Defending company clients after LASPO 2012
Defending company clients after LASPO 2012

The following Corporate Crime guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Defending company clients after LASPO 2012
  • What has changed?
  • What is the effect of the changes?
  • Defending directors
  • Unlimited fines

The implementation of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO 2012), which came into force on 1 October 2012, brought radical changes to the ability of an acquitted defendant, who was privately paying, to recover the costs of defending himself. This has caused consternation from solicitors who view the move as unjust and unnecessary.

The Law Society has published a practice note, Defence Costs Orders, setting out the duty to inform clients of this change to defence costs.

What has changed?

Following implementation of LASPO 2012, Sch 7, the Prosecution of Offenders Act 1985 (POA 1985) has been amended. The effect of the amendments is that legal costs, which includes fees, charges and expert witness costs, can no longer be included in a defendant's costs order (DCO) other than in the limited circumstances specified in the amended POA 1985.

These circumstances are:

  1. where the charge against an individual is not proceeded with in the magistrates' court, or in a summary trial where the information is dismissed

  2. where an individual has successfully appealed in the Crown Court against a conviction or sentence imposed in the magistrates' court

  3. where the Court of Appeal has allowed an appeal against a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity

None of these circumstances allows a company to claim