Corporate Crime

"One of the premier white collar defence teams in London."

Legal 500 UK 2020

There is an increasing risk for criminal investigations and prosecutions of companies, both domestically and internationally.

Prosecuting authorities are targeting corporates for criminal misconduct in order to protect the public and support ethical business practices. Deferred prosecution agreements were introduced into the UK in 2014 and other jurisdictions are making similar legislative changes.  Recently new offences have been introduced including the corporate criminal offences of failure to prevent bribery in the Bribery Act 2010 and failure to prevent tax evasion in the Criminal Finances Act 2017.

Changes to the law on corporate criminal liability are anticipated soon, which will make it easier for corporates to face criminal proceedings for failure to prevent economic crime such as fraud or money laundering. There are calls to extend this to failure to prevent human rights abuses.

We act for corporate clients in the most complex and fraught situations. We conduct internal investigations to identify the risks and to advise on strategy, including negotiations with authorities and deferred prosecution agreements. We advise on related regulatory issues, civil claims, manage the media and can fight your case in the criminal courts if necessary. We represented Tesco in the Serious Fraud Office criminal investigation and Deferred Prosecution Agreement reached in April 2017.

Frequently jurisdictional issues arise and a company may find itself subject to investigations based on the same or similar facts but conducted by different investigators, prosecutors and regulators both from within the UK and abroad.  We partner with experts from around the world to provide a complete service.

If a potential criminal problem is identified, invariably you will need to act quickly to assess and manage the risk and consider whether and when to report the conduct to the appropriate agency. Damage to your business, directors and senior managers can be irreparable if not dealt with swiftly.  Investigation and prosecution of a company will often run in parallel with proceedings against individuals, which may include your most senior personnel. Sanctions faced by corporates can include a significant fine (sometimes multiples of annual turnover), remediation programme and the appointment of an independent monitor to assess and report on the effectiveness of a company’s compliance and ethics policies and procedures.  Individuals face lengthy custodial sentences, confiscation, and disqualification.

Our experienced lawyers can provide immediate advice to you or your organisation in relation to a business or professional crisis. Our specialist Criminal team works closely with our colleagues in Dispute ResolutionEmployment and Corporate and Commercial departments to offer a full service approach.

current and recent corporate crime work

Specific examples of current and recent corporate crime work include:

  • Acting for Tesco plc in the SFO’s investigation into financial irregularities and Deferred Prosecution Agreement reached in April 2017.
  • Advising a computer company, being investigated for the corporate offence of failing to prevent bribery under section 7 of the Bribery Act.
  • Advising a global cosmetic group of companies
  • Advising a London brokerage in respect of a s.166 review and other regulatory matters
  • Advising a FCA-regulated institution in respect of internal fraud
  • Acting for a well-known media organisation which was served with a request for information from overseas in respect of criminal proceedings being undertaken in that jurisdiction
  • Instructed by a FTSE 250 company to advise on money laundering / proceeds of crime concerns arising from on-going confiscation proceedings
  • Acting for three emergency plumbing businesses  (and Managing Director) in relation to fraud and consumer protection related offences.
  • We are instructed by a global professional services firm in relation to a private criminal prosecution against two of its staff members (and others), alleging fraud.
  • Acting for corporate group in relation to police investigation 
  • Our Criminal, Dispute Resolution and Employment teams are advising an asset management company  holding a sovereign wealth fund which is bringing civil proceedings against three individuals, including a former director.
  • Advising a Hedge Fund in connection with an on-going tax investigation commenced in Germany. 
  • Supporting an investigation being conducted on behalf of global bank. 
  • Acting for a multi-national film company involved in an alleged large VAT fraud. Conducting an investigation and managing VAT liability issues. 





They are undoubtedly a really major player in this section. They are definitely focused on high net worth and have a good depth of expertise in criminal law."

Chambers High Net Worth Guide 2020

I believe their strength lies in their meticulous attention to detail and the intelligence of the individuals employed by that firm. I could not imagine a better law firm."

Chambers and Partners, 2018

This top-tier UK-based firm stands out in the region for its distinguished white-collar crime practice."

Who's Who Legal: Business Crime Defence, 2018

They guide you expertly through the criminal and regulatory landscape in a very effective, practical way."

Chambers and Partners, 2018

Kingsley Napley are collegiate and easy to work with. You know you could give work to any of the partners, it wouldn't matter because you know they would all give good advice." 

Chambers and Partners, 2018

Kingsley Napley LLP’s ‘exceptionally experienced group of solicitors’ has ‘a solid level of experience’ in all areas of corporate crime including serious fraud, reputation management, regulatory liability and compliance, and also has a strong international practice with respect to cross-border tax, MLA and extradition issues."
 Legal 500, 2017

They are determined to do the best for their clients at all times and leave absolutely no stone unturned. It is a brilliant defence firm."      

 Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession

The criminal litigation department at Kingsley Napley LLP continues to ‘hold its own against the Magic Circle firms’."

Legal 500


Further information

If you have any questions relating to corporate crime, please contact a member of our team.

Well-known name in the market, with deep expertise in all aspects of serious corporate crime including regulatory breaches and complex fraud. Adept at handling international corruption, fraudulent trading and false accounting matters. Well versed in bribery and money laundering investigations. Notable experience in advising on internal investigations and compliance, as well as in handling proceedings by government enforcement agencies."

Chambers UK 2020 – A Client’s Guide to the UK Legal Profession

One of the few original boutique white collar firms to truly develop an expertise in corporate contentious financial services work."

Legal 500 UK 2020

The firm has very good criminal lawyers with strength and depth throughout the department."

Chambers and Partners, 2019


Read Louise Hodges' and Caroline Day's Chapter 'Witness Interviews in Internal Investigations: The UK Perspective'  in GIR's Practitioner's Guide to Global Investigations, Fourth Edition

Corporate Crime Insights

View all


COVID-19 Slows Pace of Existing UK Investigations - Caroline Day quoted in Law360

Business and Government should brace for wave of fraud: Alun Milford quoted in The Telegraph

Alun Milford quoted extensively following Government's announced proposals to introduce an economic crime levy

When justice takes a holiday - Alun Milford quoted in Law360

Serious Fraud Office (SFO) issues co-operation guidance – Louise Hodges comments

View all


Recycling firm charged with corporate manslaughter

Fraud in the time of COVID-19

In-house lawyers and general counsel take note: will your communications be privileged?

The Corporate Offence of Failure to Prevent the Facilitation of Tax Evasion: Two years on

SFO guidance on co-operation: more carrot than stick?

Crunching the numbers: is the National Crime Agency right to seek additional funding?

HMRC turns to companies to police tax evasion

SFO v ENRC: what did the Court of Appeal decide and what does it mean for lawyers?

No deal Brexit and financial crime: proposed regulations published

Tackling economic crime 2018-19

Corporate and individual accountability for international crimes: Kingsley Napley hosts second International Criminal Law Conference

Reform of corporate liability – renewed calls for change

The UK’s new National Economic Crime Centre

What is a Cartel?

FCA to regulate Claims Management Companies and caps on fees introduced

Search warrants at banks in the UK: what you need to know

Corporates in the spotlight: NCA and SFO confirm tackling money laundering a strategic priority

Guest blog: Corporate criminal liability under international law

Gambling Commission imposes record fine on William Hill for anti-money laundering failures

Litigation privilege: the Court of Appeal endorses ENRC

Guest blog: Should companies have a duty to prevent human rights abuses?

Business and Human Rights: Magnitsky clause now in force

HMRC takes on off-shore tax evasion

Will the new corporate offence of failure to prevent tax evasion and enhanced international tax transparency change the landscape for tax investigations?

Failure to prevent tax evasion? Responsibility shifted from HMRC onto companies

Holding Corporates to Account: Criminal Liability for Failure to Prevent Facilitation of Tax Evasion

Corporate Crime Q&A: The new corporate offence of failure to prevent tax evasion

New Guidance on Financial Sanctions – OFSI approach to compliance and enforcement

Privilege, Confidentiality and the Challenge of Modern Technology

The Magnitsky Clause Part 2: Profiting from the suppression of those who seek to assert their human rights?

The Magnitsky Clause Part 1: Profiting from the suppression of whistleblowers – what does it mean for business?

Anti-Money Laundering: new rules and regulations in play

Three companies convicted of corporate manslaughter in a week

Health and Safety Sentencing a year on from the new guidelines – What’s changed?

SRA NOT SFO: Professional obligations and s2 interviews - Law Society says do not compromise

A new criminal offence for corporates that fail to prevent human rights abuses?

FCA guidance on how firms should deal with PEPs: a proportionate approach

Internal investigations and legal professional privilege: an increasingly tricky area

All change for the PACE codes of practice?

FCA and PRA joint policy statement regarding enforcement decision-making

Senior Managers Regime – the FCA predicts more enforcement litigation in the new regime

Tackling overseas corruption: Committee recommendations for Department for International Development.

Corporate Criminal Liability – Consultation opened over need for reform

How the government took the fight to corporate criminals in 2016

Q & A – What do FCA regulated firms need to know about Financial Crime Return reporting?

New FCA Chief seeks to redefine mission of the organisation

Iso publishes standard on anti-corruption measures: independent certification or gentle reassurance?

Anti-money laundering and social responsibility: keeping the Gambling Commission at bay

Insider trading: the new market abuse regime

FCA annual report 2015/16: overview of Enforcement, improving standards and the strategic priority to combat Financial Crime

FCA issues its annual report card

Close Load more

Skip to content Home About Us Insights Services Contact Accessibility