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Serious Fraud Office (SFO) Investigations

The right response to a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) investigation is all-important. Using expertise and experience to challenge the SFO’s assumptions can determine whether or not it proceeds with a case.

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If you are facing investigation by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) your response is of vital importance.

The right approach can make all the difference between the SFO proceeding with a case or dropping it as soon as its conduct or assumptions are questioned or challenged. We speak as a firm with huge amounts of expertise and experience when it comes to acting for corporates, senior executives and high-net-worth individuals in SFO investigations.

Major investigations involving the SFO are one of the biggest areas of work for Rahman Ravelli. We are adept at knowing exactly when and how to negotiate with the SFO and when to swiftly and robustly challenge aspects of its case and its conduct. At Rahman Ravelli, we do this every day for corporates and senior business figures. At any given time, the most high-profile and challenging SFO cases are part of our workload.

We manage the complexities of a national or multinational investigation so those at the highest levels of business can continue to function as normal. And we make sure we achieve the very best possible conclusion to any SFO investigation. We are problem solvers with a global reach as long as the SFO’s. And the personal touch.

Skill

Our skill in dealing with the Serious Fraud Office means we can pinpoint weaknesses in its case and develop the most appropriate strategy for exploiting them. But we are also experts in recognising how and when to engineer an opportunity to negotiate the most favourable outcome, such as a deferred prosecution agreement.

For many individuals or corporates, the first they know of an investigation can be when their premises or home is raided by the SFO. Alternatively, it could be when they receive a Section 2 notice from the SFO or other correspondence from it. The SFO has had as long as it wanted to plan its actions and apply for search warrants and restraint or asset freezing orders. But the right resolution to such a situation can be achieved - if a corporate or individual’s legal team has the right skills.

For years, our teams have been successfully representing clients who are being investigated by the SFO; often in cases that involve a number of countries. A well thought-out, correctly executed approach can see SFO allegations put to the test, leading to them being dropped before either charges are brought or the case goes to trial.

Read our briefing guide: Serious Fraud Office (SFO) Investigations.

Internal Investigations

Our experienced SFO lawyers are known for our ability to conduct internal investigations for major corporate clients to determine what, if any wrongdoing, has occurred. Such investigations then inform the way we manage our dealings with the SFO on a particular case. Matters such as whether to self-report problems and whether to challenge or negotiate are major decisions that can be guided by a properly-conducted internal investigation.

Speed of thought, an ability to focus on the main issues and skilful challenges to the SFO on matters such as the conduct and legality of a raid, admissibility of evidence, use of expert witnesses and the allegations themselves can ensure a client retains what is theirs and does not face prosecution.

The SFO is a unique organisation. It can order individuals to attend interviews, can offer alternatives to prosecution and has been given great scope to investigate and prosecute by legislation such as the Fraud Act 2006 and the Bribery Act 2010.

But the right approach can prevent any harm to the reputation or business of any corporate or high-level individual. We are about navigating an SFO investigation so that it is both conducted and concluded in the best way possible for those we represent.

Specialist Team

Azizur Rahman C 09369 Azizur Rahman
Senior Partner
+44 (0)203 911 9339
Niall Hearty C 07998 Niall Hearty
Partner
+44 (0)203 910 4565
Syedur Rahman C 09551 Syedur Rahman
Partner
+44 (0)203 910 4566
Nicola Sharp C 09983 Nicola Sharp
Partner
+44 (0)203 910 4567
Fran Small Image Profile Page Francesca Cassidy-Taylor
Senior Associate
+44 (0)203 910 4560

Legal Articles

The Serious Fraud Office Compared With its US Equivalent
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SFO Investigation Defence Strategies
It is important to respond to a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) investigation in the right way. This can involve using all available legal expertise and experience to challenge the assumptions on which the...

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Nicola Sharp of Rahman Ravelli details the collapse of the UK company, the fraud convictions that followed and the issues involved.

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