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Deferred Prosecution Agreements: The Sign of Things to Come?

In a landmark decision, the first Deferred Prosecution Agreement (“DPA”) was approved  on Monday at the Royal Courts of Justice, by Lord Justice Leveson.  The DPA was introduced as a means of alternative disposal following a criminal investigation into a corporate organisation back in February 2014, under the Crime and Courts Act 2013[1]. It is … Continue Reading

UK Government makes U-turn on the reform of corporate criminal liability

In September 2014, the new Attorney General, Jeremy Wright, revealed that the government was considering introducing a new offence of corporate failure to prevent economic crime, such as fraud and money laundering, similar to the corporate offence in the UK Bribery Act 2010 of an organisation failing to prevent bribery. In its UK Anti-Corruption Plan, … Continue Reading

Cooperation is Key – Scottish Company receives civil penalty for contravention of Bribery Act

Brand-Rex Limited, a Scottish company specialising in developing cabling solutions for network infrastructure and industrial applications, has become the first UK Company to be penalised for contravention of Section 7 of the Bribery Act 2010. The company avoided criminal prosecution and was instead ordered to pay £212,800 by way of a civil recovery order after … Continue Reading

SMEs and the UK Bribery Act – Compliance may not be as difficult as you fear!

Despite the fact that the Bribery Act 2010 (the “Act”) came into force on 1 July 2011, a recent government study has found that only two-thirds of SMEs are aware of the Act or its corporate offence for failure to prevent bribery (under section 7 of the Act). Of those that were aware of the … Continue Reading

New EU directive allows public contract suppliers convicted of corruption to “self-clean” their bad behaviour

The Public Contacts Directive (2014/24/EC – the “2014 Directive”)[1] sets out the legal framework for public procurement when contracting authorities seek to acquire supplies, services, or works (e.g. civil engineering or building). The intention is that procurement rules become simpler and more flexible. Despite the 2014 Directive not requiring transposition into Member States’[2] law until … Continue Reading

Is the First UK Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) on the Horizon?

The UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has publically announced that it has sent out the first invitation letters offering DPAs to corporations. In this blog we discuss: the definition of a DPA; the new attitude in relation to DPAs and movement towards the first DPA; and co-operation with the SFO– dos and don’ts. Quick Recap: … Continue Reading

Five Minutes on… Anti-Bribery and Corruption Laws in Europe

Anti-bribery and corruption has been a hot topic in the US for almost 40 years. The topic has historically however received much less attention within Europe. That is now changing as Europe is beginning to catch up and many European countries have already implemented anti-bribery laws much stricter than those in the US. Recent events … Continue Reading

The UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) gets serious

Reports suggest that the SFO is currently investigating and prosecuting serious allegations of complex fraud and corruption. The announcement this spring that the SFO had started an investigation into the Bank of England’s actions following the rigging rumours, (as reported by the BBC amongst others) demonstrates its intention to pursue high-profile offenders. David Green, who … Continue Reading

UK company director jailed for bribing public officials in Africa

In order to win a contract worth £2.26m for making ballot papers, Smith and Ouzman Ltd, a printing firm based in Sussex, gave £395,074 in corrupt payments to public officials in Kenya and Mauritania. In February 2015, Southwark Crown Court jailed Nicholas Smith, the Sales and Marketing Director, for three years and handed his father, … Continue Reading

Pursue, Prevent, Protect and Prepare – The UK Government’s Anti-Corruption Plan

The UK Anti-Corruption Plan, published in late 2014, sets the strategic direction for anti-corruption activity in the UK. It contains 66 action points that the UK government will undertake by the end of 2015 in line with four components: Pursue – prosecuting and disrupting people engaged in corruption; Prevent – preventing people from engaging in corruption; … Continue Reading

The UK Bribery Act – what to expect in 2015

We have reported previously that the UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has confirmed its commitment to prosecuting bribery and corruption and that although there is yet to be a “big case” under the UK Bribery Act 2010, the SFO are busy investigating companies it suspects may have broken the law. As we approach the end … Continue Reading

GSK BRIBERY CASE – END OF THE MATTER?

