambridge Crown Court: Acquittal Secured Following 5-day Trial

Following a 5-day trial at Cambridge Crown Court, Reeds successfully secure an acquittal for our client who was facing a 4-count indictment of indecent assault of a child dating back to 2002, when he was just a youth himself. He was of good character and was acquitted of all counts. Benn Maguire of QEB Hollis Whiteman […]

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Reeds Solicitors Secure Acquittal at Bradford Crown Court

Emma Ćojder, Senior Legal Executive based at our Basingstoke branch [now part of our Reading Office], instructs and assists Neil Ronan, Junior Counsel of St John Street Chambers, who secures an acquittal for our client who was charged with murder. Our client was one of 5 defendants charged with murder and conspiracy to rob in […]

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Reeds Solicitors Successfully Defends Client at Milton Keynes Magistrates Court

Clare Galo, Solicitor and Team Leader at our Milton Keynes Office, successfully defends a client at Milton Keynes Magistrates Court on Monday, 16th November. Our client was charged with possession of a bladed article; Clare argued that our client had a reasonable excuse for having a kitchen knife in their car drivers’ door pocket as […]

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Successful Acquittal at Milton Keynes Magistrates Court

Clare Galo, Solicitor and Team Leader at our Milton Keynes branch of solicitors, represented a 16 year old on 1st October for taking a motorcycle without the owners’ consent. Our client always accepted presence at the scene but denied participation in the actual taking of the bike, despite the owner stating that he saw all […]

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St Albans Crown Court: John Lamb Makes a Successful Application to Dismiss

John Lamb, Barrister and Senior Advocate in our Leighton Buzzard Crown Court team, makes a successful application to dismiss at St Albans Crown Court on Tuesday, 17th November. Our client was charged jointly with her father for conspiracy to defraud Hertfordshire County Council after it was alleged they fraudulently conspired together to make a claim […]

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corporate crime

Complex Crime Team – Acquittal s.7 Bribery Act 2010

First EVER acquittal of a company prosecuted under s.7 of the Bribery Act 2010 Reeds Solicitors acted for the first corporate entity to be acquitted of an offence contrary to section 7 of the Bribery Act 2010 in proceedings before Southwark Crown Court.  Julian Richards, head of the Complex Crime team at Reeds, was initially […]

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Reeds Solicitors “Top Tier” Crime Firm in Legal 500

The Legal 500 results are always hotly anticipated, and Reeds were proud and delighted to have been recognised as a “Top Tier” firm for its crime practice within both the South East and South West regions, as well as having been promoted in the rankings to Tier 3 in the notoriously competitive London region.  In addition, […]

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Furlough Fraud Investigation

Furlough Fraud Investigation – What to Do

With the Furlough Scheme finished and closed on 30th September 2021, Furlough Fraud Investigation led by the HMRC are likely to continue. At the onset of the Covid19 pandemic the UK government implemented the Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme (CJRS), the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, and the Self Employment Support Scheme. Due to the urgent nature […]

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Wigan Lose Points Deduction Appeal

Wigan Lose Points Deduction Appeal Jeremy Moore – head of sports law   Wigan’s relegation from the Championship to League 1 of the EFL was confirmed yesterday when and independent arbitration panel ruled against their appeal.  Wigan were challenging the 12 point penalty imposed after the club were placed into administration by their owner, Au Yeung, only four weeks after he took control of the club.  […]

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Newcastle’s Saudi takeover bid fails

Newcastle’s Saudi takeover bid fails Jeremy Moore – Head of Sports Law   It was announced last week that, much to the consternation of Newcastle fans, a proposed takeover by PCP Capital Partners (Saudi Arabia’s Sovereign Wealth Fund) had failed after the fund decided to withdraw their bid.  This will come as a massive blow to those […]

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Proceedings commenced against Fifa president

Breaking News – Proceedings commenced against Fifa president   Jeremy moore – head of sports law   Swiss prosecutors have launched legal proceedings against FIFA president Gianni Infantino in relation to an alleged secret meeting he had with Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber.  A special prosecutor Stefan Keller was appointed last month to review criminal complaints against the […]

