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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > North West > Crime, fraud and licensing > Crime: fraud > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Crime: fraud
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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    • Bridgette Hibbert - Farleys Solicitors LLP

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Farleys Solicitors LLP has an ‘extremely efficient, thorough, affable and knowledgeable team’ that is ‘immensely experienced at acting for professional clients as well as lay clients’. The ‘truly excellent’ department is led by the ‘superb and vastly experienced’ Paul Schofield, who is a Very High Costs Panel supervisor and a Higher Courts (Criminal) Advocate – ‘he leaves no stone unturned for his clients and is the master of patient strategy’. The ‘tactically astute’ Bridgette Hibbert is praised for her knowledge of all aspects of business crime and regulatory matters; she ‘rapidly identifies the relevant issues in complex cases, easily develops a rapport with clients and has the knack of explaining complicated issues in simple terms’. Other key figures include Sian Hall, who regularly represents clients in cases involving fraud, money laundering, cybercrime and confiscation; and solicitor Laura Walmsley.

Garstangs Cartwright King LLP has a ‘long history of success in defending the largest fraud cases’. Key figures include the ‘immensely experienced’ Lesley Burrows, Richard Cornthwaite (‘an oasis of calm in the storm’), the ‘excellent’ Gary Broadfield, a ‘no-nonsense pragmatist’ who has particular expertise in defending allegations of internet-based crime involving hacking, data theft and harassment through social media, and Michael Balmer, who is a higher court advocate and an ‘outstanding white-collar crime advocate’. The group continues to act in some of the most high-profile and complex white collar crime cases currently being prosecuted in the UK, and is adept at defending investigations and prosecutions brought by the SFO, NCA, HMRC, the FCA and the Department of Business Innovation and Skills. The practice’s workload comprises a mix of privately paid, legal aid-funded and insurance-backed fraud work.

JMW Solicitors LLP is ‘one of the go-to outfits in the North West for complex fraud cases’, with clients singling out Peter Grogan, who heads the business crime and regulation team and has a ‘fantastic rapport with clients; his ability to absorb the details of the most complicated cases ensures that he represents his clients effectively and properly’. The ‘outstanding’ practice regularly features in cases involving financial wrongdoing, fraud, FCA-regulated matters including insider trading, and Proceeds of Crime Act matters. Key work included acting for four defendants being indicted for conspiracies to defraud and commit money laundering offences in the UK and overseas arising from the alleged wholesale importation and sale of counterfeit music CDs with an estimated value of £2m. The team features a number of key individuals, including Evan Wright, who attracts praise for his expertise in major financial crime cases; the ‘absolutely excellent’ Mike Rainford; Derek Millard-Smith, who is known for his work in regulatory investigations and his assistance to corporate clients facing criminal charges; and the ‘vastly experienced’ Ian Lewis, who joined from LHS Solicitors LLP.

Clients of MSB Solicitors single out ‘the personal interest the firm takes in each and every case’, and the track record the firm has in complex, large-scale fraud and confiscation cases. Sean Sexton heads the department and is praised for his ‘precise and thorough preparation and extensive knowledge of and experience in serious and complex financial crime. Sexton gives the right support and advice to his clients each time.’ The practice is particularly known for its skill in representing individuals who are subject to major criminal investigations by the HMRC; key matters included representing a professional in a case involving alleged breaches of Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes regulations through the selling of high-risk investment schemes to high-net-worth individuals. The ‘outstanding’ Andrew Pearson is singled out for his specialism in representing defendants who are autistic or suffer from Asperger’s syndrome.

Olliers has an ‘excellent’ fraud practice that is handling a growing privately funded workload in addition to acting in publicly funded matters. Joint practice heads Matthew Claughton and Richard Holliday have defended several significant fraud matters; Claughton’s recent work included acting for the directors of a multi-currency payment processing company in an 18-month criminal investigation, and representing a solicitor in an investigation by the City of London Police relating to alleged money laundering and a complex investor scam. Holliday has extensive experience handling all aspects of commercial fraud and business crime matters; he recently represented a company secretary of an asset financing company who was facing two counts of large-scale conspiracy to defraud banks by way of the fraudulent sale of receivables agreements totalling £160m.

Stephensons Solicitors LLP has ‘amassed a team of bright, adaptive and experienced litigators who know which buttons to press at the investigative stage and beyond’. The team is the ‘real deal; it has a complete focus on clients’ interests and immense experience of how best to defend the most serious business crime’. Head of fraud and regulatory Rachel Adamson ‘sets the tone for the team’s utterly professional approach; she can sniff out a poor prosecution performance from a mile away’. John Greenwood ‘has been in the trenches for a long time and is definitely someone you would want alongside you when the flak starts to fly’. Solicitor Priscilla Addo-Quaye is ‘brilliant at eliciting trust in her clients and managing complex cases’. The team’s VHCC accreditation allows it to act in the most high-value and large-scale cases such as land-banking, Ponzi and VAT fraud, in addition to other areas such as investment fraud, the proceeds of crime and money laundering. It has a proven track record of defending the most high-profile investigations and prosecutions brought by a variety of agencies including the Environment Agency, the SFO and the FCA.

Burton Copeland LLP’s strength ‘lies in its attention to detail and the level of care it gives to clients in all their cases’. The team regularly acts for both corporate and individual clients in relation to high-profile commercial crime, with Kim Holden singled out for her work in large-scale technical fraud, money laundering, tax investigations and corporate crime, and Mike Mackey praised for his work in white-collar crime and for his ‘thoroughness and commitment to his clients’. Clients also single out Erin Cowley, who is acting for a defendant in a personal injury fraud matter involving allegations that the defendant recruited people who subsequently submitted false injury claims via a company set up by the defendant.

