Harry Travers talks to GIR on SFO’s Undertakings Policy

BCL Partner, Harry Travers has been Quoted in a GIR (Global Investigations Review) article titled ‘UK SFO reviews “confrontational” undertakings policy’.

A short excerpt from the article*:

“The UK Serious Fraud Office is considering revisions to a policy that has provoked the ire of defence lawyers, as the new director pivots to a less combative stance towards the legal community. 

The enforcement agency is formally reviewing a section of its operational guidance that allows the investigators to ask lawyers for several binding pledges before accompanying their client to a compelled interview, according to three sources close to the matter.

Under the policy, which was introduced in 2016, the SFO can require an individual’s legal representative give an undertaking that information from the interview will be kept secret. This has generated angst among white-collar lawyers, many of whom are troubled by the thought that they could be held responsible if their clients breach confidentiality.”

Harry Travers of BCL solicitors was quoted as saying:

“The undertakings sought are problematic as they require the solicitor to give various assurances as to what their client might or might not do which are not within the solicitor’s control,”

*This article was originally published by GIR on the 10th April 2019. The full article can be read on the GIR website.

Harry Travers is a partner at BCL, specialising in business crime. He has had an involvement in numerous high profile commercial fraud and corruption investigations conducted by the Serious Fraud Office including ENRC, BAT, Serco, Balli Steel, Standard Bank, GPT/Airbus, Innospec, Libor, BAE and GP Noble. He was also inducted into the Legal 500 “Hall of Fame” in 2018, which recognises partners who are “at the pinnacle of the profession”.