Supreme Court judgment in the KBR v SFO appeal – limits to extraterritorial impact of the SFO’s document compulsion powers

On 5 February 2021, the Supreme Court handed down judgment in a keenly anticipated case concerning the scope of extraterritorial application of the SFO’s section 2 powers, R (on the application of KBR, Inc) (Appellant) v Director of the Serious Fraud Office (Respondent) [2021] UKSC 2 (“KBR v SFO”). Continue reading

Supreme Court hands down judgment in SFO’s case concerning the extraterritoriality of section 2 powers – Appeal of KBR is allowed

The Supreme Court has today handed down judgment in the case of R (on the application of KBR, Inc) (Appellant) v Director of the Serious Fraud Office (Respondent) [2021] UKSC 2 concerning whether the Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”) can require a foreign company to produce documents held overseas, pursuant to its investigation powers under section 2(3) of the Criminal Justice Act 1987 (“CJA”). Continue reading

A deep dive into DPAs: seven takeaways from the new DPA guidance in the SFO’s Operational Handbook

In October 2020 the SFO published guidance regarding Deferred Prosecution Agreements (“DPAs”) in a new chapter of its Operational Handbook. The guidance offers a practical step-by-step map to the route that the SFO, and, therefore, a target company and its advisers, will traverse where seeking to negotiate an outcome that avoids the need for prosecution. Continue reading

Ministry of Justice publishes its Response to the Call for Evidence on Corporate Liability for Economic Crime

On 3 November 2020, the Ministry of Justice published its response (the “Government’s Response”) to its Call for Evidence on corporate liability for economic crime which was launched in January 2017 and ran until March 2017 (the “Call for Evidence”). The Government’s Response has been long awaited but does not reach any definitive conclusion on the way forward for reform. Continue reading

UK Supreme Court to decide on SFO’s extraterritorial powers

Two years have passed since the High Court decision in R (On The Application Of KBR Inc) v The Director of the Serious Fraud Office [2018] EWHC 2368 (Admin) (“KBR”) (see our summary of the decision here). Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard KBR’s appeal (“Appeal”) against that ruling, which had determined that the Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”) can require a foreign company to produce documents held overseas, pursuant to section 2(3) of the Criminal Justice Act 1987 (“CJA”). Lord Pannick QC represented KBR Inc and Sir James Eadie QC represented the SFO. Continue reading

Lisa Osofsky re-examines the priorities of the SFO at the Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime

On 7 September 2020, Lisa Osofsky, the Director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), delivered a keynote address at the Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime. In light of Covid-19, this year’s speech was delivered virtually, via YouTube. In her speech, Ms Osofsky re-examined the four key priorities that she outlined at her first address to the Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime in 2018 and referred to a number of new developments which she said would affect the SFO’s future work. Continue reading

Pressure Points: Covid-19 and Fraud

Covid-19 restrictions are being slowly eased, but the impact of the pandemic and related lockdown measures on financial crime risk and on related compliance measures continues to be a high priority for business. In our April briefing, we analysed the impact of the restrictions on the UK criminal justice system – in particular, the practical issues facing law enforcement agencies (LEAs), the courts and the prison service.  Continue reading

Airbus and SFO enter into UK’s largest Deferred Prosecution Agreement

On 31 January 2020, Dame Victoria Sharp, the President of the Queen’s Bench Division sitting in the Crown Court in Southwark, approved the Deferred Prosecution Agreement (“DPA”) between the UK Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”) and Airbus S.E. (“Airbus”), the ultimate parent company of the Airbus Group. Under the DPA, Airbus must pay €990,963,712 to the SFO — the largest UK DPA financial settlement to date and greater than the combined total of all previous financial settlements under UK DPAs.

Continue reading