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Clarity on Legal Professional Privilege from the Court of Appeal

In The Director of The Serious Fraud Office v Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation Limited [2018] EWCA Civ 2006 the Court of Appeal was asked to determine whether certain documents created during the course of an internal company investigation were subject to legal professional privilege. In April 2013, the Serious Fraud Office (‘SFO’) commenced a criminal…

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Unexplained Wealth Orders: A new power for law enforcement agencies

The Criminal Finances Act 2017, which came into force early this year, gives enforcement authorities such as the National Crime Agency (‘NCA’), Revenue and Customs (‘HMRC’), the Financial Conduct Authority (‘FCA’) and the Serious Fraud Office (‘SFO’) new powers which are designed to help law enforcement act on suspected corrupt assets. Section 1 of the Criminal…

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Decline in the number of prosecutions as reports of white-collar crime rise

Figures provided by the Ministry of Justice, pursuant to a freedom of information request, display a decline in the number of white-collar crimes prosecuted in England and Wales in 2016.  There was, however, in the same year, a spike in the number of white-collar crimes reported, sparking questions over whether police forces and the Serious…

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Serious Fraud Office under threat of closure

The Prime Minister has pledged to scrap the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in her party’s manifesto.  This is a revival of her plans first disclosed in 2011 when she was Home Secretary but was forced to withdraw in 2014 following pressure from fellow Cabinet ministers, the former attorney-general Dominic Grieve and former justice secretary Ken…

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Serious Fraud Office Deferred Prosecution Agreement with Tesco approved

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) have entered into a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) with Tesco Stores Ltd in relation to the overstating of profits in their 2014 accounts.  This DPA follows similar agreements between the SFO and Standard Bank and Rolls-Royce Plc.  The agreement was approved by the High Court on 10 April 2017 and makes…

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Serious Fraud Office agrees to defer prosecution of Rolls Royce plc

Following a four year investigation into corruption and bribery, the Serious Fraud Office (‘SFO’) have entered into a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (‘DPA’) with Rolls Royce Plc, the global engineering giant.  The agreement was approved by the High Court on 17 January 2017 and, in effect, allows Rolls Royce to account for its conduct without facing…

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Challenging prosecutorial decisions

The existence of a basis to challenge prosecutorial decision making was the subject of a recent decision in the administrative court in the context of judicial review proceedings against the Serious Fraud Office. In R (on the application of Soma Oil & Gas Ltd) ex p Director of the Serious Fraud Office [2016] EWHC 2471,…

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Serious Fraud Office publishes annual report

The Serious Fraud Office (‘SFO’) presented its annual report to Parliament on 20 July 2016.  Established in 1988, the body investigates complex, data heavy, technically and legally challenging cases under the scrutiny of the Attorney General rather than the Home Office. The annual report shows promising statistics for the body’s survival under Theresa May’s premiership. …

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Sir Cliff Richard investigation highlights issues with pre-charge bail

Sir Cliff Richard is one of many famous faces to have been investigated for allegations of historic sex abuse, with the police and the Crown Prosecution Service ultimately taking no further action.  Although Sir Cliff was never arrested or charged, his ordeal brings into question tactics that are being deployed by police and the necessity for reform regarding…

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Criminal Fraud: Section 2 interviews with the SFO – what you need to know

Section 2 of the Criminal Justice 1987 (‘CJA’) empowers the Director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) to require a person to attend an interview and/or produce documents upon service of a requisite notice so as to provide information relevant to his investigation. Do I need to go? Yes you do. Failure to co-operate is a…

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Articles are intended as an introduction to the topic and do not constitute legal advice.

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