11:34, July 12 683 0

2017-07-12 11:34:09
Linklaters advises as SFO launches probe into Amec Foster Wheeler

Linklaters is understood to have been drafted in to advise Amec Foster Wheeler on an investigation launched by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) yesterday.

The firm’s long-time client is understood to be under investigation as part of its wide-ranging criminal probe into Monaco-based consultancy Unaoil.

In a statement yesterday, the SFO said: “The Director of the Serious Fraud Office has opened an investigation into the activities of Amec Foster Wheeler plc and any predecessor companies owning or controlling the Foster Wheeler business, together with the activities of any subsidiaries, company officers, employees, agents and any other person associated with any of these companies for suspected offences of bribery, corruption and related offences.

The SFO launched its investigation into Unaoil last year, and Clifford Chance was drafted in to advise the company during the probe.

The company was at the heart of a global corruption scandal that emerged in 2016 after leaked documents suggested that it paid bribes on behalf of oil companies, including Petrofac. Petrofac instructed Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and KPMG to assist it in conducting a full investigation.

The SFO investigation was ratified by a High Court ruling last year in a judicial review claim brought by Unaenergy Group Holding, Unaoil Monaco and company directors Ata Ahsani, Cyrus Ahsani and Saman Ahsani; which claimed that the investigation had gone on an ‘unlawful fishing expedition’ for materials to find materials to disclose in trial.

Linklaters declined to comment.