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Barry Tucker, managing partner of Tuckers Solicitors, has a clear vision on the world of criminal law. “It’s like a gladiatorial arena,” he insists. “If you have someone fighting for you who’s a good person and also a great lawyer, you can survive.”
It is the kind of ethos that firm founder Tucker has been keen to instil in his firm since its inception in 1980. Twenty-four years later the firm has grown significantly, although the partnership remains small.
Alongside Tucker is senior partner Franklin Sinclair, who was last year’s president of the Criminal Law Solicitors’ Association, plus the highly-regarded duo Richard Egan and Jim Meyer, who were made up just this month.
Four partners may seem like a small number at a well-established firm boasting 60 solicitors, but Tucker was adamant from the outset that his firm would be different.
“I decided a long time ago that I didn’t want many partners,” explains Tucker. “It’s only going to cause me unnecessary hassle and complicate matters, I thought. What I needed to do was pay my staff well. And, of course, find some very good criminal lawyers.”
The promotions of Egan and Meyer, both members of the Legal Services Commission’s High Cost Fraud Panel, represents something of a radical move for the firm’s defiantly partner-light structure, but Tucker sees it as just reward for years of top-level service.
The two lawyers have worked on a string of high-profile cases during their tenure at the firm, with clients that include musicians, footballers and computer hackers.
“From our point of view, I hope it will motivate my own workforce,” says Tucker.
Much of Egan’s work is in the firm’s specialist crime department, which handles particularly sensitive cases, including the attempted extradition from the UK of an Algerian accused of being one of the masterminds of the 11 September attacks. Lotfi Raissi escaped conviction after work by Tuckers lawyers and is now in the process of suing the security forces in the US.
The victory was heralded as a triumph, but Tucker is keen to underline the far-reaching scope of the firm. “We aim to give great service to all our clients, whether they be the biggest white-collar company or a small, one-man outfit,” he insists.
The firm is just as likely to be working on a murder case as a high-profile football scandal, while Tucker claims that two of the firm’s best qualities are its discretion and its sensitivity.
For a man who claims to have had no interest in criminal law after qualifying, Tucker appears to have adapted well.