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The life of a criminal defence lawyer is shrouded in mystery. Outsiders might wonder about how to deal with potentially dangerous clients; what happens behind the scenes when building a defence; and, that age-old moral dilemma, how a lawyer can defend someone they think is guilty. But what is life really like for those tasked with representing the shadowy underbelly of society?

For over forty years, criminal defence solicitor Henry Milner has been the go-to lawyer for some of Britain’s most notorious criminals – including Kenneth Noye and the Brink’s-Mat robbers, Freddie Foreman, John ‘Goldfinger’ Palmer and the gang behind the Millennium Dome raid.

Here, the lawyer referred to in the Sunday Times as ‘The Mr Big of Criminal Briefs’ offers a fascinating insight into life at the top of the profession, lifting the lid on the psychology of those who end up on the wrong side of the law – and those who defend them. By turns shocking and hilarious, this remarkable memoir takes us deep into the enigmatic criminal underworld, delivering a wry personal commentary on the most extraordinary aspects of a life spent amongst the accused.


Can anything be better than a job which is also a hobby, asks the author at the conclusion of this marvellous journey through his professional life in criminal defence work. It is an enjoyable and highly readable book by a lawyer who stumbled into defending people.

This book captures the delight of belonging to our profession and the drama of the law. Times change, of course, and a life in criminal law is not so appealing to many young lawyers now. In the bad old days, defendants were cross-examined on how they afforded the defence, the implication being that it was funded from proceeds of crime.

The book has interesting insights and there are reflections on juries, barristers and bail applications. The comments on the bar are accurate and this book should be required reading for any entrant to the criminal bar. Life at the top of criminal practice brings ‘beauty parades’ for clients wanting to make the right choice in defender. The book is about serious cases and not celebrities who have misbehaved. This excellent book gives a vivid insight into criminal defence work.

David Pickup, Law Gazette

"A fascinating read as a top-class criminal defence lawyer tells the story of his top-class clients and their top-class crimes."

James Morton author of Krays: The Final Word

“A no-holds-barred exposé.” 

Andy McNab

“A fascinating read and brilliantly written.”

Clare Montgomery QC

'What a great read and testament to a stellar career.'

Crispin Aylett QC

“An entertaining and revealing insight into the world of the criminal defence lawyer – and the inside stories behind some of the Old Bailey’s most famous cases.”

Duncan Campbell, journalist and author of Underworld: The definitive history of Britain’s organised crime

“In more than forty years at the top of his game as a criminal defence lawyer, Henry Milner has been on speed dial for many of Britain’s most notorious alleged villains. Sometimes serious, sometimes very funny but never, ever dull, No Lawyers in Heaven offers a sharply observed insight into his most gripping cases, from murder to money heisting, drug trafficking and beyond."

Martin Brunt, Sky News crime correspondent

“Henry Milner’s colourful account of a career over decades as a criminal defence solicitor evokes a bygone era of the criminal justice system. In a highly readable style with plenty of wry self-deprecating humour, Milner gives a compelling insight into a life defending some of the big-league criminal names. A must-read.” 

Frances Gibb, former legal editor, The Times
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  • Hardback, 288 pages
  • ISBN: 9781785906442
  • 3 November 2020
  • £18.99
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  • ISBN: 9781785906459
  • 3 November 2020
  • £12.99
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