Category: People

Chloe Pinches

Chloe is a caseworker within the Criminal department as part of the Magistrates Court team.

She completed her Law degree at the University of Liverpool in 2018 where she was continually recognised for her Pro-Bono and extra-curricular work with the Law Clinic and Citizens Advice Bureau.

From this she has extensive experience in advising clients with varying issues and a level of understanding which enables clients to get the highest standard of care.

Laura Binney

Laura is a caseworker within the Confiscation and Restraints department and specialises in the Proceeds of Crime Act.

She deals with a wide spectrum of Proceeds of Crime matters from Pre and Post Order matters all the way through to Enforcement.

She prides herself on her hard working ethics and going the extra mile to ensure the best possible result is achieved for her clients

Lauren Thomas

Lauren is an experienced paralegal, specialising mainly in Confiscation and Restraints (Proceeds of Crime Act 2002).

During her time working in this niche area of law, Lauren has dealt with cases at every stage of the Confiscation Regime, from Pre and Post Order through to Enforcement. She has also assisted in Appeal matters.

Lauren graduated in 2011 and in 2019 is going to further her career by throwing herself into some different areas of Criminal Law alongside preparing her portfolio to become police station accredited.

Cortney Woolery

Cortney is PA to Katie McCreath and assists Katie on day to day basis. Cortney is an ambitious  caseworker who is currently undertaking her Cilex qualifications to become a qualified Legal Executive under Katie’s wing.

Samera Zaman


Samera is joining the team in January 2018. She is an experienced para-legal having worked in leading Proceeds of Crime and Matrimonial departments.

Samera has obtained her Legal Practice Course qualification and will be looking to qualify as a solicitor. She hopes to become a police station accredited representative in 2018 and commenced her training in 2017.

We are pleased to confirm that Samera will be heading the administration of the new premises in Birmingham which have been secured by Crown Defence and are set to open in February 2018.

Zakee Mushtaq

Hayley Skinner

Zakee is a caseworker within the Criminal department and is due to commence his training contract in January 2018.

Alongside this, Zakee is working towards becoming police station accredited.

Zakee has completed his Masters in Law at the University of Wolverhampton. He has also obtained a Distinction in Legal Practice at the same university together with awards for Commercial Law and Property Law & Practice.

Sharmine Miah

Sharmine Miah

Sharmine is a Trainee Solicitor working predominantly within the Confiscation and Restraints department, and also works within the Criminal and Civil department.

Sharmine completed her Law Degree in 2017 and is currently studying the Legal Practice Course and working towards obtaining a Masters in Law at the University of Law.

Sharmine began her legal career at the age of 19 and has had exposure to a variety of areas of law ranging from General Crime to preparing cases at all stages of the Confiscation regime from Pre-Order to the Enforcement stage, including Civil Recovery Proceedings, to Civil Litigation and Employment Law matters.

Sharmine prides herself on her excellent client care skills by effectively tailoring her approach to the needs of individual clients and ensuring her clients fully understand the relevant law surrounding their matters.

As well as her client care skills, Sharmine’s drafting and negotiation skills have resulted in successful outcomes for her clients. Her recent successes to date include successfully drafting corporate veil arguments ultimately leading HMRC to discontinue proceedings against her client. A further notable case is that following her successful submissions and negotiations with the Trading Standards, her client’s Benefit Figure and Available Amount was reduced by over 50%.

Outside of work, Sharmine enjoys a variety of things, including: spending time with her family and friends, cooking, eating out and walking in the countryside.

Hayley Skinner


Hayley Skinner is a Graduate Member of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (GCILEX) and has over 14 years’ specialist knowledge of criminal law. Hayley obtained her degree in Law from Staffordshire University and obtained her Police Station Accreditation in 2012. Hayley has a wealth of knowledge and experience having dealt with clients accused of the most serious offences such as terrorism, murder, large scale fraud, dishonesty, rape, robbery and burglary. Hayley has a keen eye for detail and a particular interest in police station work and serious complex cases and prides herself on going the extra mile for her clients.

Jonathan Turner

Jonathan Turner

Jonathan is a member of the criminal investigations defence team here at Crown Defence. Jonathan represents clients from the initial stages in the police stations through the court process.

Jonathan is police station accredited to provide representation at the police station and is an experienced barrister, having been called to the Bar in 1999.

He specialises in defending serious criminal offences and has proved himself in ensuring that digital evidence is always properly served to ensure that clients are given the tools to properly instruct experts where required and build robust defences, with a focus on detail. Jonathan has represented clients in the most serious of allegations at the police station, including sexual offences and terrorism.

Jonathan is also a member of Kenworthy’s Chambers, he also receives instructions in relation to regulatory offences, especially concerning the New Roads and Street Works Act and has travelled the country successfully defending utility companies. Here at Crown Defence we are experienced in regulatory and company offences, Jonathan is an asset to the developing corporate defence team.

It is always of benefit to know your opposition and how the prosecutors will be approaching a case, Jonathan has extensive prosecution experience so adds value to cases by knowing how he would prosecute the matter. He has reached the highest category of 4 on the CPS grading and has been authorised to prosecute sexual offences

Kelly Cyples

Kelly Cyples

We are excited to confirm that Kelly will be joining the team to support representation from the police station through to Court.

Kelly began her career in criminal practice over 10 years ago, initially representing clients at police stations.

Kelly has experience in Magistrates’ and Crown Court matters, having been a Higher Court Advocate before transferring to the Bar in 2016.

We provide prison law advice and representation, our clients benefit from us holding a legal aid contract to provide prison law advice and representation, kelly is an asset to the team as she has experience in prison law.

Kelly is a tenacious advocate who utilises her breadth of experience to her clients’ advantage. We are looking forward to her joining the team.

Kelly is a member of 23 Essex Street Chambers, whom we instruct regularly on complex criminal Crown Court matters.