Private Criminal Prosecutions

At KANGS, our nationally recognised team of criminal defence solicitors work closely to support corporations, organisations and individuals to defend a wide array of private prosecutions. If you find yourself served with a summons or invited for an interview under caution, our team stands ready to assist you. Recognised as one of the top criminal defence firms in the country, we are consistently ranked in the highest category of law firms by leading directories for the legal profession, the Legal 500 and Chambers UK.

A private prosecution is one which is not brought by the police or other prosecuting authority but by a private individual or entity. The right to bring a private prosecution is one which is being exercised on an ever-increasing basis, especially where allegations of economic crime and fraud are involved.

The pursuit of a private prosecution allows an aggrieved party to seek redress through a criminal court, frequently alongside the more traditional approach of a civil court action.

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What should I be aware of when defending a Private Prosecution?

  • Anyone faced with having to defend a private prosecution will be well advised to seek expert advice and guidance. We are accustomed to identifying a vexatious or improper private prosecution and will be able to advise on potential applications to bring the proceedings to an early successful conclusion.
  • The party bringing the private prosecution is under a duty to ensure the proper and accurate compilation, preservation and presentation of the evidence and to convince the court that the procedure is being used appropriately. We can advise the accused client at an early stage as to whether such procedures and protocols have been followed correctly.
  • Whilst it is perfectly acceptable for a private prosecutor to hold a degree of personal interest, the test is objective, involving some public interest. We can advise the accused client on the merits of this test being met in each individual case.

When may a Private Prosecution be considered appropriate?

  • If a public body, such as the Crown Prosecution Service, for example, decides not to prosecute a person or organisation for an alleged wrongdoing, the victim of the alleged crime may bring a private prosecution under section 6(1) of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985.
  • Where an individual or corporate body has suffered financially from alleged dishonesty, it may look to a private prosecution to provide a speedier course of redress than the pursuit of proceedings through a civil court.
  • The alleged offence complained of must not be one for which the consent of the Attorney General or Director of Public Prosecutions is required.
  • If proceedings result in a conviction, the convicted person faces the same criminal court sanctions as would have been the case if the state had been the Prosecutor.

What are the advantages of a Private Criminal Prosecution?

  • Often, a prosecution is commenced by the aggrieved party in situations where a normal prosecuting agency is prevaricating or is reluctant to proceed with the case.
  • In the current climate of costs budgeting in the civil courts, the accuser may feel that far too much time is lost over costs issues to the extent that they frequently become the focus of the civil proceedings. Such costs budgeting issues do not apply in the criminal courts.
  • A successful private prosecution may well lead to a substantial payment of costs being recovered from central funds.
  • For any party wishing to bring a private prosecution, once the preliminary preparatory work has been satisfactorily completed, the subsequent procedure is comparatively straightforward in that the case will proceed in accordance with the usual criminal procedure rules in the Magistrates’ Court and/or the Crown Court.

How can Kangs help?

If you find yourself threatened with a private prosecution or served with a summons to appear in the Magistrates’ Court, please contact our team who will be delighted to assist. Amongst other things, we can help by assessing the merits of the case against you and develop a tailored defence strategy.

Throughout the whole court proceedings and process, our solicitors will provide guidance and support, helping you navigate the complexities of the legal system, ensuring your rights are protected at all times.

Acting quickly upon receiving a summons is crucial, the sooner you act the better we can help safeguard your legal rights, and potentially resolve the matter more efficiently. If you need assistance call or email us today.

Contact Kangs

The expert lawyers at Kangs are available to assist you. We can arrange initial consultations in person, by video call or telephone.

Please contact one of our experts listed below or contact us at:


T: 0333 370 4333



The large team is adept at handling serious and white collar crime. It has very bright individuals at all levels who know the system inside out
Superior firm with that rare ability of being client centred and commercial at the same time and without detriment to either
They are really great lawyers. Their client care is premium
Substantial experience in multi-jurisdictional criminal and financial regulatory investigations
Kangs Solicitors is an outstanding firm
It is a first rate firm dedicated to its clients and tenacious in challenging the prosecution
Ultra efficient and professional. Not surprised it has many senior professional clients
Criminal Litigation, Private Prosecutions
Prosecutions of alleged criminal offences are ordinarily brought by the Crown Prosecution Service (‘the CPS’) upon evidence provided by a public authority, such as the Police, HMRC, the Serious Fraud Office, but can also be through Private Prosecutions. If the CPS chooses not to undertake a Prosecution, for any reason, an individual or organisation may […]
Criminal Litigation, Financial Investigations, Private Prosecutions
The Private Prosecutors’ Association has recently published a code for Private Prosecutors ‘to provide a benchmark in the conduct of private prosecutions.’ Kangs Solicitors has previously commented upon the emergence of private prosecutions and for further information, please follow the link for a greater insight: Private Criminal Prosecutions | An Alternative To Civil Proceedings? Helen […]
Criminal Litigation, Financial Investigations, Private Prosecutions
Private prosecutions continue to attract much interest as evidenced by the issue of such proceedings by Westminster Magistrates’ Court against Member of Parliament, Boris Johnson, in respect of allegations of misconduct in a public office. John Veale of Kangs Solicitors comments. The Circumstances | Kangs Private Prosecutions Team The Usual Prosecution Authorities | Kangs Private […]

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