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Legal Minds

28 November 2018 / by / in

Bivonas secure acquittal of company director in corruption trial

On 27 November our client, a company director, was unanimously acquitted by a jury at Southwark Crown Court of a charge of conspiracy by FH Bertling Ltd to make corrupt payments to secure a freight forwarding contract in relation to the Jasmine Oil & Gas Project. The project concerned the construction of an offshore platform in the North Sea by Concoco-Phillips and British Gas. The freight forwarding contract was ultimately valued in the region of £18 million. The case was prosecuted by the Serious Fraud Office.

The trial demonstrated the serious problems that can arise when the SFO choose to prosecute individuals who have been “exposed” by an internal investigation – relying upon the product of the said investigation rather than fully investigating themselves with the requisite objective rigor. A number of speculative assumptions were made by the prosecution which ultimately lacked any sound evidential base and were roundly rejected by the jury.

Cindy Dorrington and Steve Sharp had conduct of the case.

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