A boutique investigation and intelligence agency with a local and worldwide reach…

Established in 1977, we have decades of experience in consulting in civil, criminal defence and private matters. Clients routinely benefit from receiving tangible, legally obtained results which lead to resolution – peace of mind.

Research Associates is an award-winning private investigation agency based in Notting Hill Gate – in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London UK. We have decades of making use of clever and indirect methods to achieve focused services to executives, corporations, private individuals and families, charities, government agencies, as well as the legal profession internationally.

Research Associates offer consultations protected by NDAs – ensuring legal confidentiality.

Investigation Services:

Our well expert private detectives have a flawless track-record in resolving and containing blackmail and extortion with sensitivity, loyalty and a robust collaborative approach.

Our leading private investigators are adept at locating missing persons in a legal, confidential, sensitive and cost-efficient manner.

Our complex fraud investigators help resolve cases of fraud and assist recovery of lost funds in a cost-efficient manner for both corporations and private individuals.

Our sensitive matrimonial investigators provide clear evidence of a partner’s activities, balancing professional experience with empathy, tact and discretion.

We offer a broad range of services, from locating people, dealing with personal relationship investigation, forensic services and criminal defence, to close protection and resolving blackmail.

Why Research Associates:

Absolute Discretion:

Confidentiality is key to our work; therefore, we treat all investigations with utmost discretion and privacy throughout, assuring loyalty and professionalism at all times. Call 020 7243 1000 and we will arrange an NDA for peace of mind.

Range Of Services:

We offer a comprehensive range of services, from locating people and dealing with personal relationship investigation, to fraud recovery and resolving blackmail.

Working Directly With Advisors:

Over the years, we have worked to provide solicitors, barristers and other advisors with hard evidence in the civil and criminal courts of England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and overseas, including the USA and other jurisdictions.

A True Global Reach:

Our business spans the globe, from your doorstep to wherever investigation takes us. Research Associates boasts a formidable network of multinational and multi-disciplined experts, resulting in a complete global and local capability. Research Associates is one of the world’s most elite private detective agencies, first established in 1977.

Experienced Team:

Research Associates is well-recognised as a reliable private intelligence and investigation source, employing credible specialist consultants and fully-trained detectives, as well as other associates with well-documented achievements.


It is important to discuss the nature of your situation and agree, strategy, timeframe and cost before moving forward. If you are unable to call now on 020 7243 1000, use the form below:

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Professional Membership

Association of British InvestigatorsWorld Association of Detectives, Inc.Institute Of Professional InvestigatorsBritish and European Polygraph Association

Frequently Asked Questions

A private investigator helps clients obtain information regarding persons or entities where the client has exhausted other options. A professional investigator/private detective should be qualified and understand the legislation pertaining to any jurisdictions they are working in.

It is always best to hire a private investigator/detective as soon as you have a situation where critical information is needed. It is best to avoid leaving the hiring of an investigator to the point of crisis as forward planning and preparation is a prime tool of an elite investigator.

A competent private investigator will find ways of obtaining information that is legitimately required by a client without breaking the law, often using legislation to their own advantage. It is essential to avoid blunt, illegal activities; a qualified investigator will rely on clever, well-thought-out techniques to assist the given situation.

It is absolutely legal, and in some cases essential, to employ a qualified investigator/detective with a proven track record. It is crucial that the investigator you choose is trustworthy and understands the nuance of your situation. Research for hiring an investigator should not be based merely on cost but should consider capability and reliability.

Private investigators cannot and should not do anything that breaks the law or is seen to be significantly disproportionate to the given situation. However, most people may not appreciate that when a qualified investigator fully understands the background of the situation and why the information needs to be obtained, an alternative, legal route can often be found and instigated.

When choosing an investigator/detective, it is important to select somebody with the appropriate experience and a well-documented track record. In some countries, the government regulates activities, however in the UK the industry is self-regulated via the Association of British Investigators (ABI). The Law Society of England recommends UK solicitors/lawyers only employ professional investigators who hold membership of the ABI.

A significant advantage that investigators have over the general public is access to privileged databases and the use of proprietary software to interrogate third-party indexes, registries and the internet (including the deep web, the unindexed portion of the internet, which is fifty times larger than the portion covered by search engines such as Google).

Private investigation is such a broad term that it is nearly impossible to define how long an investigation could last. Some straightforward locates take a matter of days or hours, and some projects go on for years. However, what is essential is that you talk through the situation of concern, make it clear what your aims are, and speak with a qualified investigator/detective who will be able to give a clear indication of the expected timeframe. Although some criteria, such as the time taken for a contact to supply information, may change during an investigation, a good investigator will communicate clearly and openly regarding changes in timeframe throughout an investigation.

Though obtaining phone records is strictly illegal, people often see it as a shortcut to finding out other information that can be obtained by conducting more nuanced investigation. A good investigator/detective will always have alternative methods of obtaining information that a private individual may be unable to legally access.

Police typically rely on manpower, and many bright and proactive officers are seconded into specialist niches within the force. Due to financial and other restraints, the police do not have the resources to investigate many crimes, specifically frauds and complex missing person investigations. They are also constrained by time, meaning cases requiring in-depth investigation are often deprioritised. These restrictions do not apply to private investigators, allowing greater freedom in investigations.

A private investigator/detective is precisely that – private. Even before instructions are given, everything said and discussed should remain forever private and confidential. A professional investigator with a documented track record should always reassure the client of confidentiality and will be willing to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) where need be. It is imperative that each client finds an investigator they feel they can trust, as most investigations involve sensitive details.