The first session of the afternoon tackled key aspects of global investigations from an in-house and external adviser perspective. Clifford Chance partner Judith Seddon began by looking at deferred prosecution agreements (DPAs) and self-reporting. She posed the question: ‘How effective are DPAs in changing corporate behaviour? From a corporate-governance perspective, does the failure-to-prevent offence focus the board’s attention on the importance of ensuring it has adequate or reasonable procedures?’
In her view, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) regards DPAs as an incentive for a corporate to put in place processes to ensure compliance, but it has recognised that there is a fine line between incentivising companies to put things right and to confront economic crime.