Expanding corporate criminal liability – are DPAs fit for purpose? P&P’s Neil Swift discusses in Lexis Nexis
DPAs provide companies with the opportunity to compromise allegations of serious criminal misconduct in a managed way, without going through the criminal trial process and without all the consequences of criminal conviction. Depending on the magnitude of the alleged misconduct, the financial penalties imposed can be very substantial. Other elements of the DPA are, where considered necessary, designed to ensure that the business conducts itself in a compliant manner in the future. To the extent that holding to account means accepting responsibility for misconduct, and being punished for it, the DPAs reached to date appear to achieve that purpose. Whether the public interest is served by offering corporations a way out which avoids criminal conviction remains a matter for debate.