Meet the Team
Drew is the founding partner, having established Levales in 2010. Originally called to the Bar in 2003 Drew cross-qualified and became a solicitor in 2008.
Drew, who is also a Duty Solicitor, has significant experience within the criminal justice system having started his legal career in the Magistrates Court Service. Previously Drew worked for one of the largest law firms in London.
Drew has accumulated a great depth of knowledge over the years which make him the ideal person to protect clients against all forms of prosecution.
Drew has particular experience in dealing with sexually based offences and offences involving serious violence and homicide. Drew is also part of the Military Law team.
Alphie joined Levales in July 2012 becoming Partner in January 2013. Alphie is one of the most widely recognised names and faces in the field of Criminal Law in the Hampshire and Surrey area.
Alphie, who is also a Duty Solicitor has a huge breadth and depth of experience and also has his Higher Rights of Audience. This enables Alphie to represent clients all the way from the Police Station to the higher courts including the Crown Court and Court of Appeal. Alphie is also qualified as a Duty Solicitor.
Alphie is one of our military law specialists and part of Military Law team. He deals with much of our Court Martial work and regularly appears at Court Martial Centres up and down the country and abroad, most noticeably in Germany.
Julie started out her legal career as a Legal Advisor in the Magistrate Court Service. Julie is a Duty Solicitor who has her Higher Rights of Audience.
A keen trial advocated Julie has a forthright and fearless approach in defending her clients and is an incredibly popular and well respected member of the team at Levales.
Julie defends low level theft cases right up to more serious cases such as robbery, rape and attempted murder. Julie has a particular experience of Magistrates Court work and has an increasing workload in the Crown Court.
Issy is a highly experienced and well respected solicitor and has a formidable reputation in the areas of Court Martials and Military Law.
Issy was a former partner at one of Hampshire’s biggest multi-disciplinary law firms where she headed the Criminal and Military Law departments.
Issy, who is also a qualified Duty Solicitor, is, like all solicitors at Levales, able to accept instructions on a case and see it through from point of arrest to appeal if necessary.
Issy has experience of dealing with all types of offences including terrorism and homicide in both Court Martials and civilian criminal courts. Issy has also acted for service personnel being investigated by the Iraq Historic Abuse Team. Issy is a huge cricket and rugby fan.
Ruth joined Levales in 2011 after starting her career at one of the largest firms in West London.
She has many years of experience as a criminal solicitor advising on the whole spectrum of criminal offences from minor road traffic matters up to murder, serious sexual offences and terrorism.
She represents clients regularly at the police station and Magistrates' Courts in the local area and beyond. She is a knowledgeable and capable adviser in relation to the most serious cases. Ruth prides herself on her dedication to clients and thorough and effective case preparation. She approaches clients in a sensitive and supportive manner but makes no hesitation to challenge a case robustly. Ruth builds a rapport quickly with the most vulnerable clients, especially youths and those with special needs.
Ruth has an eye for figures and has built up a particular specialism in challenging Proceeds of Crime Act proceedings.
A number of RSPCA prosecutions have been successfully defended by Ruth and she has built up a strong working relationship with experts in this field who are always on hand to provide advice.
In 2020, Ruth represented a youth charged with multiple serious terrorism offences relating to the far right. Through her contacts she was able to instruct one of the leading barristers in this area of law and together they were able to secure a suspended sentence for their client.
Ruth has worked on a number of murder cases including an allegation of the murder of a baby in Aldershot in 2017. The trial took place in May 2021 and with the help of expert witnesses including a psychologist, psychiatrist and Nepalese cultural expert, the team were able to persuade the jury to acquit the defendant of murder in favour of a conviction for infanticide - a charge which has not resulted in a custodial sentence for over 30 years.
Over the years, Ruth has advised many serving members of the armed forces, both in the UK and abroad, in relation to service and civilian offences. She is an experienced and competent practitioner of military law and enjoys the challenge of preparation of cases for the military Courts Martial. Together with counsel, she has achieved some excellent results for clients in this area.
Ruth assisted Drew Pettifer in representing Lord Bramall on Operation Midland which not only resulted in his being eliminated from the enquiry but also receiving an apology and compensation from the Metropolitan Police and later, his accuser being imprisoned for perverting the course of justice.
Ruth has particular experience in Money Laundering and Confiscation Proceedings. Ruth is also part of our Military Law team.
Emma joined Levales in June 2021 and is the newest member of our team.
Emma has over ten years of experience of dealing with all types of criminal proceedings and is used to representing clients at both the Police Station and Magistrates Court.
Emma, who is also a Duty Solicitor, is particularly well equipped to deal with our younger customers and regularly represents Youths either in the Youth Court or juveniles who find themselves in the Crown Court.
Emma is also part of our Military Law team. Emma along with Drew Pettifer. is currently acting for a very vulnerable client in a multi-handed “County lines” drug conspiracy.
Sara joined Levales in January 2021 and is a qualified Duty Solicitor. Sara has a broad spectrum of experience of the Criminal Justice System starting out as she did as a Court Usher and then Administration Officer in the Court Service before her professional qualification.
Sara progressed to become a Magistrates Court Legal Advisor before entering private practice in 2003. Sara’s practice involves representing clients during investigations by all types of law enforcement and regulatory agencies; conducting litigation for proceedings in the Magistrates, Crown and Appellate courts, appearing as an advocate for clients in the Magistrates Court in all types of hearings including trial and contested applications.
Some of Sara’s recent cases are as follows:
R v C – Croydon Crown Court – 2017/18
Attempted Murder of Infant – Mental Health issues – Hospital Order secured.
R v C – Croydon Crown Court – 2019
Serious child sex offences & child cruelty – re trial ordered – the Crown subsequently discontinued the case.
R v H & others – Central Criminal Court – 2019
Nine handed Murder case successfully defended
R v M et al – Liverpool Crown Court 2021
Along with Drew Pettifer, Sara acted for a member of an Organised Crime Group (OCG) responsible for the distribution of Cocaine throughout England, Wales and Scotland. This case involved “Encrochat” mobile phones and was part of “Operation Venetic”. Following careful anaylsis of the evidence and robust negotiation, Drew and Sara were able to ensure that their client was the only one who was not convicted of drug offences.
R v R – Winchester Crown Court 2022
Acquittal secured on a charge of murder for a man who in pursuit of drugs and money allegedly tortured a female to death in her own home.
Sharon joined Levales in August 2018 having previously worked in the Criminal Justice system with Surrey Police.
Sharon has quickly established herself as an important part of the team and one of her primary responsibilities is to co-ordinate and manage cases under investigation in the police station.
Highly organised and people focused, Sharon has very quickly built up an extensive network of contacts enabling her to keep track of cases especially those where clients have been released under investigation. Sharon also takes instructions from clients and attends Counsel in both conference and at Court.
Sharon is a Police Station Accredited Representative and enjoys meeting with clients face to face and defending them at the police station, especially those falsely accused.