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?

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.

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.

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:

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, Partner & Head of Serious Fraud and Complex Cases on 0207 624 7771 or email  Or contact Senior Partner Umar Zeb.

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.

  • 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
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  • Philip Spicer
      • 020 7624 7771
      • View profile

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