Legal Business

DLA sees leading criminal litigator Rickards leave for Kingsley Napley


Kingsley Napley has made a key hire to its criminal litigation team, as DLA Piper partner Jo Rickards, who recently represented former News of the World (NotW) editor Andy Coulson in the phone-hacking trial, is set to join the firm this August.

Acknowledged as a leading individual for corporate crime work by The Legal 500, Rickards’ appointment brings the number of partners in Kingsley Napley’s criminal litigation practice to 13.

Rickards recently represented Coulson in criminal proceedings where in late June he was found guilty and sentenced to 18 months for conspiring to intercept voicemails at the now-defunct Sunday tabloid following an eight-month trial at the Old Bailey. The trial also saw Rickards cross paths with her new colleagues at Kingsley Napley, with partner Angus McBride representing Rebekah Brooks.

Hers is the second high-profile departure from DLA’s City disputes practice, which in March also saw IT litigation head Lee Gluyas defect to Nabarro. The world’s largest firm made a significant splash when it hired Rickards in 2010 from Peters & Peters in 2010 – and other clients ahave included Silvio Berlusconi and the Maxwells

Kingsley Napley’s criminal litigation head Stephen Parkinson said the firm ‘…is the natural home for someone of Jo’s talent. Having worked alongside her in high profile trials, we recognise her tenacity, meticulous preparation and sound judgement. Her reputation is wholly justified.’

On her appointment, Rickards added: ‘Criminal and regulatory scrutiny of major corporates and senior employees has never been more challenging for clients or for us. In an increasingly competitive environment, I am delighted to join Kingsley Napley and play my part in upholding its reputation as the go-to firm for high-profile criminal and financial regulatory defence work.’

Legal Business

Committed to Crime – boutique firms and White-collar Crime


White-collar crime work was once the comfy preserve of niche London law firms that knew their way around the inside of a police station. Not any more. But as the big international players stake a claim, the boutiques are standing their ground.

When the Bribery Act came into force in July 2011, it shook the world of white-collar crime to its core. In one fell swoop the UK became home to the most stringent legislation combating corruption in the world, going beyond the scope of America’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Its strict measures created a worldwide trend of amplified anti-corruption enforcement, which is now booming in a similar fashion to competition law in the nineties, and the established legal market players found themselves with a fight on their hands.

Legal Business

Making Headlines


General Pinochet, Nick Leeson and Ian Maxwell are all former clients.

More recently, Rebekah Brooks and UBS rogue trader Kweku Adoboli have called in Kingsley Napley for help. LB speaks to managing partner Linda Woolley about a firm where the clients make the front pages.

The reception area at Kingsley Napley’s offices in Clerkenwell very much reflects the character of the firm. It’s small, but big enough to serve its purpose. It lacks the ostentation of many City rivals but isn’t too Spartan either. In fact, it’s just about right. Kingsley Napley hasn’t gone for the wow factor, which is probably just as well. Unlike some of its larger City neighbours, many of the firm’s most high-profile clients won’t ever step foot inside its office.