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Reshaping the fascinating world of worldwide private investigation

Research Associatesis a Business Reporter client

How boutique agency Research Associates combines the best of old and new private investigation techniques to help resolve challenging problems

There was a time when private investigators held a reputation for being clever. Think Marlowe, Holmes, Poirot, Spade. Unconstrained by regulations, these fictional detectives used their street smarts to uncover facts and crack cases (and in some cases, heads).

Prior to the early 90s, their more recent real-world counterparts were similarly known for using guile and craft to get what they needed. But the dawn of the internet and the introduction of the Data Protection Act in 1988 made many activities investigators once relied on illegal overnight, changing the landscape of private investigation forever. Many agencies went out of business, while others went rogue and operated outside the law – compromising both their clients and themselves as a result. Not clever.

Research Associates stayed clever. Trading since 1977, it emerged as one of the few boutique agencies that weathered both the many changes in legislation and the ever-changing techniques of sleuthing, working for its clients’ best interests by taking full advantage of anomalies and exemptions within the law. The agency prides itself on its sensitive and friendly interactions with clients, who are viewed as partners in investigation.

Using old-school techniques in parallel with bleeding-edge technological search tools, both proprietary and open source, Research Associates is able to overcome many problems and situations, whether partially or wholly unresolved – from extortion, observation and fraud, to finding missing people and profiling, as well as other project work.

One aspect that has made Research Associates a go-to agency among business leaders and high net-worth individuals is its insistence on remaining boutique, and avoiding the trap of becoming ever more corporate, bland and disconnected. The agency is agile, responding to development by routinely expanding and contracting, using trusted and respectable industry resources of the highest calibre.

An experienced agency with impeccable credentials, over the years Research Associates has forged strategic relationships with former FBI open-source intelligence (OSINT) experts, and has brought its everyday working processes to the UK police and other agencies. A High Court judge once suggested that some of the information Research Associates gathered in evidence may not have been gained lawfully, yet conceded once the smart legal process of well-thought-out investigation was revealed to be wholly legal, ethical and proportional.

Much of what Research Associates’ reputation relies upon is by necessity out of the public eye, although many of its feats are well documented in the media and on its own website. The men and women involved directly in Research Associates operations are restless in their quest to better understand and expand on their craft, and find pragmatic solutions to often complex problems using an array of multi-disciplined methodology.

To understand more about how Research Associates can help solve your problems, visit

Originally published on Business Reporter

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