Business Crime Lawyers
BSB Solicitors have an extensive history of handling investigations and prosecutions involving allegations of business crime. If you are being charged or investigated, it’s imperative you obtain legal assistance as soon as possible. Our specialist team of experienced criminal defence lawyers are on hand to help with any stage of proceedings.
These are more often than not complex matters, which are difficult to navigate without specific knowledge of the law and procedure. Our team can help you to decipher information being presented, deal with the various bodies conducting investigations, and prepare your defence if necessary.
If we can help, contact us as soon as possible and we’ll be happy to discuss any aspect of your case.
Business Crime Investigations
Cases often begin with internal investigations and the regulatory self-reporting of concerns to the authorities. In such internal investigations, a corporation may self-report in an effort to limit culpability, and distance themselves from culpability, resulting in focus towards specific individuals or areas.
In other cases, criminal investigations are started by various government or law enforcement bodies. These can begin without notice, with dawn raids and the freezing of assets or business operations. In any situation like this, you need legal help to manage proceedings and avoid self-incrimination.
As is the nature of corporate crimes, there is almost always a significant amount of documentary evidence and data for the authorities to consider. Managing these enquiries on your own, without the necessary legal knowledge and experience can potentially lead to self incrimination, a professional team of business crime experts is therefore recommended.
Business crime can also span both domestic and international, in which case there will be multiple jurisdictions at play. Your legal team needs to be knowledgeable not just in matters in the UK, but also how to liaise with other jurisdictions.
Who Prosecutes Business Crimes?
While initial investigations may begin internally, prosecutions will be conducted by any number of government or legal bodies.
From the investigation stage to the prosecution stage, criminal proceedings for business crimes may involve any of the following agencies:
- The City of London Police
- Serious Fraud Office (SFO)
- Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
- National Crime Agency (NCA)
- Financial Services Authority (FSA)
- Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)
- HMRC Special Compliance Office
The team at BSB Solicitors have broad knowledge of all the relevant government agencies, and how to deal with the investigations carried out by each.
Different Types of Business Crime
Offences that fall under the umbrella of Business, corporate or white-collar crime can include:
- Bribery & corruption
- Money laundering
- Competition & cartels
- Criminal fraud
- Insider trading
- Tax crimes
- Environmental crimes
- Cyber Security crimes under the Computer Misuse Act (1990)
- Trade & export violations
The list above is not exhaustive of the nature of offences or legal issues that you may face. Indeed, the umbrella of business crime is so large, it is advisable to instruct solicitors and counsel experienced in business crime to be able to sufficiently manage your investigation and defence.
Corporate Criminal Liability
Establishing liability for a corporation convicted of business crimes comes largely under two principles.
Vicarious liability covers cases or offences in which there needs no mental element, such as intent, knowledge or dishonesty. For these offences, only the facts need to be proven – for example, breach of regulations or unlawful actions.
Non-vicarious liability, or the identification principle covers most other offences. For these offences, the prosecutors must identify and establish a “directing mind and will” (DMW) of the company in relation to the offence. Put simply, it means there must be a mental element, such as intent or dishonesty, in order to prove criminal liability.
The exception are three pieces of legislation that cover certain offences in corporate offences .
- Corporate manslaughter (Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007)
- Failure to prevent bribery (Bribery Act 2010)
- Failure to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion (Criminal Finances Act 2017)
Our team of business crime solicitors will be able to clearly explain what liability, if any, you or your company may be facing, and how to build upon your defence in the face of such liability.
Sentencing for Business Crime
If convicted, sentencing for business or corporate crime s will be conducted in accordance with the Criminal Justice Act 2003, and the relevant crime being prosecuted.
Sentences range from custodial terms to fines depending on the seriousness of the offence, or in the case of the latter, the financial means of the offender. Convicted offenders may also be subject to proceedings whereby the prosecuting authority seeks to confiscate assets based upon any assessment of the benefit obtained from the offending .
Further Info on Corporate Prosecutions
For more in-depth reading on corporate law, liability, prosecutions and sentencing, see this guidance from The Crown Prosecution Service:
For guidance on bribery and related information (what constitutes bribery, principles for prosecuting bribery cases and case studies), see The Bribery Act 2010:
For a list of offences laid out in the Companies Act 2006, see this:
How We Can Help
Any time you are faced with criminal prosecution or investigation, it’s vital that you seek legal representation as soon as possible, and this is all the more true for complex matters such as corporate or business crime.
Without the help of legal defence experts, you’re at risk of self-incrimination, poor handling of the investigation, on top of significant stress and potential reputation damage. Criminal proceedings often take a large toll on individuals and those around them, especially when they involve one’s livelihood.
BSB Solicitors are here to help in each step of criminal proceedings, from investigation to prosecution defence. Because of the nature of corporate investigations, and the complex nature of both investigation and prosecution stage, it’s important to get in touch with legal professionals early.
To discuss any aspect of your case please contact partners Jonathan Black or James Skelsey on 0207 8373456, or contact us here.
“1st time experiences in court can be very daunting , I write this review in light of recent events. First of all magistrates court and then two crown court visits as well as a prolonged newton hearing. All this took place over a 6 month period .Things didn’t look good.Without the support and guidance of James Skelsey of BSB solicitors things could have and I believe would have been a result of a custodial sentence, but with his vast knowledge and experience he saved the day and no custodial sentence was passed. Myself and my whole family cant thank all at BSB solicitors enough.”
J.M (January 2018)
“I was arrested one morning at my home by seven police officers for an alleged criminal act and taken to my local police station.
A solicitor from BSB Solicitors, Nathan Seymour-Hyde , promptly turned up at the station and provided me with stellar advice in how to handle the questioning I was subjected to.
Since then Mr Seymour-Hyde and his colleagues from BSB Solicitors have absolutely amazing in dealing with the police.
It has seven of the worst months of my life, but BSB have been by my side at every stage of the journey. I have never been in such a situation before and their legal expertise has been invaluable.
Thanks to BSB, my name has been cleared and all charges against me dropped.
I can’t recommend BSB Solicitors highly enough. I feel very fortunate to have discovered them, and they will be my first port of call for any future legal matters.”
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“I found BSB Solicitors to be the most helpful and insightful in what has been an incredibly complex and intriguing case.
I would endorse their services completely to anybody looking for personal, professional assistance , and I would like to especially mention Mr James Skelsey, for his unbridled passion and support on my behalf.”
Michael Tivnan (January 2017)