Think tank calls for single investigatory unit

It also proposes that the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) should, in some cases and after the trial, publish details of the investigation.

Duplication usually arises where bodies such as the Inland Revenue, the SFO, the police, Customs and Excise, the DTI and industry regulators, carry out separate investigations on the same issues.

Clifford Chance partner, George Staple QC who chaired the group and is the former head of the SFO, says duplication wastes resources, forces defendants to defend themselves in numerous proceedings, and heightens the risk of double jeopardy and inconsistent decisions.

The recommendations, if implemented, would go some way towards alleviating these problems, he says