SFO di­rec­tor courts US law firms as suc­ces­sors cir­cle

The Sunday Telegraph - Money & Business - - Front page - By Lucy Bur­ton

THE head of the Se­ri­ous Fraud Of­fice (SFO) has kick­started his search for a lu­cra­tive role in the le­gal in­dus­try as the white-col­lar crime author­ity hunts for a suc­ces­sor to take on its heavy caseload.

Sources say that David Green, who is due to step down as di­rec­tor in April af­ter six years in charge, has spo­ken to US law firm Gib­son Dunn & Crutcher about a se­nior role. The Los An­ge­les-based le­gal gi­ant counts Face­book founder Mark Zucker­berg among its clients. Le­gal re­cruiters started scan­ning the Lon­don mar­ket for suit­able roles that would fit Mr Green’s ex­pe­ri­ence since at least Septem­ber.

Gib­son Dunn, which ad­vised Kraft in its con­tro­ver­sial $19.7bn (£15bn) takeover of Cad­bury, has been seek­ing a white-col­lar crime ex­pert in Lon­don for some time, sources said. Talks with Mr Green are un­der­stood to be in the early stages with oth­ers also in­ter­ested in sign­ing him up.

Mr Green would be un­able to work for clients in any of the long list of SFO in­ves­ti­ga­tions he started, but would be viewed as an in­flu­en­tial fig­ure­head for Gib­son Dunn as it seeks to ex­pand in the UK.

One se­nior City lawyer said his firm thought about set­ting up a meet­ing with Mr Green but de­cided against it as he claimed for­mer SFO of­fi­cials “of­ten have high-ex­pec­ta­tions in terms of money and don’t bring any clients”.

Yet it is a well trod­den path. The SFO’S joint head of anti-cor­rup­tion Ben Mor­gan moved to Fresh­fields in Au­gust.

The search for a suc­ces­sor to Mr Green is also un­der way. White­hall in­sid­ers have tipped Alun Mil­ford, the SFO’S gen­eral coun­sel, as a po­ten­tial can­di­date as well as prom­i­nent bar­ris­ters Sascha Wass QC and Max Hill QC.

Ms Wass is cur­rently rep­re­sent­ing the SFO in its trial of three for­mer Tesco di­rec­tors, while Mr Hill was chair­man of the Crim­i­nal Bar As­so­ci­a­tion and is cur­rently the Govern­ment’s in­de­pen­dent re­viewer of ter­ror­ism leg­is­la­tion.

David Green is due to step down as SFO di­rec­tor in April next year

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