Ranked solicitor who defends those accused of bribery and corruption
Jim Meyer is a rated and experienced criminal solicitor who advises clients in relation to potential liability for bribery and corruption
Jim Meyer and his team have successfully represented several individuals in the most high profile bribery and corruption investigations. These include senior managers and directors from BAE Systems plc and Rolls Royce plc, as well as an ultra-high net worth businessman who was contemplated for prosecution by authorities in the Turks and Caicos. Each one of these individuals successfully avoided criminal prosecution. Other clients include senior political figures (or their relations) in West Africa, as well as employees of UK construction and utility companies, and Jim can provide solid advice and guidance in relation to whether hospitality, promotional or other business-related expenditure may fall foul of the “facilitation payments” provisions of the Bribery Act 2010.
Most of these sorts of cases are investigated by the Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”), and Jim and his team are well versed in their powers, some of which carry a criminal sanction if those at the receiving end fail to comply. This includes those exercised under section 2 of the Criminal Justice Act 1987, which enables the SFO to compel individuals to attend interviews and/or produce documents and/or information.
Jim and his team can help you conduct a thorough internal investigation so that the scale of any problem is known
Companies and individuals will often find out that they are suspected of criminal wrongdoing before any official contact by the SFO. As soon as this happens, the first step should be for the company to conduct its own, “internal”, investigation; this will establish the existence and extent of any wrongdoing and help inform the decision on what to do next. The latter is a vexed question which requires experience and a thorough understanding of the options available and the potential repercussions of each. A decision to self-report is no guarantee against prosecution, but it can be the precursor to an informed dialogue which has that as the end goal.
What is required, and what Jim and his team will deliver, is:
A thorough understanding of the circumstances surrounding a specific event or allegation;
An open channel of communication with the board or other senior figures so that they are kept fully informed of what has happened;
The confidence that the organisation can properly assert that it has thoroughly investigated an issue and taken any action necessary;
An opportunity for the organisation to respond to concerns or criticism from shareholders, potential investors, trading partners or other third parties;
Advice on whether legal and/or disciplinary action needs to be taken against anyone;
Reassurance as to whether all regulatory obligations are being complied with;
Advice on what, if any, remedial action needs to be taken, including self-reporting.
Organisations often have their own solicitors and possibly an in-house legal team; they may not have the capacity or expertise to conduct their own investigation, or they may seek the protection of legal professional privilege. They may simply want to put some distance between themselves and the suspected culprits. These are just some of the many reasons that multinationals and magic circle firms have all sought Jim’s services, making good use of the forensic investigation and interviewing skills that he has honed over his 29 years‘ experience as a criminal litigator. His ability to work as part of a larger team, often multi-disciplinary in nature, is one of the key reasons for his success in this type of work.
Relevant case law in relation to bribery and corruption and SFO investigations
Crown Ct (Southwark) (William Davis J)
17 July 2020
The court granted a declaration that a deferred prosecution agreement to be entered into by a company which had acted fraudulently in its dealings with the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice was in the interests of justice. The court also declared that the terms of the agreement were fair, reasonable and proportionate.
CA (Civ Div) (Sir Geoffrey Vos C, Patten LJ, Males LJ)
18 March 2020
A judge had failed to apply the correct standard of proof when determining the defendants' counterclaim of dishonest conspiracy against the claimants, and the matter was remitted to a new judge for re-determination.
Ch D (Companies Ct) (Judge Kramer)
18 February 2020
The defendants failed to show that the terms of a settlement agreement should not be enforced against them or that the proceedings should be stayed pending the outcome of criminal proceedings.
CA (Crim Div) (Simon LJ, Jacobs J, Judge Munro QC)
5 December 2019
When dismissing an appeal against a conviction for conspiracy to corrupt, the Court of Appeal made general observations on the purpose and nature of the summing-up of facts and the scope of a trial judge's task in that respect.
A defendant in civil proceedings was ordered to disclose documents given to it by the Serious Fraud Office which the SFO had obtained during a criminal investigation pursuant to its powers under the Criminal Justice Act 1987 s.2.
