Our criminal defence solicitors accept clients in every part  of England and Wales

Mary Monson Solicitors accept criminal cases from private clients, and also from clients who cannot afford private legal advice.  We operate nationally and we have criminal solicitors in Birmingham, Leeds,  Manchester, Salford and London’s Fleet Street. Read about the types of case our criminal lawyers specialise in below.

Murder and manslaughter

Our criminal defence solicitors have acted in some of the most serious murder cases in recent history, including the Strangeways Riot trials of 1990s, the final Gooch Gang murder case of 2009, and the trial of an alleged accomplice of police killer Dale Cregan.

We also acted in and won the Hookway Bail Case, the murder investigation case which led to a rush change in the law by the Home Secretary in 2011.

Drugs offences

Our criminal defence lawyers are recognised as national leaders in the field of drug-related defence. We defend people accused in drugs conspiracy cases regularly.  We have defended in several cases where the value of drugs has been in the tens of millions, and on occasion in the hundreds of millions.

Theft act offences

criminal solicitorsOur criminal solicitors regularly act in cases involving theft allegations, including burglary, robbery, and simple theft, including theft from employer. We are often asked to act for clients accused of conspiracy or major thefts from employer in amounts into the millions of pounds.

Sexual offences

We have specialist criminal lawyers and in-house advocates with extensive experience in defending sexual offence allegations. We recognise that sometimes it can be easy for someone to make an allegation, but the effects on the accused person can be catastrophic.

We show the tactical ability needed to win, and aren’t afraid to put our client’s case strongly when required.

Private Client Department

Although we will always strive to act for legally aided clients, where legal aid is not available or is inadequate for a client’s needs, we defend them privately. This can be particularly important if the conviction will do more damage for professional or commercial reasons, or if the client has no previous  convictions.   We are often asked to represent doctors, dentists, professionals of other disciplines, sportspeople, and senior figures in industry and public life. We have represented politicians and regularly act for CEOs of large companies. Our emphasis, wherever possible, is on trying to stop a prosecution in the early stages through effective negotiation with the Police and CPS. Read more about our Private Client Department.

Our criminal solicitors’ case studies

Any criminal lawyer can claim to have expertise in different types of criminal case. We have included here some case studies to give some idea of how we prepare our cases.


1991 The Strangeways Riot Case

Our client was Alan Lord, the alleged Strangeways Riot Ring Leader. He was accused of the murder of a fellow inmate. After arguments over causation of the inmate’s death and reliability of witness evidence, our client was acquitted.

Unusually, Mary Monson decided against using an established QC barrister in this case, instead opting for Vera Baird, a formidable young anti-establishment barrister. This barrister went on to become a Member of Parliament, and Solicitor General, one of the highest legal offices in the country.


2002 – 13 year old girl accused of importation of heroin

Our client was a 13 year old girl accused of carrying 11 kg of heroin (in suitcases that were bigger than she was) through customs at a UK airport. Over a period of months, Mary Monson cleared her diary, and visited her client every day, slowly earning her trust. The child finally revealed that she had been acting under duress from her mother, a serious international criminal. Local Social Services, horrified that a 13 year old girl should be talking about the criminality she had seen, banned Mary Monson from attending at the children’s home, even though getting this information could save her client from spending many years in custody. This young girl immediately went on hunger strike, refusing to communicate with anyone until she was allowed to see her lawyer again. Social Services were forced to back down. Mary was able to complete her work with her brave client, and the prosecution was forced to drop the case before trial. The case was reported in the UK, Russia and the  USA, even appearing on the CIA website.


2009 – The Boiler Suit Robbers Case

Our client was accused of being ‘The General’, one of the alleged masterminds of a series of 33 heists of high-end jewellery stores in which robbers dressed in white boiler suits stole watches and other jewellery to the value of £3.6 million.

This case was investigated by the Metropolitan Police’s once notorious Flying Squad, who claimed it was their biggest ever case, involving 51 defendants.


2011 Greater Manchester Police v Hookway (the ‘UK bail crisis’ case)

Our client was a man who had been arrested and detained multiple times over a period of several months in connection with the murder of a neighbour. On the most recent occasion, the police tried to re-arrest and detain our client beyond the limit of 96 hours with no new evidence. This was not allowed by the magistrates court and the police appealed to the High Court and lost. The case was scheduled for appeal to the Supreme Court, and the Home Secretary and Police aggressiveley misrepresented the position in newspapers and on television to push through new laws reversing the high court decision. After a public war in the media between our firm and the Home Secretary, this new law was pushed through, but embarrassingly for the police, the case against our client in the Supreme Court was quietly dropped.