Meet The Team
Working for Forrest Williams is not easy. We are very selective about the people we employ. We understand that our clients expect the best and so do we. Our main criteria for selection is personal skills; we can teach the law but we can’t teach vital personal skills. Our team need to be able to make quick decisions, use initiative and work well under tremendous pressure. They need to care about their clients and provide extraordinary client care every single day.
We have a work hard, play hard mentality and we encourage our team to utilise all of their wide and varied life experience in their current roles.
We are a very close knit team, and all staff have unlimited holiday, and work flexible hours and often work from home. Typically we see members of staff who are meant to be off work emailing or calling clients, or arranging to take statements late at night if that is what suits the clients. All of our team love working with us, and our work ethic and staff benefits are famous and have won us awards.
We are confident that any member of staff who takes your call will give you their best every time.
Forrest Williams was established in 2009 by Directors Steve Williams and Katie Forrest.
Steve Williams is a highly acclaimed solicitor and advocate, and is featured individually in the Legal 500. He has over 25 years’ experience as a criminal defence advocate and was one of the first solicitors to qualify for Higher Rights of Audience, allowing him to appear in all Higher Courts and not just magistrates courts. He has appeared in over 200 courts across England and Wales as well as appearing in Courts Martials internationally.
His recent successes include R-v-M, a complex sexual assault case where the defendant was found not guilty at trial.
Katie Forrest is a non-solicitor Director of Forrest Williams. She is focused on full case preparation across all areas of criminal defence and is particularly interested in serious sexual offences. She has worked in the legal field for over 10 years and is passionate about providing clients with the highest level of client care.
Her recent successes include R-v-C, a case involving allegations of sexual assault made against a teacher by a former pupil, and R-v-L, a case involving allegations of sexual assault made against a vulnerable client. Both cases were withdrawn before trial thanks to her skilful and proactive case preparation.
Upon instructions to Forrest Williams, you will be assigned a case worker experienced in your area of law. This case worker will be your day to day point of contact and will handle all preparation of your case.
Our case workers have a wealth of knowledge, experience and backgrounds that help them provide excellent service, and achieve great results, for our clients.
Tracy Johnson joined Forrest Williams in 2013. She has a varied criminal defence caseload and particularly enjoys preparing technical motoring cases. Her recent successes include R-v-G, whereby a client charged with failing to provide a specimen for analysis was found not guilty due to medical grounds.
She played a pivotal role in the recent case of R-v-R, where a female client was charged with a domestic violence assault which she denied in its entirety. Tracy undertook intense liaisons with the Crown Prosecution Service on this case, and attended every Crown Court hearing together with the case advocate, to support this very anxious client. The case was withdrawn before the trial.
Jess Sadler joined Forrest Williams in 2014. She has a varied criminal defence caseload and particularly enjoys preparing criminal trials. Her recent successes include R-v-H, a common assault case which involved allegations made by a mother against her teenage daughter. Jess’ tireless preparations resulted in the client being found not guilty at trial.
Helen Newman joined Forrest Williams in 2012. She is currently studying for the LPC and will qualify as a solicitor in 2019. She particularly enjoys serious crime. Her recent successes include R-v-G, a Crown Court sexual assault case involving intoxication and consent.
Kirsty Day joined Forrest Williams in 2015. She has a varied caseload but particularly enjoys working on sexual offences and serious crime cases. Her recent successes include R-v-L, a case of causing serious injury by dangerous driving. This client pleaded guilty, as per our advice and his own desire, and achieved an excellent sentence thanks to in depth preparation of his mitigation.
Julia Coffin joined Forrest Williams in 2014. She has a varied caseload and particularly enjoys serious crime cases. Her recent successes include R-v-M, a case involving a serious allegation of unauthorised access to computer equipment, where the client was found not guilty at trial.
OUR SUPPORT STAFF
Our Directors and case workers are only able to perform their roles because of the excellent work done by our support staff.
