Subscribe to our mailing list and keep up to date, you can unsubscribe at anytime

International

OPINION: Fines are not enough when “no-one cares”.

“The share price fell first thing, then recovered; no one cares, as they didn’t with BAE and Saudi...A fine? A few million, perhaps, who cares? Even the China/Indonesia stories are a long way in the past, and investors are super-focused on the road to 2018: that’s what gets the share price to £20 or back to £5.” This quote from an analyst appeared in a story in the FT yesterday about the latest development in an ongoing bribery investigation story.  For present purposes it doesn't really matter which company.  It could be any - but it raises an important question. What punishments should be meted out to deter bribery. Are fines the answer? Are they big enough? What could be an effective deterrent to stamp out bribery? What about debarment? Is there another way? On the face of it the analysts comment yesterday seems to embody what some would say is wrong with the ...

Read more...

More In International


Sectors

FCA and SEC to target bribery in crackdown on financial services firms

By Michael Ruck, Senior Associate Pinsent Masons (formerly with FCA enforcement) In the spirit of regulatory togetherness the SEC and FCA have both announced they will focus on financial crime, including bribery and sanctions breaches, within the financial services industry.  The story was covered in some detail in the Financial Times. This will result in an increase in the number of investigations of senior management, greater prosecutions of individuals, a focus on firm systems and controls and investigation of potentially fraudulent accounting procedures (the FCA recently passing on its investigation of Tesco in favour of allowing the SFO to investigate). Whilst the FCA is likely to refer any criminal prosecutions in the UK to the SFO to ensure its general desire to see senior management behind bars rather than facing fines alone, the spirit of international co-operation is being touted as extremely strong following the work on the Libor and FX investigations.  The ...

Read more...

More In Sectors


News & what’s on

OPINION: It was so easy to avoid: Chickengate: Smith & Ouzman Sentencing Remarks in full under new sentencing guidelines

We are lucky that Francesca Hedges, Trainee Solicitor with Pinsent Masons LLP in its corporate crime team (pictured) attended the sentencing of Father and son Christopher and Nicholas Smith last week. Sentencing remarks are not always reported after the soundbite headline has been made. But we find them interesting.  Below we publish the sentencing comments in full. We also shared the sentencing remarks with Richard Bistrong. Unlike the Smiths Richard pleaded guilty to FCPA violations and has served time in prison for them.  Today Richard is a recognized blogger, guest-writer and speaker in the field of anti-bribery compliance, reflecting on front-line issues which impact international business teams and compliance personnel.  He offers a different perspective. Sentencing of Christopher J. Smith and Nicholas C. Smith Before: Judge Higgins 14.00 Southwark Crown Court, court room 9 on 12th February 2015 You have both been convicted of very serious offences. Smith & Ouzman Ltd will be dealt with separately. Christopher Smith ...

Read more...

More In News & what’s on


Bribery Act & Proceeds of Crime

Christmas Comes Early: SFO Scores 1st Bribery Act Convictions

The SFO has successfully prosecuted its first series of Bribery Act convictions. On Friday the SFO reported that "Gary Lloyd West, former Director and Chief Commercial Officer of SAE, James Brunel Whale, former Director, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of SGG and Stuart John Stone, Director of SJ Stone Ltd, a sales agent of unregulated pension and investment products, were convicted of Bribery Act 2010 offences at Southwark Crown Court." The first SFO convictions are of individuals, not a corporate and related to a good old fashioned boiler room fraud scheme. But they are significant. Media focus has been and remains on the investigation and prosecution of exotic (normally overseas) bribery and fraud involving corporate fat cats and corporations operating in the City of London and other financial centres. This case was none of the above and at the unglamorous end of SFO investigations - though importantly commenting on the verdict David Green, SFO ...

Read more...

More In Bribery Act & Proceeds of Crime


Brought to you by...

Barry Vitou &
Richard Kovalevsky Q.C.

The views expressed on this website are those of Barry Vitou & Richard Kovalevsky QC and/or our guest authors from time to time. Please see our terms of use

in association with...


Your Questions: Answered

Richard Bistrong: Q&A “…it is pretty clear that the current compliance models, while essential, are still not working.”

 An interview with Richard Bistrong.   You must read it. Find out about bribery from the front line from someone who has been there, seen it, done it and got the jumpsuit. Where did you go to school, university etc? First, Barry, I want to thank you for inviting me to thebriberyact.com, and for giving me the opportunity to exchange perspectives with you and your community. I really enjoyed our discourse at the Pinset Masons Regulatory Symposium and I appreciate the chance to continue the dialog. As to education, I went to undergraduate school at the University of Rochester where I received my bachelors in Political Science, cum laude with high honors, which included studies at the Institute for European Studies in Vienna. Immediately thereafter I commenced graduate studies at the University of Virginia, where I received a Masters of Arts in Foreign Affairs in 1987. At the Regulatory Conference, I think we ...

Read more...

More In Your Questions: Answered