Stuart Neely (UK)

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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

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

NCA: Bribery and corruption risk to rise

On 25 May 2021, the National Crime Agency (NCA) published its national strategic assessment of serious and organised crime. Compared to 2020, the NCA concludes that the threat to the UK in respect of bribery and corruption has increased dramatically. Reasons for this include both the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit. Key takeaways from the report … Continue Reading

UK FRC enhances fraud-spotting standards for auditors

On 27 May 2021, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) published a revised version of its auditing standard on the responsibilities of auditors in relation to fraud. The revisions set out more stringent requirements to identify and assess the risk of material misstatement because of fraud and the procedures to respond to those risks. Such amendments … 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

UK Government launches online registry for modern slavery statements

On 11 March 2021, the Home Office launched an online registry for slavery and human trafficking (SHT) statements. This follows the Government’s response in September 2020 to a 2019 public consultation on potential options for strengthening section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the MSA), which requires certain commercial organisations to publish an SHT statement … Continue Reading

Conducting an ABC risk assessment: 4 key steps

Anti-bribery and corruption (ABC) risk assessments are the cornerstone of an effective compliance programme, ensuring that compliance resources are focused on the most significant ABC risks faced by the business. A genuinely risk-based compliance programme helps to achieve both the primary objective of a compliance programme (preventing ABC issues occurring), the secondary objective (providing a … Continue Reading

First steps taken towards a mandatory human rights due diligence law

On 26 October 2020, the European Commission (the Commission) launched a public consultation[1] on sustainable corporate governance (the Consultation), soliciting responses from stakeholders on a possible EU sustainable corporate governance initiative with the aim of ensuring “that environmental and social interests are embedded in business strategies”. The Consultation will, according to the Commission, complement the … Continue Reading

New briefing note: UK Government proposals to strengthen the Modern Slavery Act

On 22 September 2020, the UK Government published its response to a 2019 consultation on potential options for strengthening section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the MSA), which requires certain commercial organisations to publish a slavery and human trafficking (SHT) statement on an annual basis. Of most interest to businesses will be the … Continue Reading

UK Government releases final Report on Independent Review of the Modern Slavery Act 2015

On 22 May 2019, the UK Government presented to Parliament its final Report following the conclusion of the Independent Review of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the “Act”). The Independent Review was launched in July 2018 by Frank Field MP, Maria Miller MP and Baroness Butler-Sloss. The Review focused on the following four areas relevant … Continue Reading

London Metal Exchange launches consultation on new responsible sourcing standards for all traded metals

On 23 April, the London Metal Exchange (LME) launched a formal market-wide consultation on the introduction of responsible sourcing standards for all traded metals. Under the new rules, all LME listed brands will be required to undertake a phased approach, starting with a Red Flag Assessment based on the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises by … Continue Reading

EU Parliament approves new EU-wide rules to protect whistleblowers

On 17 April, the European Parliament adopted new rules to protect whistleblowers. The rules are designed to encourage the reporting of breaches of EU law by offering to whistleblowers EU-wide protection from dismissal, demotion and other forms of retaliation in areas including public procurement, financial services, money laundering, product and transport safety, nuclear safety, public … 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

EU Parliament Working Group presents its Shadow EU Action Plan on the Implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights within the EU

On 19 March 2019, the European Parliament Working Group on Responsible Business Conduct (RBC Group) announced the contents of its Shadow EU Action Plan on Responsible Business Conduct (the Plan). The Plan sets out the RBC Group’s priorities to ensure the promotion and protection of human rights in the EU business sector over the next … Continue Reading

UK Export Finance adopts OECD recommendation on tackling bribery in international business transactions

On 14 March, the UK Export Finance (UKEF) announced the adoption of the revised OECD Council recommendation on Bribery and Officially Supported Export Credits (the Recommendation), to prevent bribery in international business transactions. The Recommendation, while not legally binding, strengthens anti-bribery and corruption policies and procedures across adherent Export Credit Agencies (ECAs). Current adherents to … Continue Reading

Financial Reporting Council to be replaced by new regulator with enhanced powers

On 11 March 2019, the Business Secretary, Greg Clark, announced that the Financial Reporting Council (“FRC”), a UK regulator responsible for auditors, accountants and actuaries, will be abolished. The FRC will be replaced by a new regulator, the Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority. The decision follows an independent review of the FRC completed in December … Continue Reading

The UK Government releases second interim report as part of the review of the Modern Slavery Act

On 22 January 2019, the UK Government (the Government) published its second interim report as part of the Independent Review (the Review) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the Act), which began in July 2018 (see our previous blogpost). This is the second report for phase 1 of the Review, and it focuses on transparency … Continue Reading

CHRB report assesses the human rights standards of 101 of the world’s largest publicly traded companies

Major international companies in the agricultural, clothing and extractive industries have recently been assessed in respect of human rights standards in their businesses and supply chains. The 2018 Key Findings Report issued by the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB) was released on 12 November 2018. The report scored 101 of the largest publicly traded companies … Continue Reading

Business and Human Rights Resource Centre assesses FTSE 100 companies’ compliance with the Modern Slavery Act

In November 2018, the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre released its third annual assessment of FTSE 100 companies’ modern slavery disclosure under the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the MSA). The MSA, requires companies with a turnover of not less than £36 million to produce an annual statement outlining the steps they have taken … Continue Reading

India amends anti-corruption law

Earlier this year, the Indian Parliament enacted the Prevention of Corruption Act (Amendment) Act 2018 (the Act) in July, effecting a raft of changes to the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 (PCA). Those set out below are worthy of particular note for businesses operating in India. It is now an offence for any person to … Continue Reading

Link between money laundering and human trafficking (estimated to generate c.US$150bn of criminal proceeds annually) explored in new report by FATF and APG

Earlier this year, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) together with the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) published a report analysing the financial flows associated with human trafficking. The report: summarises indicators of financial transactions that are laundering the proceeds of human trafficking (e.g. multiple wages being paid into one account, rapid in/out … Continue Reading
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