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Illegailty and enforceability of contracts

In Patel v Mirza [2016] UKSC 42 the Supreme Court was afforded the opportunity to review and revise the doctrine of illegality. The Facts Mr Patel had paid the sum of £620,000 to Mr Mirza for the purpose of acquiring shares in RBS on the basis that Mirza had acquired some inside information about an…

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Construction firm ordered to pay £550,000 fine for double corporate manslaughter conviction

A construction firm has been fined £550,000 after two men fell through plywood hoardings around a building site in the early hours of 19 October 2013.  Monavon Construction Ltd pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey to two counts of corporate manslaughter (contrary to section 1 Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007) and a further charge of…

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SDT blocks SRA settlement agreement in Premier League case

In an unusual development the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal [SDT] today blocked an attempt by the Solicitors Regulation Authority [SRA] to withdraw proceedings so as to enter into a regulatory settlement agreement with a Partner in a law firm who had apparently engaged in the exchange of sexist emails with the Premier League. The Tribunal has…

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Two years imprisonment for insider trading offences

A former employee of Schroders Investment Management was sentenced to two years imprisonment yesterday having pleaded guilty to nine counts of insider trading between 2000 and 2013. The case was prosecuted by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) at Southwark Crown Court. Insider trading is a form of market abuse and is an offence contrary to…

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Legal Services Board recommends civil standard of proof for SDT proceedings

The Legal Services Board report “The Solicitors Regulation Authority’s Regulatory Standards report 2015/16” published this month lends support to the proposition that the civil standard (on a balance of probabilities) as opposed to the current criminal standard (beyond a reasonable doubt) should be used in disciplinary hearings before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT). Rule 7.7…

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New reckless banking offence comes into force, but can it be enforced?

From 7 March 2016 it became a criminal offence for senior bankers to recklessly cause their institution to fail. Section 36 of the Financial Services (Banking Reform) Act 2013 could, in theory, mean up to seven years in prison for:- a senior manager; who agrees to a decision that caused the institution to fail, and…

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Costs in cash forfeiture proceedings

The Divisional Court had an opportunity to reconsider the question of costs following an unsuccessful application for cash forfeiture under  the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 in the case of Kialka v Home Office [2015]. The Divisional Court restated the principle in the Perinpanathan case that the default position is that costs are not recoverable…

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Government abandons plans for corporate liability for failure to prevent economic crime

The Ministry of Justice has confirmed that the government no longer intends to introduce legislation which would make corporations criminally liable for “failing to prevent economic crime”. The proposed offence was announced by Attorney-General Jeremy Wright in September 2014 and featured in the Conservatives’ election manifesto.  The legislation would have put a great onus on…

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Trading standards prosecution for restaurateur serving horsemeat as zebra

Restaurateur Kunal Soni has been convicted of misinforming customers following a prosecution by Hertfordshire County Council Trading Standards. Mr Soni ran a restaurant in Watford (which he has now sold) which claimed to specialise in exotic meat products, including crocodile, kangaroo, ostrich and springbok.  However, when two trading standards officers carried out tests on the zebra and wildebeest dishes it transpired that the meat was…

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Thames Water fined £250,000 after Court of Appeal approves Sentencing Guidelines for environmental offences

In R v Thames Water Utilities Ltd [2015] EWCA Crim 960 the Sentencing Guidelines for Environmental Offences were applied and approved and the fine of £250,000 ordered by the Crown Court upheld. Thames Water had pleaded guilty to an offence of causing or knowingly permitting a water discharge contrary to Regulations 38(1) and 39(1) Environmental…

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Articles are intended as an introduction to the topic and do not constitute legal advice.