Your freedom is our business
Individuals and businesses face an ever-increasing number of regulatory responsibilities. However, while it is common to find yourself under investigation, regulatory proceedings should not be taken lightly. Depending on the circumstances, you could face criminal prosecution. Having the right legal advice on your side at this time is essential.
Our highly experienced business crime defence solicitors advise and defend individuals and businesses in a wide range of regulatory investigations and prosecutions. We regularly handle enforcement action brought by local authorities, the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), Trading Standards, the Food Standards Agency, HMRC, the Environment Agency and any other regulatory authority.
What our regulatory solicitors in Bournemouth can do for you
Our regulatory lawyers work with individuals and all types of business across a wide range of sectors. We offer advice on compliance and robust representation during investigations and criminal prosecutions. Our expertise includes:
- Breaches of planning conditions
- Breaches of HMO licences
- Breaches of Tree Protection Orders
- Health & safety prosecutions
- Tax investigations
- Financial regulatory issues such as breach of money laundering regulations
- Trading Standards investigations
- Food safety and hygiene inspections and enforcement
- Environmental investigations
- Taxi licence appeals
- Professional discipline
- Breach of directors’ duties and disqualifications
- Road traffic matters, such as operator’s licensing for goods vehicles, roadworthiness issues, overloading, driving offences and health & safety violations
- Corporate manslaughter and gross negligence manslaughter
Why choose Renshaw Derrick’s regulatory lawyers?
The penalties for breaching regulatory obligations can be severe, ranging from hefty fines to criminal prosecution and long prison sentences. Simply being investigated for an alleged offence can cause damage to your reputation. So, having a regulatory law specialist on your side is essential.
We are a leading firm of criminal law solicitors, providing the highest quality of legal services to individuals and businesses across Bournemouth, Poole and the wider Dorset area.
We only specialise in criminal law, so have developed a wide range of niche skills in this area, including regulatory law. We’ve invested in our team’s diverse skill set to ensure that we can offer you a bespoke service designed to suit all your regulatory legal needs.
Our team includes police station representatives who can assist you at short notice should you be arrested or invited to a place of detention for a voluntary interview under caution. We also have highly experienced court advocates to provide fierce representation during court and tribunal proceedings.
Our team also provide support during regulatory investigations, helping individuals and businesses work to preserve their reputation, protect their business interests, and work cooperatively with regulators to reach the best possible resolution. With us on their side, our clients regularly avoid serious enforcement action.
Where regulators decide to take enforcement action, we can help you develop a strong defence strategy and will draw upon years of experience to vigorously defend you throughout the proceedings.
Our firm are members of the Law Society Criminal Litigation Accreditation Scheme for our independently recognised skills in this area.
For information about each member of our team, visit Our People page.
What are ‘regulatory offences’?
All businesses are affected by UK regulations, some more than others. For example, businesses that deal in food must follow food safety rules, taxi drivers must be licensed and property developers must get the appropriate planning permission.
If you breach your regulatory obligations, you may have committed a regulatory offence. Depending on the circumstances, this may be a criminal offence and you could be prosecuted.
Why are businesses regulated?
Regulations exist to make sure that businesses create and maintain a safe environment for their employees, clients, customers and the general public as well as to protect local communities, the environment.
For example, local planning authorities may put in place a Tree Preservation Order that protects specific trees, groups of trees or woodland in the interests of amenity. These Orders place responsibilities on the tree owners not to carry out or permit prohibited works without the written consent of the local authority. Breach of a Tree Preservation Order could result in enforcement action.
Food hygiene rules are in place to make sure that businesses only sell food that is safe to eat. If a business does not follow food safety rules, it could put public health at risk and the business is likely to get a visit from a health inspector.
Some types of businesses engage in activities that require a high level of regulation and the business will usually need permission from the relevant regulatory body to carry out those activities. For example, banks and financial services institutions that carry out consumer credit activities are regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FCA).
Who investigates and enforces regulatory offences?
Regulations are investigated and enforced by a wide range of regulatory authorities, such as the relevant departments of your local authority or a dedicated agency as the Environment Agency.
If you are suspected of committing a regulatory offence, the authority may refer your case to the police, Crown Prosecution Service or another prosecuting authority for prosecution.
Can a business be closed down for regulatory offences?
Yes, regulatory bodies such as Trading Standards may seek the relevant court authority to close down a business for serious breaches of regulatory obligations.
Can a person be held personally liable for the regulatory offences of a business?
It is possible for a person – usually the business owner or director – to be held personally liable for regulatory offences. Depending on the seriousness of the case, this could result in substantial fines and even a prison sentence.
If you are being personally targeted for a regulatory offence, it is vital to get legal advice as soon as possible.
What should you do if you are being investigated for a regulatory offence?
Seeking legal advice as early on as possible is the best option. Getting a head start on the investigation means that we can spend time building a strong defence strategy and addressing the allegations against you.
With our help, our clients are often able to halt the investigation before it proceeds to prosecution, protecting the integrity of their business.