The Ashfords Marine Prosecutions Team has significant experience of defending and prosecuting marine related cases involving marine regulatory offences and maritime safety. Our practice includes marine licensing and fisheries prosecutions, harbour authority byelaws, general directions and harbour directions (including drafting new byelaws and directions) and maritime safety (both MCA and HSE). We are also able to provide training to authorities considering bringing prosecutions.
We both defend and prosecute for a wide variety of clients including Harbour Authorities, Local Authorities, fishermen, vessel owners and coastal businesses and developers. Our ability to prosecute places us at an advantage over firms that only defend because we are able to look at cases in the round and fully understand the evidential issues and pressures facing prosecutors. This experience is invaluable when we defend cases prosecuted by the MCA, MMO, EA and HSE.
We have successfully defended a range of clients including a coastal developer in relation to potential marine licensing prosecution by the MMO; a company director accused by the MMO of fraud valued at £6 million relating to applications for grants from the European Fisheries Fund; the owner of a yachting school in a test case brought under section 100 Merchant Shipping Act 1995 (a case of critical importance to the yachting industry with world-wide ramifications) and we have acted for trawler companies in prosecutions brought by the MCA, MMO and IFCA over many years.
We also recently brought a successful prosecution against a trawler owner and skipper following a pollution incident at Sutton Harbour and have acted for various parties during inquests following the sinking of vessels.