Features & Analysis

The Serious Fraud Office: What’s on the horizon?

With the SFO operating under a shadow cast by the independent reviews being conducted by Sir David Calvert-Smith and Brian Altman QC, BCL Financial Crime partner Richard Sallybanks and senior associate Anoushka Warlow look at where next for the beleaguered agency.  

It might be fair to describe 2021 as a turbulent year for the Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”).  Over the course of the year the SFO: saw its prosecution of executives in the Serco trial collapse as a result of disclosure failings; suffered the embarrassment of the Court of Appeal quashing Ziad Akle’s conviction in the Unaoil trial, again as a result of disclosure failings and amidst serious criticism of the SFO’s underlying conduct; and recorded its lowest number of new investigations opened.

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