National Security and Investment
We advise a wide range of clients on sensitive investments where there may be national security implications.
The link between national security and investment has become increasingly politicised in recent years, with commercial and reputational consequences for businesses. The UK’s new National Security and Investment (NSI) Act 2021 gives the Government significant new powers to scrutinise and intervene in transactions on national security grounds. “National security” is not defined in legislation, meaning the Government can choose to intervene where there is a broader political or policy sensitivity. The Act establishes a complex regulatory and policy framework which creates a higher degree of uncertainty for investors – both in relation to the possible outcome of a national security review and the effect the review processes may have on deal timeframes. The Act also applies to non-commercial investment, such as research partnerships, and so has implications for example in the higher education sector.
Our team have worked at the most senior levels of Government, including BEIS, No 10, HM Treasury, DCMS, FCDO, sector regulators and competition authorities. We have direct experience of commercial work on deal preparation and national security and investment review. We understand both the policy issues and the processes by which the decisions are reached in Government.