Author: Azizur Rahman 13 September 2023
The issues that Nick Ephgrave will need to manage as the new Director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) were detailed by Aziz Rahman.
In an article that was published by Financier Worldwide, Aziz says that the appointment of the former senior policeman can be seen as the start of a new era for the agency and the corporate world it has to police.
But Aziz stresses that the new person at the head of the SFO will need to tackle a number of matters if he is to be a success. He argues that the most pressing one is disclosure, which has led to unsuccessful SFO prosecutions, reports being written on its failures and huge amounts of criticism.
The article also emphasises the need to deal with the high staff turnover, low morale, lack of resources and unattractive rates of pay that have prevented the SFO functioning as well as it could.
Aziz states that Nick Ephgrave has to make sure he can transfer his years of policing experience to the corporate world, which can be more complex than “regular’’ policing. He will also have to make decisions about SFO cases that have been running for years without any charges being brought. The new Director will also be running an organisation that both investigates and prosecutes, which will be a new situation for him.
But Aziz adds that he may be assisted by the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill. This Bill, which could be law before the end of the year, is set to expand the notion of corporate criminal liability, introduce an offence of failure to prevent fraud and increase the SFO’s Section 2A Criminal Justice Act 1987 powers across all cases.
The full article can be read here.
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.