On 16 July 2019 the Serious Fraud Office released details of the Deferred Prosecution Agreement reached with Sarclad Ltd in July 2016.
On 16 July 2019 the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) released details of the Deferred Prosecution Agreement reached with Sarclad Ltd in July 2016. The reporting restrictions on the Deferred Prosecution Agreement have now been lifted following the conclusion of a trial of 3 individuals linked to Sarclad. The SFO failed to secure convictions against these individuals, who were acquitted of conspiring with various agents to agree bribes, in relation to 27 separate overseas contracts for Sarclad.
The Deferred Prosecution Agreement reveals that Sarclad accepted the charges of corruption and failure to prevent bribery in relation to systemic use of bribes to secure contracts for the Company between June 2004 and June 2012. Following the Deferred Prosecution Agreement, Sarclad agreed to pay financial orders of £6,553,085 comprised of:
The Deferred Prosecution Agreement further required Sarclad to fully cooperate with the SFO and to provide a report addressing all third party intermediary transactions, completion and effectiveness of its existing anti-bribery and corruption controls every 12 months for the duration of the Deferred Prosecution Agreement .
This is the fourth Deferred Prosecution Agreement where no individual defendant has been successfully convicted of a criminal offence. This follows the SFO’s failure to prosecute former Tesco executives concerning their role in financial misreporting that saw Tesco overstate its profits by more than £250 million. Similarly in February 2019 the SFO made a decision to abandon a case against former executives at Rolls Royce. This comes after Rolls Royce agreed to pay almost £500 million under a Deferred Prosecution Agreement in 2017 following a 4 year investigation into allegations of criminal conduct, including bribery.
It is clear that the threshold for securing successful criminal convictions against corporate individuals is far higher than the level needed to agree a Deferred Prosecution Agreement. In a large number of cases, a company has admitted large scale illegal activity, yet not one individual has been held personally accountable for such wrongdoing.
Whilst Deferred Prosecution Agreements are becoming increasingly common, the SFO faces ever greater difficulty in securing individual criminal convictions. It is clear that the SFO are becoming more careful in selecting cases for prosecution. This will certainly be welcome news to senior individuals within corporate organisations.
In this session, we examined the legal framework around grant funded collaborations and discussed the key risks to be aware of, including IP ownership and compliance with grant terms.
The outcome of the Employment Tribunal claim brought by Gulnaz Raja against Starling Bank Limited (1) (Starling), and Matthew Newman (2) was reported last month.
National law firm Browne Jacobson has advised long standing retail client, Wilko on the sale and leaseback of its Nottinghamshire distribution centre in Worksop to logistics specialist DHL for £48m.
Logistics company Eddie Stobart has been fined £133,000, after a series of failures which took place whilst excavation work was carried out, exposing its staff to asbestos.
This article is the second in a series to help firms take a practical approach to complying with the ‘cross-cutting rules’ within the new ‘Consumer Duty’ (CD) framework. The article summarises what it seems the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is seeking to achieve from the applicable rules (section 2 below) and potential complications arising from legal considerations (section 3).
Claims arising from interest-only mortgages have been farmed in volume. Many such claims to date have sought to drive a narrative that interest-only mortgages are an inherently toxic product and brokers were negligent simply for suggesting them. Taylor is a helpful recalibration, focussing instead on what the monies raised by the mortgage product were being used for and whether the client understood the inherent risks.
Two directors of a construction company were fined after failing to ensure the safe removal of asbestos from a plot of land. On 14 and 15 November 2021, Directors Anthony Sumner and Neil Brown, of Waterbarn Limited were involved in the uncontrolled removal of asbestos material from a plot of land in Grasscroft, Oldham.
An engineering company in Tyne and Wear was fined £20,000 after a worker fractured his pelvis and suffered internal injuries after falling through a petrol station forecourt canopy, whilst he was replacing the guttering.
The Digital Services Act (the “DSA”) has today (27 October) been given the go-ahead by the EU Council and will enter into force by early 2024.
In a judgment handed down yesterday the Supreme Court has affirmed that a so called “creditor duty” exists for directors such that in some circumstances company directors are required to act in accordance with, or to consider the interests of creditors. Those circumstances potentially arise when a company is insolvent or where there is a “probability” of an insolvency. We explore below the “trigger” for such a test to apply and its implications.
Created at the end of the Brexit transition period, Retained EU Law is a category of domestic law that consists of EU-derived legislation retained in our domestic legal framework by the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018. This was never intended to be a permanent arrangement as parliament promised to deal with retained EU law through the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill (the “Bill”).
It is clear that the digital landscape, often termed cyberspace, is a man-made environment, in which human behaviour dominates and where technology both influences and aids our role in it — through the internet, telecoms and networked computer systems, which are often interdependent. The extent to which any organisation is potentially vulnerable to cyber-attack depends on how well these elements are aligned.
The majority of people do not feel the need to embellish their CV to get that coveted position and move on up the career ladder. Their worthiness and benefit to the hiring organisation are easily demonstrated through the recruitment process – application, psychometric testing, selection day or interview.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have announced they will be carrying out a programme of inspections to primary and secondary school establishments from September 2022. The inspections will assess how schools are managing the risks from asbestos and meeting the Duty to Manage requirements, set out in Regulation 4 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.
The Supreme Court has unanimously dismissed the BTI v Sequana appeal and reviewed the existence, content and engagement of the so-called ‘creditor duty’; being the point at which the interest of creditors is said to intrude upon the decision-making of directors of companies in financial distress.
This article is the first in a series aimed to help firms get to grips on a practical basis with the ‘cross-cutting rules’ within the new ‘Consumer Duty’ framework.
The Government has announced a change to the categorisation of “small” businesses to reduce the amount of regulatory compliance (or “red tape”) required. Currently, SMEs (those with fewer than 250 employees) are exempt from certain regulations – such as the obligation to comply with gender pay reporting. With effect from 3 October, these exemptions will be widened to apply to businesses with fewer than 500 employees.