Lynch Extradition Battle Puts SFO Sway In The Spotlight – Shaul Brazil talks to Law360

Lynch Extradition Battle Puts SFO Sway In The Spotlight – Shaul Brazil talks to Law360

BCL partner Shaul Brazil has been quoted in Law360’s article ‘Lynch Extradition Battle Puts SFO Sway In The Spotlight’.

Here’s an extract from the article featuring Shaul Brazil’s quotes:

“Former Autonomy chief Mike Lynch’s uphill battle to challenge his extradition to the U.S. for fraud over the $11.7 billion sale of his software firm to Hewlett-Packard is poised to test the influence of the Serious Fraud Office and other U.K. enforcers in such legal fights.

District Judge Michael Snow said in a ruling last week that the technology entrepreneur should be extradited to the U.S. because that is where the harm caused by his alleged conduct could be felt, even though he was largely based in Britain and the acquisition was conducted under U.K. takeover rules.
But the judge rejected the suggestion that the loss was caused in the U.K. because HP had acquired Autonomy through a Dutch-registered special purpose vehicle using offshore cash and funds from HP in the U.S.”

“Lynch’s lawyer, Alex Bailin QC, argued at the extradition hearing earlier in February that the SFO could prosecute Lynch if his extradition was blocked, even though the agency dropped its investigation into Autonomy in 2013 and ceded jurisdiction over the probe to the U.S. But the crime-fighting agency — which concluded that there was insufficient evidence to have a realistic chance of convicting Lynch in England — has taken the unusual step of issuing a detailed and reasoned statement to the court outlining why it believed that, although a prosecution in the U.K. is not impossible, the U.S. is the more appropriate jurisdiction. “The court placed great weight on the fact that the SFO made a detailed statement of belief that the U.K. is not the most appropriate forum for a prosecution and found that this statement strongly favored extradition,” Shaul Brazil of BCL Solicitors said.”

“Lynch’s counsel has described the case as an ideal situation for the forum bar. Bailin said at an extradition hearing earlier in the year that the defense exists to provide protection against interventionist action by the U.S. Department of Justice, which he branded an “overweening international police force”. The outcome will have wider implications for British business executives and could set a precedent for those facing criminal prosecution in the U.S. for conduct that ostensibly happened at home.

“If the decision is upheld, it will fortify the contention that extradition may be ordered in circumstances where the alleged criminality took place in the U.K. but the alleged victim is in the U.S.,” Brazil said. “That will be of significant concern to the U.K. business community and is arguably an issue of public importance.””

This article was originally published by Law360 on 27/07/21. You can read the full version on their website.

Shaul Brazil is a partner at BCL specialising in business crime and regulatory enforcement, acting for individuals and companies in complex cross-border matters. He has extensive experience advising on multi-jurisdictional corruption and fraud investigations, asset recovery proceedings (in the UK and overseas), and extradition proceedings (in particular, politically motivated requests). He has acted in numerous high-profile investigations and prosecutions brought by the SFO and many other UK and overseas enforcement authorities.

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