Crime: fraud in North West

Barnfather Solicitors

Recognised for its team of 'powerful and intelligent litigators', regulatory and business crime firm Barnfather Solicitors defends complex and high-profile serious fraud and financial crime cases. Core areas of work include bribery and corruption issues, money laundering work, company internal investigations, cartels, price-fixing allegations and extradition work; the firm is highly recommended for cases with a multi-jurisdictional element. Anthony Barnfather leads the practice, and has developed a niche in advising clients involved in failed tax structuring schemes that are being prosecuted by HMRC. Gary Broadfield is noted for his expertise in high-value fraud and computer crime mandates.

Practice head(s):

Anthony Barnfather

Other key lawyers:

Simon Morgan; Gary Broadfield


‘This is a boutique firm specializing in important commercial crime and related areas. The work is high quality often with an international dimension. The team is composed of powerful and intelligent litigators.’

‘Extremely diligent and hard-working, bringing multi-disciplinary skills to bear on financial and commercial crime and cognate civil matters.’

‘Anthony Barnfather is driven, committed and tenacious.’

‘The stand-out member of the firm is the founder, Anthony Barnfather. He is innovative in his application of the law to the facts of the case. He is renowned for his dogged pursuit of disclosure. He is fearsome and pursues his client’s case professionally and with determination. I have no hesitation in stating he is among the top echelon of solicitors in England and Wales for complex serious fraud (including revenue fraud) and business crime.’

‘I have been very impressed by Gary Broadfield, who is a outstanding solicitor. He shows great case analysis, good tactical judgment and excellent client care skills. His briefs are prepared exceptionally. He is one to watch.’

‘Anthony Barnfather – astute, strategically and tactically excellent coupled with a very empathetic human approach. Great command of the law in his field.’

‘Attention to detail and sheer hard work is impressive but the thinking outside the box is where this firm stands out.’

‘Simon Morgan stands out as a solicitor who has repeatedly represented clients facing investigation for serious and complex matters who by reason of his early intervention and hard work have avoided charge and trial.’

Work highlights

  • Acted for a director of a manufacturing company in a controversial prosecution brought by the Department of Transport.
  • Advised a Brazilian national, a former senior executive in the offshore oil and gas industry, who was subject to criminal investigation by the Brazilian Ministry of Justice.

Cartwright King

The 'diligent and thorough' Michael Balmer heads up the fraud and business crime department at Cartwright King, which defends directors, senior employees and the management of multinational companies against allegations of bribery and other serious financial crime. The team has extensive experience advising on investigations and prosecutions bought by the SFO, FCA and HMRC. The practice also handles a range of legal aid and insurance-backed work, and represents corporate clients, from small businesses to multinational companies, from across a range of sectors including the banking, investment, health, construction and manufacturing industries.

Practice head(s):

Michael Balmer

Other key lawyers:

Richard Cornthwaite


‘An excellent team that delivers client-focused service. The team are always available for their clients and supportive through what can be difficult moments for some.’

‘Mike Balmer is an excellent, hard working, thorough and client-focused solicitor who is great to work with.’

‘Michael Balmer is incredibly personable with his clients and works very hard to try and make them feel very supported.’

‘Mike Balmer is excellent – calm, authoritative and organised.’

‘Michael Balmer is outstanding in his case management and client care. He brings teams together in large cases at a very early stage in proceedings which gives lay clients confidence.’

‘Michael Balmer is diligent and thorough. He says what he is going to do, and does it, which is surprisingly rare. He is a calm and reassuring presence for lay clients who find themselves in difficult and stressful situations, patiently ensuring that they understand the complexities of their case. He can quickly cut through to the heart of complex cases and identify the strengths from his client’s perspective.’

Farleys Solicitors LLP

Farleys Solicitors LLP fields a team of 'true experts' in serious fraud cases, especially high-value revenue fraud. The practice also has extensive experience in handling matters relating to carousel frauds, Ponzi schemes, cybercrime and advance fee frauds, and has recently been advising on furlough frauds. 'Exceptional' team lead Paul Schofield handles international fraud and money laundering cases, while Bridgette Hibbert is noted for her experience in proceeds of crime applications and confiscation proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Paul Schofield

Other key lawyers:

Bridgette Hibbert; Laura Walmsley


‘Paul Schofield is quite exceptional. His work ethic knows no limits and he utilises his decades of experience to put the client and his/her case first. He gets results.’

