KBR v. SFO: Implications for Overseas Document Production

The U.K. Supreme Court has handed down its much-anticipated judgment in the KBR case, unanimously ruling that the SFO’s powers under Section 2(3) of the Criminal Justice Act 1987 do not extend to compelling a foreign company located wholly outside of the U.K. to produce documents in the U.K. In this guest article, Cooley attorneys Tom Epps and Marie Kavanagh analyze the case and discuss the practical implications on overseas document production. They also look ahead to the likely impact of the forthcoming CLOUD Act-related overseas production orders, which are likely to be regarded as a useful alternative tool for the SFO and other U.K. enforcement agencies to obtain data held overseas by communications service providers. See our two-part series on the U.S. and U.K.’s first joint e-evidence pact under the CLOUD Act: “Fewer Hurdles, More Clarity and New Questions” (Nov. 20, 2019); and “A Look at the Privacy Protections” (Dec. 4, 2019).

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