The team at Herbert Smith Freehills have written a good piece here on the 7 takeaways from the new DPA guidance in the SFO’s Operational Handbook.
The new DPA guidance is published within the Operational Handbook, a document that the SFO uses as a practical internal reference guide. This sets out standard processes, instructions and guidance for SFO casework, and reflects best practice for staff. The SFO publishes its handbook in the interests of public transparency, and notes that the external version may be a redacted version of the internal version.
I’ll let you read the full paper, but in short, the seven key themes that companies should take away from the publication as noted Herbert Smith Freehills are as follows:
I really just wanted to share this for the insightful views and, indeed, good guidance. DPAs are a tool being increasingly used by the SFO and therefore important for people to take this sort of advice on board and consider how they change their operations and approach to dealing with these sorts of challenges.
This was a great read Dan Hudson and Susannah Cogman – thank you.
Given the existence of the DPA Code of Practice and the body of precedent which is starting to build up in light of recent DPA activity, the SFO’s new DPA guidance does not, perhaps, break much in the way of new ground. That said, there are areas which go beyond the Code and give a further steer as to what companies negotiating a DPA may expect, including in the realm of international co-operation. The guidance does emphasise the benefits in terms of increased likelihood of successfully negotiating a DPA, and the discount available, that punctual and full co-operation with an SFO investigation may deliver, in the right circumstances. It also highlights how this still adolescent area of the law continues to develop as further DPAs are agreed.