BCL’s Michael Drury and Tom McNeill provide a comprehensive guide to the agencies responsible for civil and criminal law enforcement exploring the techniques and the requirements that must be met before a government can commence an investigation, in the England & Wales chapter of Lexology Getting The Deal Through – Government Investigations.
Getting the Deal Through provides international expert analysis in key areas of law, practice and regulation for corporate counsel, cross-border legal practitioners, and company directors and officers.
Here is a short extract from the England & Wales chapter*, which you can read in full on the Lexology Getting The Deal Through website.
”Scope of agency authority
What is the scope of each agency’s enforcement authority? Can the agencies pursue actions against corporate employees as well as the company itself? Do they typically do this?
The scope of enforcement authority of the relevant ‘government agencies’ is determined by statutory provisions and memoranda of understanding between them. Generally, the CPS, supported by police investigators, will prosecute criminal offences committed by individuals and companies not prosecuted by other specialist agencies. It also prosecutes offences of tax fraud investigated by HMRC, if HMRC officers consider it necessary and appropriate to use criminal enforcement rather than using their civil enforcement powers for those offences.
The SFO is a specialist agency that investigates and, if appropriate, prosecutes both individuals and companies that commit serious or complex fraud, bribery and corruption, even where there is no corresponding regulatory offence. It also uses civil enforcement in relation to asset freezing and the recovery of the proceeds of crime.
The FCA is primarily a financial services regulator. It uses a wide range of rule-making, investigative and enforcement powers (criminal, civil and regulatory) to regulate and take action against businesses and approved individuals that breach FCA principles and rules that are designed to meet its operational objective to protect consumers, protect and enhance the integrity of the UK financial system, and promote healthy and effective competition between financial services firms in the interests of consumers. It has become the de facto prosecutor for insider dealing.”
*This article was first published by Lexology on 04 August 2022. If you wish to read the Government Investigations: Global Overview in full, please visit Lexology Getting The Deal Through website.
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