Crown Ct (Southwark) (Sir Brian Leveson PQBD)
22 January 2019
A court that had approved a deferred prosecution agreement between the Serious Fraud Office and a company in relation to an overstatement of company profits had no jurisdiction to alter or modify the terms of the agreement in order to reflect the acquittal in parallel criminal proceedings of three of the company's former employees whose alleged wrongdoing was detailed in the agreement. The court's role was limited to enforcing the terms of the agreement.
The Criminal Justice Act 1987 s.2(3), under which the Serious Fraud Office could require any person to produce relevant documents for an SFO investigation, had extraterritorial application to foreign companies in respect of documents held abroad where there was a sufficient connection between the company and the UK.
In judicial review proceedings, it was determined that the High Court was not the appropriate forum in which to litigate a disclosure dispute relating to a deferred prosecution agreement; there were adequate alternative remedies in the Crown Court. However, if it transpired that the Crown Court did not have the power to determine the matter fairly, then it was possible that the High Court could permit a judicial review to proceed in order to fill a procedural lacuna in the system that otherwise risked giving rise to injustice.
QBD (Kerr J)
22 March 2018
The Serious Fraud Office was entitled to a civil recovery order under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 in respect of £4.4 million held in a UK bank account representing the proceeds of sale of the defendant's shares in a Canadian company which had provided corrupt inducements to foreign officials. The defendant had acquired the shares at a nominal price as part of the company's corrupt arrangements to induce Chadian officials, including her husband, to procure the grant of oil production rights in Chad.
The court considered, for the first time, the circumstances in which litigation privilege and legal advice privilege could arise against a background of potential criminal litigation rather than civil litigation.
Crown Ct (Southwark) (Sir Brian Leveson PQBD)
10 April 2017
A deferred prosecution agreement was held to be in the interests of justice pursuant to the Crime and Courts Act 2013 Sch.17 Pt 1 para.8 where a company had falsely inflated its profits by misstating its accounts. The terms of the agreement were fair, reasonable and proportionate, including a fine of £128,992,500 which included a 50% discount to reflect the company's exemplary standard of co-operation.
Crown Ct (Southwark) (Sir Brian Leveson PQBD)
17 January 2017
A deferred prosecution agreement was held to be in the interests of justice pursuant to the Crime and Courts Act 2013 Sch.17 Pt 1 para.8 where the offending conduct consisted of large-scale bribery and corruption in multiple jurisdictions over a 24-year period. The terms of the agreement were fair, reasonable and proportionate and the offending undertaking had co-operated with the authorities to an extraordinary extent, justifying a 50% discount in the financial penalty imposed.
The court reiterated that there was a "very high hurdle" to overcome when seeking to challenge a decision of investigators of the Serious Fraud Office. While none of the authorities precluded a challenge, they lent no encouragement to the bringing of any such challenge.
CA (Crim Div) (Sir Brian Leveson PQBD, David Richards LJ, Haddon-Cave J)
28 July 2016
In a prosecution brought by the Serious Fraud Office against a company for alleged corruption/bribery, a judge had erred in allowing a defence application under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 s.78 to exclude from evidence diary entries made by a "directing mind" of the company who was not a party to the proceedings. The judge had applied both the identification principle and the "three-pronged acts or declarations test", when only the former was relevant.
Crown Ct (Southwark) (Sir Brian Leveson PQBD)
11 July 2016
Any evidence that a parent company had set up a subsidiary company as a vehicle through which corrupt payments might be made so that the company could be abandoned in the event that the payments came to light was likely to lead to prosecution of the parent company under the Bribery Act 2010 s.7(1). The onus would then pass to the parent company to establish the defence under s.7(2) of having in place adequate procedures designed to prevent associated persons from undertaking bribery.
