First Defence Team
Simon has been a solicitor since 1998, he has developed an extensive criminal defence practice since that time, save for a short period with the Crow Prosecution Service where he gained an invaluable insight into the working of the police and prosecution. Simon is a Duty Solicitor and has previously been a Regional Duty Solicitor Committee member. He is a member of the Law Society's Criminal Litigation Accreditation Scheme. Simon was previously a President of the Bedfordshire Law Society.
Andy became a solicitor in 1996. He has specialised exclusively in criminal defence work and has developed a huge client base. Andy has dealt with a number of high profile murder, fraud and human trafficking cases with notable success. Andy is well known for working with the disenfranchised and has become increasingly concerned for those suffering from Drug and Alcohol dependency. In 2006 he was appointed as a Trustee for the James Kingham Project which is a community rehabilitation project for people with alcohol problems. Andy is a Duty Solicitor and is a member of the Law Society’s Criminal Litigation Accreditation Scheme.
Higher Court Advocate
Jane read law at Durham University graduating as a bachelor of law with honours before becoming a solicitor in 1996. She was formally a partner at Woodfines in Bedford where she practiced family law, mental health law and headed up their criminal and immigration departments. Jane joined First Law in 2006 and appears regularly in the Magistrates Court and the Crown Court. She is a duty solicitor, a member of the law society and is an active member of the local law society, as a committee member for 10 years and is a past president.
As a former equity partner at Sharman Law, Simon has been a leading criminal defence solicitor since 1974 and is Duty Solicitor, a member of the Law Society’s Criminal Litigation Accreditation Scheme, and a committee member of the local Bedford Law Society, and is a former President. Simon is a member of Lords Cricket Club.
By the time he qualified in 2001, having studied for his Law degree and post-graduate qualification in Birmingham, Andy was already a fully qualified Police Station Representative, being one of the first in the country to undertake the Law Society examinations which allowed him that privilege. Membership of the Criminal Litigation Accreditation Scheme and Duty Solicitor status followed swiftly, as did regular membership of the Duty Solicitor Committee.
Mr Daniel qualified as a solicitor in 1991, he is a qualified Duty Solicitor. He worked for a number of firms in the South East before setting up Criminal Law Advocates in 2001. Mr Daniel has worked for First Defence from March 2011 and as a regular face at Reading Magistrates Court for the last 18 years, he is well known by all magistrates and prosecutors. He appears regularly before all Berkshire, Oxfordshire and North Hampshire Magistrates Courts, and has also appeared before Reading Crown Court. Mr Daniel has extensive trial experience, with a high success rate. He is experienced in all types of criminal offence, and he is known for his robust and forthright defence of all his clients. Adonis Daniel is a governor of a local primary school, and a Manchester United supporter.
Lisa achieved a 1st Class Honours degree in 1994 whereupon she travelled the world extensively until 1997, qualifying as a solicitor in 2002. She has worked with the Serious Fraud Panel, is a Duty Solicitor, and a Higher Court Advocate. She is also a member of the Law Society’s Criminal Litigation Accreditation Scheme. Lisa’s wealth of experience and qualification means she is permitted to appear in all criminal courts and is a valued member of the advocacy team.
Paul qualified 1984, and gained his Crown Court Higher rights 2005. As a duty Duty Solicitor since 1989 Paul covers all representation in the Magistrates and often appears in the Crown Court. Previously a partner and Head of Family Law at a firm in Grantham between 1988 – 94, Paul has specialised in Criminal Law since then.
Dan qualified as a solicitor in 1997. He was previously a partner at Hilliers Solicitors and then became a partner at Park Woodfine Solicitors where he headed the Criminal Department. Dan is a Duty Solicitor and a member of the Law Society’s Criminal Litigation Accreditation Scheme. Dan is also a member of the Legal Services Commissions peer review crime panel. Dan is a Higher Court Advocate and is therefore permitted to appear in all criminal courts.
Hayley graduated with an LLB(Hons) law degree in 1995 and completed her Legal Practice Course in 1996. Her legal career started in London with a city law firm before having a change of career and managing an events division for a large media PLC in London.
Hayley joined First Defence in 2009 and became a Duty Solicitor. She is a Higher Court Advocate and therefore permitted to appear in all criminal courts.
Aisling works in the Magistrates Court department of our Reading office as a Duty Solicitor. She began her legal career in the area of Civil Litigation before making the transition to Criminal Law in 2009. Along with her work in the Magistrates Court, Aisling is experienced in Crown Court Litigation and has handled complex fraud cases, sexual offences and those involving serious violence. Aisling enjoys the varied nature of the work and the opportunity to help those who have lead difficult and troubled lives. She completed her undergraduate degree at Queens University of Belfast, before moving across the water to complete the Legal Practice Course at the University of the West of England, Bristol. Aisling’s aspiration is to attain Higher Rights of Audience and in her spare time loves nothing more than to watch a good court room drama.
Parminder obtained his law degree at the University of Bedfordshire between 1999 and 2002. He excelled and went on to complete law school training at the College of Law - London from 2002 - 2003. Parminder then joined Pictons solicitors and became a fully qualified solicitor in 2006. He became a duty solicitor shortly after and has been with First Defence ever since.
Ben originally trained and qualified with Sherwood Dunham Solicitors in Wellingborough then joined First Defence in 2008 in the same town. Having practiced in all major aspects of the Law he has built up a broad range of experience since qualifying in 2003. A Court and Police Station Duty Solicitor he believes that everyone no matter what their background deserves to be treated equally and fairly before the Courts. In his spare time he volunteers at a local museum.
Dhiraj has over 10 years experience within Criminal Law and is a highly experienced Magistrates’ Court trial advocate, representing clients who have been accused of committing any type of criminal offence. He is also a member of the Criminal Litigation Accreditation Scheme (CLAS) and is a fully accredited Duty Solicitor, representing clients at both police stations and Courts throughout Hertfordshire and London. Dhiraj is well known for his advocacy techniques, prioritising client care and his highly professional but empathetic approach to all cases that he handles. He has also been appointed as head of the Criminal Department in Borehamwood.
Eliot joined First Defence in June 2009 as a case worker. His experience in the law environment grew and he quickly showed his ambition and potential. Eliot recently passed the written examination and his critical incidents test on his way to soon becoming an accredited police station advisor. He works with the allocated solicitors in Wellingborough to have all the preparation and file building completed ready for court hearings.
Bobby works as a paralegal in both our Magistrates and Crown court team. He is currently in his second year of studying with the Open University towards a law degree.
He has only been working in Law for a year and a half but already demonstrates the crucial skills needed to be a success in our field of work. He is young and extremely enthusiastic about all aspects of Law and is working his way up to eventually become a police station representative and solicitor or barrister.
Mohammed recently graduated with his Law degree with Honors’ and now is undertaking the Legal Practice Course with the College of Law. He is also currently training to become a Police Station Representative and will shorted become accredited.
Mohammed is an experienced member of our team and is the first point of contact in Luton with any enquires relating to Criminal, Immigration or Family law. In his spare time, Mohammed volunteers with various local community projects including the Crescent Summer School Project and BYL in Luton. Mohammed is keen sportsman and is an active member of his local football team.