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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.


Jon Hullis

Jon Hullis – Partner, Regulatory and Motoring Law Solicitor

Jon qualified as a solicitor in 1997 and was a Duty Solicitor from 1999. He is a Higher Courts Advocate who is qualified to represent his clients before the Crown Court and Court of Appeal.

As a result, Jon has substantial experience defending every type of criminal case, providing advice and representation in police stations, Magistrates’ and Crown Courts, and has appeared in several cases in the Court of Appeal.

In addition to his criminal defence cases, Jon works on Regulatory Law cases where he represents the Health and Safety Executive in prosecutions relating to breaches of all aspects of health and safety legislation throughout the country. He often represents the Health and Safety Executive at Coroner’s Inquests. He also represents clients in cases relating to firearms law.

He has extensive experience of defending clients charged with driving offences, from speeding to causing death by dangerous driving. Jon has represented professional drivers and those whose livelihoods depend on having a driving licence. Jon is an expert in the technical defences in cases such as drink and drug driving, including post-driving consumption and spiked drinks. He regularly represents clients in putting forward evidence of “exceptional hardship” to avoid disqualification for having twelve or more penalty points. Jon has successfully made legal arguments for the court to use its discretion not to impose mandatory driving disqualifications on the basis of “Special Reasons” for cases involving drink/drug driving, dangerous driving of Large Goods Vehicles and drink driving on e-scooters.

Jon’s forensic approach to cases means that his skills have also been successfully brought to bear on the more technical kinds of proceedings before the Magistrates’ Court. He has considerable success in defending the more complex cases including prosecutions for Dangerous Dogs and applications for Criminal Behaviour Orders.

Jon has provided in-house training to businesses who operate fleets of vehicles, and given talks to motoring groups and clubs.


Nottingham Office:
111 Carrington Street,

Tel: 0115 9599550

Email: jon.hullis@vhsfletchers.co.uk

Not guilty of failing to provide driver’s details. Business owner found not guilty of failing to provide driver’s details (section 172 Road Traffic Act 1988) after a single written demand from a police officer. Client gave evidence that he had returned the notice with the required information. Magistrates acquitted as they could not be sure that the reply had not been sent.

Representation of Estate Agent – 12 points but no driving ban. Busy and successful estate agent faced a penalty points ban for accumulating 12 penalty points within 3 years. Thorough preparation of evidence to successfully argue that no ban should be imposed due exceptional hardship based on the inevitable impact on the business and the consequent risk of staff redundancies.

Representation of nightclub Door Supervisor. Represented SIA-badged door supervisor charged with assaulting a customer who had been ejected from the nightclub. Video evidence showed that the doorman had not acted in self-defence and would have been convicted if he had a trial. Guilty plea entered and the case then turned on getting the best possible outcome for the client. Thankfully, the court agreed with the mitigation and character references and imposed a Conditional Discharge – the lowest sentence possible.

Possession of shotgun without certificate. Representation in the magistrates’ court of a young farmer whose shotgun certificate had been revoked. Due to an oversight, his change of address had not been notified, meaning the notification had been sent to his former address and he was unaware of the revocation and was therefore in possession of a shotgun without a certificate. Guilty plea and significant mitigation led to a small fine of £93 being imposed.

Representation of shotgun licence holder charged with transferring a shotgun to a non-licence holder and failing to notify the transfer. Successful representations to the prosecutor resulted in one charge being withdrawn. Powerful mitigation persuaded the Magistrates to impose a Conditional Discharge for the remaining offence.

Representation of a retired gunsmith following a police search warrant being executed at his home and the seizure of his collection of more than a hundred antique firearms. Represented at formal police interview under caution. Presentation of evidence and detailed expert submissions to the police led to the return of every seized firearm.

R v P. Court of Appeal. Appeal against sentence. Four year sentence reduced to two years on appeal.

R v W. Court of Appeal. Appeal against sentence. Sentence of 36 months for offence of unlawful wounding reduced to 28 months on appeal.

R v H. Court of Appeal. Appeal against sentence. Sentence of 4 years 8 months for drug trafficking reduced to 4 years on appeal.

R v E. Court of Appeal. Appeal against sentence. Successful appeal for offences of supplying Class A drugs. Sentence reduced from 3 years 4 months to 2 years 9 months.

R v J. Court of Appeal. Appeal against sentence. Successful appeal against prison sentence for historic sexual offence. Replaced with Community Order.

High Court Appeal by Case Stated. Appeal on a point of law against the conviction by Magistrates of client charged with domestic assault. Client was accused of a physical assault on his estranged wife. Following cross-examination of prosecution witnesses by Jon Hullis, Magistrates did not find the physical assault proved, but nevertheless went on to convict of a non-physical assault. Jon lodged an appeal and appeared at the High Court, resulting in the conviction being quashed.

Representation of e-scooter rider for “driving” with excess alcohol. Successful argument of Special Reasons with no driving ban imposed for a student who rode the council-hired e-scooter a short distance with no other vehicles around.

