Sarah Phillips
Sarah Phillips
Solicitor - Crime & Extradition

Sarah Phillips, a solicitor in the Crime and Extradition Team, along with Josh Kern of Counsel from 9 Bedford Row secured the discharge of a Requested Person wanted to serve a sentence of 3 years 6 months in Poland for offences including assault and theft.

The offences dated back to 2002/2003 and the Requested Person had previously been subjected to extradition proceedings in the UK in 2012 before the warrant was withdrawn by Poland.

District Judge Griffiths ordered discharge of the Requested Person on Passage of Time (s14) and Article 8 grounds. She found that although the Requested Person had been a fugitive at the time of his previous extradition proceedings in 2012, he had ceased to be a fugitive thereafter and he was therefore able to rely on the s14 bar to extradition. The Requested Person had two children in the UK, one of whom had been born since 2012.

His extradition was therefore found to be oppressive by virtue of the passage of time between 2012 – present day and to be contrary to his Article 8 right to a private and family life in the UK. 

We Can Help

With MW Solicitors, you can be confident that you have a legal team with the specialist knowledge and experience required to thoroughly investigate your case and present the strongest possible defence on your behalf.

Our team have defended clients sought all over world, from Peru to Nigeria and from Albania to the United States.  Don't delay, talk to our specialist Extradition Lawyers on 020 3551 8500 or use our Contact Us form to arrange a callback.


We are proud to announce that MW Extradition Solicitor Sarah Phillips has been selected as the Winner of the DELF John RWD Jones QC Essay Competition 2018.

Sarah Phillips
Sarah Phillips
Solicitor - Crime & Extradition

The DELF Committee and judging panel would like to thank all participants. The standard of entries was high and picking a winning entry was not an easy task.

About DELF

The Defence Extradition Lawyers' Forum was founded in 2016 to provide a coherent and unified voice to represent the interests of persons requested for extradition and of the lawyers that defend them.

About John RWD JOnes QC

John RWD Jones QC was a superb barrister, specialising in extradition, international law and human rights. He represented clients in many of the leading cases of the day, including Charles Taylor, the former president of Liberia, and Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks. John was also a gifted academic lawyer, with publications including a textbook with Antonio Cassese, the eminent international lawyer, and a leading practitioner text on extradition. John sadly passed away in April 2016 and DELF very much wishes to honour his memory by launching its annual essay competition in his name.

UK Government


McMillan Williams are pleased to note the recent announcement by the Ministry of Justice that an additional £8m is to be invested in the payments made to Criminal Barristers undertaking Defence work.

However, there is as yet no detail as to how the extra funding will be allocated, which remains a concern.

Additionally, it is disappointing to note that there is no similar increase in funding for Defence Solicitors, who have borne cuts of 8.75% in the context of fees which have been frozen since 1998. As recent studies have shown, the erosion of the Legal Aid fees paid to solicitors is putting off new entrants to the profession, resulting in areas of the country where the vast majority of Duty Solicitors are over 50 years old. This is potentially a ticking time bomb for access to justice and McMillan Williams urges the Government to take prompt action to avoid the emergence of Legal Aid advice deserts, which could have a catastrophic impact upon the most vulnerable in society.

We Can Help

McMillan Williams is widely recognised as one of the leading firms of Solicitors for having a formidable reputation in Criminal Defence work.  We have a reputation for providing clients with expertise and skilled advice in this area of law.  Our specialist Criminal Defence team can handle any or every stage of your case, any time of day.

With McMillan Williams you can rest assured that you will receive specialist advice and representation of the very highest quality.  Call us today on 020 3551 8500 or use our Contact Us form to tell us about your matter and we will call you back.



On 12th July, the Divisional Court handed down the Judgement in Shumba, Bechian and Henta v France [2018] EWHC 1762 (Admin), and found that the Appellants face a real risk of Article 3 breach if extradited to France.

MW Solicitors acted for the second Appellant Mr Bechian in this significant High Court decision.

