When you face criminal charges, you need a legal team that not only fights your corner and actively defends you, but revels in serving you.
SKB Legal, based in Bedfordshire but with a developing presence in London, specialises in criminal cases. The team focus on regulatory and business crime including road traffic legal advice and representation. They have taken great pride in identifying grey areas, taking corrective action, and lifting the fog on legal situations. SKB Legal is proactive, client-centred and committed to protecting clients from every imaginable risk.
Susanta Banerjee heads up the firm. His two decades of experience, starting life at the heart of legal London, provides the experience, skills, and legal firepower necessary to make sure that loose ends are never left untied. He has developed a vast network of pedigree lawyers and leading experts all across the UK, which has become an invaluable asset for clients.
“Trust. That is our main capital and to give better than your best is our way of honouring every client,” said Susanta.
At SKB Legal, Susanta has drawn together a team of trusted professionals ready to act for clients on anything from general crime, accusations of things like theft, public order offences or criminal damage, to business crime. The latter can be anything from depositing controlled waste (fly-tipping), health and safety breaches to serious fraud and white-collar criminal investigations, the whole gamut. SKB Legal believes in TEAM – Together Everyone Achieves More.
Regulatory or business crime is not uncommon in a fast-paced world where requirements change on a regular basis and can potentially leave businesses or their owners open to challenge from professional bodies and regulators, or the likes of trading standards, the Environment Agency or the Health & Safety Executive.
Susanta added: “Crisis dictates urgency – in thought and action. Whatever the circumstances, people accused of any crime can find themselves at their lowest points, and they need to act swiftly to get legal advice. Having a solicitor in place from the start is their best option, however much they feel they can deal with the situation without one. This is because the accused can leave themselves even more vulnerable if they proceed without effective legal advice.”
This is particularly true when you can be asked to pop in for a quick but recorded chat during a voluntary police interview. This unguarded approach can affect a person’s life multi-fold if they attend without a solicitor.
“It is at this earliest point that we can be most effective,” said Susanta. “Investment in legal services is not just about money, it’s about life. It’s about optimising returns on time, skills and money.”
Susanta has undertaken work for professionals in most industries, those in the public eye, and for business owners with the risk of reputational damage. Sometimes a case can require extensive and heavy research, particularly when dealing with what becomes a miscarriage of justice, and he has fought tooth and nail to make matters right for his clients. This was brought into focus very early on in his career when assessing a high-profile case involving a contract killing, referred to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), and later sitting in on an appeal that changed the law in respect of insolvency proceedings before the Privy Council of the House of Lords.
SKB Legal is vastly experienced in dealing with serious offences such as arson, murder and other grave crimes but this is not an exhaustive list. The team are also proficient in dealing with more arcane charges like explosive substances, proceedings brought by the RSPCA, and others where careful analysis is required in complex financial crimes.
“Currently, matters such as furlough fraud and fraudulent applications for coronavirus support schemes are coming to the fore, as are an increase in cases of domestic violence and abuse, as people have been shielding and staying indoors,” he explained.
Susanta began his career at a firm which was a stone’s throw from the Old Bailey and the Royal Courts of Justice and worked for two senior black lawyers. That was when he realised the challenges they faced in running their business.
“It was a dose of reality for me to see what people from Black and minority ethnic backgrounds were often up against and how important it was to drive the legal profession towards greater diversity and inclusivity. Not only does it make a difference to the talented professionals we encourage, but it also impacts the people we try to help.
“Most people’s perception of a senior lawyer is Caucasian, middle-aged and probably male. If you are a young, black or from some other minority ethnic group, and accused of a crime, you’re not always going to feel like the people trying to help you are on your wavelength. We need to change that.”
This was a common thread during a recent interview he did with the newly appointed President of the Law Society of England & Wales, I.
Stephanie Boyce, who said: “We want to be able to drive the change we want to see.”
Susanta is also passionate about developing young minds entering the legal world.
“If we can encourage young lawyers through their journeys and help them gain the confidence they need to succeed, I feel that benefits the profession along with humanity at large,” he said.
“Don’t just trust appearances, is what I say. And to give hope when none exists is what we live by at SKB Legal.”
Susanta Banerjee is an experienced duty solicitor with Higher Rights of Audience, which allows him to practice in the Crown and Appellate courts as a Solicitor Advocate throughout England and Wales. A Member of the Fraud Lawyers Association, he was recognised in the Legal 500 as a ‘bright, clear-sighted, personable professional’.
Susanta regularly provides ad hoc advice to voluntary organisations, including through a community radio segment in London and other regions, offering advice on Court enforcement and financial orders. Inclusivity is close to Susanta’s heart and he is a committee member of the Ethnic Minority Lawyer’s Division of the Law Society. Susanta also has a special interest in mentoring junior lawyers and bringing about change in the legal profession.