Regulatory defence lawyers

Businesses facing regulatory investigation or prosecution need experienced legal advice and representation. Our dedicated team of regulatory defence lawyers has a wealth of experience representing clients facing regulatory prosecutions and you can call for advice on 0203 816 9274. Alternatively, please submit our online enquiry form and a member of the regulatory team will contact you.

Businesses need to comply with a multitude of rules and regulations. Failing to meet those regulations may result in criminal investigations by regulators such as the Environment Agency, Health and Safety Executive, Trading Standards and other departments within local authorities who are responsible for enforcing regulations.


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If an investigation leads to a successful prosecution, company directors can receive a criminal record, possible disqualification from being a director and – in the worst cases – a prison sentence.

Investigation by regulators is likely to involve interviews with company representatives conducted under the powers of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1974 (PACE). Therefore, you need legal advice and support from the earliest stage of an investigation – our expertise in supporting businesses during PACE interviews means is often crucial to successfully defending you in this type of case.

Stephensons’ expert lawyers have experience – and have defended businesses – across a wide range of investigations and actions by regulatory authorities which include:

Care Quality Commission (CQC)

Healthcare providers facing a range of CQC actions including inspections, warning notices, notices to cancel or suspend registration, prosecution or needing to make appeals against CQC enforcement.

Ofsted enforcement against early years’ nurseries

Childcare providers including child minders, pre-schools, nurseries and school reception classes facing prosecution or civil enforcement action from Ofsted under the Childcare Act 2006 such as warning letters, suspension of registration, interviews under caution, etc.

Health and safety investigations

Supporting companies with HSE investigations – representing them at PACE interviews and in court, protecting the rights and reputation of the company and its directors and officers during proceedings.

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Trading standards

Investigations and prosecutions brought against wholesale or retail businesses by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), local authority or Food Standards Agency for issues including counterfeit goods, breaching copyright or trademark regulations, product safety, food safety, weights and measures, etc.

Environmental law prosecutions

Enforcement action by the Environment Agency relating to an environmental incident such as water pollution or failing to comply with waste regulations.

Food industry regulation

Food manufacturers or sellers issued with an Improvement Notices or Emergency Prohibition Order by a local authority or allegations of contaminated, wrongly-labelled or defective food products.

Operating without a licence

Businesses needing a licence to operate – such as animal breeders, riding schools, taxi operators, etc – facing regulatory action for failing to meet licensing laws.

Gangmaster Licensing Authority regulation

Investigations and prosecutions into alleged breaches of licensing relating to employees working in the fresh produce and horticulture industries; covering issues including health and safety, accommodation, pay, transport and training.

Bribery and corruption

Allegations against businesses and individuals under the Bribery Act 2010 brought by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) or Crown Prosecution Service.

Our experienced team of regulatory lawyers has the knowledge and capability to provide you and your business with the necessary defence.

Contact us on 0203 816 9274 or complete our online enquiry form.

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Regulatory defence - staff reorder

  • Sean Joyce
  • Neal Boland
  • Carl Johnson
  • Alison Marriott
  • Priscilla Addo-Quaye
  • Laura Hannah
  • Peter Krepski
  • Paul Loughlin
  • Shahnaz Sargent
  • Amy Grimshaw
  • Francesca Snape

We're always here for you

As an award-winning top 150 law firm, with over 450 staff based in offices across the country, you're never far from the advice you need.

Find your nearest Stephensons office and arrange a meeting

As an award-winning top 150 law firm, with over 450 staff based in offices across the country, you're never far from the advice you need.