What we do

  • Andrew Smith is "a very accomplished and knowledgeable extradition practitioner." He is recommended for his abilities in politically sensitive matters involving high-profile figures.

    Chambers UK 2016

  • David Corker is very highly regarded and able to think laterally, often coming up with surprising solutions to problems.

    Chambers HNW 2016

  • The "absolutely phenomenal" Robert Brown is a criminal defence specialist who is "full of ideas, utterly committed to his clients, realistic in his advice and leaves no stone unturned in preparation."

    Chambers UK 2016

  • …praised for its handling of the most intricate criminal fraud cases. Sources say 'they are able to provide a personal level of care for the client.'

    Chambers UK 2011

  • A luminary of British and Russian law, [Robert] Brown has been instructed across a striking diversity of cases.

    Spear’s 500

  • David Corker is “amongst the elite group of UK criminal defence lawyers” and is “extremely bright and good at providing a strategic overview, and has excellent client care skills”

    Legal 500 2011

  • Jessica Parker is highlighted for her "phenomenally hard-working" approach and she is "outstanding, pragmatic and personable."

    Chambers UK 2017

  • “She is sharp, diligent and much loved by her clients.”

    Who’s Who Legal: Investigations 2017

Private prosecutions

The right of any individual or entity to bring a criminal prosecution is regarded by UK law as a constitutional safeguard against the failure or refusal of a State prosecutor to prosecute an offender. For the majority of offences, no permission from the CPS or equivalent is needed and so the first step is usually an application to a magistrates’ court to issue a summons or warrant which, if granted, begins the proceedings culminating in a trial either in the magistrates court, or in an appropriate case before a jury in the crown court.

Private prosecutions are increasing and sometimes are regarded as a more effective means of accessing justice than a law suit brought in the civil courts. Anyone who believes for instance that the police failed to properly investigate their complaint or the CPS lawyer decided not to prosecute for irrational reasons has the ability to bring justice to the wrongdoer and have their allegation heard by a court. If ultimately the wrongdoer is convicted, like any criminal they stand to be punished which can include imprisonment. On the back of a conviction, ancillary financial orders can ensue such as compensation for the victim. A successful private prosecution of one accused can therefore send a strong signal and deter others or prevent a repetition of the same behaviour.

A private prosecution can be used in conjunction with a civil claim.  We work alongside civil litigators to ensure that the most effective process is given precedence at the appropriate time.

If the wrongdoer is outside the UK, that impediment to their prosecution can still be overcome. Their impunity can be attacked first by commencing the prosecution here and second, persuading the CPS to seek their extradition back to the UK to facilitate the trial. The CPS is willing to so assist in an appropriate case.

Prosecuting is and should be a serious business and not embarked upon for vengeful or frivolous reasons. The Lord Chief Justice demands high standards from any prosecutor, beginning from selecting the most appropriate charge through to presenting the case in court.

Amongst our team we have an ex-Met officer and CPS/SFO prosecutor. If you believe you are a victim of crime we will ensure that you will receive the best advice. We will either seek to persuade the police and CPS to use their powers on your behalf by presenting the evidence in a concise yet persuasive way; or we will provide you with the confidence and sure-footedness to launch your own prosecution which would result in the accused having to answer to it in court.

Alternatively, if you find yourself being proceeded against by a private prosecutor, we are able to rely on our expertise in criminal proceedings to explore all lines of defence. It is important when defending a private prosecution to focus on the aspects of the case which are likely to be particularly vulnerable to attack and which may not be present in a prosecution by the State. For example, can you persuade the Magistrate Court not to issue the summons at an inter partes hearing? Can you persuade the Crown Prosecution Service to discontinue the prosecution because the evidence is insufficient? Is the prosecutor acting in a malicious or vexatious manner, or seeking to use the private prosecutions to gain a collateral advantage in related proceedings? Could the Court be persuaded to stay the prosecution as an abuse of process? Is the private prosecutor complying with their disclosure obligations? All of these questions need to be considered carefully in resolving how best to undermine a private prosecution.

More

For more information on how we can help you, please call us on 020 7353 6000.

Named as key individuals in the field of Crime by Chambers UK 2017:

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Top_tier_firms

Robert Brown – Star Individual

Jessica Parker – Up and Coming

  • Corker Binning is ranked in Band 1 of recommended firms for Crime by  Chambers 2017.
  • Corker Binning is ranked as a first tier firm for Crime by Legal 500 2016 and Robert Brown is named as a leading individual for Crime.
  • Robert Brown is the only member of a criminal firm to have been ranked in the Top 10 leading lawyers in the Super Lawyers London 2014 Annual List.