Criminal and financial crime

Serious criminal investigations and prosecutions

Serious criminal offences

An introduction to serious criminal offences and investigations

Our specialist criminal litigation team represents clients charged with the most serious and high-profile offences.

Being the subject of a police investigation or prosecution is likely to be a life-changing event. The consequences can be dramatic—personally, reputationally and financially—for individuals and their families as well as for organisations. It is essential to secure the best possible advice and representation as soon as possible.

Our criminal law experts advise individuals, organisations and companies throughout the entire criminal process from arrest and police interview, to trial and appeal if needed.

How our criminal and financial crime solicitors can help you

Key services offered

Criminal Investigations

It’s crucial to be well represented as early as possible, as what happens during the investigation stage of a case may make the difference as to whether that investigation develops into a full-scale prosecution. This is becoming more important as the powers available to investigators widen year on year. For example, ensuring that investigators only access evidence that they are entitled to, and properly protecting evidence to which they are not, can be key. Co-operation with investigators can have benefits, but can also be abused by over-aggressive investigators.

We work with many high profile clients, so we understand that even the reporting of an investigation can be a significant problem. Investigations are also often designed to exert pressure which is an acute issue for vulnerable clients. Acting for individuals with mental health, age related or addiction problems requires specialist skills and real understanding. Instructing a specialist, well-resourced lawyer is the best way of protecting your interests.

Our lawyers are committed and experienced criminal defence specialists who will protect and promote your interests at each stage of a criminal investigation, however serious the allegation. We’ll advise you when you’ve been, or believe you’re about to be arrested or investigated, during the police interview process and throughout any subsequent investigation. We will engage with investigators when necessary to ensure the best possible outcome.

Criminal Prosecutions

If an investigation does turn into a prosecution, we’ll advise and represent you throughout the process, from the first Magistrates’ Court hearing, to trial in the Magistrates’ Court or Crown Court, and to the appellate courts if necessary. Throughout, we’ll fearlessly and skilfully defend and promote your interests by painstaking analysis of the evidence against you, giving clear and accessible advice on the best steps to take in response, while ensuring every possible evidential and legal defence is explored and, if appropriate, presented in Court.

Appeals and Reviews

We advise and represent clients on appeals to the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court and on applications to the Criminal Cases Review Commission. Our cases include miscarriage of justice cases, often arising from convictions many years ago. Our team has the particular skills, experience and tenacity which appeal work requires.

Why choose Russell-Cooke for serious criminal offences and investigations?

About our criminal and financial crime team

Our Criminal Law team has been the choice of cabinet ministers, judges, performers, celebrities, premiership managers and footballers, journalists and business leaders and professionals for more than 50 years. We have some of the most experienced and sought after solicitors in this field, with huge experience in defending in complex and high profile cases. Our team is well-respected by other defence lawyers, investigators and prosecutors alike.

Serious criminal offences

Many of our clients are professional people accused of financial offences, but we also have extensive experience of defending very serious non-financial cases. These have included high profile prosecutions for murder, manslaughter (including assisted dying and “mercy killings”) terrorism, sexual offences, firearms, and drug supply and importation. Due to this expertise, we regularly advise journalists and media organisations on criminal law issues in their work. We have experience in cases with a political angle, such as Official Secrets Act investigations and prosecutions and also defending political protesters and whistleblowers. 

Sexual offences

Allegations involving sexual misconduct can carry a particular stigma and can be especially upsetting for those accused. Even an accusation can have very serious implications for employment, reputation and personal life. We regularly represent individuals accused of sexual misconduct, and our priority is to ensure that investigations into false allegations are dropped as quickly as possible to limit the damage caused. If a prosecution cannot be avoided we will defend you robustly throughout the process, from the Magistrates’ Court though to trial. We fully understand the stress and reputational risk that can arise from allegations of a sexual nature, and support you with intelligent advice and protection.

Where it is helpful, we work with other specialist lawyers in our firm to manage reputational, employment, immigration and professional regulatory issues.

Farming and agriculture crime

Our specialists defend a range of clients from the farming sector throughout the UK who face investigation or prosecution. We have a successful track record defending farmers in prosecutions brought by Trading Standards, Rural Payments Agency, BCMS, DEFRA and environmental agencies.

Other criminal offences

We know that allegations of less serious offences can still have significant adverse consequences for the individuals accused, and that any criminal allegation is likely to lead to uncertainty and anxiety. Whatever the offence under investigation, we defend each client with the same commitment and expertise. For instance, we act on driving offences from those at the most serious end of the scale, involving fatalities, and to those less serious offences where an individual’s reputation and livelihood may still be at stake. Please see also 'Motoring Offences Charging Information'. 

Our serious criminal offences and investigations experience

Recent cases have included: 

  • representing a senior non-commissioned Army officer prosecuted for allegedly selling ammunition to under-cover police officers.
  • representing a retired nurse in relation to allegations of sending malicious communications to two members of the House of Lords.
  • representing several defendants prosecuted for causing death by careless or dangerous driving.
  • representing a 16 year old boy prosecuted for the murder of a delivery driver.
  • representing an individual on an application to the Criminal Cases Review commission against his conviction for murder—the application is based upon the unreliability of evidence generated by the Post Office “Horizon” software system that was used against him at trial.
  • representing an individual prosecuted for obstructing the coroner, arising from the suicide of her seriously ill husband.
  • representing an individual prosecuted for large scale counterfeiting of banknotes.
  • representing a 16 year old prosecuted for rape on a 15 year old school girl.
  • representing an Uber driver prosecuted for alleged rape of a fare.
  • representing farmers in relation to allegations of animal welfare and transport breaches, animal testing (TB and BSC) related allegations, and fraud allegations relating to movement of animals. 

Testimonials and legal directory quotes

We are ranked in Legal 500 and Chambers for our expertise. Here are some comments made about us.

The practice is highly experienced with criminal matters involving sexual offences, media related prosecutions, and serious organised crime.
The Legal 500 (2024)
Russell-Cooke is a well-regarded team with extensive experience managing high-profile cases, including murder, drugs supply charges and serious sexual offences.
Chambers UK (2024)

Charging information

The majority of the work we carry out in this field is privately funded. However our team retains a contract with the Legal Aid Agency and, in exceptional cases, we may be able to offer representation under Legal Aid. At  the outset of your case we will the funding options with you and put into place a funding package that is affordable and manageable. 

Motoring offences charging information

Cars on motorway

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 in touch

If you would like to speak with a member of the team you can contact our criminal and financial crime solicitors by email, by telephone on +44 (0)20 3826 7521 or complete our enquiry form.

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