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Tim Haines

Mansfield Criminal Solicitor Tim Haines
Derby Criminal Defence and Regulatory solicitor Tim Haines

Tim qualified as a solicitor in 1993, initially practising in all areas of litigation. In 1995 he began to concentrate solely on criminal defence work and soon found himself heading the Criminal Department of his then employer, a position he held for 6 years before joining VHS solicitors in 2001.

He was made a partner in 2006, and undertook an important role in the merger of two firms to form VHS Fletchers. Thereafter, he has been instrumental in developing the Derby and  Mansfield areas of our successful practice.

Tim has a key role in practice development, as combined with his strong leadership qualities, he provides the best quality advice and assistance at the police station and is a much respected Magistrates’ and Youth Court advocate. His many years of experience have involved him representing clients being investigated or charged with all forms of matters from road traffic offences through to murder.

He is renowned for his straight talking pragmatic style, an approach highly valued by his clients. A personable and committed defence specialist, Tim is a Duty Solicitor.

Tim is a member of our Regulatory team and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience with him. He is able to provide a complete service to the clients he represents. His skills allow him to give comprehensive advice to professionals who find themselves subject to investigations by statutory bodies. He is one of a very small band of solicitors who is competent to advise individuals who are subject to both regulatory and criminal investigation/prosecution.

He has many years experience of undertaking advocacy before the Magistrates Court and is an expert litigator in healthcare cases before the Crown Court. Recently he played an integral part in successfully defending a client in a multi-handed bribery and fraud trial which lasted 7 weeks before the Crown Court.

Tim has developed the appropriate skills and knowledge to represent individuals and companies called as interested parties in Coroner’s enquiries. He is able to advise the client throughout the process including preparing statements and undertaking the advocacy at the full Inquest.

Over the years Tim has advised individuals facing investigations and proceedings before the General Pharmaceutical Council; not only has he prepared full responses to investigations, but he has also undertaken the advocacy and represented clients facing matters before both the Investigating Committee and Fitness to Practise Committee of the GPhC. Tim uses his experience and skills as a well-established criminal defence advocate to thoroughly prepare responses to emergency applications for Interim orders.

Tim brings together the various attributes required in the field of regulatory law. He is approachable, caring and will stand his client’s corner whilst giving rounded and detailed advice.

Positive feedback for Tim can now be found here.


Nottingham Office:
111 Carrington Street,

Tel: 0115 9599550

Email: tim.haines@vhsfletchers.co.uk

R v C Murder. An elderly client with dementia killed his wife. The Crown Prosecution Service were ultimately persuaded that a finding of fact hearing rather than a trial was the most appropriate way for such a sensitive case to proceed. Ultimately the client received a hospital order.

R v R Excess Alcohol. The client was a schoolteacher who collided with a vehicle while on school grounds whilst significantly over the legal limit to drive. Following a guilty plea and the advancement of careful and sensitive mitigation the case resolved by way of a low tariff community order despite the presence of significant aggravating features.

R v H Criminal Behaviour Order. The client was an extremely vulnerable individual with longstanding mental health issues. The case involved a high level of care and compassion and resolved by way of a conditional discharge and a Criminal Behaviour Order in terms very much reduced from those originally being sought by the police.

R v W Abuse of Process. The client was accused of physically assaulting a 3 year old child as part of a long running neighbour dispute. Following lengthy submissions to the Crown and a successful abuse of process argument the Magistrates dismissed the charge.

R v M Joint Enterprise. The client was a youth jointly charged with a street robbery. Following a full evidential trial before a District Judge which included extensive legal argument on the issue of joint enterprise the client was acquitted whereas the co-accused separately represented was convicted.

R v J.  Bad character evidence.  Not guilty verdict for Mansfield client despite poor record for similar offending. Read more here.

R v S.  Domestic violence.  Not guilty verdict for Mansfield client alleged to have assaulted his partner. Read more here.

R v B.  Drink driving.  Prison sentence avoided for Mansfield driver four times over the limit. Read more here.

