What Compliance Lessons Can Companies Learn From the SFO’s First Two DPAs?

In July 2016, the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office received court approval for its second-ever DPA. Both this DPA and the one before it, involving Standard Bank, are stark demonstrations of the fact that violating the U.K. Bribery Act can have serious and expensive ramifications not only for the offending company but also for others in its corporate group, even if they were unaware of the bribery. They also serve as another reminder of the dangers of using agents to win business. In a guest article, Matthew Getz and Prateek Swaika, partner and associate, respectively, at Boies, Schiller & Flexner, consider some of the lessons to be learned in this context, and what companies operating in the U.K. should do to avoid incurring liability when using agents to enter into contracts. See also “In Second DPA, SFO and U.K. Court Focus on Cooperation, Self-Reporting and Compliance” (Aug. 31, 2016).

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