Category Archives: Blog

Crime, fraud and iniquity – how can an allegation of wrongdoing override Legal Professional Privilege?

Legal professional privilege (‘LPP’) is a common currency for lawyers and clients of every discipline. Even in the most amiable transactional work, a lawyer should know whether the advice and communications are privileged or, perhaps more importantly, whether the client expects them to be privileged. Subject to narrow public interest exceptions (for example, where the […]

Why HMRC’s reluctance to prosecute companies for the failure to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion may be about to change

A recent Freedom of Information Act request revealed that, by the end of last year, there had been no prosecutions and only nine live HMRC investigations into the offence of failure to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion (also known as the Corporate Criminal Offence (‘CCO’)). The CCO has been in force for over three […]

Jury unanimity in the UK and US – what is the verdict?

“Accused of a serious crime, Evangeisto Ramos insisted on his innocence and invoked his right to a jury trial. Eventually, 10 jurors found the evidence against him persuasive. But a pair of jurors believed that the State of Louisiana had failed to prove Mr Ramos’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt; they voted to acquit.” So began […]

Failure to prevent economic crime

A further expansion of corporate criminal liability becomes ever more likely. The law on money laundering is continually evolving at both a national and EU level, as EU governments struggle to combat ever increasing levels of economic crime. The latest legislative change is the transposition into UK law of the Fifth EU Anti Money Laundering Directive […]

When criminal conspiracies come unstuck

The SFO and other criminal law enforcement bodies in England and Wales often charge offences of conspiracy – as opposed to substantive offences – when prosecuting groups of defendants accused of financial crimes. The CPS website identifies two circumstances in which it is appropriate to charge a conspiracy either instead of or alongside a substantive […]

Is the SFO able to meet the challenge of Covid-19?

The Economist recently published an article entitled “The economic crisis will expose a decade’s worth of corporate fraud”. Quoting from academics and investigators – and drawing on the experience of the dot com crash and the 2007-2009 financial crisis – the article argues that the economic meltdown precipitated by Covid-19 will expose a multitude of […]

Criminal mutual legal assistance: establishing a different relationship post-Brexit

The UK withdrew from the EU at midnight on 31 January 2020. Earlier that day, judges in London and Paris simultaneously approved deferred prosecution agreements that imposed fines on Airbus totalling EUR 3 billion. Both judges acknowledged that this record-breaking settlement was the product of collaboration between the British Serious Fraud Office (‘SFO’) and the […]