Two directors of the French company’s UK unit have been refused permission for Judicial Review in order to challenge searches of their homes by the Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”).

Stephen Burgin, the president of the company’s UK unit, and Robert Purcell, its finance director, were seeking to challenge the searches that were conducted in March 2010 in connection with £81 million in bribes that were allegedly paid by Alstom’s UK operation in securing overseas contracts between 2004 and 2010.

Five business properties and four residential addresses were searched as part of the operation, and Messrs. Burgin and Purcell challenged the lawfulness of the searches.

All of the grounds were refused, and the SFO, the Metropolitan Police Service and the Leicestershire Police were awarded costs in the application. The order that prevented the SFO from using the material gathered from the searches has been lifted. The only remaining part of the claim, the necessity to arrest both directors, will be argued in full at a later date.