The not so long arm of the law - the Supreme Court's decision in R (on the application of KBR, Inc) v Serious Fraud Office [2021] UKSC 2

A Briefing Note by Jason Mansell and Kathryn Hughes.

In a long-awaited judgment, the Supreme Court has unanimously rejected the Serious Fraud Office’s (“SFO”) claim that its powers under s.2(3) of the Criminal Justice Act 1987 (“CJA”) could compel, under penal sanction, an overseas company to produce documents held outside of the jurisdiction. It is a ruling to be welcomed by both corporations and their legal advisers as it firmly rejects the inherently uncertain “sufficient connection” test invented by the lower court and exhibits a respect for the formal mutual legal assistance (“MLA”) process and the principle of comity of nations.  

Jason and Kathryn consider the implication of this judgment in their briefing note, which can be accessed here.