Clients consider Irwin Mitchell to be among the ‘leading criminal firms in respect of fraud and white-collar crime’. The team is headed by Paul Haycock, ‘a leader in his field’ who ‘ensures his clients are suitably represented at all times’. Other key figures in the team of ‘professional, knowledgeable and extremely approachable’ solicitors include associate Emma Windle, who ‘leaves no stone unturned, is always well prepared and is extremely diligent’. The team regularly advises individuals, companies and boards on criminal liability, compliance and multi-jurisdictional investigations. It is also well regarded for its extensive experience in internal investigations concerning issues of internal theft and fraud in addition to bribery and corruption. Other areas of expertise include insider dealing and breaches of financial services regulations.

Keoghs LLP’s team is ‘simply excellent; it has huge amounts of experience in fraud, enabling it to to view matters from a business perspective whilst remaining savvy about how things will play out in court’. It acts for many of the UK’s biggest insurers, including Aviva, esure and Allianz, as well as corporate clients on a wide range of insurance fraud issues, including motor fraud, liability fraud, first-party fraud and disease fraud. Key figures include Damian Ward and Ruth Needham. The firm recently acted in a case involving the tort of deceit in relation to nine alleged RTAs against 29 defendants after they made fraudulent compensation claims.

Slater and Gordon has a ‘professional and thorough team’ with a ‘superb reputation’ for proceeds of crime work and for representing corporate clients facing investigation and prosecution by all the major regulators. The ‘hardworking and thorough’ Helen Simm heads the department and is well regarded for her work in white-collar crime and corporate defence work; she is a ‘class act and an exceptional lawyer’.

Tuckers Solicitors specialises in all aspects of criminal defence work, including fraud and regulatory matters. It provides an ‘excellent service’ to clients, who are ‘reassured that its dedicated team will always put clients’ interest first’. Leigh Wright heads the proceeds of crime and complex case unit and is acting in an alleged fraud exceeding £10m where the perpetrators used copies of government websites to garner service fees for the production of visas and other official documentation. Wright is also acting in a case involving a serious allegation of a systematic attempt by six individuals to perpetrate a fraud on Barclays Bank by manipulating the bank’s loan approval system. Other key figures include Franklin Sinclair, who has higher rights of audience, and senior case worker Paul Callaghan, who handles complex fraud matters and is praised for his ‘thorough and detailed case preparation and excellent client-handling skills’.

Abbey Solicitors fields an ‘outstanding and proactive team’ with considerable experience in high-value fraud cases. Nadeem Ullah has a ‘calm and quiet assurance that immediately earns the respect from everyone he meets’; he is acting for three defendants in proceedings involving a £385m MTIC (missing trade intra community) fraud, which involves issues to be considered in the UAE. In another highlight the team acted in a case involving fraudulent claims companies that were set up to defraud insurers and related legal firms.

BLM predominantly handles civil fraud claims and civil enforcement actions with a criminal law component, as well as defending fraudulent insurance claims. Raymond Southern heads the team and handles all aspects of motor fraud and casualty claims in addition to managing punitive civil actions for the recovery of investigation costs. Naomi Grant has considerable experience in defendant insurance litigation and covers all aspects of motor claims fraud including cross-industry fraud investigations. Other areas of expertise include handling fraudulent home policy and casualty claims. Clients include insurers such as Ecclesiastical, Zurich, Allianz and Tradex.

The highly regarded David Caplin heads the team at Cunninghams Solicitors, which is adept at handling serious fraud matters in addition to complex and high-value confiscation and restraint proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act. The team is also skilled at handling cases related to allegations of bribery and corruption often involving people who are trusted by the general public. The group also handles matters concerning the Bribery Act 2010, particularly where the alleged offences have been committed abroad. Recent work includes acting for two defendants in bribery allegations, and acting for a UK company director in a wide-ranging criminal enquiry into alleged VAT fraud.

DWF’s Jamie Taylor ‘has encountered most of the challenges imaginable in fraud litigation; time and time again he delivers a robust approach, demonstrates excellent attention to detail, has sound judgement and achieves outstanding results’. The firm’s excellent counter-fraud team acts for clients such as the RSA and QBE. Highlights included acting for ERS where a suspended prison sentence was handed down to a fraudulent claimant – the suspension of the sentence was conditional on the payment of £5,000 by the claimant.

Daniel King heads the ‘strong’ financial crime team at Forbes Solicitors, which advises on various fraud, tax, internet and cybercrime cases. The department recently successfully defended a client in one of the UK’s largest-ever mortgage fraud cases, and acted for a businessman in a case concerning allegations of multimillion-pound procurement fraud. It is also handling a significant number of complex fraud investigations and large-scale conspiracies to defraud.

Linskills handles the full range of regulatory and financial crimes ranging from bribery and money laundering to income tax and VAT fraud. Julian Linskill is a key contact.

Richard Nelson LLP is a boutique practice that primarily concentrates on high-value cases for clients with a commercial background. Mark Wilson is well known for his track record in tax-based investigations and prosecutions, and Richard Nelson is skilled at cases involving legal professionals. Jonathan Wright is highly regarded for handling cases involving complex issues relating to money laundering and the proceeds of crime.

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