This case is important as it is the first case in which conditions in French prisons, which were criticised by the recent Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) report dated 7 April 2017, have been considered by the Divisional Court.
The Appellants relied on expert evidence which suggested that if extradited, they would serve their sentences in one of four prisons, namely Villepinte, Fresnes, Nanterre or Fleury-Mérogis, all within the Paris region. These prisons have been the subject of heavy criticism by the CPT due to overcrowding amongst other unsatisfactory conditions of detention including lack of time outside the cell for prisoners, lack of a proper bed and the prescence of rats within the prison.

The Court held at para. 87 that

“In relation to those four prisons, we are satisfied on the evidence that there may be substantial grounds for believing that the Appellants face a real risk of inhuman or degrading treatment if they are extradited”.

Furthermore, the Court concluded that the first stage of C-404/15 and C-659/15 PPU Aranyosi and Caldararu [2016] 3 WLR 807 had been met and that

“there is sufficient evidence before the Court to require the Court to make a request of the French authorities setting out certain questions on which we need specific information before this Court could permit extradition of these Appellants to France” (para. 89).

The Court have requested answers from the French authorities to four detailed questions around the conditions of detention that Mr Bechian and the two other Appellant’s will be held in if their extradition to France is executed. We await the response to these questions, which are due by 7th September.

Mr Bechian was represented by Alison MacDonald QC and Emilie Pottle of Counsel. Mr Henta and Mr Shumba were represented by Alison MacDonald QC and Emilie Pottle (for Mr Henta) and Saoirse Townshend (for Mr Shumba).

We Can Help

At MW, our mission, is "To make quality legal services accessible to everyone" including those who are being threatened with Extradition.  Our experienced and specialist Extradition Lawyers can help you identify grounds for a challenge and mount a defense against an Extradition request.

To speak to one of our team call us today on 020 3551 8500 or use our Contact Us form to arrange a callback.

Young Detainee

The recently reported increase in rape trials collapsing due to failures by the Police or Prosecuters in disclosing evidence to defence Solicitors has highlighted that the justice system has "systemic" problems. 

A Problem Across the Spectrum of Criminal Law

Christopher Maynard
Christopher Maynard
Partner - Crime & Extradition

McMillan Williams Criminal Defence Solicitors, Christopher Maynard and John Molleskog recently acted in a case involving five youth defendants charged with robbery. 

The Crown Prosecution Service discontinued the case after the Judge described the Crown as "spectacularly" failing in their disclosure obligations.

The five young defendants faced a charge of robbery at Camberwell Green Youth Court but the case against them was dropped after Christopher Maynard submitted that there had been "egregious" failings by the Crown Prosecution Service in disclosing evidence which led to the Judge refusing the Crown's application to adjourn the case.

John Molleskog commented that

"the case was the latest in a series of prosecutions where the CPS has dropped a case due to disclosure problems, as has been well reported in national media in recent times"

We Can Help

At McMillan Williams, our mission is to "To make quality legal services accessible to everyone" including those charged with a criminal offences.  We offer a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week service for suspects detained in police custody.

Our Team of specialist Criminal Defence Lawyers will provide you with expert advice and assistance whenever and wherever you need us. 

If you or a family member need a Criminal Defence Lawyer, don't delay call our expert and specialist Solicitors today on 0203 551 8500 or use our Contact Us form to arrange a callback.

UK vs US Flags

In a recent Landmark decision, the High Court ruled that UK Citizen, Lauri Love, should not be extradited to the United States of America to face trial for hacking computer systems based in the US.

Laurie Love
Lauri Love

Love is accused, whilst working with others between the periods of October 2012 to October 2013, of hacking into private companies and several US Government agencies including The US Federal Reserve, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), US Army, US Department of Defence and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The US Government alledges that this resulted in millions’ of dollars’ worth of damage.  If Love is found guilty he could face more than 60 years’ imprisonment.

This appeal decision overturned District Judge Tempia’s ruling at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 16th September 2016 to have Love extradited to the US to stand trial against these allegations.

This appeal was heard by Lord Burnett and Justice Ouseley. The High Court came to the conclusion that that:

  • it would be oppressive to extradite Love due to his physical and mental health condition; and

  • if extradited it would be a breach of the ‘forum bar.’

In light of these arguments it was held to be unnecessary to consider further arguments of Articles 3 and 8 ECHR due to the conclusions drawn relating to the two grounds.

