Long live the SFO

The Serious Fraud Office must feel it has been put through one of its own long investigations after the Davie and Graham reports. It has been acquitted, but the process will have been chastening.

It is probably truer of the SFO than other bodies that there is no alternative. To have buried it in the Crown Prosecution Service would have pleased many sharp operators in the financial markets but would have sent out wrong signals about the UK's resolve on fraud. Not an apt message to flash worldwide, in the post-Barings climate.

The u20 million the SFO costs is peanuts compared with the u6 billion fraud investigated. Serious fraudsters will get more serious and more damaging to the global economy. Extra resources will be required to keep pace with demands made on SFO investigators – the authorities seem to have taken this on board.

The Lawyer is the first independent weekly news magazine for the legal profession. It is available free of charge on a controlled circulation basis to certain individuals – details on application. It is available to other readers on subscription at u60 (UK), u90 (Europe), u120 (rest of the world).