Private Prosecutions

Our extensive experience in both defense and prosecution positions the XT 24 team with the expertise and insight to guide our clients through the intricate process of investigating and bringing a case before the court.

Our experts routinely advise clients at every stage to ensure a successful resolution.

Private Prosecutions

What is a Private Prosecution?

A private prosecution is initiated by a private individual or entity, not acting on behalf of the police or other prosecuting authority.

With public funding stretched even before the pandemic, there is a growing number of instances where investigative authorities lack the resources to conduct thorough investigations and prosecutions.

This is particularly troubling in cases involving allegations of fraud, where investigations can be lengthy and highly detailed. Despite a robust evidential case, authorities may decline to act. In such situations, an individual or entity may opt for a private prosecution to seek redress.

How do Private Prosecutions work?

Similar to any prosecution brought before the courts, a meticulous analysis of the evidence is essential, along with the application of the Full Code Evidential test and the Public Interest test. If these criteria are met, an application can be made to the Magistrates’ Court for the issuance of a summons containing details of the alleged charges.

Many private prosecution cases end up in the Crown Court due to the nature and seriousness of the allegations. In cases where allegations of financial loss are made, consideration may be given to applying for a restraint order to preserve the assets of the accused at risk of dissipation.

If the prosecution case concludes with a conviction, potential sanctions may include a custodial sentence where relevant. The Court may also be asked to consider whether a confiscation and/or a compensation order should be issued.

Can I recover my costs?

While funding for a private prosecution falls on the person or entity bringing the action, there is provision for cost recovery, regardless of whether a conviction is secured, under s17 of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985.

Moreover, the decision in the recent costs case of Fuseon Ltd v Senior Courts Costs Office and The Lord Chancellor [2020] EWHC 126 (Admin) clarified the position regarding the recovery of costs and the considerations the private prosecutor should weigh in bringing an action.

If you are facing or contemplating pursuing a private prosecution, or for more information about XT 24 and our Criminal Litigation, Investigations, and Regulatory services, please contact a member of the XT 24 team who will be able to assist.

Litigation Support Analyst
Head Extradition Solicitor