Alun Milford quoted in various sources following the UK Supreme Court limiting the territorial reach of the SFO

10 February 2021

Alun Milford, Partner in our Criminal Litigation team, has been quoted in various sources following the recent Supreme Court decision in R (on the application of KBR, Inc) (Appellant) v Director of the Serious Fraud Office (Respondent). The Supreme Court decided that the SFO does not have the power to compel a foreign company to produce material that it holds overseas.

Some of the quotes Alun made include:

Given almost all of its cases involve some element of overseas evidence gathering, this decision will be disappointing for the SFO – not least since, following Brexit, it no longer has access to European Investigation Orders."

States do not generally welcome the use by other states of extraterritorial powers within their borders, so a judgment in the SFO’s favour was never going to spell the end of conventional mutual legal assistance in its cases. It simply has to double down now on making those mechanisms work."

It’s the cornerstone of international law that you don’t exercise powers in someone else’s country without their permission . . . mutual legal assistance is the default route and it can be slow but . . . it is a system built by nation states that says they will not conduct investigation in each other's frontiers, it’s an expression of state sovereignty.”

Sources include: Financial TimesThe TelegraphWall Street JournalCityAM, New Law JournalThe Law Society GazetteGIRLaw360Lawyer MonthlyYahoo FinanceTechregister.

You can read the full articles by clicking above (some require subscriptions) and all have been published from 5 February 2021 onwards.

You can also read a blog by Alun Milford & Áine Kervick exploring this court decision in further detail by clicking here.

Further information

For further information on any issue raised in this news piece, please contact a member of our criminal litigation team.


About the author

Alun Milford is a Partner in the Criminal Litigation team and specialises in serious or complex financial crime, proceeds of crime litigation and corporate investigations. He has particular knowledge and experience of issues surrounding corporate crime and deferred prosecution agreements. He joined Kingsley Napley from the public sector where, over a twenty-six year career as a government lawyer and public prosecutor, he worked in a wide variety of roles including General Counsel at the Serious Fraud Office, the Crown Prosecution Services’ Head of Organised Crime, its Head of Proceeds of Crime and Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office’s Head of Asset Forfeiture Division.


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