Author: Azizur Rahman 27 April 2021
The failure of the Serious Fraud Office to disclose material led to the high-profile acquittal of two Serco executives.
Aziz Rahman, Rahman Ravelli’s founder and senior partner, was asked to give his opinion on the collapse of the trial. The prosecution had followed the deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) that Serco had concluded with the SFO over fraud relating to its government contract to electronically monitor offenders.
He emphasised how important disclosure of evidence to the defence is in every case and that the SFO will have been very unhappy to have lost such a notable trial in this way. Aziz also made the point that the Serco trial was another case where nobody has been convicted after a company has concluded a deferred prosecution agreement.
There have been no individuals convicted in cases where there has been a DPA. Aziz said this is an indicator that the approach being taken to DPAs and the subsequent prosecution of individuals may need to be reassessed.
He predicted “soul searching’’ at the SFO in the wake of its failed Serco trial.
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.