Year of call: 1997
Les was called to the Bar of the Inner Temple in 1997, having spent nine years as a Lecturer in Contract and Criminal Law at a number of Universities and Colleges
He has considerable advocacy experience over 20 years, appearing at all manner of Courts and tribunals, including the High Court, Court of Appeal, and for Judicial review and ‘case stated’ matters. His considerable court experience has seen him represent high profile celebrities in Family matters, defending those charged with torture and kidnap in serious criminal cases and instructed to represent Renault UK, and Mercedes Benz in Car Franchise agreements.
In 2012 he was invited to become retained Counsel and In-house advocate for a large local solicitors firm, who said of him “ We are pleased to be able to recommend Mr. Smith to our Clients with confidence that his excellent advocacy and Jury skills, client care and thorough preparation will ensure that our Client’s receive the best possible representation”.
During the last four years Les has been bringing his considerable court experience to Family law, given his recognised calming and disarming manner with emotionally charged or vulnerable clients.
As a family practitioner, Les has been extensively instructed on both Family Law Act and Children Act matters. He was instructed to represent a high-profile celebrity, who sought the protection of the court and the removal of her high-profile partner and his child from the matrimonial home. He has conducted many Fact Finding and Final hearings, where his advocacy experience is most noticeable. His written advice and opinion have been sought on ToLATA, removing children from the Jurisdiction of England and Wales and the law of evidence in family cases.
Often attending Court to assist vulnerable clients, Les brings many years of experience, rapport and client care skills.
As a Civil Practitioner, Les previously represented the motor trade in a variety of Commercial, contractual and employment disputes. Instructed by both Renault U.K. and large car dealerships, he was one of only two Counsel instructed to advice Mercedes Benz car dealerships in their challenge to changes in their franchise agreements. This built upon his specialist papers in European Competition Law and Employment Law.
Les is well versed in Credit Hire Law and is regularly instructed to attend Court both for Claimant and Defendant on high value claims.
Before specialising in Family and Civil law, Les practiced extensively in Criminal Law and represented clients in cases of serious violence, torture, kidnap, armed robbery and serious drugs cases, including importation and conspiracy,
Les is licensed by the Bar Council to undertake instructions from Professional Bodies, individual solicitors and by Direct Access.
Qualifications and Membership
Common Professional Examinations for the Bar
Family Bar Association
Criminal Bar Association
Outside of practice, Les was one of the youngest persons to stand for Parliament (aged 21), is a local Preacher in the Baptist Church and has an active interest in the psychology of persuasion.