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
On 3 November 2020, the Ministry of Justice published its response (the “Government’s Response”) to its Call for Evidence on corporate liability for economic crime which was launched in January 2017 and ran until March 2017 (the “Call for Evidence”). The Government’s Response has been long awaited but does not reach any definitive conclusion on the way forward for reform. Continue reading
“Corporate criminal liability” was the topic for discussion by a global panel of HSF experts on 22 October 2020. The webinar formed part of our Global Conference Series, which has previously covered developments in: CC&I in the context of Covid-19; Anti-Bribery and Corruption and DPAs; global sanctions and whistleblowing. Continue reading
Two years have passed since the High Court decision in R (On The Application Of KBR Inc) v The Director of the Serious Fraud Office  EWHC 2368 (Admin) (“KBR”) (see our summary of the decision here). Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard KBR’s appeal (“Appeal”) against that ruling, which had determined that the Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”) can require a foreign company to produce documents held overseas, pursuant to section 2(3) of the Criminal Justice Act 1987 (“CJA”). Lord Pannick QC represented KBR Inc and Sir James Eadie QC represented the SFO. Continue reading
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
Covid-19 restrictions are being slowly eased, but the impact of the pandemic and related lockdown measures on financial crime risk and on related compliance measures continues to be a high priority for business. In our April briefing, we analysed the impact of the restrictions on the UK criminal justice system – in particular, the practical issues facing law enforcement agencies (LEAs), the courts and the prison service. Continue reading
On 31 January 2020, Dame Victoria Sharp, the President of the Queen’s Bench Division sitting in the Crown Court in Southwark, approved the Deferred Prosecution Agreement (“DPA”) between the UK Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”) and Airbus S.E. (“Airbus”), the ultimate parent company of the Airbus Group. Under the DPA, Airbus must pay €990,963,712 to the SFO — the largest UK DPA financial settlement to date and greater than the combined total of all previous financial settlements under UK DPAs.
On 17 January 2020 the UK Serious Fraud Office (“SFO“) updated its Operational Handbook to include a new chapter on evaluating a compliance programme (the “New Chapter“). The New Chapter considers the relevance of compliance programmes for SFO cases and how the SFO will investigate the effectiveness of a compliance programme.
The SFO’s Operational Handbook is for internal SFO guidance, does not constitute official guidance to third parties and is published in the interests of transparency. However, it can be instructive in revealing the SFO’s approach to certain matters. In this briefing we provide an overview of the New Chapter. Continue reading
On 20 December 2019 reporting restrictions were lifted in respect of a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (“DPA”) agreed between the Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”) and Guralp Systems Ltd (“GSL”). Under the DPA, which was approved in October 2019, GSL agreed to disgorge relevant profit of £2,069,861 in relation to charges of conspiracy to make corrupt payments and failure to prevent bribery by its employees, both in respect of South Korean business. Three GSL personnel, who were also charged with conspiracy to make corrupt payments, were subsequently acquitted in December. GSL also agreed to continue to cooperate with the SFO and to maintain and keep its (already enhanced) Anti-Bribery and Corruption (“ABC”) procedures under review.
Following the introduction of DPAs in the UK in 2014 and the conclusion of the first DPA with the SFO in November 2015, the GSL DPA is the sixth DPA and reiterates the importance placed by the SFO on the use of DPAs in tackling financial crime. In this briefing, we provide an overview of the GSL DPA.