There’s an old saying that goes, “it’s better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it”, nothing could be more truthful when it comes to legal representation. When it comes to criminal lawyers, you’re already in a high stakes game and cannot afford to take chances, especially when it could be a matter of jailtime and hefty criminal proceedings which could not only cost a lot of money, but valuable time.

Having good and honest legal representation by your side throughout the proceedings is not only a wise recommendation, but also a significant investment and a reflection of commitment. Whether it be for your own criminal defence, or for a family member or friend, there’s credence in taking the time to find the right legal representation for you and yours.

Below is a collated and carefully cultivated list of 5 of the best criminal lawyer firms in Melbourne. There was no shortage of candidates, so special care had to be taken to ensure the list is as factually correct as possible. Research was conducted into specific customer service angles, their overall suitability for a range of criminal cases, their affordability, professionalism, and specialty.

These are the top 5 criminal lawyer firms in Melbourne, after the list there will be a quick guide in finding the right one for you, as well as a few traits to be mindful for when choosing your legal representation.

5 Best Criminal Law Firms in Melbourne

#1 Papa HughesBest Melbourne criminal law firm

Papa Hughes is certainly the representation that any right-minded person would recommend. They have a no-nonsense approach to their work ethic; their style and their inherent knowledge of the law is already a testament to their ability to represent you. They have an extensive amount of experience in all matters of Victorian law and have a healthy mix of young and hungry lawyers with their well-experienced counterparts.

They cover an incredibly diverse range of criminal charges and have a fair amount of experience in and out of the courtroom. One of the key reasons for them being at the top of the crop in terms of criminal lawyers in the Melbourne area is their customer service and communicative prowess when it comes to their approach, boasting an ethical standard which is always a benefit.

Their dedication to ensuring the best possible outcome for their client is apparent in the testimonials from previous clients as well. Their availability 24/7 and their overall focus on ensuring their team is not over encumbered and focused on their client’s best interests are simply a few of the reasons for Papa Hughes to be the first call you make, should you require them.

#2 MK LawMelbourne lawyers criminal

MK Law is certainly a unique entry to the list of criminal lawyers in Melbourne. Not only does the firm provide some very good representation, they also have somewhat of a public profile. Headed by prolific lawyer Michael Kuzilny, the firm has an excellent track record in and out of the courtroom, and Michael himself has taken on some very high-profile cases to great success in the past. There’s even a television program where Michael regularly discusses the fundamentals of law and gives expert advice to the viewing public.

His repertoire notwithstanding, the firm itself has a very good record with cases and customer service for their clients. Covering all bases of criminal law proceedings, including cases that some firms will not even go near. The added bonus of having the option of a free consultation is already a good sign of things to come if you are looking for representation that may lead to the courtroom, their experience speaks for themselves. As you can read with their testimonials as well as their several television appearances representing and succeeding in a number of high-profile cases.

With 30 years in the business of criminal defence, winning countless awards for representation and business acumen, MK Law has their reputation firmly in the positive camp.

#3 Slades & Parsons Criminal LawLaw firm Melbourne criminal law

Slades & Parsons Criminal Law Firm are yet another example of experience coming to the forefront, coupled with a range of extremely helpful services and additives that put them a cut above most other criminal law firms in the city.

Having a no-nonsense approach to their craft, the specialist team at Slades & Parsons Criminal Law have a number of checkpoints of assurance in terms of their inclusion on the list. They have an easy-accessibility for their services from the get-go, incorporating legal-aid assistance to those who are eligible, as well as a 24-hour hotline which connects to one of their professionals at anytime of the day, which is especially useful for certain criminal charges that require immediate representation.

They have a strong sense of assurance when it comes to their partners and solicitors in their employ as well, focusing on client care and communicative extra-mile tactics that ensure that any client of theirs has a full grasp and understanding of all proceedings taking place.

Their senior partners and VPs all require adherence to strict standards and are accredited ‘Law Institute of Victoria Accredited Criminal Law Specialists’. This marker entails that there is a five-year minimum experience window in the industry, as well as notable ties to bettering their development in their specialisation.

Simply put, going with Slades & Parsons is going with a firm that wears a dedication to always bettering their craft on their sleeve. The firm also carries over 35 years of experience in the field of Victorian Criminal Law, which is certainly a benefactor for anyone who is worries about their prospective future.

#4 Garde Wilson LawyersMelbourne criminal law

Garde Wilson Lawyers has an impressive resume and points of contact in the field of criminal law in Melbourne. Their reputation often precedes them with the founder of the firm Zara Garde-Wilson, an infamous barrister, solicitor, and practitioner in the high court.

