Mark Rainsford QC Secures Acquittal in Major Corruption Cas

Mark Rainsford QC Successfully Defends Former Senior Partner of Substantial Law Firm Acquitted on Major Corruption Charge in UK’s Biggest Boiler Room Fraud


Robert Manning, former senior partner of Fox Hayes LLP, has been acquitted of a major corruption charge arising from the UK’s biggest ever boiler room fraud.

Around 1,000 investors were defrauded of £70m. Nine other defendants were convicted of conspiracy to defraud.

It was alleged Mr Manning, aged 63 of Leeds, received a bribe of $869,000 for persuading Fox Hayes Solicitors partners to take on high risk work, resulting in the collapse of the firm and the consequent loss of 300 jobs at the firm.

The defence team, led by Mark Rainsford QC, consisted of Jason Sugarman 9-12 Bell Yard, Stephen Fox –senior partner Ralli Solicitors, Manchester, and Lynn Mahon, associate solicitor.

During the trial the SFO’s case was comprehensively undermined in a number of respects. The defendant, who did not give evidence, averred that:

  • He did not improperly influence his partners; 
  • The prosecution incorrectly alleged he kept payments made to him secret from his partners; 
  • By reason of custom and practice he had implied authority to receive separate payment for work introduced by him to the firm; 
  • Severe criticism levelled at Mr Manning and his partners by the Court of Appeal was unjustified and unfair and E. Fox Hayes LLP collapsed because it overreached itself financially prior to the recession and it was nothing to do with Mr Manning’s conduct.

The trial lasted for three – four months. Mr Manning was the only defendant to be acquitted- see the following press links: