• Corker Binning continues to 'punch well above its weight'… Corker Binning represents many high-profile clients in sensitive matters attracting considerable media attention.

    Legal 500 UK 2011

  • At Corker Binning, Andrew Smith ‘is a first-class lawyer, and very user friendly’; he leads the [professional discipline] team, which specialises in financial crime.

    Legal 500 2015

  • At Corker Binning, department head Robert Brown ‘has the rare ability to nip potential prosecutions in the bud’.

    Legal 500 2014

  • "First-class operator," Edward Grange, comes highly recommended as a "an encyclopaedia of extradition knowledge."

    Chambers UK 2017

  • Corker Binning’s clients include the FRC. Andrew Smith is the head of the [Professional discipline] department, and is considered ‘a natural litigator’.

    Legal 500 UK 2014

  • Jessica Parker "has complete mastery of her cases and excellent client-handling skills."

    Chambers UK 2017

  • The ‘extremely talented’ [criminal] practice head Robert Brown, who ‘always sees the bigger picture’, acted for a number of clients on the Leveson Inquiry

    Legal 500 2015

  • "A top-flight firm with the highest standards."

    Chambers UK 2017

Harassment

The Protection from Harassment Act 1997 creates criminal and civil law remedies for a person who considers themselves to be the victim of actual or anticipated harm from harassment.

What amounts to harassment? The 1997 Act defines it in broad terms, and so a working definition has only emerged from case law: conduct targeted at an individual calculated to cause them alarm or distress and which is unreasonable. Harassment is therefore highly fact-dependant. The issues at stake are likely to be whether the conduct was (a) so calculated and (b) unreasonable. In drawing these boundaries, the courts have distinguished between conduct which is unattractive or regrettable and that which they regard as unacceptable. The courts also insist that selfish or anti-social behaviour of some sort which is not directly aimed at someone is not harassment, although it may cause distress to many.

Harassment therefore needs to be targeted. However, it is not only the victim or target  of harassment who can bring a harassment claim. The courts have recently extended the class of potential claimants beyond this to include those who are directly and foreseeably harmed by the conduct. This, for example, can include those living with the target who become caught up in the harasser’s campaign; what the courts have termed ‘collateral damage’.

If you believe you are the victim of harassment, you can bring a civil claim against the perpetrator which, if upheld by the court, can lead it to make a series of banning orders as well as order her/him to pay you compensation. Alternatively, or in conjunction with this civil claim, you can ask the police to intervene leading to a prosecution. In most instances the police will not prosecute until after ‘words of advice’ have been given to the perpetrator and have then been ignored. However, if you are unsatisfied with the police’s apparent lack of vigour, you can launch a private prosecution.

If you are alleged to be the perpetrator in either a civil or criminal litigation mounted against you, you will probably want to show that it is mistaken, unjustified or if it relates to something you wrote, an attempt to infringe your right to free speech. This firm has experience of negotiating penalties for those suspected of committing the crime of harassment, particularly Police Information Notices, which can be issued in lieu of a criminal charge, and so allow the suspect to avoid the stress and uncertainty of criminal proceedings.

Corker Binning has many years’ experience in acting for potential and actual claimants and defendants in harassment claims. It has worked alongside family and civil litigation teams in other firms to provide an expert criminal law perspective to them when advising a client whether to take action.

More

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

You can also read our general crime lawyers’ comments and analysis on recent cases and developments in the Corker Binning Blog.

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

chambers-2017
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.