Rahman Ravelli’s Neil Williams was asked by Law360 to review the year 2020 in business crime and look ahead to 2021.
In his article, Neil considers the Serious Fraud Office’s (SFO’s) failure to secure convictions in the Barclays Qatar fundraising case, and how it highlighted the difficulty for prosecutors of proving who was a ‘directing will and mind’ of a company. He also details the SFO’s limited success regarding Unaoil and the case’s revelations about the agency’s ways of working with other organisations.
The huge Airbus settlement is assessed in the article, as are the specific terms of the deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) that the SFO concluded with G4S, regarding the company’s fraud in relation to the electronic tagging of offenders.
With 2020 proving only a limited success regarding the use of unexplained wealth orders (UWOs), the article considers their effect so far and predicts only limited use of them in 2021.
The year ahead is, according to the article, set to be notable in terms of Cum-Ex. The Danish tax agency SKAT is to begin the first of three trials of those it believes to be responsible for costing the country billions in lost tax revenue. 2021 could be a decisive year for many who find themselves embroiled in the multinational tax fraud probe. The ENRC- Dechert case, which is due to start in June, and the Supreme Court ruling in KBR v SFO - regarding the SFO's extraterritorial use of section 2 powers – are also set to be newsworthy.
Neil's comments featured on Law360.