- Lisa Osofsky (the new SFO Director) still expects that the SFO will maintain its prominence and independence.
- DPAs will continue. £53m budget for the next three years means that core and blockbuster funding are blended. The SFO are therefore able to use resources more efficiently.
- Challenging areas of the law is part of the SFO remit. Understand the recent defeats and criticisms but does not mean it will be more risk averse.
- DPAs are designed to encourage good corporate ethical behavior. Examples of poor behavior and a lack of cooperation are:
- Providing detail about lower levels of wrongdoing in one particular jurisdiction but keeping quiet about higher levels of wrongdoing in another.
- Poor narrative and lack of detail with regard to reporting.
- Hiding behind a cloak of commerciality.
- Corporates need to understand that dialogue with the SFO is not a civil negotiation. It is not an equal conversation. Burglars understand who holds the power when they are in a cell talking to the police but a CEO of a multinational called in for an interview might not realise this.
- There will be more focus by the SFO on the detail of an organisation’s compliance regime.
- The future areas of interest for the SFO will involve Bitcoin and other virtual currencies.
- The ENRC privilege matter should be taken on its facts and does not mean that all cases can have magical privilege. SFO were heavily involved at the beginning so it’s not a real leap to think that ENRC documentation might be privileged.
- European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) investigations can lead to world debarment.
- Whilst initially companies may not fear debarment, it could cause future problems for them with their suppliers or customers with regard to supply chain cleanliness.
- Compliance is not a tick box process. You don’t just do it once and then consider it done. It is an ongoing process.
- Trend for companies with regard to transparency explosion. UK companies ahead of US.
- Transparency International are producing a large report showing how transparency can be good for business. Anti-corruption benchmark, 200 questions, mapped to US, France and UK. Score with regard to Transparency Index and their peers.