Deal or no deal
Having spent years looking with envy at the US, where ‘plea deals’ are commonly used, UK enforcement agencies finally got a similar weapon in their armoury in 2014, with the introduction of deferred prosecution agreements (DPAs).
However, since the first one was approved in late 2015, only 13 DPAs have been concluded.
The Law Society Gazette has run an article, discussing how DPAs came about, some significant cases and delving into why there have been so few.
Neil Swift was quoted in the article, explaining that the regime has certainly been a success in monetary terms, as some of the penalties imposed are on par with those imposed in the US. He also concluded the piece, saying:
“Absent highly unusual circumstances, companies are unlikely to be able to defend criminal prosecution for failing to prevent fraud, so will opt for the least bad outcome of a DPA.”