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Counsel panel application process 2020

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is renewing its counsel panel lists. This is an exciting opportunity for advocates to work on our cases at all levels. We are seeking to increase the diversity of our lists. The SFO both investigates and prosecutes the most serious cases of economic crime and focuses on top-tier fraud, bribery and corruption. It is an independent government department headed by the Director, Lisa Osofsky, who acts under the superintendence of the Attorney General. Cases are interesting, complex and provide advocates with the ability to gain experience on high profile cases, including Deferred Prosecution Agreements (DPAs) and international criminal investigations. Advocates will work closely with the SFO’s case teams to advise and represent us in court.

The Panel covers prosecution and proceeds of crime work.  Applications are invited from advocates (self-employed barristers or self-employed independent solicitor advocates) for the QC, A, B and C panel lists for general cases and for proceeds of crime cases. The lists will operate from December 2020 to December 2024. 

Those appointed to the panels will have the opportunity to undertake work for the SFO; however being appointed to the panels will not guarantee instruction. All applicants will have to meet the relevant criteria. We encourage applicants from diverse backgrounds and for proceeds of crime work, we encourage those with a civil or criminal background to apply. Those who have been or are on our lists are invited to re-apply. Treasury Counsel who wish to be on our lists should provide a summary of their expertise but need not complete the application form.  All applicants must have a current Practising Certificate, hold Professional Indemnity Insurance at a minimum of £500,000 and be registered with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).

Application Process

Advocates will be asked to complete an application form providing evidence-based examples to demonstrate their skills and experience, with some anonymised written work and references to support their application. Transferable skills will be considered. Advocates can apply for either the Prosecution and/or the Proceeds of Crime International Assistance Panels. Advocates must read all of the guidance documents and complete the relevant forms for the panel and the list that they wish to apply for.

Guidance documents, criteria and application forms for all panel lists are avaliable to download below.

The deadline for receipt of completed applications and references is 23:59 on Wednesday 30 September 2020.

Application forms submitted after the deadline will not be accepted. Any references submitted after the deadline might not be considered. Applications must be submitted electronically to panelcounsel@sfo.gov.uk . References can be submitted directly to the email address by referees and do not need to accompany the application form but applicants should ensure that they are submitted by referees by the deadline.

Applicants will be asked to complete and return the documents listed below:

  1. Application Form with two references
  2. Signed Panel Counsel Commitment document confirming acceptance of the SFO’s terms & conditions
  3. Equalities Monitoring Form – Completion of this form is voluntary and it will not be considered as part of the application process.

Advocates can only apply for one list (lists below Queen’s Counsel are set according to post-qualification experience).  However, advocates can apply to be on a list on both the Prosecution and the Proceeds of Crime International Assistance panels. Advocates should consider the criteria for each list to check eligibility and refer to the guidance.

Advocates should ensure that their referees have sufficient time to complete their reference and should direct their referees to the guidance documents. If references are not submitted by the deadline, your application might rejected.

The SFO recommends that advocates read the guidance documents available on the SFO website prior to completing any application. Queries should be directed to panelcounsel@sfo.gov.uk

Appointments to the new SFO panels are likely to be announced in December 2020.

 

FileAction
Document 1 - Index to Counsel Panel Documents.pdfDownload 
Document 2 - Introduction and Details.pdfDownload 
Document 3 - Application and Assessment Process.pdfDownload 
Document 4 - Counsel Panel Members Commitment.pdfDownload 
Document 5a - Prosecution Selection Criteria Panel QC.pdfDownload 
Document 5b - Prosecution Selection Criteria for Panel A.pdfDownload 
Document 5c - Prosecution Selection Criteria for Panel B.pdfDownload 
Document 5d - Prosecution Selection Criteria for Panel C.pdfDownload 
Document 6a - Proceeds of Crime International Assistance Selection Criteria Panel QC.pdfDownload 
Document 6b - Proceeds of Crime International Assistance Selection Criteria for Panel A.pdfDownload 
Document 6c - Proceeds of Crime International Assistance Selection Criteria for Panel B.pdfDownload 
Document 6d - Proceeds of Crime International Assistance Selection Criteria for Panel C.pdfDownload 
Document 7 - Prosecution Application Form for All Panels.docxDownload 
Document 8 - Proceeds of Crime International Assistance Application Form for All Panels.docxDownload 
1596189546wpdm_Serious Fraud Office Document 9 - Reference Form for All Panels.docxDownload 
Document 10 - Explanatory Note to Referees.pdfDownload 
Document 12 - Appeal Form.docxDownload 
Document 13 - Details of the Appeals Process.pdfDownload 
Document 11 - Equalities Monitoring Form.docxDownload 

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