Edmund Conybeare

Emergency Number - 07739 463 571

SPECIALIST REGULATORY & CRIMINAL LAWYER

I have always been interested in criminal law and representing others. My practice includes health and safety, environmental issues, product liability, road traffic cases and general criminal work. I have expertise in road transport cases having prosecuted for VOSA (now the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) for nine years and have worked on a myriad of diverse cases - from the successful defence of the Chairman of a FTSE250, regularly acting for a FTSE250 company facing health & Safety allegations, multiple inquests for drivers, companies, managers and employees and acting for companies and individuals in high-profile fraud matters. I represent a wide range of clients, from large global companies to individuals and seek to leave no stone unturned in their defence. I was described by two leading Queen’s Counsel as a first class solicitor who is exceptionally hardworking and determined in the pursuit of client’s interests. 

I graduated in 1994 with LLB from University of Birmingham, passed Legal Practice Course at Nottingham Trent University with merit in 1995 and trained with Zermanski & Partners in Leeds before qualifying in 1997 and practising immediately after. I then spent three entertaining years as a specialist magistrates court advocate; gaining valuable experience in the cut and thrust of criminal defence before working with a criminal practice in Leeds and then moving to Shulmans LLP where I launched, developed and led the firm’s first regulatory practice. I left in 2011 to become self-employed as a solicitor consultant for an Oxfordshire firm before finally finding Legal Studio. 

Before joining Legal Studio I had a lengthy commute which was becoming untenable. I was frustrated with the lack of support, lack of interest in my work area from the bigger firms and also with law firm management as a whole. I came to Legal Studio because it has all the advantages of the self employed flexible working model but without all the previous issues. I have full flexible working, there’s so much less bureaucracy and I have the freedom to be the lawyer I want coupled with much higher earnings alongside. 

I am married with three daughters, and in my spare time I enjoy listening to music, going to the gym, war history, hill walking, and on a more serious note, campaigning on human rights issues, especially the death penalty as well as actively running The North Eastern Regulatory Lawyers (NERL) group for regulatory Counsel and Solicitors which I also founded.

Specialist Areas of Interest

Environmental Cases

Product Liability

Road Traffic Cases

Road Transport Cases

Health and Safety

White Collar Criminal

Edmund Conybeare Client Testimonials

“Exceptionally hardworking and determined in the pursuit of his client’s interests.”
A leading QC

Edmund Conybeare Client Testimonials

“Thank you for all your support and guidance. You've been more than helpful during this whole case. I can't thank you enough.”
Anonymous Client

Edmund Conybeare Client Testimonials

“A first-class solicitor.”
A leading QC

Edmund Conybeare Client Testimonials

“Many thanks for your great knowledge and kick ass style...Hope you never represent anyone against me.... Forever grateful.”
Anonymous Client:

Edmunds Latest Blogs

This week’s blog comes from Edmund Conybeare, on the three questions he gets asked over and over again…
 
As a self-employed defence lawyer, I get asked three questions:
 
  1. You are self-employed. Isn’t it tempting to just sit around all day watching daytime TV in your pyjamas?
  2. How do you defend people you know are guilty, or have done terrible things?
  3. What is your approach to clients?
 
The answers to these are linked but here goes:
 
ONE
 
Yes, my time is my own, subject to my commitments to Legal Studio, court hearings and client appointments.
 
But, if I don’t work I don’t earn any money, and with a wife and three growing girls to keep, such a course wouldn’t be very helpful.
 
However, it’s not just about the need to make money. I went into the law because I found it interesting, I wanted to make a difference, and I wanted to be the best for my clients. A lot of the time I actually enjoy what I do. I love helping my clients, many of whom find themselves in real difficulty, and hopefully winning their cases. Plus, being self-employed means that I am more flexible in the way I work and can better adapt to my clients’ needs.
 
TWO
 
This is the old dinner party chestnut, but is of real continuing interest to people I speak to.
 
If a client tells me they have committed the offence, I cannot then run a not guilty plea at trial unless they think they have committed the offence, when in law they haven’t, and I advise them of this.
 
For example, just because a client admits hitting someone, it doesn’t mean they are necessarily guilty of assault, they may have acted in self-defence. However, I am what is called an officer of the court, and cannot mislead it.
 
Even if I do not necessarily believe my client’s account, I am still free to pursue the defence they advance. At times, I have been sceptical but the evidence has shown my client to be entirely truthful. The court is the arbiter of truth, not me. A lot of the time I am dealing with cases where the offence is admitted and I am mitigating to obtain a lesser sentence.
 
Everyone is entitled to a defence. However serious the allegation, however unpleasant, however vilified by society a defendant may be, the rule of law demands that a person or company receive a proper defence.
 
