Partner Jessica Parker discusses UK’s first Deferred Prosecution Agreement
Yesterday saw the UK’s first DPA hearing, concerning the UK-based ICBC Standard Bank Plc and a failure to prevent corrupt payments to officials of the Tanzanian government; the fine of $16.8m was accompanied by disgorgement of the profits of the transaction, compensation to Tanzania, and an agreement to pay the SFO’s costs.
A Deferred Prosecution Agreement’s (DPA) purpose is to provide a route by which an organisation (being a corporate body, partnership or unincorporated association) can avoid prosecution for certain economic or financial offences, by entering into an agreement on negotiated terms with the prosecutor designated by the 2013 Act. In the UK the scheme dictates that a hearing must be held in private for the purposes of finding out whether the court will declare the proposed DPA “likely” to be in the interests of justice, and whether its proposed terms are fair, reasonable and proportionate.
Partner Jessica Parker has been commenting on the recent proceedings:
“It is notable that this investigation has remained confidential until the DPA was announced on Friday. This is a significant advantage of this type of negotiated justice. The publicity surrounding conduct is substantially reduced compared to a full-scale investigation and prosecution.”