If the Three Kings were starting out on their journey from the East in December 2019 they have a bit of a conundrum.  There wouldn’t just be one new star rising but two.  At The Johnson Partnership we are delighted to see both Helen Brough and Shannon Barlow burst onto the duty solicitor scene at the first time of trying.

Helen Brough qualified in March, having been with the firm for almost twenty years.  In July, she was closely followed by Shannon Barlow who was originally part of the firm’s mentoring scheme with Nottingham Trent University.  Shannon worked her way up from an admin role in the Crown Court Department, to the position of senior litigator, before branching out as a Magistrates’ Court and Prison Law advocate.

Both Shannon and Helen are products of the firm’s ongoing programme of internal recruitment, promotion, and advancement.  We could not be happier to see them both make the grade and cross the finishing line hand in hand.

Both Helen and Shannon are a credit to the firm and living proof of what can be achieved by sustained commitment and sheer hard graft.

Good luck to you both!

Getting people together out of work to spend time in one another’s company isn’t always the most straightforward of matters.  Continuing education, meals out, a free bar have all worked to some extent, but after a while the attraction seems to fade.

Theo Addae, who manages our Derby office and our Trainee Solicitor programme, has recently put together a series of social events based around sport.

Football competitions, a rounder’s match, and a netball tournament have seen large numbers of people come together to play in or support departmental or office teams before inevitably adjourning to quench their thirst.

Teams made up of colleagues, as well as interdepartmental teams, have meant that people have got to know one another in a new way, even though they are from offices as far away as Lincoln, Chesterfield, Mansfield, Sheffield and Grimsby.

Whether the offices’ swimming gala will attract quite such enthusiastic crowds of participants is debatable, some of us suggested this might be more of a comedy event!!!!

A Yorkshire lass with a great Yorkshire name: Sarah Parkin, is the new recruit to our Barnsley Litigator Team.  Replacing the much missed and enormously accomplished Amanda Armitage, Sarah is already showing a thorough understanding of law and tactics.

Having come to us from Thompsons Solicitors, Sarah is now an enthusiastic member of The Johnson Partnership Barnsley team.  Dividing her time between the Barnsley office and Sheffield Crown Court, Sarah is already briefing Counsel, seeing clients at the office, at court or in custody, and giving thoughtful consideration to intricate sets of facts and complicated defences.

Sarah is a great recruit and we look forward to watching her blossom with the firm.

We are enormously proud to welcome among our ranks Miss Lauren Fisher!  Lauren is a well-respected solicitor and Higher Rights Advocate, who gained substantial experience with John Barker Solicitors of Grimsby and VHS Fletchers Solicitors of Nottingham.

In the autumn of this year, Lauren’s desire to return to her home town of Grimsby and a new vacancy in The Johnson Partnership’s Higher Courts Advocates team proved entirely fortuitous.

Lauren has now been at our Grimsby and Scunthorpe offices for some time, although we are delighted to say she is still making regular appearances in both South Yorkshire and the East Midlands.

A friendly personable professional, Lauren is certainly making waves out east and many old friends and clients have been ecstatic to see her back in town.

Although Lauren will undoubtedly be trawling for new clients, she is too good to need to fish for compliments.  It is lovely having her on board and we have no hesitation in fastening our colours to the mast and declaring her our new mate.

Where a number of people are said to be involved in a particular incident and particularly in a conspiracy of some kind, a question often arises as to whether or not they should all be tried together or tried in groups.  This is never a straightforward decision and needs to be given some really careful consideration in the light of the facts of any particular case.

If you find yourself representing somebody who is said to be a “main player” or somebody who is very central to the allegation, it may be inevitable that the number of others will be tried alongside them.

When you are representing somebody who is “a bit of a tail end Charlie” things are often less clear.  Is it better for that person to shine against a darker background and remain in a trial with some of the “main players” or is it be better for them to be separated entirely to avoid the risk of being “tarred with the same brush”.

So much depends on the particular facts and allegations that a client faces, as well as the actual personality and character of the particular client.

I am delighted to say that at The Johnson Partnership we have always taken a great deal of time to consider exactly what our preference is.  Spending time with the client, talking things through, getting to know somebody, are all vital parts of making the decision either to apply for somebody to be kept together with others or tried separately.  However big the case may be, and however many people are said to be involved, it is important never to forget that each defendant is an individual with their own circumstances, feelings and characteristics.  If you are feeling like you are just another cog in a machine, the time might have come to talk to us at The Johnson Partnership to get the individual treatment you deserve!

