Alison Cronin is working on the problem of widespread and systemic fraud committed in the corporate context. For example, the mis-selling of personal protection policies is an activity that dates back to the 1990s with an estimated £50 billion worth of protection policies having been sold by hundreds of different financial businesses, resulting in millions of complainants and around £22 billion paid out in compensation to date.
Company law and regulation have failed to address the problem and, notwithstanding the potential gravity of such wrongdoing, the criminal law of fraud is currently ineffective where it is not possible to identify an individual perpetrator at a sufficiently senior level of authority. The research demonstrates the means by which criminal intention can be attributed directly to a corporation and how this area can be reformed in a way that is compatible with existing common law principles.
The economic case for criminalisation, in preference to the regulatory approach, was the subject of a joint project with Dr Stephen Copp, ‘The Failure of Criminal Law to Control the use of Off Balance Sheet Finance During the Banking Crisis’, published The Company Lawyer, March 2015. (Stephen Copp and Alison Cronin, ‘The Failure of Criminal Law to Control the Use of Off Balance Sheet Finance During the Banking Crisis’ (2015) 36(4) Co Law 99.)