Criminal Lawyers
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A vanguard solicitor to high-flying professionals, senior executives and their families, Ross Dixon has acted on a kaleidoscopic range of criminal cases over the years. But as his knowledge and experience have deepened, he increasingly finds himself tackling heavyweight financial crime and regulatory cases — often with a global aspect — acting regularly for clients from Europe, the Middle East and the US. The chair of the Hickman & Rose partnership, he’s spent much of the past year defending the managing director of ‘one of the UK’s biggest’ companies in a ‘very complex’ case, currently awaiting trial in the crown court. Although Dixon stresses that the criminal case must always be ‘the most important issue on the table’, there’s a larger, more complex picture to take into account for high-profile clients: ‘Even with a relatively minor allegation, we are also from the outset taking account of the potential for reputation harm, collateral damage to business and family interests, security, the impact in other jurisdictions, media intrusion and many other issues. The lawyer has to see the big picture and take a strategic approach.’ Meanwhile, HNWs ‘used to setting the agenda and the pace’ are also often surprised by how slowly investigations proceed, and their inability to expedite them: ‘There is no legal protection against such delay and it creates a state of uncertainty that people can find difficult to cope with. The underlying problem is often a lack of investigative resources,’ he says. Certainly, nobody has been served by the scrapping of legal aid: ‘In an age of austerity, an under-resourced criminal justice system leads to unfairness for all parties. Proper funding is essential to ensure we have a system that upholds the rights of victim and defendant alike,’ says Dixon. Dixon joined Hickman & Rose in 1994, and currently sits on the Law Society’s Money Laundering Committee, contributing to law reform and regulatory proposals. He knows how to unwind, too: ‘A long lunch in the square of a beautiful Umbrian hilltop town with family and friends, and a good bottle of wine, never fails to delight.’

Ross Dixon