Off the scale: Sentencing very large companies for environmental crimes – Henderson Chambers

Posted July 27th, 2015 in environmental protection, news, pollution, sentencing, water companies by sally

‘Earlier this month judgment was handed down by the Court of Appeal in R v Thames Water Utilities Ltd [2015] EWCA Crim 960, examining what should be done when a corporate offender’s turnover is so large that it falls outside the scale set down in the sentencing guidelines. This is the first case of its kind to come before the Court of Appeal since publication of the Definitive Guideline for Environmental Offences by the Sentencing Council in July 2014. Rejecting Thames Water’s appeal against a £250,000 fine, the court said that fines levied against very large companies “had to bring home the appropriate message to the directors and shareholders of the company” and could go as high as 100% of pre-tax profits. ‘

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Henderson Chambers, June 2015