Private Criminal Defence

Our private criminal defence solicitors are industry-leading and committed to delivering excellence. We offer a 'cutting edge, best in class service' and excel in representing professionals and prominent individuals. Increasingly, the department receives instructions from those who want a better service and calibre of lawyer than is typically available on Legal Aid.

More about Private Criminal Defence

Rather than settle for what the State is prepared to pay for, those who value their reputation, livelihood, and liberty are more frequently opting to appoint private criminal defence solicitors.

Why choose Forbes Solicitors private criminal defence team?

Why choose Forbes Solicitors private criminal defence team?

We are a large, national, multi-disciplinary firm representing clients for over 200 years in one form or another. We are ranked in the Top Tier of firms in the United Kingdom by the Legal 500 and Band 1 (highest) by Chambers and Partners.

Our team of private criminal defence solicitors act in thousands of cases every year, often in the most serious and most high-profile cases before the Courts. The firm has significant resources and uses the latest technology to prepare cases. Our private criminal defence team will treat you and your case with integrity, sensitivity, and a 'laser focus' towards obtaining a successful outcome for you from the moment of instruction.

How will Forbes Solicitors private criminal defence team defend me?

How will Forbes Solicitors private criminal defence team defend me?

We have a large team of excellent private criminal defence lawyers who treat clients with honesty, integrity, and compassion. From the moment of instruction, we have one goal: to secure a successful outcome for you.

The High Profile & Private Crime Division approaches each case in 3 stages:

1. Information Gathering

During this stage, we want to understand you and your case. We listen, ask appropriate questions and gather as much information as possible. After proper consideration of the situation you face, we move on to the second stage.

2. Strategy Planning

We will create and agree upon a beginning to end strategy that plots a path to your desired outcome during this stage.

3. Execution

We take action to execute our plan to achieve your desired outcome.

Throughout the whole process, you will have access to your criminal defence solicitor 24/7. We can communicate with you over the phone, via e-mail, via a live link (Zoom/Teams/CVP) or face to face. We have physical offices in London, Manchester, Salford, Leeds, Blackburn and Preston.

For some clients, we understand that discretion is a must, so we can arrange to see you in person at your home in the UK or abroad in appropriate cases.

For a free initial assessment, please submit our online form.

Private Criminal Defence FAQs

Is it worth paying privately for a private criminal defence solicitor?

When funding your defence privately, you have access to the best lawyers and experts. You can expect Partner level representation from a top private criminal defence solicitor and have the option of instructing a top KC from the outset. You can have continuity of representation and access to your lawyer 24/7.

If you are fortunate enough to have the resources, it is well worth opting to fund your case privately. The system has been underfunded for many years. Legal Aid has been cut to the extent that many experienced lawyers have left the profession.

For professional clients, we draw on the expertise of other departments to form a bespoke, multi-disciplinary team if necessary. Often required if there are professional discipline, employment, business, immigration, family, or reputation management issues arising because of the criminal investigation or proceedings.

Prevention is often better than a cure. By opting to pay privately, we can focus our efforts on avoiding proceedings at the outset of an investigation.

Many cases begin with an arrest and interview at the Police Station. The Police then release suspects under investigation for substantial periods. In some cases, months and even years can pass while the Police investigate. Why waste all this time just waiting for the Police. A better approach is to start defending your case immediately. We can conduct our investigation and submit evidence to the Police and CPS on your behalf to avoid any charges. You cannot get this level of service on Legal Aid.

How much does private criminal defence cost?

Our initial assessment of your matter will always be free. This assessment can take 10 to 15 minutes for simple matters and many hours for the more complex matters. If we decide to proceed further, we will provide you with clear and transparent options regarding the likely costs.

Our Partner hourly rates range from £200 to £550 per hour plus VAT, depending on the nature and complexity of the case.

Our fixed fee packages start from as little as £999 plus VAT for pre-charge investigation advice. They can be tailored to individual budgets to ensure that you get the best representation possible for your budget.

Our dedicated Crime team


Consultant, Crime

Daniel King

Craig Liversidge.jpg

Partner, Crime

Craig Liversidge


Partner, Crime

Craig MacKenzie

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© 2024 Forbes Solicitors is the trading name of Forbes Solicitors LLP Offices in Preston, Manchester, Salford, Blackburn, Blackpool, London and Leeds UK Main Office: Rutherford House, 4 Wellington Street (St Johns), Blackburn, Lancashire, BB1 8DD • Vat No: 174 394 344 Forbes Solicitors is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA No. 816356). Details of the SRA’s Standards and Regulations can be found here.

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