Gary Broadfield

Position(s)  Director, Solicitor

Area(s) of Practice  Business Defence, Criminal Defence

Location(s)  Manchester

Phone  07718 562 890


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Described by the 2015 edition of the Legal 500 as “a rising star” of the legal profession, Gary Broadfield is the head of Cartwright King’s national team of cyber and online crime defence lawyers. In addition to his cyber crime expertise, Gary also has a longstanding specialism defending allegations of serious and complex fraud

As Head of Cyber Crime, Gary is expert in the continuously developing and evolving field of online crime. Computers and connectivity are now omnipresent in our lives. This has not only provided for entirely new kinds of offences to be created, but also allowed “traditional” crime to be committed in new ways. Increasingly, almost all crime investigated by authorities is either committed online or has a significant digital component. The volume and complexity of those investigations have presented new challenges to investigators and lawyers around the world.

Gary has extensive experience in the full spectrum of computer crime. He regularly acts in prosecutions arising from investigations and prosecutions of activity on dark net marketplaces and criminality arising from websites hosted on the TOR network, attacks on multinational corporations by organized hacking collectives such as “Lizard Squad,” and data breaches leading to leaks of confidential information from companies by current and former employees. 

He has represented individuals accused of advertising and selling of “hacking tools” online, and those accused of carrying out DOS/DDOS attacks against the websites of competitors and rivals. He has also represented individuals accused of money laundering offences as a result of allegedly operating criminal websites.   

Gary has a particular specialism in defending allegations of online Intellectual property crime, arising from file sharing and video streaming. He has also acted in Trading Standards Investigations into the alleged misuse of Google “pay per click” advertising terms.

Gary has also acted in a number of matters where he has defended and investigated accusations of harassment and bullying online and via social media and serious allegations of hoax “swatting” calls.  

Gary has a particular interest in emergent disruptive technologies and their potential application in a criminal context. He has a particular knowledge of Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies. He regularly gives talks and lectures on the application of the law to Bitcoin, including at the recent CoinFestUK. 

Serious Fraud

Gary also has extensive experience in defending allegations of complex and high value fraud and financial crime. Gary specialises in defending investigations and prosecutions brought by the SFO, HMRC, the CPS and the NCA. He regularly represents company directors, solicitors, accountants and other professionals facing such proceedings. Gary has represented clients based outside of the jurisdiction threatened with extradition to the UK and also clients based in the UK who are under the threat of extradition to other jurisdictions. 

"A rising star"
Recommended Lawyer in Legal 500 2015

Professional Bodies and Memberships

  • International Bar Association – member of the IBA’s Crime Committee and Business Crime Committees. 
  • Gary is also a member of the Fraud Advisory Panel and contributes to that body’s Cyber Crime interest group.
  • Member of the Cybercrime Practitioners Association

Recent Cases

Cyber Crime:

Operation Natals: Gary represents one of five individuals charged in Operation Natals, a conspiracy to import, export and supply class A drugs on a large scale using the online “dark-net” marketplace “Silk Road” which was shut down by the FBI in 2013. 

R v B: Acts for an individual under investigation for Computer Misuse Act offences, Fraud and making Threats to Kill arising from his alleged involvement with the Lizard Squad hacking collective and attacks said to have been carried out on the Sony Playstation Network over Christmas 2014.  

R v H: Gary leads the team defending the former owner of the Newzbin file sharing website against allegations of money laundering arising from his time operating that site.

R v S: Represents an individual convicted of using his position as an internal auditor at a FTSE 100 company to access and to leak the confidential details of 100 000 of his work colleagues to the internet and to the press.

R v M: Our client was charged with 10 offences founded upon the allegation that he had created and run a stresser service known as “netspoof”. This tool enabled users of the Netspoof site to pay our client to carry out Denial of Service attacks upon third party websites. It was alleged that 12844 registered users on Netspoof carried out 603,499 attacks on 224,548 separate targets and the total financial benefit to the client was alleged to have been in the region of £100,000. The client had made admissions in interview under caution (where he had not been represented by a solicitor). Despite the seriousness of the offence, we were able to secure a non-custodial sentence. 

