The Judicial Oversight of DPAs: A Multi-Jurisdictional Perspective

Global Investigations Review


In this article, Daniel Patrick Wendt provides a brief overview of developments in the U.S. regarding deferred prosecution agreements (DPAs), which enable authorities to settle allegations of criminal misconduct with companies. His U.S. commentary accompanies DPA model overviews of England and Wales, France, and the Netherlands co-authored by lawyers at law firms Simmons & Simmons, Soulez Larivière & Associés, and Debevoise & Plimpton. Existing DPA models typically provide some level of judicial oversight and this article highlights potential practical and legal implications for multi-jurisdictional settlements. "Joint enforcement via DPAs have proven an effective means to settle multi-jurisdictional allegations against corporations. In this context, in addition to potentially reducing the 'wiggle-room' available to prosecutors and corporations when negotiating settlements, increased judicial oversight may well complicate cross-border implementation of settlements agreed between prosecutors and corporations," the authors wrote, adding that "the possibility of involvement, and influence, of civil parties in the judicial DPA approval process could also have a material impact on the predictability of cross-jurisdictional settlements."