Former SFO director David Green in talks to join Slaughter and May

Slaughter and May is in talks to hire the former director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), David Green QC.

Green, who stepped down in April this year, had led the SFO since 2012 and has been linked with a number of firms both in the run-up to his departure and since.

He is understood to have made an application to the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments, which needs to consider applications about new jobs for former ministers, senior civil servants and other Crown servants.

During his tenure as SFO director, Green championed the use of deferred prosecution agreements (DPA), entering into a DPA with Rolls-Royce following a four-year investigation into false accounting and failure to prevent bribery. The DPA saw the company agree to pay out £497.25m last January – a fine that remains the largest-ever settlement with a company in the UK for criminal conduct.

Slaughters advised Rolls-Royce during that case, with the magic circle firm regularly acting on behalf of clients involved in SFO investigations. It is currently advising longstanding client Ultra Electronics in relation to suspected corruption charges.

The firm was brought in to advise the SFO itself in 2013 when Robert and Vincent Tchenguiz took legal action over its aborted investigation into the brothers for suspected impropriety in relation to the 2008 failure of Icelandic bank Kaupthing, a dispute which was settled in the summer of 2014.

Other high-profile matters during Green’s time at the SFO include Tesco’s DPA in April last year, which saw the retailer agree to pay out £129m to avoid prosecution after overstating its profits in 2014.

In an interview with Legal Week in March this year, Green discussed changing the perception of the organisation to “bring it to the top of its game as a crime-fighting institution”.

Many had expected him to make a lucrative move to a US firm when his term ended, with Latham & Watkins criminal litigation partner Stuart Alford QC, who previously headed the fraud division at the SFO under Green, among those tipping a switch to a US firm last year.

Last month, Linklaters hired the outgoing Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Alison Saunders. Saunders, whose term as DPP ends in October, is expected to join the firm’s business crime team in London shortly after.

SFO chief operating officer Mark Thompson is currently installed as interim director of the SFO, with EMEA leader and head of investigations at regulatory compliance company Exiger and former deputy GC at the FBI, Lisa Osofsky, tipped to replace Green on a permanent basis.

Slaughter and May and the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments declined to comment. Green was contacted for comment.