Ruth Cowley (UK)

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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

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

Making it count: Transparency International’s key recommendations on measuring the effectiveness of an ABC compliance programme

On 4 May 2021, Transparency International published its “Making it count” report on measuring the effectiveness of anti-bribery and corruption (ABC) programmes (the TI Report). Authorities globally are focused on the practical effectiveness of companies’ ABC programmes. As the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Resource Guide puts it, authorities’ primary … Continue Reading

Post script: Airbus subsidiary pleads guilty to corruption offence

On 28 April 2021, Airbus’ UK subsidiary GPT Special Project Management Ltd (GPT) was convicted of corruption and sentenced to pay penalties of over £30m by the Crown Court in London. This case preceded the wider investigation into Airbus culminating in its US$3.9 billion global deferred prosecution agreement in 2020 (see our previous article here). … Continue Reading

ABC Risk assessments: FAQs

Last month we hosted a webinar on anti-bribery and corruption (ABC) risk assessments. This was the first in our series of ABC compliance webinars marking the 10th Anniversary of the UK Bribery Act coming into force. You can listen to the audio recording of the webinar on-demand here. We have put together a selection of … Continue Reading

Risk assessments and the expectations of global authorities – what this means for businesses

On 18 March 2021, we will be holding the first of our global webinars on putting into practice authorities’ expectations in relation to each of the components of an ABC programme. In this first session we will examine global expectations in relation to risk assessments – the starting point of an effective ABC programme. We … Continue Reading

Bribery and money laundering considerations for joint ventures

Introduction Whatever the legal form of a joint venture, the collaboration and joint participation in the JV’s business objectives can present an enhanced corruption risk. This is because in some circumstances, a company entering into a JV could be criminally liable for the corrupt actions of its JV partner, the JV itself, or third parties … Continue Reading

Legal Professional Privilege in Investigations: Two New High Court Decisions

The High Court recently handed down two notable rulings that impact on the application of legal professional privilege to investigations (see here for a previous article on privilege in investigations): In A v B and another[1] (see further details below), the court held that it is for auditors – and not their audit client – … Continue Reading

Private Equity firms to face increased scrutiny of their AML procedures and how they deal with AML issues

The UK Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) recent announcements indicate that private equity firms (PE Firms) will see increased regulatory scrutiny over their anti-money laundering (AML) systems and controls. Earlier this year, the FCA issued a “Dear CEO” letter outlining its Alternatives Supervision Strategy, including its view of the key risks of harm that PE and … Continue Reading

Managing corruption risks when making charitable donations: key questions for Compliance and Legal teams to ask

Many companies have made significant donations of funds, goods and services as part of international relief efforts. These efforts are of course to be applauded, but it is important to be mindful of the bribery and corruption risks presented by charitable donations, particularly in emerging markets, and to take proactive steps to manage legal and … Continue Reading

New US DOJ compliance guidance: six key points from a UK perspective

On 1 June 2020, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) released the latest update to its ‘Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs’ policy, which was first released in 2017 (DOJ Guidance). The DOJ Guidance provides companies with detailed guidance on how the DOJ will review the adequacy and effectiveness of compliance programmes when making charging and … Continue Reading

Triaging, scoping and managing investigations: making difficult decisions

We have set out below ten top tips on triaging, scoping and managing investigations. These points focus on the difficult decisions that are faced during the course of an investigation in relation to what you are trying to achieve, how best to investigate and when to stop. Fundamentally, the purpose of an investigation has to … Continue Reading

Airbus’ Sky High Settlement – Focus on Global Reach and Collaboration in Anti-Corruption Prosecutions

On January 31, 2020, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States announced a settlement with Airbus SE (“Airbus”), the French aircraft manufacturer, in relation to bribery allegations and, in the US and France, export controls violations. The combined penalties total $3.9 billion, which is the largest anti-corruption settlement in history. The settlement offers insight … Continue Reading

Airbus: largest ever (€3.6bn) global resolution for bribery approved

The largest ever (€991m) UK Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) has been approved today (31 January 2020). Airbus has also reached a €2,083,137,455 settlement with the French Parquet National Financier and a €525,655,000 DPA with the US Department of Justice and US Department of State. The UK DPA and judgment have not yet been published but … Continue Reading

SFO’s Guidance on Evaluating a Compliance Programme: a speed-read

On 17 January 2020 the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) issued guidance on “Evaluating a Compliance Programme” (the Guidance). The Guidance provides a helpful summary of the points at which a compliance programme will be assessed by the SFO and by what means it will be assessed (including document requests and interviews). The Guidance emphasises the … Continue Reading

Güralp DPA announced after employees acquitted of bribery offences

On 20 December 2019 it was announced that Güralp Systems Ltd (Güralp) had entered into a £2m Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) with the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in October 2019 in relation to bribery offences. Reporting restrictions on the DPA have been lifted following the acquittal between 18 and 20 December 2019 of three Güralp … Continue Reading

UK Supreme Court clarifies issues on parent company liability in Lungowe v Vedanta

Summary This landmark judgment from the UK Supreme Court means that the claim brought by 1,826 Zambian villagers against UK-based Vedanta and its Zambian subsidiary KCM can proceed to a trial of the substantive issues in the English courts. One of the issues that now falls to be examined is the controversial question of whether … Continue Reading

SFO to hit back on privilege in new cooperation guidance

In a speech earlier this week  Lisa Osofsky announced that the SFO will shortly publish guidance on its expectations in relation to self-reporting and cooperation. The speech suggested that waiver of privilege over internal investigations material will be seen by the SFO as a strong indicator of, if not a precondition to, cooperation for the purposes … Continue Reading

UK Government confirms that public beneficial ownership registers will be established in the British Overseas Territories by 2023

On 28 January 2019, the UK Government (the Government) explained the timetable to the new 2023 deadline for the creation of public beneficial ownership registers in the British Overseas Territories (BOTs). The Government has explained that draft legislation will be prepared by the end of 2020, as required by the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act … Continue Reading

SFO confirms that it will not appeal decision on privilege in internal investigations

The SFO has this week confirmed that it will not appeal the Court of Appeal’s recent decision addressing, in particular, fundamental issues as to the ambit of litigation privilege in investigations (ENRC v SFO [2018] EWCA Civ 2006). A more detailed summary of the case and its practical implications is available here. The decision of the … Continue Reading