JSPS Recruitment Opportunities

Join our team – JSPS would invite prospective employment applications for:

– Solicitors

– Accredited Police Station Representatives

– Paralegals

Previous relevant experience is preferred.  Please send your CV and covering letter to Ian Clift at ic@jspsllp.com for consideration.

JSPS is an equal opportunities employer.

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JSPS secure Essex Duty Solicitor provider contract

JSPS are delighted to announce that our bid for a Duty Solicitor provider contract was successful.

We now look forward to providing a county-wide Duty Solicitor service as from 11th January 2016.

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JSPS welcome Roger Neild to our team

JSPS are delighted to announce that Roger Neild has joined our team.

Roger is an experienced Solicitor-Advocate who regularly appears in the Magistrates’ and Crown Courts.  He has worked for a number of reputable firms in Essex over the last 15 years and is someone we know will continue in our tradition of providing an excellent service to our clients.

Roger can be contacted at our Southend office.  E-mail: rn@jspsllp.com

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Criminal Courts Charge

Criminal Courts Charge

The Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 (Criminal Courts Charge) Regulations 2015 provides a mandatory Court charge imposed against the Defendant following conviction of any offence committed on or after 13th April 2015.

These charges are mandatory and will be in addition to any fine, compensation, prosecution costs order and victim surcharge.

The fixed charges are shown in the schedule below:

Conviction   by a magistrates’ court in proceedings conducted in accordance with section   16A of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980 (trial by single justice on the   papers)(8)

£150

Conviction   by a magistrates’ court for a summary offence on a guilty plea

£150

Conviction   by a magistrates’ court at a trial of a summary offence where (a) the   defendant did not enter a plea, (b) the trial proceeded in the absence of the   defendant, and (c) the court dealt with the case on the papers without   reliance on any oral evidence

£150

Conviction   by a magistrates’ court for an offence triable either-way on a guilty plea

£180

Conviction   by a magistrates’ court at a trial of a summary offence

£520

Conviction   by a magistrates’ court at a trial of an offence triable either way

£1000

Conviction   by the Crown Court on a guilty plea

£900

Conviction   by the Crown Court at a trial on indictment

£1200

Magistrates’   court when dealing with a person under section 21B(1)(b), (c) or (d) of the   POA 1985

£100

Crown   Court when dealing with a person under section 21B(2)(b) or (c) of the POA   1985

£150

Crown   Court dismissing an appeal by a person against conviction or sentence

£150

Court of   Appeal dismissing an application for leave to bring an appeal under Part 1 of   the CAA 1968 against a person’s conviction or sentence

£150

Court of   Appeal dismissing an appeal under Part 1 of the CAA 1968 against a person’s   conviction or sentence

£200

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Regina -v- Emma Panting at Basildon Crown Court

Press release following the acquittal of our client, Emma Panting, before Basildon Crown Court earlier today:

“Emma Panting was acquitted of all charges against her arising from her ownership of the Abacus Day Nursery in Billericay.

Her acquittal is a vindication of her strenuous denials of any wrongdoing.

His Honour Judge Lodge had commented on her impeccable character being tarnished by these allegations which lead to the closure of her business.  Her impeccable character now remains intact and her excellent reputation restored.”

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JSPS recognised in Chambers UK 2015 guide

JSPS  has been recognised in the prestigious Chambers UK 2015 guide.  

The Chambers Guides have been independently ranking the best law firms and lawyers since 1990, and now cover 185 jurisdictions throughout the world. 

Chambers UK rank both lawyers and law firms based on the research of 150 full-time editors and researchers employed at their head office in London.  All are trained in the techniques of investigative research.  No other organisation has the strength-in-depth of their editorial and research team when it comes to assessing the world’s business lawyers.

Chambers UK has recognised JSPS as defending “legally aided and publicly funded individuals in serious criminal cases, including those involving murder and torture.  Noted for its presence in the Magistrates’ Court.”

 

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Chris Whitcombe joins our Team

JSPS are delighted to announce that Chris Whitcombe has joined our team.

Chris is an experienced Solicitor-Advocate who regularly conducts Trials in the Crown Court.  He has worked for a number of reputable firms in Essex over the last 18 years and is someone we know will continue in our tradition of providing an excellent service to our clients.

Chris can be contacted at our Basildon office.  E-mail: cw@jspsllp.com

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New Magistrates Sentencing Guidelines – October 2014

New Magistrates Sentencing Guidelines published and come into effect as from 1st October 2014.

Link here:

http://sentencingcouncil.judiciary.gov.uk/docs/MCSG_(web)_-_October_2014.pdf

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Join our Team – Paralegal Vacancies

We currently have vacancies for prospective paralegals.  Paralegals will receive further training and be required to undertake police station accreditation.

