Earlier this year I found myself the subject of a Police investigation into a sexual offence against a child, as a result of a 3rd party acting on incorrect information. There just aren’t the words to describe the impact such an accusation can have on every aspect of your life and wellbeing. I felt I could probably defend this myself, given the fact that the "child" in question was actually 22, in a consensual relationship and of course, unwilling to support the investigation. However, this still had the potential to blow up on me and affect my medical practice, my career, my reputation and our family relationships. And we all know how social media treats males accused of sexual crimes.
I knew it would be wise to get legal help, and I started researching various solicitors specialising in sexual crimes. I contacted several firms, many of which suggested I contact them when the Police turned up or if I was arrested. Not really the approach I was after. What a refreshing difference it was then having Andrew Ford from Holborn Adams arrange a chat about my case. He was the only solicitor to come forward with a proactive approach, explaining the options and strategy I should consider. He understood the impact this could have and the need to keep this out of the public domain, protect my reputation, career, prevent this from getting to court and the involvement of my regulator, etc. He explained that Crisis Management was something they excelled at, and it was an easy decision to instruct them to take care of me. I opted for a fixed fee package with Andrew, a barrister (Dom) and Ria teaming up to look after me.
They quickly arranged a meeting in their secluded and very private offices in the country, and over a few hours they quizzed me on every aspect of my life, the case, and then discussed where we might see issues and how to preempt those. It’s quite difficult opening up about all manner of experiences in the past and present, but they were non-judgemental and I felt comfortable immediately with them. One of the advantages of a fixed fee package is that at no point, did I ever feel they were clock watching. They were always willing to spend time to discuss and answer my queries. When the Police came round to my home, they were on the phone straight away advising me, and made themselves available at weekends too. It was still a horrendous situation to be in, but the guidance and proactive stance helped me get through this experience, and very quickly the Police dropped the investigation. Even so, they are still working to ensure that the information the Police hold is factually correct and that the person who instigated this is made aware in no uncertain terms that she got this wrong and there will be serious consequences if she doesn’t keep this confidential. I’m impressed that they’re still actively working to manage this and tie up any loose ends.
There’s one final point I want to make. And that is that they genuinely cared and were worried about my health. When you get accused of a sexual offence, you don’t want to talk to anyone you know about it. But keeping this inside is destructive. Even the barrister took quite some time to talk about getting help with a therapist, recognise the damage this has and continues to do to my mental health. I guess the fact that I’m writing this at 2:30am having seen my therapist earlier today, says a lot.
So in summary, I cannot commend highly enough Andrew and Ria at Holborn Adams, and their legal counsel Dom.
If you find yourself in a similar position, and particularly if you are a professional person, engage this team quickly. And look after yourself. This is unfortunately a life changing experience but at least stack the odds in your favour with experienced and professional help.