Serious Fraud Office in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • R (Corner House Research and Another) v Director of the Serious Fraud Office
    • House of Lords
    • 30 Julio 2008

    It is accepted that the decisions of the Director are not immune from review by the courts, but authority makes plain that only in highly exceptional cases will the court disturb the decisions of an independent prosecutor and investigator: R v Director of Public Prosecutions, Ex p C [1995] 1 Cr App R 136, 141; R v Director of Public Prosecutions, Ex p Manning [2001] QB 330, para 23; R (Bermingham and others) v Director of the Serious Fraud Office [2006] EWHC 200 (Admin), [2007] QB 727, paras 63-64; Mohit v Director of Public Prosecutions of Mauritius [2006] UKPC 20, [2006] 1 WLR 3343, paras 17 and 21 citing and endorsing a passage in the judgment of the Supreme Court of Fiji in Matalulu v Director of Public Prosecutions [2003] 4 LRC 712, 735-736; Sharma v Brown-Antoine and others [2006] UKPC 57, [2007] 1 WLR 780, para 14(1)-(6).

    The reasons why the courts are very slow to interfere are well understood. They are, first, that the powers in question are entrusted to the officers identified, and to no one else. No other authority may exercise these powers or make the judgments on which such exercise must depend. Secondly, the courts have recognised (as it was described in the cited passage of Matalulu)

  • Taylor v Director of the Serious Fraud Office
    • House of Lords
    • 29 Octubre 1998

    The policy of the immunity is to enable people to speak freely without fear of being sued, whether successfully or not. If this object is to be achieved, the person in question must know at the time he speaks whether or not the immunity will attach. If it depends upon the contingencies of whether he will be called as a witness, the value of the immunity is destroyed.

  • Darker and Others v Chief Constable of the West Midlands Police
    • House of Lords
    • 27 Julio 2000

    But there is a crucial difference between statements made by police officers prior to giving evidence and things said or done in the ordinary course of preparing reports for use in evidence, where the functions that they are performing can be said to be those of witnesses or potential witnesses as they are related directly to what requires to be done to enable them to give evidence, and their conduct at earlier stages in the case when they are performing their functions as enforcers of the law or as investigators.

  • Gokal v Serious Fraud Office
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 16 Marzo 2001

    As has been said many times in the authorities, it is not enough for a defendant to come to court and say that his assets are inadequate to meet the confiscation order, unless at the same time he condescends to demonstrate what has happened since the making of the order to the realisable property found by the trial judge to have existed when the order was made; see R -vC, unreported, 18 November 1997 and R -vW, unreported, 29 January 1998.

  • R (Evans and Another) v Director of Serious Fraud Office
    • Queen's Bench Division (Administrative Court)
    • 23 Octubre 2002

    In my judgment, as Mr Qureshi submitted, having regard to the treaty obligations it is right to start from the position that the letter of request is not a disclosable document, but justice must be done to those who are the subject of a section 2 notice pursuant to a letter of request and the consequential request from the Secretary of State to the Director of the Serious Fraud Office pursuant to section 4(2A) of the Act.

  • The Director of the Serious Fraud Office v Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation Ltd
    • Queen's Bench Division
    • 08 Mayo 2017

    However, the situation is rather different where the investigation is into suspected criminality. One critical difference between civil proceedings and a criminal prosecution is that there is no inhibition on the commencement of civil proceedings where there is no foundation for them, other than the prospect of sanctions being imposed after the event.

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Books & Journal Articles
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Law Firm Commentaries
  • Fraudsters Beware: Ontario Launches Serious Fraud Office
    • LexBlog United Kingdom
    Ontario has established a new agency to combat fraud. The Serious Fraud Office (the “SFO”), modelled on the UK’s anti-fraud agency of the same name, will place police investigators and fraud prosec...
  • The UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) gets serious
    • LexBlog United Kingdom
    Reports suggest that the SFO is currently investigating and prosecuting serious allegations of complex fraud and corruption. The announcement this spring that the SFO had started an investigation i...
  • UK Serious Fraud Office releases DPA guidance
    • JD Supra United Kingdom
    CEP Magazine (January 2021) - The United Kingdom’s Serious Fraud Office published new guidance related to deferred prosecution agreements (DPAs). The guidance, nested in the office’s in...
  • Serious Fraud Office Reaches an Agreement with Standard Bank
    • JD Supra United Kingdom
    The first deferred prosecution agreement in the UK was finalised between the Serious Fraud Office and Standard Bank, potentially paving the way for future similar agreements.
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