Why choose us

Cunninghams is a specialist criminal practice specialising in the defence of allegations of serious fraud, and serious and organised crime. We act nationwide from our head offices in central Manchester and base in central London, and provide a service to clients throughout England and Wales on both a publicly funded and private basis. We are ranked as a Category 1 firm in the most recent edition of the Chambers and Partners guide to the legal profession. Our legal team is led by the three directors, Philip Lythgoe, David Caplin and Sarah Housley who are recommended as having an “ability to inspire client confidence which is second to none, borne in part through experience but also through a clear sighted determination to secure the best possible outcome for their clients,” in the latest edition of the Legal 500 clients guide to the UK legal profession.

Cunninghams was established in 1987 and was one of the founding members of the Very High Cost Case Panel and Specialist Fraud Panel. We are one of an exclusive number of firms who are able to be instructed on a publicly funded basis to conduct the defence of the most serious and complicated criminal cases.

The mainstay of our practice is serious and complex casework, predominantly fraud but also serious organised crime such as large-scale drugs conspiracies, people trafficking and murder. In addition we are experienced in the conduct of complex and high-value confiscation and restraint proceedings, particularly under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, with outstanding outcomes. We also offer a complete general criminal defence service, bringing the experience of all our lawyers have in dealing with the most serious and complicated of criminal charges.

All of the serious casework is Director-led. We offer advice to suspects from the very outset of a criminal enquiry, in an effort to have matters resolved for clients without the need for lengthy, protracted and uncertain court proceedings. This involves providing detailed pre-charge advice, negotiation and Director representation during interview. Our recognition of the significance of the investigation and interview stage in serious and complex allegations, and the impact that that can have on the whole future of the case, is reflected in the deployment of the most senior staff members during the interview and investigation process. We act for defendants at every level of the criminal court system throughout England and Wales and have excellent relations with the UK’s leading barristers chambers, allowing clients to be invariably represented by first choice barrister of the highest quality. We defend allegations brought by all of the main prosecuting agencies in serious crime and fraud, including the Serious Fraud Office, HM Revenue and Customs, the complex case units of the Crown Prosecution Service, and the serious and economic crime units of the police. The firm represents businesses and individuals facing all manner of allegations of white-collar crime, including investment fraud, mortgage fraud, banking fraud and revenue fraud, including missing trader and VAT fraud.

The practice is involved in defending and advising in high-profile allegations of bribery and corruption, often involving those persons entrusted by the public, including offences under the Bribery Act 2010 which have been committed in foreign jurisdictions.

Further information concerning each of our Directors can be found here. Cunninghams Solicitors are regularly instructed to act for celebrities and defend cases attracting significant media attention. To see examples of our recent cases please refer to the case studies section of our website.