Author: Azizur Rahman 10 August 2021
The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has been talking about learning from its mistakes and its mission to deliver justice. Aziz Rahman of Rahman Ravelli assessed this in relation to two deferred prosecution agreements (DPAs) that the agency has announced.
In an article, he details the comments that SFO Director Lisa Osofsky makes in the agency’s annual report. She says that the SFO will continue to learn from both its successes and its mistakes, as part of its “noble mission’’ to fight serious financial crime, deliver justice to victims and protect the UK’s reputation.
The Director focuses on DPAs, citing the money they have brought to the public purse and how they help the SFO deliver justice.
But in his piece, Aziz outlines the doubts that some people have regarding whether DPAs can and do always ensure justice. He makes the point that there are number of cases where a company has admitted its wrongdoing and has obtained a DPA but nobody has ever been convicted of the criminality.
Two DPAs have recently been announced by the SFO. But with each one, the Statement of Facts, the DPA itself, the judgement and even the name of the company has not yet been released. Aziz makes clear that there will be sound legal reasons for these details being withheld at present. But he says this does not help the SFO in its quest to show how it is delivering justice.
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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.