Olliers > Manchester, England > Firm Profile

196 Deansgate
M3 3WF

Crime, fraud and licensing > Crime: general crime and fraud Tier 1

Olliers is a ‘standout full criminal service firm’, with a notable reputation in defending clients in general crime cases, investigations, and prosecutions regarding financial crime, business crime, regulatory breaches, and asset recovery. The group of specialists particularly stands out for its proactive approach in handling pre-charge criminal investigations and supporting a range of clients, from company directors and professionals, to private individuals. Practice head and ‘top-class lawyer’ Matthew Claughton is ‘a visionary who has steered the firm from being a group of legal aid criminal defence lawyers to being the most professional legal service providers in the North.’ Stand-out individuals include Zita Spencer, Matthew Corn, and Laura Baumanis.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Claughton

Other key lawyers:

Zita Spencer; Matthew Corn; Toby Wilbraham; Lily Grundy; Laura Baumanis


‘Lily Grundy is consistently exceptional in her well-considered advice to defendants.’

‘Olliers general crime and fraud team really is one of the best criminal defence firms in the North West; the numerous awards that they receive every year evidences the longstanding, consistent excellence of this team. Members of the team give their clients 100% at all times.’

‘Laura Baumanis is outstanding. Her client care is exceptional. She really goes the extra mile and is very good indeed with difficult clients in cases of the utmost seriousness.’

‘Zita Spencer is simply the best. Her compassionate client care is always a priority, and she has superb intellectual strength and works out a game plan that succeeds even with difficult cases. She has a near perfect record of trial acquittals in sexual offences trials. Superb solicitor who is hugely respected on circuit.’

‘The client care provided by Olliers is second-to-none. All of the team go above and beyond in any case, big or small, to ensure that clients receive the best possible representation. They give clear and practical at every stage. They are constantly developing as a team and ensure they remain up to date with any legal changes.’

‘Matthew Corn is an exceptional solicitor. He is the go-to solicitor for serious criminal cases in Manchester. He is extremely thorough and leaves no stone unturned. He is calm and personable, gaining the confidence of clients from the outset.’

‘Matthew Claughton is a visionary. He is the person who has steered the firm from being a group of legal aid criminal defence lawyers to being the most professional legal service providers in the north. He is also a top-class lawyer, especially when it comes to top end financial crime.’

‘Olliers services all areas of criminal law and this is plain from the strength and depth of their criminal team. They are often instructed in multi-handed complex cases and when dealing with complicated fraud matters, their attention to detail is superb. Across the board, their lawyers demonstrate excellent client care.’

Work highlights

Employment > Health and safety

Olliers is firmly established as one of the UK’s leading criminal defence and regulatory law firms. We are based in Manchester with facilities in London and our client base is nationwide. Areas of specialism involve the defence of corporate and financial crime, regulatory offences, serious crime, sexual offences, asset recovery, insolvency disputes, motor offences, inquests and appeals.

We have a particularly strong reputation in the field of ‘crisis management’, frequently receiving instructions during the very early stages of a case, often before an interview has taken place. We understand the stress and anxiety an investigation can cause an individual or a business. We are known for our proactive approach, establishing early dialogue with investigators, keeping publicity and disruption to a minimum whilst looking to bring any investigation to a swift conclusion.

We are four times winners of the Manchester Legal Awards Crime Team of the Year. We are ranked as a Top Tier Crime/Fraud firm in the current editions of The Legal 500 and the Chambers Guide. Our managing director Matthew Claughton has in excess of thirty years experience and is regularly singled out for mention by The Legal 500 and the Chambers.

Criminal defence/regulatory practice areas: We have 14 qualified and highly skilled solicitors working across the sectors below:

Pre-Charge: During any investigation we will always look to making successful ‘representations against charge’. From the outset we will look at early pre-charge engagement with investigators. We will closely scrutinise whether the ‘Charging Standard’ contained within the 2018 ‘Code for Crown Prosecutors’ is met. Wherever possible we will argue that there is not a ‘realistic prospect of a conviction’ or that a prosecution is not in the ‘public interest’ and that no further action should be taken against our client.

