2015 came in like a lion, bringing with it remarkable policy changes regarding corporate non-prosecution agreements (“NPA”) and deferred prosecution agreements (“DPA”). The Department of Justice’s (“DOJ”) leadership has articulated new bright-line approaches to post-resolution conduct, including the unprecedented step of revoking an NPA. The judiciary has edged further toward a more interventionist role in DPA oversight. Finally, as we previously predicted, the first of dozens of anticipated NPA resolutions have emerged from the DOJ Tax Division’s August 2013 “Program for Non-Prosecution Agreements or Non-Target Letters for Swiss Banks” (the “DOJ Tax Swiss Bank Program”).
This client alert, the fourteenth in our series of biannual updates on NPAs and DPAs (available here), (1) summarizes highlights from the NPAs and DPAs of the first half of 2015; (2) addresses shifts in the treatment of NPAs and DPAs by all three branches of government; (3) spotlights trends in the arena of trade sanctions; (4) touches upon DOJ’s revocation of an NPA and its extension of another in the course of investigating several major global financial institutions; (5) overviews the DOJ Tax Swiss Bank Program and the NPAs emerging from it; (6) discusses recent developments regarding the level of confidentiality afforded NPAs and DPAs and the work product flowing from them; and (7) provides an update on recent international developments regarding NPAs and DPAs. As in previous updates in this series, the appendix lists all agreements announced to date in 2015.