Posts Tagged ‘ East midlands criminal solicitors ’


DAN CHURCH SCOOPS THE POOL

Written by Sian Hall
February 5th, 2018

For the second time in less than two years Dan Church returns to the East Midlands after a long stint on the West Coast.

In 2016 Dan was successful in securing an acquittal for a young lady charged with conspiracy to supply several kilos of controlled drugs. The case lasted for about six weeks and saw Dan make the acquaintance of a number of local hoteliers during his extended stay.

Between October 2017 and January 2018 Dan returned to his former stamping ground, this time as Junior, to the ever excellent Adrian Langdale from 7 Bedford Row.

With a considerable mountain of evidence to climb, many sceptics felt that the Langdale/Church team would come second. In fact, the two advocates, ably supported by arch litigator Rebecca Da Silva, returned home with first prize: an acquittal and considerable praise from the Trial Judge.

After an earlier six weeks and a more recent stay of twelve weeks, our only fear is that next time he heads to Liverpool we will not see Dan for six months.

Fantastic work by all concerned in the face of apparently overwhelming odds.

TROUBLE FOR TREACHOROUS TACHOGRAPHS

Written by Sian Hall
November 4th, 2017

In recent months, the Magistrates’ Court and Crown Court at Nottingham have been particularly heavily populated with Eastern European lorry drivers whose vehicles have been fitted with tachograph override systems.

 

The systems are capable of preventing a tachograph record from showing several hours of journey time each day.

 

The Trowell and Beeston Testing Centres have recently detected substantial numbers of wagons from Eastern Europe, whose drivers have been operating these devices.

 

Whilst the authorities always seek to prosecute the companies who own the vehicles, it is inevitably the drivers who are in the front line.

 

With Polish and Romanian speakers within our fee-earning team, we have been particularly well placed to look after drivers who found themselves before a court for the first time in their lives. Inevitably, we have had to come to terms with the various systems that are employed to override the tachograph.  Not all prosecutions result in guilty pleas and not all of the assertions made by the prosecuting authorities stand close examination.

 

If you know of somebody who finds themselves before the court for this sort of offence please do not hesitate to give us a call, whether the case is in the East Midlands or further afield. Our experienced staff will always be happy to help and are prepared to travel.

OH MY GOODNESS – WHAT THE DICKENS!

Written by Will Bolam
December 22nd, 2016

The King of Krowle!

At this festive season The Johnson Partnership are delighted to announce the recruitment of our own Dickens’ Solicitor! Chris Dickens has agreed to join us after a successful career as partner and freelance consultant for a number of local firms.

Over the years, Chris’ own firm boasted premises not only in Lincolnshire and South Humberside, but also in London.

A skilled and consummate advocate, Chris has had a lifetime of experience in the magistrates’ court and in recent years has plied his trade before the crown court bench.

We look forward to enduring Chris’ wit and wisdom and being able to draw on his substantial knowledge of the law and the local area

EXCEPTIONAL HARDSHIP: HOW EXCEPTIONAL? HOW HARD?

Written by Will Bolam
October 26th, 2016

In Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, South Yorkshire, Humberside, and well beyond, members of The Johnson Partnership have been engaged for years in enabling drivers, with twelve points or more on their driving licences, to keep driving.

At a recent training event, one of the most frequently asked questions by new clients was thought to be “How can I keep driving with twelve points on my licence?”

It is hoped that what follows may provide some sort of preliminary answer to this frequently asked question.

The first thing to say of course is that each case turns on its own facts and its own issues. The decision as to whether the hardship that would be caused by a driving ban is “exceptional” is one for the individual set of magistrates. On any given date, within the same building, different sets of magistrates may find that they feel that the same arguments either do or don’t persuade them that exceptional hardship would genuinely be caused to the defendant. Exceptional hardship can lie in the strangest of places!

Very often exceptional hardship will be caused to the children or relatives of the applicants. Elderly relatives will find themselves with no-one to assist in driving them to vital appointments and no-one to help with the heavy lifting of day to day life. Youngsters will find themselves unable to get to school because of the absence of public transport or their tendered years.

Exceptional hardship may be caused to a family, if the chief breadwinner is unable to carry on in employment that will enable the rent or mortgage to be paid.

Exceptional hardship may be caused to employees who will find themselves without work if the owner of the business is unable to drive to attend to the needs of clients or drum up new work.

In other cases exceptional hardship may be caused to members of sports teams, youth organisations, dance groups and the like, who have relied on a particular individual to drive the minibus to and from away fixtures or distant performance venues.

By definition, the list of things that may amount to “exceptional hardship” is limitless. All too often, defendants are reluctant to mention the sorts of difficulties that may be caused to those around them by the loss of their driving licence. Embarrassment, forgetfulness, or simple fear can mean that an exceptional hardship argument is only mooted when the decision has been made and the ban imposed.

