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Crime Services

Serious Fraud Solicitors

Are you a professional person accused of fraud? Are you worried about the impact fraud allegations will have on your business reputation or your family?

Bespoke Private Fee Service

If you believe your case is likely to have serious consequences for you now, or in the future and you have the means to pay for this service

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Do we offer free consultations? 

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There are serious consequences to allegations of fraud. That is why you need to contact JD Spicer Zeb’s expert serious fraud solicitors who can help protect you, your reputation and your rights.

We understand that facing a serious investigation, both pre and post-charge, can be a distressing experience for you and your family. We know how important it is that you seek expert representation as soon as possible so that we can provide advice to help secure the best outcome for you and your business.

For a free initial consultation on your legal position and the available options, contact our local offices in LondonBirmingham or Manchester.

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Why choose JD Spicer Zeb?

  • 1000's of Cases Dropped
  • 24/7 Emergency Phonelines
  • 100's of Years Combined Experience
  • Google Reviews Read all Reviews

Are you looking for experienced serious fraud solicitors?

JD Spicer Zeb’s expert serious fraud solicitors in London, Birmingham and Manchester have decades of combined experience with an exceptional level of skill and expertise in this complex area of the law. Over the years, we have been involved in many high-profile prosecutions and have earned an excellent reputation and track record in successfully defending clients involved in all kinds of serious fraud cases.

Our fraud department is led by partner Lisa Nicol - Head of Serious Fraud and Complex Cases - who is a specialist in the field and highly regarded by barristers, KCs and fellow professionals.

JD Spicer Zeb have also been members of the Specialist Fraud Panel and Very High Cost Case Contracting Panel for many years.

All of our serious fraud lawyers have extensive experience of defending fraud investigations in the UK and internationally and we have 7 Grade A Supervisors within the department.

How can we help?

Common questions

We always work with the most experienced and best leading UK barristers, KCs (Kings Counsel). We cover all criminal cases 24/7 at the police station and court. Offices in London, Birmingham, and Manchester cover cases across England and Wales. We can offer Legal Aid and affordable Private fee agreements. We can see you the same day, including virtually. Our Senior Partners supervise all of our cases.

How quickly do you respond?

We respond quickly even during out of hours. We do not get our work by paying for online adverts but based on the fact that few criminal law firms can match our 45 years of experience. Most of our cases are still from word-of-mouth recommendations from satisfied clients. We are called daily by dissatisfied clients from firms with less experience than us. We respond very quickly to new enquiries. We know what clients seek and so we update clients rapidly.

Can you get cases dropped?

Yes, read about the recent cases we've helped our clients with here.

We always keep you updated and give straightforward advice. We will get cases dropped early where the case is weak or should not be prosecuted. We will be upfront with you about where you can benefit from a good result with an early guilty plea, such as a discount on your sentence. As we work on cases across all levels with clients from all walks of life, we are excellent at giving clear, spot-on advice. As an established firm, we can allocate a whole team to your case often at short notice to secure evidence to minimise the damage to you. 

Have you won any awards?


"JD Spicer Zeb demonstrated a clear commitment to client service through their work with vulnerable and diverse individuals in what can be severely traumatic circumstances".

Do you offer free consultations?

Where it is possible, we aim to provide an initial consultation to you. If we can speak to you, we can if required inform you about  –

  • Whether we can take the case on and our relevant experience.
  • Public and private funding benefits.
  • Assistance in applying for legal aid where we are likely to accept instructions.
  • An outline of options in police interview only. We will not advise you on which option to adopt.
  • Providing our free written guide explaining the police station process.
  • The gravity of routine and day-to-day offences you face.
  • Consequences of not attending the court or police station.
  • Consequences of interfering with any witnesses.
  • Retaining any evidence in support of your case.
  • If possible an outline of the elements of the offence that the police or CPS must prove.
  • This consultation will normally be by telephone or email and will only be for as long as we deem necessary to establish if we can act for you. If we cannot usefully give you any advice in this manner then we will not continue with the consultation. We will not discuss the case in depth for you to be able to decide on your plea or any significant aspect of the case, as this cannot be undertaken informally.
  • Referring you, if possible, to other firms for matters out of our specialism or if we cannot help.

Consultations do not apply to the following cases –

  • If we do not intend to take the case on.
  • Road Traffic cases, drink driving, drug driving, driving bans, speeding, no insurance, mobile phone use, points etc.
  • In all cases where we do not have the capacity to take your case or the availability of suitably qualified staff to provide an initial free consultation. This is applicable in all cases but especially where a more senior lawyer is required because of your personal needs or the complexity of the case.
  • Harassment/stalking/ coercive behaviour/malicious communications or road traffic cases and most sensitive cases. These cases are often too complicated to assess in short consultations.
  • The locations concerned may be too distant to represent you adequately or it may not be cost-effective for you or us.
  • The case is too complicated to assess or raises various charges or facts, complexity, or history to be considered informally or in a short consultation.
  • In most Legal aid transfers where legal aid is granted to another firm except in very grave cases, we may assess the case and merits for a transfer.
  • If your relationship has broken down with your existing solicitor or several solicitors.
  • If you have been released under investigation and have already had a police station attendance. 
  • If you hold legal aid with another firm and seek a second opinion.
  • If you are calling on behalf of the client as a friend or family member unless you have full authority and full facts.
  • To businesses.
  • Advising whether you were given good advice by your other solicitor.
  • Whether to decide to plead guilty or not guilty.
  • Whether you have an arguable defence in law or factually complicated defences.
  • Any advice you have had after your first court appearance.
  • Any advice on appeal on conviction or sentence.
  • If we feel we are unable to communicate with you.
  • If we are likely to be conflicted or breach our professional rules.

