Martin Pizzey

Partner

Biography

Martin is a Partner at Stephensons. He qualified as a solicitor in 1996 and has exclusively worked within the regulatory and criminal justice department since qualification. Before his career at Stephensons Martin worked within the legal department of a major insurance company.

Martin has extensive experience in both the general criminal litigation section and regulatory section of the department. He has predominantly defended clients under investigation or before a court. Martin has also appeared in court as a prosecuting lawyer.

A key role for Martin is providing advice and assistance to those accused of criminal offences or breaches of regulation. The range of work undertaken includes the most serious crimes such as alleged violent or sex crimes, drugs offences, fraud offences or public order offences to minor ones where the impact can still have personal or professional consequences to the individual client. This extends to advising those who may not be formally under investigation but fear they may be drawn into a situation they have little to do with where early advice can make a significant difference to the long term direction or consequences to the individual concerned. It is often the case even minor matters can have a devastating impact on a person’s career or prospects. 

Martin is an experienced duty solicitor for both the court and police station scheme and together with his team provides advice to suspects at police stations at any time of the day of night. This experience has resulted in a set of skills and breadth of knowledge enabling Martin to identify issues quickly and effectively allowing prompt advice. Assistance during investigations can also be provided to those facing investigations by other organisations such as the Department of Work and Pensions, the RSPCA, Health and Safety Executive, local authority prosecutions and HMRC.

As an advocate, Martin appears in court on a regular basis representing clients facing all types of offences helping them through the processes from first appearance, bail applications, sentencing hearings and trials. He is also a Higher Courts Advocate with qualifications and rights of audience in the Crown Court where he has experience of conducting cases through to trials before a jury. He has also successfully taken cases to the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) where he has appeared as an advocate.

The regulatory and criminal justice department at Stephensons is one of the largest expert teams in the field of criminal defence or regulatory defence work in the country. It has an enormous amount of experience and skill. Its size ensures a complete and comprehensive service that is client focused, prompt and effective. The department is recognised in the Legal 500.  Martin and his department has particular experience in representing all types of clients from public servants facing misconduct allegations or criminal offences, professionals, business people and many others from youths and those retired from work. The objective is always to deliver a legal service that is caring and sensitive to the individual needs of each client. It is a professional service but most importantly it is done in a plain speaking and understandable manner so the client know the issues, what is going on around them and are properly informed when decisions are made. Stephensons prides itself on being able to truly say it is “working with you, for you.”

Summary of services

Police investigation and interviews under caution

Most criminal proceedings start with an investigation. This can be the most important stage of any case. Things said during an official interview are normally recorded and can cause problems later on. Early and prompt advice is very important. The job of the lawyer is to find out what information is being used in the investigation, discover how credible it is and probe the investigators for more information. Deficiencies with the investigation process can often be spotted at this stage allowing for representations being made to the investigators so they do their duty properly and fairly.

Once the details of the allegation are known a private and comprehensive consultation takes place before any interview. This allows time for advice on legal technicalities to be given as well as explaining the interview process. This avoids any suspect being taken by surprise by an unexpected line of questioning where a hasty answer might not be an accurate of complete answer that could later on be misinterpreted or twisted.

Martin’s assistance continues throughout the actual interview with the important role of ensuring the process is conducted properly and fairly within the legal rules.

Other investigations

It is not just the police who perform investigations.  The Department of Work and Pensions, Health and Safety Executive, HM Customs and Revenue, RSPCA together with many other organisations have powers and responsibilities to investigate cases.   Many are conducted in a similar way to a police investigation as the fundamental issues and processes are similar.   As well as such statutory bodies, investigations by anti-fraud departments of insurance companies or a commercial organisation regarding alleged misconduct investigations can take place unexpectedly.   The same advice applies that assistance and advice before, at and during those meetings can make a significant difference to the outcome.  Help can be given even when no formal advice has been taken at the first point of contact with an investigator.  It is never too late to although the earlier the advice the better the advice. 

Court cases and proceedings – litigation

Making sure your case is properly prepared and ready for the best possible hearing is an essential part of defence work. With a sophisticated computer based case management, team of support staff and many years’ experience, this work is done efficiently and promptly. Experts can be found when specialist reports are needed, witnesses tracked down and statements taken. Every step of the way, the team will be there to support you through the whole process and keep you fully informed.  This service can be undertaken both before any action is commenced which can make all the difference to the outcome as gathering evidence or ensuring it is retained by investigators is essential.     

Court cases - advocacy service

Appearing in court can be a very frightening experience. The department has many highly experienced advocates providing expert advocacy services at every stage of any criminal proceeding.

Specialist services

Stephensons has the resources and expertise to assist in other areas that might arise due to an allegation being made. This includes professional / regulatory representation and assistance for those finding themselves before a professional body.  A civil liberties team is also on hand for those cases where complex issues arise which may impact upon civil liberties and human rights. Due to the organisation and extensiveness of the range of skills and expertise, any client will know they have the backing and support of a major law firm capable of dealing with any issue no matter how significant or complex.