Codes and protocols
In this section are documents which govern the SFO’s work and aspects of its relationship with certain other bodies, notably our superintending department, the Attorney General’s Office, and the Crown Prosecution Service.
Lawyers in Section 2 interviews
On 6 June 2016 the SFO adopted new internal guidance on the process for inviting and handling requests for individuals interviewed under Section 2 of the Criminal Justice Act 1987 to be accompanied by a lawyer. This guidance was amended on 28 February 2019 to allow an additional legal representative to attend the interview for the sole purpose of taking notes. This does not permit the recording or transcribing of the interview. The SFO guidance is here. Guidance for individuals attending Section 2 interviews is here and for lawyers, here.
This Framework sets out how the Law Officers and the Director of the Serious Fraud Office work with each other.
The Code for Crown Prosecutors sets out the two stage test which must be met before any prosecution is undertaken. The first stage requires there to be sufficient evidence for the prosecutor to consider that there is a “realistic prospect of conviction”. The second stage requires a weighing of public interest factors for and against undertaking a prosecution. The Code is issued by the Director of Public Prosecutions under S6 of the Prosecution of the Offences Act and is used by all SFO prosecutors
Date: Revised January 2013
Owner: Crown Prosecution Service
Size: 92 KB [PDF]
Date: 9 December 2005
Size: 52 KB [PDF]
This is joint guidance of the SFO, CPS and Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office (now part of the CPS) covering the prosecution of corporate bodies for offences other than corporate manslaughter.
Date: late 2009/early 2010
Size: 159 KB [PDF]
This is joint guidance of the SFO and CPS, issued in advance of the implementation of the Act on 1 July 2011.
Date: 30 March 2011
Size: 326 KB [PDF]
The guidelines set out a formal process for a prosecutor to discuss allegations of serious or complex fraud and the acceptance of pleas.
Date: 29 November 2012
This covers any case where proceeds of crime have been identified but it is not possible or practical to secure a conviction, or a conviction has been secured but no confiscation order made. Relevant authorities should consider using the non-conviction-based powers available under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Date: 29 November 2012
General Principles to Compensate Overseas Victims (including affected States) in Bribery, Corruption and Economic Crime cases
Date: 1 June 2018
Size: 240 KB [PDF]
The agreement between the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), the National Crime Agency (NCA) and the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) establishes a common framework to identify cases where compensation is appropriate and act swiftly in those cases to return funds to the affected countries, companies or people.
Memoranda of Understanding
The SFO works with a range of other law enforcement bodies, regulators and other agencies. Some of these relationships are governed by formal Memoranda of Understanding – agreements on co-operation, sharing expertise and exchanging information. Not all of them are included here, so as not to risk compromising our operations or those of our partners.
Memorandum of Understanding between the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Serious Fraud Office
Date: March 2019
Size: 246 KB [PDF]
Signatories: City of London Police, Crown Office Procurator Fiscal Service , Crown Prosecution Service, Financial Conduct Authority, Ministry of Defence Police, National Crime Agency, Serious Fraud Office
Date: May 2017
Size: 218 KB [PDF]
Memorandum of Understanding between the Competitions and Markets Authority and the Serious Fraud Office
Date: October 2020
Memorandum of Understanding between the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry, the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority and the Serious Fraud Office
Date: April 2011
Size: 64 KB [PDF]
Memorandum of Understanding between the Federal Prosecution Service of the Federative Republic of Brazil and the Serious Fraud Office
Date: 24 January 2018
Size: 450 KB [PDF]
Memorandum of Understanding between the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and the Serious Fraud Office
Date: November 2020
Memorandum of understanding between the Serious Fraud Office and the Special Investigation Service of the Republic of Lithuania
Date: 29 May 2018
Size: 280 KB [PDF]
Memorandum of understanding between the Serious Fraud Office and the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office of the Republic of Korea on enhancing cooperation
Date: 24 December 2018
Size: 1.1 MB
Memorandum of understanding in relation to bribery and corruption cases between the Serious Fraud Office and Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service
Date: 7 December 2018
Size: 1.2 MB [PDF]
Date: 6 August 2019
Size: 1.1 MB [PDF]