This post was also written by Shariq Gilani.
The Ministry of Justice (“MOJ”) has launched a Consultation on the introduction of Deferred Prosecution Agreements (“DPAs”) in the UK, as a new enforcement tool in dealing with economic crime.
As with the U.S. model, the proposed DPAs would allow prosecutors to enter into agreements with commercial organisations that the prosecutor will lay, but not immediately proceed with, criminal charges pending successful compliance with agreed terms and conditions stated in the DPA. The agreements would need to be sanctioned by judges, and their terms could include financial penalties, restitution for victims, disgorgement of the profits of wrongdoing, and the implementation of measures to prevent further offences. If the commercial organisation abided by the terms of the DPA, it would not face criminal sanctions.
The MOJ hopes that the introduction of DPAs will encourage organisations to co-operate with the SFO at an early stage, help provide greater certainly as to the possible outcomes of investigations, achieve those outcomes more quickly and enable greater co-operation between UK and foreign authorities.