Jemma Sherwood-Roberts discusses global corruption in The Times
The future for tackling global corruption?
The anti-corruption summit last week garnered immediate headlines for David Cameron. But what will happen to the nine pages of ambitious aspirations — covering everything from public registers of beneficial ownership to money laundering and ‘unexplained wealth orders’ — published after the conference?
City lawyers will be at the sharp end of any changes ahead as they advise their clients on dealing with any financial regulatory regime that might emerge. But what might transpire will not be clear until the various promised consultation exercises start to shape up concrete and detailed proposals.
Some lawyers question the need for so much proposed “new legislation” in this field. “Shouldn’t we make better use of what we have already got, such as the Bribery Act?” asks Jemma Sherwood-Roberts, solicitor with Corker Binning. Moreover, what has been called “the continued march of criminal law into the business sphere” — notably through a wide-reaching corporate “failing to prevent” offence — is causing some concern.
Sherwood-Roberts is also concerned that new legislation should be “balanced and proportionate”. Key to this are proposals for “transparency of beneficial ownership” if it means that all and sundry can view an individual’s personal details.
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