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Claire Overman

Claire Overman
Call: 2014

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Garnier Leads for SFO in its largest investigation and third UK DPA



Rolls-Royce PLC has reached agreements with the SFO in London, the DoJ in the United States, and prosecutors in Brazil to settle bribery and corruption allegations and will pay about $809 million for the global resolution following the completion of the SFO’s largest investigation since its establishment in the 1980’s. 

The President of the QBD, Sir Brian Leveson, today approved a Deferred Prosecution Agreement between the SFO and Rolls-Royce entailing payment of £497 million plus interest and the SFO's costs in respect of allegations of bribery and corruption in China, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Russia and Nigeria. In a DPA in the USA concerning similar allegations elsewhere, Rolls-Royce said it agreed to pay the DoJ about $170 million. In Brazil, it will pay the Ministério Público Federal $25.5 million.  The total of just over £0.5bn in payments under the SFO’s DPA include disgorgement of all gains derived from the corrupt conduct, the financial penalty, the SFO’s costs and interest on any staged payments. So long as the company abides by the terms of the DPA which include corporate compliance and governance improvements the deferred prosecution will be withdrawn after 5 years. 

Rolls-Royce announced the DPAs "relate to bribery and corruption involving intermediaries in a number of overseas markets, concerns about which the company passed to the SFO from 2012 onwards." Rolls-Royce is Europe's largest manufacturer of aircraft engines and the conduct in question in this DPA involved its civil and defence aviation divisions as well as its energy division. 

This is the third UK DPA, all of which have been before the President of the QBD for approval, and the second in which Garnier has led for the SFO.  They were introduced by the Crime and Courts Act 2013 and became available to the SFO and CPS in 2014. In 2015 he appeared in the first UK DPA with Standard Bank which related to a failure to prevent bribery in Tanzania. In 2016 the SFO entered into its second DPA with XYZ Limited. 

Sir Edward Garnier QC appeared for the SFO with Richard Whitham QC, Allison Clare, Christopher Foulkes, Jennifer Carter-Manning and Saul Hermon. David Perry QC, Miranda Hill and Katherine Hardcastle appeared for Rolls-Royce instructed by Slaughter and May.


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