SFO director courts US law firms as successors circle
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