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Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPAs) in the spotlight

28 January 2019 | UK

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In this series, we explore the use and success of deferred prosecution agreements as a mechanism against corporate crime.

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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SERIOUS FRAUD OFFICE ENTERS INTO THIRD AND LARGEST DEFERRED PROSECUTION AGREEMENT

On 17 January 2017, Sir Brian Leveson QC approved the UK's third Deferred Prosecution Agreement ("DPA"), resulting in orders for disgorgement, penalties and costs exceeding £500 million. This is the largest DPA since their introduction in the UK in 2014. Herbert Smith Freehills' London Corporate Crime and Investigations team negotiated the first DPA with the Serious Fraud Office ("SFO"), which was concluded in November 2015.

This latest agreement confirms their status as an important tool for the SFO in tackling financial crime, at a time when the government is consulting on measures to increase the scope for companies to incur criminal liability (see our e-bulletins on Failure to Prevent Economic Crime and Failure to Prevent Facilitation of Tax Evasion).

In this briefing, we provide an overview of the Rolls-Royce DPA, and discuss some of the emerging themes from the growing body of DPA case-law indicating the importance of what the Judge described as Rolls-Royce's "extraordinary co-operation"

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SERIOUS FRAUD OFFICE PUBLISHES FOURTH DEFERRED PROSECUTION AGREEMENT

On 10 April 2017, the Rt. Hon. Sir Brian Leveson PC approved the UK’s fourth Deferred Prosecution Agreement (“DPA”), resulting in Tesco Stores Limited agreeing to pay a financial penalty of £128,992,500 and £3,069,951 of investigation costs. The DPA had been embargoed from publication, pending the trial of three former Tesco executives on related charges of fraud and false accounting. Following each individual being acquitted of all charges, the DPA was published on 23 January 2019.

In this briefing, we provide an overview of the Tesco Stores Limited DPA.

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