Sean Joyce

Head of Regulatory and Criminal Justice

Sean qualified as a solicitor in 1998, has specialised in criminal and regulatory law ever since and became a Partner with the firm in 2003.

He now heads the regulatory, serious fraud and business crime department and has developed a team around these specialities which now consists of six qualified solicitors and higher court advocates and  brings together a number of niche areas of white collar crime. As a Magistrates Court and Police Station Duty Solicitor and a Higher Courts (Criminal) Advocate, Sean represents clients throughout the entire criminal process, from interviews under caution through to the Magistrates and Crown Court. 

Sean and his team defend allegations brought by a variety of enforcement agencies including the Police and Crown Prosecution Service, Customs and Excise, HMRC, Health and Safety Executive, Environment Agency, Environmental Health, Trading Standards, Vehicle Operator Services Agency and a range of professional regulators. The particular areas of expertise of the team that he leads are as follows:

Serious crime, fraud and homicide: Sean has defended over 20 homicide cases including murder, manslaughter, gross negligence manslaughter, causing death by dangerous driving and causing death by careless driving. He has also represented defendants charged with fraud and conspiracy to supply and import large quantities of drugs. He deals with serious fraud, proceeds of crime and confiscation proceedings. Sean is a member of the North West Fraud Forum.

Road transport: He has over ten years experience of regularly representing commercial transport operators (HGV and PCV) at public inquiry before traffic commissioners on all regulatory issues such as repute, financial standing and maintenance. He also defends drivers and operators against criminal prosecutions for drivers hours and tachograph offences in multi-defendant investigations and prosecutions by DVSA. Sean has provided talks and seminars to the transport sector, has regularly contributed articles to the transport trade press and is a member of the RHA and a member of the FTA’s legal panel providing advice and representation to their members.

Professional discipline: He has developed a niche practice advising and representing a range of professionals before their respective regulators, particularly health care professionals. Sean’s health care professional discipline practice has seen him bring appeals on behalf of registrants before the High Court (Saunders v Hearing Aid Council (2010) EWHC 629 (Admin) and Her Majesty’s Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (Holmes v Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons 2011). He is a member of the Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers.

Sports law:  Sean has also developed a specialism in representing professional and amateur sportsmen and women at sports disciplinary tribunals. He is the solicitor of choice for Wigan Warriors Rugby League Club having represented a number of their first team players, including internationals, in connection with RFL disciplinary tribunals as well as appeals against decisions of the tribunal. He is a member of the Sports Lawyers Forum.

Road traffic offences: Sean has extensive experience of all aspects of road traffic law from speeding to death by dangerous driving and is the resident ‘’ask the expert’  having answered in excess of 1,000 online enquiries in connection with  drink driving offences for DrinkDriving.org - Ask a Solicitor.

Inquests: Sean has appeared as advocate at a number of inquests involving a range of causes of death with a particular specialism in inquests into fatal road traffic accidents.

Environmental offences: He regularly defends businesses prosecuted by the Environment Agency for a range of environmental offences. Significant cases include the successful defence of an appeal brought by the Environment Agency in the Divisional Court following an acquittal at first instance in relation to offences of water pollution (The Environment Agency v Biffa Waste Services, Eurotech. Environmental Ltd (QBD) 23 March 2006 [2006] EWHC 1102(Admin))

Health and safety: Sean is a member of the Health and Safety Lawyers Association and advises on all aspects of health and safety law. 

Sean is noted in Chambers and Partners 2016 for his responsiveness and his ability to explain things in layman's terms.