Regulation now permeates all aspects of business.
The consequences of breaches by a business, an individual within a business, or by both, are that either may find themselves subject to investigation.
Many government agencies and local councils conduct enforcement through prosecution in both the Magistrates and Crown Courts. Depending on the offence, sanctions will vary but can include unlimited fines.
The key is to be prepared for an investigation that may lead to prosecution. It is essential to seek advice early and certainly before a matter progresses to court. The reality, with some regulated activities, (eg transport, CQC, planning, food hygiene, licensing, housing and so on) is that they may attract not only criminal sanction but subsequent regulatory action.
The fines now being levied against companies for breaches of Health and Safety and Environmental Waste law in the courts are significant. It is, therefore, important to have a strategy in place to respond to such allegations. We are able to advise you on the best way forward.
The conduct of these and other investigations cross from Government agencies, such as the Health and Safety Executive or the Environment Agency to local authorities and their own trading standards offices, licensing, environmental health and housing departments. We are experienced in responding to such investigations, to limit the impact and stress to both you and your business.
The areas we currently advise on, primarily impact on the road transport sector, but also include:
- investigations conducted by the Health and Safety Executive (“HSE”) and the Environment Agency across all sectors including agriculture, care homes and construction
- trading standards investigations including food hygiene offences and unfair commercial practice
- housing licences including houses in multiple occupancy, response to prohibition and variation notices and appeals to the Residential Property Tribunal Service
- alcohol licensing including premises and personal licences and temporary event notices
- challenging enhanced disclosures by the Disclosure and Baring Service
- planning notices including Enforcement Notice or Order, Stop Notice, Temporary Stop Notice, Breach of Condition Notice
- fraud and related business crimes.
This is not a definitive list. We are able to assist and advise on a broad range of investigations which, in some instances, may be conducted by both the police and the HSE. We are conscious that cost will be a factor in your response. You may have insurance that provides cover for such eventualities. In some instances this may cover some of your costs. If not, we will always be able to give you an initial estimate of what our charges will be and in some cases provide a service for a fixed fee.
Please contact the regulatory team for a FREE initial consultation and to arrange a fixed fee meeting.