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Criminal defence solicitors

Criminal defence and appeals overview - intro

Stephensons is a leading criminal defence firm. Our expert criminal defence solicitors and lawyers have extensive experience of successfully defending clients accused of the full range of criminal offences. Our criminal defence solicitors act for clients throughout England and Wales and we pride ourselves on achieving the best possible outcomes for our clients. For immediate advice from a member of our specialist team, please call 01616 966 229 or complete our online enquiry form.

Our solicitors recognise that being investigated or charged with a serious criminal offence is a daunting prospect. Many of our clients have not had any previous dealings with the police or the courts and find the experience overwhelming and unsettling. We will guide you through this difficult process, providing specialist advice and reassurance from the first phone call through to the conclusion of the case. Our criminal defence lawyers recognise that it is essential to seek expert legal advice at the earliest possible opportunity, we operate a 24 hour call out service for those detained in police custody ensuring that we can respond to your needs without delay - we are currently still attending police stations where possible If you require emergency assistance outside the normal working hours please call 07836 574 607.

Excellent4.6 score on Trustpilot
Rated 4.6 / 5 Based on 2033 reviews
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Our criminal offence specialists

We have a large criminal defence department which includes four partners and a team of specialist solicitors, who have over 150 years of combined experience. A number of our defence lawyers are higher rights advocates who can represent clients from the first interview in the police station all the way through to a hearing in the Crown Court. Our experience includes dealing with all aspects of criminal defence. We have secured successful outcomes for clients facing the full range of criminal offences, including:

If you require immediate representation we have highly skilled police station representatives available 24 hours a day all year round. If you require emergency assistance outside the normal working hours please call 07836 574 607.

What others say about our criminal defence solicitors

Client comments

"I would like to thank everyone that has been involved through out all this mess. The outcome I was hoping for has happened and this is down to the good work Mr Swift and everyone else has put in. I am more than satisfied with the service you have provided me and once again, I much appreciate the help you have given me."

"A fantastic first class service throughout my ordeal. A big thank you to; Chloe, Jessica, Sarah and finally Duncan. You were all so friendly, professional and helpful at all times. Keep up the good work as it really is appreciated!"

"Very quick on responding to any questions I had. Very calming and professional in court from start to finish a top service."

"My son and I are grateful to Stephensons Solicitors LLP staff, for all their help and guidance. They represented my son professionally and kindly, and with great understanding of his mental health condition. He and I are so pleased that we chose Stephensons to represent him."

“I would highly recommend Stephensons to anyone needing legal advice and support. I found Colin Rawson to be very friendly, supportive and professional in dealing with my case. I cannot praise Colin enough for the first class customer service and help that I received.”

"Excellent service, very professional from start to finish. One off fee helps with affordability, no worry about spiralling costs. The solicitors are very kind and caring."

"I cannot express my gratitude enough to this company for looking after me so well. The key for me with this service was being kept up to date throughout and Faye did an amazing job from first call to last and many communications in between. Colin and Andrea also deserve a mention for their professional advice and efficient service. I honestly could not have found a better group of people. Thank you."

"Excellent help and advice. Would highly recommend."

Chambers & Partners

"Stephensons Solicitors has a dedicated criminal defence team able to represent clients in the full range of criminal cases. The firm has appeared in serious crime cases involving murder, sexual offences, and the supply of drugs and firearms. It is well versed in issues related to defendants being accused of participating in an organised crime group. It also has experience in driving offence matters, theft and fraud."

"Stephensons is very professional."

"Stephensons works to a high standard."

"A good all-round firm; a safe pair of hands."


Legal 500

The Legal 500 has been analysing the capabilities of law firm across the world for over 30 years, following a comprehensive research programme they recognise firms who are providing the most cutting edge and innovative advice.

The team have been awarded tier one ranking, the highest, for their criminal defence work for the ninth consecutive year in the Legal 500

Wigan-based boutique firm Stephensons Solicitors LLP handles the full spectrum of regulatory and criminal matters, including multi-jurisdictional cases, and its offering encompasses advice on sexual offences, POCA, offences of violence, and large-scale drug importations and supply conspiracies. The group boasts dedicated experts in criminal litigation, regulatory enforcement, and criminal appeals. The department stands out for its work in niche areas, such as prison law and inquests, as well as for its strong fraud practice which handles large-scale cases regarding land-banking, Ponzi schemes, VAT fraud, and tax evasion; these are key areas of strength for Duncan Phillips and John Greenwood. While Sean Joyce heads the regulatory and criminal justice team, co-head Correna Platt oversees the fraud side of the practice. Mike Pemberton remains a key partner for cases involving civil liberties and human rights."

"The team at Stephensons is a well respected, down to earth, and straight talking. They have significant experience in large scale drugs supply cases, which they prepare for with tenacity and vigour."

"Corenna Platt and Colin Rawson are standout partners. Corenna has a real eye for detail and is extremely personable. She deals with serious and complex Crown Court cases and is often instructed in some of the regions largest cases on circuit. Colin deals with all aspects of criminal law and is very persuasive in the courtroom. He is a well-respected practitioner who always appears unflappable."

"Always efficient and professional, detailed knowledge of the law, and many years of experience, which provides reassurance especially when big tactical decisions are required." - 2024

"Stephensons Solicitors LLP is a Wigan-based boutique criminal practice. On the general crime side, which includes three High Court advocates, the practice deals with motoring offences, civil liberties, miscarriages of justice and SRA interventions. On the fraud side, the firm handles large-scale cases such as land-banking matters, Ponzi schemes and VAT and investment fraud. Sean Joyce heads the regulatory and criminal justice team, while Correna Platt oversees the fraud practice. Mike Pemberton manages the civil liberties and public law unit, dealing with cases involving public law or human rights issues. Colin Rawson offers expertise in drug offending cases, in particularly those arrested connected to encro phones and county line cases. Fraud specialist John Greenwood and Duncan Phillips are other key members of the team.

Stephensons have an excellent criminal department of experienced and dedicated lawyers, dealing with the full range of criminal cases.

An excellent team that is able to deal with the full spectrum of criminal offences including financial crime.

Stephensons are a top-rated criminal firm with a great team who have exceptional client care skills. "- Legal 500 2024

"Wigan-based Stephensons Solicitors LLP deals with a wide range of general crime, civil liberties, appeals and miscarriage of justice matters. 'Fearless' Sean Joyce, who specialises in regulatory enforcement issues, leads the team with the 'experienced' and 'knowledgeable' Correna Platt, who has extensive expertise in handling murder and sexual offences, with particular knowledge of forensic matters and medical defence issues. Mike Pemberton is noted for his experience in human rights work and advising life or indeterminate sentence prisoners. Colin Rawson 'really fights for his clients' and is recommended for multi-handed drugs conspiracy cases ..." - Legal 500, 2022

"Stephensons are very special due to a combination of their attention to detail and the thoroughness of the preparation. They are always attuned to client needs and are able to understand the priorities of the client and the concern they have. They work well with all other professionals and disciplines and are truly multi-disciplinary." - Legal 500, 2022

"Stephensons are a firm with a large criminal department, headed up by Sean Joyce who is a fearless lawyer. He manages the team in a very efficient and effective way and they are highly regarded in the industry for their hard work, good communication skills and for achieving great results." - Legal 500, 2022

If you require assistance in relation to a criminal matter please contact a member of our team, in confidence, on 01616 966 229. Alternatively, please complete our online enquiry form and a member of the team will contact you without delay.

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