Criminal Defence Team
Ash BhatiaManaging Director
Alexis MercerTrainee Solicitor
Frank SheeranTrainee Solicitor
Anna SoodCILEX Legal Exec/Advocate
David WadkinsonCrown Court Clerk
Colin WilsonTrainee Solicitor
Asiyah is a paralegal in our busy Criminal Defence department at our Nottingham office.
Asiyah returned to Bhatia Best after completing a University Placement year with the firm in 2015. Since that time, Asiyah has completed her law degree and undertaken the Legal Practice Course at Nottingham Law School.
Asiyah represents clients at the Police Station, assists solicitors with the preparation of cases for trials in the Magistrates Court and undertakes casework on Crown Court matters.
With a friendly and caring manner, along with a depth of knowledge and attention to detail, clients represented by Asiyah will feel in a safe pair of hands.
Bio to appear soon.
Sabeel works as a Crown Court Litigator and Police Station Representative in our criminal department, based in Derby.
Upon completion of his Law Degree at the University of Leicester, Sabeel went on to study the Bar Professional Training Course at Nottingham Law School.
Sabeel is involved in Crown Court litigation case work where his duties range from taking instructions from clients, instructing experts, prison visits, preparing defence case statements and attending conferences and court hearings to assist Counsel.
Sabeel brings with him experience in criminal defence and has worked on serious trials in the Midlands and London. He has case worked previously in matters including murder, manslaughter, terrorism, sexual offences, robbery and fraud.
Sabeel looks forward to developing his career in criminal law at Bhatia Best Solicitors.
Bio to appear soon.
Serena Joshi is a solicitor in our expert Motoring Law team.
Serena qualified as a solicitor in 2012. Prior to this she had undertaken her Law of German degree at De Montford University in 2003, spending a year studying at the University of Mainz in Germany. She then undertook a Criminology degree at the University of Central England, graduating in 2005. She undertook her Legal Practice Course in 2005 at the College of Law in York.
Prior to joining Bhatia Best, between 2006 and 2009 Serena worked in the Criminal and Professional Misconduct Department at Russell Jones & Walker Solicitors, where she represented Police Officers and Professionals in misconduct and criminal matters. She then worked in London for 3 years, during which time she qualified as a solicitor, specialising in Criminal Law and Professional Misconduct, including Motoring Law.
In the recent years, Serena has gained further expertise in regional and national firms, including time specialising in Motoring Law.
Serena is at the forefront of the Motoring Law services we provide and her expertise in the area is of great comfort to her clients. Serena specialises in Motoring Law because she believes it to be such a technical area of the law that clients require someone dedicated to it, rather than someone who dabbles in it along with general Crime work.
Serena’s focuses are on client care and meticulous preparation. She understands that a driving licence is of the utmost importance to her client. It provides the ability to work, socialise and the inherent freedom associated with driving. She recognises that her clients have usually invested a lot in their vehicle and ability to drive and rely on it for their day to day life. Serena will consider every piece of evidence available and explore all of her clients’ options to ensure the best possible outcome.
Serena and the Team provide Motoring Law services nationwide and a network of Barristers, we are able to provide representation at any time or place.
Polly is a Solicitor currently working in our busy Nottingham office.
Polly has extensive experience in representing clients at the police station and Magistrates’ Court. Polly defends clients charged with the full range of criminal offences and clients regularly request her due to her reassuring and caring approach.
Neil joined Bhatia Best from Nelsons Solicitors and is recognised as a crime specialist.
Over the years, Neil has built up significant expertise in the Youth Court and is now acknowledged as an expert.
Neil recently represented a youth charged with serious sexual offences and navigated the case to the point where both the Crown Court and custody were avoided.
Neil’s expertise is such that he can make bold decisions at an early stage, bringing significant benefit to his clients.
Neil has also built up a significant reputation for defending football related allegations and has a substantial following amongst fans of many local clubs.
John is a Duty Solicitor based in our Criminal Defence department at Nottingham.
John’s experience as a criminal defence lawyer is extensive, gained in over 30 years practising in South London, before recently moving to the East Midlands and joining Bhatia Best as a Magistrates Court advocate.
His approach to any court case is to put the client at the heart of the process, knowing that for most people an appearance in court is a daunting and difficult experience. Carefully explaining what will happen step by step ensures that the client is well prepared for every court hearing and all possible outcomes are explored and explained.
John has developed an effective and powerful advocacy style that enables him to argue forcefully on behalf of his clients with a view to obtaining the best possible outcome.
For those people with mental health or learning difficulties the criminal justice system can be an even more oppressive and frightening experience and John has developed a particular interest and skill in guiding such clients through this difficult process.
His aim is to ensure that whatever the outcome of the case the client knows they have received the best possible advice and representation.
