For over 20 years we have provided expert legal advice in bringing successful private prosecutions involving counterfeit goods, trading standards, consumer law and the protection of intellectual property rights, acting in some of the most complex criminal prosecutions in this field.
We regularly advise individuals, businesses and organisations not only as to the initial private prosecution but also as to the mechanisms required for compensation and confiscation.
The areas in which we advise include:
- corporate crime
- Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 offences
- Trade Marks Act 1994 offences
- Trade Marks and copyright theft - civil and criminal
- false representations (Fraud Act 2006)
- possession of articles intended for use in fraud (Fraud Act 2006)
- making or supplying articles for use in fraud (Fraud Act 2006)
- regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000
- Proceeds of Crime Act 2002
- money laundering regulatory framework - civil and criminal
- Theft Act 1968
- Solicitors Act 1974
Our private prosecutions team
The team has built up an unrivalled body of expertise in relation to the bringing of private prosecutions.
We specialise in conspiracy and serious fraud matters relating to the prosecution of trade mark and intellectual property offences under the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. We have successfully argued the law surrounding privately brought prosecutions in appeal and judicial review hearings.
Our team has lectured to The Federation Against Copyright Theft Limited (FACT) senior investigators and bodies including the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and CILEX on the law surrounding private prosecutions, from investigative issues including RIPA methodologies through to the evidence required to prove matters to the civil or criminal standard at Court.
We have also co-lectured at the Trading Standards conference on complex appeal cases before the Administrative Court of the High Court and the European Court of Justice in relation to prosecutions brought under the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988.
We offer practical, cost-effective, high-quality advice to our clients, drawing on our expertise in bringing private prosecutions. We advise on all stages of the process, from choosing the best investigative procedure through to the drawing-up charges on the evidence to hand and successful prosecution.
We have developed a system of nationwide coverage by using regional counsel and investigative resources. This minimises the cost of the investigative and prosecution process.
We work with various individuals and agencies in relation to confiscation and compensation proceedings, provide advice on new legislation and review operational procedures and due diligence issues.
Our clients have included:
- The Federation Against Copyright Theft Limited (FACT) - we are instructed by FACT to conduct the largest ongoing series of private nationwide criminal prosecutions in relation to copyright and intellectual property right theft, ranging from summary trials at the Magistrates' Courts through to hearings at the Crown Court, Court of Appeal and Administrative Court of the High Court. FACT members that have been represented in court on cases include BT Sport, Warner Bros, 20th Century Fox and Sony Pictures
- British Sky Broadcasting Limited (BSkyB) - we are instructed by BSkyB to advise and assist in the protection of its intellectual property rights through the civil jurisdiction process.
- TM Eye Limited - we bring private prosecutions on behalf of TM Eye Ltd who investigate the sale of counterfeit goods on behalf of rights holders such as Louis Vuitton, Mulberry and Pandora. Numerous convictions have been obtained in these cases and sentences against the convicted sellers include a ‘banning order’ preventing the seller from working in all markets across England and Wales for a period of two years.
- Architects Registration Board and the Law Society - we conducted private prosecutions on behalf of these professional regulators against individuals holding themselves out to be members of the professions in the criminal courts and have brought convictions in both Magistrates’ and Crown Court hearings in relation to Architects Act and Fraud Act cases.
- The Law Society/SRA - instructed to bring prosecutions in respect of ‘holding out’ offences and Fraud Act offences in the Magistrates’ and Crown Courts.
- Amalgamated Racing (AMRAC) - A series of instructions to bring prosecutions in the magistrates’ courts for breaches of the client’s intellectual property rights under the Copyright Designs and patents Act 1988 for the owners and operators of race courses around the UK.