Posts Tagged ‘ Derbyshire ’


Written by admin
April 5th, 2019

Yet again, we are sorry to have to announce the departure of Dan Church. Dan was one of our keenest and most successful young Higher Rights Advocates, who for the last two years has delivered a super service to our clients in Derby and beyond.

It would be wrong to think that Dan only worked in Derbyshire. During his most recent stint with us Dan has had some superb results, including a hard-fought victory after more than two months in Liverpool Crown Court.

In 2016 Dan left to have a short spell at the Bar with Bank House Chambers. We were delighted to have him return to us as the start of 2017, but regrettably the New Year has brought new challenges for Dan who will now be ensconced with the Crown Prosecution Service in the East Midlands.

Dan, we wish you well and want you to know that there is always an open door and a ready desk for you if you decide that our needs are more deserving than those of Her Majesty.


Written by admin
March 25th, 2019

Within the area of the country covered by The Johnson Partnership offices we have noticed an interesting if worrying phenomenon.

In the town of Buxton there used to be a thriving Magistrates’ Court and a custody suite which covered the entirety of the northwest of Derbyshire from Matlock to Glossop and from Hartington over to Baslow. This is a huge area of land and a good number of people in its radius.

In the second round of cuts, the Magistrates’ Court, which has long since served this thriving market town was closed. Work was transferred to Chesterfield stage by stage. Initially custody cases were transferred to Chesterfield and then there was a total closure leading to all matters being heard in a court over thirty miles away, with no train link between the two and a somewhat ponderous bus service.

The next step was for the custody suite to be downgraded. Increasingly, prisoners who were likely to be in custody for more than six hours, were being dealt with at Chesterfield rather than Buxton. Inevitably, it soon became a police station where a vast majority of interviewees were those attending on a voluntary basis.

The Duty Solicitor Scheme for Buxton has slowly been wound down. Solicitors have to choose their slots on either the Chesterfield or Stockport rotas.

We now therefore have a town with no court, no meaningful custody suite, no Duty Solicitor Scheme, and very very few solicitors serving that entire region.

A recent audit of The Johnson Partnerships work showed that the vast majority of the firm’s clients benefit in some way from legal aid.

In spite of reductions in the scope of work covered by legal aid and reductions in the number of people who are eligible for legal aid, the scheme still helps a great many people.

The Johnson Partnership have an absolute commitment to legal aid. From our Senior Partners to our newest recruits, all our staff are involved in providing a high quality service to all our legal aid clients, although a number will also carry out work on a privately paid and indeed pro-bono basis.

We are happy to provide non-means tested legal aid cover for all The Johnson Partnership clients in police stations throughout England and Wales. From our own offices we are happy to provide legal aid solicitors for Nottinghamshire, legal aid solicitors for Derbyshire, legal aid solicitors for South Yorkshire, legal aid solicitors for Humberside, legal aid solicitors for Leicestershire, legal aid solicitors for Lincolnshire, legal aid solicitors for West Yorkshire, and legal aid solicitors for Staffordshire.  On many occasions our solicitors and clerks will also be happy to travel throughout the length and breadth of the country to look after both existing and new clients where the case demands and where undue delay can be avoided.

As far as criminal fee earners are concerned, we have the highest number of legal aid solicitors in Nottingham, the highest number of legal aid solicitors in Mansfield, the highest number of legal aid solicitors in Derby, and the highest number of legal aid solicitors in Chesterfield available to look after the firm’s clients, be it at court, at the police station, in long term custody, or wherever the case requires.

With a range of full and part time staff, The Johnson Partnership can provide a comprehensive service for those requiring legal aid solicitors in South Yorkshire, whether they be at Sheffield or Doncaster Crown Courts, Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley or Doncaster Magistrates’ Courts or at police stations in Sheffield, Ecclesfield, Barnsley, Rotherham, or Doncaster. Our South Yorkshire legal aid solicitors are able to reach out to clients detained at police stations in West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, and across the Pennines.  From the offices of The Johnson Partnership Solicitors Doncaster and The Johnson Partnership Solicitors Barnsley we are well placed to reach courts and police stations throughout the area.

The Johnson Partnership Criminal Solicitors Scunthorpe office is located close to the police station and the Magistrates’ Court. From this base we provide legal aid solicitors for Scunthorpe and Humberside.  Full and part time staff enable us to provide a flexible service for clients requiring a legal aid solicitor in Scunthorpe, a legal aid solicitor in Grimsby, a legal aid solicitor in Goole, a legal aid solicitor in Hull, a legal aid solicitor in Beverley, and all of the smaller communities in between.


Written by Editor
December 15th, 2015

In the early 1990’s Derbyshire boasted many Magistrates’ Courts. As well as Derby, which had two courthouses, there were also Magistrates’ Courts in Ilkeston, Alfreton, Ashbourne, Belper, Matlock, Bakewell, Chesterfield, Buxon, Renishaw, and Glossop.  By 2013, courts were only being held in Derby, Chesterfield, and on a relatively limited basis in Buxton.