Crown Ct (Southwark) (Sir Brian Leveson PQBD)
8 July 2016
The court dealt with an application by the Serious Fraud Office for approval of a deferred prosecution agreement pursuant to the Crime and Courts Act 2013 Sch.17 Pt 1 para.7 in relation to a company which had engaged in bribery and corruption. Despite the seriousness of the conduct, it was important to send a clear message, reflecting a policy choice in bringing deferred prosecution agreements into the law of England and Wales, that a company's stakeholders were better served by self-reporting and putting in place effective compliance structures. When a company did that, its openness had to be rewarded and be seen to be worthwhile.
QBD (Comm) (Knowles J)
16 May 2016
There was insufficient evidence that a charterparty had been procured by bribery, and the company who had guaranteed it was liable to pay damages following a repudiatory breach. The bribery allegations were based on confessions which may have been obtained by torture, further reducing the confidence that could be placed in them.
An investigating authority lawfully in possession of bulk electronic or hard copy documents which might contain material subject to legal professional privilege could use in-house technical staff to isolate protected material provided there was an adequate system in place to prevent investigators from reading it. There was a vast difference between the task of identifying a document as potentially attracting privilege and determining whether it was protected, a process which involved close consideration of the content and context.
CA (Crim Div) (Sir Brian Leveson PQBD, Haddon-Cave J, Judge Bourne-Arton QC)
15 January 2016
The Court of Appeal determined that prior to the enactment of the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 it had been a criminal offence in the UK under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906 to corrupt the agent of a foreign principal or a foreign body.
Crown Ct (Southwark) (Sir Brian Leveson PQBD)
30 November 2015
The court made a declaration under the Crime and Courts Act 2013 Sch.17 Pt 1 para.8 definitively approving a deferred prosecution agreement between the Serious Fraud Office and a bank facing prosecution for failing to prevent bribery contrary to the Bribery Act 2010 s.7. The agreement was effective for three years, after which, subject to compliance with its terms, the Serious Fraud Office would discontinue proceedings against the bank.
Crown Ct (Southwark) (Sir Brian Leveson PQBD)
30 November 2015
The court made a preliminary declaration under the Crime and Courts Act 2013 Sch.17 Pt 1 para.7(1) that a proposed deferred prosecution agreement between the Serious Fraud Office and a bank that had failed to prevent bribery contrary to the Bribery Act 2010 s.7(1) was likely to be in the interests of justice and that its terms were fair, reasonable and proportionate.
The court assessed the costs recoverable by six applicants who had successfully contested a charge of conspiracy to defraud brought by the Serious Fraud Office. It considered the correct approach to assessment of costs under the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 s.19.
The Serious Fraud Office, which had required employees of a pharmaceutical company to attend interviews in connection with an investigation into possible bribery and corruption by their employer, had been justified in refusing to allow their nominated representative, being a solicitor from the firm which represented the employer, to be present at the interviews.
The Serious Fraud Office would be required, under the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 s.19, to pay a large proportion of the costs incurred by six defendants in successfully contesting a charge of conspiracy to defraud: the Serious Fraud Office had put its case in four different ways, yet on each occasion it had failed to conduct a proper legal analysis of the case.
The strong public interest in preserving the integrity of criminal investigations and in protecting those who provided information to prosecuting authorities from any wider dissemination of that information outweighed the interests of a party bringing a claim for damages against the Serious Fraud Office in their disclosure, where that claimant had failed to advance a cogent or comprehensible case as to the relevance and probative value of those documents in unrelated proceedings.
The provisions of the Criminal Justice Act 1987 did not prevent the Serious Fraud Office from giving disclosure of documents received from third parties in response to notices issued under s.2 of the Act or from permitting inspection of those documents.
CA (Crim Div) (Hughes LJ, Foskett J, Judge Radford (Recorder of Redbridge))
3 May 2013
A confiscation order would generally be disproportionate if it required the offender to pay, for a second time, money which he had already fully restored to his victim under a compensation order. However, if the offender was subject to a compensation order which he had not paid, that would not necessarily render the confiscation order disproportionate.
