Blog

Sep 6, 2016 Operation Tabernula Acquittal: Lessons Learned Operation Tabernula was a long and winding road. The majority of the defendants were arrested on 23 March 2010, charged on 1 October 2012 and tried over four months beginning on 11 January 2016. The substantial delay alone occasioned by issues over legal aid for counsel instructed in the case set the trial back 15 months. For defendant Benjamin Anderson, the final verdict of acquittal was a vindication of the many long hours spent absorbing, dissecting and deconstructing the prosecution case theory utilising the very tools the Prosecution relied upon to prosecute. This included the vast ... Read More
Aug 17, 2016 Deferred Prosecution Agreements – Does the UK legislation deal effectively with economic crime? Until recently, Deferred Prosecution Agreements (“DPAs”) were solely a feature of the US criminal justice system and were initially developed in the 1900s for the purpose of handling juvenile offenders without stigmatising them as criminals for life.[1] Under the terms of such agreements the prosecution would be deferred and instead the juvenile would undertake a rehabilitation programme and following successful completion, the charges would be dropped.  The intention therefore behind the initial DPAs in the US, was to protect juveniles (seen as the most vulnerable in ... Read More
Jul 26, 2016 The death of the SFO and of corporate criminal law as we know it? The future of UK enforcement in the corporate crime sphere has never been easy to predict. Indeed, Theresa May in her role as Home Secretary had long been an advocate of the SFO’s abolition, and its incorporation into the National Crime Agency, an organisation with no proven track record of prosecuting complex financial crime. Whether she takes up this mantle again in her new role remains to be seen, but the executive’s frustration at the inability of our criminal justice system to successfully punish corporate criminality in the corruption arena has been voiced over and over ... Read More
Jul 12, 2016 SFO publish new operational guidance for those attending, advising or conducting an interview under section 2 of the Criminal Justice Act 1987 (CJA 1987). On 6 June 2016 the SFO published new operational guidance for those attending, advising or conducting an interview under section 2 of the Criminal Justice Act 1987 (CJA 1987). In 2015 the previously stagnant approach taken in section 2 interviews evolved when the Divisional Court in R (Lord & others) v SFO [2015] EWHC 865 (Admin) endorsed the SFO’s recent decision to exclude a lawyer from being present in an interview where they deemed their presence would prejudice the investigation as they acted for the corporate suspect as well as a number of witnesses. Guidance previously ... Read More
Jul 5, 2016 NEW CORPORATE OFFENSE OF FAILURE TO PREVENT ECONOMIC CRIME – THE WINDS OF CHANGE? In May 2012, the Ministry of Justice consultation paper on deferred prosecution agreements (DPAs) identified the difficulties that prosecutors in the UK face with the law of corporate criminal liability and stressed that more needed to be done. Historically, corporate criminal liability in the UK has been difficult to successfully prosecute. The “identification principle” in UK law requires that a corporate can only be held liable for the criminal acts of those who are the “directing mind and will” of the company. Identifying who those individuals are and then ... Read More
Jun 30, 2016 Brexit: Impact on EU Laws, Regulation and Enforcement A vast number of EU directives and laws are currently woven into the UK legal system. That will remain the position for some time, until Brexit negotiations are concluded, but what will then happen is down to Parliamentary decisions. Here are examples of just some of the EU laws and rules that are currently in force: The ‘right to be forgotten’ – an EU court ruled that individuals have the right to demand that links are removed from Google search results if information is ‘inaccurate, inadequate, irrelevant or excessive’. When the UK is no longer part of the ... Read More
Jun 17, 2016 Post-Judgment Security for Costs – Has the Court Jurisdiction to Grant it? Security for costs is a key strategic consideration for defendants. It is usually vital in ensuring that a successful defendant is able to recover its costs and discouraging more speculative claims. If a claimant is unwilling or unable to put up such security, the court can refuse to hear their claim. There has been some controversy about whether the court has jurisdiction to grant security post-judgment. Even if it does, on a practical level, what sanction does the court have to enforce compliance post-judgment?  These issues came before Flaux J recently in the case of Republic of ... Read More
Jun 7, 2016 When should alternative counts be left for the consideration of the jury? In R v Barre [2016] EWCA Crim 216 (10 February 2016) the Court of Appeal Criminal Division provided an helpful ruling in relation to the question when an alternative count should be left for the consideration of the jury. Lord Justice Gross, who provided the ruling, described the case as a matter which has had tragic consequences for the families on either side. The case concerned a clash between two groups of youths which lead  to the fatal stabbing of Jamil Palmer. There was a history of difficulties and hostility between the convicted appellant and the deceased. On 10 December 2014, ... Read More
Jun 1, 2016 Interpol Red Notices Interpol assists 190 member countries around the world to coordinate their policing efforts. It plays an essential role in the fight against serious crime. Regrettably, though, some member countries use its database as a vehicle for the international persecution of political opponents, such as prominent businesspeople and human rights defenders. The weapon of choice is usually the Red Notice. The Red Notice list is essentially an international wanted persons list. The purpose is to alert other policing authorities of a need to arrest an individual so that extradition proceedings can be ... Read More
May 27, 2016 The impact of a new corporate money laundering offence In a month that has seen the mammoth ‘Panama Papers’ leak, the Anti-Corruption Summit held in London and a Queen’s speech focussing on criminal finances, financial crime is very much back in the public and political consciousness. David Cameron has taken this timely opportunity to announce his plans to extend the criminal offence of corporate ‘failure to prevent’ fraud and money laundering, “so that firms are properly held to account for the criminal activity that takes place within them.” Plans to introduce such an offence were quietly abandoned by ... Read More