The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has closed its bribery and corruption investigation into KBR’s UK subsidiary after four years.
In a statement today the SFO said: “The evidence in this case did not meet the evidential test as defined in the code for crown prosecutors.”
KBR, a Texan engineering, procurement and construction company listed on the New York Stock Exchange, was not immediately available to comment.
Last month the SFO lost its case against KBR in the Supreme Court over whether it can compel foreign businesses to hand over documents held overseas.
The US firm had previously challenged the validity of a notice served to one of its officers requiring they produce documents held abroad.
A High Court decision held that the legislation allowed the SFO to require a foreign company to produce documents for an investigation where there was “a sufficient connection between the company and the jurisdiction.”
But the Supreme Court ruled against that, with Supreme Court Judges unanimously disagreeing with the High Court’s decision.
“Given almost all of its cases involve some element of overseas evidence gathering, this decision will be disappointing for the SFO – not least since, following Brexit, it no longer has access to European Investigation Orders,” former SFO general counsel and Kingsley Napley criminal litigation partner Alun Milford said at the time.
The SFO’s case against KBR was originally related to a separate bribery inquiry into Monaco-based oil and gas consultancy Unaoil.
The SFO’s decision to close the case is the latest in a string of lengthy, major investigations shut by SFO head Lisa Osofsky.
Inquiries into British American Tobacco, aero engine maker Rolls-Royce and drugs company GlaxoSmithKline have also been dropped over the past two years.