William Boyce QC and Karen Robinson represented Richard Boath, former head of Barclays Financial Institutions Group EMEA, who has been unanimously acquitted by a jury at the Central Criminal Court.
Mr Boath faced allegations (in the alternative) of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and of committing fraud by false representation. The SFO had alleged that £42 million in fees paid to Qatari entities in the June 2008 capital raising by Barclays were disguised commission fees, thereby rendering misleading public documents published by Barclays in respect of the capital raising. In extensive interviews with the SFO over 8 days in 2014 and 2016, Mr Boath explained to the SFO interrogators that the £42 million in fees were lawfully paid under a contingent side agreement, which had been drafted and approved by Barclays’ internal lawyers and by their external legal advisers at Clifford Chance. Further, that the top management of the bank, together with the full Board had approved of the contingent agreement, and its purpose, at the time.
The trial lasted for 5 months, at the conclusion of which, the jury unanimously acquitted Mr Boath (and his two co-accused) on all charges in less than 6 hours.