Andrew Reeves (UK)

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Financial crime investigations in the UK: looking ahead to 2023

As we enter a recession against the backdrop of ongoing geopolitical instability, we expect to see significant financial crime enforcement and investigations in 2023, including a focus on emerging areas such as ESG, cryptocurrencies, and significant developments in financial sanctions. We predict that developments in 2023 will include: 1. Fraud We expect to see continued political … Continue Reading

Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill – an attempt to reduce economic and financial crime

On Friday 25 November 2022, the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill (the Bill) entered Parliament. The Committee Stage (Commons) was brought to a conclusion on Tuesday 29 November 2022. The Bill, as amended by the Public Bill Committee, was published on 30 November 2022. The Bill proposes various reforms designed to reduce economic and … Continue Reading

Landmark US-UK Data Access Agreement Enters into Force

On 3 October 2022, the Data Access Agreement (DAA) between the UK and US (see our earlier blog here) came into force.  In this blog post we look at this landmark agreement and consider its impact. What is the US-UK Data Access Agreement? Under the new agreement, on receipt of a qualifying lawful order telecommunication … Continue Reading

Germany’s plan to legalise recreational cannabis poses anti-money laundering risks for UK business

Germany has become the latest country to agree on a plan to legalise recreational cannabis use among adults in a move that presents significant opportunities for investments in the EU’s largest economy. The Federal Cabinet has approved the key points paper for the legalisation, however a concrete draft law will only be presented once it … Continue Reading

The new Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill: its plans to reform Companies House and improve policing of cryptoassets

In this post, we summarise the new Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill (the Bill) which was published on 22 September 2022 and the significant reform proposed to the role of Companies House. The Bill proposes giving Companies House improved investigation and enforcement powers and makes changes to strengthen regulators’ powers to seize and detain … Continue Reading

The New Economic Crime Bill and plans to expand the Serious Fraud Office’s investigative Powers

In recent years, the UK government has been seeking to tackle ever-growing financial crime and money laundering. In this post, we summarise the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill (the Bill) published on 22 September 2022 as well the expansion of the Serious Fraud Office’s (SFO) investigative powers under the Bill in an effort to … Continue Reading

Current trends in UK litigation and investigations for financial institutions

In this post, we summarise emerging litigation and investigations trends and their practical implications for financial institutions (FIs). Litigation Litigation trends are largely dependent on social and political changes and we continue to see the impact of the global pandemic and the related financial downturn on emerging litigation trends. Civil fraud claims 2022 has seen … Continue Reading

Managing emerging bribery risks for financial institutions

Despite financial institutions in the UK and many other jurisdictions being required to have in place sophisticated bribery and corruption (ABC) systems and controls, there has been a recent increase in the number of major ABC enforcement actions involving financial institutions, as well as a significant uptick in civil disputes alleging bribery. Looking ahead, as … Continue Reading

The Corporate Criminal Liability Options Paper

Following an 18-month consultation process, on 10 June 2022, the UK Law Commission published a lengthy options paper (here with a summary here) for the UK Government on how it can improve the law to ensure that corporates are effectively held to account for committing serious crimes (the Options Paper). This article sets out the … Continue Reading

Transparency International Report provides guidance on implementing a values-based ABC compliance programme

Transparency International has published its 2022 Values Added Report, which provides useful pointers on the practical steps companies can take to enhance their ABC frameworks by incorporating a values-based approach. The Report’s recommendations are consistent with the broader shift away from a purely rules-based compliance approach, towards a model in which employees are empowered to … Continue Reading

Kyla Shipping v Freight Trading [2022] EWHC 376 (Comm): litigation privilege and investigations by a third party expert

The recent case of Kyla Shipping grappled with the question of whether, in the circumstances, litigation privilege applied to investigations by a third party expert.  The Commercial Court ultimately upheld a challenge to the claimants’ assertion of litigation privilege over an expert report on the basis that it was not prepared for the dominant purpose … Continue Reading

Blog: FCA review finds Challenger Banks need to enhance financial crime controls

The FCA has recently conducted a review of financial crime controls at a sample of six challenger banks  in order to identify the key financial crime risks to which such banks are exposed. The review was prompted by a substantial increase in the volume of Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) filed by challenger banks. Whilst the … Continue Reading

