The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from J D Solicitors is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.
J D Solicitors
Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
32 | JD SOLICITORS
Partners Suresh Joshi and
uresh Joshi and Ravi Dev are the two partners at specialist
criminal defence firm JD Solicitors. They both manage the
firm on a daily basis and ensure that all their clients are
represented appropriately at the various police stations and courts
that they cover. Having founded the firm in 2005, Suresh and Ravi
now oversee three offices in Birmingham, Willenhall and Cannock.
They directly employ a workforce of 21 people, and have grown
over the past 14 years to become one of the largest firms of their
kind in the West Midlands. They tell
while expanding on the quality service they offer to clients.
Across our three offices in the West Midlands, we employ 16 duty solicitors and
five members of support and secretarial staff. Fourteen years ago, it was just the
two of us – we’ve expanded massively to reach the point we’re at now.
Our core business area
On a daily basis we provide representation for clients at police stations as well
as magistrates’ courts and crown courts. We represent clients facing all types of
offences – from minor driving offences to the most serious offences, including
conspiracies, complex fraud and murder to name a few. The diverse skillsets of our
duty solicitors appropriately equip them to provide a client with the best possible
defence they are entitled to.
The success of our firm has come about as a result of our key value: every client
absolutely deserves a quality service. This is something we never compromise on –
what we deliver must be second to none.
We don’t advertise in any capacity, and all of our clients request our services either
by way of recommendation or word of mouth. We have built an outstanding
reputation in the local area and are becoming known as a provider of the best legal
representation for criminal defence. As a result, we are finding that more people
than ever have instructed us at police stations and courts.
The best around
Our recent growth has been a combination of providing excellent quality service
and obtaining the right results for our clients. As our reputation grows, our client
base continues to increase.
We are also becoming more well-known across the legal sector and, in particular,
by other duty solicitors. We now find ourselves in a situation where other firms’
duty solicitors are approaching to join us; they see that we can provide them with
job security, and an opportunity to grow and develop. The larger we become the
more opportunities we will be able to provide for promotion to internal employees.
AT A GLANCE
»Partners: Suresh Joshi and
»Founded in 2005
»Based in Willenhall,
Birmingham and Cannock
»Services: Specialist criminal
»No. of employees: 21,
including 16 duty solicitors
alongside five secretaries and
33JD SOLICITORS |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
Continuous growth and
expansion throughout the
We have recently expanded into
Birmingham and Cannock; prior to that,
the majority of the work we undertook
was located in Wolverhampton,
Walsall, Dudley and Warley.
By expanding into these neighbouring
areas, our workload has naturally
increased, and we have seen a significant
impact as a result; we have become
more well-known and generally more
well-received across the region. This has
not been a particularly easy journey, but
nonetheless, one we’re happy to have
been on and one we look forward to
continuing on. Expansion is healthy –
and we believe that any business that
doesn’t move forwards goes backwards.
In recent years, we have recruited a
number of duty solicitors to facilitate
and allow such expansion. Ensuring
that we obtain and retain quality talent
is of paramount importance for current
and future growth – and our stringent
recruitment policy has only helped in
this regard. We have made certain that
we recruit competent solicitors who
have a good reputation within the
local legal community.
Criminal defence cuts are
Our profession is facing challenging
times. The cutbacks in criminal legal aid
funding has affected firms such as ours
dramatically; fees are now so low we
are finding that some solicitors do not
send advocates to represent clients at
court, as they simply cannot afford to.
Firms are not employing the number
of trained legal staff they require to
effectively and appropriately service their
clients. They are expecting their duty
solicitors to visit as many as two or three
courts in the morning alone, meaning
that, on occasion, both the courts and
clients awaiting representation are left
waiting for the solicitor to arrive.
We have even seen occasions where
the case in question will proceed in
the solicitor’s absence – resulting in no
legal representation for the client, even
though the firm instructed has and can
provide legal aid. For the good of the
criminal justice sector, and to ensure
that every member of society’s basic
right to representation is respected,
something must be done.
For the sector to thrive, things
The future for criminal defence, at
present, appears very bleak. We have
noticed over recent years there’s
something of a shortage of newly
qualified solicitors entering the
profession. This is mainly thanks to two
Firstly, we are finding that graduates
simply don’t want to practise in criminal
law when they qualify – the main reason
being that it isn’t as well remunerated
as other areas. There can be a lot of
unsociable hours one has to work when
representing clients at police stations.
Solicitors can find themselves being called
out during the night to attend police
stations for interviews, and then they
still have to go to court in the morning.
Secondly, there are fewer training
contracts available. As a result of
cutbacks, firms are increasingly unable to
invest in training graduates – something
necessary before they’re able to qualify
as solicitors. It takes a considerable
amount of time to train individuals –
time that many firms simply do not have.
Solicitors are doing more work than
ever themselves, and they’re becoming
unable to delegate the responsibilities
that they were previously able to handle.
If our industry is to survive over
the coming years, things must
change – we must introduce further
incentives for young people to join the
profession, and we will inevitably need
to alter the public’s perception of the
criminal defence sector as it stands.
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review
This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.
In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.
We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.
With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.
And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.
As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.