Love suffers with Asperger’s Syndrome, depression, eczema and asthma. The High Court considered his high risk of suicide and serious deterioration of his health upon extradition.

What is The Forum Bar?

The ‘forum bar’ allows a court to prevent extradition of the requested person if the extradition is not in the interests of justice having considered the factors as per section 19B and 83A-E of the Extradition Act 2003. This was introduced by the Home Secretary at the time Theresa May when she intervened and prevented the extradition of Gary McKinnon who was similarly accused of hacking into US government websites, was a high suicide risk and suffered with Asperger Syndrome.

Love’s relevant activity was performed in the United Kingdom, using his computers at home. However, in considering relevant factors it was considered that most of the harm suffered was in the US and that this is a ‘very weighty factor.’

The High Court stated that significant weight should have been placed on the fact that the prosecution could proceed in the UK Courts. The High Court was persuaded by Love’s connection to the UK. He is a British national, studying in the UK, is supported by his parents and has a girlfriend. He has close connection with his family who cares for him and receives medical treatment which he may not receive if extradited. These connections outweigh factors for his extradition.

Love was discharged however, the High Court stated:

“125. We emphasise however that it would not be oppressive to prosecute Mr Love in England for the offences alleged against him. Far from it. If the forum bar is to operate as intended, where it prevents extradition, the other side of the coin is that prosecution in this country rather than impunity should then follow, as Mr Fitzgerald fully accepted. Much of Mr Love’s argument was based on the contention that this is indeed where he should be prosecuted

126. The CPS must now bend its endeavours to his prosecution, with the assistance to be expected from the authorities in the United States, recognising the gravity of the allegations in this case, and the harm done to the victims. As we have pointed out, the CPS did not intervene to say that prosecution in England was inappropriate. If proven, these are serious offences indeed.”

This is a landmark Judgment as it is the first time that the ‘Forum bar’ has been successfully argued. It is very rare for the UK to refuse an extradition request and this will no doubt have a profound impact on similar extradition requests to the US and elsewhere.

We Can Help

At MW, Our Mission, is "To make quality legal services accessible to everyone" including those who are being threatened with Extradition.  Our experienced and specialist Extradition Lawyers can help you identify grounds for a challenge and mount a defence against an Extradition request.

If you need a criminal defence lawyer or need an extradition lawyer, our talented and specialist Crime and Extradition Solicitors are here to help you.  Don't delay call us today on 020 3551 8500 or use our Contact Us form to arrange a callback.

On 8 January 2018 HMP Nottingham was visited by prison inspectors who deemed the institution to be “fundamentally unsafe” with “serious failures in safety”.

Consequently the Chief Inspector of Prisons has invoked the urgent notification process, placing the prison under emergency measures and requiring the Justice Secretary to take immediate action to safeguard the lives of resident prisoners and prevent “further tragedies”.

In the past two years there have been eight self-inflicted deaths at HMP Nottingham. Fleur Hallett, solicitor in the Actions Against Public Authorities department at the firm is currently representing the family of  one of these men. Time and time again when representing bereaved families, they are not only searching for answers, but the inherent desire for public bodies to learn from mistakes and implement changes, to prevent other families having to suffer from the l0ss of a loved one. It is therefore devastating for these families to learn through the most recent inspection that HMP Nottingham have repeatedly failed to achieve recommendations made by the Prison and Probation Ombudsman and HM Prisons’ Inspectorate.

For further details, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons letter to the Justice Secretary can be read here:


We Can Help

At MW, our mission is "To make quality legal services accessible to everyone" including bereaved families who deserve to know the circumstances of their loved ones death.

If you have a family member or loved one who died whilst in custody and wish to talk to one of our specialist Lawyers, call us today on 020 3551 8500 or use our Contact Us form to arrange a callback.

Operation Kalmia

Bellamy Forde and Clare Evans of MW’s Civil and Commercial Litigation Division are instructed by Owen Crooks in pursuing claims of Misfeasance in Public Office and Malicious Prosecution against the Chief Constable of Staffordshire Police arising from his wrongful conviction and subsequent acquittal in 2012.

Bellamy Forde
Bellamy Forde
Partner & Head of Civil & Commercial Litigation

Owen was convicted along with 5 others for the murder of Kevin Nunes, a drug dealer from the Whitmore Reans District of Wolverhampton in 2006.  After being convicted, a report was commission by the Court of Appeal which followed a disclosure made by a police officer.

It has subsequently come to light that Staffordshire Police’s Sensitive Policing Unit was riven with bad practice and ultimately, unlawful conduct in relation to a number of very important practices that underpin the Criminal Justice System.  That conduct subsequently led to the acquittal of Owen and others.  In turn, that led to the Independent Police Complaints Commission establishing an investigation (Operation Kalmia) into Staffordshire Police, a report that is eagerly awaited.

It has been reported that the report will criticise a number of police officers and the force as a whole. 

Owen eagerly awaits sight of that report as he seeks redress for the conduct of officers and the force as a whole with at least one newspaper describing the force as being  “out of control”.

Media and Press Reports

UPDATE (4th October 2017) - Operation Kalmia Report Published by IPCC

on 4th October the IPCC published their long awaited Operation Kalmia report of the investigation into Staffordshire Police.


Extradition Justice

MW Solicitors is proud to announce its ranking in the 2018 Chambers & Partners UK Guide for Crime: Extradition.

Despite being a newly formed Department, MW has been quickly recognised by fellow practitioners, Judges and clients alike as a leading firm specialising in this niche area of law.

The Department is well known for successfully challenging extradition requests from all over the world, focussing on complex and technical legal challenges as well as on human rights and political grounds. The Department has been involved in some of the most novel points of extradition law and has challenged requests from USA, Peru, Nigeria, Albania, Croatia and most other European Countries. It also advises on Mutual Legal Assistance and challenging Interpol Red Notices.

Chirag Patel - Partner, Head of Extradition and Deputy Head of Crime

Chirag Patel
Chirag Patel
Partner & Head of Extradition and Deputy Head of Crime


Leader in the Field

Practice Areas

Chirag Patel practices in complex criminal defence and extradition law. He set up the Extradition Department at McMillan Williams in 2015 and heads a team of 11 talented lawyers. Chirag robustly and energetically challenges extradition requests and defends the rights of his clients with considerable success. Chirag also advises on Interpol Red Notices, their removal, Mutual Legal Assistance, and Human Rights. Recent highlights include representation in the only Nigerian extradition request (ongoing), being granted the first ever application for permission to appeal against extradition out of time, and securing discharge for a Requested Person allegedly involved in a €60million tax carousel fraud in Germany.


Chirag qualified in 2003, obtained his Higher Rights of Audience in 2010 and was promoted to Partner in 2015.


Chirag Patel has "a very good way of breaking down something complicated and making it simple." Alongside his own work in extradition cases and appeals, he heads the extradition department and has been credited with "ensuring the firm maintains the highest of standards." One commentator notes: "He has a lovely manner with clients which means they have absolute trust in him."

We Can Help

If you need representation in a criminal defence or an extradition case, our talented and specialist Crime and Extradition Solicitors are here to help you.  Call us today on 020 3551 8500 or use our Contact Us form to arrange a callback.

Young Detainee

Despite what some media outlets might suggest, UK detention facilities are no holiday camp for those spending time inside.

Whilst images have surfaced in the media showing inmates playing computer games and taking ‘group selfies’ that could well fool us into believing that there is enjoyment amongst those on the inside, no one has considered what it is like for those that are mistreated and harmed when their care is within the hands of the state, and what it would be like to loose the basic human rights that we are all granted.

What Happens When Detention Facilities Reach Capacity?

