Corporate Manslaughter – Business Crime Solicitors
Our expert business crime solicitors are able to defend your company or organisation against a charge of corporate manslaughter. All of our lawyers are exclusively criminal defence solicitors with many years of legal experience. We instruct only the leading barristers and Queens Counsel (QC) in your defence.
CORPORATE MANSLAUGHTER AND CORPORATE HOMICIDE ACT 2007
Section 1 of the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 makes it an offence where a management or organisational failure has caused death. Section 1 states that:
(1) An organisation to which this section applies is guilty of an offence if the way in which its activities are managed or organised
(a) causes a person’s death, and
(b) amounts to a gross breach of a relevant duty of care owed by the organisation to the deceased.
MEANING OF ORGANISATION
Only corporations, partnerships with employees, public bodies and government departments can commit the offence of corporate manslaughter.
SENTENCE AND PROCEDURE
Corporate manslaughter can only be tried in the Crown Court before a judge and a jury. It is therefore essential that you contact experienced and dedicated business crime solicitors as soon as you are notified that your organisation is to be investigated for corporate manslaughter.
The penalty on conviction is a fine and can range significantly depending on the nature of the offence. The sentencing guidelines states the following in terms of the level of fine for corporate manslaughter:
The offence of corporate manslaughter, because it requires gross breach at a senior level, will ordinarily involve a level of seriousness significantly greater than a health and safety offence. The appropriate fine will seldom be less than £500,000 and may be measured in millions of pounds
Given the potentially devastating impact of such a heavy financial penalty it is essential that your company instructs competent and proactive defence solicitors at the earliest stages of your case.
RELEVANT DUTY OF CARE
A company has a duty of care in respect of:
- its employees or other persons working for the company or performing services for it
- premises which it occupies
- the supply by the company of its goods or services
- the construction or maintenance operations by the company
- the use or keeping of any plant, vehicle or other thing by the company
Once it established that there is a relevant duty of care it must be established by the jury that there was a gross breach of that duty.
The jury must consider whether the evidence shows that the organisation failed to comply with any health and safety legislation that relates to the alleged breach and if so they must determine:
- how serious that failure was
- how much of a risk of death it posed.
The jury must also then go onto consider:
the extent to which the evidence shows that there were attitudes, polices, systems or accepted practices within the organisation that were likely to have encouraged any such failure to comply with any health and safely legislation.
Our business crime defence solicitors are experts in analysing the particular facts of each case and advising on the reasonable prospects of defending a claim. Along with leading barristers, we will advise you on your best course of action, and will defend you company’s interest to the fullest.