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News

Cameron Brown QC acts for the SFO as they enter £103m DPA

5. Jul 2021

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has entered into its third largest ever Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) with Amec Foster Wheeler Limited (AFWEL) relating to the use of corrupt agents in the oil and gas sector. The DPA was approved on 1 July 2021, by Lord Justice Edis, sitting at the Royal Courts of Justice.
Under the terms of the DPA, AFWEL will pay a financial penalty and costs amounting to £103m in the UK, which forms part of the US$177 million global settlement with UK, US and Brazilian authorities. The amounts to be paid by AFWEL in the UK include payment of the SFO’s costs of £3.4 million and payment of compensation to the people of Nigeria of £210,610.
In entering into the DPA, AFWEL has taken responsibility for ten offences of corruption relating to the use of corrupt agents in the oil and gas sector by the legacy Foster Wheeler business. The offences spanned from 1996 to 2014 and took place across the world, in Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, India and Brazil.
Lord Justice Edis ruled that the total sum reflects the gravity of the conduct, the full co-operation of AFWEL and Wood in the SFO’s investigation, and the extensive remediation and compliance programme that has been put in place by Wood and which applies to the legacy Foster Wheeler entities.
The DPA brings to a close the SFO’s almost four-year investigation into suspected bribery and corruption within the legacy Foster Wheeler and Amec Foster Wheeler businesses as far as the corporate entities are concerned. The investigation into the conduct of individual suspects continues.
Counsel for the SFO alongside Cameron Brown QC included Sasha Wass QC and Kabir Sondhi.

Read more here: [Serious Fraud Office]

(Upon determining the issue of approval of the DPA, the Court did not make findings of fact. No process took place by which the culpability of individual people was determined or assessed. The Court observed that companies act through individuals, and it was necessary to consider some individual conduct for that reason, but the Court did not hear from any individuals or call upon them for their side of the story. The judgment in the DPA solely dealt with the culpability of the company Amec Foster Wheeler Energy Limited and not that of any individual person. No findings of any kind were made against any individual.)

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