Corporate Crime

"They are a really excellent firm and they have very talented people. They provide an excellent service."

Chambers and Partners, 2019

Corporate crime is under the spotlight more now than ever before with an increasing appetite for corporate prosecutions, domestically and internationally.

In recent years there has been a concerted effort to increase the number of prosecutions of corporates for criminal offences in order to protect the public and support ethical business practices.  This includes the introduction of deferred prosecution agreements and legislative changes such as the introduction of the corporate offence of failure to prevent bribery in the Bribery Act 2010 and the new offence of failure to prevent tax evasion in the Criminal Finances Act 2017.

There is a perception that enforcement agencies currently struggle to prosecute corporations for criminal offences such as fraud, money laundering and false accounting. The Serious Fraud Office has long called for changes in this area and the Ministry of Justice has reviewed whether existing laws sufficiently hold companies to account for the criminal wrongdoing of their staff. A consultation was issued in 2017 on extending corporate criminality beyond bribery and tax evasion to wider economic crimes.  The MoJ are committed to reviewing the findings of the consultation and, if appropriate, consulting on how new offences might be introduced. The consultation is available on the Ministry of Justice website

We frequently represent and act for corporate clients in the most complex and fraught situations. We conduct internal investigations to identify the risks and to agree a strategy going forward with you. We can advise on regulatory law issues, bring and defend related claims, manage the media and can fight your case in court when necessary. We represented Tesco in the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) criminal investigation and Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) reached in April 2017.

Frequently, jurisdictional issues will arise and a company may find itself dealing with a number of different investigators, prosecutors and regulators within the UK and abroad, all based on the same or similar facts. 

Whether a company becomes aware of potential corporate criminal liability through a whistle blower or by some other route, invariably you will need to act quickly to assess and manage the crises and consider whether to report the conduct to the appropriate agencies. Damage to your business, personal reputation and career can be irreparable if not dealt with swiftly.  The sanctions faced by corporate offenders essentially start with a significant fine (including provision for compensation or redress in appropriate cases), potentially coupled with remediation to minimise the risk of similar offending happening in the future and the appointment of an independent monitor to assess and report on the effectiveness of a company’s compliance and ethics policies and procedures for a defined period of time.

Our highly experienced lawyers can provide immediate advice to you or your organisation in relation to a business or professional crisis. Our Criminal team works closely with our colleagues in Dispute Resolution, Employment and Corporate and Commercial departments to offer a full service approach. We are able to assemble a cross department team at short notice to advise on issues that may arise.

Prosecution of a company is not regarded as a substitute for the prosecution of criminally culpable individuals and proceedings will also be brought against those individuals. We are well placed to advise companies on such prosecutions and our Employment and Regulatory teams can assist with providing advice as required.

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.
  • Leading a critical review of a leading casino's (and its digital subsidiary's) anti-money laundering and social responsibility controls across its retail business, which comprises multiple casinos. Reporting to the Gambling Commission and the company in respect of our findings. 
  • Advising a computer company, being investigated for the corporate offence of failing to prevent bribery under section 7 of the Bribery Act.
  • 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 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

"Stephen Parkinson’s department at Kingsley Napley LLP continues to ‘hold its own against the Magic Circle firms’."

Legal 500

"Kingsley Napley is pre-eminent at what it does: high-end, complex criminal work for high-profile individuals."

Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession

"One of the most highly regarded criminal defence firms, noted for its high-profile mandates from media organisations and sports professionals."

Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession


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

Chambers and Partners, 2019

"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

...'First-class reputation for representing company directors and other high-profile figures'...

Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession

...'They are pragmatic in the approach they take'...

Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession

Corporate Crime Insights

View all


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

2016-17: Tackling financial crime and ensuring AML compliance a UK and FCA top priority

The case for DPAs for individuals in the UK

Reducing sentences for guilty pleas – a new proposed Guideline

Scorecard for UK competition regime

David Green remains at helm of SFO

Banking Regulation: Senior Managers and Certification Regime – timetable announced plus extension to include UK branches of foreign institutions

Senior Managers Regime: Tougher regulation of senior bankers and non-executive directors (NEDs) confirmed

Personal commitments: Benefits and risks of signing an attestation with the FCA

FCA’s Thematic Review: Managing bribery and corruption risk in commercial insurance broking

Gold Fix Manipulation – FCA says it is possible but “no clear evidence”

What type of case will result in the first Deferred Prosecution Agreement?

Close Load more

Let us take it from here.

+44 (0)20 7814 1200

Skip to content Home About Us Insights Services Contact Accessibility