Posts Tagged ‘ Sheffield Magistrates Court ’


Wragg and Hooplah for the Big City!

Written by admin
July 20th, 2018

To strengthen and support our Sheffield Office team, Lucy Hooper and Yvonne Wragg have both transferred their allegiances from the East Midlands to South Yorkshire.

Yvonne has gone to our Sheffield Office as day to day manager and organiser as well as being the lead fee earner.

Lucy Hooper left behind her the good folk of Chesterfield in order to take over the office administration as well as coordinate the police station advice and some Crown Court preparation. Sometimes we are told that our reward will be in heaven, but in Lucy’s case I am delighted the she is not having to wait quite that long. Following her impressive performance at the Sheffield Office Lucy has been offered a training contract with immediate effect which will see her progress through the firm at a rate commensurate with her skills and commitment.

We wish both Yvonne and Lucy all the best and are confident that under their stewardship the Sheffield Office will continue its day on day growth.

THE MATHS ADD UP FOR LOONY LISTING

Written by Sian Hall
March 27th, 2018

Few can truly doubt the integrity of Crown Court Listing Departments throughout the country. Certainly, Crown Courts in Nottingham, Sheffield, Derby, Lincoln, and Grimsby all bear the hallmarks of hardworking teams of people with a good understanding trying to do their best for everyone.

Nevertheless, the fact that listing is a problem is something that cannot be doubted. This week, on one day, the firm had six trials, all removed from the list at less than 48 hours’ notice. There was undoubtedly good reason for this. The courts in which the cases were due to be heard were busy indeed throughout the rest of the week. With one exception, all of the cases went off to new trial dates in August.

In spite of howls of derision from the profession, the MOJ have stoically refused to do anything about the problem. There is scope to agree to further judge sitting days! There is scope to designate empty Magistrates’ Court facilities as temporary Crown Courts. Sadly, both of the above require extra funding.

It is not just that extra funding hits the MOJ’s current budget. In reality, there is a twofold gain for the Ministry. By not spending money on judges and extra courtrooms, they avoid unintended and unexpected expense. By ensuring that cases are adjourned for a period of four to five months equally ensure that the bills to be submitted by advocates and litigators for those matters fall into the next financial year. Indeed, there is also the third potential benefit of complainants or defendants losing the will to fight, or cases being side-tracked by new charges or new proceedings, which can lead to extra savings as trials fail to take place at all.

There can be no doubt whatsoever that delay and adjournments are the sole brothers and sisters of a financially hamstrung Ministry of Justice.

SARAH BROWN IS BACK IN TOWN!

Written by Sian Hall
February 13th, 2018

We are delighted to welcome Sarah Brown to our Sheffield office. A skilled advocate in both the Magistrates’ Court and Crown Court, Sarah has kindly agreed to augment our Sheffield office two days each week, whilst continuing to teach law and practice at Sheffield College.

The combination of practical fee-earning work and the understanding that comes with the need to impart knowledge to others, will benefit both the firm and Sarah’s students alike.

We are looking forward to the benefits that are bound to come from bringing somebody on board who has a wealth of experience and an independent and critical eye. Inevitably, benefits will not just flow to students and to members of staff, there is bound to be a real dividend for our growing Sheffield client base.

YES, BUT WHAT ABOUT SKEGNESS?

Written by Sian Hall
December 7th, 2017

As well as the major courts and police stations served by each office, there is inevitably a penumbra of places that each office will serve. The Nottingham office will serve Grantham, Loughborough, Leicester, and many points south. The Derby office will serve Burton, Cannock, Tamworth and the like. Staff from Chesterfield will be seen at the Buxton custody suite or attending voluntary interviews in Bakewell or Matlock. The Sheffield office can cover Rotherham almost as easily as it can Sheffield. The Barnsley office reaches out to Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield, Wakefield and all of the other West Yorkshire towns including the super custody suite at Normanton Top. The Doncaster office covers Goole, Thorne, York, and beyond. Our Scunthorpe and Grimsby offices will jointly look after cases in Goole, Hull, Bridlington, etc. The Lincoln office will happily pull in work in Gainsborough, Sleaford, Boston, and so on. The Mansfield office regularly services work in Newark, Retford, Worksop, and Sutton in Ashfield. All offices then have their own immediate courts and police stations and many more besides.

The question however is which office will service Skegness? Every summer clients stream out to the east coast for sun, sea, sand, and soggy chips. Every weekend in spring and autumn there are dance raves and party events as well as the Butlins weekenders to attract the hordes. Throughout the year there are people visiting friends and relatives who have retired to the coast or simply stepped that way in order to “get away” from who knows what. The custody suite at Skegness is a regular reporter to the DSCC.

Whatever the day of the week, whatever the month of the year, whatever the time of day, the questions always arises Who is going to go to Skegness?”  The Lincoln office remains a laborious hour away. The staff at the Scunthorpe office claim that it would take them at least an hour and a half to get there. The Grimsby solicitors, perhaps geographically closest, swear blind that the roads are so bad that they cannot get there in under two hours. So then, the question perpetuates. Yet for 27 years, one way or another, in spite of its apparent unfeasibility, The Johnson Partnership have been looking after clients in Skegness, be they in the court or the police station, whatever the season and whatever the time.

Inevitably, our hearts go out to those members of staff who have completed their tasks in Skegness in the wee small hours. For them, there isn’t even the solace of a stick of last year’s rock or a soggy slab of cod.

WRAGG’S TO RICHES

Written by Sian Hall
November 21st, 2017

As of the start of October Yvonne Wragg is mainly to be found at our burgeoning Sheffield office.

