CORPORATE FRAUD INVESTIGATIONS AND LITIGATION
CD: To what extent have you seen an increase in corporate fraud investigations and related litigation?
Harris: In recent years there has been a significant increase in corporate fraud investigations. The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has focused on investigating and prosecuting corporates for fraud, and in particular, for offences of bribery and corruption. The Bribery Act 2010 has been an important legislative tool for the SFO and its extraterritorial reach has led to multijurisdictional investigations. An example of this is the case of Rolls Royce, which saw the SFO, along with the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and Brazilian authorities, investigate allegations of bribery and corruption in seven jurisdictions. The Bribery Act, the introduction of Deferred Prosecution Agreements (DPAs) and recent success in cases such as those involving the manipulation of Libor, has improved the SFO’s reputation. Equally, the UK government’s interest in broadening liability for corporates has increased with consideration of a new corporate offence of failing to prevent fraud which is likely to be analogous to the S7 Bribery Act offence, which is in place to increase liability on a corporate that fails to prevent bribery in its organisation.
Jan-Mar 2018 issue
Arnold and Porter Kaye Scholer LLP
Bedell Cristin Guernsey Partnership
Kirkland & Ellis LLP
Peters & Peters Solicitors LLP