News & what's on - Written by Barry & Richard on Wednesday, December 4, 2013 15:50 - 0 Comments
BREAKING: DPA’s in the Spring & a Dicky Bird tells us Bribery Act prosecutions ‘soon’…
Just in time for the Spring.
We understand that the Code of Practice relating to Deferred Prosecution Agreements will be published early next year with the rules relating to them being published in January.
We understand the sentencing guidelines relating to corporates will likewise be published in January.
In each case the January publication is, we understand, in readiness for a March 1 launch of the Deferred Prosecution Agreement regime.
In the meantime, a little dicky bird tells us that Bribery Act prosecutions are on the cards ‘soon’ from the SFO.
Read into that what you will.
We were told to be patient, just a little bit longer…
We have said for some time that Bribery Act prosecutions must be on the cards as the world watches and waits for the SFO rhetoric to convert into a real case.
Do not mistake prosecution to equate to guilty verdicts any time soon. Unfortunately there is a significant backlog at the Criminal Court where corporate Bribery Act prosecutions would likely be heard.
We have said consistently that the Bribery Act will result in corporate prosecutions and that corporates should not fall into the trap of compliance complacency.
While Bribery Act prosecutions are on the cards (and always have been) the likelihood of a contested prosecution anytime soon in a court of law in the UK is still some way off.
That means that those craving an immediate fix may have more luck with the impending DPA regime.
We anticipate that the new DPA regime may be a vehicle for the SFO and certain corporates to flush out the pipes and clear out some historic pre-Bribery Act cases which have been kicking around the SFO for a while.