 

Having long served and loyal enthusiastic clientele in the Mansfield area, Yvonne is now to take on a new challenge at one of the largest urban Magistrates’ Courts in the country.

 

Joining up with Maz Sharif, Kevin O’Donovan, the gloriously efficient Pari Seeley and the new rejuvenated Sarah Staniland, Yvonne will be a hard-working, well-versed and enthusiastic addition to the Magistrates’ Court team.

 

Having spent more than ten years with The Johnson Partnership in Nottingham and Mansfield, Yvonne’s skills and personality should go a long way to ensure that any newcomers to the firm, be they clients or colleagues, rapidly feel at home.

 

In particular, Yvonne is looking forward to working in closer proximity to our high quality Higher Rights team. When it comes to knowledge about Sheffield people, places and courts, there can be no better teacher than the inestimable and highly regarded Andrew Swaby.

THE LAWFULNESS OF THE LONG DISTANCE RUNNER

Written by Sian Hall
November 7th, 2017

The recent success of our Derby office’s Mark Luckett in completing the Boston Marathon in 3 hours and 13 minutes has caused us to reflect on the ever present link between law and long distance running.

 

There is no doubting that the stamina and endurance called for in seeing a difficult case to its end is matched by the competitive persistence required of a successful distantness athlete.

 

For many, however, the long hours spent in training provide the perfect antidote to a hard day in the office. Over the years a number of our solicitors and Partners have either relaxed, or taken time to get their thoughts in order when pounding the streets of Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, and South Yorkshire.

 

As well as Mark, perhaps our best and most noteworthy performer was our sadly missed Partner David Graham, who could knock out half marathons in substantially less than an hour and a half. Jo Chadd is a successful conqueror of the London Marathon.  Emma Coverley regularly disappears to both road and fell running events throughout the North and Midlands.  In a slight bizarre but truly historical event Sean O’Brien, Dan Church, and Richard Davies then of our Doncaster office completed the Sheffield half marathon of 2014 which had officially been called off due to a lack of water; all survived and have their medals to prove it!

 

One of our hardest working runners in every sense must be the Mansfield office’s Chris Perry, who has completed more distance events than anyone else in the firm on courses far and near. Based on the edge of the Peak District, Chris is well placed to clock up some good looking miles whilst leaving Mansfield Magistrates’ Court at the back of the pack.

 

Good luck to all, including Sean O’Brien in this year’s Snowdonia Marathon and Emma Coverley and Digby Johnson in the 13 mile festive Turkey Trot around the Vale of Belvoir.

 

FLEXIBLE COURT PILOT IS PARLIAMENTARY REFLEX

Written by Sian Hall
August 28th, 2017

All of our staff who regularly work around the Sheffield Magistrates’ Court seem likely to be caught up in the government’s new flexible court pilot starting in September.

 

The proposals will see the Sheffield Magistrates’ Court opening for business at 08:00am and sitting until 6:30pm.

 

There has been a lot of focus on the effect this will have on the personal lives of court clerks, ushers, prosecutors, Defence solicitors, and those appearing before the court as witnesses or defendants.

 

Many firms fear that there will be difficulties in staffing courts at unusual times because of the contracts of employment enjoyed by well-respected, trusted, and time-served employees.

 

In a recent offer of employment we have been pleased to confirm to a new member of staff that their start time can be put back to enable a small child to be delivered to school. These sorts of arrangements that are borne out of practicality and common decency are now likely to result in the onus for covering out of hours courts falling on partners or potentially self-employed contractors.

 

In other firms we have heard that open conflict is breaking out between solicitors who are and who are not able to vary their working days to cover the court pilot.

 

All of these changes stem from nothing more than a desire by the Ministry of Justice to be seen to be keeping the use of their buildings and the systems within them under constant review. Nowhere, outside of the Ministry, has there ever been any pressure from anyone at all for the piloted changes to be introduced.  If the pilot is to come, it may be short-lived and ill-fated.

ANDREW SWABY “THE BIG MAN” COMES TO JOHNSONS

Written by Sian Hall
July 17th, 2017

In July we are delighted to announce that we will be welcoming Andrew Swaby to The Johnson Partnership. A giant of both the Crown and Magistrates’ Courts, Andrew is here to lend added presence to our advocacy team.

 

A man who is as happy at Shepcote Lane Police Station as he is in the Court of Appeal, Andrew will be joining our Sheffield office team at 620 Attercliffe Road.

 

As one of the best known advocates in Sheffield, we suspect that Andrew will bring with him his own Pied Piper following. We hope that Andrew and all who come with him will approve of the change and feel happy as part of a brand new scene.

SHAZIA PARVEEN ON THE SCENE

Written by Sian Hall
July 11th, 2017

We are delighted to announce that from July 2017 Shazia Parveen is to join us at our Sheffield office. Situated in the John Banner Business Centre at 620 Attercliffe Road, Shazia will be well-positioned between Sheffield Magistrates’ Court and Shepcote Lane Police Station.

 

For many years Shazia Parveen has been the queen of Howells Criminal team. We count ourselves particularly lucky that she has agreed to transfer her allegiances and release her flat in our own Sheffield realm.

 

Shazia is well-renowned for her work both in police stations and at the Magistrates’ Court. Bail hearings, sentencing hearings, trials, Youth Court proceedings and all the rest of the daily fare of Magistrates’ Court life are meat and drink to Shazia.

 

We look forward to welcoming Shazia among us and hope that she is going to feel as positive about her new home as we do.

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