New SFO Investigation into Arena Television Limited

On Wednesday 23 February, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), in conjunction with the National Crime Agency (NCA), conducted a ‘dawn raid’ culminating in two arrests and searches of three properties as part of its criminal investigation into the collapsed broadcaster, Arena Television Limited (Arena). The investigation centres on questions raised by administrators regarding the validity … Continue Reading

UK Supreme Court confirms expectation of privacy for individuals under criminal investigation

Executive Summary The UK Supreme Court recently confirmed in Bloomberg LP (Appellant) v ZXC (Respondent) [2022] UKSC 5 that in the UK a person under criminal investigation has a reasonable expectation of privacy prior to being charged. Background The claimant, an individual anonymised as ZXC, had been under criminal investigation by UK law enforcement.  Bloomberg … Continue Reading

UK financial crime enforcement: what lies ahead in 2022?

2021 was an extraordinary year in financial crime. In this blog we consider recent UK developments, the key issues emerging in 2022 and the practical implications for companies. Taking a step back from these developments, we see four key overarching themes: An increased focus from authorities on the effectiveness of preventative systems and controls when … Continue Reading

Research shows huge increase in use of DeFi protocols for money laundering

Blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis have recently published the results of research showing that there has been a huge increase in the use of decentralised finance (DeFi) protocols to launder money over the last year. DeFi is an emerging financial technology based on secure distributed ledgers similar to those used by cryptocurrencies. In 2021, there was … Continue Reading

NRF contributes chapter to GIR’s Practitioner’s Guide to Global Investigations

The UK and US white-collar crime teams have again authored the chapter Production of Information to the Authorities in the sixth and latest edition of Global Investigations Review – The Practitioner’s Guide to Global Investigations. Information requests from regulators continue to raise a host of complex legal and practical issues for entities and individuals. The chapter sets … Continue Reading

U.S. Strategy on Countering Corruption: Key points for international companies

On 6 December 2021, the Biden Administration released its strategy on countering corruption (the Strategy) along with an accompanying fact sheet, building on President Biden’s earlier announcement that he viewed the fight against corruption as one of the core U.S. national security priorities.  The five-point strategy places particular focus on a coordinated international approach to … Continue Reading

ABC Compliance Survey 2021: five key areas to consider enhancements

Since the UK Bribery Act 2010 came into force in July 2011, standards and scope of anti-bribery and corruption (ABC) compliance programmes have evolved significantly in many jurisdictions. Norton Rose Fulbright recently carried out a global survey to assess how companies’ ABC compliance programmes compare against current global best practice expectations, as documented in guidance … Continue Reading

UK vs US Enforcement Approaches: A comparison

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have recently reiterated their focus on fighting corporate crime (see here and here our more detailed articles on these developments). In particular, the US authorities have: renewed their focus on holding individuals accountable for corporate crime (as well as companies); committed to … Continue Reading

High Court emphasises the need for strong contemporaneous evidence when asserting litigation privilege

The High Court has recently held that a forensic report prepared as part of an internal investigation was not protected by litigation privilege. In The State of Qatar v Banque Havilland  [2021] EWHC 2172 (Comm), David Edwards QC ordered the report and associated working papers within the defendant’s control to be disclosed on the basis … Continue Reading

Government circular on the confidentiality and sensitivity of suspicious activity reports in civil litigation

On 7 July 2021, the UK Home Office published a circular (the Circular) setting out the Government’s position on the use of Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) in civil litigation. There is a tension between the fact that SARs can be disclosable in civil litigation (see previous blog here) and that disclosing that a SAR has … Continue Reading

Updated CPS guidance on s330 POCA prosecutions where money laundering cannot be proven

On 2 June 2021, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) updated its guidance on prosecuting failure to report cases under s330 Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA). Prior to the update, the CPS did not charge failure to report offences under s330 POCA where there was insufficient evidence to establish that money laundering was in fact … Continue Reading

Top practical tips on the preservation, collection and review of mobile data in investigations.

Remote working has accelerated the merger of work and private data, particularly on mobile phones and instant messaging services such as WhatsApp. While employees are performing their jobs, mobile access may be putting their employers at risk – because work-related communications on unapproved platforms are frequently not preserved in accordance with regulatory requirements (where applicable), … Continue Reading
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