Meet the Team – Jeanette Appleton

Created on May 27, 2017

Meet the Team - Jeanette Appleton

This is the ninth in a series of posts designed to provide you with some information about the team at Old Bailey Solicitors, what they do and why they do it! 

Today its the turn of our long distance runner, the ever dependable Jeanette Appleton


What is your job title?

Chartered Legal Executive

How long have you been with Old Bailey Solicitors?

8 years in August.

What did you do before joining Old Bailey Solicitors?

I was employed with another firm of criminal defence solicitors in Brighton.

What made you decide to become a criminal defence specialist?

I started work in the Magistrates’ Court as a secretary and wanted to learn more about the legal processes. I was then offered a job with training opportunities with a firm of defence solicitors. This meant that I could work and study at the same time. I specialised in criminal law as this was the area that I had work experience in and the area I wished to continue to work in.

Describe your typical day at work

I am based at the Sussex office of Old Bailey Solicitors. My usual day starts at the office where I catch up on emails and prepare cases for upcoming hearings. This involves seeing clients to take their instructions and to explain the court process; seeing defence witnesses; instructing experts (if they are required) and occasionally attending a site visit to take photos of the area where an incident took place. I also visit clients who have been remanded in custody in order to discuss their cases with them.

I attend Police Stations to assist clients that have either been arrested or who are attending by appointment for an interview. This will involve speaking to the investigating officer to obtain information about the allegation and then spending time with the client to take instructions and provide advice. It is important that the client understands the offence which has been alleged and it is my role to advise them of any defence that they may have. I will also advise the client whether they should answer the officer’s questions and I will remain with them during the interview.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The feeling that you have helped someone. It can be a frightening and alien procedure to a lot of people who suddenly find themselves accused of a criminal offence. It is good to be able to explain procedures so that they no longer feel quite so stressed and frightened and know a little more of what to expect. Obviously the best feeling is when a good result is obtained whether that be an acquittal or a good sentence.

What do you find most challenging?

Trying to get responses from other agencies, e.g. Courts, CPS, Police, Doctors. At lot of agencies have had cut backs which means that lots of agencies are short staffed and overworked. This in turn means that when we need a report or a response it can take some time for this to come through. The court gives us directions to file documents within certain time frames, which is correct in order to ensure that cases are heard as quickly as possible, but sometimes it is difficult for us to meet those time frames simply because we are waiting for someone else to do their bit.

If you could implement one single change to the criminal justice system, what would it be?

Remuneration for the work we do. Set fees have been implemented over the years which is determined by the type of offence alleged and the number of pages of evidence. This does not reflect the complexity of some cases. Some cases need more work than others and this can depend on the client and whether they themselves are vulnerable. Therefore each case should be considered more on its own merits rather than just looking at the number of statements served. We do the work on each case based on what is required and to ensure the best result for our client.

Jeanette Appleton

Jeanette Appleton

Jeanette has been working as a criminal lawyer for 15 years and is an Accredited Police Station Representative. She is vastly experienced in the preparation of serious cases, such as murder and sexual offences, for trial in the Crown Court.

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