Cross-border Investigations

Guidance sets out the SFO’s expectations for investigations but leaves open questions, particularly for cross-border investigations.

By Stuart Alford QC, Nathan H. Seltzer, Christopher M. Ting, and Harriet Slater

On 6 August 2019, the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) issued its much-anticipated Corporate Cooperation Guidance (the Guidance) outlining, in substantial detail, the steps that the SFO expects corporations to undertake in order to be eligible for cooperation credit when the SFO makes charging decisions, including in relation to whether a deferred prosecution agreement would be appropriate in lieu of full criminal prosecution.

In many respects, the Guidance is unsurprising and provides the types of investigative best practices that sophisticated companies and their advisers are already familiar with – particularly companies familiar with US regulators’ expectations regarding cooperation credit.