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Here’s To You Mr. Alderman

I remember the day well.  In July 2010, an e-mail appears in my inbox from the U.K. Serious Fraud Office in which I am told that Richard Alderman (Director of the SFO), a reader of FCPA Professor, would like to have a discussion with me about anti-corruption issues.  FCPA Professor was then 1 year old and learning of readers the caliber of Mr. Alderman … well, let’s just say that was awesome.  Since then, I’ve had the pleasure to visit the SFO’s offices in London and continue the dialogue with Alderman, including through his contributions to this website.

In “A Conversation with Richard Alderman” (here [1]), Alderman responded to approximately thirty detailed questions I submitted covering a broad range of topics and he:  (i) compares and contrasts the SFO’s role with the DOJ’s role in enforcing the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, including the more active and independent role U.K. courts have in reviewing SFO charging decisions; (ii) talks about voluntary disclosure, and the role of non-prosecution and deferred prosecution agreements; (iii) discusses reputational harm, debarment, and reparations; and (iv) talks specifically about the Bribery Act.

In this [2] follow-up after BAE’s settlement, Alderman responsed to six pointed questions I submitted concerning the BAE case and his responses address the following topics. (i) how the U.K. law on double jeopardy significantly affected the SFO’s investigation of BAE and how the “current system [in the U.K.] for dealing with parallel criminal investigations conducted in a number of different countries does not work effectively and needs change;” (ii) whether the U.K. government was faithful to its OECD obligations in its handling of the BAE matter; (iii) criticism of the SFO-BAE plea agreement by the U.K. sentencing judge; and (iv) “shortcomings” in the U.K. system and how Alderman would like a system that “is far more transparent […] that commands public confidence, together with a much stronger role for the judiciary.”

In this [3] guest post, Mr. Alderman discusses engagement with companies and compliance effects in the aftermath of the Bribery Act.

Active engagement was a hallmark of Alderman’s tenure at the SFO – and his willingness to engage with me on topics we occassionaly sparred has been one of the highlights of my young academic career.

So on this, your last day at the SFO, here’s to you Mr. Alderman.

What’s next for Alderman?  He told me in a recent e-mail (published with his permission) the following – all the more reason for me to tip my hat to him.

“When I leave here at the end of this week I shall not be going through the revolving door into some well paid job in a legal firm. Nor will I be taking on anything that will bring me into any contact with the SFO. My successor needs to get on with the job himself. What I shall be looking for instead are opportunities to work on anti-corruption initiatives that make a real difference in other countries. This will not be by way of a job or a consultancy. There are very many interesting people in this area that I admire very much and who do so much to fight corruption and the damage it causes. I shall obtain real satisfaction if I can find ways of helping them as I move on.”