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Month: November 2016


Securing other evidence to avoid ‘he said, she said’ prosecutions

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the outgoing Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, has issued an apology for the catalogue of errors in the recent Westminster VIP paedophile ring enquiry, an investigation which seems to have placed an inordinate amount of credence on one witness, “Nick”, who made detailed but uncorroborated allegations of historical sexual abuse, and even…

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Is a police investigation a private matter?

A recent decision by Nicol J in ERY v Associated Newspapers Ltd [2016] EWHC 2760 (QB) has found that a suspect in a police investigation has a reasonable expectation of privacy which is likely to trump the press’s right to freedom of expression. Earlier this year, police investigating suspected financial crime raided the premises of…

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Brett Wilson Criminal, Fraud and Regulatory Law Blog launched

Brett Wilson LLP has launched a blog dedicated to criminal law, fraud and regulatory matters. The blog, which can be found here contains articles on the latest developments in these areas. Topics covered by the blog include general criminal law, white-collar crime, FCA proceedings, disciplinary proceedings/appeals, civil fraud and confiscation/the Proceeds of Crime Act. In addition to new…

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Defamation Case: BBC defeats defamation claim brought by iman accused of espousing extremism

What issues did this case raise? In the case of Begg v British Broadcasting Corporation [2016] EWHC 2688 (QB), the claimant, the Chief Imam at Lewisham Islamic Centre, sued the BBC for libel following a broadcast of Sunday Politics on 3 November 2013 during which Andrew Neil, the host of the show, said the following words…

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Challenging prosecutorial decisions

The existence of a basis to challenge prosecutorial decision making was the subject of a recent decision in the administrative court in the context of judicial review proceedings against the Serious Fraud Office. In R (on the application of Soma Oil & Gas Ltd) ex p Director of the Serious Fraud Office [2016] EWHC 2471,…

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Sex hookup site targeted in world’s second largest data breach

The dating and online pornography company Friend Finder Networks has been hacked, potentially exposing private details of more than 412 million accounts. The leaks emanated from AdultFriendFinder, whose website describes it as ‘The hottest Dating, Hookup and Sex Community’. Its sister sites,, and were also targeted.  At least 5.2 million UK…

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Surgeon's manslaughter conviction quashed by Court of Appeal

In Sellu v The Crown [2016] EWCA Crim 1716 the Court of Appeal have quashed the conviction of consultant surgeon David Sellu for gross negligence manslaughter after finding that it was unsafe. Mr Sellu, 69, was convicted on a 10-2 jury majority in the Old Bailey in 2013 after James Hughes died whilst in his…

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Iain Wilson discusses combating 'sextortion' on television and radio

Brett Wilson LLP partner Iain Wilson took part in TV and radio interviews for BBC Points West and BBC Wiltshire on 23 November 2016 to offer an expert’s view on the latest sextortion racket. The radio interview can be found here (1 hr 38 min).

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Major drugs cases: some important sentencing principles

There is additional credit available to defendants who plead guilty first by ‘breaking ranks’ in complex and multi-defendant cases. This is perhaps the most important principle to be derived from the Court of Appeal decision in Sanghera, Atkar, Brown and O’Meara [2016] EWCA 94. The Court was reviewing sentences imposed following pleas of guilty  at…

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Leveson 2 and Section 40 libel costs

The Leveson Inquiry examined the practices of the British press.  It was intended that Part 1 of the Inquiry would address ‘the culture, practices, and ethics of the press’ and Part 2 would address ‘the extent of unlawful or improper conduct within News International and other media organisations’. In November 2012, the Inquiry reported its Part…

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Legal Disclaimer

Articles are intended as an introduction to the topic and do not constitute legal advice.