Understanding criminal and financial crime
Being subject to an allegation that you have committed a crime can be a life changing event. The consequences can be catastrophic for you and your family. Your reputation will be on the line and the financial consequences could be ruinous. You need the best possible representation as quickly as possible.
Your lawyer needs to strong and experienced in the most serious cases. They must be able to leave no legal stone unturned in your defence. They are your guide through the hostile and unfamiliar world of the criminal justice system. They should be of the highest integrity and respected by police and prosecutors alike.
Russell-Cooke’s criminal law team has been the choice of cabinet ministers, Lord Justices, performers, celebrities, premiership managers and footballers, editors of national publications, leaders of business and professionals for more than 50 years. It is an ideal size being not too small to have the resources and back-up necessary but not so large for clients to risk being lost amongst other larger fish. The best representation from a firm with a track record of success does not come cheap but the team will spare no effort to provide real value.
Russell-Cooke has been described recently as "one of the best firms practising in crime." It has the lawyer you need.
A relatively small team made up primarily of very experienced solicitors. As a result, the quality is excellent and very partner led.
The Team has huge experience, going back over thirty years, of defending in prosecutions for very serious offences.
Being well represented as early as possible can make a big difference as it could mean that an investigation does not develop into a prosecution. Ensuring that investigators only obtain the evidence to which they are properly entitled whether documents or statements at interview is key. Cooperation can have benefits but too cooperative an approach can be abused by aggressive investigators. Many of our clients have a high profile and so even reporting of an investigation can be a real problem. Investigation techniques are similar across many areas and agencies and so experience of hundreds of investigations is a big help. Investigations are often designed to exert pressure and a fearless and fully resourced lawyer is always best placed to protect you from it. The problems of pressure are particularly acute for vulnerable clients. Acting for clients with mental health, age related or addiction problems requires special skills and understanding. We regularly act for journalists and media organisations who are threatened with prosecution.
For serious offences or for existing clients of the firm, we provide an emergency response service to respond to raids or arrests. For clients who think that they may be subject to either of these because of an ongoing investigation, we recommend an early discussion to put contingency arrangements in place.
Extradition and mutual legal assistance
Extradition is a highly specialist field, but one which is becoming more prominent in the legal landscape...
One of the UK's leading criminal defence teams, we provide representation on all criminal law matters...
Health and safety breaches
Whether you are an individual or a company, an investigation or prosecution in relation to alleged health and safety breaches, or corporate manslaughter...
Sexual offences and harassment
We often act for professionals who are the subject of allegations of sexual misconduct or harassment. Even an allegation can have very serious implications for the employment or professional status of an individual. If instructed early our priority is to have unwarranted allegations dropped as quickly as possible to mitigate the damage caused. We may involve other specialist lawyers within the firm to deal with reputational, regulatory and employment aspects. We are well aware of the stress and risk to an accused’s health resulting from allegations and make every effort to support our clients’ to get through the crisis.
The team has particular experience in relation to historic sexual offences and dealing with ancillary orders such as Sexual Harm Prevention Orders.
Recent cases have included a doctor investigated for rape of his wife; a lawyer investigated for coercive behaviour in relation to her husband; a student accused of rape of a fellow student; a theatre director charged with sexual assaults on a 15 year old; a senior executive accused of participating in a “gang rape”. Many of the allegations against our clients are dropped or end in acquittals.
Fraud and financial crime
The borderline between regulation and financial crime has never been more indistinct. Professionals in businesses such as financial services may now find themselves facing prison sentences for actions which once were not even criminal offences and might, at worst, have attracted disciplinary sanctions. Allegations may still give rise to employment or professional conduct issues or even director or trustee disqualification even if no prosecution follows.
Cases tend to be data heavy and technical even if they don’t relate to the digital economy. We have the experience and the necessary depth and breadth of expertise across all of the related legal areas. We have resources to deal with large quantities of information and vital expert analysis. Our team has acted often and successfully against the specialist agencies such as the Financial Conduct Authority, HMRC, the Serious Fraud Office and the National Crime Agency.
The team is experienced in dealing with all types of allegations including those involving: cybercrime; cryptocurrency; VAT and tax; insurance fraud; fraudulent trading; investment frauds; cross border trade and sanctions; mortgage fraud and money laundering.
An increasingly important element of the team’s work relates to investigations relating to the proceeds of crime including confiscation and pursuit of assets held by third parties including by way of unexplained wealth orders.
Recent cases have included: advising in Serious Fraud Office “Operation car wash”, acting for two company directors in the National Crime Agency investigation of PACNET; acting for a senior church official in relation to allegations of embezzlement of diocesan funds; advising three company directors in relation to an alleged cask whisky fraud; advising an accountant from another jurisdiction who was subject to worldwide freezing order; acting for the former CEO of a European luxury yacht company being investigated in the UK on behalf of a foreign police force; acting for a fintech company subject to account freezing orders; acting for the son of the Premier of an overseas country in relation to bribery and corruption allegations, acting in a nine party investment conspiracy allegation relating to an alleged sports algorithm fraud and acting in relation to allegations of a seven figure fraud by solicitors relating to stamp duty land tax; an FCA investigation relating to unauthorised financial activity and money laundering.
Our particular experience relates to prosecution by the following organisations: Serious Fraud Office...
We offer specialist advice to clients who are facing money-laundering charges or subject to restraint orders...
We advise clients facing confiscation proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 - a complex area of law that requires specialist advice...
Serious driving offences
We generally deal with offences which carry the risk of imprisonment or the loss of livelihood unless the individual concerned is an existing client of the firm. In some circumstances offences may carry an exceptional reputational risk to our client because, for example, they have a public profile and may attract media interest. For some professionals convictions for offences such as the misuse of disabled badges may have disciplinary consequences.
We have recently been defending a client accused of causing death by careless driving where the victim acquired COVID in hospital that was arguably the cause of death resulting in an acquittal.
Motoring offences charging information
We offer advice and representation at competitive rates. This is an important consideration as public funding is rarely available for minor motoring offences...
Get to know our criminal and financial crime team
Get in touch with one of our solicitors
Our criminal and financial crime team are recognised as one of the leading criminal solicitors in the UK. The team is highly rated by lawyers' directory the Legal 500, and Jae Carwardine is recognised as a leader in her field.
0ur queries were always answered quickly, with a good level of detail, and we were very impressed by the reassuringly fast service.
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