International White Collar Crime and Deferred Prosecution Agreements

Lucian E. Dervan, Belmont University - College of Law


In October 2013, the American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section (“ABA CJS”) convened its 2nd annual International White Collar Crime conference in London, United Kingdom. In an auditorium filled almost to capacity, audience members representing practitioners, corporations, enforcement agencies, and academia listened intently to discussions regarding a myriad of topics, including enforcement trends, international internal investigation strategies, and global whistleblower incentives. The large audience and strong interest in the subject of the conference reiterated the growing importance of matters related to international white collar crime in an ever-increasingly globalized business environment. One of the topics that drew much discussion in London was the impending adoption of deferred prosecution agreements in the United Kingdom. Deferred prosecution agreements (“DPAs”) are negotiated settlements of criminal investigations entered into between the government and the investigated entity. Typically, such agreements require an entity to admit wrongdoing, pay a substantial fine, and engage in remedial measures. If an entity succeeds in satisfying the requirements of a DPA, the government agrees to dismiss any criminal charges that have been filed against the entity related to the matter. This article examines deferred prosecution agreements in the United States and the UK. Further, this article considers the draft Code of Practice for DPAs issued by the SFO in 2013 and the insights it offers into various aspects of the impending roll-out of DPAs in the UK.