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CAS – Manchester City appeal result

Jeremy Moore – Head of Sports Law Financial Fair Play in the City?   Earlier this week the Court of Arbitration for Sport published their detailed reasons for overturning Manchester City’s 2 year ban from European competition and £30m fine. The news that was greeted with great relief in parts of Manchester and with dismay […]

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EncroChat Hack: Why it Happened and What it Means for the EncroChat User

Author: Julian Richards, Partner and Head of Complex Crime BACKGROUND: The beginning of the arms race Our mobile phones: from dusk till dawn they are with us, charting our movements, communications and daily lives. But what is their role in Serious and Organised Crime, and how has that role evolved over time? Anyone who has […]

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Girl Drinking - A Specimen of Breath

Drink Driving Defences at a Glance

If you have recently been charged with a drink driving offence under the Road Traffic Act 1988, you may understandably be deeply concerned about your ability to work and travel, and the possible negative impact on your personal and professional reputation.  Being unable to drive can also place huge pressure and stress on your family […]

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books

Should Sexual Harassment Be A Criminal Offence In The UK?

There are few professions not been impacted by the #MeToo movement which swept the globe following the exposure of Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual harassment and assault. Law is no exception; in late 2018, Professor Jo Delahunty QC stated in a public lecture that there is widespread complacency concerning inappropriate sexual behaviour and bullying in Chambers.  […]

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Accused businessman

Rape trials: Striking a balance

Since antiquity, rape, along with murder, arson, and treason have traditionally been capital crimes, meaning they have carried the death sentence.  Rape law has always attracted controversy.  In the 17th century, Sir Matthew Hale stated rape ‘‘is an accusation easily to be made and hard to be proved, and harder to be defended by the […]

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Cocaine in the City

The drug culture in the financial sector has often been linked with glamour.  From Charlie Sheen, playing a rookie broker, snorting cocaine in the back of a limousine in Wall Street to Leonardo DiCaprio’s wild portrayal of Jordon Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street, working hard and partying harder is seen as a badge […]

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Bags full of money on a dark background

Fines For Environmental Law Breaches Increase

It’s hard to believe that it is only just over a year since 15-year-old Greta Thunberg first sat alone outside the Swedish Parliament, refusing to go to school in protest at her government’s inaction regarding climate change.  On the second day of her school strike for climate change, Greta was joined by others.  Skip forward […]

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drug driving

Navigating the Law Around Drug Driving

The number of people being caught driving under the influence of drugs is increasing according to the latest figures from the Ministry of Justice.  There were 10,215 cases of drug driving brought before the courts in 2018, compared with 5,368 during the previous 12 months.  In some areas, such as Suffolk, police state those stopped […]

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extinction rebellion

Extinction Rebellion Protest Ban Unlawful

Last month during the London-wide protests organised by environmental activist group Extinction Rebellion, Superintendent McMillan of the Metropolitan Police announced that protesters were to be limited to Trafalgar Square, under Section 14 of the Public Order Act. At the time, it was understood that any member of the public who failed to comply with these […]

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Corporate Executive Desk

Deferred Prosecution Agreements

For any company facing criminal proceedings, especially those involving financial fraud and bribery, it is important to understand the legal options available to mitigate the potential damage.  One such route is to pursue a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA).  Here we outline the purpose of a deferred prosecution agreement, how a company can maximise its chances […]

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Police car on the street

Are we still innocent until proven guilty?

