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SFO Marches On With Another DPA As US Parallels Emerge

March 28, 2017, Law360

Ian Hargreaves is quoted in a Law360 article regarding the UK Serious Fraud Office’s $161 million deferred prosecution agreement with Tesco PLC for skewing the prices of its shares and bonds with false accounting. “The arrangement with the [Financial Conduct Authority] is of particular interest,” says Hargreaves. “Although we are not privy to the details of the compensation package offered to shareholders and bondholders and how this overlaps (if at all) with the civil claims and the claimants bringing those claims, it may nullify or significantly reduce such claims in compensating those who have a claim in damages against Tesco."

Hargreaves adds that it was understood the FCA is not imposing a fine in return for the compensation package being agreed and the litigation against Tesco may now be significantly reduced and/or compromised on the basis of the package. This would reduce Tesco’s exposure to significant further legal costs both in relation to its own costs and those of the claimants. “Yes — the fine is not insignificant, but if it and the compensation package can bring this matter to a conclusion now or at least narrow the issues/claims in the civil cases, it will be well worth it,” he says.


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