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Michael Balmer

Head of Fraud and Business Crime (Interim) and Head of Cyber Crime

Fraud, Business Crime and Cyber Crime

Michael Balmer is a Director, Interim Head of Fraud and Business Crime and Head of Cyber Crime. He has been named in the Legal 500 as a 'Next Generation Partner' in 2021, 2020, 2019.

More about Michael

I am the interim head of Fraud and business crime. I represent company directors and other professionals subject to criminal and regulatory investigation by the Serious Fraud Office, CPS, HMRC, Local Authorities and Information Commissioners Office for offences of fraud, corruption and other regulatory offences. I have defended individuals in some of the biggest and high profile fraud prosecutions in recent years, such as the first LIBOR prosecution and the HBOS banking fraud cases. My experience, calmness under pressure and attention to detail, as well as high quality client care, ensures that my clients receive the very best defence available.

I am also head of Cartwright King’s national cyber crime team.  I have represented individuals charged with and investigated for data protection and Computer Misuse act offences, including allegations of operating websites selling hacking tools to individual hackers themselves. I also acted in a Trading Standards prosecution of the operators of “copycat websites” Those websites cloned official government sites and charged a fee for free services. This case was widely reported in the National Press.

I am also a qualified duty solicitor and higher rights advocate and am able to represent clients from police station right through to Crown Court offering continuity to clients who are in need of a someone who is able to guide them through a very stressful process with skill and compassion. I have represented clients charged with the most serious drug, violent and sexual offences,

I also represent corporate bodies and high net worth individuals, including former professional footballers, prosecuted for motoring offences. My previous experience in the court service has enabled me to gain expert knowledge of disqualification and exceptional hardship procedures and I am often able to secure favourable outcomes for my clients. I also have experience of all types of appeal matters and have successfully represented individuals in the Crown Court seeking to appeal against the refusal of shotgun and firearms licences.

Finally I have experience of representing professionals, such as doctors, teachers, pharmacist and surveyors who are investigated by their respective regulatory bodies for unfit practice. I am able to assist clients to formulate and draft detailed and persuasive written representations and also represent individual before tribunals in fitness to practice proceedings.

I do not have a great deal of spare time, juggling my workload with a family, but I enjoy playing golf, running and cycling with my daughter.

Notable Cases

M v L (2020): High Court contempt of Court proceedings brought at Manchester High Court. Defendant alleged to have breached an injunction imposed by the High Court in 2018 following a series of inflammatory posts on social media by a former employee of a recruitment  agency. 4 day contested hearing at Manchester High Court in October 2020 led to The Judge dismisses a number of the allegations.


Op Cornflour (2020): boiler room fraud, represent defendant charged with alleged investment cold calling fraud valued over £2 million. Trial at Southwark Crown Court “Blackstone’s Court” currently the longest running effective trial during COVID. All defendants convicted in December 2020 after 12 trial – sentence January 2021.part of 4 linked trials currently being heard by the court – case subject to national press coverage.


Operation Torngat: represented the director of claims handling company prosecuted by ICO for conspiracy to commit unauthorised access to a computer under CMA 1990. Allegation that client had conspired with the employee of RAC to illegally obtain and sell  details of RAC customers who had been involved in  RTA’s in order to cold call and sell its claim handling services. Client pleaded guilty on a limited basis and was sentenced to a suspended sentence order at Minshull St Crown Court in January 2021.


R v M: represent senior employee of a Energy Company base in the South east. charged with multi handed conspiracy to defraud prosecuted by Essex Trading Standards. Allegation centres on the sale of solar panels and related equipment to customer nationwide which is either unnecessary or over priced. Value of fraud is in excess of £10 million. Trial at Southwark Crown Court in 2022.


Op Casper: multi handed VAT fraud, value in excess of £1million. Represent company director charged with multi handed “missing Trader” fraud. Allegation that Defendant has agreed with others to import and export confectionary and other products in and out of UK through a series of shell companies in order to dishonestly receive VAT payments Prosecuted by CPS Serious Fraud Unit. Trial at Liverpool Crown Court in 2021.



Here to help. Contact Michael.

Michael and all the team at Cartwright King are dedicated to helping you. If you need help, contact Michael by email using this form or using the details below:



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Grampian House, 144 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 3EE

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