‘Led by Paul Schofield, the fraud team at Farleys are at the very top of their game and excel in this area. They work well together and are all hard working and committed. They adopt an incredibly high level of client care and are available to the client and counsel at all times of the day any day of the week. They have a down to earth and realistic approach to cases which helps clients to focus on the issues and understand their cases.’

‘They are a firm which has true experts in the defence of serious fraud. They have been involved in the defence of many of the largest frauds of the last two decades which have been brought by the SFO, HMRC, Trading Standards and DBIZ. They are adept with computer technology which is essential for modern practice. They have some of the best forensic accountants to call upon.’

‘Paul Schofield is a charismatic solicitor who has a wealth of experience in fraud. He is the person that you want on your side at interview. He is dedicated to the best result for the client from start to finish. He is great with clients and is able to bring a reassuring presence to the most stressful of situations.’

Forbes Solicitors

Forbes Solicitors' 'premier' financial crime team defends clients in a broad range of cases, including fraud, tax, internet and cybercrime mandates, as well as mortgage fraud, civil and criminal restraint and forfeiture proceedings. The department frequently handles multi-handed conspiracies, and also acts in pension fraud, bribery and corruption, money laundering and cryptocurrency fraud cases. Preston-based Daniel King, who has extensive expertise in banking and mortgage fraud, jointly heads up the team with 'stand-out solicitor' Craig Liversidge in Salford; Liversidge is particularly known for his Crown Court experience, representing clients charged with conspiracy to defraud and serious and complex organised financial crime.

Practice head(s):

Daniel King; Craig Liversidge


‘A very well-organised and committed firm who offer an excellent service to clients being investigated for serious fraud.’

‘The firm increasingly acts for corporate clients and senior business executives in respect of both internal and external financial investigations. The fact that corporate clients from all over the country, and indeed the Continent, now seek the advice of the firm speaks volumes for the manner in which the firm is viewed by those who have the ability and financial resources to seek advice from anywhere.’

‘Forbes have had a hallmark of quality and reliability for many, many years. They are one of the premier firms in general crime but especially in heavyweight fraud.’

‘Craig Liversidge is a stand-out solicitor. I have worked alongside Craig for many years and have always found him to provide the best service to clients. He is always available to be contacted and ready to provide answers. If ever I needed legal assistance, Craig would be the person I would call. Craig goes to great lengths to provide an outstanding service to all clients.’

‘Forbes are an industry-leading firm in the North. Craig Liversedge and Daniel King have established an outstanding reputation in business crime and complex fraud cases. Their attention to the unique needs of each and every client allows them to build powerful working relationships, often yielding impressive results. As a firm, they command the respect of prosecuting authorities, counsel and the judiciary. Their expertise and experience in many of the recent leading white-collar criminal cases is testament to their prowess in the field.’

‘Craig Liversedge and Daniel King are devoted to achieving the best possible results for their clients. That process begins with meticulous preparation and a complete command of the facts of each case. Each of them place their client and their instructions at the centre of the case, ensuring that, together, they are able to advance their case to the best possible effect. Highly effective working relationships with leading experts and counsel combine to ensure that the correct specialist team is assembled in readiness for trial situations.’

‘Craig Liversidge has vast experience and just understands cases and how best to approach them tactically. He is in huge demand and has the best client base that I have seen of any solicitor.’

JMW Solicitors LLP

The 'immensely talented' business and financial crime team at JMW Solicitors LLP advises businesses and business-owners on investigations and prosecutions instigated by industry regulators. The team has extensive experience defending instances of financial wrongdoing, including HMRC and FCA investigations and proceeds of crime matters. Peter Grogan leads the team, and the 'vastly experienced' Mike Rainford is noted for his expertise in complex fraud and tax investigations.

Practice head(s):

Peter Grogan

Other key lawyers:

Mike Rainford; Ian Lewis


‘Mike Rainford remains as the go-to solicitor for the major fraud and crime clients in the north-west.’

‘The team provides an efficient, cost effective and professional service.’

