The number of corporate scalps amassed by US regulators, driven by controversial ‘plea deals’, is envied by other jurisdictions. BCL’s Tom McNeill gives his expert opinion on deferred prosecution agreements in this article for The Law Society Gazette.
In reality, notes BCL partner Tom McNeill, any DPA is likely to be based on imperfect information. In concluding a deal for commercial reasons, the agreed facts on which it is based, he says, may be ‘wrong’. This can in turn result in individuals being hung out to dry, guilty people walking away or a company pleading guilty where no one has committed an offence.
At present ‘people are just drowning in data’, says Milford. ‘Disclosure makes a dog’s dinner of every case and adds years to investigations,’ adds McNeill. He argues that the ‘obvious solution’ is to follow the US model and give the defence access to the documents.
This article was first published by The Law Society Gazette on 15 January 2024 and can be seen here.