Criminal justice & regulatory - Legal 500

The comments below are taken from The Legal 500. The Legal 500 is a clients guide to the best law firms, lawyers and solicitors.

The ‘tenacious’ Sean Joyce is a Higher Court Solicitor Advocate and heads the  regulatory and criminal justice department at Stephensons Solicitors LLP . Joyce is ‘one of the top criminal solicitors in the North West and really fights for his clients’. The department assists clients nationwide and is ‘particularly recommended for its miscarriage of justice work’. Joyce is praised for his health and safety work for individuals and businesses and for his advice on road transport issues. The ‘highly experienced and knowledgeable’ Correna Platt  is a ‘fearless advocate’ and heads the serious crime and defence team. The ‘skilled and dedicated’ Mike Pemberton  manages the civil liberties and public law department and senior associate Colin Rawson garners praise for his ‘excellent communication skills’. The team has six high court advocates and assists clients on various matters such as SRA interventions, prison law matters and inquests. In a case that attracted a considerable amount of media interest, the team secured an acquittal for its client after two retrials. The client had been charged with murder and complex issues were considered at trial such as self-defence, reasonable force and adverse inference. (2018)

Stephensons Solicitors LLP  fields a ‘very professional and committed team’ that include the ‘highly knowledgeable and experienced’ Correna Platt, and John Greenwood, who is an accredited supervisor under the Legal Aid Agency panel for Very High Cost Cases. Platt is praised for her ‘tenacity, work ethic, incisive thinking and dedication to ensuring that she gets the best possible outcome for her clients; she has a thoroughly well-deserved reputation for excellence and she is a top tier criminal solicitor when it comes to defending those charged with serious offences’. Also recommended is Sean Joyce, who has ‘built up a very good name for himself in this field’. The team regularly acts in the most high-value and substantial cases such as land-banking, Ponzi and VAT fraud as well as other areas such as investment fraud, the proceeds of crime and money laundering. In addition the team has been appointed to the Bar Standards Board interventions panel, to the Solicitors Regulation Authority interventions panel and to the Council for Licensed Conveyancers interventions panel. The group is currently advising the defendant on an ongoing fraud case spanning a number of jurisdictions involving significant sums of money. It is alleged that the defendant fraudulently mis- sold pensions investments. (2018)

Stephensons Solicitors LLP's ‘background knowledge and experience in public law and social care is invaluable’. Melanie Varey is a ‘fantastic lawyer who has immense client empathy’. Varey specialises in advising parties on best interests, capacity disputes, deprivation of liberty and appeals against deprivation of liberty safeguards. (2018)

For some, Stephensons Solicitors LLP ‘leads the way nationally in human rights and civil liberties litigation ’. The ‘very well-regarded and long-established legal aid firm’ impresses by virtue of its team’s ‘efficiency and grasp of the essentials of every case’. Sean Joyce leads the team, which includes Mike Pemberton, whose ‘good humour and the mastery of the detail of their cases immediately puts clients at ease’. Correna Platt and Rachel Adamson are ‘outstanding performers who are extremely thorough, are committed to their clients and who bring a very great level of preparation and commitment to the cases they work on’. (2017)

The ten-strong community care and Court of Protection team at Stephensons Solicitors LLP is part of the firm’s civil liberties practice, which is headed by Mike Pemberton. It acts for a range of vulnerable adults and children with physical disabilities and mental health issues. Associate Melanie Varey has developed a niche practice representing clients in relation to decisions over the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment. (2017)

Stephensons Solicitors LLP’s ‘top-notch’ team is singled out for its human rights and civil liberties work. Correna Platt is rated for her criminal appeal work and Michael Pemberton ‘knows the Supreme Court in the way that most solicitors know their local Magistrates Court’. Sean Joyce heads the regulatory and criminal justice department. (2016)

Key figures at Stephensons Solicitors LLP include ‘tenacious’ associate Melanie Varey, who provides ‘clear advice’, and Michael Pemberton. (2016)

Stephensons Solicitors LLP’s team is noted for its skill at handling serious fraud and regulatory cases and for its niche expertise in tachograph fraud... John Greenwood (‘there is nothing he does not know about serious fraud litigation’) and ‘incredibly bright’ solicitor Priscilla Addo-Quaye. (2016)

The ‘top-notch’ six-partner team at Stephensons Solicitors LLP has expertise spanning transport law, appeals and miscarriages of justice, prison law and human rights matters. Managing partner Sean Joyce heads the regulatory and criminal justice department. Mike Pemberton is ‘an outstanding civil liberties solicitor’, and head of the appeals team. Correna Platt ‘leaves no stone unturned’. Former team head Martin Jones is now a consultant with the firm. (2015)

Stephensons Solicitors LLP’s ‘thorough and pragmatic’ team ‘really fights for its clients’, and is noted for its fraud and regulatory work. It acted for a property surveyor in a high-profile fraud matter. Sean Joyce is also noted. (2015)

The ‘expert' team at Stephensons Solicitors LLP conducts criminal defence work for individuals and businesses, and is particularly noted for miscarriage of justice matters, prison law and human rights. Managing partner Martin Jones heads the team. (2014)

Stephensons Solicitors LLP is experienced in, and well regarded for, miscarriage of justice cases. Managing partner Martin Jones is recommended alongside Sean Joyce, who has 'an encyclopaedic knowledge of criminal procedure', and 'star prison lawyer' Michael Pemberton. (2013)

Stephensons Solicitors LLP's cross-office team handles a variety of private and publicly funded criminal matters, and has seen a significant increase in regulatory work. Martin Jones and Sean Joyce are both recommended. Mike Pemberton was promoted to partner. (2012)

Stephensons Solicitors LLP has scored some notable victories in criminal appeal cases, and its prison law team has also been successful in a number of groundbreaking high-profile cases. Neal Boland leads the regulatory team. (2011)

Stephensons Solicitors LLP has strength in depth in relation to general crime. The ‘efficient’ Campbell Malone is recommended, as is prison law expert Mike Pemberton. The firm prosecutes for local authorities, and defends VOSA and FSA actions. Steven Swift joined the criminal offences department. (2010)

Stephensons Solicitors LLP is ‘one of only a handful of firms that have expertise to deal effectively with criminal appeals’. Campbell Malone is 'undoubtedly “the elder statesman” of criminal appeals’. The team, which is led by Martin Jones, continues to assist Manchester City Council. (2009)

Stephensons offers a ‘very competitive’ service and acts for a considerable number of local authority clients such as Warrington Borough Council and Wirral Metropolitan Borough covering civil litigation and prosecutions as well as social services and education work. It has prosecuted over 2,500 cases for Manchester City Council. (2008)

In 2006 Stephensons added significantly to the portfolio of local authority clients for which it carries out regulatory prosecutions. One of the largest of these clients is Oldham Council. Campbell Malone is highly regarded for miscarriage of justice cases. (2007)

Stephensons' Campbell Malone acted on two high-profile Shaken Baby Syndrome cases and successfully appealed two murder convictions. Neal Boland specialises in corporate and regulatory defence work. (2006)

Stephensons is active in high-profile regulatory prosecution work, with a wide client base comprising corporates and public authorities, including Manchester City Council, in addition to private clients. Neal Boland heads the department and the renowned Campbell Malone was acclaimed for his role in the overturning of Stefan Kiszko's life-sentence for murder, 17 years after imprisonment. (2005)

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