Criminal solicitors with ‘fantastic reputation’ acquired by leading East Yorkshire firm

Williamsons Solicitors has acquired a criminal law practice in a deal regarded as a ‘coup’.

From left to right outside Hull Combined Court Centre: Marc Pollard; Neil Waterhouse; Richard Fowler and Ian Phillip.

Hull-based Amber Solicitors LLP, comprising well-known solicitors Ian Phillip and Richard Fowler, became part of Williamsons on August 1. The acquisition has created East Yorkshire’s most experienced defence advocacy team.

Both firms have a leading reputation in criminal law spanning decades, with Williamsons Solicitors providing a broader range of private client services via its offices in Hull, Driffield and Bridlington.

Acting head of Williamsons’ criminal law department Marc Pollard said that clients from the two firms would benefit from the enhanced combination of skills and experience. 

“Both Ian and Richard have a fantastic reputation and they will fit in perfectly as we have a shared ideology and an established relationship through many years of working in Hull and surrounding areas.

“It’s a real coup for us and we are very excited to have them on board.”

Richard Fowler and Ian Phillip started Amber Solicitors in the late 1990s, rapidly gaining a reputation for challenging authority and fighting for the underdog. Ian became one of the youngest solicitor advocates in the city and has worked on many high-profile cases, with Richard mainly working ‘at the coal face’ of criminal law.

Richard Fowler said: “We are very proud of our reputation, so it was important that we became part of an equally well-respected and principled firm. 

“It will also provide Ian and I with the opportunity to give back a little by helping a new generation of criminal lawyers through Williamsons’ excellent training schemes.”

He added that joining Williamsons would allow for expansion and the ability to provide clients with ‘global’ representation through Williamsons Solicitors’ wide range of law services.

Neil Waterhouse, Williamsons Solicitors’ operations director, said that growth of criminal law departments was uncommon in the current era of cuts to legal aid.  

“With the acquisition of Amber, we now have combined expertise which is unrivalled locally. We provide an essential service to people who are in urgent need of expert legal representation, and it is vital that we ensure its longevity through smart ways of working and providing career opportunities.”

Williamsons Solicitors started in Hull 133 years ago, and has grown steadily through service development, expansion of its client base and acquisitions. It provides a range of services including crime, wills & probate, conveyancing, family law, civil litigation, personal injury, clinical negligence and business property.