A RENOWNED UK fraud lawyer is moving to Manchester following the decision to open a new office in the city by Lancashire law firm, Farleys Solicitors.

Farleys Solicitors, which has 14 partners and 12 associate partners, will offer its full range of private and commercial services to clients in Manchester with the head of the firm’s special casework unit and partner, Paul Schofield, arriving in the city as part of the launch.

Paul is ranked by legal guide, Chambers, as one of the leading lawyers in the country for fraud and crime work. He was one of UK’s first members of the Serious Fraud Panel – now the Specialist Fraud Panel – when it launched in 2000.

In 2005, Paul successfully represented one of five defendants charged with fraud – two of whom were police officers – in a case relating to the importation of thousands of high value motor vehicles from Japan. Paul and a colleague travelled to Tokyo to gather defence evidence as part of the fight to clear his client’s name.

He also successfully defended four lawyers in 2005 in separate high profile money laundering cases.

Current cases, details of which cannot be released for legal reasons, include electoral fraud, very high value money laundering, international trafficking of prostitutes and serious fraud cases.

Parsonage Gardens in Manchester city centre is the seventh Farleys office supplementing its six other offices along the M65 corridor.

Paul, who joined Farleys in 1977 and lives in Blackburn, said: “The demand for our special casework unit is such that we feel that a Manchester presence will help us secure more national work. All of our cases come by recommendation. This is testament to the quality of our team.

“This is a major development for Farleys. Being a provincial firm, naturally we can compete with many Manchester firms on price but our quality has been at the centre of our growth in East Lancashire and will be the key to our success in Manchester.”

The Manchester office will open in early November 2006. Other key services to be launched in Manchester will be corporate and commercial work, family law and corporate and personal insolvency.