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Defending you when it counts

If you are seeking the assistance of an Advocate for your case which has been disrupted as a result of a ‘no return’ please complete the Request PDS assistance form below and email it to pdsassistance@justice.gov.uk

The Public Defender Service –
Where your defence matters

Our team of criminal defence barristers and solicitors specialise in providing first-class representation in legal aid criminal cases and as court appointed advocates.

PDS advocates logo

Our advocates

A criminal case in the Crown Court?

Our experienced defence advocates provide a wholly independent, high quality service to legal aid solicitors and their clients across England and Wales.

Our defence lawyers, including silks, specialist high court barristers and solicitor advocates, provide quality representation for all types of criminal cases, including:

PDS solicitors logo

Our solicitors

Arrested, accused of a crime, or asked to attend a voluntary interview at the police station? We can help.

The Public Defender Service provides high quality, free legal advice, assistance, and representation at the police station and for those eligible for criminal legal aid at court.

Contact one of our four solicitors’ offices to speak to our team if you or a loved one needs our help in:

How do I know if I'm eligible for criminal legal aid?

Learn about legal aid eligibility

We are specialists in all areas of criminal defence

Parole Board hearings and prison law matters

Our prison law specialists provide advice to prisoners throughout their sentence. 

We can help with Parole Board Reviews, Licence Recalls, Independent Adjudications and Sentence Calculations.

Highly complex cases, including murder and fraud

We represent clients in cases involving murder, manslaughter and serious violence, serious sexual offences and terrorism.

Our Confiscation Group specialises in cases involving money laundering, POCA, fraud and the EncroChat hack.

Autism, mental health and disabled defendants

We are a leading defence practice for clients with autism, learning difficulties, neurodiverse conditions and cases under Section 38 of the Mental Health Act.

What you didn't know about the PDS

  • We are an independent, client-focused organisation
  • We only defend clients who receive criminal legal aid
  • We can help you in the police station, at court and on appeal
  • We offer expertise in both military law and non-police prosecutions
  • Our caseload ranges from general crime to complex cases
  • We specialise in working with vulnerable clients and youths

Our client-centred approach

At the PDS, we are focused on listening and assessing the evidence objectively so that we can protect your rights and offer you tailored legal advice on what best to do next.

We believe in putting your defence first and ensuring your voice is heard.

Malcolm Bryant, Head of the Public Defender Service
Malcolm Bryant, Head of the PDS
I am proud to be the Head of the PDS. The PDS provides a seamless and complete criminal defence service where the client always comes first. As a team of dedicated professionals we work as one, ensuring everyone and everything we do is focused on our clients
Malcolm Bryant, Head of the PDS

Instruct an advocate or speak to one of our solicitor teams

Contact us