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Chris Whalley

Chris is a senior associate in the Dispute Resolution team in London. Chris has substantial experience in business crime and regulatory investigations and is a part of our multi-disciplinary global Compliance & Investigations team. He advises corporates and individuals in relation to white-collar crime and undertakes internal investigations for corporates where there are suspected compliance failings which may result in potential criminal or regulatory liability. Chris's practice also includes advising corporates on risk and compliance issues, particularly in the areas of bribery and corruption and money laundering.

On 11 April 2023, the UK government announced in a Factsheet the introduction of a new criminal offence of failure to prevent fraud for organisations profiting from fraud committed by their employees or agents acting on their behalf. Violations can result in unlimited fines for organisations involved. Introduced as an amendment to the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill 2022, the new offence will come into force on the day the Act is passed.

On 26 January 2023 HM Revenue & Customs announced that, as of 1 January 2023, it has nine live Corporate Criminal Offenses investigations for the failure to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion, with a further 26 investigation opportunities under review. These live and potential investigations cover 11 different business sectors including software providers, labor provision, transport, accountancy and legal services.

On 26 November 2021, the FCA published Policy Statement 21/16 “Issuing statutory notices — a new approach to decision-makers” (“PS21/16”). In PS21/16, the FCA sets out the final changes to the Decisions Procedure and Penalties Manual and the Enforcement Guide as proposed in the Consultation Paper (CP21/25) published in July 2021. This transfers decision-making from the Regulatory Decisions Committee to the FCA in certain authorisation, intervention and straightforward cancellation cases and in respect of decisions on whether to commence civil and criminal proceedings from 26 November 2021.

On Wednesday, 24 February 2021, the Financial Conduct Authority was ordered to halt its investigation into a trader involved in the European Cum-Ex dividend scandal pending the outcome of the separate case brought by the Danish tax authorities in the UK.

Judge Jonathan Swift said in his ruling (available here) that the FCA must stop its disciplinary investigation into the trader until the Danish tax authorities’ High Court case first resolves a number of legal issues, which is expected to be around the beginning of 2022.