Your business and company may be more familiar with using civil courts to resolve trade and copyright infringements. However, criminal litigation may be a clever alternative to civil litigation or could be effectively run in conjunction with civil litigation.
Criminal Prosecution is an excellent addition to a company’s anti-fraud enforcement strategy. We have a record of over 50 year's success in criminal trial litigation – most civil lawyers have no idea of the options and advantages in this arena.
A private prosecution is “a prosecution started by a private individual or Company who is not acting on behalf of the police or any other prosecuting authority or body which conducts prosecutions”. The right of a private individual to bring a criminal prosecution is a historical one originating in the earliest days of the legal system. Although the need for private individuals to bring (and pay for) criminal prosecutions has largely disappeared since the creation of the office of Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in 1879, the right to do so nevertheless remains. It has been described as a “useful constitutional safeguard against capricious, corrupt or biased failure or refusal of the authorities a criminal prosecution can be used alongside civil proceedings and has many advantages.
- There is no requirement for private prosecutions to satisfy the Code for Crown Prosecutors, which sets out the factors the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) should consider when deciding whether to institute a public prosecution.
- The first consideration in any case is to assess if the proceedings “are worth it?”. There is no point in civil proceedings against insolvent companies or individuals with no money. Criminal prosecutions target both individuals and companies as the outcome does not depend on a person’s assets.
- Prosecutions are cheaper and quicker than civil litigation.
- Prosecutions have great deterrence effect due to the powers of the criminal court. There are draconian confiscation powers available, the threat of prison and a criminal record. A conviction can restrict travel to the United States and cause disqualification from being a company director.
- Criminal cases attract PUBLICITY - which can be very positive.
- In Trademark and IP counterfeit investigations, the whole chain of fraudsters can be attacked by adding multiple defendants.
- Private prosecutions are not reliant on inefficient government agencies - just check out our record of success in defence work, which is over 80%, so this option is great to fight fraud and complex business crime.
- Private fraud prosecutions cover many contractual situations including any intended false representation made by an individual or company.