Do the Principles of Corporate Prosecution in the US Provide a Roadmap for the UK?

Serious Economic Crime: A Boardroom Guide to Prevention and Compliance

Compared to the United States, the criminal prosecution of corporate entities in the United Kingdom is a new phenomenon, but one that is likely to increase in scope and frequency with the implementation of the Bribery Act 2010. While both the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and Ministry of Justice (MoJ) issued initial compliance guidance for the Bribery Act, publicly available criteria guiding charging decisions for UK corporates remain lacking.

Recognizing the similarities between US and UK anti-corruption laws and common-law systems, it is reasonable to consider established US policies and procedures guiding the prosecution of corporate entities – and how these procedures have been applied in cases under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) – as providing a potential roadmap for the way in which such prosecutions may develop in the UK.

This chapter, authored by Matt Reinhard, examines the ‘Principles of the Federal Prosecution of Business Organizations' (the Principles) included in the United States Attorneys' Manual (USAM), and discusses the evolution of the Principles relating to corporate co-operation and charging decisions. It also highlights the tensions that remain in the Principles and between prosecuting authorities and the defense bar, explores recent charging decisions illustrative of these Principles, and considers the extent to which the US experience offers practical guidance in the UK.

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Serious Economic Crime: A Boardroom Guide to Prevention and Compliance is published by White Page Ltd. in association with the U.K. Serious Fraud Office.

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