Why choose JD Spicer Zeb’s serious fraud lawyers?

Our solicitors have access to the most experienced specialist fraud law defence barristers and an enviable network of professionals, including forensic accountants to support our cases.

Our serious fraud solicitors regularly receive recommendations from previous clients and have represented clients from all walks of life, having acted for businesses, solicitors, accountants, doctors, mortgage advisers, bankers and other professionals.

What type of cases do JD Spicer Zeb’s serious fraud lawyers/solicitors take on?

The extent and range of work covered by JD Spicer Zeb’s fraud solicitors is extremely wide and we have defended clients in the following types of fraud and connected proceedings:

  • Carousel Frauds
  • MTIC Frauds
  • Ponzi Frauds
  • Mortgage Frauds
  • Property Fraud
  • Investment Frauds
  • Fraudulent Trading
  • Money Laundering
  • Confiscation Proceedings
  • Restraint Orders
  • Banking Frauds
  • Boiler Room Frauds
  • General Fraud Allegations
  • Inland Revenue Prosecutions
  • DWP Prosecutions
  • Directors Disqualifications
  • Regulatory Investigations
  • Professional Disciplinary Tribunals

Our serious fraud solicitors regularly defend investigations and prosecutions brought by agencies such as:

  • Serious Fraud Office (SFO)
  • National Crime Agency (NCA)
  • Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
  • His Majesty’s Revenue & Customs Solicitors (HMRC)
  • Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)
  • Insolvency Service
  • Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS)
  • City of London Police

We have represented defendants involved in probably the largest ever prosecution undertaken by the SFO, probably the largest carousel fraud brought by HMRC, and a defendant in the largest Ponzi fraud in the United Kingdom.

Specific and notable areas of serious fraud defence work include:

Missing Trader Fraud (also known as MTIC or Carousel Fraud)

These involve allegations of theft of VAT by the exploitation of the way VAT is treated within multi-jurisdictional trading, where the movement of goods between jurisdictions is VAT free. The fraud is investigated by HMRC and prosecuted by the CPS.

Our Defence Team has been involved in many complex and high-profile cases within the UK in recent years. By way of example we have been involved in or continue to represent defendants in the following prosecution operations:

  • Dumas
  • Euripus (probably the largest ever MTIC prosecution)
  • Hayrick
  • Vex
  • Rosary

Our fraud solicitors’ understanding and experience of the background to companies allegedly involved and the complex nature of the allegations is vital when representing clients at interview and trial.

Boiler Room Fraud

Also known as share scams where allegations are that a Boiler Room (often run from outside the jurisdiction) sell shares to investors in companies which prove to be worthless.

We have expertise and experience and continue to represent clients in these types of prosecutions which at their highest level are invariably prosecuted by the SFO.

Ponzi or Pyramid Schemes

Ponzi or Pyramid schemes involve an offer to invest for a very high rate of return; these also often involve unauthorised investment business and theft of investors’ funds.

We have represented clients in a variety of such allegations and our most recent involvement concerned what was probably the largest ever Ponzi scheme ever prosecuted in the United Kingdom.

Money Laundering

Money laundering is concealing, disposing, transferring, removing property which is derived from criminal activity, or the laundering, acquiring, using or possession of such property. Such allegations go hand in hand with fraud allegations. We have significant experience in dealing with extremely serious allegations of money laundering.

Restraint Orders and Confiscation Orders

Restraint Orders are often the precursor to charges; and if convicted Confiscation proceedings. Such Orders freeze the assets of individuals who are suspected of committing a crime. If there is subsequently a conviction or a plea of guilty, Confiscation Orders invariably follow. We have extensive experience of both restraint orders and confiscation, and have been involved and are involved in cases where the prosecution are alleging that the benefit runs into many millions of pounds.

Director’s Disqualification

A Directors Disqualification Order can be made in both criminal or civil proceedings. Any breach of the Order invariably results in a criminal prosecution with the maximum penalty for the offence being two years imprisonment.

The above are just examples of the type of work that our fraud defence and business crime team can assist you with. We have extensive experience of advising clients in relation to these proceedings.

Common questions about fraud offences

What is serious fraud in the UK?

Serious fraud is the term used to describe a wide range of high-value, complex financial or ‘white collar’ crimes. In the UK, serious fraud can refer to a plethora of circumstances and individual actions, with convictions potentially resulting in lengthy custodial sentences.

