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Legal Director Niall Hearty assesses the likely impact of creating a wider range of failure to prevent offences

Author: Niall Hearty  28 June 2021

Proposals to create more 'failure to prevent' offences are gaining support as the UK considers how to address the issue of corporate criminal liability.

Introducing such offences is one of the options being considered by the Law Commission. With the idea supported by both the Serious Fraud Office and Crown Prosecution Service, Rahman Ravelli’s Niall Hearty shared his thoughts on the idea with Thomson Reuters’ Regulatory Intelligence.

Niall explained that the need to reconsider corporate criminal liability has arisen because most modern companies are structured in a way that prevents any individual being able to act with no accountability to others.

He added that widening the range of offences for failure to prevent could lead to a rising number of larger corporations being prosecuted. Such offences do not require the prosecution to prove criminal intent on the part of an individual representing the 'directing mind' of the company, in order to establish corporate criminal liability.

But any such proposals will only become reality if there is the political will for the government to act on the Law Commission proposals and introduce the relevant legislation.

Niall's comments featured on Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence. (Subscription required) 

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Niall Hearty


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Niall has a wealth of corporate crime expertise and an ability to coordinate global bribery and corruption cases. His achievements in such investigations have made him a logical choice for corporate clients.

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