Private Prosecution in UK. Edmonds Marshall McMahon is a unique firm of solicitors and barristers with an unrivalled track record in conducting major fraud prosecutions and regulatory work. The founding partners have a combined total of 70 years’ experience in criminal justice and the firm offers a novel service to victims of crime – that is, of course, the ability to bring a private prosecution. Edmonds Marshall McMahon remains the only law firm in the UK dedicated to private prosecution.
As you may know, the majority of prosecutions in England and Wales are conducted by public agencies, including the Crown Prosecution Service (“CPS”) and Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”). However, the right of to pursue a private prosecution is expressly preserved by section 6(1) of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985. Under this section, any person or entity that has “legal personality” has the right to bring a prosecution. It is this statutory power on which Edmonds Marshall McMahon relies to represent its clients.
In light of funding cuts to the criminal justice system over the last decade, and the consequential lack of resourcing, private prosecutions are more important than ever – this private mechanism allows individuals and companies to access justice that is otherwise inaccessible through traditional avenues. While costs must be met by our clients in the first instance, at the conclusion of a private prosecution they may apply for costs out of central government funds, regardless of whether a defendant is convicted or acquitted. As long as a prosecution is properly brought and conducted, which we always go to great pains to ensure, reasonable costs are recoverable.
While we privately prosecute the full range of offences under the criminal law, we have particular expertise in fraud, corporate dishonesty and financial crime. Alongside our lawyers, we have a dedicated investigations team comprising former SFO investigators and detectives from the Metropolitan Police. We work closely with our firm’s investigators to gather the best evidence to take cases forward. We do not believe in a “one size fits all” approach to prosecutions and pride ourselves on our imaginative and strategic approach to cases, which yields exceptional results for our clients.