Foreign direct investment

In an increasingly globalised world of cross-border transactions and investments, a growing number of countries continue to adopt robust and stringent measures to monitor inflows of foreign direct investment ("FDI") with greater scrutiny. Our international team of FDI experts help clients navigate the intricacies and complexities of different FDI regimes.
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FDI can be a vital source of economic growth, but also an inherent means by which a country's national security and other domestic interests can come under threat.

From early strategic advice on the applicability of FDI regimes to steering transactions through the review processes, our priority is to ensure successful outcomes for our clients across multiple jurisdictions offering a consistently high level of service. Failure to adopt a clear, coordinated strategy and to carefully consider the implications of FDI rules early on can expose parties to significant legal challenges and costs, as well as delays to their deal timetables.

Stephenson Harwood has FDI experts throughout the UK, European Union (including France), Asia and the Middle East, regularly advising clients on these evolving and challenging regulatory regimes. Where we do not have specialists, our FDI experts work closely alongside experienced local counsel to ensure all necessary regulatory consents are obtained swiftly to meet the commercial objectives of the transaction in question.

Click here to access the recordings of our recent foreign direct investment in focus webinar series.

"What makes the firm quite exceptional … is the fact that they provide valuable commercial and business insight/advice and solutions" 
The Legal 500 UK 2021


Radio frequency and microwave technologies

Advised Alaris Holdings Limited on the public interest regime under the Enterprise Act 2002 and the application of the National Security and Investment Act 2021 ("NSIA") in respect of its acquisition of Linwave Technology Limited, a supplier of radio frequency and microwave component products with various end-use applications.


Advised a global agricultural company on the sale of a 50% shareholding in one of its subsidiary companies to an investment firm, successfully securing FDI clearances in the United States, Spain, Romania and Australia. COMESA, Serbian and Egyptian merger control clearances were also secured.

Cyber security

Advised Kroll on the implications of its acquisition of Redscan, a UK-based cyber security firm, under the NSIA and the public interest regime under the Enterprise Act 2002, ensuring the transaction was completed successfully.

High technology products used in the defence sector

Advised a private equity fund in obtaining French FDI clearances in the context of the acquisition of a French manufacturer of high technology products intended for incorporation into missiles, radar or military aircraft.


Assisted a global pharmaceutical company, headquartered in the United States, to obtain French FDI clearances in the context of the purchase of a French biotech developing biomarkers in the oncology and neurology sectors.

Data Centres

Advised the founders and shareholders of a French data centre operator and B2B internet provider in connection with the FDI issues arising from the sale of their company to a strategic European data centre specialist.


Advised the BW Group in obtaining regulatory clearances from: (i) the Overseas Investment Office in New Zealand, (ii) the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board in Australia, and (ii) the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, in respect of its acquisition of shares of Hawaiki Submarine Cable and International Connectivity Services.

Digital media

Advised Swiss-headquartered digital media group, Ringier AG on its internal restructuring involving IM Ringier Company Limited, a Myanmar Investment Commission-approved company, ensuring compliance with the Myanmar Investment Law 2016.  

Professional services

Advised Kroll in obtaining regulatory clearance from the Cayman Islands regulatory authorities in its acquisition of Borrelli Walsh, a leading specialist restructuring, corporate recovery, insolvency and forensic accounting firm.

A Chinese e-commerce company

Advised a Chinese based e-commerce company on the expansion of its activities throughout the Gulf Cooperation Council ("GCC") region, which included providing advice in relation to regulatory and FDI issues.

A major Chinese multinational technology corporation

Advised a major Chinese multinational technology corporation on their operations and their controlling investments in their portfolio throughout the GCC region.  This involved providing advice in relation to FDI regulatory issues as well as corporate ownership structuring and governance issues.

A Russian multi-national

Advised a major Russian multi-national internet company on their GCC regional FDI regulatory issues as well as corporate ownership structuring issues.

A regional GCC Government

Advised on changes to the rules on the foreign ownership of companies under the Foreign Capital Investment Law, prepared drafts of foreign ownership of land regime, drafted a Free Zones Law, and reviewed and re-drafted the Companies Law.

Latest news & insights

07 Feb 2022

From Insights

Webinar - CFIUS and the NSIA: Understanding new foreign investment measures in the US and UK

On 27 January 2022, Marta Isabel Garcia and Will Spens co-hosted a webinar with US-based Fox Rothschild attorneys Nevena Simidjiyska and Elizabeth Hodgson to discuss t..


14 Jan 2022

From Insights

CFIUS and the NSIA: Understanding new foreign investment measures in the US and UK

Join Marta Isabel Garcia and Will Spens on Thursday 27 January 2022 for a discussion on the main considerations arising from the NSIA and CFIUS.


20 Aug 2021

From Insights

D-day announced – UK's new National Security and Investment Act regime to begin on 4 January 2022

On 20 July 2021, BEIS announced that the new screening regime under the NSIA would officially commence on 4 January 2022. Alongside this announcement, BEIS also publis..


28 May 2021

From Insights

National Security and Investment Act 2021 – the impact on loans and finance transactions

We are pleased to share with you our briefing on how the NSIA (which received Royal Assent on 29 April 2021 and is likely to come into full effect later this year) may..


16 Mar 2021

From Insights

UK Government provides more clarity on the scope of the National Security and Investment Bill (“NSIB”)

We are pleased to share with you our briefing on the UK Government’s response to a public consultation concerning the 17 key sectors subject to the mandatory notificat..


16 Dec 2020

From Insights

UAE amends the Commercial Companies Law: Changes to foreign direct investment and limited liability companies in the UAE

As a follow-up to our previous article concerning the proposed changes to Federal Law No. 2/2015 on Commercial Companies (the "CCL"), the UAE has issued Federal Decree..


14 Dec 2020

From Insights

The UK introduces audacious new National Security and Investment Bill

Briefing on the UK’s new National Security and Investment Bill (“NSIB”).


26 Nov 2020

From Insights

UAE announces amendments removing foreign ownership restrictions for onshore commercial companies

On 23 November 2020, the UAE's official press agency announced that a Federal decree law has been issued making significant amendments to the Commercial Companies Law


18 Sep 2020

From Insights

Foreign investments in French companies: new rules will mean increased scrutiny

The French authorities are tightening up their scrutiny of foreign investments. The aim is to increase protection of economic sovereignty and industrial resources.


© Stephenson Harwood LLP 2016. Any reference to Stephenson Harwood in this document means Stephenson Harwood LLP and/or its affiliated undertakings. Any reference to a partner is used to refer to a member of Stephenson Harwood LLP.