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On 5 March, Reed Smith will welcome in-house counsel at pharmaceutical, medical device, and health companies to join a roundtable discussion on how to identify and mitigate risk. Our Government Investigations partners Rosanne Kay and Eoin O’Shea will speak on a panel “Global Investigations of Companies and their People: A Look at Current Issues through the Lens of a Case Study.” We are happy to announce our in-house and industry speakers: Helen Barraclough (Associate General…
The top story in the UK media today is about alleged corruption in English football. Someone said to be a “fixer” for betting syndicates was secretly recorded boasting that the results of English lower-league matches and even international matches could be bought, once the price was right. Six people, including three players, have been arrested by the UK’s new National Crime Agency. There are lots of details in the Daily Telegraph.…
In a recent speech, David Green, the Director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) stated that the agency would adopt a “sweep” approach, focusing on specific industries, to identify businesses which might be breaking the law. The SFO has made it clear that its anti-bribery investigations are focused on the construction and energy industries. Most international energy companies have been preparing to deal with bribery risk due to lengthy exposure to the Foreign Corrupt Practices…
Charges have been brought against four individuals in connection with a £23 million fraud at Sustainable AgroEnergy, whose parent company, Sustainable Growth Group, is in administration. The SFO has been looking at the promotion of bio fuel investment products to UK investors between April 2011 and February 2012. Sustainable AgroEnergy, a £40 million investment scheme, collapsed in 2012 amid concerns that crops either did not exist, or there were not enough to supply investors with…
The Financial Times has reported that a review of the UK Bribery Act is set to be announced next month as the UK government seeks to reduce the cost of compliance for small- and medium-sized businesses. The main focus of the review will apparently be facilitation payments. These are small payments given to officials to permit or speed up a service – for example, at a border crossing – and are illegal under the UK…
Following on from our posts in 2012 (UK Ministry of Justice Launches Consultation on Deferred Prosecution Agreements and UK Government unveils deferred prosecution agreements as a new enforcement tool), we can now report that on 25 April 2013, the Crime and Courts Act 2013 (the “Act”) was passed. The Act introduces deferred prosecution agreements into UK law for the first time. The Act will allow the UK Serious Fraud Office and the Crown…
On 23 April 2013, Mr Yang Li was the third individual to be convicted under the UK Bribery Act 2010 after he attempted to bribe his tutor. Mr Li, a student at the University of Bath, offered his tutor £5,000 to amend his dissertation grade, which was 3% short of a pass mark. The tutor rejected the offer, and as Mr Li put his money away, a replica air pistol fell out of his pocket…
Following on from our last blog, the SFO has published revised statements of policy on its website dealing with facilitation payments, business expenditure (i.e. hospitality and gifts) and self-reporting which take immediate effect and revoke previous guidance. The new statements of policy are blunt. Facilitation payments – the SFO has reiterated that these are illegal under the Bribery Act and that the SFO will apply the various established tests and guidance relating to prosecution to…
This post was also written by Shariq Gilani. David Green QC has this month taken over the Directorship of the Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”) from Richard Alderman. Prior to joining the SFO, Mr Green had practised as a barrister specialising in serious crime for more than 25 years. Between 2004 and 2011, he served as Director of the Revenue and Customs Prosecution Office, and following its merger with the Crown Prosecution Service (“CPS”), as Director…
This post was also written by Shariq Gilani. The Ministry of Justice (“MOJ”) has launched a Consultation on the introduction of Deferred Prosecution Agreements (“DPAs”) in the UK, as a new enforcement tool in dealing with economic crime. As with the U.S. model, the proposed DPAs would allow prosecutors to enter into agreements with commercial organisations that the prosecutor will lay, but not immediately proceed with, criminal charges pending successful compliance with agreed terms and…