News & what's on - Written by on Monday, May 25, 2015 0:01 - 1 Comment

First DPA invitation letters issued by SFO. The race is on for the first DPA.

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harlequin-fraud-office“…We have issued our first invitation letters giving corporates the opportunity to enter into DPA negotiations.”

Said Ben Morgan of the SFO on Wednesday.  While the speech focused on cooperation (about which more in another post) a key takeaway was the confirmation that the SFO is now actively working on agreeing the first Deferred Prosecution Agreements.

Put another way, the first SFO negotiated DPA is now imminent and the race among the SFO teams now engaged in negotiations with corporates to reach an agreement is on.  As Mr. Morgan reported:

“…We are no longer, at the SFO, in the world of having to talk up DPAs like some sort of salesmen; corporates want them and some will get them.

Where we are now is working with corporates on how best to go through that process – not “why DPA”, but “how DPA”.”

Speaking to the “how” Mr. Morgan referenced the DPA Code:

“…And when it comes to “how”, the DPA Code is clear; we and the court need you to cooperate fully with our investigation. I and others at the SFO have spoken in some detail about what that looks like so I’m not going to go over that ground extensively again, I will just say this. We have made clear what we expect. It’s all there in the DPA Code.”

Opinion

Five years have passed since the Bribery Act was passed.

And. Since, 2011 when the Bribery Act entered into force a lot of water has gone under bridge.

We now have the possibility of DPA’s too.

We expect that among the first DPAs we will likely see the first disposals for violation of Section 7 of Bribery Act, failure to prevent bribery.

When that happens the Bribery Act will, at long last, have come of age.

 

 

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