At The Johnson Partnership we have a well experienced and highly skilled team of people ready to help with Proceeds of Crime Act applications.

Many firms are used to dealing with criminal cases from the police station to sentence.  Many fewer firms have any idea how to prepare for the sorts of applications that can follow on a guilty plea or a conviction that go way beyond sentence.

Many defendants now find that the announcement of a prison term or a community penalty does not mean that their case is at an end.  It is not just a question of serving their time or attending the appointments, the court will often have laid down a timetable to look into the extent to which someone has profited from crime and the assets that they have available that may be seized by way of redress.

Nicola Hornby, a time-served Equity Partner, heads up a team of solicitors and paralegals who are well-versed in the areas of financial crime and fraud, but who devote substantial percentages of their working lives to helping clients defend their positions against Proceeds of Crime Act applications.

Sian Barber and the excellent and highly experienced Jenny Bordley make up the core of the team who can draw on help from both the Fraud and Crown Court Litigator departments when necessary.

In-house Counsel Jimmy Beck has been involved in some of the foremost Proceeds of Crime cases before the Crown Court and the Court of Appeal.  Nicola and Jenny are both HCAs and so it is possible to avoid the disconnect that can come from trying to pass on lots of detailed and skilfully researched information to independent Counsel at short notice.

Whether the original case is being dealt with by ourselves or another firm, we are always happy to accept instructions from those facing the perils of a Proceeds of Crime Act application.

The Johnson Partnership are enormously proud to announce the appointment of Emma Coverley as a Deputy District Judge.

Having started out as a paralegal with The Johnson Partnership, Emma trained, qualified and became a Partner with us, before taking her own career to a new and different level.

Emma follows in the illustrious footsteps of Gerald Chalk, who left the Partnership to become the long term and highly respected District Judge for Cumbria.  A number of us still see Gerald on a regular basis and while we delight in his success, we still can’t help reflecting on how big a loss he has been to us all.

Emma’s appointment is all the more remarkable in that it finds her officiating in the civil jurisdiction, rather than the criminal.  The role is a challenging and demanding one, but sees Emma able to bring to bear a good level of knowledge and a well-balanced and analytical mind on the problems and difficulties that beset litigants on a daily basis.

Assigned to the Midlands circuit, Emma has so far been called upon to deputise in Lincoln, Nottingham, Stoke, Birmingham and Nuneaton.  Who knows what geographical delights the New Year holds?

Many congratulations Emma, we wish you all the best and hope you won’t judge us too harshly!

Chris Saunders, the firm’s Finance Partner and COFA, has recently recruited the newest in a long line of personal assistants.  As Sian Hall speeds towards qualification her hot seat has been taken by Cassidy Drury.

Working as an assistant to one of the Equity Partners undoubtedly gives a unique and unrivalled opportunity to get to know about the workings of the firm from the inside.  It also calls of course for an ability to work closely with a particular individual while acting as that person’s ambassador to the rest of the world.

Those who have filled the role have often gone on to stardom within the firm.  Indeed in Chris’s own office, both Sarah Roberts and Helen Nicholson, two of our most impressive young solicitors, have both sat where Cassidy now sits.

We all wish Cassidy the best, and can’t help thinking she’s a braver woman that the rest of us put together!

At The Johnson Partnership we have never done things by halves, nor have we necessarily done them two by two.  On Monday of this week we were delighted to see five of our staff members graduate together from Nottingham Trent University’s LPC and Masters course.

Katie Coxhead, Katie Hodgkinson, Bianca Brasoveanu, Jessica Skelton and Sian Hall all held their heads high and accepted the plaudits of students and staff alike as they graduated at the end of a process that some of them thought would never end.  Coming from different parts of the world and different backgrounds the Fab 5 are united in their single achievement and desire to qualify as solicitors.

At The Johnson Partnership we have been delighted to play our own small part in easing them towards their own particular goals.

We have an opportunity in our Advocacy Department for either Junior Counsel or an aspiring HCA who would like to try working with The Johnson Partnership in-house.

The successful candidate would be able to work primarily either in the Nottingham, Derby, Lincoln, Grimsby, or Sheffield Crown Courts, according to their own location and preference.

A short term contract based on maternity cover could easily be extended for a successful and promising candidate.

Working in-house means freedom from the political rambling of Barristers’ Chambers as well as guaranteed holidays with pay and sickness and maternity entitlements.  It would incorporate however freedom rather than the strictures of a 9:00am to 5:30pm working day.

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