‘Ian Lewis – great tactical awareness, always thinking outside the box, only works on top end cases. Mike Rainford – vastly experienced solicitor, really thorough on his cases, with an excellent knowledge of cases. Very smooth and calm. ’

‘Well-led team which provides a first class service to the client.’

‘The team is strong from top to bottom. Professional yet approachable.’

‘The fraud team at JMW is immensely talented and with a wealth of experience in the most serious and complex fraud cases. The practice is unique because it boasts a group of senior solicitors of the highest calibre who are all at the very top of their game. In summary, a practice that is geared up to provide a top drawer service to clients in the biggest and best fraud cases.’

‘JMW have some extremely experienced individuals who have been at the coalface of the big cases for a number of years. They are able to draw on that experience and knowledge to deliver outstanding client service and outstanding results. The firm is also backed up by some very very good junior members.’

Key clients

Police Federation of England & Wales

Police Superintendents Association of England & Wales

ParkingEye Ltd

British Parking Association

Smart Parking Ltd

UK Parking Control Ltd

CP Plus Ltd Trading as Group Nexus

Horizon Parking Ltd

Work highlights

  • Handled a Trading Standards investigation in relation to a fashion agency.
  • Represented three defendants in a fraud involving 41 complainants and a loss amounting to £3.5m.

MSB Solicitors Ltd

Liverpool-based MSB Solicitors Ltd defends clients in a broad range of serious fraud, criminal and regulatory cases. The practice is particularly well known for its experience in excise prosecutions and advising on proceeds of crime issues. Paul Gallagher heads up the team, and Sean Sexton is noted for his work representing individuals who are the subject of major criminal investigations by HMRC. Jeremy Asher predominantly represents clients seeking to bring private prosecutions.

Practice head(s):

Paul Gallagher

Other key lawyers:

Sean Sexton; Andrew Pearson; Jeremy Asher


As a 'tight-knit and skilled' specialist defendant crime firm, Olliers is noted for 'responsively and diligently' handling serious fraud allegations, with core pillars of the department including pension and investment fraud mandates. Other key areas of work include money laundering issues, NCA and HMRC investigations and proceeds of crime confiscation matters. Practice head Matthew Claughton specialises in allegations of serious fraud and regulatory issues; he regularly acts for clients in investigations, and has a strong reputation in crisis management work.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Claughton


‘The team is a tight knit and skilled one.’

‘Matthew Claughton has an excellent practice, with a significant degree of private work.’

‘As a firm, Olliers has earned its richly deserved reputation for success. The firm shows real strategic acumen, often changing the outcome of a prosecution and even, in many cases, avoiding prosecution altogether, by identifying the weaknesses in a prosecution through a process of careful analysis.’

‘Olliers are the best all round criminal firm in Manchester. It is such a tight knit outfit that it is like dealing with a family. They have strengths across the spectrum of criminal offences. In fraud matters I have known Olliers to be involved with the leading cases on circuit and beyond. They have a national presence and the reason that they are able to compete with the usual firms in this area is down to the significant experience they have gathered over many years.’

‘Matthew Claughton is top class for any financial crime requirement. When you instruct him you are assured of the very best service and the very best result.’

‘An excellent regional firm handling complex, sensitive, high profile work responsively and diligently – you know you’re in excellent hands with this team.’

Stephensons Solicitors LLP

The financial crime department at Stephensons Solicitors LLP defends clients in high-profile investigations and prosecutions brought by organisations including the SFO, FCA, HSE and HMRC. The practice is particularly recognised for its VHCC work, handling land-banking issues, Ponzi schemes, boiler room issues, and VAT and investment fraud, as well as tax evasion and money laundering mandates. 'Stand-out performer' Correna Platt, who has significant experience representing clients in serious fraud, restraint and confiscation orders and proceeds of crime issues, jointly heads up the practice with Sean Joyce.

Practice head(s):

Sean Joyce; Correna Platt

Other key lawyers:

John Greenwood


‘Stephensons are a good firm that have a great reputation in criminal fraud work. They have a hard working team, and managed the pandemic well, with very quickly mobilising a large firm to work remotely.’

‘Correna is the stand-out performer who is super sharp and has a fantastic ability of putting every client at ease. We know she is a very safe pair of hands and manages the transition in a very caring and professional manner. She is extremely knowledgeable and a very experienced lawyer.’

