United States

Transatlantic relations are under pressure. As Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott criticises US handling of the Middle East, UK in-house lawyers are running scared over the prospect of the long arm of US law.

The extradition of the NatWest Three in July after three years in the long shadow cast by Enron sent shockwaves through the legal community, signalling a wake-up call to all those doing business with the US.

And the reign of the US litigator does not stop there. While the convictions of Enron’s top executives looked to have ended a period of unprecedented litigation, another spate of regulatory investigations – this time into the manipulation of stock options – are resulting in a new wave of allegations.

This US Special Report examines the impact that both these issues will have on the legal community. It also examines the future of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s ability to regulate hedge funds.