Stokoe Partnership is regarded as one of the leading firms in the UK for serious crime and has been for many years, recognised by both of the UK’s leading legal directories, The Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners.
We have extensive experience at representing both companies and individual directors facing investigation or prosecution for corporate manslaughter or serious health & safety offences.
We understand the huge impact, both financial and reputational, that a corporate manslaughter prosecution can have on a company, and of course the stress of the risk of a custodial sentence available against individuals who are convicted of serious breaches leading to fatalities. We therefore ensure that our clients receive the best possible advice from the very outset of any investigation, including throughout the evidence gathering stage and any interviews under caution.
Our specialist lawyers have considerable experience working with leading barristers and experts to ensure that every client receives a bespoke service, focused on ensuring the best possible outcome. We often advise and make representations during the investigations stage (including interviews) to avoid charge and prosecution. Where appropriate, we are also involved in effective negotiations with the investigating or prosecuting agencies to minimise the damage to our clients’ reputations and assets.
We are used to representing both individuals and companies and understand that the interests of the company and its directors are not always the same. Our lawyers are well versed in advising clients on how to manage and minimise reputational damage.
We acted for the first optometrist to be prosecuted for gross negligence manslaughter. It was alleged that our client had failed in the duty to detect papilledema (swelling of the optic disc caused by raised inter-cranial pressure) at an eye examination and that this failure amounted to a gross breach of duty that caused death. Although convicted at trial we were successful in appealing the conviction in the Court of Appeal resulting in the conviction being quashed, without the need for a retrial. The case was the first of its kind in the UK and re-affirmed the test for foreseeability for medical practitioners in regard to the duty of care owed to their patients.