On 20th May, Legal Futures reported that international standards for lawyers advising on offshore commercial structures have been put forward at the same time as parliamentarians called for stronger laws on foreign ownership of UK property.  The first report was produced by a joint task force on the role of lawyers and international commercial structures between the International Bar Association and the OECD.  The task force has published a statement of 8 principles which it recommended that national legal regulators adopt and whose disregard should lead to disciplinary action.  Meanwhile, the joint committee on the draft Registration of Overseas Entities Bill has published its pre-legislative scrutiny report, which welcomes the Bill, but calls for its concerns to be addressed to ensure that the legislation successfully deters money laundering in the UK property market.  The 8 principles are –

  • non-facilitation of illegal conduct;
  • misuse of the duty of confidence and privilege;
  • carrying out CDD;
  • taking action where client conduct is, may be or becomes, illegal;
  • multi-jurisdictional risk – a lawyer should ensure that transactions involving more than one jurisdiction are legal;
  • not using illegally obtained information;
  • disclosure of beneficial ownership; and
  • any advertising by lawyers on international commercial structures should be transparent, accurate and truthful.

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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