Suzanne Townley

News Editor, Solicitors Journal

Economic Crime Bill: unforeseen challenges and potential loopholes

Economic Crime Bill: unforeseen challenges and potential loopholes


The Law Society has offered its help to strengthen the bill

The Law Society has today (7 March) offered its help to remove potential loopholes in the government’s new Economic Crime Bill as MPs prepare to debate measures including improvement of transparency and uncovering potential criminal activity.

Law Society president I. Stephanie Boyce said the Law Society welcomed the introduction of the Economic Crime Bill and supported the government’s aim to improve transparency of property ownership in the UK and the creation of a new register for overseas entities.

“We support the Bill‘s aim to uncover potential criminality in a way that minimises any unnecessary burden on legitimate commercial activity, though whether it’s successful will depend on how it’s implemented”.

Boyce added that for the bill to succeed, businesses must “be supported in understanding how the powers within it can be used”.

Last week, global independent financial and strategic consulting firm, Accuracy, warned that businesses would need to have a clear understanding of the bill’s proposals to avoid being liable for inadvertent breaches.

However, Boyce said the Law Society believed the bill “can be stronger”. She said the Society had “identified several possible unforeseen challenges in the draft legislation, which could lead to bad actors exploiting potential loopholes in land, property and company ownership”.

The Law Society is keen to offer its expertise to help strengthen the Bill “and remove any potential loopholes that might be exploited by unscrupulous actors”, said the Law Society president.