Those who have suffered at the hands of particularly unsympathetic lower courts have of course the opportunity to pursue the argument before a higher tribunal in the Crown Court. A disqualification imposed by the magistrates can be suspended pending the hearing of the appeal.

If you even know that hardship is to be caused to those around you by the accumulation of points on your licence do not hesitate to approach us at The Johnson Partnership with a view to discussing whether such hardship might be felt, by a fair open-minded bench to be “exceptional”.

Call us at any time to discuss your thoughts and fears with one of our well-versed professionals. In recent times we have been happy to travel to mount arguments before benches all over England and Wales.

It is important, when preparing this sort of case to have more than your client’s instructions. Supporting documentation, independent confirmation of things that have been asserted, and the availability of corroborative witnesses is often crucial. Many of these cases are as much won in the preparation as in the presentation. Above all else, a defendant has to be prepared to give evidence on oath, in order that “exceptional hardship” can be found. It is important that defendants are aware of the sort of questions that they may be asked, so that they can themselves prepare to deal with any matters that might be thrown up either by the Crown Prosecution Service or the bench themselves.

This sort of personal attention to detail and painstaking preparation is what has helped us to achieve an unsurpassed success rate in mounting exceptional hardship arguments for our clients.

People arrested and asking for The Johnson Partnership can now rest-assured that they will be receiving an even prompter service whatever the time of day or night.  The Johnson Partnership’s new Night Owl rota, covering the Nottingham, Derby, Chesterfield, Mansfield, Doncaster, Scunthorpe and Barnsley solicitors’ offices will ensure that double the number of people are on call throughout night times, weekends and Bank Holidays to advise clients in person wherever they are arrested.

In addition, clients required to answer police bail at anti-social times can rely on a police station advisor from The Johnson Partnership to be available come what may.

The Night Owl rota will be staffed by police station advisors, new solicitors and time-served duty solicitors alike.  However major or minor the matter you must feel free to ask for The Johnson Partnership.  Clients will be able to say to the police with confidence that Johnsons will be there in a jiffy!

ACADEMIC ECHOES OF CONSTITUTIONAL LAW

Written by Editor
October 1st, 2015

In a week when Elizabeth II becomes the longest serving constitutional monarch and when Jesse Norman relies on parliamentary privilege to cast dispersions on Paula Radcliffe, my thoughts return to a lecture hall without a microphone let alone an interactive whiteboard.

I still remember the horror of being told that I was going to study Constitutional Law but that there was no constitution. I could not work out how the constitutional monarch ever learned what she was supposed to do, and if she didn’t know, how was I supposed to?!

Having come to terms with the fact that there was no constitution but there was a monarch, I then moved on to the role of Parliament within a constitutional democracy.

I still remember being told about the importance of parliamentary privilege and how it was important that matters could be vented in the chamber without fear of legal regress. I still remember the establishment of the standing committee system, to which the doctrine of parliamentary privilege was rapidly extended.

How surprising then on the same day to discover that parliamentary privilege and constitutional monarchy are all that is being discussed, even in the tabloid press.

Sadly, rather than developing any abstruse academic themes I find myself reflecting on two things only:-

  1. How much of a start would Jesse Norman need to avoid Paula Radcliffe catching him in under five minutes?
  2. What happened to the Bank Holidays we used to get every time there was a royal event?

Oh the delights of a legal education.

During recent months, The Johnson Partnership’s Fraud and White Collar Crime Department has been looking after clients nationwide.

As well as our local crown courts in Nottingham, Sheffield, Leicester, Derby, Lincoln and Birmingham, you might expect to find The Johnson Partnership solicitors in regular attendance at Southwark Crown Court or one of the other Greater London Fraud Centres.

At the moment, we find ourselves defending Revenue & Customs prosecutions in Preston, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Ipswich, Sheffield, Manchester and Hull.

With the growth in prosecutions by non-police and non-Revenue & Customs agencies, we have found an increased call on our White Collar Department’s specialist assistance.

Joint teams dealing with the white collar crime in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and South Yorkshire often share staff and expertise to ensure the best service for clients, wherever they are required to appear.

We have noticed an increase in the number of clients being visited at their homes or places of work to be interviewed on a “voluntary basis” which again has necessitated staff being available in some of the most unlikely places.  Staff have recently attended lengthy interviews at the offices of their local quarrying and mining operator which are thirty miles or so from the nearest police station.

Rest-assured that wherever you are interviewed, bailed or summonsed, The Johnson Partnership can have the right person on hand to give experienced and discreet advice.

