Scarmans

Private Prosecutions

Our team is headed by Sandip Patel QC, a consultant, who is described by a Legal 500 law firm as "...one of the leading Private Prosecution QC’s in the country". If you have been the victim of a crime and have been either let down by the police and prosecuting authorities or believe they will not take you seriously, and civil action is too expensive and slow, then you should consider bringing a private prosecution.

Private Prosecutions are prosecutions not brought by the Crown or other statutory prosecuting authority, such as the Crown Prosecution Service. A private prosecution can be brought by any individual or any company and the right is expressly reserved in section 6(1) Prosecution of Offences Act 1985.

There are numerous advantages to a private prosecution.

  • You have control of your own case. A private prosecution is not dependent on the police (or any other public body) deciding whether the matter merits investigation or prosecution.
  • A private prosecution is generally quicker and so the costs are likely to be lower than for civil litigation. For instance a private prosecutor does not pay a court fee. But the same action in a civil court requires an upfront court fee of 5% of the value of the claim above £10,000.
  • A private prosecutor unlike civil litigation does not provide security for costs to a defendant.
  •  A private prosecutor unlike civil litigation is not generally liable to pay a successful defendant’s costs. Significantly, costs can never be awarded against a private prosecutor, win or lose, unless it can be shown that the prosecutor has acted maliciously or negligently.
  • A private prosecutor can recover proper and reasonable legal costs from either the accused or the State.
  • A private prosecutor can obtain an order freezing a defendant’s assets.
  • A private prosecutor can obtain compensation for his losses from a defendant. Where a defendant has been convicted of a criminal offence and benefited financially from their crime, a private prosecutor can ask the court to make a confiscation order in addition to a compensation order. A confiscation order is enforced by the court. A defendant who fails to pay faces imprisonment. Where a person or company has financially suffered as a result of the crime, it is possible for the company to be compensated for this loss.

Our private prosecution cases have included:

  • defrauded companies and individuals having been told by the police that it was a “civil matter”
  • assault victims
  • theft
  • false allegation of rape resulting in private prosecution for perverting the course of justice
  • counterfeiting


Our team of experts in this specialised area of law can guide you through the entire process including on advising on whether you have a case to trial. We can advise you on how to fund your case and recover your costs either from the accused if successful or the state, irrespective of the outcome.

Unlike civil action, you are not required to pay court costs or generally that of the accused. The law is clear. Individuals and corporations have the right to bring prosecutions privately when they have been the victim of crime.

Should you need advice and representation please do contact us urgently or by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Articles of Interest

http://www.scarmans.co.uk/index.php/legal-articles/159-a-guide-to-private-criminal-prosecution

http://www.scarmans.co.uk/index.php/legal-articles/172-private-prosecutions-and-prosecutorial-misconduct

http://www.scarmans.co.uk/index.php/news/161-why-private-prosecutions-are-increasingly-popular

 

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10 Lower Thames Street, London, EC3R 6AF
T: 0203 976 2452
E: email@scarmans.co.uk