Thoroughly knowledgeable,
very pragmatic and

Chambers Guide


Keep up to date with our latest insight pieces, news and industry developments. See below for the latest posts or use the categories to hone your search for stories of interest.

Rather listen? The WABChats Podcast provides engaging and informative conversations with contacts, clients, advisors and friends of White & Black Limited. Listen Now.

A Guide to the National Security and Investment Act 2021 – Part 2 – Timeline for Assessment & Outcomes

The National Security Investment Act 2021 (“NSIA”) gives the UK government power to scrutinise and intervene in – and potentially block – transactions in certain sectors which may impact national security. It came into force on 4 January 2022 and applies to transactions completing on or after 12 November 2020.

The scope of the legislation is broad and is not restricted to high-value and high-profile transactions. There is no minimum threshold for an entity’s turnover or an asset’s value, and the regime can apply to UK and overseas acquirers or investors.

Part 1 of our Guide to the NSIA explored qualifying acquisitions and notification procedures in more detail. In Part 2, Senior Associate Suzanne Whiteman explores the timelines for assessments and possible outcomes. 

National Security Investment Act

Timeline for assessment

Once the government has accepted the notification (whether mandatory, voluntary or retrospective), it has 30 working days to:

  • clear the acquisition to proceed;
  • call in the acquisition for a full national security assessment;
  • issue an “information notice” to require additional information to be provided; or
  • issue an “attendance notice” to require the parties to the acquisition to attend a meeting.

Where a “call-in” notice is issued, there is an initial assessment period of 30 working days, which can be extended by an additional 45 working days.

After 75 working days, the assessment period can be further extended, with the duration agreed between the government and the acquirer.

Possible outcomes

Following a full assessment, the government can take a number of actions in relation to a qualifying acquisition. It can clear the transaction to proceed or impose conditions on the transaction (such as restricting access to certain sites or to confidential or commercial information).

More rarely, it can block the transaction or, if the transaction has already completed, unwind it.

In a statement issued in November 2021, the government noted that it anticipates asset acquisitions will be called in more rarely than entity acquisitions.

If you would like to discuss any of the points raised in this note, or you would like assistance with the notification process, please reach out to Suzanne Whiteman in our Corporate Team.

Disclaimer: This article is produced for and on behalf of White & Black Limited, which is a limited liability company registered in England and Wales with registered number 06436665. It is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. The contents of this article should be viewed as opinion and general guidance, and should not be treated as legal advice.

This site uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site you agree to these cookies being set. To find out more see our cookies policy