‘Sean Joyce is an intelligent and adaptable lawyer who is at home in all species of criminal litigation but who has made a specialism of working in cases with a regulatory dimension, such as those from professional or trade discipline or medical background. Correna Platt is an unflappable and experienced lawyer with an unerring ability to get directly to the problem. In a recent case that we did together she corralled complex facts into a workable format. She is able to transmit with force her piercing critique of the prosecution’s case.’

‘Correna Platt was diligent, patient and necessarily robust in her approach in what was a rather complex and demanding case. Her resolute refusal to compromise ethical standards which were tested at every turn was commendable.’

Work highlights

  • Defended a multi-handed fraud case regarding the false selling of legal products.
  • Represented a client charged following a protracted National Crime Agency investigation into an organised crime group which it has alleged is responsible for conspiring to import large quantities of Class A and B drugs.
  • Represented a client in a trading standards operation involving counterfeit music compact discs.

Burton Copeland LLP

At Burton Copeland LLP, Nick Terry has expertise in tax fraud mandates and consultant Mike MacKey handles general fraud work including white-collar crime matters. The team also assists with boiler room fraud, money laundering work and investigations.

Other key lawyers:

Nick Terry; Mike MacKey

Clyde & Co LLP

The fraud practice at Clyde & Co LLP specialises in insurance fraud and acts for a number of motor insurers and personal insurance providers. Key areas of work include staged and contrived accidents, bogus passenger claims, and low velocity cases; the team is particularly recommended for matters involving highly organised multi-insurer fraud rings. Karen Elliott and Damian Rourke jointly lead the department.

Practice head(s):

Damian Rourke; Karen Elliott

Other key lawyers:

Ben Parkin; Elinor Willis


‘The team at Clyde & Co are an extension to our current team. The relationship, way of working and approach to the cases has been exceptional. There are regular, consistent meetings to help develop our relationship.’

‘The two individuals I speak with at Clyde are approachable, friendly, professional and nothing is too much. They will accept feedback, notify us on cases that they think need consideration and continue to report frequently on the working relationship between our teams, not just the MI figures. No case is too big or small and every consideration is given to reporting and updating our teams. The two contacts are Karen Elliot and Ben Parkin.’

‘Karen Elliot – Strong all round but excellent at helping support and develop my staff without having any impact on the supervision of work under her remit.’

‘Ben Parkin – An excellent technician which he is able to transfer to his staff ’

‘Damian Rourke has a keen analytical mind and innovative approach which is second to none. He is fiercely bright, commercially aware and has exceptional judgment.’

‘The team consists of numerous very experienced fraud practitioners. It is refreshing to work with people who are, from the outset, well-versed in the issues that frequently arise in this area of litigation. In my experience the team are enthusiastic and dedicated.’

‘The individuals I work with communicate effectively with clients and Counsel alike. They are clear about what they want but are also keen to take on advice which is offered and assist to ensure that a case runs smoothly. They are approachable and friendly yet efficient.’

Cunninghams Solicitors

The fraud and complex crime team at Cunninghams Solicitors specialises in defending clients against allegations of serious fraud and serious and organised crime. The practice handles investigations and prosecutions brought by organisations including the SFO, HMRC and the Serious and Economic Crime Units, and regularly advises clients abroad facing criminal investigations or prosecutions in the UK. David Caplin heads up the team and is noted for his experience in tax evasion and money laundering investigations.

Practice head(s):

David Caplin


‘David Caplin is a charismatic solicitor who has a wealth of experience in fraud. He is the person that you want on your side at interview. He is dedicated to the best result for the client from start to finish.’

‘Provide a first class service to lay and professional clients.’

‘Cunninghams is a firm that has the clients’ needs at the heart of every decision.’

‘David Caplin: 100% committed to a client’s requirements.’

‘This is a quality boutique practice simply demonstrated by how it punches so much above its weight-its quality fraud work is on a par with much larger practices.’


The fraud and financial crime team at DWF is best known for its work for insurers, relating to motor, casualty and property damage claims. Lorraine Carolan is national head of the department and is noted for her financial risk expertise. Counter-fraud expert Stuart Poole jointly heads up the Liverpool practice with Jewels Chamberlain, who advises insurers on combatting spurious soft tissue and whiplash claims resulting from claims farming.

