The SFO’s Five-Year Strategy: Rebooted, Recharged and Ready to Rumble?

The SFO is at a critical juncture in its history. Following a tumultuous period under the directorship of Lisa Osofsky, during which it faced multiple high-profile struggles, the agency has a new director and has vowed to do things differently. In April 2024, as part of its reboot, it announced its five-year strategy for 2024 through 2029 and appended Business Plan for 2024 through 2029 (together, the Strategy). The Strategy sets out a high-level overview of the agency’s aspirations, values and approach for the next five years. In a guest article, Reed Smith partner Patrick Rappo and senior associate Emma Shafton, who have each worked at the SFO under the directorships of Richard Alderman and Sir David Green CB KC, discuss the Strategy against the backdrop of the recent struggles the agency has faced. They assess the Strategy’s likelihood of success by providing a view on what needs to happen in order for the SFO to become a formidable enforcer of corporate criminal laws and act as a credible deterrent against criminal activity. See “Dealing With the SFO After Its ‘Fundamental Failures’” (Sep. 28, 2022).

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