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UK victims

Interactive decision tree

Interactive decision tree

Please use our interactive tool to understand more about the criminal and civil justice systems and how the two systems can interact. It outlines the main steps, and has been specifically created with the individuals and smaller business victim in mind.

Please carefully read about the main differences between the criminal and civil justice systems before using the decision tree.

Civil proceedings


In order to bring a successful claim, a body of evidence will have to be gathered. This may involve interviewing potential witnesses, gathering documentary evidence, taking witness statements etc.

Depending on the complexity of the fraud this may require the services of a private investigation team.

As the victim you will normally be required to provide a witness statement. However, if the amount in question is relatively small then this is not always required by the courts.

What if the fraudster is unknown or you need more information?

It can be possible to apply to the court to obtain an order (called a Norwich Pharmacal Order). Such an order compels an innocent third party who has information about a wrongdoer to hand the information over. The claimant has to pay the third party’s legal costs.

In a later stage of proceedings it may be possible to apply for such an order to establish the location of assets held by the defendant, for example.

Any such order will be subject to the cross-undertakings and full and frank disclosure rules set out under ‘Interim Orders’.