Our heritage as criminal law experts makes us a natural go-to firm for companies which find themselves at risk of criminal investigation and prosecution.
Like individuals, companies are subject to the criminal law and can be prosecuted. The last few years have seen a trend in prosecutors targeting companies, both in the UK and overseas. Prosecutors have been assisted in doing so by the so-called failure to prevent model, introduced into our law by the Bribery Act 2010, and extended to include the failure to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion offence contained in the Criminal Finances Act 2017.
The investigation and prosecution of a company will often run in parallel with proceedings against individuals, which may include the most senior personnel. On conviction, companies can expect a significant fine, as well as being ordered to make confiscation and costs payments. If the company reaches a settlement with the authorities in the form of a deferred prosecution agreement, it will have to make payments to cover a penalty, compensation and costs and it will also have to demonstrate that it is reforming itself. This may lead to the appointment of an independent monitor to assess and report on the effectiveness of a company’s compliance and ethics policies and procedures. However the criminal case is disposed of the company will almost inevitably face risks of debarment from public contracts, follow-on civil claims and reputational fall-out, all of which need to be mitigated and contained.
Frequently, jurisdictional issues arise and a company may find itself subject to investigations based on the same or similar facts but conducted by different investigators, prosecutors and regulators, both from within the UK and abroad.
Having worked on landmark cases in this field, we are well placed to advise on corporate criminal liability issues and we are trusted to guide companies through the process of investigations, self-reporting and negotiating with prosecutors to achieve the most favourable outcome. Our diverse client base spans FTSE and other listed or international companies to traditional smaller enterprises.
How we can help
- We conduct internal investigations to identify issues and scope risks, advising on whether and, if so, how best to self-report to the authorities.
- Our lawyers have un-rivalled experience of deferred prosecution agreements, and we can advise you on the process, your best strategy for achieving one and then negotiate the agreement.
- We can steer you through complex cases where the same or similar conduct is investigated by multiple agencies, including from overseas. In such cases, we partner with experts around the world to provide the best possible joined-up advice.
- We are specialist criminal litigators and, if a settlement is not on offer or is not acceptable, we can ensure you are properly defended.
- We advise directors and officers on their duties and on specific compliance/governance obligations and issues.
We understand the law in this area is complex and can sometimes lead to unpredictable outcomes. We can guide companies through the rules and help them position themselves to their maximum advantage.
We are happy to work alongside other corporate law firms to bring our specialist criminal expertise to bear, or to work independently to secure the best possible outcome for corporate clients.
We also work closely with our colleagues in Reputation Management, Civil Fraud, Regulatory and Corporate and Commercial, as required, to offer a comprehensive service.
If your company has concerns about the risk of potential criminal misconduct, please contact one of our specialist corporate crime lawyers.
WHAT CLIENTS AND DIRECTORIES HAVE SAID
The firm has very good criminal lawyers with strength and depth throughout the department.”
Chambers and Partners, 2019
I believe their strength lies in their meticulous attention to detail and the intelligence of the individuals employed by that firm. I could not imagine a better law firm.”
Chambers and Partners, 2018
This top-tier UK-based firm stands out in the region for its distinguished white-collar crime practice.”
Who’s Who Legal: Business Crime Defence, 2018
They guide you expertly through the criminal and regulatory landscape in a very effective, practical way.”
Chambers and Partners, 2018
Kingsley Napley are collegiate and easy to work with. You know you could give work to any of the partners, it wouldn’t matter because you know they would all give good advice.”
Chambers and Partners, 2018
Kingsley Napley LLP’s ‘exceptionally experienced group of solicitors’ has ‘a solid level of experience’ in all areas of corporate crime including serious fraud, reputation management, regulatory liability and compliance, and also has a strong international practice with respect to cross-border tax, MLA and extradition issues.”
Legal 500, 2017
They are determined to do the best for their clients at all times and leave absolutely no stone unturned. It is a brilliant defence firm.”
Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession
The criminal litigation department at Kingsley Napley LLP continues to ‘hold its own against the Magic Circle firms’.”
Specific examples of current and recent corporate crime work include:
- Acting for Tesco plc in the SFO’s investigation into financial irregularities and Deferred Prosecution Agreement reached in April 2017.
- Advising a computer company, being investigated for the corporate offence of failing to prevent bribery under section 7 of the Bribery Act.
- Advising a global cosmetic group of companies
- Advising a London brokerage in respect of a s.166 review and other regulatory matters
- Advising a FCA-regulated institution in respect of internal fraud
- Acting for a well-known media organisation which was served with a request for information from overseas in respect of criminal proceedings being undertaken in that jurisdiction
- Instructed by a FTSE 250 company to advise on money laundering / proceeds of crime concerns arising from on-going confiscation proceedings
- Acting for three emergency plumbing businesses (and Managing Director) in relation to fraud and consumer protection related offences.
- We are instructed by a global professional services firm in relation to a private criminal prosecution against two of its staff members (and others), alleging fraud.
- Acting for corporate group in relation to a police investigation
- Our Criminal, Dispute Resolution and Employment teams are advising an asset management company holding a sovereign wealth fund which is bringing civil proceedings against three individuals, including a former director.
- Advising a Hedge Fund in connection with an on-going tax investigation commenced in Germany.
- Supporting an investigation being conducted on behalf of global bank.
- Acting for a multi-national film company involved in an alleged large VAT fraud. Conducting an investigation and managing VAT liability issues.