Financial Regulation – Increased focus on culture raises question: is everything OK?

Financial Regulation – Increased focus on culture raises question: is everything OK?

Our second one-day summit dedicated to banking disputes and regulatory actions returned in February with a host of sponsors, speakers and more than 150 guests in central London. Backed by a string of top names in contentious banking work, including headline sponsor White & Case, as well as Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Boies Schiller Flexner, One Essex Court and Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF), the event was guaranteed a heavyweight line-up.

There was no mistaking the core theme for the day, which White & Case banking disputes chief John Reynolds set out in his opening remarks. Arguing that cultural issues sat at the heart of the global financial crisis over a decade ago, Reynolds gave a jaded assessment of the progress since, despite the string of post-crisis reforms, like the Senior Managers Regime, ringfencing and legislation on bonuses. Continue reading “Financial Regulation – Increased focus on culture raises question: is everything OK?”

‘This raises serious questions’: More SFO failure as former Barclays execs escape fraud convictions

‘This raises serious questions’: More SFO failure as former Barclays execs escape fraud convictions

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is facing criticism after suffering another high-profile defeat in its only financial crisis prosecution after three former Barclays bankers were today (28 February) acquitted of fraud.

Barclays’ ex-investment banking chief, Roger Jenkins, its ex-European financial institutions head, Richard Boath and the former head of its wealth division, Thomas Kalaris, were all accused of creating fraudulent advisory services agreements as a means to disguise payments worth £322m to Qatar. Continue reading “‘This raises serious questions’: More SFO failure as former Barclays execs escape fraud convictions”

DPAs in spotlight as SFO ends long-running Rolls-Royce and GSK investigations

DPAs in spotlight as SFO ends long-running Rolls-Royce and GSK investigations

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has today (22 February) ended investigations into two landmark cases involving Rolls-Royce and GlaxoSmithKline, prompting scepticism from white-collar lawyers.

Despite agreeing a £497.3m January 2017 deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) with the car manufacturer, the SFO has pulled its bribery and corruption probe into Rolls-Royce following a ‘detailed review of the available evidence’. Continue reading “DPAs in spotlight as SFO ends long-running Rolls-Royce and GSK investigations”

First big defeat for Osofsky as SFO fails in Tesco prosecution

First big defeat for Osofsky as SFO fails in Tesco prosecution

Newly-installed Serious Fraud Office (SFO) director Lisa Osofsky has suffered her first major setback, as the agency’s prosecution of two former Tesco executives was quashed this morning.

At Southwark Crown Court, Judge Sir John Royce instructed the jury to acquit John Scouler, formerly Tesco’s UK food commercial director, and Chris Bush, previously Tesco’s UK managing director. Both men had been prosecuted by the SFO on fraud and false accounting charges over a £250m profit overstatement by Tesco in 2014. Continue reading “First big defeat for Osofsky as SFO fails in Tesco prosecution”

Disputes Eye: ‘Draconian’ measures as SFO tackles privilege via the back door

Disputes Eye: ‘Draconian’ measures as SFO tackles privilege via the back door

Despite the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) opting in October not to pursue its much-publicised privilege appeal against ENRC any further, it is taking an increasingly hard-line approach in other ways.

Notably, the agency has come under scrutiny for its heavy-handed use of section 2 notices, an order compelling any individual or business to submit evidence or information. Failing to provide what the SFO wants can be punishable by up to six months’ imprisonment, a fine, or both. Continue reading “Disputes Eye: ‘Draconian’ measures as SFO tackles privilege via the back door”

Disputes round-up: SFO abandons privilege appeal as funder Burford raises £193m

Disputes round-up: SFO abandons privilege appeal as funder Burford raises £193m

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has cut its losses after last month’s landmark Court of Appeal privilege judgment, opting not to appeal the decision.

In the case against the Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC), the SFO was denied access to a series of documents that the mining giant claimed were protected by legal professional privilege (LPP).   Continue reading “Disputes round-up: SFO abandons privilege appeal as funder Burford raises £193m”