This briefing note is only intended as a general statement of the law and no action should be taken in reliance on it without specific legal advice.

Financial crime
05 September 2014

Financial crime

The Attorney General has recently proposed an offence of "corporate failure to prevent economic crimes" such as fraud and money-laundering. The new offence would follow the model of the Bribery Act 2010 which makes it a criminal offence for companies to fail to prevent bribery by their employees and associates. The proposal is part of the Government's attempt to promote the UK as one of the toughest anti-corruption regimes in the world.

Alison Levitt QC, partner in Mishcon de Reya and head of its Business Crime Unit, attended the Cambridge Symposium on Economic Crime at which the proposals were announced. She endorsed the aims of the proposals, whilst sounding a cautionary note:  "The Government has an important role in preventing economic crime and corruption, and it is vital that private and public bodies work in partnership to counter fraud for the benefit of business and society as a whole. If this new offence is introduced it will significantly widen the duties and obligations placed on commercial organisations.  Time will tell whether any such new offence based on the bribery model is effective and fit for purpose."

If you are interested in learning more about this please contact Alison Levitt QC.