Welcome to the final OC Business Crime Newsletter of 2019.
In the UK, fraud prosecutions are reported to be at their lowest level for five years and, as the new regime at the SFO under Lisa Osofsky beds in, that position might be expected to reverse as we progress into the '20s. A trend that might be expected to continue, however, is the upward direction of Financial Conduct Authority enforcement fines. FCA penalties in 2019 have so far totalled nearly £392m, the highest since 2015 and over six times the amount in 2018.
In this issue, in which we are delighted to include contributions from colleagues in France, India and Italy, you will find:
- Our second video content looking at Deferred Prosecution Agreements;
- A review of the recent Corporate co-operation guidance issued by the SFO;
- An analysis of the role and potential liability of compliance officers in France;
- An insight into the broadening scope of corporate criminal liability in Italy; and
- A guide to some sector-specific challenges and takeaways for those doing business in India.
Straight to the point of dispute resolution | Deferred Prosecution Agreements
In this video, which is part of a video series on different aspects of dispute resolution, Jeremy Summers gives an overview of the DPA regime. Jeremy explains how DPAs work, the financial and other terms that may be included in a DPA, and what businesses need to think about if they may need to consider seeking a DPA.
SFO releases eagerly awaited guidance on corporate cooperation
The SFO has now published its much-heralded, revised corporate co-operation guidance. The guidance is intended to assist businesses in explaining what is considered to be co-operation.
Organisations that discover potential difficulties and who might wish to consider engaging with the authorities will need to review this guidance carefully before making any decisions, including whether to self-report.
France | The compliance officer’s role and liability
Recent French anti-corruption legislation has encouraged businesses to appoint a designated compliance officer. The appointment will be a strategic one, and the responsibilities and powers will be specific to each business.
What, though, is the scope of the role, and the potential liability of the compliance officer under French law?
Italy | Close to the finish line | Tax crimes set to attract corporate criminal liability
The Italian law on corporate criminal liability is to be extended to include making fraudulent tax returns based on false invoices or other false documents for non-existent transactions. This is likely to be the first step towards the extension of corporate liability to cover a wider range of tax offences.
This development, which is pending legislative approval, raises the importance for businesses of adopting an effective organisational management and supervisory model, as this may entitle them to partial or full relief from sanctions.
India | Doing business in India: sector-specific challenges and takeaways
Investing and operating in an exciting and developing market such as India requires future-proofing against some unique market risks. In this guide, BTG Legal, the legal adviser to Osborne Clarke's clients in India, set out some takeaways in key sectors where India is seeing increased foreign investment.