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Giovanni Lombardo interviewed by Sky Italia

press conferenceOur Italian law specialist, Giovanni Lombardo, has been interviewed by the Italian TV company Sky Italia about the differences between the criminal justice systems in Italy and England and Wales.

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Fare Evasion ....online (in)justice on the horizon?

Fare Evasion costs rail companies millions of pounds each year ,and both the companies and government are determined to do something about it . Since the Joint Prosecuting Protocol( July 2015) prosecutors and rail companies view persistent fare evasion as fraud and prosecute accordingly .

In February 2017 , the Government following a Consultation announced a 'wholesale shift to access justice digitally , this will allow those facing a ,currently ,limited number of supposedly low level criminal offences to be dealt with on line .One of these offences is fare evasion.

An individual facing an allegation of fare evasion only has to click onto the website , enter a guilty plea and receive a pre determined fine and compensation order AND a criminal conviction .
The Government stresses that this system is entirely voluntary and is NOT suitable for those who wish the prosecuting authorities to take MITIGATING circumstances into account

Let's look at this carefully ... a conviction for fare evasion ( even one prosecuted under the Railways Act bylaws) is considered by most employers and professional regulatory bodies as convictions of dishonesty which can lead to immediate dismissal and or/ professional sanction .
It's accurate to say that in time these offences become 'spent ' and it can be unlawful for employers to ask if a potential candidate has a criminal conviction , but unfortunately that doesn't stop them .
Many employers insert clauses in employment contracts that stipulate that an employee must notify them of any pending and actual criminal prosecution . Failure to do so can lead to immediate dismissal .
Certain jobs demand enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service checks , and an employer will take such a conviction into consideration when making the decision to recruit .

Further in our experience ,every individual facing a such an allegation has mitigating circumstances that can be used to dissuade the rail authority from prosecuting , it's a question of identifying the mitigation and putting it to the authority in an attractive way .
Most of the rail authorities take a 'firm but fair ' approach , and the majority take a very firm approach to persistent fare evasion and /or the abuse of privilege or free travel passes .

We successfully defended the leading case in this field , which involved a Senior Financier who was , rather inaccurately , accused of fare evasion spanning many years . It attracted Nationwide publicity ,led by The Daily Mail and The Times and prompted the drafting of the Joint Prosecuting Protocol in July 2015.
We managed to dissuade the Police from prosecuting our client ,after raising legal argument .

Since 2014 we have successfully defended hundreds of clients , most of whom have come from business or professional backgrounds , who simply cannot afford to have a criminal conviction or the risk to their employment or profession .We have defended doctors , nurses , lawyers , University professors , social workers ,bankers , accountants , financiers ,journalists , university students , charity trustees ,teachers to name but a few .

Anybody who has FCA authorisation would have good reason to worry ,because this organisation takes a particularly draconian approach to these offences .
We have years of experience when it comes to defending FCA Regulatory and disciplinary proceedings .

It can affect immigration status ,your ability to raise loans or credit or even to get insurance .

What should you do if stopped by a Ticket Inspector?

First of all stay calm ... don't make up a silly or false explanation .... answer their questions honestly and in full .
Remember they are not trained police officers and they can often make important mistakes when noting responses and gathering evidence , which you should scrutinise carefully for accuracy .
Most rail authorities ( but by no means all ) will write to you within a few weeks , and send a letter entitled Notice of Intended Prosecution ,... please do NOT ignore this letter . It's vital that you respond promptly and it's a good time to consult a genuinely experienced solicitor.
This is your opportunity to try and deflect the prosecution and to persuade the prosecution to agree to an out of court settlement .
If you ignore the original letter then the next correspondence that you will receive will be a Court Summons .

How can we help you?

As highly experienced and successful criminal ,fraud and regulatory specialist defence lawyers , we adopt a legalistic approach to these cases .
We have established working relationships with most of the Country's rail authorities and understand immediately what mitigation will appeal to the prosecutors .
Our approach genuinely works in the overwhelming majority of cases , one of our colleagues has only lost one case in three years and was the lawyer who defended the leading case in this field , as mentioned earlier .

How much will it cost?

We do charge , and give an accurate estimate of the range of legal costs involved from the outset .
We do not offer a fixed fee basis of costs , this is because most cases take a great deal of time and care . We want to do the very best that we can for you , because we fully understand what is at risk for you .
We are a legal business ,and as solicitors sell our time and expertise .
Some cases involve quite complex mitigation and that can take time .

Currently most rail companies when assessing the cost of an out of court settlement will calculate as follows:
The cost of the missing rail fares and a contribution towards their investigative and legal costs .It is still a relatively small price to pay when your professional future is at stake .

If you feel that we can help you please contact us on 02073872032 or use our online enquiry service.

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New instruction in a large criminal defence case

Sean Reilly has been instructed in a large sexual abuse prosecution, by two of 22 defendants brought by Thames Valley police in Oxford. This case attracted national headlines.

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Lewis Nedas Law welcome criminal defence specialist Ayeh Nowroozi

lewis nedas new staff femaleLewis Nedas are delighted to announce that criminal defence specialist, Ayeh Nowroozi, has joined the firm as a consultant solicitor. 

Ayeh has a long standing following within the Iranian community amongst a number of communities, and specialises in the defence of high profile complex crime.

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Recent results for Lewis Nedas Law expert criminal defence lawyers

  1. gavelExcellent historic sexual allegation result for Lewis Nedas client and Tony Meisels; Tony represented an individual facing a long history of allegations of historic sexual assaults and rapes by family members, which were said to occur when all parties were either children or in their teens. Tony instructed the excellent Dee Connolly of Counsel. The client entered guilty pleas to two counts concerning one individual but denied the remaining allegations.

    As a result of detailed and difficult preparation for trial and Ms Connolly's superb advocacy, our client was acquitted of the numerous remaining allegations. He was sentenced by a highly experienced trial Judge and received a suspended sentence of imprisonment and a community sentence. The CPS then decided to Attorney General (AG) Reference the case, on the basis that they felt the the sentence was too low and inappropriate. Tony and Ms Connolly drafted a clear and comprehensive letter of objection to such a course, explaining the full circumstances and what had happened in court. This was enough to persuade the CPS to drop their proposed AG Reference.

    We have been successfully defending sexual allegations for many years, including the often more complex, difficult and sensitive historic sexual abuse allegations. We do so discreetly and in a low key manner, at reasonable rates and using the very best advocates and experts.

  2. Siobhain Egan successfully represented a political lobbyist investigated for dishonesty allegations; After making strong representations to the investigating authority, all matters were dropped;

  3. Another successful outcome for firearms specialist Laura Saunsbury; In February 2017 an ordeal lasting nearly a year finally came to an end for a firearm and shotgun certificate holder who was accused of threatening his neighbour with a machete. Our client was acquitted following a two day trial at Lewes Crown Court. The case was expertly prepared by our firearms and weapons law specialist Laura. At the trial our client was skilfully represented by barrister Zeena Begum of 4 Kings Bench Walk, as demonstrated by the fact it took the jury only 18 minutes to reach a unanimous not guilty verdict. In expressing his appreciation our client had this to say about the way we handled his case: “I truly believe without Laura and Zeena I would have lost my case. So happy and relieved they got justice for me”.

             

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