Faculty seminar with Nicholas Lord


Negotiated settlements are increasingly regarded as an alternative tool against corporate bribery, with numerous countries now embracing such settlements. In England and Wales, amidst concerns relating to corporate criminal liability, the government introduced deferred prosecution agreements (DPAs) in 2014.

This presentation examines three key aspects of the development of the DPA regime to date, particularly in the aftermath of the Airbus DPA, that have resulted in a weak foundational basis for the regime notwithstanding its robust legal framework. Specifically, the presentation explores: whether a DPA is in the public interest; the requirement of self-reporting; and the terms of a DPA.

While DPAs were enacted to overcome obstacles to prosecuting companies and they have been widely lauded, such contentions are not convincing. The argument advanced here is that practice has been haphazard, rather than tied to any core principles, and lacks a clear underlying purpose. This situation is particularly evident in the three areas discussed, which leads to the conclusion that the DPA regime stands on shaky foundations.

Nicholas Lord

(Invited by Tina Søreide)


Nicholas Lord is a Professor of Criminology in the School of Social Sciences at the University of Manchester. Nicholas has research expertise in white-collar, financial and organised crimes, such as corruption, fraud and illicit finance, and their regulation and control.
His book Regulating Corporate Bribery in International Business (2014) was the winner of the British Society of Criminology Book Prize 2015 and he was the winner of the Young Career Award 2014 of the American Society of Criminology’s Division of White-Collar Crime.
In recent years, Nicholas has received prestigious funding to research a range of complex corporate and financial crimes, including but not limited to: the misuse of corporate vehicles in the concealment of illicit finances (funded by the Economic and Social Research Council), corruption in non-commercial criminal commercial enterprise (funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council), the nature and governance of bribery of public/private officials in the UK and the Netherlands (funded by the British Academy), business fraud in the UK food system (funded by the ESRC/Food Standards Agency), the distribution and consumption of counterfeit alcohols (funded by the University of Manchester Research Institute/Alcohol Research UK), to undertake a Global White-Collar Crime Survey on bribery in international business (funded by White & Case LLP), the financial aspects of modern slavery with focus on financial institutions (funded by the N8), and a fraud vulnerability assessment of the milk supply chain in Eire (funded by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland).
Other recent books include Corruption in (Non-)Criminal Commercial Enterprise (2018, Routledge, with Liz Campbell), and Negotiated Justice and Corporate Crime (2018, Palgrave Macmillan, with Colin King). He also has a forthcoming book Rethinking the Organisation of White-Collar Crimes (2020, Routledge, with Michael Levi). He is the President of the European Working Group on Organisational and White-Collar Crime (EUROC) hosted within the European Society of Criminology.