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

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.

Framework agreement between the Law Officers and the Director of the SFO

(external website)

This Framework sets out how the Law Officers and the Director of the Serious Fraud Office work with each other.

Code for Crown Prosecutors

(external website)

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 October 2018

Owner: Crown Prosecution Service

Prosecutors’ pledge

Date: 9 December 2005

Size: 52 KB [PDF]  

Guidance on corporate prosecution

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]  

Joint Prosecution Guidance on the Bribery Act 2010

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]  

Attorney General’s guidance on plea discussions

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

(external website)

Attorney General’s guidance on Asset Recovery Powers under 2A of the POCA 2002

(external website)

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]

Memorandum of Understanding on Tackling Foreign Bribery

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

(external website)

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]

Principles of cooperation between the Bank of England and the Serious Fraud Office

Date: 6 August 2019

Size: 1.1 MB [PDF]