The UK’s highest court has ordered the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and law firm Dechert to pay millions of pounds to Eurasian Resources Group (ERG). This company is engaged in the extraction of natural resources. The court’s decision is based on the fact that serious violations by the SFO and Dechert led to unnecessary financial costs for the Kazakhstan mining company. According to information provided by the novinite, possible compensation could reach tens of millions of pounds.
The court declared the investigation into the case illegal ERG: SFO and Dechert will pay financial obligations
The court found that the SFO was unlawful in relation to the criminal investigation into ERG in 2013. This investigation was initiated as a result of unauthorized information. It was provided by former law firm Dechert partner, Neil Gerrard.
The 10-year investigation process, which ended in August 2023 due to a lack of conclusive evidence, resulted in unnecessary costs and financial difficulties for ERG. The decision, handed down by Justice David Waxman in the High Court, also highlighted the misuse of lawyers as confidential informants for law enforcement. Accordingly, the associated financial losses for the company must be compensated.
The High Court’s decision is that the SFO and law firm Dechert must bear financial responsibility. ERG initially sought compensation of more than £21 million. Dechert has already paid out approximately £9 million. A claim of approximately £12 million remained unpaid. The court concluded that the SFO was liable for a quarter of the assessed damages, while Dechert and Neil Gerrard would be jointly liable for the remainder. The final amount to be paid by the SFO, Dechert and Neil Gerrard will be determined at a hearing scheduled for early 2024.
ERG demands $1 billion compensation after illegal investigation: SFO and Dechert on the brink of financial liability
In addition to the initial financial damages, ERG is seeking compensation that could reach $1 billion. This is to offset future losses associated with the criminal investigation. These losses will be assessed at separate court hearings. The SFO, under its new director Nick Ephgrave, and law firm Dechert are currently reviewing the high court verdict and preparing to address damages issues.
It should be emphasized that this case raises important questions about the inappropriate use of lawyers by law enforcement agencies. It argues for the need to adhere to professional and legal standards, and draws attention to the financial and reputational risks associated with such practices.