CA (Crim Div) (Moore-Bick LJ, Fulford J, Leggatt J)
24 April 2013
There had been no shortcomings in the process of disclosure relating to a trial in which an offender was convicted of conspiracy to defraud. Although a related trial had collapsed due to deficiencies in disclosure, none of the materials identified following that trial had been disclosable in the instant case.
The decision of the Secretary of State for the Home Department to allow extradition of a United Kingdom citizen to Spain, where he had been charged with co-defendants who had already been found guilty of massive fraud, had been reasonable. The proceedings against him regarding offences committed 22 years earlier had been brought within the Spanish limitation period, and extradition was not unjust or oppressive.
DC (Sir John Thomas (President), Beatson J, Burnett J)
18 December 2012
The Gangmasters Licensing Authority had not acted in breach of its "Dairy Policy" in prosecuting, under the Gangmasters (Licensing) Act 2004 s.13(1), a dairy business which had employed a herdsman supplied by an unlicensed gangmaster and paid by that gangmaster at a rate below the minimum wage. The Authority's practice of prosecuting dairy businesses which had employed such workers for more than 12 months was a permissible interpretation and application of the policy.
SC (Lord Phillips JSC (President) , Lord Mance JSC, Lord Clarke JSC, Lord Dyson JSC, Lord Reed JSC)
10 October 2012
Where the criteria in the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 s.6 were satisfied, the Crown Court had, subject to s.6(6), a duty to make a confiscation order against a defendant following conviction for an offence, even where he or she received an absolute or conditional discharge.
The court set out the duties of the Serious Fraud Office when applying for the issue of a search warrant under the Criminal Justice Act 1987 s.2(4) in cases involving allegations of serious fraud in the financial markets.
A letter of request issued to the secretary of state by the public prosecutor of Milan was issued outside the scope of his authority and was unlawful under Italian law. As a result the secretary of state's decision to refer the request, under the Crime (International Co-operation) Act 2003 s.15(2), to the Serious Fraud Office, and the Serious Fraud Office's decision to issue notices under the Criminal Justice Act 1987 s.2 could not stand.
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Judge LCJ, Openshaw J, Irwin J)
31 May 2012
It had been clearly established that the offenders, who had been involved in the "spot fixing" of cricket matches, were guilty of offences which fell within the ambit of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906 s.1(1).
CA (Crim Div) (Gross LJ, Openshaw J, Judge Milford QC)
2 May 2012
The Armed Forces Act 2006 Sch.16 para.45(2) removed from the Administration of Justice Act 1960 s.13(2)(c) the right to appeal from the Court of Appeal Criminal Division to the Supreme Court in cases involving contempt. As that could not have been Parliament's intention it was appropriate to rectify s.13(2)(c) to include a right of appeal from the criminal division to the Supreme Court.
Central Crim Ct (Gloster J)
16 January 2012
A restraint order obtained by the SFO at the request of the US authorities over the English assets of an Antiguan bank which allegedly carried on a Ponzi scheme was varied to allow the Antiguan liquidators to borrow $20 million to fund the ongoing liquidation and realisations.
Challenges to the legality of decisions to apply for and issue search warrants for residential premises and to arrest company directors on suspicion of bribery and money laundering offences were not reasonably arguable and permission to pursue those challenges by way of judicial review was refused.
CA (Crim Div) (Aikens LJ, Royce J, Judge Radford (Recorder of Redbridge))
24 June 2010
A pharmacist employed by a pharmacy business, or a locum pharmacist engaged by a pharmacy business, could not be guilty of the offence of supplying a medicinal product with a false or misleading label contrary to the Medicines Act 1968 s.85(5)(b) and s.91(1). That offence could only be committed by the person carrying on the business, and that was the employer rather than the employee or the locum.
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Judge LCJ, David Clarke J, Lloyd Jones J)
13 May 2010
The court gave guidance as to the appropriateness of suspending a sentence that was 12 months or less in cases involving an agreement with a co-operating defendant under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 s.73.