R v P.  Drug driving.  Not guilty verdict for Mansfield client said to be driving whilst under the influence of drugs. Read more here.

R v P. Drink Driving.  Client sentenced to a community order following mitigation demonstrating a wish to change.  Read more here.


Helen Lees

nottingham criminal solicitor helen lees
Crime and Regulatory solicitor Helen Lees

Helen qualified as a Solicitor in 1995, joining VHS Fletchers in 2004 having already specialised for 11 years in criminal defence work at another local practice. She became a Duty Solicitor in 1996 in Nottingham and began to specialise in working with young people who fund themselves both in the police station and in the Youth Court.

She has experience of defending those charged with offences ranging from shop theft to murder, and is aims to provide exceptional client care whatever the charge may be. She is an able advocate and she enjoys the challenge of conducting trials.

In 2014, she branched out from her daily appearances in the Magistrates and Youth Court and joined the regulatory team at VHS Fletchers. She prosecutes for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on a national basis, in complex and serious cases. She is part of a well-regarded team who undertake this work for the HSE, and now appears at inquest hearings representing the HSE, as well as prosecutions in Magistrates and Crown Court. Her extensive experience in defending in the first part of her career, has proved invaluable in providing advice on procedure and evidence in regulatory prosecutions.

In the time that she has been in the regulatory department, Helen has undertaken a wide range of prosecutions including the prosecution of a company who failed to protect its employees during asbestos removal, to prosecutions of companies following serious and fatal accidents sustained at work, and prosecution of gas fitters who are not registered, and undertake defective work.


Nottingham Office:
111 Carrington Street,

Tel: 0115 9599550

Email: helen.lees@vhsfletchers.co.uk

R v C Historic Sexual Abuse. The client was a head teacher charged with historical abuse allegations. Advice and representation provided from the police station through to trial where the client was acquitted

R v DZ Attempted Murder. A vulnerable Chinese national who had been trafficked to the United Kingdom and who spoke no English was charged with an attack on a madam running a brothel. The Crown were persuaded to accept a lesser charge of s20 Wounding.

R v SS Conspiracy to commit armed robbery. The Client was interviewed unrepresented in the police station but diligent post charge investigations led to the interviews being ruled inadmissible due to the police’s actions.

R v K Murder. This client was extremely vulnerable due to his physical and learning difficulties combines with a lack of English. The case involved spending 4 days with him at the police station during the interviews, providing advice and support to him from that point through to sentencing.

R v A CCTV. A youth with no previous convictions was charged with robbery. Thorough preparation and analysis of the CCTV footage that had been available to the police from the outset showed that her client could not have committed the offence.

R v C Assault. The client was a care home worker of good character charged with assaulting a resident during an outing. He was found not guilty after trial.

R v N and S Regulatory defence. A company and an individual director were prosecuted for serious breaches of fire regulations with regard to a student lettings development. A custodial sentence for the Director was avoided.


Andrew Broome

Andrew qualified in 1990, and became a partner at Frisby and Co in the same year. He retired from Frisby & Co as Chairman and Head of Regulatory Crime in 2012, and has been employed by VHS Fletchers as a Consultant since March 2013.

During his career, Andrew has undertaken all forms of Criminal work, ranging from Homicide, offences against the person, and fraud. He is a qualified supervisor for Very High Cost Case work.

Firearms law specialist

Andrew Broome, firearms law specialist solicitor
Andrew Broome, firearms law specialist solicitor

Andrew has participated in all forms of shooting for over 30 years. His interest initially began with clay target shooting, progressing to handguns (when UK legal) and long-range rifle competitions both here and abroad.

He  has a particular interest in large bore shotguns. This led to him becoming a passionate and accomplished hand loader of ammunition, both for Section 1 and Section 2 firearms.

Andrew’s involvement in the shooting sports naturally led to him developing a nationally recognised specialism in all aspects of firearms law. Initially this was principally acting for individual certificate holders, but it soon developed  to a point where he received instructions from shooting clubs, Registered Firearms Dealers and International Firearms Dealers as his reputation and expertise became recognised.

