Criminal Investigations & Prosecutions
Sexual offences and domestic abuse
“They are assiduous in protecting their clients from media exposure and have a discreet approach that not all firms mirror.”
THE LEGAL 500 2021
Recent years have seen an extraordinary rise in the number of sexual and domestic abuse allegations being investigated and prosecuted.
Our lawyers are experienced in representing suspects at the police station, and will seek early engagement with the police and prosecuting authorities to persuade them not to bring (or to withdraw) criminal charges.
Defending these types of allegations requires forensic analysis and objectivity, combined with sensitivity to the ramifications of a criminal prosecution. We give clients step-by-step guidance through this difficult process, ensuring that the prosecution’s case is critically examined and tested and that all defence avenues are thoroughly explored, offering a discrete approach to representation.
We have a wealth of experience in defending individuals (including youths) under investigation for offences of a sexual nature, from possession of indecent images or extreme pornography, involvement in the distribution of revenge pornography, to rape and sexual abuse. We understand that criminal prosecution, providing no right to anonymity for defendants, can destroy careers, reputations and family relationships. We seek to mitigate these consequences wherever possible, sometimes working in a coordinated team with media lawyers and consultants.
Recent developments in the law have seen allegations of domestic abuse become progressively easier to prosecute. Our lawyers are leading experts in this field, particularly in respect of cases involving alleged controlling or coercive behaviour, harassment and stalking. We are well-versed in the interplay between proceedings before the family courts (e.g. divorce, separation and child arrangements) and the impact of criminal investigations upon outcomes in civil cases. We work closely with family lawyers to develop cohesive strategies catering for both sets of proceedings.
Our lawyers have recently advised on the following matters:
- Acting for several individuals investigated as a result of the “#MeToo” and “Everyone’s Invited”.
- Acting for several high profile individuals in the entertainment industry facing allegations of historic sexual abuse. In these instances, our clients have avoided publicity and none have been charged.
- An individual with autism accused of rape and assault during a consensual BDSM relationship.
- Advising the director of a large UK corporate in relation to an investigation into alleged rape and sexual assault (no charges brought).
- Advising a Government Minister in relation to allegations of historic sexual abuse made in the tabloid newspapers.
- Preparing a defence at trial for an individual charged with multiple counts of familial sexual assault and possession of indecent images of children. The client was acquitted on all counts.
- Securing non-custodial sentences for those convicted of offences of possessing/distributing indecent images, including one individual targeted by a vigilante group operation.
- Persuading the CPS of the lack of public interest in prosecuting an elderly man for alleged historic sexual abuse dating back over 40 years.
- Advising a corporation on how to address its discovery that its employees had been accessing indecent images on their work computers.