The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is expanding and restructuring its management team in a bid to strengthen the organisation’s intelligence and case development function and bring a clearer focus to the Chief Investigator and General Counsel roles.
The new role of Head of Intelligence will be created at Senior Civil Service (SCS) Level 1 to accelerate the drive towards a more proactive approach to sourcing new cases. The Chief Investigator, who currently oversees the Intelligence Unit, will thus be able to devote their full attention to their core role, advising on investigative strategy and leading the professional development of investigators.
A Head of Corporate Services will also be recruited to manage the finance, Human Resources, procurement and facilities management functions. This role (which is also graded at SCS Level 1) will allow line management responsibility for operational staff to be moved from General Counsel to the Chief Operating Officer, Mark Thompson, allowing the former to return to a more focused legal role while also ensuring that the corporate teams are fully supported.
Recruitment for these roles will be run concurrently with the search for a General Counsel to succeed Alun Milford, who departs later this year.
Separately, the SFO will welcome a senior secondee from the private sector, whose main roles will be to assist with building and consolidating relationships with authorities in other jurisdictions and to act as an advisor in case reviews and on compliance issues.
Peter Pope, a partner at Jenner & Block, will be on loan to the SFO for a year beginning in early October. Pope is a US lawyer who has worked in both the public and private sectors as a prosecutor (including running sophisticated financial cases at the New York Attorney General’s Office and supervising large multidisciplinary teams) and later in criminal defence work and advising international corporates on corruption risks and compliance. Pope moved to the UK in 2015 to help build Jenner & Block’s London practice.
SFO director Lisa Osofsky said: “In making these changes, I’m seeking to expand our capacity for strategic, proactive and intelligence-driven case development and case challenge, as well as increase our ability to overcome any blockages which obstruct our ability to progress in our cases at pace. I’m under no illusions. Many factors are outside of our control, but we should always be open to challenging ourselves to do better where we can. Enabling the Chief Investigator and General Counsel to focus more on their specialist areas are steps in that direction.”