The SFO and Attorney General are conducting an informal consultation on US style deferred prosecution agreements. The belief is that such agreements could strengthen the UK’s position in enforcing the Bribery Act. A US DPA involves the filing of criminal charges against a company and is an agreement with the US DoJ that prosecution of the company on the filed charges will be deferred for a certain period (typically 2 to 3 years) during which time the company must meet its obligations under the agreement. As a general matter, DPAs are reserved for more serious cases and often contain more onerous terms.
We understand that the Attorney General's Office is seeking views from practitioners, corporates and non-governmental organisations and that the informal consultation will last until Christmas, with a formal government consultation due in the New Year.