Serious Fraud Office drops 10 year corruption inquiry into Kazakh miner ENRC. Mark Ellison KC, Sean Larkin KC, Zoe Johnson KC and Kathryn Hughes instructed for the company.

The UK’s Serious Fraud Office has abandoned a criminal investigation into the Kazakh mining group ENRC, ending a decade-long corruption inquiry.

The SFO concluded that there was insufficient admissible evidence to proseute the company.  

Closure of the case against ENRC concluded a complex investigation that led to a legal battle over the SFO's handling of the inquiry.

The SFO’s investigation began in 2013 and focused on allegations of bribery and fraud relating to ENRC’s acquisition of mining contracts in Africa.  Eight years later, the company – which was co-founded by three Kazakh oligarchs – brought a £70m lawsuit against the SFO at the high court, alleging the agency had mishandled the investigation and committed misfeasance in public office.

Although the agency was largely cleared of wrongdoing in the case last year, other aspects of its conduct were criticised by the judge and it continues to face civil proceeding's relating to ENRC's claim.

Mark Ellison KC was instructed as lead criminal counsel for ENRC throughout their pre-charge criminal investigation and civil proceedings.  Sean Larkin KC and Zoe Johnson KC joined Mark.  Kathryn Hughes was instructed to support the team, reviewing evidence and providing case analysis.

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