New SFO chief speaks on plans

Lisa Osofsky has given her first speech since taking over as SFO Director. She spoke of her past, as a federal prosecutor and then working in financial institutions.  Her speech focused on how SFO has now successfully used DPAs and how she plans to use many more.  She noted that SFO will look at whether the company has a “credible and colourable defence” under s7. This would cover:

  • whether the company has engaged in proactive efforts to clean its house and reform
  • whether the company has instilled the right controls
  • whether the controls are backed by demonstrable commitment at the appropriate level and
  • whether SFO can get assurance the company in question is doing all it can to ensure past crimes will not be repeated

SFO also plans to continue close work with other enforcement agencies, regulators, NGOs, firms and advisers and to continually improve its intelligence function and, with technology companies, improving AI and taking a joined up approach to encryption problems. She also noted the sheer volumes of papers SFO is having to deal with, particularly in its current major case.


Emma Radmore