John Ratcliff (PRINCIPAL/SOLE PRACTITIONER) was admitted as a solicitor in 1990. He trained and qualified though, and worked in, the Magistrates’ Courts for 22 years as a legal adviser specialising in criminal and family law concluding his career as Justices’ Clerk for Pontefract and Wakefield Magistrates’ Courts. Since 2002 he has worked as a criminal defence lawyer, either as a partner in successful criminal defence partnerships and most recently, in his present firm, as a sole practitioner.
He has extensive knowledge and experience of Crown Court work as well as providing representation in the police station and advocacy services in the Magistrates’ Court and Crown Court. He is a solicitor advocate. He also sits as a fee paid Judge of the First Tier of the Social Entitlement Chamber. He is an ardent believer and supporter of legal aid as a means to ensure that all who appear in the criminal courts, especially the vulnerable and disadvantaged, have an advocate to present their cases and defend their rights.