Murder & Manslaughter Defence Solicitors

MPR Solicitors have provided expert criminal defence for clients accused of murder or manslaughter for many years.  We are a boutique law firm, concentrating on criminal defence law.  Our solicitors have a strong knowledge of the law surrounding murder; manslaughter and corporate manslaughter. We have an excellent reputation  for running robust and successful defences.

To contact our murder and manslaughter solicitors, please call our office on 020 3824 8080 to make an appointment at our London office.

Our team focuses heavily on providing quality legal service and exceptional client care. We have a dedicated team of criminal defence solicitors and lawyers based in London, specialising in murder, manslaughter and attempted murder. 

Our serious and complex crime defence team have represented clients in some of the most severe and difficult criminal cases in recent history. 

Sometimes complex investigations in murder cases can take a long time to investigate and prosecute.  At MPR Solicitors we work with you to ensure you get expert and quality representation of the highest standard.

Our criminal defence solicitors have been involved in many high profile and complex murder and manslaughter cases and our clients enjoy the confidence they are receiving the best legal advice and representation possible.

Our lawyers are well connected with some of the leading experts in the fields of:

  • DNA
  • Fingerprint evidence
  • Blood spatter evidence
  • Cell site evidence
  • Telecommunication evidence
  • Ballistics
  • Body and facial mapping
  • CCTV enhancement
  • Voice/ speech recognition analysis

Murder, manslaughter, and attempted murder charges carry serious consequences.  It is imperative that you invest in the best solicitors and barristers to advise and represent you.  We understand the intricacies of building a defence; cross-examining prosecution witnesses and supplying persuasive expert evidence to the court.  We have an open, approachable relationship with our clients, providing them with confidence that their defence is being managed and presented with the utmost clarity and professionalism.

If you have been accused of murder, manslaughter, corporate manslaughter or attempted murder, it is crucial that you take the charge seriously and instruct the best criminal defence solicitors to advise and represent you. Our early involvement at the investigation stage will ensure that you receive the right advice at the police station during any interviews. We will work with you to avoid you being charged but where that is not possible we will work with you to prepare your case at trial. Our serious crime lawyers will work with you to mount a positive and pro-active defence to any charges.

What is the difference between murder and manslaughter?

The difference between murder and manslaughter can be very slight.

Murder is defined as the unlawful killing of another human being with intent to kill or cause grievous bodily harm.

The unlawful killing of a human being means killing without legal justification.  Legal justification might involve a killing in self-defence or as a result of bona fide medical or surgical treatment.

Manslaughter is generally classified as either ‘voluntary’ or ‘involuntary.’

Voluntary manslaughter consists of those killings which would be murder (because the accused has the relevant mental element for murder) but which are reduced to manslaughter because of one of the three special defences (loss of control, diminished responsibility, or suicide pact).

A person cannot be charged with "voluntary" or “involuntary" manslaughter; rather, it is a verdict which results from an initial indictment of murder.  As criminal defence solicitors, we may construct your defence around the fact that one of the three special defences applied in your case.

Involuntary manslaughter refers to those types of manslaughter which can be charged in their own right. To be charged with involuntary manslaughter, the accused must lack the mental element for murder, i.e. the intention to kill or cause grievous bodily harm.

Involuntary manslaughter prosecutions can also occur in cases where the prosecution fails to prove the defendant had the mental element required for a murder charge.

What is gross negligence manslaughter?

Gross negligence manslaughter is where the death of a person has resulted from a grossly negligent (though otherwise lawful) act or omission on the part of the defendant.

The prosecution must satisfy four steps to prove gross negligence:

  1. The accused owed a duty of care to the deceased; 
  2. They breached that duty of care which; 
  3. Caused (or significantly contributed) to the death of the victim; and
  4. The breach should be characterised as gross negligence, and therefore a crime.

What is the maximum sentence for murder?

If you were over 21 years when the murder was committed, the only sentence available to the court is life imprisonment.

For an offender who was 18 at the time of the offence, the punishment is detention at Her Majesty's pleasure.

What is the maximum sentence for manslaughter?

The maximum penalty for manslaughter is life imprisonment.  However, unlike the sentence for murder, this is not mandatory.

The judge will take into account several factors when deciding on a sentence, for example:

  • How responsible the defendant was for the death
  • The impact on the victim’s family
  • Any previous convictions and the character of the perpetrator (for example, how much remorse did they show for their actions)

What is the maximum sentence for attempted murder?

For a defendant to be found guilty of attempted murder they must prove the defendant:

  1. Had carried out an act that was more than merely preparatory to the commission of an offence of murder, and
  2. At the time of the act, the person has the intention to kill.

Evidence of the following factors may assist in proving the intention to kill:

  • Calculated planning;
  • Selection and use of a deadly weapon;
  • Threats (these must be more than mere bravado)
  • Severity or duration of attack;
  • Relevant admissions in the defendant’s police interview

The maximum penalty for attempted murder is life imprisonment.

Proving the second element of the offence of attempted murder can be very difficult; therefore, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) will often prosecute the defendant on the charge of grievous bodily harm, which carries the same maximum sentence.

What is corporate manslaughter

Corporate manslaughter is a criminal offence whereby a company or organisation commits an act of homicide.

Prosecutions are bought under The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 where the allegations are based on a death arising from an alleged duty of care.

The offence is concerned with corporate liability and does not apply to directors or other officers of the company but gross negligence manslaughter offences will apply to individuals within the company.

Prosecutions are bought by the CPS who work closely with local authorities and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

At MPR Solicitors, our criminal defence teams have successfully defended in cases involving corporate manslaughter.  Our regulatory and health and safety teams work closely in these types of cases to provide effective representation to our clients.  A lot of companies fall into the mistake of letting their usual corporate lawyers handle their investigation and case which can often not lead to the best outcome as they are not experienced homicide litigators seasoned to the ways of the criminal justice system which is very different to the corporate world.  At MPR Solicitors, we are experts in defending companies in corporate manslaughter cases and will deploy our knowledge in the preparation of these complex and often tragic cases.

Penalties can include unlimited fines, remedial orders and publicity orders. There will no doubt be other consequences for the company if liability is proven.

A murder, manslaughter or attempted murder trial can be extremely complex.  It is crucial that you have an experienced, knowledgeable, pro-active legal team behind you if you are facing prosecution for any of these offences.  You will find that our criminal defence team of lawyers at MPR Solicitors excel in all these attributes and more, providing you with peace of mind that your legal team are presenting the best possible defence available.

If you are being investigated for or have been charged with murder, manslaughter or corporate manslaughter, please call us immediately on 020 3824 8080 or fill in our contact form to get in touch.