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Prosecution By Public Authority or Regulatory Body

We can help you throughout the process of investigation and defend you against prosecution by a range of public bodies

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Poole Alcock

Prosecution By Public Authority or Regulatory Body

Poole Alcock Solicitors provide pragmatic, clear and cost effective advice to companies, directors and other key personnel who may face investigation or prosecution by one of the myriad of professional regulatory bodies. We understand the need for fast and commercially sensitive advice to anyone facing the disruption and intrusion that such allegations can bring to an operation. We can assist a client with all aspects of the regulatory investigation whether that be assisting the organisation with an internal investigation into the incident, helping it through the initial crisis by providing strategic advice on the management and appropriate post-incident actions and next steps, providing representation and assistance at an Interview Under Caution and ultimately, if needed, providing representation at Court. We will help you find the best way of funding your defence. Your options will be clearly explained from the start including whether you are best off instructing us on a fixed fee service or a set hourly rate. We offer a free, no obligation consultation for clients needing advice in this often complex and dynamic area. Contact one of our specialist team today for the advice and support that you need.


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Regulatory Defence Services

Food Safety Investigations

Food law is complex and constantly changing however, businesses are expected to be up-to-date and fully compliant. Failure to be compliant can result in large financial penalties, adverse publicity and subsequent reputational damage. Our team has an array of experience in advising clients within the food and hospitality sector. This experience covers advising on both contentious and non-contentious legal issues in areas such as the following:

  • Food safety and food hygiene investigations
  • Allergen management and control
  • Unsafe and substandard food
  • Appeal of food hygiene ratings
  • Hygiene improvement and hygiene prohibition notices
  • Consumer protection offences
  • Food labelling and packaging
  • Health and nutrition claims
  • Use-By Date offences
  • Unhygienic premises, rodent and other infestations.
  • Post incident review and employee training

Our experience means that we are able to assist with all aspects of an investigation. If you or your business are being investigated then it is essential that you receive specialist legal advice. Failure to comply with applicable food law can attract large financial penalties and can also have a real detrimental impact on both your reputation and relationship with your employees, customers and the local community which you operate within. At Poole Alcock we can assist you in defending allegations that have been made against you and your business, regardless of which stage of the investigation your case is at. If you receive a letter from Trading Standards or a local authority raising a concern about your business then it is important that you receive legal advice before responding.  At Poole Alcock we can assist you in your response and make written representations on your behalf.  Written representations can mean the difference between an investigation against you and your business leading to a prosecution or being concluded with no further action.  Sometimes it may be appropriate to negotiate formal or informal agreements about future conduct of the business. This can prevent the investigation continuing and prosecutions being pursued. If you have received an invitation to attend an interview under caution, then it is essential that you receive legal advice and representation for that interview.  Depending on the circumstances of the interview, legal aid may be available to you.

Environmental law

Our team of specialist environmental lawyers are in a unique position in that they are experienced in both prosecuting and defending environmental cases. Our team therefore have in-depth knowledge and expertise in dealing with a variety of environmental law issues and can advise you from both perspectives accordingly.

Prosecution experience

Our lawyers have experience in pursuing prosecutions for breaches namely under the Water Industry Act 1991. We advise on the investigation of the suspected offences and the progression of these cases through the Courts to conviction and successful recovery of costs. Our most recent experience has focused on prosecutions for breaches of trade effluent consents, water pollution and contamination, illegal use of unauthorised standpipes and illegal water fitting cases. We are also experienced in bringing novel cases to court and testing the regulatory framework, such as successfully prosecuting businesses for breaches relating to the inappropriate management of fat, oil and grease (FOG) waste, alternatively referred to as ‘fatbergs’.

Environmental incidents and defence

At Poole Alcock we can guide you through complex investigations with regulators such as the Environment Agency and local authorities.  The response to an environmental incident is crucial and the way a business first responds can set the scene for how a case may progress and any subsequent action which may be taken by the regulator. Our team deal with a range of investigations which include; water pollution and contamination, chemical spills and leaks, trade effluent consent and permitting breaches and statutory nuisance e.g. noise, odour and dust pollution issues. We assist clients with all aspects of the regulatory investigation whether that be assisting the organisation with an internal investigation into the incident, helping them through the initial crisis by providing strategic advice on the management and appropriate post-incident actions and next steps, providing representation and assistance at interviews under caution and, if needed, providing representation at Court. Ultimately, our job is to assist our clients and help them circumnavigate a difficult and stressful period in a landscape which they are not used to operating in. We will hand hold our client through the criminal investigation, navigating it through the crisis and helping it determine exactly what happened, whilst allowing the business to continue to remain focused on delivering its business objectives and running the day-to-day business. With clients acknowledging the risk of significant fines and the reputational damage that can be caused from defending a prosecution we are increasingly advising clients on the successful resolution of a case, where appropriate, via an enforcement undertaking. We can also assist clients who wish to appeal against an enforcement notice or prohibition notice. Our team also has experience with the warrant of entry application process which, if successful, will allow the applicant to gain entry onto land.  We are uniquely placed to apply for and obtain warrants of entry or alternatively advise clients who are informed that a warrant of entry is being applied for and advise on their chances of successfully defending this application and represent their interests as to why this should not be granted by the Court.

