Criminal Law Practice: An Expert Guide

Drawing on the experience of a range of well-respected experts and practitioners, this report discusses the latest regulations, legislation, case law, and guidance relating to criminal law work and contains practical guidance on the skills and techniques required of criminal solicitors.

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As criminal lawyers have faced huge disruption after a swathe of significant changes to policy, regulation and procedure, it is therefore essential that you are up to speed with the latest changes and advice on effective criminal law practice. Drawing on the experience of a range of well-respected experts and practitioners, this report discusses the latest regulations, legislation, case law, and guidance relating to criminal law work, including: 

•    An update on the two-tier contract proposal and judicial proceedings;
•    A comprehensive update on legislative changes from the past year with detailed case law commentary;
•    Information on new sentencing guidelines relating to sexual offences, fraud, bribery, and money laundering;
•    Practical guidance on confiscation law with advice on what solicitors are struggling with in this area; and
•    Updates on police powers and bail



Two tier is too dangerous
By Bill Waddington, director and head of Defence Advocacy at Williamsons Solicitors and chair of CLSA

Criminal legislation update
By David Watts, solicitor at ZMS Legal

  • Abuse of process
  • Dangerous dogs
  • Procedure
  • Appealing court decisions
  • Costs and legal aid
  • Anti-social behaviour
  • Sentencing

Criminal case news and headlines: A look back at 2014
By Catherine Fischl, associate, and Kate Parker, paralegal, at Peters & Peters

  • Factors affecting sentence
  • A new domestic violence offence
  • FCA clamps down on dishonest behaviour outside the office

Expert evidence and case preparation
By Rose Stringer, solicitor

  • Part 33 of the Criminal Procedures Rules 2014
  • H v R
  • Summary

Benefit figures: Why be concerned?
By Simon Walton, consultant at The Firm Solicitors LLP

  • Joint property
  • Joint property: Joint role?
  • Available amount

Interference with the rights of the individual pre-charge
By Rachel Cook, associate at Peters & Peters

  • Bail
  • Search warrants
  • Conclusion

Is the criminal justice system failing defendants with acquired brain injuries?
By Nicola O’Connor, partner at Russell-Cooke

  • A significant proportion of our prison population report having
  • suffered a brain injury
  • Clients in the police station

Working with young people in the courts
By Hakan Pettersson, criminal justice trainer

  • The youth justice system
  • Two pillars of the youth justice system
  • Youth offending teams
  • Recent changes to the treatment of young people in the justice system
  • Points of difference between youth and adult court
  • The involvement of child services
  • Youth Rehabilitation Orders
  • Conclusion

Witness interviewing using the cognitive interview approach
By Geoff Coughlin, director at Emphasis on Skills Ltd

  • The need for accurate and comprehensive facts
  • The relationship between interviewer and witness
  • Witness interviews using the cognitive approach
  • Developing existing skills
Key contents


Bill Waddington
Director, Williamsons solicitors: Intro – Information on two-tier system and judicial proceedings
Rachel Cook
Associate, Peters and Peters: Proposals for limits on police/pre-charge bail.
Simon Walton
Partner, The Firm Solicitors LLP, Solihull: Confiscation law – what solicitors are not doing properly
Geoff Coughlin
Geoff Coughlin co-founded Emphasis on Skills Ltd in 1995 and is known for his specialist work in cognitive interviewing - memory recall techniques that obtain much more accurate and uncontaminated facts from witnesses. He has trained lawyers in 20 of the 25 largest law firms in the UK. High profile work includes training litigators to take witness statements for Eversheds in the Bloody Sunday and Shipman Inquiries. Geoff also works with lawyers and firms to develop the essential range of communication skills needed in their practice. Interestingly, Geoff was previously a trainer at the Metropolitan Police Training College, Hendon, and had many years' experience as an operational police officer and managers with The Met.
Nicola O’Connor
Partner, Russell Cooke: Dealing with clients with head injuries (versus mental health issues)
Hakan Petterson
Criminal justice trainer, CLT: Representing young clients
David Watts
Solicitor, ZMS Legal: Legislation and case law update
Catherine Fischl
Cath Fischl is an associate in the Business Crime department at Peters & Peters, working on both criminal and regulatory cases.
Kate Parker
Kate Parker is a paralegal at Peters & Peters.
Rose Stringer
Rose Stringer has extensive criminal litigation experience having worked as a solicitor specialising in criminal defence for eight years.

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