Private Prosecutions

Private Prosecutions

The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020. A transition period, during which EU laws continue to apply in the UK, is due to end on 31 December 2020. The UK/EU Withdrawal Agreement sets out transitional arrangements and negotiations for the future UK/EU relationship are ongoing.

We believe that our clients should know about the potential of the legal tools at their disposal, in particular the private prosecution: a criminal proceeding initiated by an individual or an organisation or company, rather than by a prosecuting authority. Anyone has the right to bring a private prosecution and victims of crime, and economic crime in particular, are turning to it more and more.

For individuals, private prosecutions can be used to secure access to justice that might otherwise be unavailable. For companies and organisations, they are also a vital part of any effective fraud deterrence strategy and can deliver positive reputational benefits.    

We see three key benefits:

  • Speed: investigators, whether they are in-house, external, or a combination of both, can work in partnership with prosecutors to achieve a swift resolution.
  • Strategy: collective shaping of case strategy can ensure a proportionate and cost-effective approach.
  • Sentencing: private prosecutions result in the same punishment upon conviction as public prosecutions.

Our team is led by former senior Crown Prosecutors, highly experienced and skilled in managing cases from investigation through to conviction. We are also experts in criminal disclosure, an area where a disproportionate number of cases can go wrong, and we were the first law firm in England to launch our own fully-managed eDiscovery product, MDR Discover. Our White Collar Crime & Investigations Group sits within our Dispute Resolution department, drawing on the resources of one of London's largest litigation teams, which includes specialists in civil fraud, insolvency and intellectual property litigation. We also have a long history of successfully defending private prosecutions, whether that is after proceedings have been commenced or before.

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