Ilkeston Client? Ilkeston Solicitor
VHS Fletchers still provide an Ilkeston solicitor for Ilkeston clients facing criminal charges.
An unfortunate effect on clients of the repeated cuts to the scope and value of legal aid work is that in areas where there were once several providers of criminal legal aid there might now be none.
Ilkeston is a good example of such an area. It once had a manned custody suite and processed suspects in detention for offences. This stopped some years ago and even the public enquiry office has now closed. There is more on that story here.
It also had a Magistrates’ Court dealing with defendants to the conclusion of their cases. This closed in 2011.
On 30 April 2016 the firm of Wykes O’Donnell Williams ceased to provide services to clients under the criminal legal system. Fortunately, clients were able to have advance notice of this and VHS Fletchers were able to take over the conduct of their cases.
We ensured that the clients also had continuity of service by employing Ilkeston solicitor Chris Evans and Crown Court litigator Sheila Oakes who continue to work on existing cases. Our Ilkeston office is only a minutes’ walk from the old Wykes’ office.
Chris Evans qualified as a solicitor in 1979, and has specialised in criminal defence work for the last 15 years. In that time he has represented clients facing the most serious of cases involving fatalities, serious public order and grave sexual offences. Similarly, working with Chris, Sheila has provided litigator support in a comparable range of cases.
The partners of VHS Fletchers believe it is important to try and provide a local service to local clients wherever possible. Varley Hadley Siddall solicitors had an office in Ilkeston prior to the merger with Fletchers solicitors in 2008. Rather than retreat from Ilkeston following the closure of both court and police station we formed the view that local people should still have the benefit of an Ilkeston solicitors’ office to allow them easy access to their lawyers.
Although clients are now likely to be arrested and processed at Nottingham Bridewell or Derby St Mary’s Wharf police stations, upon release they will be able to make an appointment with their local Ilkeston solicitor to discuss the next steps in their case. This might be the progress of the police investigation, or to begin the preparation of a Crown Court trial.
We recognise that finances might be difficult. We know that time is precious to you. As a result, it is likely that the last thing a client may want is to incur the expense of a visit to offices in Derby or Nottingham, as well as to undergo the stress of potential charges and court proceedings.
VHS Fletchers hopes that clients will value this local service, asking for us to represent them at the police station or court, knowing that they will be seen by a lawyer who is able to offer them easy and convenient appointments as their case progresses.