Deferred Prosecution Agreements (DPA) in UK. A Deferred Prosecution Agreement (“DPA”) is a court approved agreement between a prosecutor and an organisation that could be prosecuted. They were introduced in the UK in 2014 and allow organisations to make amends for criminal behaviour without the collateral damage of a conviction. As you may know, DPAs can only be agreed in relation to certain offences – these include, but are not limited to, fraud, bribery, conspiracy to defraud and money laundering. They can also only be authorised by the Director of the Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”) or the Director of Public Prosecutions. In contrast to their US equivalent, UK DPAs must be approved by a judge and the fulfilment of their terms is heavily scrutinised by the courts.
While Edmonds Marshall McMahon undertakes work in all areas of the criminal law, we have particular expertise in fraud, corporate dishonesty and financial crime. We are a unique firm, made up of former investigators and prosecutors from the SFO. Our lawyers have extensive experience from some of the UK’s leading bribery cases – these include the prosecution of Innospec Ltd and the investigation of Rolls-Royce PLC, which led to a record breaking DPA between the manufacturer and SFO in 2017. As such, we are well placed to advise companies on the merits of entering into a DPA and to help them navigate this process.