Fraud and business crime: We handle a wide range of large scale, complex and often high profile fraud cases. Our team is experienced in dealing with cases prosecuted by the Serious Fraud Office, HMRC investigations, specialist fraud divisions of the police, and the Financial Conduct Authority. Key contact; Matthew Claughton

Regulatory offences: The firm’s regulatory team represents clients in the following regulatory areas; trading standards, food safety and hygiene, trade marks, fire safety, copyright and design breaches, health and safety, environmental damage and, transport law. Key contact; Matthew Claughton

Serious crime: Olliers’ reputation for committed and rigorous defence work means that we attract an enviable volume of heavyweight criminal work. The serious crime specialists have experience in the full range of criminal cases including gangland murders, multi-handed drugs conspiracies, firearms offences, terrorism allegations, people smuggling and a wide range of cases involving undercover operations. The serious crime team has considerable experience of dealing with prosecutions brought by agencies such as the CPS Complex Crime Unit and the National Crime Agency. Key contact; Matt Corn

Internet and cyber crime: Our internet and cyber crime team defends allegations relating to the dark web, distribution of pirated and copyrighted material, hacking and cyber terrorism, identity theft and phishing scams, cyber stalking, revenge porn and indecent images. Key contact; Toby Wilbraham.

Sexual offences: Matthew Claughton heads the team dealing with serious sexual offences and has had notable success during recent years with a particular emphasis on historic rape and sexual assault allegations. Matthew has developed an enviable reputation in proactively defending sexual allegations whilst at the investigative stage. His team also deals with allegations involving sexual communication, grooming and images.

Department Name Email Telephone
Managing Director Matthew Claughton matthewclaughton@olliers.com 0161 827 7010
Business Development Director Ruth Peters ruthpeters@olliers.com 0161 834 1515
Commercial Director Stacey Mabrouk staceymabrouk@olliers.com 0161 834 1515
Serious Crime Matthew Corn matthewcorn@olliers.com 0161 834 1515
Head of Pre-Charge Toby Wilbraham tobywilbraham@olliers.com 0161 834 1515
Sexual allegations Zita Spencer zitaspencer@olliers.com 0161 834 1515
Photo Name Position Profile
Laura Baumanis photo Mrs Laura Baumanis Partner
Nicola Bruce photo Nicola Bruce Senior Associate
Connor Brylczak photo Mr Connor Brylczak Trainee Solicitor
Helen Buxton photo Miss Helen Buxton Associate
Matthew James Claughton photo Matthew James Claughton Managing Director & Solicitor
James Claughton photo Mr James Claughton Associate
Alex Close-Claughton photo Mr Alex Close-Claughton Senior Associate
Matthew Corn photo Mr Matthew Corn Partner
Richard Cornthwaite photo Richard Cornthwaite Partner
Heather Crossthwaite photo Heather Crossthwaite Solicitor
Rebecca Dimond photo Rebecca Dimond Business Executive
Eleanor Harris photo Eleanor Harris Paralegal
Maria Koukou photo Maria Koukou Trainee Solicitor
Kathryn Lloyd photo Kathryn Lloyd Senior Associate
Stacey Mabrouk photo Mrs Stacey Mabrouk Commercial Director & Solicitor
Gareth Martin photo Mr Gareth Martin Partner
Anne-Marie Nicholls photo Anne-Marie Nicholls Senior Associate
Jane Novas-Morell photo Mrs Jane Novas-Morell Consultant Criminal Defence Solicitor
George Odysseos photo George Odysseos Paralegal
Martha Odysseos photo Martha Odysseos Solicitor
Ruth Peters photo Mrs Ruth Peters Business Development and Marketing Director & Solicitor
Isobel Phillipson photo Isobel Phillipson Solicitor
David Philpott photo Mr David Philpott Partner
Hannah  Poole photo Hannah Poole Solicitor
Nathalie Potter photo Nathalie Potter Associate & Head of Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) Department
Hope Rea photo Hope Rea Trainee Solicitor
Zita Spencer photo Zita Spencer Partner
Jack Tomlinson photo Jack Tomlinson Solicitor
Martha Whitehead photo Martha Whitehead Senior Associate
Toby Wilbraham photo Mr Toby Wilbraham Partner
Kate Young photo Kate Young Senior Associate
Number of UK partners : 9
Number of other UK fee-earners : 20