Section 2 Compulsion Notices
Some interviews conducted by the Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”) are governed under powers derived from s2 of the Criminal Justice Act 1987 (“S2 interviews”). The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has similar powers under section 171 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA).
The purpose of a s2 interview is to conduct an intelligence gathering exercise relevant to matters concerning within a Notice. The interviewee is not normally, at this stage, treated as a suspect. There are limitations as to how the evidence extracted can be used including the right not to self-incriminate.
Attending a s2 interview can result in prosecution by the SFO therefore it is important to be fully aware of the powers of the SFO. The SFO has reformed the use of legal advice during these interviews which are now limited and subject to immense scrutiny. Although the right to legal representation during the interview is not absolute and subject to the approval by the SFO in accordance with their guidance, our lawyers have the expertise in ensuring that you are fully aware of your rights.
These interviews normally indicate the start of an investigation and any individual or company who receives a s2 interview letter must not take this lightly and seek legal advice immediately. Our team at ABV Solicitors has a vast amount of experience in dealing with SFO investigations and s2 interviews under compulsion. Contact a member of our team today for further advice.