Firm Profile > Cunninghams Solicitors > Manchester, England

Cunninghams Solicitors
M2 2EE

Crime: fraud Tier 2

The serious fraud and organised crime department at Cunninghams Solicitors defends against allegations brought by prosecuting agencies including the SFO, HMRC and the police’s Serious and Economic Crime Units. In addition, the team is also experienced in complex confiscation and restraint proceedings, particularly under the Proceeds of Crime Act. The practice regularly advises clients based abroad who face criminal investigation or prosecution in the UK. David Caplin jointly heads the team with Philip Lythgoe .

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


‘David Caplin is the solicitor that any defendant would want on their side and the solicitor that the prosecution fear a defendant will retain.’

Crime: general Tier 2

Cunninghams Solicitors’ criminal defence team specialises in defending allegations of serious and organised crime. It handles matters including complex drugs offences, gangland homicide and serious sexual offences. The team also has significant experience in the conduct of complex and high value confiscation and restraint proceedings. The department advises clients based abroad who face criminal investigation or prosecution in the UK, including advice regarding extradition. David Caplin and Philip Lythgoe jointly lead the practice.

Practice head(s):


‘They have unrivalled expertise in serious crime such as murder, drug trafficking and organised crime.’

‘David Caplin is a charismatic director of the firm who is a master tactician.’

The firm: Cunninghams is a leading criminal practice specialising in the defence of allegations of serious fraud and serious and organised crime. The practice operates a nationwide service from its head office in Manchester and its base in Central London.

All serious casework is partner led, supported by a team of experienced criminal practitioners who have been involved in defending some of the country’s most high profile and complex allegations of fraud and serious crime. The practice is a founding member of the Very High Cost Case Panel and Specialist Fraud Panel and continues to be one of an exclusive number of firms who are able to be publicly funded to conduct the most serious and complicated cases. Due to their heavyweight workload the firm continues to be at the forefront of defending cases of the most serious, complex and organised crime, many involving multi-jurisdictional issues. This work is complemented by a dedicated department dealing exclusively with proceedings relating to confiscation, the restraint of assets in proceedings brought under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and associated legislation. The practice also offers a complete general criminal defence service bringing to it its experience in dealing with the most serious and complicated of criminal charges.

Principal areas of work
Fraud and business crime: Each year the firm handles the defence of a variety of large-scale fraud allegations which are prosecuted by amongst others the Serious Fraud Office, HMRC, Financial Conduct Authority, Trading Standards, DBEIS, the National Crime Agency as well as the Economic Crime Units of the Police. The firm advises suspects from the very outset of a criminal enquiry providing pre-charge advice and negotiation, advice during interview and the providing the highest quality representation in court proceedings.

The firm acts for businesses and individuals facing allegations of boiler room fraud, mortgage fraud, banking fraud, including missing trader and VAT fraud. It has been involved since the inception of the Bribery Act 2010 in defending high profile allegations of bribery and corruption often involving those persons entrusted by the public. It has extensive experience in dealing with the most serious accusations of large-scale money laundering including that of alleged terrorists’ funds.

Serious and complex crime: Cunninghams handle the defence in an extensive caseload of serious crime including homicide, multi defendant drugs conspiracies, firearms offences, people trafficking and allegations of gangland murder. The firm routinely defends cases prosecuted by the CPS Complex Crime Unit.

Asset recovery: The firm has a dedicated department devoted to the protection of clients’ assets in forfeiture and confiscation proceedings which regularly amount to millions of pounds. The department has a reputation for achieving excellent outcomes for clients due to their tenacity in this area and their successful challenging of prosecution evidence and presumptions.

Regulatory offences: Cunninghams represent clients charged with regulatory offences in areas such as environmental, health and safety, trademarks, food safety and hygiene as well as Cosmetic Regulations amongst others.

Sexual offences: The firm has a long-standing reputation for defending serious sexual allegations, particularly historic cases and has been involved from the outset in the defence of a number of high profile individuals caught up in the recent nationwide enquiries into historic abuse in football.

Department Name Email Telephone
Director David Caplin
Director Philip Lythgoe
Associate Director Sarah Housley
Fraud and complex crime David Caplin
General crime Philip Lythgoe
Photo Name Position Profile
 David Caplin  photo David Caplin Director
 Sarah Housley  photo Sarah Housley Associate Director
 Philip Lythgoe  photo Philip Lythgoe Philip Lythgoe’s career has moved from commercial practice to serious criminal defence…
Number of UK Directors : 3
Number of other UK fee-earners : 5
England & Wales Law Society