One of the principal reasons Garde Wilson Lawyers is on the list is partly due to the incredible attention to detail that is apparent from the get-go, along with a startling reputation in the field of criminal proceedings. Taking on some very high-profile cases with a meticulous and considered approach has been a badge of honour that Garde Wilson wears on their sleeve. The founder herself has over 20 years’ experience on her own in the field of criminal law defence and prosecution which is a mark in and of itself.

They cover a wide range of proceedings in almost every facet of criminal law you can imagine in Victoria, from small cases to supreme court rulings, there is no case that is too large or small for the high-profile firm. They have a 24-hour hotline for instant communication should the need arise and there is special mention to the level of their client care and services that are provided.

#5 May LawyersMelbourne criminal lawyers

May Lawyers rounds out the list with a simple and all-round approach to their legal practices and proceedings. There is a wide range of criminal proceedings they cover from minor offences to serious offences that are all equally focused upon by their team of expert solicitors. There’s a high degree of experience present in the firm, with all the trimmings one can expect from an expert team of criminal lawyers in Melbourne.

Offering free consultations and a range of other helpful additives, there’s not much that can be swayed from choosing this particular law firm if there is indeed credence in your case for a specialised representation. There’s an extra air of compassion present in the testimonials from previous clients who mention the extra care and conversation that’s injected into their own proceedings.

What To Look For With Criminal Lawyers

When looking for a criminal lawyer for representation in your case, it’s imperative that you have a few considerations in the back of your mind as you choose representation. As most criminal cases can take upwards of several years, it’s not a light decision to be making, or one made without careful consideration. A few of the key things to look out for in your representation are:


No two cases are ever the same, as such, having a criminal lawyer firm representing you in the courtroom should have a reflection of the charges that you are facing. There are some firms that have deep-seeded specialty in one or a few facets of criminal law.

Criminal law has a large area of coverage and there are some firms that are simply more appropriate for certain cases than others. This can extend to the degree of the crime to the level of court it is being seen in.

Communicative AbilityMelbourne lawyer talking to client

There is a need of communicative ability on both sides of the coin so to speak. Not only should there be an ease of communication between your representative and yourself, but also a proven communicative ability in all court settings. This can usually be ascertained by seeing their history of court appearances and testimonials by those who go to trial.

Having a good and honest communication ability from your lawyer will pay off dividends down the line.


A necessary degree of compassion falls under the umbrella of a good and respectable criminal lawyer in Melbourne. This also falls in the client service realm of consideration; compassion is necessary for criminal law proceedings due to the overwhelming emotional impact a case can have. Especially for the longevity of the proceedings which as mentioned earlier, can be from several months to years.


Of course, all criminal lawyers should have this particular facet to their approach when it comes to defence in the courtroom, and even more so with the added caveat of high-stakes rulings that typically associate themselves with criminal law proceedings.

The tenacity also goes hand in hand with their passion and commitment to their craft, having a firm that is dedicated and noteworthy for going the extra-mile in their job is always a complementary add-on to their success rate.

Choosing The Right One

Choosing the right lawyer is all about a combination of having the above considerations for the type of lawyer you want representing you as well as some mitigating factors that are specific to you.


There should always be consideration for your own budget throughout the proceedings, which has a direct correlation with your own case and financials. There are always options for some firms to take pro-bono cases if the situation allows, but this is all about the situation you find yourself in. As mentioned earlier, no two cases are ever the same, so the consultation is where the cards will be dealt accordingly.

ReputationCriminal lawyer from Melbourne firm

The reputation of the law firm you are going for is a major factor in terms of their previous clients’ success rates as well as their trustworthiness in your own proceedings. There are ways to gauge this particular factor, recommendations from trusted friends and confidants are always a good start, doing a bit of research through testimonials is also a great way to determine their standing in the community as well as their success rate amongst others.

Initial Meetings

There’s a lot to be said about the first meetings, especially when it comes to finding the criminal defence you’ll be requiring. First impressions do have a major impact on the case at hand, therefore its imperative to have the first consultation be as effective and concise as possible. The firm that is worthwhile going with is the one that will be honest, forthcoming, and realistic from the first meeting, the ones that promise the world are not always the ones to go for. Remember, it’s about confidence not arrogance.

Final Thoughts

There are many factors that contribute to an effective criminal lawyer in Melbourne, whether its reputation, specialty, experience, or extenuating circumstance. Whatever they may be, it’s important to do your own research on the subject, find the right fit, and always have the first meeting with your criminal lawyers in Melbourne.