Consequently, I always turn this question round: what if you were accused of something vile, like sexually assaulting a child, wouldn’t you expect no stone to be unturned in your defence, with the looming threat of prison, personal disgrace and lifetime pariah status? I never flinch from defending the unpleasant, indeed often the stakes are higher and my role becomes even more important.
 
THREE
 
Firstly, and it may seem trivial, but with a name like Conybeare which frequently gets mispronounced, I ensure I get my client’s name right. It really matters to me, and is a basic courtesy.
 
Secondly, I always put the person or company I am representing first, not what they are alleged to have done. I like and respect the vast majority of my clients and I want to establish rapport at an early stage.
 
Occasionally I don’t establish a good relationship and I have on one occasion told a client that we are not getting on and they should seek alternative representation. The client lawyer relationship in defence cases can become fraught and stressed and cannot start on a bad footing.
 
Finally, and this is the cornerstone of my ethos, I believe at the start that my clients are entirely innocent of whatever allegation they face. Sure, they may admit they have done it, or the evidence may be overwhelming, but innocence is always the starting point and I work from there. It means I am starting with the basic tenet of our criminal justice system, the presumption of innocence, and respects my client’s position.
 
The day I don’t start with innocence is the day I seek an alternative career. It follows from that basic foundation that I will pursue every avenue and line of defence I can within the rules of my profession and the resources I have at my disposal.
 
That is my guarantee to every client that walks through my door and instructs me. I am always humbled and honoured that a client believes in me to obtain the best result, and I aim to repay that faith in full.
 
2018 16 08
Edmund Conybeare
If you get 12 or more penalty points on your driving licence within a 3-year period, you get banned from driving
 
DRIVING BAN
 
The length of your ban depends on the precise circumstances of your case, but you could be banned for:
  • no less than 6 months if you get 12 penalty points or more within 3 years
  • no less than 12 months if you get a 2nd disqualification within 3 years; or
  • no less than 2 years if you get a 3rd disqualification.
 
Also, if you’re disqualified for 56 days or more you must apply for a new licence and you may have to retake your test.
 
EXCEPTIONAL HARDSHIP 
 
However, you may be able to argue that either a ban, or the length of any proposed ban would cause you “exceptional hardship”. 
 
An exceptional hardship must be something out the ordinary. Losing your job or your freedom to travel is not of itself enough.
 
However, in a recent case, Edmund Conybeare was able to successfully make an exceptional hardship application for a client who had already exceeded the 12-point threshold and prevented a ban being put in place at all. 
 
Finally, it’s worth knowing that if you’ve already had an exceptional circumstances argument accepted in the last 3 years you can’t rely on any of the reasons raised then to retain your licence for a second time.
 
It therefore pays to consult an expert early on to ensure you get the right advice and run the right arguments. 
 
Get in touch with Edmund to discuss your options today.
 
2018 47 08
Edmund Conybeare

‘He which hath no stomach to this fight, let him depart; his passport shall be made, and crowns for convoy put into his purse.’ 

If you have come to me, most probably you are in trouble with the criminal law and want to be defended, hopefully found not guilty or given the lowest possible penalty. So what do you get from me? What is the ‘art of defence’?

Firstly, as the Shakespearian quote from Henry V indicates, you get a lawyer up for the fight. If I am less than fully committed to you and your defence I am not doing a proper job and am not worth the trust you place in me. I am a bad loser and will do all I ethically can to act in your best interests.

Secondly, you get a lawyer who will make the prosecution work. If they want to convict you of whatever you are accused of, they will have to work for it. They will have to prove every required element of the offence and they will have to show the prosecution is fair and in the public interest. And I won’t make it easy for them. In our free country, the burden is on the prosecution to prove you guilty, and I won’t let them forget. In the immortal words of John Mortimer’s famous comic creation Rumpole, the prosecution will not make a ‘balls of the burden of proof.’

Thirdly, I will live up to the maxim of leaving ‘no stone unturned’ in your defence. That means not just dealing with the obvious but actively taking measures to defend you, finding material that can assist you, questioning the prosecution case, striving to achieve the best result at all times, and finding unorthodox arguments to challenge the prosecution and improve your case.

And fourthly, I will always strive to be one step ahead of the prosecution. I will be better read than them, better prepared for hearings, will never leave their case unchallenged and will continually place the burden of response back on them.

Years ago I went for a job interview. The interviewing partner was married to a senior lawyer in the Crown Prosecution Service. She described me in defence terms as a ‘complete nuisance.’ It was a badge of honour I still proudly wear today.
 
2018 03 05
Edmund Conybeare