Leading fraud barrister Robert Rhodes QC has called for a regulatory tribunal to be set up to deal with insider dealing following failures by most Eu countries to prove cases.
Rhodes was speaking at a conference on insider dealing held by the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies and Garrett & Co at which it emerged that the conviction rate for insider dealing was very low across Europe.
This was despite a five-year-old EC directive requiring member states to implement anti-insider dealing legislation.
In the UK there have been 32 prosecutions of which 24 have led to convictions, but most of those were guilty pleas. In Germany there have been six cases proven since regulations took effect a year ago. In Greece there have been two investigations and no convictions.
Rhodes, of Littleton Chambers, said EU countries should establish a regulatory panel, perhaps chaired by a retired judge or a QC, with a specific brief to investigate allegations of insider dealing.
The proposal was backed by most of the speakers at the seminar, which was held on 27 February.
Peter Richards-Carpenter, Garretts’ head of financial markets, explained: “The problem is that insider dealing is a very complicated procedure to prove.
“When you are trying to prove that unlawful activities took place that under normal circumstances are lawful you are facing an uphill struggle.”