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Search Warrant Specialists

Tel 0203 781 8010



Cobleys Solicitors Ltd

19-23 Sir Thomas Street
L1 6BW

Call: 0203 781 8010


Cobleys Solicitors Ltd
Church Street Chambers

Second Floor
Goldsmith Building
Temple, London, EC4Y 7BL

Call: 0203 781 8010

Q: As top-rated London-based search warrant solicitors with a nation-wide reach, what made you set up your specialist department dealing exclusively with search and seizure?

A: Cobleys Solicitors have been dealing with criminal law for many years. Over that time, we realised that the actions of investigating authorities were becoming increasingly lax. We were seeing defects in the applications for search warrants, and in the seizures made, and also in the legality of arrest and detention. Challenging these areas is niche, and needs people with specific knowledge and experience to deal effectively with the issues. In short, no one was offering this sort of specialist advice and assistance.

Q: So who makes up the specialist team?

A: Our team consists not just of specialist lawyers, but also an ex high-ranking police officer. From our position of experience and our knowledge of the procedures and legislation, we can quickly identify when something has gone wrong.

Q: How do you challenge search and seizure?

A: Challenging search and seizure operations is a specialist, highly technical area of law. Obviously, these operations occur in the context of an investigation into a criminal offence, but the majority of criminal lawyers do not even think to challenge the searches or seizures made at the beginning of an investigation, and do not know how to go about it. The challenges are brought by way of judicial review in the High Court, and this is not an area in which most criminal lawyer firms have experience.

Q – How do you recognise which cases are worth taking on?

A: When someone first comes to us with a case, our team at Cobleys will assess its merits. Obviously some will have no merit, and a client can be told that quickly before costs are incurred. If we think a case has merit, then the next step is to seek advice from a junior barrister or QC, depending on the complexity of the matter.

Q: What can be achieved by challenging search and seizure?

A: What can be achieved in a given case is dependent firstly on the strength of the claim, that much is obvious. It is also dependent on what a particular client wants. Some wish to halt a criminal investigation if they can, and this may be possible. Others feel obligated to bring a claim because they are professionals or employers, and computers and documents have been taken which contain highly confidential and sensitive information which they hold under a duty owed to others to protect. Many others feel genuinely aggrieved at the way they have been treated, and wish to have their rights vindicated and to seek compensation.

Q: What is the method of challenge?

A: If a search warrant is to be challenged, a claim is brought before the High Court. The papers are lodged with the Court and are initially reviewed by a single judge reading the papers. Assuming the single judge thinks the claim is arguable, it is ultimately heard by two judges of the High Court who decide upon the appropriate remedy. If a claim is successful, this can include ordering the return of all the material seized, and ordering the payment of damages.

Q: How much will it cost?

A: All clients want to know, and are entitled to know, how much bringing a case will cost. It will vary from case to case but we make sure that any client of ours is well informed as to their liability – and we carefully structure costs at each stage. If a claim is issued, this is because we think it has merit and a good chance of success. Of course, if a claim is successful, the winning party recovers costs from the other side.

To contact a top-rated Search Warrant Solicitor firm with London base and a nation-wide reach, call 0203 781 8010, or click here

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