Mar 15, 2018 French DPA – Franco-Anglo-American Comparison On the 14 November 2017, the Cour D’Appel de Paris approved a Convention Judiciaire d’Intérêt Public (“CJIP”) between the French National Financial Prosecutor, Parquet National Financier (“PNF”) and HSBC Private Bank (Suisse). This agreement is the first CJIP entered into by the French authorities since the “Law regarding transparency, the fight against corruption and the modernization of economic life” (better known as the “Loi Sapin II”) was passed in December 2016. The investigation revealed that between 2006 and ... Read More
Mar 8, 2018 The long arm of the law The long arm of the law  - February 2018 Written for the Business Insider by Marleen Bouwer     About Marleen Marleen is a lawyer in the criminal and regulatory team with experience in defending a variety of fraud and white collar crime matters. She represents clients both pre and post charge in relation to investigations of money laundering, corruption, insider dealing and (tax) fraud. In addition, she represents clients facing extradition and is familiar with mutual legal assistance requests. She has previous experience in commercial/insurance litigation. Marleen is a ... Read More
Mar 6, 2018 Let them eat humble pie: Barclays Bank Plc in the dock Charges against Barclays Bank Plc were laid in February 2018 extending the ambit of the SFO Prosecution which had already charged the parent company (Barclays Plc) and four senior executives for conspiracy to commit fraud and providing unlawful financial assistance during a capital raising. Crucially, the charges against the operational arm of the British banking behemoth could now endanger its licence to provide banking services. The charges broke new ground in many respects not least because, as many in the financial press have observed, they are the first real major criminal prosecutions ... Read More
Mar 6, 2018 Application for a Post-Judgment Freezing Order: The Risk of Dissipation Introduction   Freezing orders are sometimes described as the English Court’s “nuclear weapons”. They are often very effective in preserving assets that can then be used to satisfy a judgment debt. However, they are also onerous, invasive, can cause damage to reputation and massive disruption to a business or individual. The Court does not therefore grant them lightly.   In relation to post-judgment freezing orders, just because a defendant has not paid a judgment does not mean a claimant has an automatic right to get a freezing order against that ... Read More
Mar 2, 2018 Supreme Court ruling: No ‘special rules’ for litigants in person Litigants in person are on the increase, and given the growing costs of litigation this is no surprise. The recent Supreme Court decision in Barton v Wright Hassall LLP [2018] UKSC 12 has confirmed that the CPR does not just apply to those parties represented by lawyers, and being a litigant in person is no excuse for failing to comply with the rules.   On the last day before the Claim Form expired, Mr Barton emailed his Claim Form to Berrymans Lace Mawer, solicitors for Wright Hassall LLP. Berrymans did not accept service by email and asserted that the Claim Form had expired unserved ... Read More
Feb 15, 2018 Unexplained Wealth Orders The Criminal Finances Act 2017 introduced significant changes to the existing laws dealing with money laundering and asset recovery under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (‘POCA 2002’).  Since its inception, it has created the new corporate offences of failure to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion and a key element of the Act is the introduction of Unexplained Wealth Orders (‘UWOs’) which came into force on 31 January 2018. Whilst existing legislations dealing with proceeds of crime has largely been domestic in its focus, the introduction of UWOs moves towards ... Read More
Jan 11, 2018 New rules to speed up freezing and confiscating criminal assets across the EU I read this press release on the European Parliament website today I was wondering if anyone else appreciated the irony of the Civil Liberties Committee approving a regulation which makes it easier to confiscate assets internationally “even if they are not the direct proceeds of crime”, “even if they belong to a third party” and “even if there is no conviction”. On the basis this will get rubber-stamped it will become effective six months after coming into force. I wonder if that will be before or after 29 March 2019 and, if it’s before will the UK ... Read More
Jul 20, 2017 Expansion to cash seizure provisions The Criminal Finances Act 2017 (CFA 2017) received Royal Assent on 27th April 2017 and makes a number of changes to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA 2002), including an expansion to the cash seizure provisions available to investigating authorities.  The CFA 2017 introduces section 303B to POCA 2002 which now allows the following assets to be seized where the item is over the statutory minimum value of £1,000: Precious metals; Precious stones; Watches; Artistic works; Face-value vouchers; and Postage stamps. These items can be seized and an application made for ... Read More
Jul 6, 2017 Extension of the SAR moratorium period Extension of the SAR moratorium period Section 10 of the Criminal Finances Act 2017 provides a scheme for the extension of the moratorium period beyond 31 days. The Government justifies this in the explanatory notes to the bill, stating that at present it “often does not allow sufficient time to develop the evidence, particularly where it must be sought from overseas through mutual legal assistance.” The application for an extension must be made to the Crown Court / Sheriff Court. The Court can grant an extension if it is satisfied that: An investigation is being carried out ... Read More
May 31, 2017 Jurisdiction and Conspiracy to Injure by Unlawful Means Introduction In the recent decision in Khrapunov v JSC BTA Bank [2017] EWCA Civ 40, the Court of Appeal (CA) made a number of interesting rulings relating to unlawful means conspiracy and jurisdiction. In particular, the CA held that (1) a contempt of court could constitute unlawful means as part of an unlawful means conspiracy and (2) the place of the event giving rise to damages in a claim for conspiracy to injure will be the place in which the conspiracy was made.  The context of the CA’s findings and their potential implications are discussed below. Proceedings against Mr ... Read More