"Astonishingly bright" – Legal 500
Philip is the managing director at Minton Morrill and brings with him a wealth of skill and technical knowledge, having previously headed the criminal department at Lester Morrill for 10 years.
He has a modern style of management, being approachable to our team whilst simultaneously ensuring the highest quality services are delivered to our clients. He remains an integral part of the criminal law team, having vast experience of heavyweight cases, including utilising his higher rights of audience in the Crown Court and at the same time expanding his expertise in road traffic offences. He is described in Chambers’ Guide to the Legal Profession as “astonishingly bright” and has contributed significantly to the departments’ inclusion in the ‘Legal 500’.
Philip is often approached to represent other lawyers when they face investigation or criminal prosecution as well as other individuals who work within the criminal justice system. He is able to put clients at their ease, explain complicated issues in simple ways and is at home in police station, Magistrates’ or Crown Courts advancing the best interests of those he represents. He brings to every case, no matter what the allegation, formidable experience and tactical understanding, which reputation draws clients to him from all over the country.
As one of the leading criminal practitioners in the region, he has been appointed by the Legal Aid Agency as an Independent Funding and Cost Assessor as well as being asked to represent Criminal Defence Solicitors on the implementation team for the introduction of digitisation of the Crown Court. This has been one of the most important projects in the Criminal Justice System of the last 150 years, whereby all evidence is now served upon us electronically, bringing the Crown Court into the digital age and streamlining the court process.
Philip is also experienced in representing sports professionals who face disciplinary hearings, seeking to secure the most appropriate sanctions on their behalf.
In addition, Philip is a director of Leeds Law Society and represents both his professional colleagues and clients, responding to consultations at a local level as well as nationally. This representation has seen him sit opposite the Lord Chancellor on a number of occasions, presenting the profession’s views on the development of policy.
Philip can also be seen from time to time on TV and radio providing his expert opinion on topical news stories.
DPP v Lilly (2002) 2 All ER 985, represented an Appellant against the imposition of a football banning order in the High Court and Court of Appeal. Challenging the validity of the primary legislation due to conflicts with European law.
R v Rivett (2004), successfully defended a case involving the importation of cannabis from the continent.
R v Hussain (2005), defended a case involving the importation of £4 million worth of heroin into the United Kingdom.
R v Paton (2006), represented as solicitor advocate before the Crown Court a defendant facing an allegation of a doorstep murder.
R v Atkinson (2006), acted for client alleged to have attempted to murder two police officer in an armed siege.
Operation Bimetalic and Operation Greenhill (2007-2009), represented as solicitor advocate a number of defendants in two major dishonesty conspiracies spanning a number of years.
R v Quinn and Isaac (2008), represented two defendants involved in the theft and concealment of £1.5 million from Aviva and secured the only non-custodial sentence from over 10 defendants.
R v Wright (2010), represented a double murderer in a high profile execution style case.
R v Price (2010), acted for the main defendant in a conspiracy to import the largest shipment of cannabis in the UK.
R v F and R (2011), represented two defendants in the “Motorhead” murder. Advanced self-defence which resulted in no convictions against either client.
Price v Cheshire East Borough Council (2012) 176 JP 697, Represented a sole trader in respect of regulatory offences where the lower Court used sentencing guidelines for an alternative offence. The High Court, in agreement with us, stated that this was the wrong approach and concluded the Magistrates’ were wrong in law therefore setting precedent for all future hearings.
R v Mason (2012), represented a Defendant serving a life sentence for a murder committed in early 90’s. He was now accused of historical sexual offences pre-dating his murder conviction. After questioning the scientific evidence advanced by the Prosecution we were able to show how the approach was flawed resulting in an acquittal.
R v Thompson (2013), represented a Police Inspector who specifically requested Philip to represent him for an offence of drink driving. With his career in jeopardy we advanced a “spiked drink” defence resulting in the Court finding no criminal culpability resulting in the officer retaining his position and employment with the Police.
R v Gray (2014), represented a long-distance lorry driver for an offence of drink driving. Obtained, from police witnesses, factual evidence regarding the place where the vehicle was driven and then followed this up with legal arguments resulting in acquittal and the client retaining his licence and therefore his livelihood.
R v Papworth (2014), having used three other solicitors without success, we were able to navigate the complex area of the Proceeds of Crime Act legislation resulting in the original order being amended and the client settling in full her confiscation order. She had the original order hanging over her for over a decade providing her with piece of mind and enabling her to get on with her life.
R v K (2014), represented an individual who had been sitting on a jury in a murder trial and against the judge’s orders visited the crime scene on his own one evening during the trial. When this was revealed the trial was stopped and the juror reported to the Attorney General by the judge in order to be prosecuted. The client was suffering from a degenerative disease and we were able to question why he had been selected in the first place and successfully made representations as to why no prosecution should take place.
R v G (2015), Philip was recommended to act for a solicitor accused of intimidating a witness in civil proceedings. He handled the case in a way which led to no charges being brought and as importantly no damage to the individual’s reputation or contrary findings by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority.
R v Wales (2015), Philip appeared as advocate for his client in a Crown Court trial accused of an armed robbery with a handgun of a bank. Whilst the client had always accepted he had committed the robbery he did not accept he used a firearm. The jury agreed and he was acquitted of the more serious offence which made a difference of about 8 years to his total sentence.
R v L (2016), represented a client alleged to be involved in kidnap and torture of another individual. We were able to successfully deal with the case resulting in a non-custodial sentence for the client.
Philip is a lifelong, fanatical supporters of Leeds Rhinos and a keen golfer. In addition he chairs a charity which has raised over £250,000 in recent years for various local children’s charities.