Partner Andrew Smith and Anna Rothwell (Of counsel) have written for Fraud Intelligence on the scope of “reasonable excuse”, addressing when, and whether, a person can lawfully withhold documents on receipt of a compulsory production notice in a criminal investigation.
“Indeed, it is little more than a statement of the obvious that a person who destroys documents, knowing they are a suspect in a criminal investigation, risks prosecution, even if he or she claims that the documents have no evidential value to an investigator. The more interesting legal conundrum concerns the person who does not destroy documents, but rather refuses to provide documents when compelled to do so in a criminal investigation. Are there general principles that determine when the recipient of a compulsory production notice can lawfully withhold the documents sought?”
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