Cunninghams Solicitors > Manchester, England > Firm Profile

Cunninghams Solicitors
M2 2EE

Crime, fraud and licensing > Crime: general crime and fraud Tier 2

Cunninghams Solicitors‘ complex fraud and crime team focuses on defending allegations of serious fraud and organised crime brought by the main prosecuting agencies, including the Serious Fraud Office, HMRC and the Complex Case Units of the Crown Prosecution Service. The department is also experienced in the conduct of confiscation and restraint proceedings, particularly under The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. Practice head David Caplin handles serious fraud, money laundering and tax evasion investigations. Director Sarah Housley works on fraud and confiscation cases.

Practice head(s):

David Caplin

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Housley


‘The firm clearly runs a very professional operation.’

‘In an increasingly difficult legal aid environment, the team at Cunninghams provide a quality and comprehensive service.’

‘The firm as a whole is one of the best I have worked with, maintaining a high quality of service to client in difficult times.’

‘Sarah Housley is a fantastically dedicated solicitor in fraud.’

‘Both David Caplin and Sarah Housley are extremely personable and take client care very seriously.’

‘David Caplin has vast knowledge and experience. He fights hard but fair for clients.’

‘Sarah Housley has an ability to marshal and understand large volumes of information, excellent interpersonal skills.’

Work highlights

    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.

    Director David Caplin
    Director Philip Lythgoe
    Associate Director Sarah Housley
    Fraud and complex crime David Caplin
    General crime Philip Lythgoe
    Sarah Housley photo Sarah HousleyAssociate Director
    Philip Lythgoe photo Philip LythgoePhilip 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