Laura Leech Acilex, Associate
Where/when you studied: Cardiff University, Blackburn University Centre, MANCAT, Touchstone Group and Turton High School.
Professional expertise before joining the firm: I have worked within solicitors offices for the past 15 years and have been police station accredited for the past 13 years. I have prepared all types of criminal cases from shoplifting to murder.
When you joined the firm: January 2011
Department responsibilities (within the firm): I am the manager of the crown court department having been promoted to associate in May 2015 and I prepare the most serious of cases. I also attend upon clients at the police station and advise them in relation to the law. I am available 24 hours a day to provide clients who are detained at the police station. If my clients are charged, I prepare their case through the crown court proceedings to its conclusion.
Areas of special legal expertise:
General Crime - Defending prosecutions from the Serious Fraud Office, Complex Crime Unit, HMRC, Serious and Organised Crime Agency, Crown Prosecution Service, Department of Work and Pensions, Organised Grime, Serious Drug Cases, million pound fraud cases, Proceeds of Crime, Council Investigations. Health and Safety Prosecutions.
Committees or organisations (to support the claim of specialist legal expertise): I am a registered accredited legal advisor with the Legal Aid Agency and the Defence Solicitors Contact Centre. I am an associated member of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives.
- R v M (August 2016) – former care worker charged with rape and other sexual offences against a resident/service user. Client acquitted after trial.
- R v S (May 2016) – former religious practitioner charged with multiple sexual offences against boys and girls. Acquitted after trial.
- R v B (January 2016) – defendant of previous good character charged with sexually assaulting his wife by penetration. Successfully argued that the charge should not proceed.
- R v S (October 2015) – defendant charged with two counts of possessing a disguised firearm. Mandatory 5 year sentence unless exceptional circumstances are found. Successfully presented that there was exceptional circumstances and the defendant received a suspended sentence.
- R v S and others (January 2015) – multi handed drug conspiracy trial. Submissions at half time that there was insufficient evidence to proceed against the defendant. Application successful and not guilty verdicts recorded against the client.
- R v M and others (January 2014) - Prepared the case for client in 10 plus defendant conspiracy to defraud VAT at Manchester Crown Court. >£3m fraud. Following a guilty plea on a basis, 12 month suspended sentence with 12 week curfew.
- R v G - former Mayor admitted fraud in excess of £100,000. Following a POCA investigation the amount ordered to be paid was just £1.
- R v R – Benefit fraud case where the prosecution sought to recover £1/4 million under the Proceeds of Crime Act. Recoverable amount successfully reduced to £46,243.15.
- R K&B – two defendants charged with managing a brothel. Successfully representing to the prosecution that there was insufficient evidence to go before before the jury which resulted in formal not guilty verdicts being recorded.
- R v A – multi handed mortgage fraud case. Representations made to the prosecution regarding a prosecution being brought under the interests of justice. Result – the charges were left to lie on file.
- P V M - unlawful eviction claim, emergency injunction obtained & granted the claimant immediate access back into the property. Damages secured in the sum of £5,000 plus payment of costs.
What our clients say about Laura:
- "I just wanted to say thank you...for everything. You have been amazing and I honestly don't think we'd have found a better solicitor if we'd have spent days and days looking for one... you have show incredible patience... Through this whole thing you have been our constant and our friendly face."
- “I just want to thank you so much for all your hard work time and effort you have put in at work and at home keeping you away from your family all for me I really really cannot thank you enough or express how grateful I am for it. You are an absolute credit to your company and family.”