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UK litigators have said the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is now “playing in the big leagues” after it secured a £671m deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) with Rolls Royce on Monday night.
Former SFO head of anti-corruption and now Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan partner Robert Amaee said: “This is the third and most significant DPA secured by the SFO, and is by far the largest penalty that has ever been levied by the SFO in a bribery matter. It is also the first time that the UK’s portion of the global settlement is higher than that of the US.”
The penalty fine will result in the SFO concluding its criminal probe into allegations of bribery and corruption at Rolls Royce, which has been advised by Slaughter and May and Debevoise & Plimpton on the settlement and during the investigation.
Debevoise had originally been instructed on the probe, but Rolls Royce also brought Slaughter and May in late 2015.
A hearing this morning (17 January) before Sir Brian Leveson QC at Southwark Crown Court will confirm whether the DPA can go ahead.
As part of the settlement Rolls Royce will pay the full amount plus interest, as well as paying the costs of the SFO investigation.
In addition to the agreement with the SFO, Rolls-Royce has also reached a DPA with the US Department of Justice (DoJ) and a Leniency Agreement with Brazil’s Ministério Público Federal (MPF).
As a result, total payments by Rolls-Royce in the first year of all three agreements would be £293m.
In a statement, the company said: “Rolls-Royce has co-operated fully with the authorities and will continue to do so.”
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