12 July 2012

Ex-judge takes top post in fraud agency shake-up

A leading criminal law judge is to take a top role with Britain's white-collar crime busters as the Serious Fraud Office faces the most profound shake-up in its 25-year history.

Prevention and prosecution: shake-up for UK fraud busters

Lawyers were unaware of the fraud

Geoffrey Rivlin QC – who retired last year as the senior resident judge at Southwark Crown Court – will be given a key role as part of a reform at the agency.

Unrivalled respect

The Times newspaper reports that the retired judge will advise SFO’s new director, David Green, on presentation, overseeing cases from charge to trial.
Mr Green told The Times: ‘This is the first time a retired judge has worked with a prosecution agency. He has unrivalled respect and expertise in relation to the criminal litigation of fraud and I am hugely pleased that he has agreed to come.’
The restructuring – which also involves Alun Milford being appointed as general counsel – is largely a response to criticism the SFO has faced over its bungling investigation into the Tchenguiz brothers, in which it admitted a series of mistakes.

Transnational criminality

Commenting on the announcements, Keith McCarthy, director  forensic services at big four global accountancy practice PwC,  said: ‘These appointments are positive moves to provide the director of the SFO with support and experience in the very difficult area of enforcing against serious economic crimes, which often involve transnational criminality.
‘Both appointees are very well experienced in dealing with the most complex criminal casework and will undoubtedly bolster the SFO's ability to deal with high profile cases, guided by the leadership of a determined prosecutor in David Green.’

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