Inevitably, a number of Derbyshire clients requiring the service of Derbyshire criminal solicitors have found obtaining the services of a Derbyshire criminal solicitor more and more problematic.

Many of The Johnson Partnership Solicitors Derby and The Johnson Partnership Solicitors Chesterfield clients have grown used to timing their appointments to fit in with other occasions when they will be in either city or town centre. Bearing in mind the limited resources of many of our clients, we at The Johnson Partnership Solicitors understand the importance of reaching out to clients in their own homes and communities.

As ever, we maintain our firm commitment to seeing clients in their own homes, but we understand that this is not always convenient or appropriate. By networking with other firms of solicitors, many of whom do not provide a criminal service, as well as local libraries and local businesses, we have been able to create a network of mutually convenient neutral locations at which clients can be seen.

Accordingly, The Johnson Partnership Criminal Solicitors Alfreton clients, Ilkeston clients, Long Eaton clients, Matlock clients, Ashbourne clients, Bakewell clients, Buxton clients, Glossop clients, Dronfield clients, Swadlincote clients, Spondon clients, can all be seen on their own doorsteps albeit that the solicitors that they see will be more regularly based on The Johnson Partnership’s Derby or The Johnson Partnership’s Chesterfield offices.

In addition to having a broad range of solicitors available for all of the county’s courts, we also have police station advisors on hand within easy reach of St Mary’s Wharf Police Station, Ripley Police Station, Chesterfield Police Station, and Buxton Police Station. We are happy to attend clients who are being interviewed at home in their own houses, which we aim to do without delay or inconvenience.

Those clients who find difficulty in meeting the cost of travel to court are welcome to contact either The Johnson Partnership Chesterfield or The Johnson Partnership Derby office in order to discuss the possibility of special travel arrangements being made to helping getting to and from court. Whilst it is not going to be possible to help everybody make difficult journeys, where we can help, we will be pleased to do just that.  As you know, we aim to offer a comprehensive service to all of our East Midlands based clients to ensure that where East Midlands criminal defence solicitors are concerned, The Johnson Partnership remains the number one East Midlands criminal solicitors firm.

Since the early 90’s successive governments have slashed the number of Magistrates’ Courts. Indeed, under the current administration we have even seen Doncaster’s Crown Court all but mothballed.

As courts have closed, so many solicitors have stopped providing a service for criminal clients in smaller towns and suburbs. Criminal solicitors have tended to centre around the courts that are left.

Until recently, Nottinghamshire has had three Magistrates’ Courts in Worksop, Mansfield, and Nottingham. However as of  October 2014 the Crown Prosecution Service ceased to prosecute cases at the Worksop courthouse.  This leaves only Nottingham and Mansfield courts in a county that once had additional courthouses in Bingham, Newark, Retford, and Southwell.

In an attempt to ensure that we avoid the problem of advice deserts, The Johnson Partnership Solicitors’ aim, wherever possible, is to provide a service for clients in their own areas.

The Johnson Partnership’s Mansfield office still aims to reach out to clients in Worksop, Retford and the surrounding areas to ensure that the government’s cuts do not mean that court users have to suffer.

Our commitment to seeing clients at home or at mutually convenient neutral venues means that The Johnson Partnership will still remain criminal solicitors for the people of Worksop and Retford who will now have to travel into Mansfield to attend court. Arrangements with other local firms mean that office space will be available for us to see The Johnson Partnership Worksop and The Johnson Partnership Retford clients on their own doorsteps.

By dint of having a number of members of staff resident in or close to Newark, The Johnson Partnership’s Newark clients can also guarantee that they will have somebody immediately on hand if they are to be questioned by the police at the Newark custody suite. Anyone needing to see a Johnson Partnership solicitor between the police station and court can make appropriate arrangements to be seen either at the offices of Payne & Gamage Solicitors or at their own homes.

Where The Johnson Partnership solicitors at Worksop, The Johnson Partnership Solicitors at Retford, The Johnson Partnership Solicitors at Newark, The Johnson Partnership Solicitors at Sutton in Ashfield, The Johnson Partnership Solicitors at Kirkby in Ashfield, or The Johnson Partnership Solicitors at Hucknall clients are having difficulty in attending court, they, along with clients based in smaller towns within the county, are welcome to contact the office the day before their court appearance to see whether appropriate travel arrangements can be made to help them make the extended journey to either Nottingham Crown Court, Nottingham Magistrates’ Court, or Mansfield Magistrates’ Court.

By providing an outreach service for clients living around Nottinghamshire and the East Midlands, we aim to ensure that problems of access and travel are kept to a minimum for The Johnson Partnership Solicitors Nottinghamshire clients.


Written by Editor
November 24th, 2015

It is incredible to think that as recently as the 1990’s Derbyshire had Magistrates’ Courts sitting at Derby, Swadlincote, Ashbourne, Belper, Matlock, Bakewell, Alfreton, Ilkeston, Buxton, Chesterfield, and even Renishaw.