Crown Ct (Southwark) (Thomas LJ)
26 March 2010
Although the Serious Fraud Office could not enter into an agreement under the laws of England and Wales with an offender as to the penalty in respect of the offence charged, the Crown Court could not avoid injustice unless it gave approved what had been agreed between the US and UK investigators and the companies under investigation.
Evidence of the absence of an entry in a police record of responses to requests for information under the Road Traffic Act 1988 s.172 was not hearsay evidence because it was not relied on for the purpose of establishing the veracity of any matter stated therein.
CA (Crim Div) (Hooper LJ, Wyn Williams J, Recorder of Croydon)
12 January 2010
An offence of sexual activity with a child would be aggravated where it had been carried out by more than one offender and thus the starting point for a young offender would be a detention and training order for 12 months, with a range of six months to 24 months.
Where an offender was prosecuted under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906 and the prosecution failed to comply with the requirement to provide the court with evidence on oath, the proceedings were a nullity and the conviction had to be quashed.
The Crown Court had no power to make a confiscation order against an offender that had been convicted of an offence and had received a conditional or absolute discharge under the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 s.12.
CA (Crim Div) (Maurice Kay LJ, Mackay J, Stadlen J)
7 May 2009
The Criminal Justice Act 2003 was now a comprehensive code on the admissibility of hearsay evidence in criminal proceedings. The common law on the admissibility of hearsay had been abolished except where it was expressly preserved in s.118.
The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 s.69(2)(c) required the courts to ignore any debt owed by the restrained person to an unsecured third party creditor, so that the existence of such a debt would not empower the court to vary a restraint order unless there was no conflict with the object of satisfying any confiscation order that had been or might be made.
CA (Crim Div) (Richards LJ, Openshaw J, Judge Stephens QC)
21 February 2008
Where a defendant had been convicted of possession of criminal property, his benefit from criminal conduct under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 s.6(4)(c) , for the purposes of making a confiscation order, was the full value of all the items stolen. The fact that stolen property had been restored to its true owner was irrelevant. The legislation was concerned with confiscating the value of the defendant's benefit and was not limited to the actual proceeds of his crime or his profit.
In the circumstances the Fraud Act 2006 s.13 deprived the appellant companies of the right to claim privilege against self-incrimination in relation to the disclosure of information required by court order. Interim relief granted under the Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments Act 1982 s.25 in support of foreign proceedings might be more extensive than would be available if the substantive proceedings were English proceedings.
Where a Crown Court judge had imposed a confiscation order but failed to impose a compensation order due to an error of law, the Supreme Court Act 1981 s.29(3) operated to prevent that decision being challenged by way of judicial review.
Third parties were not entitled to rely on the privilege against self-incrimination to defeat an application by a claimant for orders requiring the production of information and documents since in the circumstances the privilege had been abrogated by the Fraud Act 2006 s.13.
CA (Civ Div) (Chadwick LJ, Dyson LJ, Thomas LJ)
5 July 2007
Even though the enforcement of a confiscation order made under the Drug Trafficking Act 1994 would contravene an offender's rights under the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 Art.7(1), as he faced a heavier penalty as a result of the order than he had been exposed to at the time he committed the offence, a court was entitled to exercise its discretion to enforce the order where it would be giving effect to the provisions of primary legislation.
A confiscation order made under the Drug Trafficking Act 1994 remained enforceable, notwithstanding that a sentence of imprisonment in default had been served, because the court was giving effect to the provisions of primary legislation despite its exercise of discretion to enforce the order being contrary to the offender's rights under the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 Art.7(1).
Despite a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights that a defendant's rights under the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 art.6 had been breached, the Criminal Cases Review Commission had not erred in its refusal to refer the case back to the Court of Appeal on the basis that the issue ruled on would have had a limited impact on the safety of a conviction.
CA (Crim Div) (Moses LJ, Underhill J, Judge Stewart QC)
23 May 2007
Where a defendant sought to rely on evidence of a co-defendant's bad character, and it was ruled that the evidence was of substantial probative value and deemed admissible under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.101(1)(e), a judge had no express power to exclude that evidence on the grounds of unfairness or by placing reliance on the co-defendant's right to a fair trial under the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 Art.6. However, where there had been a failure to comply with the requirements of the Criminal Procedure Rules 2005 Part 35, the court could, in limited circumstances, exclude the evidence.
