We have set out below key recent global investigations trends and updates.
Please contact the authors if you would like to discuss any of the issues raised.
The Norton Rose Fulbright team
US/UK: The first data access agreement under the CLOUD act
Was signed by the UK and the US in October 2019. The agreement will enable American and British law enforcement agencies, including the DOJ and SFO, to request electronic data related to terrorism, child sexual abuse and other serious crimes directly from technology firms in the respective countries.
Read the article by Susan Ross and David Kessler (US) together with Andrew Reeves (UK) here.
EU: New European directive on whistleblowing
Sets new requirements for businesses in the EU. EU member states will have until the end of 2021 to incorporate the new rules into their national law. But what will happen in the UK after Brexit?
Read the article by Amanda Sanders and Lauren Pullen -Stanley here.
UK: New DPA announced and SFO publishes guidance on evaluation of compliance programmes
A £2m DPA between the Serious Fraud Office and Güralp Systems was announced on December 20, 2019 following the acquittal of senior individuals. This means that, again, a company has entered into a DPA with the SFO in circumstances where no employees have subsequently been convicted.
Subsequently, on January 17, 2020 the SFO has published guidance on “Evaluating a Compliance Programme”. This summarises the points at which a compliance programme will be assessed by the SFO and by what means it will be assessed. It emphasises the importance of a compliance programme in seeking to defend an organisation when wrongdoing is alleged but does not provide any practical guidance on what the SFO is looking for when assessing compliance programmes.
US: non-US citizen convicted of FCPA violation despite no practial ties to US
A non--US citizen was convicted of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act despite no practical ties to US. This case raised significant questions about the jurisdictional reach of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) as the non--US citizen was not employed by a US company, and never set foot on US soil while working for the French multinational.
Read the article by Kevin J. Harnisch, Jeffrey W. Cottle, Keith M. Rosen, Samuel R. Ramer and Niamh Ni Cheallachain (US) here.
The Netherlands: challenge to in-house legal privilege
The Dutch court has ruled that attorney--client privilege may not apply to in--house counsel admitted to a non--Dutch bar unless independence from their employer is sufficiently safeguarded.
Read the article by Sharon Oded and Britt van Breda (NL) here.
South Africa: increase in use of fake consultancy agreements
Our team in South Africa explores the increasing use of fake consultancy agreements in Southern Africa and how these mechanisms facilitate fraud or corrupt dealings.
Read the article by André Vos and Andrew Keightley- Smith (SA) here.
Germany: real estate flagged as high AML risk
The first German National Money Laundering Risk Analysis identified that real estate is a high risk sector for money laundering in Germany.
Read the article by Alexander Cappel and Christina Hund (DE) here.
Coronavirus: Legal implications of a global epidemic
As companies worldwide feel the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, we examine the many legal implications COVID-19 may have across global businesses.