R v X: Gary represents a high profile professional currently under investigation by West Mercia police into allegedly inflammatory comments made on his Facebook profile, which are said to have caused offence to individuals of a particular political affiliation.

R v H: Gary represents an individual charged with advertising hacking tools for sale via the online forum

R v B: Gary successfully represented a prominent Cambridgeshire  businessman accused of carrying out a DDOS attack against the website of a competitor. No charges were brought as it was agreed that it would not be in the public interest to prosecute.  

R v V: Gary acts on behalf of an IT manager accused of uploading a virus to the systems of his former employer causing disruption and loss to their business.
Operation Beech- Acts in a Trading Standards investigation into the sale of Android TV boxes that are said to allow the video streaming of copyrighted material.

R v D: Metropolitan Police and FACT investigation into the sale of Android TV boxes online.

Operation Cassock: Trading Standards investigation into the alleged supply of unauthorised satellite decoders.


R v H (LIBOR) - Garstangs Cartwright King represented the lead defendant in the SFO’s prosecutions arising from the alleged manipulation of the London Interbank Offered (LIBOR) benchmark interest rate. This matter was said to be the largest and most complex case yet prosecuted by the Serious Fraud Office. It centred around allegations that our client, a derivatives trader at UBS conspired with others to ensure that LIBOR submissions made by the bank did not accurately reflect the cost of borrowing but instead were biased to force the overall published rate slightly higher or lower, so that it would give rise to additional profits (or reduced losses) on his derivatives trades.

Operation Energy: Gary represents a former senior employee of Rolls Royce in this ongoing Serious Fraud Office investigation into allegations of corruption overseas.  

Operation Remzacco: Gary also represents the Finance Director of a major UK engineering company in relation to a City of London Police investigation into alleged corrupt payments to secure contracts.  

Operation Cactus Hent (R v Thompson [2015] EWCA Crim 538):  This matter was the successful defence of a substantial HMRC prosecution one of nine defendants involved in a self-invested personal pension (SIPP) scheme. It was alleged that the scheme had been set up as a device to fraudulently extract Tax Relief at Source payments from HMRC to a value of £15 million.  A successful submission of no case to answer was made in December 2014 and the case was dismissed by the trial Judge. The Crown appealed that terminating ruling under s58 CJA 2003, but following an expedited hearing in the Court of Appeal, the Court upheld the trial judge’s ruling and severely criticised the way in which the Crown had approached the case.

Operation Shootout (R v Allad [2014] EWCA Crim 421): An allegation of Missing Trader Carousel Fraud where the loss to the Revenue was estimated at £50 million. The case involved the preparation of extensive legal arguments over the admissibility of banking records seized in the Netherlands. Furthermore, the client absconded from the jurisdiction and did not attend his trial, leading to further arguments in relation to whether a fair trial could be conducted in his absence. The case did continue, leading to the withdrawal of Counsel from the trial and the conviction of the two absent defendants. We appealed the conviction on the basis that no fair trial could have been conducted in the absence of the unrepresented defendants. That appeal was successful and a retrial was ordered by the Court of Appeal following a three day hearing in February 2014.

Operation Pavlova (R v S):  Our client, a senior solicitor, was arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice.  In proceedings before the Recorder of Manchester we successfully challenged the legality of both the arrest and Greater Manchester Police’s subsequent seizure of material which contained documentation subject to the legal professional privilege and confidentiality of our client’s clients.  The material was returned, un-accessed, and the court held that there had never been any legitimate basis to arrest the client.  Consequently, no charges were brought and the Court ordered that the police pay a considerable sum in costs.  Furthermore, as a direct result of our challenge, GMP acknowledged that they would review the way they deal with the seizure of legally privileged material in future.


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