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THE LONG ARM OF THE LAW?

Lloyd's Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly

THE LONG ARM OF THE LAW?

KBR v SFO

Adrian Briggs*

Where the Serious Fraud Office is conducting an investigation into what appears to have been serious or complex fraud, the Director “may by notice in writing require the person under investigation or any other person to produce at such place as may be specified in the notice and either forthwith or at such time as may be so specified, any specified documents which appear to the Director to relate to any matter relevant to the investigation …”.1 On the face of it, the reach of the Director’s power is untrammelled, perhaps reflecting the fact that complex fraud, like pandemic virus, is no respecter of national borders. However, if the specified documents are under the control of a person neither in nor with an establishment in the United Kingdom, does this have any bearing on the power of the Director to issue the notice? In R (KBR Inc) v Director of the Serious Fraud Office 2 the Supreme Court held that

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