Innocent until proven guilty. We all say this without thinking about it. We think we know what it means, and we believe it to be inalienable. There are many ways in which it simply isn’t true. If a court has substantial grounds to believe that you might fail to surrender, interfere with witnesses or commit […]

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Natasha’s Law

Natasha’s Law In July 2016, Natasha Ednan-Laperouse boarded a flight from Heathrow Airport to Nice with her father.  Prior to departure, she ate an artichoke, olive and tapenade baguette purchased from the main Pret a Manger shop in Terminal 5. Natasha had a severe allergy to sesame seeds and studiously avoided all food containing them.  […]

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Uxbridge Magistrates Court: Acquittal in HS2 Protest Case

Abigail Ashford of our City of London office represented Laura Hughes of the Extinction Rebellion movement; who was today acquitted alongside her Co-Defendant at Uxbridge Magistrates Court; having been charged with an offence of aggravated trespass, following their participation in a protest against the proposed “HS2” project, back in December 2018. Full details of the case […]

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The Ethics Of Unexplained Wealth Orders

The Ethics Of Unexplained Wealth Orders In May 2019, the National Crime Agency (NCA) issued an Unexplained Wealth Order (UWO) (the recipient cannot be named for legal reasons).  It is the second time the use of this new weapon against anti-corruption has been employed. The suspect is a “politically exposed person” and suspected of being […]

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Reeds Wins Regulatory & White Collar Crime Team of the Year Award

Reeds wins Regulatory & White Collar Crime Team of the Year Award   We are delighted to have won the “Regulatory & White Collar Crime Team of the Year” award at the Wales Legal Awards! We could not be more proud of our dedicated and hard working staff. The Judges noted that it was our […]

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Digital Investigation Into Sexual Offence Cases

Victims of crime, including those alleging rape and sexual assault, will now be asked to give their consent to the police to access their mobile phones. The police can then look at emails, messages and photographs relevant to the investigation. The Director of Public Prosecutions, Max Hill, has said that the police are limited to […]

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‘Upskirting’

As of the 12 April 2019, “Upskirting” is a criminal offence. ‘Upskirting’ is a colloquial term referring to the action of placing a camera or mobile phone beneath a person’s skirt to take a voyeuristic photograph without their permission. Section 1 of the Voyeurism (Offences) Act 2019 inserts a new offence into Section 67A of […]

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Convicted in Absence – Statutory Declarations

I was in our local Magistrates court the other day when I was approached by a young man and his mother. He had been convicted of using a mobile phone whilst driving. He was a probationary driver, and as the offence carries obligatory endorsement of 6 penalty points, his licence had been revoked and he […]

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Adverse weather – Driving penalties

Adverse weather – Driving penalties   Even though most drivers know about clearing snow and ice from their windscreen, many are unaware of the potential to be penalised even if the covering has no impact on their vision. Section 229 of the Highway Code outlines guidelines for driving in adverse weather conditions. It states that: […]

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A Review of Short Term Prison Sentences

A Review of Short Term Prison Sentences The Ministry of Justice is considering the removal of short term prison sentences – namely those of less than six months – in England and Wales. Exceptions to this would be if the sentence was for violent crime or a sexual offence. The proposals stem from the argument […]

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Assaults on Emergency Workers

The Assaults on emergency workers (Offences) Act 2018 came into force on 13th November 2018. This has the effect on making certain offences aggravated when committed against emergency workers. The definition of emergency workers includes the following: Constable Prison officer Prisoner custody officer Persons employed for the purposes of providing fire and rescue services Persons […]

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Sarah Griffith-Jones named one of “30 young lawyers to watch”

Solicitor and Team Leader for our mental health department, Sarah Griffiths-Jones, has been named one of Wales Online‘s 30 young lawyers to watch. The newspaper commented, “Sarah is one of just 30 accredited mental health solicitors in Wales, approved by the Law Society to represent patients detained under the Mental Health Act. Sarah has experience in […]

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Cyber Crime Rises

CYBER CRIME RISES Recently, the UK, Netherlands and the US have all made claims suggesting they have been the victims of hacking at the hands of Russian spies, following several sizeable global cyber-attacks. Several anti-doping agencies were targeted, for example, and these attacks were said to be in retaliation for bans on Russian athletes accused […]

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Caution Under Caution

Caution Under Caution – Robert’s Tale Every criminal solicitor who has sat through a ‘no comment’ interview will have heard this seemingly innocent piece of police officer shtick: “Look John, I understand you have a solicitor here and you’ve taken advice, but this is your opportunity to give your side of the story. There are always […]

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Papa Don’t Breach

New Guidelines – “Tightening up the courts’ approach” The Sentencing Council has published new guidelines which came into effect on the 1st October 2018. Now, if you breach an order imposed by the court you will be subject to harsher punishment. The guidelines address breaches such as Community Orders and Suspended Sentence Orders and deals […]

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Do I have to give the Police my phone PIN?

