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Kelly Parsons (formerly Shaw)

Kelly Parsons, Head of Prison Law Department

Kelly Parsons is the Head of our fast growing Prison law Department.

Kelly has over 20 years’ experience in criminal law specialising in Prison Law and Crown Court litigation. She is also a qualified Police Station Representative.

The qualifications and experience gained over that time have allowed her to take a ‘cradle to grave’ approach, allowing her to see cases through from their initial investigation stage with the Police to conclusion at the Crown Court, later representing clients at Parole, Recall and Adjudication hearings within a prison setting.

Kelly has experience of dealing with the full range of criminal cases including murder, complex drug conspiracies, historic and current sexual offences, alongside serious violence and dishonesty allegations such as burglary and armed robbery.

Clients value Kelly’s thorough approach to every case. She is extremely sympathetic and personable meaning that both the client and their family build a good rapport with her. She has a history of dealing with clients with mental health issues and also youths who find themselves within the criminal justice system. Kelly will always go the extra mile to assist clients during some of the most mentally and physically exhausting times of their lives.

Whether she is representing a client in front of a parole panel, in-house advocate or independent counsel, clients can be confident that Kelly will work independently and obtain all the relevant information and evidence to present their best case.


Chesterfield Office:
5 Beetwell Street,
S40 1SH

Tel: 01246 387999
Email: kelly.parsons@vhsfletchers.co.uk

Prison Law

R v CD – Client re-released on licence following a recall for failure to be of good behaviour.

R v LB – Successful application for oral hearing to consider re-release following revocation of his licence for committing a further offence.

R v TM – Client’s adjudication dismissed in front of a District Judge. This related to an allegation of assault against a prison officer.

R v GK – Client serving an IPP Sentence (Imprisonment for Public Protection). GK has severe mental health issues and Kelly has assisted along with a number of fellow professionals to facilitate GK’s move to a lower secure hospital unit which can continue to assist with his day to day care. The IPP status is currently being reviewed by independent counsel and an application for Judicial Review may be submitted.

Crown Court

R v DB – Client pleaded guilty to four murders following complex investigations into his health and mental state and health at the time of the offending.

R v MS – Client acquitted of Murder following a 5-week trial.

R v CB – Client acquitted of a number of sexual offences against a child

R v IB – Charge of s18 GBH reduced to s20 against a family member. Client received a suspended sentence.


Irene Tolley

nottingham prison law specialist Irene Tolley
Prison Law Consultant Irene Tolley

Irene has been undertaking criminal work for about 40 years, initially assisting clients at the police station, preparing Magistrates’ Court cases and undertaking Crown Court litigation. She headed the Crown Court department at VHS until 2007.

She holds the PSQ permitting her to represent clients in the police station who have requested the Duty Solicitor.

Since 2007, Irene has concentrated upon providing quality advice and representation in prison law matters. She is a well-known representative at many prisons across the country owing to the length of time that she has been involved in criminal work.

Her passion about prison law will be obvious to all clients who meet her, as will be her ability to deal with a wide range of issues arising from a client’s situation in custody. These can include parole, recall, adjudications or re-categorisation. Initial advice will always be given as to whether legal aid is available to assist with these matters, but if not then she will undertake the work at competitive private rates.

Irene has had significant successes undertaking advocacy before the Independent Adjudicator and Parole Board. Where appropriate she will select skilled independent counsel to make such representations on a client’s behalf. In addition, she has successfully fought challenges by way of Judicial Review against prison governors, the Parole Board, the Secretary of State for Justice and Independent Adjudicators.

Irene is a member of the Association of Prison Lawyers.


Nottingham Office:
111 Carrington Street,

Tel: 0115 9599550
Email: Irene.tolley@vhsfletchers.co.uk

Case of J. Successful in persuading the Parole Board to release the client on parole even though he had only just been downgraded from Category A status two weeks before. He had served 15 years, all of that time within the High Security Estate.

Case of B. Successful Judicial Review of a decision of an Independent Adjudicator who had imposed an additional sentence upon a serving prisoner. The sentence was quashed.

Case or P.  Successful application for client to be moved to open conditions. Read more here.

Case of B. Successful application for release on parole despite lack of support by relevant parties.  Read more here

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