SFO has announced it has entered into a a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) with Rolls-Royce, following a 4 year investigation. The penalty is the highest yet in the UK against a company for criminal conduct, and the DPA was allowed on condition the company not only complies with its terms but also co-operates in future prosecutions of individuals. The indictment covers 12 counts of conspiracy to corrupt, false accounting and failure to prevent bribery across seven jurisdictions, and covers a period of more than 30 years. The conduct took place within the Civil Aerospace and Defence Aerospace businesses and Rolls-Royce’s former Energy business and the UK settlement covers conduct across 7 jurisdictions. The DPA involves payments of over £497m (comprising disgorgement of profits of around £258m and a financial penalty of around £239m) plus interest and SFO’s costs of.£13m. An investigation continues into the conduct of individuals. This is the largest ever single investigation carried out by the SFO. The DPA, and SFO’s clear intention to move to prosecution of individuals, is only part of the entire investigation. Rolls-Royce has also reached agreements with the US DOJ and the Brazilian public federal ministry. The judge commented that, although Rolls-Royce is now a very changed company, it was necessary to fine it, and for the DPA broadly to reflect the fine that a full prosecution would have imposed. We will be producing a detailed analysis of the decision.
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