SFO v XYZ (2019)

Sean Larkin QC and Paul Raudnitz QC were instructed on behalf of the SFO in these high-profile and related cases.

In “XYZ” the Court approved what was only the second Deferred Prosecution Agreement in England and Wales for company XYZ. During the period June 2004 to June 2012, XYZ obtained some 28 contracts worth a total of £17.24m through the offer of bribes. The total gross profit from these contracts amounted to some £6.5m. Following a voluntary self-report, the SFO embarked upon a very substantial investigation - one of the first SFO investigations under the Bribery Act 2010.

Sean Larkin QC and Paul Raudnitz QC advised throughout, and in particular on the interpretation and application of the entirely novel area of law concerning Deferred Prosecution Agreements and the Bribery Act 2010.

The DPA having been secured against company XYZ, counsel then continued to act in the prosecution of the three company managers, Messrs Sorby, Leek and Justice. In 2018, the case was at the cutting edge of modern criminal fraud litigation and received worldwide attention in the legal and business communities when it was the subject of a judicial review concerning the question of whether the SFO should have breached the company for failure to disclose LPP material relevant to the trial of the individuals (“R on application of AL v SFO and (1) XYZ (2) ABC [2018] EWHC 856”). The case substantially developed the law in this field and gave guidance pending the Court of Appeal judgement in the “ENRC” case. A 9-week trial of the managers then took place in summer 2019.

The case was reported in the media by the Financial Times.


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