Private Prosecutions, Victims and Witnesses

In the current climate of austerity, the police and other traditional law enforcement agencies are increasingly unable to dedicate the time and resources that are required to investigate and launch successful criminal proceedings. Where such a hurdle is encountered private prosecutions provide an attractive alternative means to achieve justice.

Any individual, organisation, or business has the ability to pursue a private criminal prosecution in England and Wales.  However, commencing and seeing through a private prosecution is not an action to be taken lightly. A prosecution that is badly managed can have a significant cost and reputational impact for the person concerned. For this reason it is important to seek advice from those with expertise in this field before embarking on a private prosecution.

The members of our private prosecution team are experienced criminal and regulatory lawyers. We understand the responsibilities of a prosecutor and the essential need for prosecutions to be fair and not to undermine public confidence in the integrity of the criminal justice process.

Private prosecutions can address a wide spectrum of criminal conduct. From charities and regulators who prosecute to address non-compliance with their regimes and to protect the interests of those on whose behalf they act, through to individuals or businesses that have suffered loss or harm at the hands of another.

We will advise you on how to best protect your reputation, your organisation or your business, and bring those responsible to account as swiftly and efficiently as possible. By involving us from the earliest stage we will advise you on what package of legal remedies is best suited to your particular needs. On some occasions commencing a private prosecution may be the only proportionate response but on others it may be more appropriate to facilitate the involvement of the police and other traditional law enforcement agencies to commence a public prosecution or to commence civil proceedings. We can help you with each option.

Our approach ensures that we will always seek out and deliver the solution to best meet your needs in the shortest timeframe and in the most cost effective way.

If you are considering bringing a private prosecution and would like to discuss your case and the options that are available to you, please contact Melinka Berridge.


Kingsley Napley has a long-standing reputation for expertise, particularly in white-collar crime. In my dealings with the firm, the lawyers were technically expert, hard-working, efficient and a pleasure to deal with.

Chambers UK, A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2015


Private Prosecutions, Victims and Witnesses Insights

View all


DPP consent in private prosecutions

Criminal evidence disclosure in crisis – what does this mean for private prosecutors?

FAQs: Compensation for victims of crime

Starting a private prosecution; getting it right first time

The good, the bad and mixed motives: when will the private prosecutor’s motives justify stopping the prosecution?

Private prosecutions – What should victims do when the traditional law enforcement agencies fail to act?

Private prosecutions and the shape of things to come

When can the High Court quash a police force’s crime-recording decision?

Families affected by Glasgow bin lorry tragedy refused leave to mount a private prosecution

Private prosecutions - What should fraud victims do when law enforcement agencies fail to act?

Does the CPS Victims’ Right to Review (VRR) Scheme do enough for victims of crime?

NTT puts the brakes on the recovery of pre-charge investigation costs by the private prosecutor

Lose the battle but win the war – costs in private prosecution awarded to losing party

Using private prosecutions against dishonest employees - an alternative to dismissal that could deter repeat offending

Glasgow bin lorry tragedy – families express firm intention to mount a private prosecution in the wake of the findings from the Fatal Accident Inquiry

Director of Public Prosecutions stops private prosecution for sex-selective abortion

Dog attacks – the Royal Mail bites back with private prosecutions

Bringing justice - private prosecutions for companies and individuals

Good news, bad news - costs in private prosecutions

RSPCA approach to private prosecution: As crooked as a dog’s hind leg?

When not to commence a private prosecution

Security company directors ordered to pay large sum in private prosecution

Scottish private prosecutions back in the spotlight

Financial constraints on SFO will lead to increase in private prosecutions

Grant of POCA powers to additional bodies welcomed by those who enforce and prosecute regulatory crime

Fraudsters on the inside

Private prosecutions for crimes of Universal Jurisdiction

Surveillance and the individual – a move towards greater transparency

Tilting the scales? Key aspects of the defence case may soon be disclosed to prosecution witnesses

Government acknowledges that RIPA is not fit for purpose

Victims called to give evidence should be looked after - not locked up

Malicious communications: A new and consistent approach?

Victims’ Right to Review v finality for suspects – a difficult balancing act

Allowing disproportionate force in self-defence - a triumph of rhetoric over reason

Close Load more

Let us take it from here.

+44 (0)20 7814 1200

Skip to content Home About Us Insights Services Contact Accessibility