  Do I have to give the police my phone PIN?                                                                                          […]

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Should smacking children be banned?

Should smacking children be banned? The current law At present parents can ‘smack’ or physically chastise a child so long as it is deemed ‘reasonable’. This defence is not available where the accused is charged with wounding, causing GBH, ABH or cruelty to persons less than 16 years of age. However, its remains available for […]

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Successful appeal in case of contempt of Court

Abigail Ashford, solicitor-advocate and team leader of our London office, was called upon by The Times to comment on her recent case at the Court of Appeal, concerning a young mother who had been sentenced to immediate custody at the County Court for contempt, without having had the benefit of legal representation.  Abigail instructed Mr Abid Mahmood of Counsel […]

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Keep Your Eyes Peeled

What power do the police have to test my eyesight? You might have noticed the press writing a lot about police forces undertaking random checks on motorists and revoking licences at the roadside. We thought it might be helpful to have a look at this and provide some accurate information. What exactly are the police […]

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Magistrates with Convictions: A New Reach for Diversity

With only 12% of Magistrates identifying themselves as black or of other ethnic minority backgrounds and with 55% magistrates currently over the age of 60, it is clear that magistrates’ benches across the UK are in dire need of diversity. Speaking to the press this week, Chair of the Magistrates’ Association John Bache addressed a […]

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A Prima Facie Case – “No Case to Answer”

What does “no case to answer” mean? A ‘no case to answer’ submission is a legal argument which can be raised at the end of the prosecution’s case.  If successful it has the effect of stopping the proceedings before any defence evidence is called.   How does it work? The prosecution will present its case, […]

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Dog Control Orders

The most popular pet owned in the UK is a dog, with nearly 25% of the population owning one.   However, many owners are unaware of the potential consequences that can flow from owning a dog, and being accused of failing to keep that dog under control. The police can apply to a Magistrates court for […]

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A Specimen of Breath

          Fail to provide a breath specimen If you are suspected of driving with excess alcohol in your body, you may be asked to provide a breath sample at the roadside. If that sample is positive, you are likely to be arrested and take to the police station.   Why do […]

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HMO: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

HMO: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW “HMO” stands for House of Multiple Occupancy. Under the Housing Act 2004 it is a criminal offence to operate an unlicensed HMO, where a licence is required. This can be a confusing area for even experienced practitioners to negotiate, so it is no surprise that an increasing number of […]

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Tommy Robinson – Full Judgment and Summary

JUDGMENT  The judgment of the Court is to dismiss the appeal in respect of the committal for contempt at Canterbury Crown Court and to allow the appeal in respect of the committal for contempt at Leeds Crown Court. The appellant is granted bail and the matter of contempt at Leeds Crown Court is remitted to […]

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Manslaughter – New Sentencing Guideline

  Manslaughter – New Sentencing Guideline The Sentencing Council, responsible for setting sentencing guidelines in England and Wales, has issued a new guideline in relation to manslaughter offences.   Which offences are covered? The guideline covers: Unlawful act manslaughter – a common law offence Gross negligence manslaughter – a common law offence Manslaughter by reason […]

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R v H – CLARE FEAR SUCCESSFUL IN COURT OF APPEAL

Clare Fear successfully opposed an AG reference against our client’s sentence at the Court of Appeal on the 25th July, in the case of R v H . Our client was sentenced to a community order for conveying cannabis into prison. The Attorney General referred the sentence to the Court of Appeal, arguing that it was […]

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How we can help with inquests