Nigel Johnson joined Forrest Williams in 2012. He is our Accounts Manager.
Hayley Ginniver joined Forrest Williams in 2016. She is our Apprentice.
We are also supported by a team of barristers. As you might expect we are very selective about the barristers we use.
We will always make sure we choose the best barrister for your case and benefit from having that close bond. Some of the barristers we work with closely are listed below. The year next to their name is the year they were called to the Bar as a barrister.
Oliver Blunt QC – 1974
We consider him the best in the business. The country’s top barrister with huge experience. Despite his reputation he is down to earth and immediately puts clients at ease. He has been involved in some of the most serious and high profile cases in the country. His in-depth knowledge of criminal law, together with his flair for captivating a court room, has lead to him being described as “a master tactician with an absolute command of the courts” and makes him one of the strongest barristers you could have in your corner for the most serious offences.
Sandip Patel QC – 1991
Sandip is a highly acclaimed QC, capable of mastering all serious crime cases. We work with him extensively for private prosecution cases. He is a true gentleman who reassures all clients and quickly grasps the key issues in a case, no matter how complex.
Stephen Moses QC – 1997
Stephen is an excellent QC who has a wonderful interaction with clients. He is skilled in all areas of criminal defence and we work with him particularly for cases of serious sexual offences.
Jon Swain – 1983
Extremely approachable and great with clients. Gets us fantastic results everytime we use him. Always willing to go the extra mile.
Frida Hussain – 1995
Extremely passionate about her clients and very caring. She is fantastic to work with. We have frequently formed a fantastic team with Frida who seems to work as hard as we do. It is not unusual for us to be having text conversations with her at a weekend about a client we are working with. Especially good on sexual defences.
Frida is a very experienced barrister who is used to working on very serious cases. She is very emotionally invested in her cases and is impeccable in terms of her preparation and legal insight. She can highlight the key issue in a case quickly and has a warm, friendly manner with clients.
Laban Leake – 1996
Laban is incredibly well thought of in chambers, by our company and by the many clients he represents. His love of the work he does is apparent, and he has an attention to detail which is second to none. Working with Laban is an absolute pleasure.
Daniel Jameson – 2004
Very experienced in criminal law, Daniel is able to confidently undertake prison visits, to meet with clients, and then represent them forcefully within both magistrates’ and crown courts. Daniel is very highly regarded by chambers, court staff and ourselves and we know he always endeavours to get the best possible outcomes for our clients. Daniel is a force to be reckoned with.
Lisa Freeman – 2005
Our go to person for heavy weight fraud and financial crime, including POCA. Incredibly hard working and determined, she is able to spot the issues in a case immediately. A very reassuring presence for all clients.
Andrew Jordan – 2006
An absolute gentleman, Andrew is a delight to work with. The clients love him as do the courts. He is very effective in all sorts of cases but with a special interest in fraud and motoring cases.
Claire Burtwhistle – 2008
Always a pleasure to work with. Determined to get the best results for the clients. Takes time to put clients at ease and keeps us constantly updated on the progress of the case. A real team player.
Emma Shafton – 2011
“The Tiger” as she was termed by one of our clients. She fights her client’s corner with a passion. Very knowledgeable and down to earth, she gets on with all clients who love her fighting spirit and compassion.
A fierce and passionate advocate, Emma quickly becomes very invested in the lives of the people she represents at court. She is fastidious in her preparation and genuinely cares about outcomes. Emma is a pleasure to work with and clients always give excellent feedback regarding her services at the end of a case.
Sophie O’Sullivan – 2011
Sophie is a rising star, destined for great things. Well thought of by everyone who deals with her. A real favourite in our office. Great with clients, has a very approachable and calm manner. Has a strong understanding of the law and a real fighter.
David Horne – 2009
A real favourite in the office. Determined and passionate about his cases. Works very well with us. We have a real good bond with David who is always there to help and gives his all for every client.
If you need help with a criminal matter and it is too important for Legal Aid
call us on 01623 600645.