Representation of Large Goods Vehicle driver charged with dangerous driving after his vehicle overturned on an urban roundabout. Successful argument of Special Reasons with no driving ban imposed based on the unusual circumstances involving the operator not supplying appropriate load restraints and wrongly telling the driver that it was safe, with a threat of being sacked if he didn’t obey.

Successful representation of business owner to keep his driving licence. Representation of the owner of a chain of pharmacies who had accumulated 12 penalty points for speeding offences. Thorough preparation and gathering of evidence resulted in successful argument of “exceptional hardship” and the client being able to continue driving.

Speeding – Special Reasons found – No ban or points. Represented director of a security company who overtook an unmarked police car and was seen to drive at over 90 MPH in a 50 limit. Careful preparation of case and supporting evidence. Successful argument of Special Reasons as a result of client’s genuine fear for his safety from the occupants of another car after well documented threats to his life. Resulted in no ban, no penalty points, no fine and no prosecution costs.

VOSA Prosecution. Representing five clients who were HGV drivers accused of a conspiracy to falsify tachograph records resulting from alleged driving without tacho cards inserted.

Security Industry Authority prosecution. Clients were directors of a security company prosecuted by the SIA for using unlicensed security operatives.

Careless Driving. Client was a motorcyclist charged with careless driving after he was involved in a collision that left him with serious spinal injuries.

Dangerous Driving. Client was a type-1 diabetic driver charged with dangerous driving after he suffered a sudden hypoglycaemic episode while driving, resulting in numerous collisions on the M1 and adjoining roads and culminating in a serious collision with a building. A report was commissioned from the country’s leading expert on ‘hypoglycaemia unawareness’ resulting in the Crown Prosecution Service offering no evidence and the charge being dismissed.

Causing Death by Dangerous Driving. Client was a farmer investigated after a motorcyclist died following a collision with his vehicle as he made a right turn. Representation at investigation stage resulted in no charges being brought.

Represented off-duty police officer accused of using Disorderly Behaviour towards police officers. Trial involved cross-examination of police prosecution witnesses and detailed presentation of CCTV evidence that proved the client’s innocence. Client acquitted.

Representation of driver charged with causing the death of a motorcyclist by dangerous driving and whilst uninsured. Also, representation of her husband for permitting her to drive whilst uninsured.


Martin Hadley

nottingham criminal solicitor
Nottingham Crime and Regulatory solicitor Martin Hadley

Martin Hadley was admitted as a solicitor in 1988, specialising in criminal defence work shortly thereafter. He has nearly 30 years’ experience representing individuals at police stations or before criminal courts.

This knowledge and experience gained over many years has equipped him well, enabling him to review cases from a balanced and independent view point. His clients receive the benefit of this unbiased advice, always given in their best interests.

Since 1999, Martin has used these abilities to specialise in representing healthcare professionals, including staff of a major pharmaceutical company as well as those self-employed. He provides advice on investigations by the police, statutory and regulatory bodies. He has advised many professionals at the police station, court, Coroner’s Inquests and disciplinary proceedings. He has undertaken the advocacy and presentation of cases before the General Pharmaceutical Counsel.

Martin has dealt with the full range of issues that will arise when representing professionals, including corporate manslaughter, fraud and regulatory breaches. As Martin is able to undertake his own advocacy he brings continuity that cannot be achieved by the use of external counsel.

His abilities were recognised in 1997 by the Legal Services Commission (now the Legal Aid Agency) when he was appointed to the Funding Review Committee where he sat as both Chair and member.

He currently serves as a member of the Criminal Sub-Committee of the Nottingham Law Society.


Nottingham Office:
111 Carrington Street,

Tel: 0115 9599550
Email: martin.hadley@vhsfletchers.co.uk

R v M Fraud. Client was a pharmacist accused of a fraud valued in excess of £80K. Unfortunately the Crown Prosecution Service failed to understand the technical processes of the client’s business and his ability to make a legitimate claim for costs. The client was acquitted after trial.

L. Gross Negligence Manslaughter. The clients were a pharmacist and his colleagues interviewed by the police, overseen by the Special Cases Unit of the Crown Prosecution Service, during a period of 5 days. Ultimately, no action was taken as we helped demonstrate that the pharmacy had robust systems in place and these systems were routinely used.

P. Inquest. Representing a pharmacist and her colleagues who were ‘interested parties’ at an inquest lasting 5 days. The Coroner in his conclusion highlighted shortcomings in the practices of others while making no criticism was made of our client’s practice.

R. Investigation. The client was a pharmacist being investigated by the General Pharmaceutical Council for failing to dispense medication requested on a prescription. Written representations were submitted denying wrong doing. Thereafter the Council closed its investigation into our client and took no action, instead giving advice to our client’s employer.

J . Fitness to Practice. Advocacy undertaken before the Fitness to Practice Committee of the General Pharmaceutical Council on behalf of a client accused of making various dispensing errors. It was alleged that due to the number and frequency of these errors he was not fit to practice. It was demonstrated, however, that the error rate was below the national average and the Committee found that the client was fit to practice and that his performance was ‘nearer to excellent than poor’. Unsurprisingly, no action was taken.

General Pharmaceutical Council v PSuccessful representations made on behalf of a pharmacist technician who had failed to disclose a police caution.  Further information can be found here.

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