DPA Code of Practice
DPA Code of Practice

The following Corporate Crime guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • DPA Code of Practice
  • What does the DPA Code of Practice mean for prosecutors?
  • What weight will the courts give the Code of Practice?
  • What should defence advisors be aware of when advising organisations about DPAs?

This Practice Note summarises the Deferred Prosecution Agreement Code of Practice published by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) on the use and negotiation of deferred prosecution agreements (DPAs). This is known as the DPA Code of Practice.

For detailed guidance on what DPAs are, who might obtain one and what offences they are available for as well as how they are being deployed in practice, see Practice Notes: Deferred prosecution agreements, DPAs in practice and Financial penalties as a term of a DPA.

What does the DPA Code of Practice mean for prosecutors?

The DPA Code of Practice was issued by the SFO and CPS in accordance with the Schedule 17 Part 1, para 6(1) of the Crime and Courts Act 2013. Designated prosecutors (currently only the SFO and CPS) must have regard to the DPA Code of Practice when they are:

  1. negotiating a DPA with an organisation whom the prosecutor is considering charging for an offence specified in CCA 2013

  2. applying to the court for the approval of a DPA, and

  3. overseeing a DPA after it has been approved by the court, particularly in respect of variation, breach, termination and completion

The FCA has not yet been designated as a prosecutor by the Secretary of State under the CCA 20