Right to inspect SARS under the civil jurisdiction (Lonsdale v National Westminster Bank)

John Binns Financial and Corporate Crime Law Firm London

BCL partner, John Binns and solicitor, Rosanna Cardona speak to Gillian Bradbury at LexisPSL to discuss the power of the court to order the disclosure of otherwise confidential documents despite objections that to do so might constitute an offence under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA 2002) in the Lonsdale v National Westminster Bank Plc case.

The High Court in Lonsdale v National Westminster Bank Plc considered the extent to which it was possible to obtain disclosure and/or inspection of suspicious activity reports (SARs) in civil proceedings.

In the below short excerpt from the article*, which can be found in full here or alternatively on the LexisPSL websiteJohn and Rosanna discuss the practical implications of this judgment from a corporate crime perspective.

“The case concerned the interaction of various individual rights—including the right of access to personal data (then governed by the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA 1998)), as well as substantive rights under the laws of contract and defamation—with the provisions of the POCA 2002 relating to authorised disclosures (a type of SAR). Broadly speaking, it established that an individual may have rights to access such disclosures, and/or to inspect them under the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR), in appropriate circumstances.”


John Binns is a partner at BCL specialising in all aspects of business crime, with a particular interest in confiscation, civil recovery and money laundering under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (“POCA”). He has particular expertise in the myriad legal provisions on anti-money laundering (“AML”) requirements in the regulated sector under the Money Laundering Regulations (“MLR”), civil recovery and confiscation of the proceeds of crime, and criminal offences of money laundering under POCA, as well as related areas such as financial sanctions. He advises businesses (inside and outside the regulated sector) on AML policies and procedures generally, as well as particular risks that may arise under the MLR, POCA, and sanctions laws, including advice on the submission of Suspicious Activity Reports and consent requests. He regularly represents individuals and businesses in connection with confiscation, property freezing and restraint orders, including in relation to applications to defend, discharge or vary such orders.

Rosanna Cardona is a solicitor at BCL specialising in business crime, regulatory investigations, and extradition. She has experience in a range of corporate criminal and regulatory issues, particularly fraud and bribery. Rosanna joined BCL in 2012, since when she has gained significant experience in extradition matters (principally EAWs), bribery, fraud, money laundering, recovery of the proceeds of crime (restraint, confiscation) and Coroner’s inquests. Following a BA in Classics at Trinity College, Oxford, Rosanna completed the GDL and LPC at BPP Law School and trained at a leading American law firm in London. In 2011, Rosanna qualified in the Government Enforcement and White Collar Crime practice and specialised in complex corporate fraud and bribery investigations, anti-bribery due diligence and compliance monitoring.

*This article was first published on the LexisPSL website (Published: 7th January 2019). For further information please visit www.lexisnexis.com/uk/lexispsl/.