Richard Sallybanks Speaks to The Times on SFO’s DPA Use After Failed Serco Trial

Richard Sallybanks Speaks to The Times on SFO’s DPA Use After Failed Serco Trial

BCL partner, Richard Sallybanks has been quoted in The Times’ article ‘Fraudbusters and their methods in the dock after failed Serco trial’ discussing the SFO’s use of deferred prosecutions following the recent collapse of their case against two former Serco executives.

Here’s are extracts from the article:

“Two things have highlighted the proposition that heavyweight fraud-fighting in Britain is being Americanised: the enactment of a deferred prosecution regime; and the appointment of Lisa Osofsky, a former FBI lawyer, as investigator and prosecutor-in-chief. Last week’s collapse of the prosecution of two former Serco executives poses questions about the futures of both.

Since deferred prosecution agreements — effectively a form of plea bargaining that has long been used in the United States — were launched in Britain in 2015, authorities have struck nine deals with companies including Standard Bank, Rolls-Royce and Airbus.”

“Richard Sallybanks, a partner at BCL, a business crime specialist law firm, maintained that “DPAs are the product of a consensual process between the SFO and the corporate suspect, with significant upsides for both. It’s a win-win. The SFO secures a success and a headline-grabbling financial penalty; the company avoids conviction, with all the consequences that can flow from that.”

However, “the evidence is not tested in court. When it is, and when the case against an individual has to be proved beyond reasonable doubt, it’s not a surprise that you get a different outcome.”

Particularly embarrassing for the fraud office is that the Serco trial collapsed because of fundamental failings around the disclosure of evidence, which Sallybanks said “would be highly embarrassing for the SFO in any circumstances”.”

this article was published by The Times on 01/05/2021. You can read the full version on their website.

A partner in BCL for 20 years, Richard Sallybanks has been involved in numerous UK and international business crime investigations and prosecutions. His core practice is defending senior executives who are suspects in investigations. His SFO experience includes the Airbus, Barclays Qatar, Alstom and Kaupthing Bank investigations as well as successfully defending Tesco’s Commercial Director on charges of an alleged £250m accounting fraud. Many of his cases are cross-border and Richard is experienced in managing and co-ordinating teams of lawyers in multi-jurisdictional investigations. In the financial sector he has acted for bankers, brokers, traders and senior executives in criminal and regulatory investigations, by the FCA and overseas authorities, including in relation to allegations of money laundering, insider dealing and market abuse.

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