A brief guide to the UK's Foreign Direct Investment rules | Fieldfisher
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A brief guide to the UK's Foreign Direct Investment rules


United Kingdom

The UK's Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) rules seek to prevent organisations in multiple sectors deemed to be of strategic national importance from loss of control to foreign ownership.

The National Security and Investment Act (NSIA – the UK's FDI legislation) is having a significant impact on UK M&A deals.

Provisions in the NSIA, which came into force on 4 January 2022, give the Secretary of State in the Cabinet Office (the UK's FDI authority) wide discretion when approving or preventing transactions.

Investors will usually need to be proactive in seeking clearance for investments or acquisitions, and sanctions for failure to notify can be severe.

This is complicated by the fact that the FDI landscape is swiftly evolving in terms of relevant sectors, filings thresholds and political priorities.

Fieldfisher's FDI specialists have drafted a country-specific Q&A, providing an overview of relevant laws and regulations applicable in UK. A copy of this guide has been published by The Legal 500 in its 2024 Country Comparative Guide series.

Download a copy of the guide here.

We can also provide training on the wider European approach to FDI on request.