Opinion: As debate shifts from future of SFO to future of Theresa May we say: At last, fund the SFO properly.

After Theresa May's election humiliation and the swift 'resignation' of her Chief's of Staff, key advisers Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill, May's pet plan to merge the SFO into the NCA in the 2017 Tory Manifesto should finally be dead and buried once and for all. As George Osborne tweeted last week with the front page from the Newspaper he now edits, this "says it all". In remarkable shift overnight the debate has moved from one about the future of the SFO to the future of Theresa May. A source told us that key architects of the idea to shutter the SFO were May's key advisers Repeated attacks from May and advisers failed It is unclear why Theresa May and her key advisers refused to take on board the arguments repeatedly made to keep the SFO.  Likewise, they did not articulate any detailed alternative proposal. Criticisms of Theresa May's leadership style emerging since the election may give the answer. The almost ...


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Significant jail term in Edinburgh construction works bribery case

By Tom Stocker, Partner, Corporate Crime & Investigations, Pinsent Masons LLP Yesterday, two former employees of Edinburgh Council and two directors of a construction company received significant jail sentences for bribery contrary to The Public Bodies Corrupt Practices Act 1889 (the legislation that pre-dates the Bribery Act 2010). The council employees helped award contracts to Edinburgh Action Building Contracts Ltd (ABC Ltd) and in return they received extensive hospitality including corporate seats at Hibs and Hearts football grounds, meals out and visits to lap dancing bars as well as cash.  Invoices were then inflated to cover the cost of the hospitality. The charges related to the maintenance of council buildings from 2006 to 2010. Council worker Charles Owenson was sentenced to 4 years and 4 months for accepting bribes. The sentencing Sheriff considered that, despite Mr Owenson's guilty plea, the plea-in-mitigation put forward on his behalf  demonstrated that Mr Owenson had not accepted ...


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News & what’s on

Opinion: Bertling convictions another notch on the SFO bedpost. Sentencing will provide a sibling to guilty plea disposal.

Last week the SFO announced it had secured seven convictions in US$20 million Bertling corruption case.  The SFO press release records: "F.H. Bertling Ltd and six current and former employees have been convicted of conspiracy to make corrupt payments to an agent of the Angolan state oil company, Sonangol, in relation to F.H. Bertling’s freight forwarding business in Angola and a contract worth approximately $20m. One defendant was acquitted of the charges. On 1 September 2016, Jose Morreale (62) and Stephen Emler (49) pleaded guilty to the charges. On 17 March 2017, Joerg Blumberg (71), Ralf Petersen (now deceased), Dirk Juergensen (46) and Marc Schweiger (47) pleaded guilty. On 1 August 2017, F.H. Bertling Ltd pleaded guilty. Peter Ferdinand (78) was acquitted by a jury at Southwark Crown Court on 21 September 2017." David Green, SFO Director said: SFO Director David Green CB QC said: “F.H. Bertling sought to obtain contracts through bribery. Corrupt practice by British companies such ...


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Bribery Act & Proceeds of Crime

Opinion: As Rolls resolution confirms DPA’s on the menu without Self Report we argue (again) for bigger discounts for companies who Self Report.

Rolls Royce DPA with the SFO is the right result. Rolls can draw a line under the matter and move on.  The SFO can be applauded for what is a very significant enforcement resolution in its favour. The SFO Press Release records serious misconduct, namely,  "...12 counts of conspiracy to corrupt, false accounting and failure to prevent bribery.... three decades and involves Rolls-Royce’s Civil Aerospace and Defence Aerospace businesses and its former Energy business and relates to the sale of aero engines, energy systems and related services. The conduct covered by the UK DPA took place across seven jurisdictions: Indonesia, Thailand, India, Russia, Nigeria, China and Malaysia." In his judgment Sir Brian Leveson recorded: "My reaction when first considering these papers was that if Rolls-Royce were not to be prosecuted in the context of such egregious criminality over decades, involving countries around the world, making truly vast corrupt payments and, consequentially, even greater profits, ...


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Tuesday, October 3, 2017 9:26

Opinion: Bertling convictions another notch on SFO bedpost-sentencing will provide a sibling to guilty plea disposal

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Opinion: As debate shifts from future of SFO to future of Theresa May we say: At last, fund the SFO properly.

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Opinion: Conservatives must answer two basic questions about the plan to merge the SFO into the NCA

Your Questions: Answered

My company has entered into contracts with FIFA. Should I be doing anything?

Question My company has entered into various contracts over the years with FIFA.  I read with alarm last week the news stories about the arrests of FIFA officials in Switzerland. The US has signalled more arrests are likely and the Swiss prosecutor is also investigating. Should I be worried that my business may be drawn into the FIFA investigation and should I be doing anything now? Yours, Anon. The short answer Expect more revelations.  So far the enforcement action in the public domain focusses on the alleged bribe recipients – expect the suspected bribe payers to be targeted next and under the full glare of publicity. A head in the sand approach is never the best option. Businesses who have negotiated licencing deals etc. with FIFA would be well advised to run some basic checks (speak to a lawyer before you do to make sure the checks don’t create legal problems) to confirm their deals are not tainted. The longer ...


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