In more recent times Andrew has been able to combine his Health and Safety and Regulatory knowledge to the benefit of all those engaged in the shooting industry so as to provide a single point of contact for legal compliance. In this capacity he frequently is invited to attend the Shot Show Las Vegas on behalf of clients as well as the IWA Exhibition in Nuremberg.

Areas of work covered but not limited to:

  • Acting for certificate holders in relation to appeals against refusal to grant and/or revoke firearms and shotgun certificates.
  • Handling licensing appeals on behalf of Registered Firearms Dealers including those seeking Registration.
  • Acting for Home Office approved (and independent) shooting clubs/establishments on licensing matters.
  • Acting for shooting establishments in relation to defending actions for noise nuisance including bringing appeals against the service of Noise Abatement Notices served under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
  • Advising  Registered firearms dealers on legal compliance on matters such as firearm manufacture, transport, testing and overnight storage including Section 5 weapons.
  • Advising firearms and pyrotechnic manufacturers on Regulatory compliance and workshop safety.
  • Advising shooting establishments on safe range operation and on health and safety issues relating to employee and public safety.
  • Advising non-UK based firearms manufacturers/distributors on UK firearms law and regulatory compliance.
  • Providing Audit services to RFD’s and manufacturers on legislative compliance and workshop safety.
  • Defending anyone charged with Criminal offences arising from the use, possession or involvement of firearms.

Andrew currently enjoys life membership of a number of shooting clubs in recognition of his services to the sport and its members. He currently sits as the Independent Legal Member to the Audit Committee of the Royal Armouries and has a special advisory role to the National Firearm Centre.  Andrew has recently accepted a position as Honorary Health and Safety Adviser to ASPI. the Association of Professional Shooting Instructors.  He has advised a number of relevant specialist bodies including the Institute of Explosive Engineers.

In 2020 Andrew was made a Freeman of the City of London and in 2021 admitted as a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Gunmakers.

Health and Safety specialist

Andrew has conducted prosecution work for various government agencies and Local Authorities, stemming from his nationally recognised expertise in Health and Safety law. He has advised both the Police and Health and Safety Executive on a number of complex fatal accident investigations, many of which have gained considerable media attention. He has conducted joint HSE/Local Authority Prosecutions, and has also conducted similar joint prosecutions with the Environment Agency. He has represented the HSE on appeals to the Court of Appeal, and has a reputation for handling the most complex of cases.

Andrew regularly represents the Health and Safety Executive at Inquests, and at Notice appeals in the Employment Tribunal. His caseload has been vast and varied, having undertaken or overseen many hundreds of cases over a 24 year career.

He continues to undertake general and specialist criminal defence work for individuals and corporations against enforcing authorities for Regulatory criminal offences.


Ilkeston Office:
68 South Street,

Tel: 0115 9441233
Email: andrew.broome@vhsfletchers.co.uk

Midlands Electricity Board PLC. Death of worker at substation. Involved conducting the advocacy at a week long inquest cross-examining numerous technical experts and subsequently conducting the prosecution to final hearing.

Network Rail Infrastructure. Double rail fatality. Assisting the Railway Inspectorate involving devising a method of reconstruction requiring night time possession of the line and full cooperation with a number of duty-holders, ultimately drawing favourable judicial comment.

John Glen and Tremorfa Limited. Advised extensively within an investigation into the supplier and installer of an electric gate which sadly killed a child. Certain tests that were identified as appropriate limited possible defences available.

Chief Constable of the West Midlands Police. Prosecution arose from an injury sustained to a HGV examiner’s hand as a consequence of a failure to manage a training exercise properly. The case was one of the first of its kind following The Police (Health and Safety) Act 1997 and inevitably attracted significant media attention.

Telford Pressings Ltd. Health and Safety prosecution following traumatic amputation of limbs of worker in machinery Considerable media interest generated, primarily due to the injuries sustained, which formed a significant aspect of the case.

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