Cases against JP Morgan and OAM highlight that corporations shielding predators will be scrutinised | Fieldfisher
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Cases against JP Morgan and OAM highlight that corporations shielding predators will be scrutinised

Two current investigations, one in the US, the other in the UK, thankfully send out the clear message that corporations that shield predators will be scrutinised.

Crispin Odey's company OAM is being investigated by the FCA and the Treasury following allegations of sexual abuse by 19 women against OAM's founder. Presumably that investigation will not simply wish to get to the truth of the allegations themselves, but will also consider the positions of those who either knew or should have known what was going on. The duty of care of an employer to an employee is wide-ranging but so too is the responsibility owed to those outside of the organisation if the individual is using their position to gain access to others in the course of their work.

Likewise, I have written to the Treasury questioning if the various authorities involved had information about alleged complaints against Odey reportedly made before the ill-fated criminal trial in 2021 in which the judge congratulated Odey on his clean reputation.

In the US, the US Virgin Islands have filed a claim in the US court for around $190m accusing JP Morgan of knowingly handling financial deals that aided Jeffrey Epstein's sex trafficking.'

According to the Telegraph, the bank's executives resisted calls from its own compliance officials to oust Epstein because he brought in ultra-wealthy clients.

When I pursue civil claims for damages on behalf of victims alleging sexual abuse against high-profile individuals, I generally also issue proceedings against the corporate entity employing the individual for enabling the abuse to happen.  

An employer can be responsible for the actions of its member of staff to another person, if there is sufficient connection to their role. Case law supports the legal doctrine of vicarious liability in cases in which the member of staff misused their position in a way which injured the victim. By placing a person in such a position the corporate entity needs to realise that they will be held responsible for the actions of its staff if the abuse is perpetrated whilst he is purporting to be working in his role.

What is becoming increasingly clear in complaints against powerful men is that their power – and associated financial clout – silence the rest of the firm, often decent people, who simply ignore the criminal behaviour and get on with things. When you see that written down, it is quite astonishing what people turn a blind eye to when money is involved.

We might feel sympathy for Dame Rose over at NatWest but regardless that you might disagree with Nigel Farage's politics, his behaviour is not illegal and is therefore not legitimately the concern of the bank.

Read more about our Sexual assault claims.