*** SHORTLISTED FOR THE LAW SOCIETY’S SOLICITOR OF THE YEAR - PRIVATE PRACTICE 2015***
Laura joined Lewis Nedas in November 2007 as a consultant. Qualified as a solicitor in 1993, Laura’s background is in criminal defence work. She has been a duty solicitor since 1994 and has considerable experience of handling the whole spectrum of criminal offences including murder, drugs and sexual offences. Prior to joining Lewis Nedas, Laura spent six years as a partner in her own firm, Saunsbury & Co, a specialist criminal defence practice with an excellent reputation.
Having taken up shooting as a hobby, Laura has increasingly specialised in firearms law over the past 12 years. In 2005 as the long-term future for legal aid began to look increasingly bleak, Laura left partnership and general criminal practice to focus exclusively on her firearms law work.
An enthusiastic advocate of the shooting sports, Laura has in the past tried her hand at most types of shooting and has particularly enjoyed practical pistol and practical shotgun, as well as clay pigeon shooting. Laura can therefore bring practical understanding as well as her legal expertise to cases involving firearms law.
Laura gives advice and representation to individuals, clubs, and registered firearms dealers in relation to firearms licensing and also criminal offences involving firearms. Laura receives regular referrals from national shooting organisations such as the Clay Pigeon Shooting Association, the Sportsman’s Association, and the Gun Trade Association to advise and represent their members throughout England and Wales. In March 2009 Laura was appointed as Honorary Solicitor to the Clay Pigeon Shooting Association in recognition of her service to the Association and its members.
At times Laura’s work in this field has required knowledge of some of the most obscure parts of firearms legislation, such as when representing a registered firearms dealer being prosecuted under the Gun Barrel Proof Act 1868. Reported cases in which Laura has been involved include R v David Evans (Ct of Appeal)  EWCA Crim 87. In January 2009 the trial of Laura’s client Nicholas Meurice at Maidstone Crown Court received considerable coverage in the national and local press. Mr Meurice stood accused of 10 serious offences relating to the possession of firearms and ammunition as a result of allegations made by his former wife following their acrimonious separation. Laura’s careful preparation on the case and selection of expert witnesses was instrumental in securing Mr Meurice’s acquittal on all counts.
Other cases which were unreported but brought as test prosecutions and have informed police firearms licensing policy nationally include:
• R v JC Ltd 2010 (selling of shotgun ammunition by mail order)
• R v W 2010 (definition of ‘rifle’ and types of firearms which can be held on a club firearms certificate)
• R v W 2011 (restricted pistols for humane dispatch of sick & injured animals)
Laura has also been consulted by a number of maritime security companies with regards to providing armed personnel aboard commercial vessels as an anti-piracy measure, and the national and international regulations which govern the provision of such services.
In 2011 Laura co-authored The British Firearms Law Handbook together with barristers Nick Doherty and Helen Dobby, both at 4 Kings Bench Walk, London. Nick Doherty in particular has an established reputation for his expertise in firearms law. Published in December 2011 by Sweet & Maxwell, the book is recognised as the leading work for lawyers, the Police and the public regarding firearms licensing law in Britain. Laura is also a regular contributor to the CPSA magazine Pull!.
Read some of Laura's recent articles here:
- Testing Your Patience (November/December 2012)
- How Secure Are Your Guns? (March 2013)
- Accidents Can Happen (April 2013)
- Not Fit For Purpose (May 2013)
- Young Guns (July 2013)
• Honorary Solicitor to the Clay Pigeon Shooting Association
• Duty Solicitor at courts and police stations
• Member of London Criminal Courts Solicitors Association
• Member of Lawyers for Liberty
• Trade member of the Sportsman’s Association of Great Britain & Northern Ireland
• Trade member of the Gun Trade Association
• Speaks reasonable French
For further information about the Clay Pigeon Shooting Association go to www.cpsa.co.uk
Testimonials for Laura Saunsbury
“You and Nick are certainly the most knowledgeable and qualified in this field. You have both been brilliant in your support and efforts in my case. Thank you so much for caring and all your hard work.”
“Laura provided me with the concise expertise and specialist knowledge required in my appeal against the refusal of a shotgun certificate. Her approach was detailed and professional whilst being extremely empathetic and approachable. She understood my situation immediately and assisted me in obtaining the correct character references required and the presentation of evidence. The case was dropped and my certificate issued following expert intervention from Laura”
“There is no doubt in my mind, Laura, that your name and expert input were instrumental in achieving the reversal of my firearms licence revocation. I am absolutely delighted and thank you once again for your invaluable help and support in this matter.”
“We obviously got the best team of firearms lawyers in the country. I can’t thank you enough; you don’t know what you’ve done for me and my family”.
Thank you for your excellent letter to Jenny. We were both overwhelmed and uplifted by its content. You always produce surprises and warm the heart, going for the extra mile all the time. It is very much valued and appreciated. We both said that you are the first legal person in this sorry mess to get to grips with the situation and address it with vigour, energy and determination. You have treated me with respect and I have never felt judged in that process. You have helped restore my self esteem, have learnt things about myself in the process, building my confidence and lifted the burden I was feeling.”
“When it comes to firearms law Laura Saunsbury and Nick Doherty really are a dynamic duo. The outcome was nothing less than I had expected from them. They deserve the reputation they have earned themselves in this complex area.”