Andrew has been qualified as a solicitor for over 20 years, specialising in criminal law since qualification.
He has been qualified as a Duty Solicitor for the majority of that time, and has held the solicitors’ Higher Court Qualification since 2006, specialising in Crown Court Advocacy since then, in combination with the advocacy that sometimes follows at the Court of Appeal.
The decision to transfer his skills to the Crown Court followed years of gaining substantial experience as a trial lawyer before the Magistrates’ Court, where he represented clients at contested committal proceedings for the most serious offences including murder, and undertook the preparation and advocacy in complex trials of up to 2 weeks in length. At the same time, he was providing advice and representation in the police station and having responsibility for a significant Crown Court litigator caseload.
In the 10 years since he began regularly appearing in the Crown Court, Andrew has provided the advocacy for clients who have faced the full range of criminal offences – drugs conspiracies, sexual offences, road traffic fatalities, serious incidents of public disorder and violence and associated confiscation proceedings.
Having undertaken a successful school admissions appeal for his own daughter some years ago, Andrew also assists education law solicitor Clare Roberts in preparing and presenting school admission appeals, attending meeting with the council to try and deal with the problems created by a Nottinghamshire County Council decision to change admissions criteria.
In relation to management roles, Andrew is currently the Managing Partner and Training Principal for VHS Fletchers, while continuing to manage the Crown Court department across the firm. He has a responsibility for training and recruitment, as well as business planning and other partnership issues. Locally, he was instrumental in challenging the proposals for new criminal legal aid contracting which would have restricted client access to justice, being latterly a member of steering group for the Fair Crime Contracts Alliance, the limited company that brought the judicial review proceedings.
Andrew is currently the Chair of the Board of Trustees of Nottingham Law Centre, and is a member of the Criminal Law Solicitors Association, Solicitors Association of Higher Courts Advocates, the local and national Law Society, and an occasional member of the Nottinghamshire Law Society Criminal Business Sub-Committee.