Category: Team

Grace Loncraine

Throughout her legal career, Grace has practiced almost exclusively in criminal defence, conducting advocacy in the Magistrates’ Court, litigation at the Crown Court and protecting her clients’ interests during interviews with the police. She has a varied caseload, representing clients charged with offences ranging from serious fraud to murder. She is also instructed in extradition matters, criminal appeals and in crime-related work (such as challenging the disclosure of criminal records and cash forfeiture proceedings).  

Grace has a particular interest in cases involving police misconduct, and regularly challenges irregularities in evidence gathering and disclosure. She has extensive knowledge of police powers in the arrest and detention of suspects, and has given training on this topic to other professionals.  

Grace specialises in youth work, conducting her own advocacy in youth trials. She frequently succeeds in diverting young people out of the criminal justice system. A social worker supporting a young person Grace recently defended wrote:  

I have been extremely happy and satisfied working with Grace. She has been professional, very knowledgeable and contactable.  She has made the whole process for my young person a better experience.  My young person struggles with other professionals, but Grace was amazing with her and has also helped me understand legal situations and advocated well.  I wish I could use Grace for all of my cases.” 

Grace’s notable recent cases include: 

R v M (2020) – Guilty plea to half-a-million-pound fraud against former employers. On the back of psychological and psychiatric reports prepared on behalf of the defence, Client received a sentence which was half the length argued for by the Prosecution.  

R v C (2019) – Secured not-guilty verdict for a youth following a successful argument that his comments in interview should be excluded because they were made in response to misleading information 

R v M (2020) – Secured not-guilty verdict after successfully rebutting the Crown’s argument that youth client could be found guilty on a joint enterprise basis.  

R v N (2020) – Crown agreed to drop charge of possessing a loaded firearm as part of plea deal.  

Grace graduated from the University of St Andrews with first class honours in English Literature and Spanish. Outside of her day-to-day practice, Grace has delivered online CPD-certified lectures on updates in the criminal law and campaigns on issues affecting access to justice. She is a founding member of Legal Sector Workers United, a grassroots trade union. 

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Ben Stuttard

Ben is a specialist criminal lawyer who represents and advises in criminal investigations and prosecutions. He qualified as a solicitor in 2015 with a reputable human rights firm and was a co-founder of Commons when the firm opened in 2017.

He has considerable experience representing people from a wide range of backgrounds facing criminal allegations ranging from lesser offences through to Firearms, Fraud and Money Laundering, Modern Slavery Act offences and murder. 

Through a pro-active approach where appropriate and expert judgement, Ben is regularly able to divert cases away from prosecution during an investigation.

As an advocate, Ben regularly represents his clients at trial in magistrates’ courts in London and beyond. 

Ben is committed to representing clients on Legal Aid where it is available and is also happy to accept instructions on a privately funded basis where it is not.

Ben also represents individuals facing extradition to stand trial or serve sentences in other jurisdictions and also those facing extradition into the UK.

In addition to criminal proceedings, Ben is frequently contacted at short notice by charities and other lawyers to represent extremely vulnerable clients facing applications for closure orders which if granted would result in the loss of their homes.

Prior to qualification as a solicitor, Ben worked for an international NGO in Kosovo and Serbia. His recent cases include:

Crime

​R -v- G (2019)

Human Trafficking case involving multi- jurisdictional investigation

R -v- S (2019)

Money Laundering allegation in the context of a multi million pound, multi-jurisdictional Class A drugs supply operation

R -v- J (2018)

After an acquittal was secured in the Magistrates Court, Ben’s client was nevertheless remanded in custody owing to failings in the Court and prison administration to authorise the release of the client. Ben made an urgent application to the High Court on a Friday evening to secure a writ of Habeus Corpus ordering the client’s immediate release

​R v G (2017)

Ben acted in the unique case of R v G where G was accused of preventing a lawful burial, perverting the court of justice and perjury

​R v S & others (2016)

Ben’s client was the only defendant out of five to be acquitted in a case which attracted national press coverage

Extradition ​

Republic of Turkey -v- S. (2019)

Ben successfully defended a request brought by Turkey in relation to a local businessman on Human Rights grounds

​Republic of Kosovo – v- K (2017)

Ben acted in the first extradition request brought by the Republic of Kosovo in relation to a murder allegation. Submissions were made leading to the discharge of the arrest warrant

​In 2018 Commons were subjected to an independent peer review by the Legal Aid Agency. Twelve of Ben’s cases were randomly selected for scrutiny by an experienced solicitor working in criminal defence. The firm as a whole was one of 16 firms nationally in 2018 to receive a mark of ‘Excellent’, the highest mark available. In particular the reviewer noted:

  • “very good police station advice”
  • “much thought being given to legal strategy”
  • “extremely careful and thorough trial preparation”
  • “relatively unusual and complex cases were handled particularly well”
  • “excellent outcomes”

​Ben’s work is frequently found to be conducted with “exceptional competence, skill or expertise” when assessed by the Legal Aid Agency. Here’s what his clients and others say:

  • “You not only gave me excellent advice, but put me at ease when we first met at the police station. You were confident, thorough and professional, which in turn gave me confidence.”
  • “My experience with Ben has been astonishing. He has worked extremely hard and gone the extra mile. His knowledge of law is spot on. He is a true fighter who never gives up.” 
  • “Thanks very much for all your help and the clever argument you put forward that resulted in the case being cut short.”
  • “Thanks again for the hard work and effort you’ve put into these cases for me. I really do appreciate it.”
  • “I wanted to thank you for all your time and fantastic support… I’m really glad about the outcome and will definitely contact you in the future if I or my colleagues come across any similar cases.” (from referrer)
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