This article was originally published by LexisNexis and is reproduced with permission. GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has been fined £300 million and five of its employees given suspended prison sentences in China for bribery – but is this the end of the matter? What impact will the verdicts have on other multinational companies conducting business in China? … Continue Reading

Real, honest cooperative action – the key to obtaining a Deferred Prosecution Agreement in the UK

In a July 1 speech to the UK Aerospace and Defence Industry Seminar, Ben Morgan of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) discussed his recommendations for how companies seeking Deferred Prosecution Agreements (DPAs) should interact with the SFO. His resounding message was cooperation on the part of the company, not just “the impression of cooperation” but … Continue Reading

UK Serious Fraud Office launches investigation into GlaxoSmithKline in relation to claims of foreign bribery

The UK’s Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”) has launched a formal criminal investigation into GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and its “commercial practices”, understood to mean allegations of foreign bribery. David Green CB QC, Director of the SFO, said back in 2012 that only the largest cases, that prevented UK companies from competing for big contracts on a level … Continue Reading

Bribery prosecutions in the UK – where are we now?

We reported back in 2012 that the UK’s Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”) had confirmed its commitment to enforcing the UK Bribery Act 2010 (“Bribery Act”) and that its new powers to prosecute bribery offences would remain an important tool in actions overseas. So where are we now? In late 2013, the SFO charged printing company … Continue Reading

Deferred Prosecution Agreements arrive in the UK

Deferred Prosecution Agreements (“DPAs”), an established part of the legal landscape in the US, have today, 24 February 2014, become available to prosecutors in the UK, thanks to Schedule 17 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013. As we reported previously, DPAs allow commercial organisations (not individuals) to settle allegations of criminal economic activity (for … Continue Reading

Deferred Prosecution Agreements for the UK – pragmatic solution or approach with caution?

Deferred Prosecution Agreements (“DPAs”), an established part of the legal landscape in the US, are inching ever closer to their long-awaited introduction in England and Wales.  After receiving royal assent via the Crime and Courts Act 2013 earlier this year, a draft Code of Practice (“Draft Code”) explaining how the DPA process will operate is … Continue Reading

SFO finally brings first charges under UK Bribery Act

In a press release on its website, the Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”) has announced that it has finally brought its first charges under the Bribery Act 2010. The bribery charges against the three individuals are connected to a wider investigation into a suspected £23 million fraud at Sustainable AgroEnergy plc.  The SFO’s investigation is focussed … Continue Reading

Transparency International’s 2013 Global Corruption survey paints a worrying picture of corruption and bribery in the UK

Special thanks to Squire Sanders Manchester office and particularly trainee solicitor Philip Bonner for preparing the article below. Last week’s publication of Transparency International’s 2013 Global Corruption Barometer sparked a number of headlines in the UK press and no doubt also caused a number of raised eyebrows and furrowed brows. Whilst Transparency International surveyed more … Continue Reading

Is the review of UK anti-bribery legislation a sign that the Government’s war on red tape has gone too far?

Special thanks to Squire Patton Boggs Manchester office and particularly trainee solicitor Philip Bonner for preparing the article below. If recent press reports are to be believed, in particular those emanating from the Financial Times (“FT”), the British Government is considering whether to relax the current ban on facilitation payments for small and medium-sized enterprises … Continue Reading

Ministry of Justice confirms that Deferred Prosecution Agreements (“DPAs”) will be introduced in England and Wales

On 23 October 2012, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) published its response to the consultation paper on DPAs, and confirmed that it will legislate to introduce DPAs in England and Wales.    The Government intends to include an amendment to the Crime and Courts Bill 2012-2013 to introduce DPAs in England and Wales, and it is … Continue Reading

Bribery fears increase as UK businesses encouraged to boost export performance

As part of the UK government’s remodelling of the British economy, UK businesses are being encouraged to widen their export base. Given the intransigent economic problems in the Eurozone, traditionally the UK’s biggest export market, there are sound economic reasons for doing so. George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, has championed the role of … Continue Reading

Oxford University’s publishing arm to pay nearly £1.9 million for corrupt East African operations

David Green QC, the newly-installed director of the Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”), has taken action in the High Court against Oxford Publishing Limited (“OPL”), which ordered it to pay £1,895,435, in relation to the unlawful conduct of OPL’s subsidiaries in Tanzania and Kenya. OPL is owned by Oxford University Press (“OUP”), which is the publishing … Continue Reading
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