Following independent, external assessment the firm has been awarded the Law Society’s Lexcel quality mark which is an internationally recognised standard of excellence in practice management and client care. In addition to confirming the standard of service to existing clients the award will provide the firm with a leading edge in an increasingly challenging market.
The firm has again been ranked as a Top Tier Firm in Band 1 for Crime in the North West in the 2012 edition of the Legal 500 and three individuals, Mike Mackey, Louise Straw and Mike Rainford have been named as Recommended Lawyers. This is in addition to the existing position as a Top Ranked Leading Firm in the 2012 edition of Chambers UK, with Mike Mackey, Gwyn Lewis and Mike Rainford included as leading individuals in their field.
Mike Mackey has been named in the list of the top 250 most influential people in Greater Manchester in the MEN Greater Manchester Business Week publication alongside such luminaries as Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Howard Bernstein.
The recognition follows a career at Burton Copeland spanning 25 years during which he has held the post of Managing Partner and he is also Past President of Manchester Law Society. Professionally Mike’s time in Criminal Law has seen him involved in some of the more notable and high profile cases and he was the first criminal lawyer to be named in the Lawyer magazine Hot 100. Click here for more...
Hundreds of cases against speeding drivers have been abandoned because motorists were not being brought before the courts within the time allowed.
Greater Manchester Police have had to withdraw 300 pending cases involving drivers accused of failing to provide details to officers.
It happened because of a landmark ruling in Scotland on technical time limit breaches when bringing cases to court. Some have been brought to court six months after the date of the subsequent reminder notices sent out by the police asking for the details again.
A vehicle owner has 28 days to respond to a request for driver details after the alleged speeding offence. If they fail to respond, they can be prosecuted for it but the case must be brought to court within six months of the ‘failing to furnish’ offence taking place, being part of S172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988.
Drivers who have been summonsed for or convicted of failing to furnish driver details under a S172 notice may have their case defended or appealed due to recent legal developments. All prosecutions within Greater Manchester are currently under review due to a procedural defect likely to result in thousands of cases being abandoned throughout the United Kingdom.
The prosecutions appear to have been brought outside of the statutory time period and are therefore defective and unlawful. This has resulted in thousands of motorists being incorrectly penalised with penalty points and fines.
If you have been summonsed for or convicted of this offence, call our specialist driving offence team now FREE on 0800 069 6000 visit the website at www.drivingoffence.com or email email@example.com
After being suspended from his position in 2010 the case progressed at a very slow pace, bringing the life of a Detective inspector of South Yorkshire Police to a stand still. After months of representations by the Defence Team a 2 day legal argument was to be heard at the beginning of the trial before Leeds Crown Court. On the first day the judge, having heard submissions from the Defence ‘had concerns about the integrity of the case’ and suggested that the Prosecution consider their position. After a short adjournment the CPS decided to offer no evidence in respect of all charges.
A foster carer had made a mortgage application, using the services of a mortgage broker, to purchase a larger home, in order to be able to foster more children. The mortgage was granted and the home was purchased. A few years later it transpired that the mortgage application was inaccurate and she found herself for the first time before the criminal courts charged with mortgage fraud.
After much persistence and requests for further disclosure from the CPS it became apparent that the mortgage broker had been investigated by the Financial Services Authority and had ceased to trade. On the first day of trial the CPS offered no evidence.
After eleven months on remand a young businessman was found not guilty of conspiracy to murder in a case in which the victim was gunned down in a street in Oldham. The evidence was all circumstantial, hanging on the analysis of mobile phone records, tracking devices, Gun Shot Residue (GSR), cell site analysis, DNA and computer records. Despite a witness coming forward purporting to have had a confession from the gunman, the Jury at Manchester Crown Court came to a unanimous decision that all defendants in the case were not guilty.
Click this link for more. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-14404149
The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has published details of proposals to submit charges for serving enforcement notices and for advising on health and safety failings that do not warrant prosecution from April 2012. This cost recovery system will see inspectors charge for businesses whenever they find a ‘material breach’ of the law.
The hourly rate to be charged will be £133 with estimated costs ranging from £750 for an inspection which results in a letter, to many thousands of pounds where investigations ensue.
There are a number of issues. Firstly there is no definition of ‘material breach’, secondly charging disputes are to be resolved by the HSE and thirdly the scheme may be regarded as a money making exercise and question inspectors’ impartiality. Notwithstanding the flaws, cost recovery will happen and is expected to generate £43m per annum.