When a loved one dies your life can be turned upside down.  If your loss is then complicated by the need for an Inquest to establish the cause of death, it can be simply overwhelming.  The Inquest hearing itself can be very daunting, taking place in a formal court room type setting; often with several […]

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Knife Crime: The new sentencing guidelines

As reported in the media on a near daily basis, there has been a significant upturn in the use of knives across the country over the past few years. Parliament published their Knife Crime Briefing on 25th June 2018 which gave statistical support to this worrying trend. In the year ending March 2017 there were 34,700 […]

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The implications of late disclosure

In the wake of recent reports of Prosecution failures to disclose relevant material on the defence, Amy French of our High Wycombe office successfully persuaded the Prosecution to discontinue a case following an abuse of process argument she raised, after crucial defence evidence was not served by the Prosecution. The case concerned two allegations of assault and one […]

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What is “cybercrime”?

In our ever developing technological society, when our daily lives involve us readily accessing the internet, much of our personal information and search history are stored and can be found at the click of a button. “Cybercrime” is understandably therefore, evolving and flourishing. Cybercrime is essentially any crime that is conducted through or using an […]

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Should “upskirting” be made a criminal offence?

Campaigners are currently calling for urgent changes to be made to the law to criminalise the behaviour frequently referred to as “upskirting”. “Upskirting” is the act of taking a photograph of underneath a person’s skirt without their consent. It is often performed in a public place such as on public transport, with crowds of people […]

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Section 49 RIPA 2000: Trending now in a Police custody suite near you

The powers available to Police under section 49 of The Regulatory Investigative Powers Act (RIPA) 2000 were once, only used in the most unique and complex cases; and historically most frequently in relation to allegations of terrorism.  It was used as a tool to try and obtain information held on the phone, computer or any other electrical device of the person […]

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Tougher Sentences Recommended for Domestic Abuse Perpetrators

The Sentencing Council have today announced new guidelines on domestic abuse, ahead of the extra protection planned for victims of stalking due later in the year. This will in turn, mean an increase in the severity of sentences for those convicted of allegations relating to domestic abuse. The new guidelines, which will take effect in May […]

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Police Negligence – Victory on Hill Immunity

Yesterday the UK Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision on the tort of negligence in the case of Robinson v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire [2018] UKSC 4. In July 2008, the claimant (then aged 76) was injured when knocked over by two police officers in the course of the arrest of a suspected […]

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Outstanding results for Reeds in Operation Nautical

Reeds are delighted to be able to report three more successes in defending ‘grooming ring’ allegations, following the extraordinary results in “Operation Nautical” 1 and 2. After a 3 month trial, ‘J’, represented by our Oxford based Head of Chambers Lucy Tapper and Lisa Wilding QC of Furnival Chambers, was unanimously acquitted of all charges he faced. […]

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New Police Watchdog launched to replace IPCC

A new police watchdog has launched to investigate wrongdoing by police forces across England and Wales. The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has replaced the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) and will additionally have strengthened powers. Unlike its predecessor, the IOPC will be able to initiate its own investigations without first relying on the police to […]

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Too Drunk To Provide A Specimen?

The case of Michael Camp, heard in a Lincoln Magistrates Court is bound to cause significant controversy, and indeed likely CPS appeal, when District Judge Peter Veits concluded that the Defendant’s drunken state was sufficient to provide him with a “reasonable excuse” for not providing the mandatory second specimen of breath.   A reasonable excuse for […]

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Luton Crown Court: Helen Chenery Successfully Defends Alleged Gang Member

Helen Warren, solicitor advocate at our Milton Keynes Office, was recently led by Craig Harris of Furnival Chambers in the defence of an individual charged as part of Operation Kruse.  Their combined skill, tactical astuteness and determination lead to their client being acquitted following a lengthy trial at Luton Crown Court. The case – Operation Kruse […]

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New identity rules in criminal cases

It has long been the case that Defendants appearing in criminal proceedings in Court are required to confirm their identity by way of their name, and usually also their date of birth, at the outset of a hearing. However from today, 13 November 2017, Defendants will also be required to confirm their nationality to the […]

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Dishonesty: Landmark Judgement Redefines Meaning

In the recent judgment of Ivey v Genting Casinos Ltd Crockfords, the court stated that the 35-year-old two-stage test defined in R v Ghosh [1982] EWCA Crim 2 has ‘serious problems’ and that it does not correctly represent the law. The court unanimously dismissed an appeal from Phil Ivey to recover winnings from a 2012 […]

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Racial Bias Within the Criminal Justice System in England and Wales?