CA (Crim Div) (Latham LJ (VP CA Crim), McKinnon J, David Clarke J)
29 March 2007
If the prosecution applied under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 s.6, although the court had a discretion as to making a confiscation order where the victim was commencing proceedings for compensation, such an order was mandatory where the offender had already fully reimbursed the victim.
CA (Crim Div) (Sir Igor Judge (President), Gray J, McCombe J)
28 July 2006
The fact that the court erroneously imposed an order for the forfeiture of illegal drugs, contravening the prohibition in the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 s.15(2)(b), did not deprive it of the jurisdiction to make a confiscation order.
Although the judge conducting an extradition hearing under the Extradition Act 2003 possessed an implied jurisdiction to hold that the prosecutor was abusing the process of the court, no finding of abuse could be justified (in a case where the category 2 territory had been designated for the purpose of s.84 of the 2003 Act) by the prosecutor's refusal or failure to disclose evidential material beyond what was contained in the extradition request, since under the statutory scheme the prosecutor did not have to establish a case to answer.
PC (Trin) (Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Baroness Hale of Richmond, Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood, Sir Swinton Thomas)
3 August 2005
The fact that a lawyer had not suggested or offered a bribe to a magistrate did not prevent him committing an offence under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1987 (Trinidad and Tobago) s.3(1) of corruptly soliciting or receiving money as an inducement in respect of a transaction involving the State or a public body. However, the lawyer's conviction was unsafe because the judge had failed properly to direct the jury on credibility.
A search warrant issued under the Criminal Justice Act 1987 s.2 (3) following a request for help from a foreign jurisdiction, did not need to reflect the precise wording of a letter of request and of necessity both were likely to be drawn in wide terms. The Director of the Serious Fraud Office had a duty to decide for himself how best to give effect to the request, which could include going further than the terms of the letter, but a warrant should be comprehensible by both those searching and being searched without reference to any other document. The court gave guidance.
The decision by the Serious Fraud Office to disclose documents seized, in relation to an investigation into allegations of serious fraud under the Criminal Justice Act 1987 s.3(5) , did not contravene the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 Art.8(2) .
PC (Mau) (Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead, Lord Hoffmann, Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood, Sir Andrew Leggatt)
21 October 2004
In order to admit fresh evidence on appeal, which was not within judicial knowledge, the appellant had to explain the failure to adduce that evidence at trial. Further, the court had to be satisfied that it was in the interest of justice, having regard to the constitutional right of the appellant to a fair hearing, that the additional evidence should be taken into account at the stage of an appeal.
Where the defendant was facing trial for various sexual and assault offences, the judge was wrong to exclude as collateral evidence, evidence from a defence witness that she had been offered money in return for evidence detrimental to the defendant. That evidence went to the issue of whether the victims were offered financial inducements to give evidence. Whilst the judge had erred the resulting convictions could not be considered unsafe.
CA (Crim Div) (Tuckey LJ, Douglas Brown J, Hedley J)
22 June 2004
It was in the public interest that once the Department of Trade and Industry or the Official Receiver was satisfied that material obtained under the Insolvency Act 1986 s.235 was required for criminal investigation, they should be free to disclose it without an elaborate balancing exercise or the sanction of a court or notice to the individual concerned. If the Official Receiver was given information under s.218(3) of the Act he would be entitled to pass it to a prosecuting authority in the same way as the liquidator in a voluntary liquidation could do under s.218(4) of the Act, although that was not spelt out in the Act.
It was the obligation of the State making a request for extradition to set out a description of the conduct alleged to constitute the offence for which extradition was requested fairly and properly pursuant to the European Convention on Extradition Order 2001 Art.12 since the accuracy and fairness of the description played an important role in the decisions made by the secretary of state and the court in the UK.