Damian Wall of Burton Copeland acted for Joanne Fraill in this landmark case brought by the Attorney General. Mrs Fraill received a sentence of 8 months imprisonment, the maximum sentence was 2 years and given the seriousness of the offences the outcome was better than expected.
The case was unique, the first of its kind involving a contempt of court using the Internet and Facebook. The legal aspects were also new and challenging involving a blend of civil and criminal law. The judgment from the Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge is likely to impact on future cases and potentially on how jury trials are conducted in the future.
> YouTube - "Facebook Juror"
> BBC News Report
> Daily Mail report
> "FacebookJuror" - MSN News UK
> Manchester Evening News - Statement from "Facebook Juror"
> Woman gets 8 months jail for sending Facebook message.
The decision of the Independent Adjudicator at HMP Rye Hall was recently successfully challenged.
A Muslim prisoner had been found guilty of disobeying an order to provide a urine sample for drug testing purposes at a time when he was fasting, resulting in a further 14 days imprisonment.
The Secretary of State for Justice acting for the Independent Adjudicator had argued that it was proportionate for the prison to interfere with the prisoner’s rights under Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights but the High Court quashed the guilty finding and the imposition of the additional 14 days imprisonment.
This case emphasises the need for prisoners to seek representation when appearing before the Independent Adjudicator.
The Trading Standards team at Burton Copeland latest success has come by them successfully defending Keighley Trade Centre against a ten count allegation by North Yorkshire Trading Standards of serious mis-selling of three sports cars.
At the trial at Bradford Crown Court a not guilty verdict in respect of all counts was returned and a defence costs order made.
In Preston Crown Court a Blackpool businessman and four of his staff were cleared after it was alleged they deceived customers into believing they were dealing with another well known online motors site.
The case was thrown out following defence submissions relating to the failure of the prosecution to bring the case within appropriate time periods, and a failure to properly examine evidence of telephone calls between staff and customers. It was successfully argued that the prosecution was an abuse of process and the case was thrown out by the presiding judge.
Jonathan Wall, representing the client who had been under investigation since 2007, likened the case to that of Vance Miller (see below) which ended with the same outcome.
The firm recently applied on behalf of a client to Judicially Review a decision of HMP Manchester to refuse to allow the client's wife to visit him whilst he awaits trial on remand. The prison had refused his right to visits on the basis that in this case a National Security issue was raised (the client is a High Risk category A prisoner). The application to the High Court to review this decision made by Damian Wall representing the client was on several grounds, including our clients Right to Private and Family life under Article 8 of the European Convention of Human rights.
As a result of the application the Governor of the prison reversed the decision and the right was re-instated. The decision has impacted on other prisoners at the prison in a similar position who have also had their visiting rights re-instated as a direct result of our action.
On 12th January 2010, after a trial which began on the 14th September 2009, Vance Miller and two other co-defendants also represented by Burton Copeland, were acquitted at Manchester Crown Court, following successful legal submissions made by the defence at the conclusion of the prosecution case.
VANCE MILLER, self-styled largest privately owned kitchen retailer in the World, acquitted of alleged fraud
The case concerned the kitchen business conducted by Vance Miller from Maple Mill in Oldham and involved 3 counts of conspiracy to defraud customers and 10 alleged offences under the Trade Descriptions Act 1968. The case arose following numerous raids on the business premises and the homes of Vance Miller and his co-defendants at 5am on the 29th November 2006 by 130 Police and Trading Standards officers in what at the time was described by the largest raid ever carried out by a Trading Standards office. Investigators removed equipment and 270,000 pages of paperwork essential to the running of the business. The central thrust of the accusations against Miller and the others was that they falsely represented that the kitchens which they sold were made of real or solid wood when they were not.
HHJ Foster QC, the presiding judge gave a 14 page written ruling which stated that the investigation by Oldham Trading Standards was misconceived from the start. The learned judge concluded that the prosecution was an abuse of the process of the court; and that on 2 of the counts of conspiracy there was no case for the defendants to answer. Earlier he had quashed the 10 Trade Descriptions Act allegations as out of time.
So ended a period of just over 3 years during which Vance Miller had fought to keep his business going, and his large workforce employed, despite numerous obstacles, including the potential damage to his reputation and despite having to prepare for his trial. However, he did have a high moment in December 2008, when another case also brought against him by Oldham Trading Standards, this time for selling allegedly dangerous quad bikes, collapsed after 10 days because of the inadequacy of the Oldham Trading Standards’ expert evidence.
Throughout he has been advised by Alan Neal of Burton Copeland’s serious fraud unit.