We’ve recently discussed diversity issues in the justice system. Further to this Labour MP, David Lammy has recently published a highly critical report stating prosecutions against certain black and minority-ethnic suspects should be deferred or dropped in order to help tackle the bias against them. According to his report, young people are nine times more […]

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Should testing for EDS IV be considered in all cases concerning suspicions of non-accidental shaken babies?

Richard Wainman, solicitor in our High Wycombe Office, acted on behalf of the child through her Guardian in the case of Buckinghamshire Council Council v Andrews and Stillwell [2017] EWFC B19 which, has opened an important new area of investigation with regard to explaining possible ‘shaken baby’ cases. In April 2017, HHJ Venables sitting at […]

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What to expect at the Magistrates Court

Following charge by police, or receipt of a postal summons or written requisition, it is important to contact us as soon as possible so that we can begin preparing your case at an early stage. Each case is different and our team of lawyers will guide you through every step of the case, tailored to […]

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R V RH AND ANOTHER – Appeal Against Sentence

Citation: [2016] EWCA Crim 1754 Child Abduction Advocate: Tony Bignall Crown Court Annex: Bristol Summary Both these cases which are connected have been referred to the full court by the Registrar. Each involves an offence of child abduction. There is no guidance on sentencing from the Sentencing Guidelines Council or Sentencing Council. The offences can […]

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Alibi

ALIBI PRINCIPLE Evidence in support of an alibi is defined in section 6A(3) Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996 (CPIA) as evidence tending to show that: by reason of the presence of the defendant at a particular place or, in a particular area at a particular time she or he was not, or was unlikely […]

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Adverse Inferences

ADVERSE INFERENCES Section 34, The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 A court can draw an adverse inference from a defendant’s silence in circumstances as set out in sections 34 to 37 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994. Section 34 allows an inference to be drawn when a suspect is silent when questioned […]

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New Penalties for Using Mobile Whilst Driving

Notice has been served on any driver tempted to use a mobile telephone whilst driving a vehicle. Two amendments to the law on mobile telephone use while driving come into force on 1st March 2017. The combined effect of The Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 (Penalty Points) (Amendment) Order 2017 and The Fixed Penalty (Amendment) […]

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Accomplices Information

ACCOMPLICES Principle As a general rule, subject to the sufficiency of evidence and the public interest tests, accomplices should be prosecuted. Accomplices are not competent witnesses for the prosecution where charged in the same proceedings. However, they may become competent witnesses if dealt with in accordance with the procedures set out below. An accomplice must […]

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School Exclusions

A Guide to submitting a Review against a decision to exclude a child from a school or academy The number of fixed period and permanent exclusions is increasing year by year.  The Education Act 2011 amended the law governing exclusions however exclusion continues to be difficult and emotive for children, parents, and schools. If as […]

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Police Complaint vs Civil Action

Our lawyers specialise in bringing actions against the police, under which there are two main actions that can be taken. A police complaint can cover any number of issues from general behaviour and misconduct by officers to assault and false imprisonment.  On the whole, a complaint would seek to obtain an apology and/or explanation from […]

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IPPs – Parole Board reforms

The IPP (Imprisonment for Public Protection) sentence was abolished in 2012.  However, those who remain subject to incarceration under the provisions of this sentence will be more than aware of the difficulties encountered in securing progression or release for various reasons such as Parole Board delays, limited resources, poor procedures for managing risk and a […]

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