We understand the reputational and financial damage that a corporate manslaughter conviction can impose.
By advising and representing your organisation from the start of an incident we will provide the support you need when answering questions from the police, regulatory enforcement officers, and the media.
Furthermore, we will collate evidence and build a robust defence should prosecution occur. You can be confident that our Corporate Manslaughter Solicitors will handle your matter with skill and tenacity whilst maintaining compassion for the family of the victim/s and traumatised employees.
We are a diverse, multi-lingual law firm that uses best-in-class technology to provide clients with a streamlined, modern, and highly effective criminal defence. Furthermore, years of experience in criminal law means we have created relationships with some of the UK’s best Barristers and Queen’s Counsel . Our clients also benefit from our ability to instruct the country’s most respected expert witnesses who can provide the Court with the facts required to support a not guilty plea or mitigate the sentence handed down by the Judge.
When is a company guilty of corporate manslaughter?
The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 (CMCHA 2007) is a landmark law that allows corporate bodies to be prosecuted for manslaughter if their regulatory breach/es results in death.
To prove corporate manslaughter, the Prosecution must show:
- how the company organised or managed its activities caused the victim’s death;
- the victim’s death resulted from a gross breach of the duty of care the company owed to him or her; and
- how senior management ran the company was a substantial element of the breach.
What is meant by ‘gross breach’?
A gross breach is a breach that falls significantly below the duty of care expected of a company faced with the same circumstances. When deciding whether acts or omissions constitute a ‘gross breach’, the jury must consider:
- whether the company was in breach of health and safety laws
- the seriousness of the management failure
- the risk that death could occur
The jury may also consider other factors such as whether there were any particular practices within the organisation that may have led to the breach occurring.
What are the penalties for Corporate Manslaughter?
The offence of corporate manslaughter is only triable in the Crown Court. The burden of proof is on the Prosecution, which must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the company is guilty.
In February 2010, the Sentencing Guidelines Council (SGC) published the definitive Sentencing Guidelines Council: Corporate Manslaughter and Health and Safety Offences Causing Death. This sets out the guidelines the Court should use when deciding an appropriate sentence for a corporate manslaughter offence.
Under the guidelines, the Court will consider the following questions when sentencing for a corporate manslaughter offence:
- how foreseeable was the serious injury?
- how bad was the breach?
- has there been a history of similar breaches?
- how far up the organisation does the breach go?
The Court will then identify any particular aggravating or mitigating circumstances, as follows:
- aggravating factors –including if there is more than one death, failure to heed warnings/advice, cost-cutting at the expense of safety and deliberate failure to obtain/comply with relevant licences and injury to vulnerable persons; and
- mitigating factors – including prompt acceptance of responsibility, a high level of co-operation with the investigation, genuine efforts to remedy the defect, a good safety record, a responsible attitude to safety, such as the commissioning of expert advice or the consultation of employees or others affected by the organisation’s activities.
As well as handing down a fine, the Court can order an organisation to publish the details of the corporate manslaughter conviction. They can also make a Remedial Order, requiring the company to take steps to remedy the identified management failures.
Fines for corporate manslaughter can be ruinous; therefore, it is essential to take the advice of an experienced Corporate Manslaughter Solicitor to ensure any mitigating factors are presented clearly and persuasively to the Court.
Why choose us?
We have a full Criminal Defence Department and can call on a wide range of expertise to devise a robust strategy to close down an investigation quickly or defend a prosecution. Our Solicitors are smart, trustworthy, and results-driven and have the knowledge and contacts required to support your in-house legal team and senior management.
Regardless of the charges against you, you are entitled to a criminal defence. We do not judge our clients; our only objective is to defend you against the Prosecution’s allegations. You can be confident that by instructing us to defend you, your chances of acquittal or a reduced sentence are greatly improved. The most important factor is to contact us as soon as you become aware of the regulatory investigation and/or criminal allegations.
To receive expert advice and representation regarding corporate manslaughter charges, please contact us using the form below.
Meet your 'Corporate Manslaughter' specialists
The team to guide you through your legal needs.
Depending upon the complexity we are able to offer fixed fees in some cases. In other cases our solicitors chargethe following hourly rate:
- Partner/Member SolicitorHourly rate of £250 + VAT
- Senior Solicitor or Head of Dept: (PQE 8yr+)Hourly rate of £225 + VAT
- Assistant Solicitor/Fee Earner (PQE 3/7yr)Hourly rate of £200 + VAT
- Newly Qualified Fee Earner (PQE 1/3yr)Hourly rate of £170 + VAT
- Paralegals/TraineesHourly rate of £120 + VAT
- Support ParalegalsHourly rate of £100 + VAT