Comment

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) believes it can win more cases by employing more investigators; its merger with the City of London Police was partly to do just that, for instance. But take the Swepstone Walsh-related case. The SFO spent four years gathering evidence. It did a great job: the trial judge said the SFO’s case was “scrupulously investigated”. Then it brought in a convicted fraudster, John Thomson, as its key witness.

Unsurprisingly, the court agreed with a defendant’s lead counsel that he was not credible. Thus the SFO’s case was blown out of the water. It seems what was needed was sound administration, particularly from the legal end.

In Tower Risk Management, the investigators once again probably did a grand job, but its case fell foul of legal technicalities. A case, perhaps, of needing better judgement calls, not necessarily armies of investigators.