RESTORATIVE JUSTICE WEEK

Written by Editor
November 17th, 2014

The Government, in their infinite wisdom, have decided that this week is Restorative Justice Week.  It is the week when the public are to be persuaded that they really are rather happy that the person who has hit them in the face with a glass bottle will be writing a letter of apology rather than going to court.  Alternatively, the person who has spray painted the rude words all over the side of the house will be spending several ill-tempered hours in their close proximity with detergent, hot water, and a potentially dangerous long-handled brush.

Restorative Justice in Derbyshire has long been renowned for its all-pervading domination of the Criminal Justice landscape.  People have been arrested for assaulting others in public houses, having spent an arduous three or four hours in the cells awaiting interview, have often been ordered by the reviewing officer to sort matters out by going back to the same pub and shaking hands in the middle of the car park.

Restorative Justice in South Yorkshire has historically played a much smaller part in the Criminal Justice process.  If there is any restoring to be done, the good folk of South Yorkshire have tended to have matters restored without involving police officers.  By the time the police get involved, matters have often gone far beyond that point.

Restorative Justice in and around Scunthorpe was flourishing, but seems to have been somewhat hampered by the need for one and maybe two interpreters to intercede to assist the respective parties in resolving matters and expressing their views on the issue.

In Nottinghamshire, Restorative Justice has from time to time been embraced and yet again from time to time shunned.  Only a cynic would suggest that Restorative Justice tends to flourish when the requisite paperwork is reduced.  On balance, many think that the sort of use made for Restorative Justice by the Nottinghamshire Police is far more proportionate and reasonable then elsewhere in the country.

There are of course many who will say that the crime most worth of Restorative Justice during the past eighteen months has been that of theft of funds from the legal aid budget.  Perhaps the notion of setting Chris Grayling to work free of charge in high street solicitors’ office up and down the country would see Restorative Justice employed to its very best effect.

The Johnson Partnership Criminal Defence Solicitors have received the specialist quality mark.  The Johnson Partnership Solicitors are proud to announce that following an audit between 16 and 18 June of this year the entire firm has been awarded the Legal Aid Agency’s specialist quality mark.

The SQM is an acknowledgement of the firm’s ability to implement systems, procedures and planning to ensure the delivery of the best possible seamless service to its clients.

The SQM is an act of demonstration that the firm has in place policies to avoid discrimination, money laundering, data theft, bribery and breaches of confidentiality.

Before the award of the quality mark the auditor reviewed a substantial number of files from The Johnson Partnership Nottingham and The Johnson Partnership Derby offices as well as interviewing staff at both partner and regular fee earner levels.

Files were reviewed from The Johnson Partnership Doncaster and The Johnson Partnership Scunthorpe offices demonstrating a thorough and swift adoption of existing systems by the Doncaster and Scunthorpe staff.  Indeed, The Johnson Partnership Barnsley office which at the time had only been with the firm for approximately three months, was found to be well on the way to embracing a vast raft of procedures designed to ensure that the firm works as a cohesive unit in delivering the sort of service the clients and the Legal Aid Agency are entitled to expect.

Staff from The Johnson Partnership Chesterfield and The Johnson Partnership Mansfield offices were equally found to be performing at the highest level.  It wasn’t felt necessary for any staff in Chesterfield or Mansfield to be interviewed, but their files were subject to close scrutiny as part of the audit process and were not found to be lacking.

The award of the specialist quality mark means that The Johnson Partnership should be among the forefront of firms and able to take part in any bidding or tendering process designed by the Ministry of Justice, the Legal Aid Agency  or other authorities or companies that decide to put out all or part of their legal services to tender.

Many congratulations to all at The Johnson Partnership for their on-going dedication to providing service of the highest quality and to Nicola Hornby the audit co-ordinator.

We are delighted to announce the arrival of Jenny Bordley with The Johnson Partnership’s White Collar Business Defence and Fraud Team.  With eight years’ experience of higher court work Jenny Bordley has been recruited in the safe knowledge that she brings to the Department an all-seeing eye and a meticulous attention to detail.

The ever expanding Department currently has matters before Crown Courts in Newcastle upon Tyne, Leeds, Sheffield, Liverpool, Nottingham, Derby, Leicester, Cardiff, Peterborough, Southwark, Croydon, Lewes, and the Old Bailey.  With a truly nationwide practice, The Johnson Partnership’s fraud team is delighted to have the skill and experience that Jenny brings.

With a large scale Boiler Room fraud, two enormous Crash for Cash cases, two multi-million pound mortgage frauds, a publishing fraud, internet piracy and Trademark infringement matters, as well as a HMRC, OFT and SFO prosecutions, our Nottingham based team are not only working out of The Johnson Partnership offices in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Yorkshire and Humberside, but also sharing premises with associated firms in Liverpool, London, Cardiff, and Newcastle.  It is not necessarily true that you can join The Johnson Partnership and see the world, but you certainly can spend time in all four corners of the jurisdiction.

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