Author: Azizur Rahman 6 December 2022
With Lisa Osofsky set to leave the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), Aziz Rahman examined her years as Director of the agency.
In his article, Aziz says her era has been controversial, with poor judgement being employed in investigations and some serious failings.
He cites the Unaoil investigation as an example of these problems and details the mistakes that led to the Attorney General deciding that there was a need to commission a report to determine how things went so badly wrong. Aziz also details the report’s criticisms of the Osofsky-run SFO.
He argues that the SFO may benefit from appointing a Director with new ideas who is not associated with the agency’s recent problems. But Aziz emphasises that while attention has been focused on SFO failings under Osofsky, she did have to try and manage a variety of issues that were present in the agency before she arrived.
He also highlights her successes, including the Glencore prosecution ending with the largest-ever financial penalty being imposed for an SFO case following conviction. The SFO’s use of deferred prosecution agreements is also referred to.
But Aziz concludes by saying that the SFO needs to be operating at the same high levels as the US Department of Justice and some of its other international counterparts.
Aziz's article featured in Fraud Intelligence. (Subscription required)
Aziz Rahman is Senior Partner at Rahman Ravelli and its founder. His ability to coordinate national, international and multi-agency defences has led to success in some of the most significant corporate crime cases of this century and top rankings in international legal guides. He is recognised worldwide as one of the most capable legal experts regarding top-level, high-value commercial and financial disputes.