Richard has recently moved to our Family Law Department having spent many years heading up our Crown Court Team. He is a partner and a Criminal Higher Court Advocate.
Richard brings many years of experience in the Crown Court, Magistrates’ Court and Court of Appeal, with forensic and client care skills that transfer to his new specialism in Children’s proceedings.
Richard also deals with complex regulatory and business law cases as well as representing family members and others in the Coroner’s Court.
Family Law – Children’s Proceedings
Crown Court Representation
Fraud, Business Crime & Regulatory Law
– Represented a female client charged under the new Serious Crime Act with assisting an organised crime gang. The gang had been moving large quantities of class A drugs about the UK. After a successful submission that there was no case for our client to answer, the matter was thrown out by the judge at the half way point.
– Represented on of three defendants charged with a series of violent armed robberies of public houses. Client entered a guilty plea to one robbery, was convicted of another, but not guilty verdicts were achieved for two other matters, one allegedly involving a gun.
– Appeared in the Coroner’s Court to represent the family of a student who had sadly died in unexplained circumstances. Although an open verdict was returned by the Coroner, cross examination of the police officer who investigated the death served to reassure the family that this had not been an unlawful killing.
– Represented a Company and its Director in respect of allegations under the “Working at height” regulations. Although there had been a technical breach, the Judge accepted that the danger was limited when working on a flat roof and imposed a fine very significantly below the guidelines.
Bio to appear soon.
Kelly Shaw works primarily from our Nottingham office as an accredited Police Station Representative and Crown Court Caseworker.
Kelly studied at Cardiff University and prior to working at Bhatia Best, worked as a Paralegal for another law firm in the East Midlands. It was during this time that Kelly undertook the necessary training to qualify as a Police Station Representative. Throughout her time at that firm, Kelly developed a wide knowledge of Criminal Law work and Police Station representation. Kelly now brings that wealth of experience to her work at Bhatia Best.
Kelly’s day to day working involves police station attendances and the preparation of case files for matters that have proceeded to the Magistrates and Crown Court.
Any Client represented by Kelly is guaranteed a high level of client care and expert advice.
Bio to appear soon.
Amrik is a paralegal in our busy Criminal Defence department at our Nottingham office.
Amrik has successfully completed his Law Degree and Legal Practice Course at Nottingham Law School. Amrik plans to undertake his training to become an accredited police station representative here at Bhatia Best.
During his Legal Practice Course, Amrik studied a wide range of Legal areas including Criminal and Civil Litigation, Advanced Advocacy and Commercial Law. This has given Amrik a very strong foundation to kick start a successful career in Law.
With a passion for client care, along with a depth of knowledge and attention to detail, clients represented by Amrik can expect to receive a high standard of service.
Anna is part of our criminal team in Nottingham. She has a background in human rights law having worked in this specialist area at Trent Chambers in Nottingham.
Anna is undertaking all aspects of criminal work including advocacy having secured her rights of audience in the magistrates court.
This is an area in which Anna has a keen interest and is able to utilise her human rights experience to the benefit of her clients on a daily basis.
Jennifer is a Higher Rights Solicitor Advocate based in our Criminal Department at our Nottingham Office.
Jennifer has been representing people at the police station since 2007 and was called to the Bar in 2009. She chose to cross qualify and became a solicitor in 2013. Jennifer made this decision because being a solicitor allows for much more client contact, something she prides herself on.
In 2013, Jennifer qualified as a duty solicitor and has since achieved her higher rights of audience, allowing her to represent clients at the Crown Court. Jennifer has a significant amount of experience representing clients for all hearings within the Magistrates’ Court and the Crown Court.
Emma is an Associate in the firm and the Supervisor of the Criminal Defence department at our Derby Office.
Emma initially joined Bhatia Best during her placement year whilst undertaking her Law Degree at Nottingham Trent University. After graduating and completing her Legal Practice Course, Emma returned to the firm. Shortly thereafter, Emma became an accredited Police Station Representative and secured a Training Contract. During the course of that period, Emma won the local Law Society’s Advocacy Competition, The Hammond Cup. This success was a sign of things to come and Emma went on to further success within the firm.
Qualifying as a solicitor before swiftly obtaining Duty Accreditation, Emma displayed outstanding abilities as a Criminal Defence solicitor. Such was Emma’s progress that she began to take on management responsibilities at the Derby office and this has seen Emma flourish into the role she now has within the firm.
Emma attends regular Management Committee Meetings with fellow managers within the firm. Emma is responsible for the allocation and supervision of work within the Criminal Defence Department at Derby. Alongside this, Emma maintains a caseload involving serious and high profile matters. Emma has a high level of client care and experience within Criminal Defence.
Clients represented by Emma herself or by any of the team that she supervises can be assured of representation that is experienced, diligent, knowledgeable and understanding of the individual needs.