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Legal Developments in the The UK Legal 500 2019

THE LAUNDROMAT SAGA: THE FCA AND MONEY LAUNDERING RISKS

With banks being investigated over alleged Russian money laundering, Aziz Rahman examines the precautions financial professionals must take.

ACT NOW

One third of small and medium-sized businesses do not know about the Bribery Act. Here’s what you need to know to avoid falling foul of it.

STAY CLEAN

London has been called the capital of money laundering. So how can you avoid being implicated in it?

SHARED INTELLIGENCE

The Joint Money Laundering Intelligence Taskforce is an attempt to tackle money laundering in the UK. But it poses challenges for bankers, who have to be sure they respond appropriately if they are to be above suspicion.

FOREX AND RISK

Five banks being fined £3.6 billion in the US for manipulating forex is a stark reminder of the legal risks involved in currency trading. Here, Aziz Rahman of Rahman Ravelli examines how the brokers and the traders in forex can avoid legal problems.

Sanctions and export controls: ignorance 
is not bliss


July 2013 - Fraud and Corporate Crime. Legal Developments by WilmerHale.

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WilmerHale currently authors the Fraud and Corporate Crime section of The In-House Lawyer magazine. For more information and articles from this author click here.

The calm before 
the storm: are 
you prepared for 
a dawn raid?

WilmerHale currently authors the Fraud and Corporate Crime section of The In-House Lawyer magazine. For more information and articles from this author click here.

The start of a dawn raid is often the first time a company or individual learns that they are the subject of an investigation. Knowing what to do during the first minutes of a dawn raid is vital. Ensuring that a company’s receptionist, employees and senior management all know what role they have to play in effectively managing the arrival of investigators at the company’s front door and the subsequent search is essential. Attempting to formulate such a plan of action once the raid has begun is not practical and therefore the key to handling a dawn raid is preparation and detailed planning. 


Privilege revisited: privilege issues in internal investigations


April 2013 - Fraud and Corporate Crime. Legal Developments by WilmerHale.

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WilmerHale currently authors the Fraud and Corporate Crime section of The In-House Lawyer magazine. For more information and articles from this author click here.

Following the recent Supreme Court decision in R (on the application of Prudential plc) [2013], confirming that legal advice privilege does not attach to accountants or anyone else outside the legal profession, this seems an appropriate time to revisit the application of the principles of privilege within the context of internal investigations. We examine in this article the key issues relating to privilege that thoes conducting internal investigations should be aware of, predominantly in England and Wales, but also, where applicable, from a US and European law perspective.

Consent and connivance: the criminal liability 
of directors and 
senior officers

February 2013 - Fraud and Corporate Crime. Legal Developments by WilmerHale.

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WilmerHale currently authors the Fraud and Corporate Crime section of The In-House Lawyer magazine. For more information and articles from this author click here.

In our November article, ‘Establishing the criminal liability of corporations', we looked at how liability for criminal offences can attach to corporations, where the commission of the offence is attributable to someone who was at the material time the ‘directing mind and will' of the company.1 This article looks at the related issue of how criminal liability can attach to individual directors and senior officers as a result of actions taken by those whom they manage.


Global trends in 
anti-corruption: 
is the OECD levelling the playing field?

December 2012 - Fraud and Corporate Crime. Legal Developments by WilmerHale.

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WilmerHale currently authors the Fraud and Corporate Crime section of The In-House Lawyer magazine. For more information and articles from this author click here.

There can surely be few enterprises carrying on a business in the UK who remain unaware of the provisions of the UK Bribery Act 2010 (the Bribery Act). That such enterprises may be prosecuted in the UK courts for their failure to prevent bribery committed on their behalf, however far flung the location, has been the hot legal topic for at least the last 18 months.


Establishing the criminal liability of corporations

November 2012 - Fraud and Corporate Crime. Legal Developments by WilmerHale.

More articles by this firm.

WilmerHale currently authors the Fraud and Corporate Crime section of The In-House Lawyer magazine. For more information and articles from this author click here.

In the government’s recent 
consultation on the introduction of 
deferred prosecution agreements (DPAs), one of the reasons given in favour of them was that DPAs would assist with the difficulties of establishing the necessary mens rea of many corporate criminal offences.1 The logic of this is questionable, but, given the current focus on DPAs as a potential enforcement tool, it is worth exploring why corporations are so difficult to prosecute under the current law, and the possible alternatives. 


Wrestling with the Data Protection Act 1998

October 2012 - Fraud and Corporate Crime. Legal Developments by WilmerHale.

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WilmerHale currently authors the Fraud and Corporate Crime section of The In-House Lawyer magazine. For more information and articles from this author click here.

The beginning of any kind of internal investigation is a fraught time for in-house lawyers. Whether the investigation has 
been triggered by suspected corrupt conduct, accounting irregularities or the inklings of attention from a prosecutor, things usually need to happen fast and thinking time can be scarce. 

The SFO: a new director, a new beginning?

September 2012 - Fraud and Corporate Crime. Legal Developments by WilmerHale.

