HomeLeading Criminal Defence and Regulatory Law Firm Manchester & London

Leading Criminal Defence and Regulatory Law Firm Manchester & London

Why Choose Olliers Solicitors?

People visit our website when they or their business are being investigated by the police or by one or more of a wide range of authorities – or after they have been charged by the police or an authority. If that is you, then you have come to the right place. 

Olliers is one of the UK’s leading criminal defence and regulatory law firms, specialising in the defence of individuals, businesses, and other organisations across a broad range of corporate and financial crime, regulatory offencesserious crime and sexual offences. We act in professional discipline matters. We use the same skillset to represent individuals and organisations facing criticism before inquests and public inquires.

We are ranked as a “Top Tier” defence & regulatory firm by the Legal 500 and the Chambers Guide. In 2024 we won the award for Crime Team of the Year at the Manchester Legal Awards for the seventh time. We are a Times Best Law Firm 2024. 

Our Managing Director Matthew Claughton is the 2023 Legal 500 Northern Powerhouse Criminal Lawyer of the Year. Matthew is also the only two time Partner of the Year at the Manchester Legal Awards most recently in 2021. In the same awards fellow director Ruth Peters was recognised as Solicitor of the Year 2021. Eight of our lawyers are singled out for mention by the Legal 500.

We have been a leading defence firm for decades. We have over 25 solicitors, all defence specialists. More than that each has a sub-specialism within defence work. This means we can match every client with the best lawyer for their case. We are here to get you the result you want – and our results speak for themselves. 

We understand the stress and anxiety of a prosecution. That’s why, wherever possible, our focus is on avoiding charges being brought in the first place. The earlier we get involved in the case the greater the chances of achieving an early resolution.

You’re not a case. You’re a person facing a very serious situation. We treat every client as an individual and when the might of the state is bearing down on someone, we’re there for you from the very first phone call. Our experts are as approachable and friendly as they are expert and experienced – they take the time to thoroughly understand each and every situation and to apply this insight to deliver a truly personal service.

We represent individuals across England and Wales.  You do not need to use a local solicitor and anyone, anywhere, literally has on their doorstep the country’s leading Criminal Defence firm – there’s no need to make do with what’s available locally to you. Whilst our main office is in Manchester, our London office (based at Berkeley Square, in the heart of Mayfair) is available to all clients.

Quotes from Legal 500 2024

Olliers is ranked as a Tier 1 Law Firm in Crime and Fraud in the North West in the 2024 edition of the Legal 500.

The Guide comments:

‘Olliers is a ‘standout full criminal service firm’, with a notable reputation in defending clients in general crime cases, investigations, and prosecutions regarding financial crime, business crime, regulatory breaches, and asset recovery. The group of specialists particularly stands out for its proactive approach in handling pre-charge criminal investigations and supporting a range of clients, from company directors and professionals, to private individuals. Practice head and ‘top-class lawyer’ Matthew Claughton is ‘a visionary who has steered the firm from being a group of legal aid criminal defence lawyers to being the most professional legal service providers in the North.’ Stand-out individuals include Zita Spencer, Matthew Corn, and Laura Baumanis.

Specific quotes about Olliers and the team include:

  • ‘Matthew Claughton is a visionary. He is the person who has steered the firm from being a group of legal aid criminal defence lawyers to being the most professional legal service providers in the north. He is also a top-class lawyer, especially when it comes to top end financial crime.’
  • ‘Olliers general crime and fraud team really is one of the best criminal defence firms in the North West; the numerous awards that they receive every year evidences the longstanding, consistent excellence of this team. Members of the team give their clients 100% at all times.’
  • ‘Laura Baumanis is outstanding. Her client care is exceptional. She really goes the extra mile and is very good indeed with difficult clients in cases of the utmost seriousness.’
  • ‘Zita Spencer is simply the best. Her compassionate client care is always a priority, and she has superb intellectual strength and works out a game plan that succeeds even with difficult cases. She has a near perfect record of trial acquittals in sexual offences trials. Superb solicitor who is hugely respected on circuit.’
  • ‘The client care provided by Olliers is second-to-none. All of the team go above and beyond in any case, big or small, to ensure that clients receive the best possible representation. They give clear and practical at every stage. They are constantly developing as a team and ensure they remain up to date with any legal changes.’
  • ‘Matthew Corn is an exceptional solicitor. He is the go-to solicitor for serious criminal cases in Manchester. He is extremely thorough and leaves no stone unturned. He is calm and personable, gaining the confidence of clients from the outset.’
  • ‘Olliers services all areas of criminal law and this is plain from the strength and depth of their criminal team. They are often instructed in multi-handed complex cases and when dealing with complicated fraud matters, their attention to detail is superb. Across the board, their lawyers demonstrate excellent client care.’

Frequently Asked Questions


How do I choose a regulatory or criminal defence law firm?

It is crucial to select a firm that specialises in the specific field that you require. For example, within the criminal law sector, firms will specialise in different areas. At Olliers we consider our key areas of specialism to be pre-charge representation, crime, fraud, regulatory and sexual offences. We deal with many professional clients who have no prior involvement with the criminal justice system and excel at representation during the investigative stage of proceedings.

Read our 8 step guide to selecting a criminal defence solicitor.

Do I need to choose a local criminal defence law firm?

Historically location was key. A client would need to attend conferences at the office of their chosen solicitor and accordingly would generally chose to instruct a solicitor in their locality. As a result of the dramatic increase in remote working following the Covid pandemic, location is now less important as solicitors have adapted and can offer conferences on a  remote basis. Therefore, it is even more important to choose the best solicitor for you than just the closest in proximity.

At Olliers, we have offices in both Manchester and London but are also  happy to organise case conferences via Zoom, FaceTime, Teams, telephone, Skype or other platforms.

How do you know if a regulatory or criminal defence law firm is good?

We urge you to check a firm’s online reviews. Read what previous clients have written about their experience at the firm you are considering instructing. At Olliers we are proud of our google, review solicitors and other online reviews as well as the many testimonials we receive from grateful clients following the conclusion of their case.  We are most proud of the feedback we receive in relation to the manner in which their case was dealt with and that they consider our solicitors empathetic, reassuring and not ‘typical stuffy lawyers’.

Its is also crucial to check they are SRA (Solicitors Regulation Authority) regulated solicitors. You can check for this by looking for a logo on their website. Provided via software which will make sure only regulated firms can display it, the logo shows online visitors that the firm is regulated and will provide you with a link to information on the protections this provides.

What questions should I ask a regulatory or criminal defence law firm?

Communication is key yet continues to be a major source of frustration for clients of law firms. Questions to be considered include how quickly do they respond to an initial enquiry? Do they respond to enquires outside office hours? Do they follow up on telephone enquires with an emailed quotation and advise as to how best to proceed. Do they provide information as to the lawyer who would be dealing with your case and their expertise and experience.  What methods of communication are available – can you call your solicitor directly on their mobile or will you be shielded by secretaries and support staff?

Also which solicitor is dealing with the matter? Dependant on the nature of your case you might require a more senior experienced solicitor or a junior solicitor may be more appropriate. Does your case require a niche specialism or does it require a team effort. At Olliers we have teams in areas such as pre-charge representations and indecent images offences and these cases benefit from a multi-professional team based approach.

Need a specialist regulatory or criminal defence or law firm?

If you want to find out more about how Olliers can help you please contact Matthew Claughton or Ruth Peters.

Alternatively, visit the section ‘our lawyers’ to find the specialist of your choice.

Download our 24/7 emergency number to your phone now – you never know when you might need the Olliers Response Team

Matthew Claughton


Ruth Peters

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