Please e-mail/send your CV together with a covering letter to Ian Clift at the Basildon office.

E-mail: ic@jspsllp.com

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Saving money or saving face?

Why is Chris Grayling trying to nationalise the criminal bar at a higher cost to the taxpayer?

By Daily Telegraph, Politics Last updated: May 21st, 2014

Chris Grayling is embroiled in a battle with the criminal bar  (Photo: GEOFF PUGH)

Our justice system is being paralysed, but we shouldn’t yet permit large cases to collapse because of it. That is, effectively, the ruling today of three judges in the Court of Appeal, led by Sir Brian Leveson, on the case that has become known as Operation Cotton (R v Scott Crawley and others).

The ruling will give momentary relief to Chris Grayling, the Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary, who is currently embroiled in a heated battle with the criminal bar: it would appear that he has not yet brought the UK criminal justice system down around his ears. None the less, great chunks of masonry are still hanging by a thread, with little prospect of immediate repair.

You might remember that Operation Cotton, a complicated £4.5 million fraud trial, was stayed by Judge Anthony Leonard on May 1 on the basis that the defendants could not secure adequate legal representation (a point eloquently argued on a pro bono basis by Alex Cameron QC, the Prime Minister’s brother). This impasse was due to Grayling’s decision to cut barristers’ legal aid fees on Very High Cost Cases (VHCCs) by 30 per cent, and the barristers’ subsequent decision to refuse such cases.

That ruling was a serious embarrassment for Grayling. It was appealed, and today the Court of Appeal reversed it, finding that the case should instead be postponed until enough barristers could be found to do it. That will be a temporary relief for Grayling, although the problems that led to this shambles have by no means gone away, and even more glaring contradictions have been exposed in the course of it.

The Court of Appeal – preferring to live in hope rather than expectation – found that a “stay” was a disproportionate measure, since some resolution over fees with the Criminal Bar may be found, or the Public Defender Service may be expanded to cope with demand. It did not, however, rule out the possibility of a “stay” in the future.

You might not have heard of the fledgling Public Defender Service, or PDS, but it has emerged as Mr Grayling’s Plan B if self-employed criminal barristers keep refusing to run with his ball. In an MoJ argument submitted to the Court of Appeal, it emerged that “the Government is ready to place advertisements as soon as the weekend, and headhunters have been retained on a contingency basis to secure senior counsel”. I wonder how much those headhunters cost the taxpayer? They don’t come cheap.

This was described by the MoJ in its representation as an “emergency measure” to keep the justice system running. Some might say it is a wholly predictable emergency of the Justice Secretary’s own making.

The existing PDS barristers, small in number, are effectively employed by the state, which provides them with a pension, sick pay, holiday pay and all the other perks which members of the criminal bar presently provide for themselves. As such, the PDS is considerably more expensive for the taxpayer.

Since the raison d’être of the legal aid cuts in the first place was ostensibly to save the taxpayer money, you might find this confusing: I know I do.

The cost of employing a QC at PDS for a year is £125,000, rising to £173,328 when state-paid expenses are taken into account. The cost of employing a QC to work on a VHCC case full-time for a year at the old rates is £145,578, out of which they will then deduct professional expenses of at least 35 per cent which they carry themselves.

It would therefore cost taxpayers £27,750 more a year to use a PDS QC on a VHCC – including very complicated fraud and terrorism cases – than it did to hire a self-employed QC at the old rates. I imagine that, over time, such excess sums would mount up to a contentious taxpayer-funded bill (unless, of course, Grayling plans to attract a very large number of barristers into the PDS and only then slash their rates dramatically as well).

As legal observers such as the forensic @JackofKent have pointed out on Twitter, Mr Grayling is seemingly now bent upon nationalising the criminal bar at greater cost to the taxpayer. This is a curious position for a Conservative minister to find himself in.

So what is this really about, if not savings? It has now become about the desire for control and the flailing avoidance of political embarrassment by any and all means necessary.

In any case, the Court of Appeal – while allowing Grayling some breathing space this time round – seemed to take a dim view of how badly relations had deteriorated so far. It reminded the public that “the criminal justice system in this country requires the highest quality advocates both to prosecute and to defend those accused of crime: in addition, they are the potential judges of the future” and that it is of the “utmost importance” that the MoJ and the professions try to “resolve the impasse that presently stands in the way of the delivery of justice in the most complex of cases.”

There is some talk that the Operation Cotton case might now go to the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, there are a number of other very complicated fraud cases in the pipeline, which will be subject to exactly the same practical problems. And over it all hangs the bitter reality that never before has a Justice Secretary expended so much time and fruitless energy in doing battle with the very people who – in any sane democracy – would naturally be on his side.

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