According to recent press reports, the UK Treasury intends to open a consultation on new powers that could see companies blocked from listing on UK stock exchanges in certain scenarios.

The consultation is expected to cover a proposal that the UK government be able to block a listing if it thinks a foreign state is attempting either to undermine the stock exchange’s reputation or to steal state secrets.

Commenting on these proposals, Nick O’Donnell, Corporate partner at Baker McKenzie in London, stated that:

“There is a risk that very wide powers based on loose concepts of ‘national security’ could backfire.”

“An outcome that meant well-run, quality companies shy away from seeking a listing because of concerns that they would be caught up in global politics would not be a win for anyone.”

The consultation is set to be launched by the UK Treasury in the “coming weeks” and further information will be provided here once it does.  


Samantha Mobley is a partner in the EU, Competition & Trade Practice of Baker & McKenzie’s London office and a member of the London office Management Committee. She headed Baker McKenzie’s Global Antitrust and Competition Group, a team of over 300 competition and antitrust specialists worldwide for six years. Samantha has significant experience of advising on the implications of foreign direct investment rules for cross-border transactions. She has advised a number of companies on the implication of the reduced UK national security thresholds, as well as coordinating the global foreign investment review aspects of a proposed $12 billion joint venture between a FTSE100 company and a Fortune 500 corporate. Samantha is a Who’s Who Legal 2020 Leading Individual for Foreign Investment Review.


Nick O'Donnell is a partner in Baker McKenzie's Corporate Department in London. He has over 20 years' experience advising on a wide range of corporate finance transactions. He has spent time on secondment in senior legal positions with Morgan Stanley and, more recently, Goldman Sachs and has also previously been based in New York and the UAE. He is recognized in his field by The Legal 500 and by IFLR. He is regularly quoted and interviewed in the press on the market including, most recently, in the Sunday Telegraph, The Financial Times, Financial News and on CNBC.