Every Little Helps With a DPA

April 28, 2017

Lord Justice Leveson approved Tesco Store Limited’s (“Tesco”) Deferred Prosecution Agreement (“DPA”) on 10 April 2017, making them the fourth company since November 2015 to enter into a DPA with the UK’s Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”). This draws a line under the SFO’s probe into allegations of false accounting by Tesco after they admitted to overstating their profits by £326 million in 2014.

DPAs are a tool available to selected prosecutors including the SFO that allow companies to defer criminal prosecution for a limited period of time by agreeing to certain conditions in hope of discontinuance, such as paying a fine and remediation measures which may include the implementation of enhanced compliance measures.

In the aftermath of Tesco’s DPA, we consider how the SFO’s approach to DPAs has developed since they were first introduced and what companies facing investigation by the SFO should consider when deciding whether to seek a DPA. Finally, we assess what the future holds for DPAs in the UK.

Read "Every Little Helps With a DPA"