Both individuals and businesses can be investigated for serious fraud offences.

What is the difference between fraud and serious fraud?

The primary difference between fraud and serious fraud is relatively straightforward. The types of crimes that are considered to be examples of serious fraud are often standard examples of fraud but will relate to much higher values and will also be prosecuted alongside other related offences, such as bribery and corruption.

For example, the SFO defines the offences they investigate as frauds which are high level financial crimes or frauds which are particularly complex in nature.

What are the types of serious fraud?

There are a wide range of business frauds, corporate frauds and criminal frauds which could all be considered examples of serious fraud if the alleged offence is high-value and complex in nature.

Some potential types of serious fraud include, but are not limited to:

  • Carousel Frauds
  • MTIC Frauds
  • Ponzi Frauds
  • Mortgage Frauds
  • Property Fraud
  • Investment Frauds
  • Fraudulent Trading
  • Money Laundering
  • Confiscation Proceedings
  • Banking Frauds
  • Boiler Room Frauds

Does fraud come under civil or criminal law?

There is often some confusion surrounding fraud and whether it can be considered a criminal or civil matter. Fraud can actually be pursued as a civil or criminal matter depending on the circumstances and the impact on the victim.

Civil fraud will usually involve any type of fraudulent activity that a victim pursues by way of private action through the civil courts. This is done to recover any assets that have been lost, or to claim some form of compensation.

Criminal frauds are just that – criminal. Prosecution authorities such as the SFO and police will be involved in an investigation into the matter, and will bring forward a case to the courts where they believe any wrongdoing has taken place.

There is nothing to prevent a victim of serious fraud from pursuing both civil and criminal fraud claims. Some victims may even choose to do this simultaneously.

Who investigates complex fraud cases?

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) are primarily responsible for investigating and prosecuting and instances of high value and complex fraud.

The SFO is a specialist prosecuting authority that specifically tackles top level serious or complex fraud cases. It is important to note that the SFO’s jurisdiction does not extend to Scotland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands.

The SFO will take on a case after assessing the intended or actual harm caused to the public, the reputation and integrity of the UK as an international finance centre, or the economy and prosperity of the UK.

However, the SFO are not solely responsible for investigating such matters. Other relevant bodies, such as the National Crime Agency (NCA), the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and His Majesty’s Revenue & Customs Solicitors (HMRC) can conduct an investigation or support the SFO with their investigation.

What are the sentences for serious fraud in the UK?

The sentence you could receive for serious fraud will largely depend on the precise details of the offence(s) in question.

The range of potential sentences can include fines, right the way through to ten years’ imprisonment.

The perceived harm and culpability are two factors which will ultimately determine the severity of the penalty that is handed out for anyone who is found guilty of serious fraud.

Harm is assessed by the actual, intended, or risked loss that arise from the offence, while culpability refers to the alleged offender’s role and the extent to which the offending was planned out.

Various aggravating and mitigating factors can also influence the final verdict in a serious fraud case.

Examples of aggravating factors include:

  • Previous convictions
  • Offence committed whilst on bail
  • Steps taken to prevent a victim from reporting or obtaining assistance
  • Attempts to conceal evidence
  • Failure to comply with court orders
  • Failure to respond to warnings about behaviour
  • Evidence of wider community impact

Examples of mitigating factors include:

  • No previous convictions
  • Clear remorse for actions
  • Previous good character and/or exemplary conduct
  • Serious medical conditions needing urgent treatment
  • Age and/or lack of maturity
  • Mental disorder or learning disability
  • Activity was originally legitimate
  • Sole or primary carer for dependents
  • Cooperation with investigation

Contact our serious fraud solicitors today

For urgent specialist advice, immediate representation or to speak to us confidentially about a serious fraud case, please do not hesitate to contact our dedicated team of serious fraud lawyers in London, Birmingham or Manchester on telephone:

Or email: solicitors@jdspicer.co.uk

Alternatively, you can fill out our quick online enquiry form and our fraud and scam solicitors will get back to you as soon as possible.

Confidential Consultation

For a confidential consultation, please contact Lisa Nicol or Umar Zeb the  Partners who are head of serious Fraud Cases on 0207 624 7771 or email us at Solicitors@jdspicer.co.uk


In Urgent Cases

For immediate representation and advice from our solicitors for fraud, you can contact our Emergency Number 07836 577 556 and we will provide you with the urgent assistance you need.

How can we help?

  • Umar Zeb
      • Umar Zeb
      • Senior Partner - Head of Private Client Crime
      • 020 7624 7771
      • View profile
  • Lisa Nicol
      • Lisa Nicol
      • Managing Partner - Head of Crime & Serious Cases
      • 020 7624 771
      • View profile
  • Kirit Khushal
      • 0207 624 7771
      • View profile
  • James O'Donnell
      • 020 762 47771
      • View profile
  • Sanjay Cholera
      • 020 7624 7771
      • View profile
  • Ramandeep Rai
      • 0207 624 7771
      • View profile