Kingsley Napley LLP

Crime Department

London (Firms)
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What the team is known for Leading criminal team that demonstrates impressive strength in depth across a broad range of cases. Regularly acts on high-profile cases involving well-known public figures. Highly recommended for its handling of complex murder charges and historic sexual abuse investigations. Also regularly instructed on domestic assault cases. Notable strength in cases with multi-jurisdictional aspects.

Strengths One source highlights the firm's joined-up approach to criminal defence, saying: "They are able to draw on expertise across the firm to provide a seamless service - if you are facing criminal allegations they can also handle the media, as well as any employment issues or regulatory proceedings that may arise."

Another interviewee says: "The general crime department is the best I have ever worked with. They are unsurpassed in the way they work as a team on their cases - it's a very well-drilled, slick operation."

Notable practitioners

David Sleight is a "tactically astute and hardworking" criminal defence practitioner who "commits completely to his clients," according to market commentators. He handles a broad array of cases ranging from traffic offences to allegations of bodily and sexual harm.

Edmund Smyth is an associate who regularly assists on challenging cases concerning assault, rape and other serious criminal allegations. "He is a master of his cases - thoughtful, pragmatic and very client-focused," one source reports, adding: "I am always very impressed with his legal acumen and application of it to the facts in any case."

John Harding co-leads the firm's general crime team and has a wide range of expertise in serious crime matters including sexual assault cases and death by dangerous driving. A source says he is "hugely experienced and really understands how best to prepare tactically for these cases."

Sandra Paul is skilled at handling criminal cases involving celebrities and other high-profile individuals, including historic sex offence allegations in the entertainment world. She also frequently represents young people at all stages of criminal proceedings. According to a source she is "completely unflappable, fantastic with clients, highly intelligent and highly motivated."