The BAFTA winning actor, producer and film director Noel Clarke has been the subject of numerous allegations of sexual misconduct and bullying as a result of a story published by the Guardian Newspaper.
The Guardian Newspaper claims that its journalists have been in contact with twenty women in the TV and film industry who allege verbal or sexual misconduct on the part of Noel Clarke. Some of the twenty women have waived their anonymity whilst others have made the report to the newspaper under a pseudonym.
Noel Clarke vehemently denies the allegations.
Kangs Solicitors has been representing individuals in relation to sexual offence allegations since 1997 and, during this time, our team of solicitors has become one of the leading firms in the country undertaking this extremely sensitive work.
We have been recognised for many years by the leading law directories, the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners, for our work in relation to criminal defence work. The most recent edition of the Legal 500 (2021 edition) says the following about us:
‘It conducts cases which are on a par with any criminal defence department in the country. It is the market leader for criminal and fraud work’.
Our team is led by Hamraj Kang an award-winning solicitor who has been ranked as a ‘star individual’ for five consecutive years by Chambers & Partners. Other members of the team, including Helen Holder, are also listed in both the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners.
For an initial no obligation discussion, please call our Team at any of our offices detailed below:
Hamraj Kang briefly considers some of the issues that can arise where the allegation of sexual misconduct involves numerous complainants and a sole accused.
Anonymity of Complainants | Kangs Criminal Defence Solicitors
There has been much discussion in recent times regarding the right to anonymity for complainants.
The longstanding position is that a complainant in a police investigation involving sexual offences allegations is entitled to anonymity. The complainant’s name cannot be disclosed in public or reported in the press unless the complainant specifically waives his or her right to anonymity.
The name and identity of the complainant will be disclosed to the accused and the accused’s legal representatives to enable the accused to provide an account of events, should the accused wish to do so.
Anonymity of Suspects | Defence of Sexual Offences | Kangs Solicitors
The recent debate has focused on whether the right to anonymity should be extended to the suspect or the accused during the police investigation stage of the case.
This argument is based on the premise that during the police investigation the accused has not been charged with any criminal offence and, therefore, he or she should be afforded the same protection of anonymity as the complainant.
The argument follows that if the suspect does become a defendant (namely when formal charges have been brought against the accused and the accused must attend court), at that stage the normal reporting rules should apply and the identity of the defendant can be published as it would in any other criminal court proceedings.
Anonymity and Multiple Complainants | Historic Sexual Offences Defence
We have significant experience of conducting cases that involve numerous complainants including high profile investigations such as the Metropolitan Police investigation ‘Operation Yewtree’ which was an investigation into historical sexual misconduct allegations in relation to numerous household celebrities and TV personalities in the 1970s and 1980s.
In such cases, it is common for the initial arrest of the suspect to be reported and this has been a significant bone of contention for many people arrested in such circumstances. It is of particular concern as many such cases have concluded with no criminal charges being brought against the suspect following an extensive police investigation.
In such cases, the suspect’s identity has been published with the cloud of suspicion hanging over the suspect for the entire length of time of the police investigation. The most notorious example being the circumstances forced upon Sir Cliff Richard but there have been many suspects in this position whom we have represented over the years.
The primary argument against granting the suspect anonymity at the police investigation stage appears to be that such publicity is necessary in order to encourage any other victims to come forward and provide their account. Critics of this argument suggest that this approach can be counter-productive to the police investigation as it may encourage opportunistic or false complainants to come forward thereby damaging the claims of the genuine complainants.
Police Complaint or Press Complaint | Kangs Privacy Solicitors
The most common course of action for a potential complainant in a sexual misconduct allegation is to report the matter to the police.
It can be seen that this appears not to be the action taken by the complainants involved in the Noel Clarke allegations. The complainants have instead reported their complaints to an investigative journalist at the Guardian Newspaper and it is not known if a formal police investigation will be launched at this stage.
Civil Claims Arising From Sexual Misconduct Cases | Civil Law Solicitors
Aside from the criminal proceedings, consideration needs to be given in such cases to a potential civil law claim arising from the alleged sexual misconduct.
It is common for civil proceedings to be commenced by a complainant against the alleged perpetrator. The civil proceedings can be brought any time and are independent of the criminal proceedings. The initiation of criminal proceedings is not a pre-requisite to commencing a civil action, the purpose of which is to seek financial compensation for the complainant.
We have conducted many cases where parallel civil and criminal proceedings have been brought and both require careful attention in terms of trial preparation.
Some recent examples of our work in this area includes advising a wide range of clients such as:
- high profile media personalities,
- care home owners and management,
- child care institutions in both the UK and overseas.
Our Experience | Kangs Sexual Offences Defence Solicitors
As a specialist litigation firm, we are able to advise clients both in relation to any criminal or civil liability that might arise from any allegations of sexual misconduct.
We have considerable experience in defending a wide variety of sexual offence allegations in the criminal courts and a sample of our recent cases can be found by following this link.
How to Contact Us | Kangs Solicitors
We understand how difficult it can be for an accused person and their family to deal with such sensitive allegations which can have drastic consequences if the correct advice is not sought at an early stage.
We welcome new enquiries by telephone or email.
Our team of lawyers is available to meet at our offices in London, Birmingham or Manchester or, alternatively, we are happy to arrange an initial no obligation meeting via telephone or video conferencing.
For initial enquires please contact: