Kingsley Napley comment on the new SFO Director, Lisa Osofsky

In response to the Attorney General Office’s announcement that Lisa Osofsky is the new Director of the Serious Fraud Office, Louise Hodges, Head of Criminal Litigation at Kingsley Napley LLP, comments:

“This is a novel appointment for the SFO. Lisa Osofsky is not one of the usual establishment faces so will bring new insight and fresh thinking to the organisation which has just celebrated its 30 year anniversary.

“Her prosecution experience in the US signals someone with a pedigree as a tough prosecutor, but also someone from a jurisdiction where dialogue with defence lawyers and Deferred Prosecution Agreements are intrinsic to the system.

“She is also likely to be a proponent of Monitorships. Her appointment could signify closer working relationships with her US counterparts, rather than the EU, post-Brexit.

“The question on everyone’s lips however is whether she will protect the organisation from political interference or will be open to Theresa May’s plan to fold the SFO into the NCA. She has previously gone on record to say that such a powerful body could go after risks that threaten national security, such as money laundering from major crime and even terrorism – a far cry from the SFO’s current focus on bribery and corruption.

“The criminal defence and business communities will be watching her progress with great interest, particularly her first 100 days. Her success is important to the future prosecution of business crime in this country and for the message we send internationally about the UK’s attitude to corporate crime.”

ENDS

4 June 2018

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