The UK Government launched a Consultation on its new UK National Security and Investment Bill, and specifically the definition of the sectors where investments would trigger a mandatory notification.  This Consultation closed on 6 January.  Baker McKenzie welcomes the opportunity and responded to the Consultation. We have identified a number of key issues that merit consideration:

  • A legal definition of “national security” to help businesses to understand whether a transaction raises genuine concerns.
  • Significant tightening and refinement of the 17 sector definitions that will require mandatory notification. The current overly-expansive approach risks the Government being inundated with notifications related to businesses that do not raise national security risks.
  • The removal of intra-group transactions from the scope of the notification regime, as these do not raise national security risks.
  • The need for a clear UK nexus – the current legislation captures acquisitions of targets located outside the UK, giving the UK Government extraordinarily wide extra-territorial jurisdiction.
  • Narrowing the scope of the information required in the proposed notification form to ensure that the form is clear and simple to complete.

Please contact us if you would like a full copy of our Consultation response.  Our client alert on the Bill is accessible here.  We will continue to post updates in connection with the Bill on this Blog.

Author

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.

Author

Sunny Mann is a Partner and leads the EMEA and UK International Trade team, ranked Tier 1 by Legal 500. His practice includes a focus on national security, foreign investment, export controls and trade sanctions matters. He has worked on a number of foreign investment review cases, including obtaining clearance for a high profile acquisition triggering potential defence and national security concerns, one of the very few cases to go through a full UK statutory review. In the Legal 500, Sunny is ranked as a "Leading Practitioner".

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