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Petrofac Resolves Bribery Act Enforcement Action

Petrofac

Petrofac (a U.K. based oil and gas company with ADRs registered with the SEC) has been under scrutiny since 2016 regarding its relationship with Unaoil. (See here for the prior post).

In 2019, the U.K. Serious Fraud Office announced that David Lufkin (the former Global Head of Sales for Petrofac International Ltd.) pleaded guilty to eleven counts of bribery related to “the making of corrupt offers to influence the award of contracts to Petrofac worth in excess of USD $730 million in Iraq and in excess of USD $3.5 billion in Saudi Arabia.” (See here).

Recently, the SFO announced that it has “secured the conviction of Petrofac Limited for seven separate counts of failure to prevent bribery between 2011 and 2017.”

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Key Issues And Questions Arising From The UK Deferred Prosecution Agreement With Amec Foster Wheeler Energy

WoodFoster

Previous posts herehere, here, here, and here focused on various aspects of the recent U.S. and U.K. enforcement action against Amec Foster Wheeler / John Wood Group.

This guest post by London-based Debevoise attorneys Karolos Seeger, Aisling Cowell, Thomas Jenkins, and Andrew Lee highlights key issues and questions arising from the UK DPA Amec Foster Wheeler Energy Limited (“AFWEL”).

Prosecution of individuals. All of the AFWEL DPA documents contain introductory wording stating that the Court made no findings of fact or assessment of the culpability of any individuals who may have been involved in the company’s wrongdoing. This is the first time a SFO DPA has included this, or equivalent, wording. This statement is likely due to the SFO’s failure to secure the convictions of any individuals who have been prosecuted in connection with previous DPAs, and is therefore intended to avoid prejudicing the position of those who may be prosecuted following the AFWEL DPA. Edis LJ noted documents indicating that senior employees and directors of AFWEL had engaged in corrupt activities, and that SFO decisions about whether to charge them would be made within three months.

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Amec Foster Wheeler / Wood Group – In The Words Of Lord Justice Edis

Edis

If a country is to have a deferred prosecution agreement regime, the approach of the United Kingdom is far more preferable than the approach of the United States.

In the U.K. (unlike the U.S.), the judiciary is actively involved in the DPA process and the public is offered insight into the reasoning of the judge in approving the DPA (which often includes facts and information not mentioned in the resolution documents authored by the prosecutors).

Simply put, it is refreshing to hear from someone other than the prosecutors and this posts summarizes the judgment and reasoning of Lord Justice Andrew Edis in the recent U.K. portion of the enforcement action against Amec Foster Wheeler / John Wood Group. (see here for the prior post).

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The U.K. Deferred Prosecution Agreement Regime: Aligning Rhetoric And Reality

SFO2

A guest post from David Corker (a Partner at Corker Binning Corker in London).

The cornerstone of the Deferred Prosecution Agreement (‘DPA’) regime in our jurisdiction is the centrality of the court. At the start of both his preliminary and final judgments delivered in the first DPA in 2015, Leveson P intended that his affirmation of this principle would become, as indeed it has, axiomatic. Almost every subsequent judgment endorsing a DPA has recited his words about the indispensable judicial role. Opening her 32-page judgment concerning the Airbus DPA in 2020[1], for example, Sharp P (Sir Brian’s successor as head of the Queen’s Bench Division) reproduced (paras 7 and 8) the relevant passages in full.

For this article this extract provides sufficient colour:

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