The Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, took independent advice on the Serious Fraud Office’s (SFO) decision to drop its investigation into BAE Systems, The Lawyer can reveal.
6 King’s Bench Walk’s Mark Dennis QC advised the Attorney General over the investigation, which was discontinued yesterday (Thursday 14 December) after more than two years.
Dennis, a criminal practitioner, was one of the 175 new silks appointed in July this year.
Goldsmith told the House of Lords last Thursday (December 14) that the decision to drop the investigation into BAE’s dealings concerning the Al Yamamah defence contract with Saudi Arabia was due to ‘the need to safeguard national and international security”.
The SFO’s decision was taken by director Robert Wardle rather than the Attorney General. However the director reports to the Attorney General, who has supervisory powers over the SFO.