Author: Zulfi Meerza 17 March 2023
The UK’s rules regarding disclosure are not suitable for cases where there is a large volume of digital data to review, according to Zulfi Meerza.
Zulfi, a former Serious Fraud Office (SFO) senior investigative lawyer, was asked for his opinion by Law360, after the agency abandoned its fraud case against three former G4S executives. The SFO dropped the case as it could not meet its disclosure obligations in time for a fair trial.
Zulfi said: "We can't get away from the fact there were millions and millions of documents to review and the regime itself is not fit for that purpose. It is not possible to review that amount of material and individually describe documents, particularly with limited resources and funding."
He added: "Unless the law and guidance eases this burden, it is inevitable that prosecutions will continue to be in danger of ending prematurely in data heavy cases.’’
Zulfi also emphasised that government guidelines cater for engaging with defence lawyers regarding disclosure before charges are brought, so that prosecutors can identify the issues, reasonable lines of inquiry and appropriate search terms.
The full article can be found at Law360 (subscription required).
Senior Associate Solicitor
Zulfi’s in-depth expertise in corporate crime investigations, serious regulatory matters and complex commercial litigation makes him a logical choice to represent corporates, board members, senior business figures and high net worth individuals.