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Section 2 notices against non-UK companies—what is within the SFO’s direct reach? (R (KBR) v Director of the SFO)

Section 2 notices against non-UK companies—what is within the SFO’s direct reach? (R (KBR) v Director of the SFO)
Published on: 08 February 2021
Published by: LexisPSL
  • Section 2 notices against non-UK companies—what is within the SFO’s direct reach? (R (KBR) v Director of the SFO)
  • What are the practical implications of this case?
  • Can CJA 1987, s 2 notices require non-UK companies to hand over data located outside the UK?
  • Can CJA 1987, s 2 notices require UK companies to hand over data which they can access but which is located outside the UK?
  • When is a non-UK incorporated company beyond the reach of a CJA 1987, s 2 notice?
  • Is a trip to the UK by a senior officer of a non-UK company enough of a UK ‘presence’ for a CJA 1987, s 2 notice to bite?
  • Non-UK companies with the non-UK profile of KBR Inc—is your data still within the SFO’s reach?
  • A reversal of fortune (on appeal) for KBR Inc—what does this tell us?
  • Case details:

Article summary

Corporate Crime analysis: In 2018, the Divisional Court’s decision in R (KBR) v Serious Fraud Office (SFO) found that the SFO’s powers to compel data under section 2 of the Criminal Justice Act 1987 (CJA 1987) extended to data of a non-UK company held abroad, provided there was a ‘sufficient connection’ between that company and the UK. The Supreme Court has now allowed KBR Inc’s appeal of that decision. The decision places important limits on the SFO’s ability to use CJA 1987, s 2 notices to obtain material in the hands of foreign companies. Written by Katie Palms, senior associate, and Jonathan Kelly, associate, at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. or take a trial to read the full analysis.

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