Our people

700 professionals at Knights service 10,000 clients across the full spectrum of legal & professional services.

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Martin Bourne

Partner
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Martin Bourne

Partner

Martin is a Partner in the Regulatory team.

Martin has many years of experience defending clients before the magistrates' courts in Oxford and Banbury, as well as before regulators as diverse as the British Horse Racing Authority and the Health and Care Professions Council.  He has defended individual clients regarding criminal charges such as domestic violence or road traffic offences, professional disciplinary proceedings, and revocation of a shotgun licence.  Martin also represents company directors against charges of fraud or money laundering, and landlords facing enforcement by local authority housing officers.

Martin acts for a number of schools and Oxford colleges in staff and student disciplinary proceedings and in providing advice on child safeguarding.  He also advises professional advisors, such as other law firms and accountants, on money laundering regulations.

Recent examples of how Martin has helped clients include:

• saving a charity several thousand pounds in fees and construction works, when a house that it owned was wrongly classified as a house of multiple occupation (HMO) by the local authority;

• preserving the career of a head teacher, by demonstrating that the head teacher had assiduously investigated investigations into alleged inappropriate behaviour between staff;

• supporting a social worker who had been made a scapegoat by the local authority; and

• successfully defending a race horse trainer who was accused of influencing the outcome of a race.

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Tom Cleary

Partner
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Tom Cleary

Partner

Tom is a Partner in the Regulatory team.

A former prosecutor and inspector for the Health and Safety Executive, Tom now turns this experience to the advantage of our clients when they need support with regulatory or disciplinary matters.  As well as health and safety matters, Tom advises clients on environmental, food safety, and fire safety compliance as well as handling investigations and prosecutions.  This includes support in the event of serious incidents, such as fire or pollution, and in the event of major accidents and fatalities where Tom represents clients at inquests.

Tom also advises companies and their directors facing investigations from their local authority or trading standards office and deals with professional disciplinary matters ranging from solicitor tribunals and director disqualification to business crime.

Tom's clients are based all over the country, in industries as diverse as care homes and catering, through to farming and manufacturing.

Recent examples of how Tom has helped clients include:

• causing the Environment Agency to drop all charges by showing that a client did not require an environmental permit;

• persuading the Environment Agency not to instigate legal proceedings against his client following a pollution incident caused by a fire on their premises;

• securing the future of a small catering business when the local environmental health officer threatened prosecution; and

• supporting the directors of a company throughout the investigation by the police and HSE following a fatal accident onsite.

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Elinor Lloyd

Partner
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Elinor Lloyd

Partner

Elinor is a Partner in the Regulatory team.

Elinor advises and supports business clients following a whistleblowing allegation or when facing criminal or regulatory investigations by the Serious Fraud Office, Financial Conduct Authority, Competition & Markets’ Authority, HM Revenue & Customs, Crown Prosecution Service, the police and local government authorities.  In the event that an investigation proceeds to a prosecution, Elinor has successfully defended companies, directors and senior managers in a diverse range of cases including allegations of fraud, bribery and corruption, money laundering; and financial crimes including LIBOR fixing, sanctions violations, insider dealing, breach of listing rules, mis-selling financial products and competition issues.

Elinor also advises companies of all sizes on how to improve their compliance programmes and reduce the risk of corporate crime.  This includes regulatory and risk reviews; consultancy in regard to compliance programmes; implementation of policies and procedures; training to directors and employees on their personal obligations.

Elinor acts for companies and individual directors in a wide range of businesses, particularly in regulated sectors such as financial services and energy.  She often works on-site with corporate clients alongside senior management as part of their in-house legal or compliance team.

Recent examples of how Elinor has helped clients include:

  • successfully defending two directors of a pharmaceutical company in the Serious Fraud Office's prosecution for conspiracy to defraud the NHS by way of price-fixing and market-sharing;
  • implementing group-wide risk and compliance programmes for a major energy PLC to cover third party due diligence, investigations and whistleblowing programmes; as well as managing a team of 15 staff dealing with financial crime, fraud, bribery and corruption, export controls, modern slavery, sanctions and money laundering issues;
  • supporting a global investment bank through investigation and enforcement by the Financial Conduct Authority, in their first case under the Competition Act, which alleged breaches of systems and controls and employee misconduct;
  • recommending an action plan to remedy weaknesses in business compliance following a regulatory compliance review for the directors of a leading chain of garden centres; and
  • advising a global pharmaceutical company under investigation by the US Department of Justice and the UK Serious Fraud Office for allegations of bribery in several overseas jurisdictions.
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Jim Astle

Consultant
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Jim Astle

Consultant

Jim is a Consultant in the Regulatory team.

Having been a judge, prosecutor and defender, Jim knows how to examine a case from every perspective to find the best defence for his clients before a criminal prosecution or disciplinary proceedings. He has defended clients facing charges as diverse as assault, road traffic offences, pollution, health and safety law, trading standard, manslaughter and fraud.

Jim also advises on regulatory matters, such as alcohol and public entertainment licences, and defends commercial clients in prosecutions by regulators such as the Environment Agency or Health & Safety Executive.  Experienced in planning law, Jim acts for landowners and property developers in regard to local plans and planning appeals.

Jim is a criminal court Deputy District Judge and a Deputy Traffic Commissioner.

Recent examples of how Jim has helped clients include:

• ensuring the acquittal and thereby preserving the career of a French lorry driver who unwittingly transported a number of illegal immigrants into the UK;

• acting as an advocate at a planning enquiry for a rural landowner who sought to get planning permission for housing on some agricultural buildings;

• supporting and defending the directors of a care home operator when one of their residents, a patient of the local Mental Health Trust, was found dead on the premises;

• supporting a university college through an investigation by the Health & Safety Executive following a fatality on the premises; and

• preserving the career of a senior member of the military, by clearing his name and obtaining an acquittal from a charge of assault.

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Danielle Aquilina

Solicitor
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Danielle Aquilina

Solicitor

Danielle is a Solicitor in the Regulatory team.