Matthew Claughton

Matthew Claughton, criminal defence solicitor

Olliers’ Managing Director Matthew Claughton is widely regarded as having steered the firm to its market leading position.

Matthew is an outstanding lawyer ranked by the Legal 500 as a top tier practitioner in both fraud and criminal law. He is a former winner of the Manchester Legal Awards Partner of the Year and the Modern Law Awards Solicitor of the Year. In February 2018 Matthew celebrated 30 years with Olliers.

Matthew specialises in defending allegations of serious crime, fraud, regulatory matters and sexual offences. He is often asked to act for clients during the investigation stage of the criminal process, and has a reputation for dealing with crisis management focusing not only on avoiding a criminal charge but also minimising the negative consequences of an investigation, whatever its nature.  The Legal 500 2020 rated Matthew as an ‘outstanding individual’ and the Legal 500 2019 rated Matthew as a ‘brilliant tactician, who makes things go away with the minimum of fuss.” He is known for his methodical preparation for interviews under caution and robust but sensitive liaison with investigating authorities. He is frequently involved in preparing representations against charge as discussed here within the context of sexual offences.

Matthew also acts for clients interviewed by the Serious Fraud Office under section 2 of the Criminal Justice Act 1987. Read his article on section 2 SFO interviews here.

Matthew also has substantial experience of restraint orders within the context of complex investigations. Restraint Orders – a Proactive Approach.

Watch Matthew Claughton talking to The Law Society about what being a solicitor means to him.

Recent cases

The cases below provide recent examples of the kind of work Matthew deals with, although we have kept to a minimum mention of cases where a prosecution has been avoided.

Fraud

  • 2018 – Manchester Crown Court – representation of ex-wife of former solicitor facing fraud allegations.
  • 2018 – Manchester Crown Court – acted for retired teacher charged with appropriation of monies from mother, complex matter involving deceased complainant and abuse of power of attorney.
  • 2018 – representation of solicitor facing City of London police investigation into alleged money laundering.
  •  2017 – representation of director of company providing patient transport to NHS trust. Director faced allegation of fraud. Matter investigated by NHS internal audit agency. After lengthy investigation and defence representations no charges were brought.
  • 2016 – representation of directors of payment processing company. Multi jurisdictional investigation involving restraint of assets on several continents. Complex and ultimately successful applications to vary and discharge restraint orders. Representations made against charge. Matter concluded following successful application under Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 for return of items unlawfully seized by police and decision to take no further action against Directors.
  • 2015 – Carlisle Crown Court, acted for Kendal Solicitor facing 22 counts of fraud. Read More
  • 2015 – representation of Greater Manchester solicitor charged with £600,000 fraud. Read More
  • 2015 Central Criminal Court – acted for defendant in connection with alleged ‘boiler room’ fraud.
  • 2014 – acted for former Managing Director of Leeds United Football Club in connection with allegations of misappropriation of clubs funds. Read More
  • 2014 – Leeds Crown Court, acquittal of IT consultant facing NHS Fraud.

More fraud cases

  • 2013 – SFO investigation into alleged £1.6 million plot to defraud the Skills Funding Agency via football coaching apprenticeships. Read More
  • 2012 R –v– B Croydon Crown Court, Operation Puffin, acted for Director of potato company facing bribery allegations involving Sainsburys supermarket. Read More
  • 2012 R –v– C Manchester Crown Court, Operation Walrus, acting for defendant in 13 Count, multi million pound money laundering case
  • 2012 R –v– B Manchester Crown Court, Operation Dumpcart, instructed by one of 17 defendants facing multi million pound conspiracy to cheat HMRC
  • 2011 R –v– S York Crown Court Operation Quicksilver, instructed by accountant alleged to have conspired to defraud HMRC
  • 2011 R –v– J Manchester Crown Court, representation of financial advisor facing allegation of conspiracy to commit fraud during the course of buy to let business
  • 2011 R –v– B Mold Crown Court, instructed by charity co-ordinator facing allegations of misappropriation of funds received from Welsh Government Assembly. Read More
  • 2011 R –v– C Southwark Crown Court, representation of solicitor accused of defrauding Building Society of £500,000.
  • 2011 SFO –v– L, representation of Director facing SFO investigation into collapse of Lexi Holdings, with alleged bank debts of £75 million. Read More
  • 2011 R –v– M Teesside Crown Court, representation of defendant acquitted following complex money laundering trialMore fraud case

