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10 Aug 2018

Andrew Smith comments on former HSBC trader Stuart Scott winning an extradition appeal against the US in GIR

The US Justice Department’s failed bid to bring an English former HSBC trader to the US for trial is an unexpected show of strength by UK courts against the long arm of US law enforcement, UK extradition lawyers say.

The High Court of England and Wales refused on 31 July the US government’s request to extradite former HSBC trader Stuart Scott from the UK to face fraud charges in New York.

In the decision, Lord Chief Justice Males invoked the forum bar – a rarely used protection introduced into the UK Extradition Act in 2013 – to reject the US government’s 31 January extradition request.

“It’s a lesson to extradition lawyers that the forum bar doesn’t just apply in cases of hackers who might generate public sympathy, but also to individuals in white-collar matters,” Andrew Smith, at Corker Binning in London, told GIR.

“US prosecutors will have to get smarter about extradition and more clearly identify US victims and how the conduct harmed a US institution to avoid falling into the same trap,” Smith said.

Andrew additionally commented:

“Anyone who thought that the Lauri Love case was a one-off was mistaken. Most of the harm in Mr Scott’s case took place in the UK and Mr Scott has numerous personal connections to the UK. His case demonstrates that the “forum bar” has real teeth – and the High Court are willing to use it against one of our oldest allies. It is a clear rebuke to the infamously long arm of the US law.”

Read the full article in GIR here, behind a paywall.