Thomson Reuters asked Rahman Ravelli’s Aziz Rahman for his opinions on the Supreme Court restricting the Serious Fraud Office’s (SFO’s) use of Section 2 notices,
In R (on the application of KBR, Inc) v Director of the Serious Fraud Office, the Supreme Court made it clear that the SFO was not able to use section 2 of the Criminal Justice Act 1987 to force a foreign company to hand over documentation that is held abroad.
Aziz outlined to Thomson Reuters’ Regulatory Intelligence the importance of the case. He explained that the Supreme Court’s decision is a reversal of a previous High Court judgement.
Aziz also emphasised that the judgement is a clear indicator that the SFO does not have extraterritorial reach when demanding documents as part of its investigations.
In light of the judgement, he advised banks to carry out checks to ensure that any section 2 notice has been issued legitimately. If there are any issues surrounding the issue of such a notice, they should be challenged robustly.
Aziz's comments can be read on Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence. (Subscription required)