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Michael Balmer

Michael Balmer is a director and criminal law solicitor who specialises in criminal litigation with an emphasis on crime, cyber crime and complex fraud.

Michael represents clients charged with serious offences such as murder, rape and conspiracy to supply drugs. He has expertise in representing professional clients, including company directors, facing prosecution by prosecuting agencies such as the Serious Fraud Office, HM Revenue and Customs, The Department for Innovation and Skills and the Environment Agency.

Michael is a member of Cartwright King’s national cyber crime team.  He has represented a number of individuals charged with and investigated for Computer Misuse act offences, including allegations of operating websites selling hacking tools to individual hackers themselves. Michael also acts in a Trading Standards prosecution of the operators of “copycat websites” Those websites cloned official government sites and thus tricked users into paying fees for services which the official websites offered for free. 

Michael is also currently defending allegations of money laundering arising from the closure of the Newzbin file sharing site.

Regulatory Law: Michael is a key member of the Regulatory Law Team focusing on defending businesses and people in business from regulatory investigations and prosecutions by organisations like the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the Environment Agency, Local Authorities’ Trading Standards and Environmental Health departments and many more.

Michael has advised and represented individual and corporate clients nationwide on all types of licensing matters including taxi licences, alcohol licences and private landlord licences and often secures favourable results for clients without the need to attend Court.

Michael represents clients nationwide charged with road traffic offences and often secures favourable results for pleas in mitigation, applications for removal of driving disqualifications, exceptional hardship arguments and technical defences at trial, including special reasons.

Michael regularly represents individuals at the police station and Magistrates Court and is a qualified Duty Solicitor. Michael has higher rights of audience, enabling him to represent clients at any stage in proceedings, in any venue.

Michael is a member of Manchester Law Society, Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce and the Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers (ARDL).


Notable Cases

Part of defence team representing the lead defendant in the LIBOR case, the Serious Fraud Office investigation into global manipulation of financial benchmarks in the Banking Industry.

Represents a Director of a multi national company under investigation by the NHS counter fraud services for conspiracy to defraud in relation to a hospital redevelopment project in North Wales valued at over £100 million.

R v C: Represented a defendant accused of hacking into the computers of a university chemistry department using keyloggers. The initial suspicion of the investigators was that this hack was to obtain information to be used for terrorist purposes, but in fact it was to obtain copies of past exam papers. Following representations, by Michael, the defendant received a small fine.

R v H: Part of the defence team defending the former owner and operator of the Newzbin file sharing website against allegations of money laundering.

R v H: Michael acts in this Trading Standards prosecution of the operators of “copycat websites.” The websites cloned official government sites and thus tricked users into paying fees for services which the official websites offered for free.

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 H: Represents an individual charged with advertising hacking tools for sale via the online forum  

Operation Cactus Hent: Part of the defence team defending one of 9 defendants charged by HMRC with a 14 million pound pension fraud.

R v W: Part of the defence team (led by Mike Garstang) defending a serving police officer charged with offences of misuse of a public office.

W v HPC: Represented a podiatrist who appealed to the High Court against the decision of his governing body to strike them off the register of approved members.

R v M: Represented client charged with high profile insurance fraud which was discovered when the client was seen on TV show “coach trip” performing a bungee jump despite claiming she had incurred a back injury at work days before.

R v H: Represented client at Manchester Crown Court sentence for conspiracy to commit criminal damage in the form of graffiti on trains causing damage valued at over £100,000.

R v M: Represented a builder for sentence at Preston Crown court following conviction at Magistrates. Offences under unfair trading regulations following sub-standard building work undertaken on a number of peoples’ homes. Client subsequently appeared on “Knock off Britain”.

R v W: Court of Appeal. Successful appeal against conviction for client charged with online grooming and preparatory act offences,

B v W BC: Represented operator of private hire transport company at Liverpool Crown Court. Appeal against the revocation of his licence by the local authority following conviction at Wirral Magistrates Court.


Operation Vaulter: Part of the defence team defending one of 14 defendants charged with a multi-jurisdictional 20 million pound carousel fraud.

Michael has secured excellent results for clients with meticulous preparation and confident, polished advocacy skills.



"A ‘no-nonsense pragmatist’ who is praised for his ‘great client skills’. The ‘outstanding’ Balmer is immensely experienced in representing professional clients such as company directors who are facing prosecutions by prosecuting authorities." Legal 500 2018

"I approached Michael with some initial trepidation and embarrassment about the predicament that I found myself in, albeit rather belatedly, having worried about the situation that I had found myself in for months .… My only regret was that I tried to deal with the matter myself and did not contact them immediately." Client Testimonial 

"Michael Balmer was the representative of your company who represented me. He was very friendly and gave relevant advice. He showed quite forceful advocacy and obviously had the confidence of the court and conducted himself in a very professional manner." Client Testimonial

"Fought hard with extensive detail to fight to get my taxi license back. Many thanks." Client Testimonial

"Michael Balmer represented me. He was very friendly and gave relevant advice. He showed quite forceful advocacy and obviously had the confidence of the court and conducted himself in a very professional manner." Client Testimonial- March 2017




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