SFO recruits Norton Rose Fulbright associate as bribery & corruption co-head

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has appointed a Norton Rose Fulbright senior associate as the joint head of its bribery and corruption division.

Ben Morgan, a member of Norton Rose Fulbright’s business ethics and anti-corruption team, has succeeded Patrick Rappo, who stepped down from the role in April to join US firm Steptoe & Johnson as a partner.

The role – which Morgan began yesterday (19 August) – will see Morgan provide strategic direction and operational expertise to a number of complex fraud and corruption cases, as well as helping to guide case managers and their teams.

At Norton Rose, he worked on major multi-jurisdictional investigations and compliance matters, advising clients in a range of industries including financial institutions, oil and gas, mining, logistics and transport.

During his time at the firm, Morgan was seconded to the SFO’s fraud division in July last year. He also previously practised as a commercial litigator at the London office of K&L Gates.

“During my recent secondment here I saw first-hand the excellent work that the director, his management team and the SFO staff are doing,” said Morgan.

SFO director David Green QC (pictured) commented: “That someone of [Morgan's] calibre and professional background chooses to work at the SFO speaks for itself.”

The move is a notable counterpoint to the stream of senior SFO lawyers heading to US firms in London in recent years.

Last year, Kirkland & Ellis’ City arm recruited the SFO’s head of bribery and corruption Satnam Tumani, while the former head of the anti-corruption team, Robert Amaee, left for an of counsel position at Covington & Burling, with former head of policy Charlie Monteith taking a similar position at White & Case.

Other departures to US firms have included Glyn Powell, who left the SFO’s fraud business area for Jones Day, and general counsel Vivian Robinson QC, who joined McGuireWoods in April last year.