A deep dive into DPAs: seven takeaways from the new DPA guidance in the SFO’s Operational Handbook

In October 2020 the SFO published guidance regarding Deferred Prosecution Agreements (“DPAs”) in a new chapter of its Operational Handbook. The guidance offers a practical step-by-step map to the route that the SFO, and, therefore, a target company and its advisers, will traverse where seeking to negotiate an outcome that avoids the need for prosecution. Continue reading

Lisa Osofsky re-examines the priorities of the SFO at the Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime

On 7 September 2020, Lisa Osofsky, the Director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), delivered a keynote address at the Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime. In light of Covid-19, this year’s speech was delivered virtually, via YouTube. In her speech, Ms Osofsky re-examined the four key priorities that she outlined at her first address to the Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime in 2018 and referred to a number of new developments which she said would affect the SFO’s future work. Continue reading

Corporate Crime & Investigations Podcast Episode 1: Deferred Prosecution Agreements

In our Corporate Crime & Investigations podcast we look to bring you timely and incisive commentary on key developments in the CC&I space.

In this inaugural episode we take a look at the Deferred Prosecution Agreements (DPAs) landscape. In particular we set in context the latest DPA agreed between the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and a subsidiary in the Serco Group of companies.

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Corporate Crime update – May 2018

Welcome to the May 2018 edition of our corporate crime update – our round up of developments in relation to corruption, money laundering, fraud, sanctions and related matters. Our update now covers a number of jurisdictions. For the full update on each jurisdiction, please click on the name of the jurisdiction below.

We are proud to announce that the Corporate Crime and Investigations practice at Herbert Smith Freehills has been awarded Investigation Firm of the Year at the Who’s Who Legal Awards 2018.  Continue reading

House of Lords Select Committee appointed to review Bribery Act 2010

The House of Lords has established an ad hoc Select Committee (the “Committee“) to consider and report on the Bribery Act 2010 (the “Act“). The Committee, which was formally appointed on 17 May, is due to release a report by the end of March 2019 which will focus on:

  • the extent to which the Bribery Act 2010 has led to stricter prosecutions of corrupt conduct, a higher conviction rate and/or a reduction in such conduct; and
  • the impact that the Act has upon businesses and in particular small and medium enterprises (“SMEs“).

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Serious Fraud Office secures second Deferred Prosecution Agreement

London’s Southwark Crown Court recently approved only the second Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) since the introduction of DPAs in 2014. Herbert Smith Freehills' London Corporate Crime and Investigations team negotiated the first DPA with the SFO, which was concluded in November 2015. The recent announcement of the UK’s second DPA indicates that DPAs are likely to be an important tool in the SFO’s armoury as it pursues corporates alleged to have committed economic or financial crimes.

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DPAs for the FCA? A New Year’s enforcement treat

As New Year’s resolutions go, “read Schedule 16 to the Crime and Courts Bill” may not have been top of anyone’s list.  Buried, however, in the Bill’s provisions on deferred prosecution agreements (“DPAs”) are some interesting pointers to the future use of DPAs and their potential availability to prosecutors other than the Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”) and Crown Prosecution Service (“CPS”).  In particular, the offences listed as being capable of resolution using a DPA suggest that, contrary to earlier indications, DPAs may comprise an additional tool in the armouries of the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”), and HRMC, in 2014/15.  In this post we briefly explain the relevant provisions.

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