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Corporate Manslaughter Defence
If your business is facing a corporate manslaughter charge or you personally face a gross negligence manslaughter charge, JMW can provide the legal advice and representation you need to successfully defend the charge.
An organisation has a duty of care, and under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 you could be charged if there is a gross breach of that duty and it causes a person’s death. If this happens, it is imperative to seek legal assistance as soon as possible.
Find out how the experienced team at JMW can help you defend against a charge as serious as corporate manslaughter by contacting us today. Call us on 0345 872 6666, or complete our online enquiry form and a member of the team will give you a call back to discuss your case in more detail.
How JMW Can Help
A prosecution related to these offences is complex and requires the comprehensive knowledge of skilled legal professionals to secure a successful outcome. JMW's team of corporate manslaughter solicitors has vast experience in working with corporate clients and individuals, drawing on knowledge from different JMW departments to help with your defence.
Our services include:
- Advice on dawn raids, search and seizure
- Representation during interviews under caution
- Gathering evidence during an investigation
- Challenging and making representations to the prosecution prior to a charge
- Representation court and throughout proceedings
- Advising and representation on appeal
- Representation at the Coroner's Court
Each corporate manslaughter case involves building a bespoke team of lawyers, including advocates, expert witnesses and consultants where appropriate. We are also able to call upon in-house assistance from recognised leaders in areas such as employment law, corporate recovery, commercial litigation, reputational management and others.
Corporate Manslaughter Penalties
An investigation, conducted through a partnership between the police and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), will focus on the corporate procedures and processes and how senior managers have managed and organised the organisation. In particular, the company’s health and safety policies, what caused the breach, what contributed to the fatality, and whether the incident could have been avoided.
If an organisation is found guilty of corporate manslaughter, there are a number of penalties that can be made, including:
- An unlimited fine
- A remedial order that requires a company to address the failings that caused the offence
- A publicity order that forces a business to publicly share details of the incident, which can cause significant reputational damage
By building a strong defence case with the right solicitors, businesses will stand a chance of minimising the damage to an organisation by reducing the risk of facing the harshest penalties.
Which Organisations can be Prosecuted for Corporate Manslaughter?
A prosecution of corporate manslaughter can be made against a number of different organisations leading to prosecution. This includes:
- The police force
- Trade Unions
- Foreign companies
- Company subsidiaries
By building a strong defence case with the right solicitors, organisations will stand a chance of minimising the damage to an organisation by reducing the risk of facing the harshest penalties.
Gross Negligence Manslaughter
As well as offering business crime services for corporate manslaughter cases, we are also able to provide advice, assistance and representation for individuals under investigation or charged in relation to gross negligence manslaughter.
Gross negligence manslaughter is a common-law offence and can be committed in circumstances where an individual owes a duty of care to the deceased, that duty was breached and the breach itself caused the death.
This could include individuals such as:
- Doctors, nurses and other medical professionals
- An individual supervising people who are in prison
- An employee in a business
Gross negligence manslaughter cases can be incredibly complex and stressful, and they require clear evidence of a breach of duty, making it essential that you receive legal support from the early stages of investigation to ensure the best possible outcome.
Find out more about gross negligence manslaughter defence here.
What Is Corporate Manslaughter?
Section 1 of the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 confirms that:
- An organisation to which this section applies is guilty of an offence if the way in which its activities are managed or organised:
- causes a person’s death, and
- amounts to a gross breach of a relevant duty of care owed by the organisation to the deceased
- An organisation is guilty of an offence under this section only if the way in which its activities are managed or organised by its senior management is a substantial element in the breach referred to in the first point
What is the difference between corporate manslaughter and gross negligence manslaughter?
Corporate manslaughter is an offence concerned with organisation liability, whereas gross negligence manslaughter is an offence committed by an individual in an official position.
What is the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007?
The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 came into effect in April 2008 and meant, for the first time, that companies and organisations could be found guilty of corporate manslaughter if a gross breach of a duty of care was caused by a series of management failings.
The Act is important because it serves to clarify the criminal liabilities of businesses, including large companies, where a fatality has been caused due to serious health and safety management failings. However, the Act has also been the topic of much debate and controversy, and has thrown up questions such as whether the criminal courts offer the best solution, and whether it would be better to pursue the individual rather than the company.
This area of law can be highly complex and it is therefore vital that if you are facing a charge of this type, you have access to experienced corporate manslaughter solicitors who can support and advise you to help you secure the best outcome.
How can corporate manslaughter prosecutions be avoided?
The best way to avoid prosecution is to protect your staff by following the advice of the HSE by regularly carrying out reviews of your health and safety policies.
We offer assistance in preventing fatalities and other accidents from occurring in the first place - our solicitors can provide training and guidance to directors, board members and other professionals about their responsibilities under health and safety legislation.