Lawrence Graham acts on SFO pharmaceutical probe

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has stepped up its investigation into alleged price-fixing among pharmaceutical companies, with Lawrence Graham last week winning work representing employees being cross-examined by officers.

The instruction coincide with the launch of the firm’s corporate governance team LG Corporate Investigations, which comprises some 80 per cent of its litigation team and elements of its corporate practice.

It is representing an undisclosed number of employees from some of the six pharmaceutical companies being investigated by the SFO, which include Generics UK, Goldshield Group, Kent Pharmaceuticals, Norton Healthcare, Ranbaxy UK and Regent-GM Laboratories. The employees will be interviewed as part of the SFO’s ongoing evidence-gathering process.

The investigation was launched in April 2002, but charges have yet to be laid.

The investigation is running in parallel with civil claims brought by the NHS. In the latest of these, over alleged price-fixing in relation to the ulcer drug Ranitidine, Peters & Peters partner Keith Oliver has been instructed to act for the NHS.

Six other pharmaceutical companies also face claims for alleged price-fixing of the drug Warfarin, and a further seven for allegedly keeping up the price of Penicillin.