In a recent case, Soma Oil unsuccessfully sought to have the Serious Fraud Office's approach to the investigation into its activities judicially reviewed. Specifically, Soma Oil contested the office's continued investigation despite representations being made regarding the effect that this would have.(1) Soma Oil argued that the investigation would lead to its ruin and would not, in any event, reveal criminal conduct.

The case does nothing to diminish the long-held view of criminal practitioners that the High Court seldom intervenes to prevent law enforcement bodies exhaustively pursuing their suspicions of criminal conduct. Nonetheless, Soma Oil appears to have cooperated fully with the investigation.

For further information on this topic please contact Kathleen Harris, Stuart Baker, Michael J Atkinson or James McSweeney at Arnold & Porter LLP by telephone (+44 20 7786 6100) or email ([email protected], [email protected],[email protected] or [email protected]). The Arnold & Porter website can be accessed at


(1) R (Soma Oil and Gas Limited) v Director of the SFO [2016] EWHC 2471 (Admin).