Regulation and public law

Private prosecutions and investigations

Private prosecutions and investigations

For over 20 years we have provided expert legal advice in bringing successful private prosecutions involving regulatory offences, counterfeit goods, trading standards, consumer law and the protection of intellectual property enforcement and dispute resolution, 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 via effective investigation procedures. We offer a bespoke service throughout the lifespan of a private prosecution including working in conjunction with statutory authorities.

The areas in which we advise include:

  • Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008
  • Consumer Rights Act 2015
  • corporate crime
  • counterfeiting
  • Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 offences
  • Environmental Protection Act 1990
  • false representations (Fraud Act 2006)
  • making or supplying articles for use in fraud (Fraud Act 2006)
  • money laundering regulatory framework - civil and criminal
  • possession of articles intended for use in fraud (Fraud Act 2006)
  • Proceeds of Crime Act 2002
  • Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000
  • Solicitors Act 1974
  • statutory nuisance/noise abatement
  • Theft Act 1968
  • Trade Marks Act 1994 offences
  • trade marks and copyright theft - civil and criminal
  • 'white collar crime' prosecutions

Our private prosecutions and investigations team

The team has built up an unrivalled body of expertise in relation to the investigation of offences to the requisite criminal standard and the bringing of successful private prosecutions. 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.

We have advised (and continue to advise) several organisations in relation to conspiracy and serious fraud matters relating to the prosecution of trade mark and intellectual property offences under the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988.

Our approach

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 of charges on the evidence to hand and successful prosecution. We act on behalf of a full range of clients from individuals bringing prosecutions of statutory nuisance, regulatory bodies looking to protect the rights of their members and the public interest through to corporate bodies looking to protect their business.

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

Clients we have acted/continued to act for include:

  • 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. Cases we have been instructed on have led to a record amount of over £327,000 being ordered by a court in fines and costs
  • Home owners bringing private prosecutions in relation to offence of statutory noise nuisance under the Environment Protection Act 1990
  • Rights holders such as Louis Vuitton, Mulberry and Pandora obtaining numerous convictions in cases and sentences against the convicted sellers including a 'banning order' preventing the defendant 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 – we were 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

Charging information

Charges are usually based on our hourly rates plus administrative charges and disbursements. We will provide you with an initial estimate of your likely legal costs and will update this as your requirements or the circumstances of the work change.

If you instruct us on a volume of work and/or can offer us a fixed term contract we may be able to offer discounted hourly rates. 

We would be pleased to discuss your requirements free of charge and tailor a costs proposal accordingly.

Get in touch

If you would like to speak with a member of the team you can contact our regulation and public law solicitors by email, by telephone on +44 (0)20 3826 7524 or complete our enquiry form.

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