The United Kingdom, European white-collar legal services markets are many years behind the United States, says

Find out why the U.S. market is more developed – and where the UK currently stands.

In recent decades, increased regulation and globalization has meant many businesses face increasing regulatory and other legal challenges – yet the experience of legal service providers in dealing with these issues has been faster in the United States than in the United Kingdom, according to Neil Gerrard, a former partner and elite law firm. White-collar practice at Global Co-Head.

“If a client goes to a law firm in the United States, they can expect a good level of experience, but the risk is higher in the United Kingdom,” Gerard told legal publisher Lodragon. “There are still a lot of lawyers who rebranded former plaintiffs without expert white-collar backgrounds.”

Neil Gerard White Collar speaks of the rise of legal requirements

Around the world, in recent years, numerous government agencies have stepped up their efforts to pursue corruption and other violations. As a result, companies are more motivated to examine and monitor their potential liability, the country in which they are headquartered and the region in which they conduct business, where their activities may be subject to national laws and regulations.

Significant fines, potential public exposure, and consequent reputational damage may be involved in such cases, making it imperative for companies to take both proactive and proactive action. To meet the growing demand for related legal services, many law firms have expanded their white-collar practice capabilities.

According to Neil Gerard, the evolution of the legal white-collar market, however, has not been at the same pace in all countries. In a Lodragon roundtable interview in which he shared his time with Descartes, Gerard said the United Kingdom was “currently five to seven years behind the United States,” and that Europe was “five to seven years behind the United Kingdom.”

Some recent research supports his claim. An analysis conducted in 2021 – which found the United States to be “an influential nation in the application and prosecution of global economic crimes” – found that the nation was more successful in prosecuting cases under the Foreign Corruption Practices Act (FCPA) of 1977. Compared to the United Kingdom, the Bribery Act was a 2010 prosecution. Researchers have blamed the difference on the fact that prosecution efforts in the UK have not been as frequent, with only nine bribery cases being prosecuted.

According to the analysis, U.S. law enforcement agencies have successfully issued more money laundering violations. Since 2015, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has imposed approximately 80 380 million in regulatory fines for violating anti-money laundering rules – almost half of which comes from a fine, with researchers saying U.S. agencies have issued similar anti-money laundering bills. Money laundering problem in.

Former DeChart Attorney Neil Gerrard: Why the US white-collar market is at least half a decade ahead of the UK

In the United States, changes in federal law in recent decades have helped both corporate and law firms focus on corporate compliance and internal investigations.

For example, the FCPA was amended in 1998 to allow its anti-bribery provisions to apply to “foreign entities and individuals who, directly or through agents,” make a corrupt payment under the Surbanes-Oxley Act of the United States. 2002 Securities and Exchange Commission funds increase.

Also in 2002, then-President George W. Bush set up a Corporate Fraud Task Force to investigate corporate financial information, internal business, misuse of corporate property for personal gain, mutual or hedge fund-related fraud, and other violations.

According to “Big Law’s Sixth Amendment: The Rise of Corporate White-collar Practice in Large US Law Firms”, a 2011 paper co-authored by academic researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, contributed to other legal changes in 1991. The need for white-collar-related legal representation and assistance has increased, including federal criminal prosecution fines established under new guidelines issued by the U.S. Sentencing Commission.

Potential fines, partially determined by a crime score, can serve as an incentive for companies to take steps to prevent and identify criminal activity – including receiving instructions from law firms – to reduce their associated risks.

Instead, the growing demand for compliance and other services led U.S. law firms to strengthen their available resources through the development of white-collar practice groups.

According to the ALM Legal Intelligence study at The American Lawyer’s Am Law 200 US firm, the number of partners involved in white-collar criminal defense and investigations in early practice between 2011 and 2017 more than doubled.

White-collar path to the UK market

Although, due to investigations and lawsuits, the U.S. white-collar legal services market may have advanced over the past 20 years, while attention to white-collar issues in the UK – although probably not in the same clip – has advanced over time.

As Neil Gerrard noted in a 2013 article in the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority for DeChart’s site, “While lawsuits in the UK are not on the same scale as ‘across the pond’, they are certainly growing,” with the FCA and the HM Treasury, at the time. ” Is interested in proving that the UK Government adheres to these requirements “and” wants to demonstrate to its US counterparts their willingness and ability to enforce compliance with UK / EU regulations. “

In recent years, UK law enforcement agencies have focused on tackling bribery and corruption, money laundering and terrorist financing.

However, Thomson cited Reuters as a guideline in the Financial and Business Offenses Act, which could slow the resolution of a case for a variety of reasons, including increasing the response of prosecutors and regulators to incidents and investigations, requiring resource constraints and technical investment. Help manage the huge amount of data that may be involved.

Why, as Neil Gerrard puts it, UK and US attorneys have to offer ‘international reach’

The UK has law firms and attorneys, of course, who have the same experience as white-collar state firms in the United States, which is why businesses should work diligently to ensure they receive high quality legal attainment. Representation about white-collar.

“There’s nothing more important than being an expert,” Gerard said in his 2019 Lodragon interview. “Freedom and fame are very important to people and to protect these things you need to be immersed in white-collar practice and culture.”

Given the scale and scope of today’s white-collar case, it is important to work with real experts in the field to ensure the best possible outcome.

“These investigations now span continents, take years to resolve and involve dozens, if not dozens, of parallel and competing strands,” Gerard told Lodragon. “Advice is needed from clients who are culturally short-sighted and geographically broad.”

DeChart, for example, was able to draw from professionals in New York, Washington, DC, London, Paris, Hong Kong, and Singapore when he assembled a team at the beginning of a white-collar case – as Neil Gerard put it in his language. Interviews allow firms to choose the right DeChart attorney for the job based on their level and type of experience, language ability and qualifications.

“We can see specific skill sets that will really add value to a client, including people who have worked as U.S. attorneys and assistant U.S. attorneys and have worked as senior attorneys at other organizations and government agencies around the world, including Sirius in the UK. Fraud Office and Financial Conduct Authority, “he told Lodragon. “We have lawyers in the United States, Europe and Asia, and in those offices the team is multicultural and multilingual. The experience of managing a multi-office team and the ability to work in different jurisdictions is crucial. “

White-collar crime is expected to increase in the future – especially with regard to the COVID-19 epidemic, which 61% of practitioners report, according to a recent study. A review of the companies that operate in overseas markets could be an important step that companies can take now to alleviate potential white-collar-related problems in the future.

“Business needs to move forward with consent, and seek legal advice from lawyers as soon as possible,” Neil Gerard told Lodragon. “Systems and Procedures for Ensuring Compliance… Also linked to your home jurisdiction and to the United States if you are engaged in international business. You cannot manage two separate compliance systems. So your lawyers need to be experts in the United States and in your own country – also have international reach to help you anywhere else in the world if needed. “


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