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
May 5, 2016 Guilty as charged? I was recently asked to take part in an on-line consultation regarding the Sentencing Council’s draft guidelines for reductions in sentence for a guilty plea (see attached link at the bottom this blog if you also wish to partake in this but hurry as the consultation ends today – 5 May 2016). The stated aim of the new guidelines is to provide clarification on the levels of reduction appropriate for the different stages at which a plea is entered and seeks to encourage those Defendants who are aware of their guilt to enter a plea as early in the Court process as possible. The ... Read More
Apr 28, 2016 Supreme Court case preview: settlement agreements and fraud It is often said that "fraud unravels all", the maxim reflecting the basic principle that once deliberate dishonesty has been established, the innocent party is entitled to unwind his or her relationship with the wrongdoer. Thus, where a contract has been procured by fraud, the innocent party may elect to rescind the contract (and be put back into the pre-contractual position) rather than seeking the usual contractual remedy of compensatory damages (which aim to put him or her into a position whereby the contract had been properly performed). But what if the contract in question is ... Read More
Mar 17, 2016 Criminal Law Update- Joint Enterprise On 18 February 2016 the Supreme Court ruled in a landmark decision that the law of joint enterprise has been interpreted incorrectly for 30 years. Joint enterprise is a controversial law dating back several centuries that allows for more than one person to be charged and convicted of the same crime. It is a powerful prosecuting tool that applies even if defendants have played different roles in the alleged offence. It can apply to all crimes but more recently it has been used to prosecute gang related cases for murder when it cannot be proved which member of the group inflicted the fatal ... Read More
Mar 8, 2016 The Senior Managers Regime and the Regulator’s Appetite As the dawning of the Senior Managers Regime (“SMR”) approaches, will it herald a sea change in the way the corporate watchdog identifies and determines the subjects of its investigations? In recent years large scale market manipulation and fraud investigations have enveloped financial institutions and claimed the scalps of many up and coming traders and bankers. The LIBOR scandal is a case in point. But as criminal prosecutions and regulatory cases drag on with mixed regulatory results, will the SMR regime shape the banking culture of years to come or is it purely window ... Read More
Feb 26, 2016 Serious Fraud Office to come under the control of the National Crime Agency? Home Secretary Theresa May is reportedly considering allowing the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) to be governed by the relatively newly formed National Crime Agency (NCA).   The NCA was set up only two years ago with the remit of “leading UK law enforcements’ fight to cut serious and organised crime”. However, recent reports suggest that their mandate will be extended to also include control of the SFO.   Reports that this move is yet again being considered by the Home Secretary cannot be welcome news for the SFO or indeed for its Director, David Green. The ... Read More
Feb 24, 2016 Considering the Court of Appeal decision in R v AIL, GH and RH [2016] EWCA Crim 2 interpreting early 20th century legislation as applicable to corruption in the 21st Century – whether this makes sense in law and in practice. Could you be convicted in the UK of bribing a foreign public official before 14th February 2002? On 15th January, the Court of Appeal Criminal Division handed down a judgment in which it answered this rather vexing question in the affirmative. It is a question which had long troubled those on both sides of the court room. Before section 108 of the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 came into force on St Valentine’s Day in 2002, it was widely understood that there might be a deficiency or perhaps even a lacuna in the law in relation to acts undertaken within the UK designed to ... Read More