We acted for a flagship FTSE 100 UK financial services company following a whistle blower report suggesting corrupt behaviour by senior executives within an overseas subsidiary.

What we did

After a detailed investigation of the position, we advised that the whistle blower allegations themselves were not borne out by the evidence, but that other issues had been identified that were of concern. Our assessment of the overall position was that, whilst the SFO might wish to investigate the matter further, on balance, it would not be a matter that they would ultimately conclude could be taken forward.

The client was at the time engaged in a significant corporate restructuring that could have been delayed or prevented by an SFO investigation and, on the basis of our analysis and advice, determined in those circumstances not to make a report to the SFO, but to liaise with the regulator in the country concerned.

Some months later, the whistle blower made further allegations. This report was purportedly sent to a number of parties including the Director of the SFO.

Adhering to our initial assessment, we again advised that whilst the SFO might investigate, proceedings would not follow. We however also advised that a letter, which we drafted for the client, should be sent to the SFO setting out the steps we had taken to investigate the position, the conclusions we had reached and the engagement with the overseas regulator. The letter also indicated that the client was happy to discuss the position further with the SFO if that would assist.


Some weeks later the SFO responded confirming, as we had advised, that the matter was not something it considered appropriate to take forward. The SFO further commended the client for the responsible way the matter had been dealt with.

Take Away

This is an excellent example of how our expertise in the area, coupled with our knowledge of and relationship with the SFO combined to secure the optimal outcome for the client. The client was delighted by the result and is happy to provide a recommendation.