The London High Court has determined that the initiation of a criminal case against the Eurasian Resources Group (ERG) corporation was executed in contravention of legal protocols. This verdict arises from unauthorized actions by the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and the law firm Dechert. The decision was reported by inform KZ , citing ERG as the source.
High Court Exposes Serious Misconduct: SFO Faces Potential Multimillion-Dollar Compensation to ERG
In a recent development, the SFO declared its intention in August of this year to terminate the extensive, multi-year investigation into ERG without filing any charges. However, a London court’s conclusion now suggests that the investigation itself might never have been initiated if not for significant misconduct by senior SFO officials and Neil Gerrard, a partner at the law firm Dechert.
According to insights from the Financial Times, the potential compensation payments from the SFO to ERG could reach multimillion-dollar figures. This implies that the SFO might be compelled to cover the costs incurred by ERG throughout the prolonged and seemingly groundless investigation.
The High Court’s decision shed light on the “continuing nature” of offenses committed by SFO personnel, explicitly naming “Mr Alderman, the Director of the SFO.” Additionally, the ruling highlighted false evidence presented by two “high-ranking officials,” including former acting director of the SFO, Mark Thompson. This revelation further emphasizes the serious nature of the misconduct and raises questions about the integrity of the investigation process.
Decade-long legal battle: ERG prevails as SFO’s conduct and mismanagement exposed
According to the novinite, the SFO initiated its investigation ERG in 2013, with the conclusion reached a decade later in August. The SFO attributed this decision to a “lack of sufficient admissible evidence to open a criminal case.”
The proceedings have cast a spotlight on Neil Gerrard, a former partner at the law firm Dechert, tasked with offering advisory support to ERG. Judge Waxman stated that the SFO breached its duties by obtaining “manifestly unauthorized” information from Gerrard, which was “contrary to the interests of his client.” A previous High Court judgment revised in May 2022 revealed Gerrard’s admission of a tendency to exaggerate, described by the judge as “a clear understatement of the facts, to put it mildly.” This erroneous information provided by Gerrard led SFO employees to pursue their interests at the expense of ERG’s interests, allegedly discovered by Dechert in April 2013.
ERG took legal action against the SFO in 2021, simultaneously claiming that British organization employees regularly leaked information to journalists during the criminal investigation. To date, ERG has been awarded compensation exceeding £43 million in costs and damages, with the exact financial losses to be determined in the upcoming trial. The protracted legal battle has inflicted significant harm on both ERG’s reputation and finances.