An end to impunity for big business?

16 November, 2022 | 0 minute read

The UK is, at last, poised to enact meaningful corporate criminal liability reforms. Three years ago, there was little realistic probability of the government ever introducing corporate liability reform. We have worked closely with politicians of all parties to address this crucial legislative gap.

Our extensive advocacy with partners on corporate liability reform helped lay the groundwork for a Law Commission review in 2021, with which we engaged closely. The review found that the current rules for holding corporates to account are “an obstacle to holding large companies criminally responsible for offences committed in their interests by their employees”.

A ‘failure to prevent fraud’ offence has now been introduced in the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act – a major milestone for the UK. As part of the Act there is also the potential for a ‘failure to prevent money laundering’ offence to be introduced in the future. And the government went even further than expected and committed to undertake more fundamental reform of the underlying rules for criminal prosecution of companies – something we have long advocated for.

This case study is taken from our 2022-23 Impact Report which can be downloaded here.