The new slim-line Criminal Justice Service for Derbyshire has three courthouses at Derby, Chesterfield, and on a more part time basis at Buxton.  No longer are Defence solicitors confronted by the embarrassing prospect of attempting to take instructions from clients who have been handcuffed to a 1950’s radiator in Bakewell Town Hall.  Nor indeed do Defence solicitors, along with a Prosecution solicitor, the defendant and any witnesses have themselves to retire from the little court at Matlock, leaving the magistrates in situ to reach a decision alone in the courtroom.

Gone are the days of Court 1 at Belper being held on the village hall stage, whilst Court 2 was taking place in the auditorium.

In spite of the millions of pounds spent on the custody facilities at Ripley, Derbyshire Police now operate cellblocks at St Mary’s Wharf, Chesterfield, and Buxton only.  Occasionally clients are warned to attend at Matlock, Alfreton, and Swadlincote, but it is very much a rarity.

Inevitably, the changes have made it easier to ensure that our solicitors are readily available at any court or police station.  The truth of the matter is of course the people who really suffer are the members of the public who find themselves, however inadvertently, caught up in the Criminal Justice system.

In an attempt to alleviate problems and help people with health, child care, funding, or understanding problems, we at The Johnson Partnership are committed to assisting clients whenever we can with transport and travel arrangements.  We are happy to see clients at their home addresses, and will, if necessary, try to arrange with particular police officers for voluntary interviews to take place with police staff at our offices.

We hope this will mean that clients who live in far flung corners of the county are able to deal with the courts and the police with as little inconvenience as possible.

Recently,  The Johnson Partnership was named as the No: 1 Firm of criminal solicitors in Derby and Derbyshire.

Our Firm provides teams of specialist criminal solicitors in Derby and Chesterfield.  Centrally based expertise means that we are able to field prison law solicitors for Derby and Chesterfield based clients as well as having specialist fraud solicitors on hand to see clients in the North and South of Derbyshire.

We have been able to call on the trading standard law expertise of John Wilford who, whilst based at our Chesterfield premises, is delighted to advise clients with trading standard problems at either the Chesterfield or Derby office.  By employing a far ranging dedicated team of lawyers with expertise in everything from motoring law to major crime, we aim to head for “top lawyer status” not only in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and the East Midlands but throughout the country.

High Peak Magistrates Laid Low by Government Cuts

Written by Editor
October 25th, 2015

During the last few months the Government have published a list of courts and court centres earmarked for closure. The Government is to consult for three months with the relevant bodies to establish which of the court centres can be validly closed with as little inconvenience and as greater saving as possible.

The historic Buxton Magistrates’ Court is one of those featuring on the list.

At present Buxton Court serves the people of the North West of the County. Buxton itself is a substantial market town but solicitors working in Buxton also service people from Glossop, Hayfield, Chapel-en-le-Frith, Peak Forest, Dove Holes and raft of other communities.

In view of their remote locations, a great many of these communities are poorly served by public transport. This means that members of the public required to attend court will find it particularly hard to make their way to Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court which is the proposed replacement.

Experience has shown that when the Ministry of Justice close a court, the Home Office tends to take the opportunity to close down the local police station soon afterwards. Potentially this could lead to people being released from Chesterfield Police Station in the middle of night or early in the morning, with absolutely no prospect of getting home to Buxton for many hours.

Many believe that the Buxton provided a vital local service to local people. The magistrates in Buxton have a keen understanding of local issues and local problems that inevitably becomes diluted when a smaller bench of magistrates is merged with a larger bench in a different area.


Written by Editor
October 16th, 2015

On a day when Sue Fish, the Deputy Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire speaks proudly of her force now being able to boast that 30% of its officers are women, The Johnson Partnership can bask in its own demonstration of inequality.

Whilst 30% of Nottinghamshire’s police officers may indeed be women, The Johnson Partnership are able to boast that over 60% of its fee earners across all seven offices are girls/women/ladies/members of the fairer sex/non-males.

A sustained history of recruitment purely on merit has resulted in a fee earning staff dominated by women at both paralegal and solicitor levels of qualification.

We look forward to continuing to select on merit and trust that one day Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, South Yorkshire, and Humberside forces may all catch up to a point where they can stand proudly alongside us.


Written by Editor
October 10th, 2015

On Sunday, 20th September 2015 we saw the charming North Derbyshire town of Chesterfield come to a shuddering halt. A 26.2 mile circuit, including most of the town’s principle thoroughfares was closed to traffic for over 8 hours whilst over 10,000 locals and visitors slogged their way around the marathon course.

Denney Lau, Bob Sowter, and Lucy Hooper from The Johnson Partnership’s Chesterfield team were entered as a relay squad raising over £500 for the Chesterfield based “Pathways” charity.

Pathways look to support vulnerable young people on the edge of the criminal justice system. The staff are caring, thoughtful, and experienced in dealing with the myriad problems that can be set to young people who find themselves without accommodation and guidance.

Denney, Lucy, and Bob have put in months of training for the event and we all wished them the best of luck with their endeavour. The more cynical among us are left to marvel at just how far some people are prepared to go to avoid covering the Duty Solicitor shift!

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