recently featured a series of articles written by McGuireWoods London
Francesca Titus, New York and Charlotte partner
Jason Cowley, and D.C. international attorney
Andrew Thornton-Dibb, members of the firm’s Government Investigations & White Collar
In “Crime fighting across borders: what every corporation needs to know,” published in February 2021, the authors discussed UK and U.S. law
enforcement approaches to investigating and prosecuting cross-border
financial crime. The discussion covered cross-border cooperation, the
impact of Brexit, investigation challenges, law enforcement successes and
best practices for businesses.
“If corporates and their advisers choose to self-report to law enforcement,
they should assume that information provided in one jurisdiction will be
passed to law enforcement agencies in others, which could give rise to
multiple liabilities in several countries,” the authors noted. They
emphasized the need for a global strategy and early representation by an
experienced cross-border litigation team.
Their March 2021 article, “Corporate internal investigations — what you need to know if your
business is international,” focused on the unique risks and challenges facing businesses with
operations in more than one country as they conduct internal
investigations. The authors provided practical tips for identifying the
scope and subjects of an investigation, establishing an investigation team,
preserving legal privilege and documents, self-reporting, interviewing
employees and avoiding common pitfalls.
“Such investigations raise unique challenges, including a need for the
investigators to familiarise themselves with the substantive and procedural
laws of a foreign jurisdiction, grappling with sometimes competing
obligations or prohibitions under the laws of different countries, and the
need to carry out internal investigations in locations often far afield
from the core of a company’s operations,” the authors wrote.
Their third article, “Securing corporate convictions: differences between the US and UK,” appeared in Financier Worldwide’s April 2021 issue.
Highlighting the differences between UK and U.S. prosecutions, the article
compared the countries’ theories of liability and their individual
approaches to self-reporting, plea agreements, cooperators and dispute
Titus, Cowley and Thornton-Dibb explained that in the United States, a
company can be held criminally responsible for any and all of its
employees’ acts carried out for the benefit of the company. The United
Kingdom, however, holds a company responsible for a crime only if the
“directing mind and will” of the organization — usually a company officer
or other senior decision-maker — is deemed responsible for the offense.