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Government letter reveals conditions of ex-SFO boss Green’s Slaughter and May role

Following the much-anticipated confirmation of David Green’s move to Slaughter and May earlier this week, a government document has revealed the extent of limitations on the ex-Serious Fraud Office (SFO) chief’s new role.

Topping the list was a permanent restriction on Green drawing on any privileged information seen during his six-year SFO stint.

There were also conditions stating that he must not deal with the SFO on behalf of Slaughters, advise Slaughters on any work related to the SFO or be involved in lobbying the government or the SFO on behalf of the Magic Circle firm for two-year.

The letter was published on Wednesday (12 September) by the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (ACoBA), the government body which delayed Green’s hire over the summer to complete its process of vetting ministers and civil servants for conflicts when they move into commercial roles.

There had been concerns over a conflict of interest, as Slaughters advised the SFO on a dispute triggered by a botched raid against the Tchenguiz brothers, in addition to representing Rolls-Royce on its deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) with the SFO. Notably, the letter stated that Slaughters received ‘circa £15m’ for the instruction on the Tchenguiz matter.

It seems the SFO had a number of options available to them for the mandate, with the letter revealing: ‘The SFO also confirmed that 4 City firms were approached but that Slaughters were selected… as they had no conflicts preventing them from acting; and they offered a lower rate.’

To prevent any conflicts of interest, the Magic Circle firm has agreed to form what it termed an ‘information barrier’ to prevent Green from accessing any information on matters relating to the SFO. However, Slaughters noted that Green would be free to work on SFO cases which were ‘completely new after 21 April 2018’, the date Green left the agency.

Green is set to join Slaughters on 22 October, six months after he stepped down from the SFO. Former FBI general counsel Lisa Osofsky was named as Green’s permanent replacement on 4 June.