The increasingly global nature of business heightens the risk of companies or individuals finding themselves under investigation by an overseas authority.
The team at Addleshaw Goddard has extensive experience in:
- Advising clients in receipt of mutual legal assistance requests from overseas authorities
- Representing clients in extradition proceedings
- Dealing with the police and the Home Office in relation to overseas inquiries
Since the introduction of the Extradition Act 2003, extradition of businessmen from the UK to face prosecution in foreign jurisdictions is becoming more common as the high-profile cases of ‘the NatWest Three’, Mr Ian Norris and Mr Christopher Tappin only serve to demonstrate. Regulators in the UK and overseas are much more prepared to cooperate with each other in the global fight against financial crime. The US Department of Justice is particularly aggressive in extending its extra-territorial reach in order to prosecute those it suspects of committing offences falling within the broad jurisdiction that it assumes.
The UK’s law enforcement authorities, including the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), the Financial Services Authority and HMRC, have the ability to obtain evidence from overseas jurisdictions through mutual legal assistance arrangements made between the UK and those countries.
Similarly, overseas authorities often seek assistance from their UK counterparts in connection with the investigation and prosecution of offences abroad. Indeed, the number of investigations with a global element is such that the SFO now has a dedicated Mutual Legal Assistance Unit to deal with enquiries of this nature.
The SFO has also been successful in obtaining freezing or restraint orders over assets in the UK belonging to foreign companies or individuals or requesting that overseas authorities register UK freezing or restraint orders against overseas assets.
For more information or to speak to a specialist at AG about how we can help, please get in touch.