HL (Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Steyn, Lord Scott of Foscote, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe)
29 April 2004
The respondent was not entitled to compensation under the Criminal Justice Act 1988 s.133 or the secretary of state's ex gratia scheme on the basis that there had been a miscarriage of justice because although his conviction had been reversed that was not because of any failure in the trial process.
Regarding the disclosure of legally privileged documents, public policy allowed a balance to be struck between preserving secrecy and investigating fraud, but where a UK litigant's right to privilege was overridden by Criminal Justice Act 1987 s.3(3) there was no reasonable excuse to except a foreign litigant.
The discretionary decisions of the Director of the Serious Fraud Office to seize and disclose large numbers of documents had been lawful although insufficient time was given for the claimant to make representations against disclosure to a government department.
A magistrates' court's decision to withdraw a warrant was liable to be quashed in circumstances where it was based on an error of fact and there had been no opportunity for any party to make representations.
CA (Civ Div) (Simon Brown LJ, Rix LJ, Scott Baker LJ)
16 April 2003
If a prisoner was detained under s.3 Mental Health Act 1983 during his release on licence, once his licence was revoked, he was "unlawfully at large" for the purposes of s.49 Prison Act 1952 and s.39 Criminal Justice Act 1991.
The VAT and Duties Tribunal was not concerned with the determination of a "criminal charge" for the purposes of Art.6 or Protocol 1 Art.1 European Convention on Human Rights when hearing appeals concerning restoration matters.
A letter of request giving rise to the issue of a notice under s.2(2) Criminal Justice Act 1987 was not a disclosable document; the needs of justice could normally be met if, when a request was made for disclosure of that letter, information was given as to the nature of the criminal investigation.
CA (Civ Div) (Simon Brown LJ, Brooke LJ, Dyson LJ)
17 July 2002
The Court of Appeal clarified the appropriate routes of appeal following an order made by a judge in a civil court on an application to commit.
Ch D (Lawrence Collins J)
20 December 2001
In a derivative claim by shareholders against a company incorporated in India the claimants had failed to show that the English courts were the appropriate forum and the defendants' application to set aside an order granting leave to serve outside the jurisdiction succeeded.
The Secretary of State for the Home Department had correctly directed himself and clearly answered the crucial question that it was not unjust to return a respondent under s.12(1) Extradition Act 1989 to Hong Kong because of the nature of the offences created by the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance.
CA (Civ Div) (Robert Walker LJ, Judge LJ, Lord Woolf of Barnes LCJ)
18 January 2001
Guidance given on the appropriate procedure to be adopted by financial institutions that were concerned as to whether customer accounts were being used for money laundering or other serious financial crimes, without infringing the prohibition on tipping-off contained in s.93D Criminal Justice Act 1988.
DC (Judge LJ, Maurice Kay J, Gibbs J)
21 July 2000
Blanket orders for the production of documents against newspapers which had repeated disclosures already made on more than one occasion by David Shayler were not justified. * Leave to appeal to the House of Lords granted.
Ch D (Laddie J)
23 June 2000
An applicant for an ex parte order had to make a full and frank disclosure. Sections 93A and 93D of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 could operate to put a bank in a difficult position and consequently the court set out a procedure to reduce the adverse impact of the money-laundering legislation in civil proceedings.
CA (Civ Div) (Brooke LJ, Mantell LJ, Laws LJ)
8 June 2000
Absolute privilege attached to the contents of a letter that a bank had written to the Securities Association for the purpose of tribunal proceedings against the claimants, and which had subsequently been disclosed by the Serious Fraud Office in the course of criminal proceedings against the claimants. It was impossible, for the purposes of an action for malicious prosecution, to regard the defendants as the prosecutors in relation to those criminal proceedings. * Leave to appeal to the House of Lords refused.
Fam Div (Bracewell J)
16 December 1999
Where potential criminal offences came to light in the course of wardship proceedings, the judge had no power to suspend or terminate police investigations into those matters pending the conclusion of the wardship proceedings.