Lisa Osofsky (pictured) has been confirmed as the new director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).
Osofsky, who is currently EMEA head of investigations at regulatory compliance company Exiger and is a former deputy GC at the FBI, will take up her new post full-time in September.
Interim SFO director Mark Thompson will remain in the position until Osofsky joins, at which point he will return to his role as chief operating officer.
Osofsky, who has dual UK/US nationality, prosecuted more than 100 cases on behalf of the US Government before joining the private sector.
Commenting on her appointment, Osofsky said: “I look forward to building on the SFO’s successful record in the fight against economic crime and leading an emboldened SFO to even greater heights.”
Thompson added: “Lisa has had a distinguished international career focusing on financial crime in both law enforcement and private sector roles. I look forward to welcoming her and working with her when she takes over the leadership of the SFO.”
Legal Week first named Osofsky as the potential successor to David Green in April, when a number of city white-collar partners with links to the SFO suggested she was in line for the position.
Before joining Exiger in 2013, Osofsky was previously a regulatory adviser at global risk consultancy Control Risks and executive director of the business intelligence group at Goldman Sachs International.
She already has experience of working at the SFO, having previously been seconded to the UK watchdog while working as a special attorney in the fraud section of the criminal division of the US Department of Justice.
In 2017, she voiced her approval of Prime Minister Theresa May’s plans to integrate the SFO into the NCA, telling The Telegraph that the SFO has been on a “knife-edge for years”.
Commenting on her potential appointment, Corker Binning founding partner David Corker, who has acted for many clients being investigated or prosecuted by the SFO, told Legal Week: “I think the SFO remains in jeopardy, and I think this appointment would be an indication of its jeopardy.”
White & Case London white-collar head Jonathan Pickworth, who acts for companies being investigated by the SFO, added: “Lisa ticks a lot of boxes; she is extremely capable and has very broad experience, including time spent at the FBI and at a major financial institution.”
Attorney general Jeremy Wright QC said of her appointment: “The SFO will continue to undertake crucial work to investigate and prosecute serious and complex economic crime, as an independent body that works closely and collaboratively with other UK and international authorities to best protect the public.
“It is clear that economic crime is committed across national boundaries and Lisa’s experience of working at an international level will enhance the SFOs capabilities in this area.”
Previous SFO director, David Green, stepped down on 20 April after six years in the post.