We aim to make this site as accessible as possible and therefore have provided the settings below to use if you are finding it difficult to view this website. See the SFO Accessibility Statement for more information.

Where it is appropriate to provide a Welsh translation, you can switch to Cymraeg. See the Welsh Language Commissioner website for more information.

Use the settings button in the bottom right corner of the page to access these settings again.

We would like to use Analytics Cookies on our website. 

Turn these on below if you are happy with us collecting information on how our site is used, in order for us to improve the overall experience of our website. 

All other cookies are necessary and therefore by continuing to browse this website, you are agreeing to the usage of these cookies.

 See the SFO Privacy Policy for more information. 

Analytics Cookies

SFO secures conviction of solicitor for tipping off client about money laundering investigation

14 November, 2023 | News Releases

Today at the Old Bailey the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) secured the conviction of William Osmond, a solicitor, who disclosed confidential details about an investigation and forged a legal document in an attempt to mislead investigators.

Osmond, co-founder of a London-based commercial and property law firm Osmond & Osmond Solicitors Ltd, is the first ever solicitor the SFO has prosecuted with “tipping off” a client. Solicitors are legally obliged not to share details of money laundering investigations into their clients. Osmond was also the acting Money Laundering Reporting Officer for the firm, meaning he was expected to report any suspicions of money laundering to the authorities.

In 2018, SFO investigators made covert enquiries about businessman James Redding Ramsay, Osmond’s client, who had paid £4 million toward the purchase of a Mayfair property. Osmond immediately contacted his client to inform him about the investigation and went on to meet Mr Ramsay to discuss the matter across the next five months, including by flying out to Mr Ramsay’s home in Malta and meeting him at a West London private dining club.

Osmond also, in response to the investigation’s request, supplied the SFO with a fake “Letter of Engagement” that set out his role as solicitor for a British Virgin Islands company which was purchased by Mr Ramsay and used to move funds for the purchase of the London property.

SFO investigators searched Mr Osmond’s office in 2019, revealing five pages of hand-written notes on his discussions with Ramsay and computer files that showed his forgery of the legal letter.

Osmond will be sentenced on 30 November 2023 at the Old Bailey.