Legal representation in the event of a work-related criminal claim

‘Does CSP membership include full legal representation in the event of a work-related criminal claim?’

Saraka Keating CSP senior negotiating officer

No. To ensure full legal representation in the event of a work-related criminal claim, CSP members may need to purchase a separate ‘criminal defence’ insurance policy. 

Professional liability insurance (PLI) scheme

The CSP professional liability insurance (PLI) scheme does not provide cover for any criminal proceedings brought against members. In rare circumstances, members may be investigated for criminal offences relating to sexual or other criminal matters, either in connection with their work or separate to it.

Prior to 2010, members facing criminal claims may have had their legal expenses met by the government under the legal aid scheme. The CSP was therefore able to provide representation through our solicitors, Thompsons, who claimed the costs back through the legal aid scheme. Where a member was not eligible for legal aid, they met their costs through an indemnity policy or from their own funds. 

Legal aid thresholds

The government changed legal aid thresholds in England and Wales in 2010, so the majority of CSP members in these countries now need to meet their own costs unless they make alternative indemnity arrangements. 

CSP offers members the option to purchase a separate ‘criminal defence’ insurance policy that provides cover for all criminal allegations, not just work-related matters. The availability of this policy has been widely publicised on the CSP website and other media, although the take-up remains low. 

The current provider is Graybrook, the same company that brokers the main CSP PLI scheme. 

All CSP members UK-wide are eligible for free legal representation at an initial police interview under caution. Eligibility for legal aid beyond this, to cover the costs of legal defence, will be means tested on a case by case basis. If eligible, the CSP will continue support to members through its arrangement with Thompsons solicitors. 

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Author: Saraka Keating is a CSP senior negotiating officer

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