Financier Worldwide recently featured a series of articles written by McGuireWoods London partner 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 Litigation Department.
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 resolutions.
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.