When detention facilities start to reach capacity, in a similar way to any institution that is designed to house human beings, the pressure on that institution, and the staff that work within it, increases. When capacity turns into over crowding, the ratio between the supervisors and the supervised becomes disproportionate, unsafe and creates an environment such that incidents occur which would normally have otherwise been prevented.
The Human Rights Act 1998 sets out the fundamental rights and freedoms that everyone in the UK is entitled to. Whilst those that are detained may have to suffer the curtailment of certain rights, such as personal freedom and the right to vote, they are still entitled to share the benefit of and receive the protection of all other basic human rights, and in particular the rights to life and prohibition of torture. We must consider whether we are doing enough to protect the human rights of some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

The Tragedy of Restraint Techniques

The issues surrounding the mistreatment of detainees was brought into the centre of media storm in April 2004 when Gareth Myatt, at the age of 15 years, became the first child to die in a privately run Secure Training Centre (a young offender’s institution equivalent to a prison). Gareth died after being restrained by three adult officers, under a Home Office and Youth Justice Board approved restraint technique known as the ‘seated double embrace’. Gareth weighed a mere six and a half stone. The restraints system, introduced in 1998, came with a promise that the use of it would be constantly reviewed, however a medical review into the use of restraints was ordered after Gareth’s death, and the ‘seated double embrace’ technique was withdrawn.

In August 2004 Adam Rickwood became the second individual to die in a privately run Secure Training Centre. Adam hanged himself, taking his own life, after being restrained by centre staff.
The mistreatment of detainees, especially those under the age of eighteen, is not a subject that has been greatly reported on, nor is it considered to be one of the major pressing issues of today’s society, a troubled child is more easy to pass by, Oliver Twist, and not Artful Dodger, got the happy ending.

Independent Review of Restraint in Juvenile Secure Settings

Following the tragic deaths of Gareth Myatt and Adam Rickwood, reports were commissioned and opinions were sought. One such report was the Independent Review of Restraint in Juvenile Secure Settings, commissioned in 2008. This was carried out by two social workers with many years’ experience in practice and management, and they attended, quite freely, many Secured Training Centres to speak directly with the children and staff on the topic of restraint.

Minimising and Managing Physical Restraint

The Ministry of Justice, followed up on the recommendations with a new behaviour management and restraint system known as Minimising and Managing Physical Restraint (MMPR). The aim of MMPR was to provide staff with the knowledge and ability to recognise certain behaviours in young people, and to use de-escalation and diversion strategies, through the application of behaviour management techniques to minimise the use of restraint. The report also highlighted that staff must be able to clearly demonstrate why restraint was necessary.

We have also seen the introduction of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015, which brings in the construction of ‘Secure Colleges,’ in place of the Secured Training Centres, where the emphasis is on greater education for the young offenders for rehabilitation purposes.

Young and Vulnerable People are Still at Risk

The introduction of the MMPR, together with the Act, arguably demonstrates that the Government  has recognised the need to overhaul the rehabilitation of young offenders. It paints a picture that there will not be a reoccurrence of the tragic events that led to the death of the two young individuals.

However, when a copy of the MMPR was requested by charity Article 39, a largely redacted version was provided. The reasoning given for the large redaction was that the techniques used on young offenders, are also used on adult prisoners, and it was argued that disclosure of the manual will allow adult prisoners to develop counter measures against the techniques.

Changing Culture Takes Time

The report stated that ‘it is recognised that the required cultural change is expected to take a sustained period of time.’ However, many would argue that there has been no significant change in the way in which the human rights of detainees are being safeguarded and that the Secure Colleges are merely a cheaper and easier to run alternative to the Secured Training Centres as they are intended to house more offenders in one location than their predecessors.

Some believe that the new systems, and not the actual restraint techniques themselves, are what have been specifically designed for children.  It certainly raises the question “have we honoured the deaths of Gareth Myatt and Adam Rickwood?”. 

Only time will tell.

The Fight for Civil Liberties Goes On

At McMillan Williams, we strive to uphold the rule of law and challenge any abuse to the human rights of those who have been detained. We believe that as a nation, we must protect each other from those who seek to harm us or prevent us from enjoying all civil liberties, and whilst Government reports  bring much needed public scrutiny and awareness of the issue, there is still a way to go to ensure that we are fully protecting those that are detained by the state.

A special consideration should apply to those most vulnerable, such as the youth members of our society.

We Can Help

At MW, our mission is "To make quality legal services accessible to everyone" including vulnerable young people who find themselves detained in Secure Training Centres.

If you believe that your or a family members Human Rights have been breached and you wish to discuss the case with one of our experienced and dedicated Civil Liberties Lawyers, call us today on 020 3551 8500 or email us at enquiries@mwsolicitors.co.uk.

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