Bad review prompts SFO to create GC-style role

The Serious Fraud Office is to create a general counsel-style role in response to a scathing review that branded the organisation as lacking clarity, focus and management.


Bad review prompts SFO to create GC-style roleThe Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is to create a general counsel-style role in response to a scathing review that branded the organisation as lacking clarity, focus and management.

The review, by former senior New York City prosecutor Jessica De Grazia, called for the SFO to increase its legal capability and quality by scrapping the post of deputy director and replacing it with the new position of chief counsel.

SFO director Richard Alderman told The Lawyer: “The role is going to be a key one at the SFO and I need to think long and hard about what I need from that person, and what type of person – be it government lawyer or private practice – would be right for that job.”

The new chief counsel will sit on a strategic management board and report to the SFO director.

The counsel and director will also head a new directorate that would combine the policy, training, standards and vetting functions for the SFO.

“The general counsel role will be very much as you expect from most GC
posts,” said Alderman. “For instance, it will include company secretary-type work in addition to the legal side.”