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When David Green QC took over from Richard Alderman as director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in April this year, he inherited an organisation in crisis. Still reeling from budget cuts and speculation over its future in 2011, the SFO was fast heading for an embarrassing defeat in one of its most highly publicised cases – its criminal investigation into Vincent Tchenguiz, a high-profile businessman and one of several individuals arrested in a blaze of publicity in March last year in relation to the collapse of Kaupthing Bank hf. 


Deferred Prosecution Agreements and a tough new director at the SFO: is a rush to the...

July 2012 - Fraud and Corporate Crime. Legal Developments by WilmerHale.

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negotiation table in order?

After many months promoting the introduction of Deferred Prosecution Agreements (DPAs) in the UK, the solicitor general, Edward Garnier QC, is close to securing his goal. With strong government backing, the support of the incoming director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), and, according to Mr Garnier, of the city firms and non-governmental organisations he has consulted, he is confident they will be introduced in the UK by the end of the year, following a consultation period that ends in August. 
 

Sentencing guidelines for corporate manslaughter

In February 2010 the Sentencing Guidelines Council (the SGC) issued definitive guidelines to courts on imposing appropriate sentences for corporate manslaughter and health and safety offences causing death. The SGC states that fines imposed on companies found guilty of corporate manslaughter should not fall below £500,000, while fines in respect of health and safety offences that are a significant cause of death should be at least £100,000. Crucially, the SGC declined to provide for a fixed link between the imposed fine and the turnover or profitability of the offending company.


Procurement bans and the threat to self-reporting

The existence of a mandatory exclusion from public procurement on a permanent and Europe-wide basis presents a real threat to the Serious Fraud Office (SFO)’s new culture of self-reporting.

Bribery Act 2010: a guide for in-house lawyers

Neil Gerrard (left) and Robert Wardle (right) outline the main features of the new legislation, discuss what changes it will bring and assess whether companies are ready to comply, explaining how legal teams must raise internal awareness

The Bribery Act 2010 (the 2010 Act) is expected to come into force in October, but it is clear that many companies and their in-house legal teams still have a lot of work to do before they are ready to comply with the new law. 


Who’s watching you? Rise of corporate monitoring

The new zealous and robust approach adopted by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) to combat corporate fraud and corruption offences has been increasingly described as the Americanisation of the organisation. The US Department of Justice (DoJ) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) (equivalent to the SFO and Financial Services Authority (FSA) here) have made anti-corruption enforcement history – the biggest of scalps being Siemens who lost out financially to the tune of €2.5bn.

Extradition risks in the spotlight

In principle, there can be no argument that someone who commits an offence in one country should be able to avoid justice by fleeing to another. Generally, it is likely to be in the interests of justice for the trial to take place in the country where the crime was committed. Provided that fundamental human rights are guaranteed, that there is a fair trial and that the offence is not motivated by political, racial or other improper considerations, the offender ought to be returned to face justice. Extradition reform over the past 25 years has sought to put such principles into effect, culminating in the Extradition Act 2003 (the 2003 Act).

Asset confiscation: the ultimate penalty?

As an increasing number of criminal offences are now covered by the confiscation regime, Caroline Lee (left) and James Moss (right) look at how the legislation has been used and provide guidance for in-house lawyers who may face the consequences

Many jurisdictions have legislation that permits regulators to confiscate assets obtained by those convicted as a result of their criminal conduct. Since being introduced in England and Wales in the late 1980s, the confiscation regime has expanded to cover a wider range of criminal offences. This tool has been given to a large number of prosecutors, who have used it with vigour.

Look before you leap: anti-corruption due diligence in M&A

It is a well-established practice that companies carry out merger and acquisition (M&A) due diligence using a suite of questions and documentary information requests aimed at establishing legal, financial and reputational risks. However, as enforcement trends in corruption are a relatively recent phenomenon, proper and thorough anti-corruption due diligence is often overlooked.

Will it be a Happy New Year for your company?

February 2010 - Fraud and Corporate Crime. Legal Developments by DLA Piper UK LLP.

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The year-end audit process can bring headaches for in-house lawyers. With the financial year for most companies ending on 31 December, the first few months of the New Year bring the deepest scrutiny by external auditors of a company’s transactions and dealings, in addition to year-end procedures being run by internal audit. This increased scrutiny can lead to the discovery of evidence pointing to improper or even illegal conduct by employees or management during the financial year.

FSA enforcement and lessons from Galleon

Hot on the heels of securing convictions and a custodial sentence for insider dealing in R v McQuoid [2009], further signs of the Financial Services Authority (FSA)’s renewed vigour for combating market abuse continue to emerge.

Putting a name on it - business disclosure requirements

An e-trader, or merely a business which uses its website as a shop window, may be conducting an otherwise honest, lawful and legitimate business but unless they comply with domestic and European regulations properly identifying the name and address of the trader or trading enterprise, they could find themselves at the wrong end of a criminal prosecution.

Trading Up: More Consumer Protection Needed?

An article on the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

The Draft Bribery Bill- A New Burden on Business?

When the Government’s new draft Bribery Bill reaches the statute book, the obligation on companies to avoid bribery and corruption in business will become an essential element of good corporate governance. Critically, if corruption occurs, a company and its directors and officers will have the burden of showing they exercised due diligence to prevent it. If they cannot, their prosecution and imprisonment will be a real danger. In house counsel may think it important to have an audit trail of the steps taken to ensure due diligence.