The right of private prosecution is long-established and provides a means by which entities other than the State may pursue actions through the criminal courts.
Private prosecutions are considered by many to be an important constitutional safeguard against potential inertia of the State and, when properly undertaken, can be an effective remedy for those finding themselves the victims of crime.
Private prosecution is a growth area and presents particular challenges both for the prosecution and the defence. Corporations and individuals may wish to bring prosecutions independently but may also find themselves the target of ill-founded or malicious private prosecutions.
Exchange Chambers is well positioned to offer the required support throughout.
The impact upon businesses cannot be underestimated both in terms of economic loss but also the damage to brand reputation, and the impact upon an organisation’s culture and self-confidence when criminality is committed against it.
It is no coincidence that advice around private prosecutions is being sought in a period of economic downturn when the Police, Crown Prosecution Service, Serious Fraud Office and other prosecuting authorities are suffering budgetary restraints. The recent guidance issued by the Crown Prosecution Service as to how decisions on charging alleged offenders are to be made and the stark fact that economic crime appears to be being moved further down the ladder of importance only serves to enhance the above point.
Private prosecutions can offer clients closer involvement and control over decision making, a thorough degree of preparation and a more senior and experienced level of legal representation than may otherwise be provided by the public prosecution authorities.
We have a highly commended criminal and regulatory team whose members have specialist knowledge and experience of all forms of criminality with a specific emphasis on fraud, financial misconduct, intellectual property and cyber-crime.
Our criminal and regulatory barristers are consistently ranked as leading individuals in the two main legal directories and are regularly appointed to national prosecutorial lists in the areas of financial crime, crime and regulatory law.
The specialist area of private prosecutions is a developing area of the criminal and regulatory legal market and, as such, we have a dedicated team of Queen’s Counsel and Senior Junior Counsel who can deliver the bespoke services required for the commercial and organisational client.
Exchange Chambers offers the following services, covering the particular issues that arise in private prosecutions: