Ryan O'Donnell

Crime and Regulatory Team

‘For me, it is important to ensure that my clients understand the process and that I build trust with them from the outset. I like to take a collaborative, goal focussed approach with the client to reach the best outcome for their case. I always ensure that I act with professionalism and empathy.’

Summary

Ryan is an experienced solicitor advocate who puts the client at the heart of all his cases. It’s the foundation for building trust and strong relationships. For Ryan, strong, trusting relationships with clients help ensure the client feels at ease throughout the journey of a case and achieve the best outcomes. He has an excellent eye for detail and is quick to focus on the key issues, before setting in place a plan of action for each client.

He is a skilled lawyer with technical expertise. He regularly appears before all Courts and Tribunals across the country and represents a number of high net worth individuals and businesses.

Professional Background

Ryan began his practice in London working across all police stations and Courts. He was involved in often sensitive and complex cases whilst representing individuals from diverse backgrounds and those with significant vulnerabilities. As a result, his ability to communicate and understand clients is exceptional.

He began to develop his practice with private clients and moved to a large multi-office practice based in the Home Counties to represent individuals facing all types of criminal proceedings. He developed an extensive practice representing high net worth individuals facing serious criminal proceedings across the country.

Following relocation to the South West, Ryan spent time working for the Ministry of Justice. This role allowed him to continue to develop and represent clients locally but also allowed him to use his knowledge and experience to make improvements to the criminal justice system more broadly, and to influence policy and development. Ryan has been involved and provided specialist advice on numerous projects and working groups across various agencies in the criminal justice system. Recently he was involved in a multi-agency working group ensuring Crown Court trials were able to resume safely and effectively following the Covid-19 pandemic.

His work with Stone King is progressive and highly regarded. He brings his background, diverse and extensive experience to ensure his clients are provided with an exceptional level of service in order to obtain the best outcomes possible.

Sexual Offences

Ryan has represented a vast number of individuals facing allegations of serious sexual offending. This includes both online indecent images offending, communications offences and serious contact offences.

Ryan brings his sensitive and empathic nature to these often difficult and challenging cases. He has represented individuals at all stages in sexual offending from the police station through to the Court of Appeal.

Offences involving indecent images of children have become prevalent and Ryan’s experience with these serious matters is significant. In appropriate cases, Ryan will take all steps necessary to get support and rehabilitation for his clients through the instruction of experts, use of therapists and counsellors.  Equally, those wrongly accused will benefit from Ryan’s technical expertise, experience with IT forensic challenges and exhaustive approach to justice.

Many of Ryan’s clients are vulnerable and those with a mental disorder, development disorder or neurological impairment may feel particularly supported. This can have a significant impact and Ryan has a particular interest in working and collaborating with carers, psychologists and psychiatrists where appropriate to get the support each client requires.  Ryan regularly accepts instructions from parents, carers and family members of those accused in these cases.

Domestic Abuse

Ryan has extensive experience in cases involving or arising in the context of domestic abuse allegations.  Ryan has represented numerous individuals facing domestic abuse allegations. Many of those cases have had complex issues and require sensitive and careful handling. He has been successful on a number of occasions challenging Prosecution applications to adduce ‘res gestae’ hearsay evidence.  He has also represented numerous clients facing allegations of coercive and controlling behaviour where there is a long and detailed background history to the case.

There is often a detailed history and Ryan will provide continuity to individuals arrested at the police station or under investigation by taking their case through to conclusion.  Ryan will commonly take cases initially handled by the duty solicitor though to bespoke, private representation.

Allegations of domestic abuse can often involve social services where children are involved. Ryan has unparalleled knowledge of the interplay between the criminal proceedings and care proceedings. He was involved in one of the first joint criminal and care proceedings hearings in the South West whilst representing an individual facing very serious allegations involving a child.

Whilst Ryan will fight your corner, he also appreciates that rehabilitation and support can provide an important role for families in domestic abuse cases. He was worked with therapists, counsellors and psychiatrists to obtain support for his clients when it is required.  The growing recognition of the importance for those who admit their offending behaviour to seek and obtain specialist support make the need to demonstrably address offending behaviour increasingly significant.

Fraud, Financial Crime & Confiscation

Ryan has developed a specialism in regulatory and financial crime, arising from his metropolitan experience then focus on a private, director and manger client base.

Examples of work in this diverse area include advice to companies and their directors on fraud prevention, as well as in respect of alleged breaches. Ryan is able to provide tailored advice, assistance and guidance to individual directors or businesses on all regulatory or financial crime matters. He has represented individuals and businesses facing investigation from HMRC investigations, Trading Standards, Health & Safety Executive and the Care Quality Commission. He also has experience of defending private prosecutions taken by individuals or companies.

Ryan has unrivalled specialist confiscation knowledge and he is a member of the Proceeds of Crime Lawyers Association. Recently, he has undertaken a number of cases where the Prosecution make a section 22 application to reconsider the available amount many years after the Confiscation Order was made. This can often involve advising new partners who had no knowledge of the original offending and the Crown seeking to recover a shared asset.  Ryan can provide clear advice from the outset on whether to challenge the application or the next steps to be taken.

Ryan has significant experience of complex confiscation cases including tainted gifts, corporate entities and assets outside of the jurisdiction. He has worked with professional experts to value and recover assets in Mauritius, Spain and Greece.

Military Personnel

Ryan has represented military personnel facing investigations for internal disciplinary or criminal offences. This includes both nationally and abroad. Recently, he travelled to Cyprus to provide advice and assistance for military personnel being interviewed under caution. He has also provided remote advice to other personnel requiring legal advice for an interview under caution.

Ryan has advised and acted for military personnel facing summary proceedings before their Commanding Officer. The effect of summary proceedings can be significant and have a substantial impact on a military career.

Court Martial hearings are also within his significant expertise. He has represented personnel facing a range of offences before the Judge Advocate including violence, fraud, sexual offences and misconduct in public office.

Ryan has been successful on numerous occasions in making written representations to the Service Prosecuting Authority to discontinue proceedings.  Early intervention in any matter involving Military Personnel is particularly important.

Case Studies

R v AB – Representing male charged with historic familial sexual offending.

R v MS – Representing male charged with assisting an offender (murder). Successful application to dismiss following service of the Prosecution case.

R v CM – Trading Standards prosecution. Complex confiscation involving multi-jurisdictional assets.

R v MS – Representing Group Captain facing allegations of Misconduct in Public Office. Successful representations to Service Prosecuting Authority to drop the proceedings and advice on subsequent administrative disposal.

R v JF – Representing individual charged with £5million fraud, including subsequent confiscation proceedings with assets in France, Netherlands and Mauritius.

R v AB – Successful defence of private prosecution for fraud. This included instruction of forensic accountants to undermine the Prosecution case.

Interests

Outside of work, Ryan volunteers as a school governor and is currently Chair of Governors at a local Primary School. He is actively involved in school community and works closely with the Head Teacher to improve the education of local children.

An avid follower of sport, Ryan will usually spend his weekends following horse racing. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Gold Cup week is his favourite time of the year.

 

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