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Three individuals acquitted as SFO confirms DPA with Sarclad

16 July, 2019 | Case Updates

Michael Sorby, Adrian Leek and David Justice were today acquitted of conspiracy to corrupt and conspiracy to bribe.

The jury found the three men not guilty of conspiring with various agents to agree bribes in relation to 27 separate overseas contracts for their company, Sarclad Ltd.

After the removal of reporting restrictions, the SFO can now confirm that these acquittals follow the Deferred Prosecution Agreement reached between the SFO and Sarclad Ltd in July 2016. Sarclad has accepted the charges of corruption and failure to prevent bribery in relation to the systematic use of bribes to secure contracts for the company between June 2004 and June 2012. The contracts that were the subject of the DPA had a total value of over £17m.

As a result of the DPA, Sarclad agreed to pay financial orders of £6,553,085, comprised of a £6,201,085 disgorgement of gross profits and a £352,000 financial penalty. £1,953,085 was paid by Sarclad’s US registered parent company as repayment of a significant proportion of the dividends that it received from the company over the indictment period.

The DPA also required Sarclad to fully cooperate with the SFO and to provide a report addressing all third party intermediary transactions, and the completion and effectiveness of its existing anti-bribery and corruption controls, every twelve months for the duration of the DPA. The terms of the DPA have now been met and the DPA is now concluded.

Sarclad Ltd identified issues in the way in which a number of contracts had been secured in August 2012, hiring a law firm to advise them. The subsequent report by the law firm was delivered to the SFO on 31 January 2013, after which the SFO conducted its own investigation.

Notes to editors:

  1. The SFO investigation commenced on 18 June 2013.
  2. Counsel for the prosecution: Sean Larkin QC; Paul Raudnitz; Nicholas Hearn
  3. Counsel for the defence:
    Michael Sorby: Henry Grunwald QC, John Harrison QC
    Adrian Leek: Neil Hawes QC, James Horne
    David Justice: Michael Cogan, Charlotte Fletcher
  4. The full judgment can be found here
  5. The statement of facts can be found here
  6. The Deferred Prosecution Agreement is published here