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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 Partners
  4. Rising stars

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1
    • Adrian Williams - Forbes Solicitors

Cartwright King is 'fantastic' on serious fraud cases. It regularly defends investigations and prosecutions bought by the SFO, NCA, HMRC, the FCA and the Department of Business Innovation and Skills. The firm acts for company directors and professionals on criminal fraud and corruption investigations. Online and cyber crime is a key area of expertise where director Michael Balmer heads the team. Richard Cornthwaite and director Sundeep Soor, who heads the fraud and tax department, are also noted.

Practice head(s):Richard Cornthwaite

Other key lawyers:Michael Balmer; Sundeep Soor


There are no weak links in the team

The team stands out for its application and dedication

Farleys Solicitors LLP has experience in complex financial crime cases and is particularly noted for its experience in high-value revenue frauds, bribery, corruption, conspiracy to defraud, FCA investigations and mortgage fraud. Department head Paul Schofield has vast experience in national and international fraud and money laundering cases and has acted for numerous professionals and company directors. Associate partners Bridgette Hibbert, who specialises in fraud, regulatory and serious crime cases and is experienced in proceeds of crime matters, and Laura Walmsley, who is experienced in VHCC cases, are also key figures.

Practice head(s):Paul Schofield

Other key lawyers:Bridgette Hibbert; Laura Walmsley

Work highlights

  • Advised client, who was one of three people charged with fraud in a prosecution recently brought by the North West Regional Trading Standards Team, following an investigation spanning over four years into the activities of companies offering services to the public covering overpayments of council tax.
  • Defended client in a very large scale VAT fraud with associated money laundering allegations, investigated by HMRC.
  • Represented the company and the director in enforcement proceedings which follow from the local Council’s failed fraud prosecution.
  • Defended client charged with two counts of fraud.  
  • Defended client as one of nine defendants charged with fraud and money laundering following an investigation by Kent Police Money Laundering Teams.

The 'brilliant' team at Forbes Solicitors handles a raft of financial crime cases, with expertise across fraud, tax, internet, cyber crime and mortgage fraud cases, as well as civil and criminal restraint and forfeiture proceedings and the team handles cases across the UK. Daniel King, Craig Liversidge and David Ryan head the team which has recently been bolstered by the arrival of Allan Maidment and Shane Parkin as a result of its acquisition of Maidments Solicitors. Solicitor advocate Adrian Williams heads the POCA team.

Practice head(s):Daniel King; Craig Liversidge; David Ryan

Other key lawyers:Allan Maidment; Shane Parkin; Adrian Williams


The team has a high level of attention to detail

David Ryan works tirelessly and is a great advocate

Craig Liversidge is very hard-working, has a shrewd eye for detail, wins the confidence of clients and secures outstanding results

Work highlights

  • Represented a client on a complex investigation into a £90m tax fraud.
  • Represented client on acomplex investigation into a £50m Ponzi fraud.
  • Represented a client on allegations of conspiracy to defraud and fraud by false representations, in relation to a complex investigation by Trading Standards.
  • Represented the main defendant in a complex, multi-tiered conspiracy to launder the proceeds of crime.
  • Successfully defended client in a conspiracy to possess false instruments to commit fraud brought by the Security Industry Authority (SIA).

The 'dynamic, friendly and committed' team at JMW Solicitors LLP 'does the job properly' and is active across a full range of cases involving financial crime and fraud such as HMRC tax investigations, FCA-regulated matters and POCA cases. The team represents businesses and business owners on investigations and prosecutions by industry regulators. Team head Peter Grogan is 'exceptional'; Evan Wright particularly stands out for his experience in HMRC matters and is often engaged on cross-border cases; and Mike Rainford is noted for his experience in tax fraud investigations.

Practice head(s):Peter Grogan

Other key lawyers:Evan Wright; Mike Rainford; Sam Healey


The team is small and dedicated providing expertise in niche areas of financial crime such as challenging search and seizure operations

Evan Wright has a phenomenal work rate, is 100% reliable, and yet provides a light touch

Key Clients

Police Federation of England & Wales

Police Superintendents Association of England & Wales


Easipet Care




Creative Parking Solutions

Work highlights

  • Advised client on alleged tax evasion and money laundering between 2010 and 2018, in terms of VAT, PAYE and CT.
  • Advised client on a privately pursued civil fraud asset recovery investigation, with potential for a private prosecution.
  • Represented company against HMRC allegations that it had been involved in a VAT chain when they knew or ought to have known that others in the chain had caused HMRC a fraudulent loss of VAT.
  • Representing 10 directors against HMRC allegations that a group and its directors have been facilitating the fraudulent claiming of working tax credits by staff members, the under-declaring of tax liability across the company, fraudulent claims for public funding and under-stating the level of personal income.  
  • Representing a director of a firm of accountants and the corporate entity against allegations brought by HMRC.