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Health & Safety Investigations

If you and your business have been informed that you are under investigation, or that you are being prosecuted by the health and safety executive, Poole Alcock can provide immediate legal advice. Health and Safety Law can be a complex and confusing area. Health and Safety Executive (HSE), or Local Authority investigations can begin as a result of a complaint, an accident at work, a routine inspection, or following a report made by an employer in accordance with their duties under Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013. At Poole Alcock we can represent you at interview and assist you in making representations to the HSE or Local Authority as to why a prosecution should not be pursued.

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GMC Investigation

Investigation by the General Medical Council (GMC) can include allegations such as serious professional misconduct, diagnostic and surgical errors, financial or sexual misconduct, alcohol or drug dependency or impairment due to health. If an allegation is found to be credible or is considered serious enough, a preliminary investigation will begin, and you will be invited to make representations. Our team of regulatory defence solicitors will assist you in making appropriate representations to the GMC.

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CQC Investigation

If you, as a care provider or manager, have received any enforcement action from Care Quality Commissioner (CQC) then it is essential that you receive specialist legal advice. CQC has a wide variety of enforcement powers against care providers as business and individual, if standards are believed to have breached the Fundamental Standards, legislation, or conditions of registration. At Poole Alcock we have a team of solicitors who can advise and represent you with CQC investigation claims.

Nursing & Midwifery Council Investigations

If you have been referred to the Nursing and Midwifery Council because your fitness to practice has been called into question, the Poole Alcock team can help with representation. The NMC will consider allegations against nurses and midwives who are believed to have fallen below the standards expected by the NMC Code. If the NMC believes that an allegation is credible, or considered serious enough, then an investigation will take place – at Poole Alcock we can assist you in making representations to the NMC. Written representations can make the difference between a case against you being closed, or continuing onto the next stage.

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GDC Investigation

The General Dental Council (GDC) will investigate concerns/allegations raised against dental practitioners that call into question their fitness to practice. These could include repeated mistakes, dishonesty, prescribing errors, misconduct or impairment. Poole Alcock’s team has experience in GDC cases, and can assist in representations and written response to your case.

Trading Standards Prosecutions

A Trading Standards prosecution can be brought by a number of different regulatory bodies, against individuals and businesses. Potential offences include breaching copyright, underage sale of goods, food safety, consumer credit and weights and measures. If you receive a letter from Trading Standards raising a concern about your business then it is important that you receive legal advice before responding. At Poole Alcock we can assist you in defending allegations that have been made against you and your business. Legal Aid may be available, depending on the nature of your case, and your means.

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Education Act Prosecutions

It is an offence under Section 444 of the Education Act if you fail to ensure that your child goes to school. Prosecution for this which could result in a custodial sentence in some circumstances. The law provides a defence if the child is schooled at home or another establishment and that it is ‘suitable education’. It is then for the local authority to prove that the offence is made out in that it does not satisfy suitability for the child. Our experts at Poole Alcock can assist by helping you identify what is reasonable absence and arrange any defence.

Disclosure and Barring Service

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) are the Government regulatory body that assess whether or not people should be considered for inclusion on either the Children’s or Adult’s Barred Lists. Inclusion on the list can mean that working, or even volunteering, with children and/or adults is prohibited. This means that if you were applying for a job where an EDBL was required, information about an allegation can be shared. This is the case even if the decision not to prosecute is made. If this were to happen, the Police would contact you. You would be given the opportunity to make representations as to why it may be unjust to share this information, and the Poole Alcock team can assist.

How can we help?

Meet The Team

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Arrange A Consultation

At Poole Alcock we can assist you in defending allegations that have been made against you or your business, regardless of what stage your case is at. Our experts at Poole Alcock can provide you and your business representation at interviews under caution, and at the Magistrates and Crown Court. We offer competitive rates for representation and advice and are happy to discuss a fixed fee arrangement. Contact us today.

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What People Say About Us

Your professionalism and commitment to my case was exceptional. Your attention to detail and also the time you spent preparing with me for the court date was above and beyond expectations.

The administration support and communication from Poole Alcock was exceptional throughout, with prompt return of phone calls and correspondence. I must thank Ruth Holloway in particular for her commitment and tenacity in successfully appealing the initial refund of my legal fees. Thank you.

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