You might not expect to find criminal lawyers reclining on the sofas at London’s most exclusive private members’ clubs — but Tucker is a different sort. He founded the firm in 1980 – aiming to provide a 24-hour service – and runs one of the biggest specialist criminal law firms in Britain which he says has an ‘unparalleled national reach’. Tackling everything from traffic violations to terrorism but only for those who can afford a lighter wallet rather than a heavy heart, from the Kentish coast to Yorkshire via London, Manchester and everywhere in between.
More than a few high-flying HNWs owe their liberty to the founder, who explains that it’s not all about him — rather the handpicked phalanx at his fingertips: heavyweights like Richard Egan, who successfully defended the only person in the UK charged in connection with 9/11 against extradition to the United States; Phil Smith (see page 130), champion lawyer to Neil Wallis and the Rausings; Franklin Sinclair, former president of the National Criminal Law Association; and white-collar and regulatory supremo Jim Meyer (past London President) just commencing a sophisticated case that probably the Almighty let alone the jury will ever understand.
Tucker sees himself as a ‘crisis management Master Gunsmith’, providing the right weapon read ‘defence lawyer’ for each client , if its Purdey side by side, SA80 or a Reaper with a Hellfire, he will provide one with 30 minutes notice but he adds that sometimes a quiet word in the Police/ CPS’s ear is more effective than beating them around the head with the White Book.
Helpfully, Tuckers also have a niche department that sues the Police afterwards for compensation for wrongful arrest. Frequent dealings and familiarity with organisations like the FSA, SFO and CPS makes them well-respected among prosecutors, officers and investigators.
‘I’m sure when Julius Caesar put together his centurions, he firmly believed that their training and behaviour would be identical, whether in Alexandria or marching up and down Hadrian’s Wall in battle formation,’ Tucker says. Similarly, ‘I’m very, very confident — quietly confident — that the lawyers who work London, the South-East, the South-West, the Midlands or the North will have the same kind of ethos in their tactical approach. They all know that sometimes a quiet word in a police officer’s ear is more effective than beating them around the head with the white book.’
Tucker previously told Spear’s that most HNWs would not seek a criminal lawyer, until they are mired in troubles: ‘A criminal lawyer is similar to the social standing of an oncologist — you really don’t want to talk to somebody about cancer day in day out, but it is as important to have a good criminal lawyer in your little black book of contacts as it is to have your GP.’
The off-piste skier and cigar aficionado’s quirky trademarks include his aluminium business card, marked with the words: ‘Get Out of Jail’ — and an emergency number which should be in everyone’s wallet and speed dial as the ‘Bonfire and Vanities’ scenario can sadly enmesh anyone at any time. Better a heavy wallet than a heavy sentence, we say.