Practice head(s):

Lorraine Carolan; Jewels Chamberlain; Stuart Poole


‘Genuinely innovative and collaborative approach. Their continuing work in profiling claimant representatives by combining data and market knowledge is unmatched in the market.’

‘Jewels Chamberlain is extremely proactive but also careful to listen to what we need and to provide a bespoke service.’

Key clients





NFU Mutual




Insure the Box



Work highlights

  • Acted on behalf of numerous insurer clients, investigating no-contact road traffic accidents featuring claimants driving mopeds/motorcycles with suspect solicitors, engineers and feeder companies in various locations.
  • Advised Insure the Box on uncovering a fraudulent claim through novel use of telematics data.
  • Acted for insurer company Markerstudy, defending claims made by two claimants who were found to be fundamentally dishonest.

Irwin Mitchell

Irwin Mitchell's team of specialist white-collar crime litigators advises companies and boards on criminal liability issues, compliance work and multi-jurisdictional investigations conducted by authorities including the SFO, HMRC and FCA. The practice also handles bribery and corruption cases, internal investigations, sanctions, insider dealing issues, tax evasion matters and breaches of financial services regulations. Practice head Paul Haycock focuses on defending large, complex criminal and regulatory investigations and prosecutions.

Practice head(s):

Paul Haycock


‘All lawyers I have worked with at IM have an excellent grasp of the law and provide a very high service to clients.’

‘Depth of experience. IM have worked on many of the major fraud, financial services, cartel and money laundering cases and done so to an exceptionally high standard.’

‘They have an astounding ability to work through large volumes of material and prepare working schedules which make their cases accessible. They are very hard working and their criminal trial preparation more closely resembles what one would expect from a highly funded civil case.’

‘They will do everything needed on a case, are proactive and team players – they bring real value.’

Keoghs LLP

Keoghs LLP stands out for its counter-fraud division, which is particularly known for acting for motor insurers. The team also has extensive experience dealing with personal injury fraud and organised fraud rings. Other key areas of work include acting in casualty fraud claims and technical, indemnity and recovery issues relating to insurance fraud. Damian Ward and Ruth Needham, both based in Bolton, jointly lead the practice.

Practice head(s):

Damian Ward; Ruth Needham


‘The Keoghs counter-fraud team have a great knowledge of the law, are tenacious and provide high quality legal advice.’

‘Keoghs are always willing to spend time providing support and advice on pre-litigation strategies we run, ensuring that there is a joined up approach to claims handling both pre- and post-litigation.’

‘Keoghs has always been at the forefront of assessing and identifying new fraudulent practices as they have evolved through opportunism to those masterminded by serious organised criminal gangs.’

‘Keoghs counter-fraud team is highly thought of within my own team. They have assisted us in devising strategies against individual opponents based on their behaviours, which has in effect nullified/forced our opponents to change tack completely. They always keep us informed of market trends, operations and new events in the market.’

Key clients

Direct Line Group

AXA Insurance





Hastings Direct

Work highlights

  • Instructed by EUI Limited on behalf of a policyholder and filed a defence pleading fraud.
  • Advised an insurer on striking out three claims on grounds of fraud.
  • Successfully defended a claim on behalf of Mulsanne Insurance, with a finding of fundamental dishonesty.

Tuckers Solicitors

Tuckers Solicitors acts as defence counsel in allegations of serious fraud and white-collar and business crime proceedings. Key areas of work include benefit fraud, money laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act-related mandates. Franklin Sinclair and Lisa Patton jointly lead the practice.

Practice head(s):

Franklin Sinclair; Lisa Patton

3D Solicitors

3D Solicitors primarily acts for individuals in a wide range of fraud mandates encompassing serious financial crime mandates and money laundering issues. Daniel Berke is a member of the Northern Fraud Lawyers' Association and Deborah Britstone is a key contact for regulatory issues.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Berke; Deborah Britstone

ABR Solicitors

ABR Solicitors defends clients against a broad range of fraud, regulatory, money laundering and proceeds of crime matters including issues relating to Ponzi schemes, VAT fraud, NHS fraud, tax evasion, money laundering and lottery fraud. Rob Rode heads up the team.

Practice head(s):

Rob Rode