A YORK solicitors’ firm is celebrating after it twice gained national recognition for its expertise.

Howard & Byrne has been included in two major legal directories which list the best lawyers in the country, and three of its lawyers are recognised by name.

Managing partner Kevin Blount, said: “We are delighted to have been recognised by these two prestigious publications for our work in criminal defence. “Both publications are based on extensive, independant, interviews of other professionals to gauge your quality and reputation among your peers.”

It is one of only two solicitors’ firms in North and East Yorkshire to gain a Band One listing, the highest listing, in criminal law in Chambers. The other is a Harrogate firm.

The directory said the York firm is “nationally recognised” for its criminal law practice and highlights its homicide cases involving “shaken baby” allegations and defending a husband for a “loss of control” murder of his wife.

Colin Byrne, one of the firm’s founding partners, is singled out for his expertise in fraud cases and Mr Blount for his work in post-conviction matters.

The firm is also quoted for its courts martial work and acting for offenders in prison matters and parole issues.

The head of the firm’s prison law section, Jacky East, is named in Legal 500, the second directory to list the firm and which also lists Mr Byrne and Mr Blount.