MSB Law LLP is 'experienced' in defending cases of serious fraud and enjoys a strong reputation for its ability to handle heavyweight financial crime. Department head Sean Sexton provides 'helpful and pragmatic advice from the outset of a prosecution, ensuring that the client's interests are always comprehensively cared for' and consultant solicitor advocate Andrew Pearson is experienced across white collar crime, serious fraud and regulatory cases. Paul Gallagher (partner non-lawyer) is also a key figure.

Practice head(s):Sean Sexton

Other key lawyers:Paul Gallagher; Andrew Pearson


'Sean Sexton has a well-earned national reputation as a specialist in the largest frauds; he has many years experience in this type of case and it shows.'

'Andrew Pearson stands out for his excellent preparation and attention to detail'

'The partners are always available and nothing appears too much trouble.'

Olliers regularly handles investigations and prosecutions relating to financial crime, business crime, regulatory matters and asset recovery. Investigations conducted by the Serious Fraud Office, HMRC, FCA, NCA, Insolvency Service, HSE and Trading Standards are key areas of expertise. The firm acts for individual and business clients, which have included professionals such as solicitors, accountants, doctors and politicians as well as company directors and business owners. Department head Matthew Claughton and Matthew Corn are key figures.

Practice head(s):Matthew Claughton

Other key lawyers:Matthew Corn

Work highlights

  • Represented client in a Serious Fraud Office investigation facing bribery, corruption and associated money laundering allegations.
  • Represented a solicitor facing allegations of money laundering and conspiracy to defraud.
  • Represented company directors prosecuted following a police investigation into allegations of bribery following substantial data theft.
  • Advised on a police investigation involving three financial advisors suspected of involvement of complex pension liberation fraud.
  • Represented a company director in a Trading Standards investigation facing two counts of conspiracy to defraud.

Stephensons Solicitors LLP regularly handles complex criminal fraud cases and attracts work from all over the UK. The team handles cases involving a range of issues such as land-banking, Ponzi schemes, boiler room, VAT and investment fraud, as well as proceeds of crime, money laundering, tax evasion and restraint orders. The team often defends clients on high-profile investigations and prosecutions brought by a range of agencies such as the SFO, HMRC, the FCA, HSE and the Environment Agency (EA). Correna Platt , who is 'exceptional' and Sean Joyce lead the team, and consultant John Greenwood is 'very experienced'.

Practice head(s):Sean Joyce; Correna Platt

Other key lawyers:John Greenwood

Work highlights

  • Defended client charged with fraudulently obtaining housing benefit on properties that had been rented out.
  • Represented individual charged with fraud which involved confiscation proceedings and deportation issues.
  • Represented a defendant who was arrested and interviewed regarding benefit fraud.  
  • Represented an independent financial advisor on multiple charges of fraud.
  • Represented a client on fraud, false accounting and money laundering allegations.

Barnfather Solicitors handles a range of regulatory and business crime cases and defends on complex and high-profile serious fraud and financial crime cases brought by regulators and enforcement agencies. It represents companies, directors, senior personnel, entrepreneurs and high-net-worth individuals on allegations such as corporate fraud, bribery, corruption, money laundering, internal investigations, cartel and price-fixing. Firm founder Anthony Barnfather has a 'brilliant reputation' and operates across the firm's Manchester and London offices.

Practice head(s):Anthony Barnfather

Other key lawyers:Gary Broadfield

Key Clients

Richard Hughes

Gordon Craig


Work highlights

  • Represented Richard Hughes as the lead defendant in a high-profile HMRC prosecution relating to an alleged tax avoidance scheme.    
  • Represented Gordon Craig, a qualified accountant, in relation to a NCA led investigation into tax fraud, pension liberation and money laundering  
  • Represented three directors in a criminal cartel investigation run by the CMA.  
  • Represented client on a SFO investigation into corruption.
  • Advised client on a HMRC investigation into anti-dumping duties.

Burton Copeland LLP acts for for corporate and individuals across a range of criminal and regulatory proceedings. Department head Erin Cowley acts for defendants in complex fraud, money laundering, BIS and Trading Standards cases and is also experienced in POCA, restraint orders and receivership work.  Consultant Michael Mackey is experienced in fraud and white collar crime and is rated 'excellent'.

Practice head(s):Erin Cowley

Other key lawyers:Michael Mackey

Cunninghams Solicitors is regularly engaged on complex fraud cases and is experienced in confiscation and restraint proceedings, particularly under POCA. The team defends against allegations brought by major prosecuting agencies the SFO, HMRC, the Complex Case Units of the CPS and the police Serious and Economic Crime Units. It has experience in acting for clients abroad facing criminal investigation or prosecution in the UK. David Caplin and Philip Lythgoe head the team.

Practice head(s):David Caplin; Philip Lythgoe

Other key lawyers:Sarah Housley

Work highlights

  • Represented a client who was acquitted of substantial money laundering.
  • Acted for an individual in POCA proceedings pursued by the SFO.
  • Represented the directors in a time share-related fraud.
  • Acted for two clients in a boiler room fraud.
  • Represented a senior bank employee accused of diverting funds in a complex fraud.

