When individuals or companies have suffered financial loss as a result of dishonesty, and they seek recompense, they often head for the civil courts. There may be elements of a fraud that the injured party thinks should be the subject of a prosecution, yet the authorities can be reluctant to intervene. In suitable cases a private prosecution can be considered.
Although the standard of proof is higher in the criminal courts, this should not be a bar to consideration of private prosecution which may indeed have advantages.
Civil litigation can be sidetracked into procedural issues and arguments about costs. But criminal prosecution can, perversely, be cheaper, often quicker, and - with a strong case - a more attractive option for deterrence and the recovery of losses.
Private prosecutions in particular can be better targeted than public prosecutions, because generally the prosecutor, the victim, understands what has happened and can deal directly with lawyers.
Chambers has considerable experience in advising and conducting private prosecutions. We will be frank and honest with you if the evidence isn’t up to it, but if it is, we will fight hard on your behalf.
The successful prosecutor in the Crown Court may be able to recover a significant proportion of its costs from central funds.
Appropriately advised and conducted, a private prosecution can have limited downsides.