Regulatory offences

  • 2018 – representation of disqualified director facing Insolvency Service prosecution for breach of director disqualification.
  • 2018 – acts for former partner in property investment business facing Insolvency Service prosecution for fraudulent trading in alleged ‘ponzi’ fraud.
  • 2016 – acted for company directors seeking to register small payment institution with Financial Conduct Authority following revocation of ‘fit and proper’ status.
  • 2015 – Manchester Crown Court – acquittal of defendant prosecuted by Birmingham Trading Standards Illegal Money Lending Team.
  • 2015 – acted for directors of company facing allegation of re use of company name following  insolvency (‘phoenix’ offence – section 216 of the Insolvency Act 1986.
  • 2014 – Leeds Crown Court, acquittal of IT consultant facing NHS Fraud.
  • 2014 – representation of detention officers following death in custody at Harmondsworth Detention Centre Heathrow.
  • 2013 – representation of Prison Governor during police investigation following cell suicide at Merseyside prison (no charges brought).
  • 2012 – representation of solicitor facing SRA investigation following mobile phone communication with defendant in custody.

Sexual offences

  • 2019 – Manchester Crown Court – acquittal of mortgage advisor facing allegations of historic abuse against nice and nephew.
  • 2018 – Liverpool Crown Court – acquittal of defendant facing sexual offences – successful abuse argument  – crown having decided to prosecute following earlier 2008 decision not to charge defendant.
  • 2018 – Minshull Street Crown Court – acquittal of defendant facing allegations of abuse made by several family members.
  • 2018 – acted for student teacher facing allegation of sexual activity with a student aged 16 whilst in a position of trust. Lengthy investigation concluding with representations against charge – no further action taken
  • 2018 – representation of male alleged to have attempted to meet up with under age girl for sexual activity following period of grooming. The girl in question was in fact a so called ‘paedophile hunter’. Representations to the police led to the matter not proceeding
  • 2017 – Chester Crown Court – Acquittal of health care professional facing allegations of sexual assault. Proceedings stayed after successful abuse of process argument (and unsuccessful prosecution appeal to the Court of Appeal). Read More.

More sexual offence cases

  • 2017 – representation of IT worker alleged to have raped colleague at works party. Analysis of email and text activity which was then provided to the police brought investigation to a swift conclusion.
  • 2016 – Manchester Crown Court – acquittal of doctor facing multiple counts of marital rape – maintaining 100% success rate in rape acquittals since 2014.
  • 2016 – Manchester Crown Court – acquittal of retired teacher facing historic rape allegations.
  • 2016 – Burnley Crown Court – acquittal of man facing rape allegations. Case dropped days before trial following defence representations and defence medical evidence.
  • 2015 – Operation Kiso, acquittal of Malcolm Layfield former Head of Strings at Royal Northern College of Music facing rape allegation made by former student of Chethams Music College Manchester. Read More
  • 2014 – representation of suspect facing allegations of historic marital rape. Exhaustive investigation of domestic circumstances dating back 20 years meant that allegations could be rebutted and suspect was not charged.
  • 2013 – representation of estate agent facing date rape allegations. Pre-charge research of Facebook, iTunes and witness testimony was presented to the Police and no charges were brought.

Other matters

  • 2019 – Representation of client facing modern day slavery allegations connected to chain of takeaway food outlets.
  • 2019 – Manchester Crown Court – acquittal of 17 year old youth refereed to as ‘Boy A’ accused of killing Manchester Grammar School pupil Yousef Makki.
  • Since the early millennium Olliers has acted in some of HMRC’s biggest MTIC frauds. Matthew led the teams acting in most of the cases in which Olliers were involved.
  • Solicitor for John Cannan, regarded by police as ‘Mr Kipper’ the man responsible for the disappearance and murder of London estate agent Suzy Lamplugh in 1986. Read More

Published articles

Contact Matthew Claughton

Olliers Solicitors, 196 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 3WF
0161 827 7010
07734 388821
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