DWF 's sizeable fraud and financial crime department also draws on experts based across the firm's UK network of offices. It advises on regulatory compliance matters such as civil, criminal, cyber breach, data breach and fraud, including pension, life, occupational and insurer fraud. It also handles personal injury fraud covering motor and employers liability. Lorraine Carolan, who is based nationally, is the firm's national financial crime and fraud team head.

Practice head(s):Lorraine Carolan

Other key lawyers:Ritchie Irvine; Nigel Teasdale; Joel Heap; Jamie Taylor; James Pinder; Ben Johnson; James Stevens; Colin Bushell 


The team provides expertise on a broad range of topics, which makes it the obvious one-stop shop.

James Pinder is approachable and his advise is solid and dependable; he has a wealth of experience and expertise, and a willingness to work with clients to innovate

The team is client focused and ensures that all work and tasks required to be undertaken are done so promptly and in consultation with right experts required for the case


Key Clients


LV General Insurance


NFU Mutual




Insure the Box



Work highlights

  • Acted for Markerstudy in defending claims made by two claimants which were found to be fundamentally dishonest.
  • Advised Insure the Box on a groundbreaking case which involved the use of telematics data to uncover a fraudulent claim.
  • Advised Liberty on the identification of fraud practices against a doctor, who was imprisoned.
  • Acted for company A on a significant fraud involving erroneous reversal of direct debit payments.
  • Instructed by bank A to deal with an insider large-scale fraud.

Irwin Mitchell acts for individual and corporate clients on criminal liability, compliance and multi-jurisdictional investigations, which includes advising on investigations by the SFO, SFA and HMRC, and internal investigations concerning issues such as internal theft and fraud and also bribery & corruption. Its fraud and financial crime experience spans sanctions, insider dealing, tax evasion and breaches of financial services regulations. Paul Haycock, who is based across the Manchester and Sheffield offices, heads the team.

Practice head(s):Paul Haycock

Keoghs LLP's counter fraud team acts for a number of leading UK insurers, as well as self-insured clients commercial companies and public sector organisations on a range of volume and complex motor, liability, disease, healthcare, abuse, catastrophic injury and insurance fraud mandates. Technical director Damian Ward, director of fraud rings Ruth Needham and James Heath, who operates across the firm's Bolton and Coventry offices, are key figures, as is Ben Leech.

Practice head(s):Damian Ward; James Heath

Other key lawyers:Ruth Needham; Ben Leech

Key Clients





Hastings Direct


Work highlights

  • Represented AICL following some in-house intelligence enquiries which suggested it may have paid out on an RTA claim following misrepresentations by a policyholder and third parties.
  • Advised an insurer client on a trip claim that was found to be fundamentally dishonest  

Despite several changes in the Manchester-based fraud team at  Slater and Gordon, it is often instructed on a number of fraud and financial crime cases. The team defends clients on complex and high-value fraud cases brought by agencies such as the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and HMRC.

Other key lawyers:Alan Greenidge; Jonathon Enston; Lucy Cohen; Chris Fallows

Tuckers Solicitors handles a range of criminal defence, fraud and regulatory cases. It has experience in money laundering, duty evasion and complex regulatory proceedings. Asim Ali, who handles complex fraud and regulatory matters, Leigh Wright, who has experience in restraining orders in international financial cases as well as European duty evasion fraud, and Franklin Sinclair head the team.

Practice head(s):Asim Ali; Leigh Wright; Franklin Sinclair

Work highlights

  • Represented a client on a complex fraud and misleading sales practices matter.

3D Solicitors handles a range of regulatory, professional discipline and criminal law matters. In the fraud sphere, Daniel Berke, who has experience across VAT fraud, advanced fee fraud and mortgage fraud cases, is a key contact, as is Deborah Britstone.

Practice head(s):Daniel Berke; Deborah Britstone

Work highlights

  • Represented a company director in a complex, high value VAT fraud case.
  • The firm is representing an individual who was arrested in relation to allegations of fraud and money laundering concerning Northampton Borough Council and Northampton Town Football Club.

ABR Solicitors is a 'major player in the criminal fraud market in the North West'. It handles a range of serious fraud and money laundering cases and defends individuals investigated and prosecuted by agencies including the SFO, FCA, HMRC, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills and the NCA. Rob Rode heads the team and Tony Murphy's 'preparation in the large fraud cases is meticulous and thorough'. 

Practice head(s):Rob Rode

Other key lawyers:Tony Murphy


The firm is a well thought of practice on the North West

Tony Murphy is the stand out partner who has extensive experience dealing with serious crime

Tony Murphy  is the main partner in the North West; he is very experienced and hugely committed for his clients.

Criminal defence firm Carter Moore Solicitors  handles a range of fraud and financial crime mandates, which covers  boiler room fraud, money laundering MTIC carousel fraud, Ponzi scheme and pyramid scheme fraud, and VAT and tax fraud. The firm's dedicated proceeds of crime team is led by Helen Lynch and Mark Carter, who heads the criminal law team, handles a range of serious crime and commercial fraud cases.

Practice head(s):Mark Carter; Helen Lynch

Other key lawyers:Jeremy Moore

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