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Submission to HM Treasury on 4MLD

In a letter to the UK Government, Bright Line Law’s Jonathan Fisher QC recently offered solutions to legal issues arising from the transposition of the Fourth Money Laundering Directive (4MLD). responded to two questions in HM Treasury’s  consultation concerning developing a central register of trust beneficial ownership. In his response, Jonathan sought to address a substantial loophole in the law, through which discretionary trusts can be subject to abuse by money launderers when coupled with a letter of wishes. 

Jonathan outlines the following solutions for effective implementation of the 4MLD –

  1. To introduce an amendment requiring any letter of wishes, regardless of whether it is binding or non-binding, to be regarded as a trust document. As a result, the substance of such a document would be required to be included in the central register. This could be implemented by adding an additional clause (f) to Article 31(1).
  2. Amendments to the wording of Articles 3(6)(b) and 31(1) clarifying all relevant parties to be identified in the central register.
  3. A wider reconsideration of the potential for money laundering abuse arising from discretionary trusts.

Bright Line Law

Founded by Jonathan Fisher QC, one of the UK's leading barristers in white collar crime cases, Bright Line Law is a barrister law firm providing expert specialist advisory, advocacy, litigation, policy and strategic services. Bright Line Law is authorised by the Bar Standards Board.

Jonathan is ranked as a leading barrister in Band 1 for Financial Crime and Proceeds of Crime cases by the internationally recognised law directory, Chambers & Partners UK. He is also ranked in the legal directories as a leading barrister for financial services, fraud and tax cases.

BLL Instructed in Magnitsky Case
Chambers & Partners UK Bar Directory 2017 rankings
The views expressed in this article represent those of the author and not Bright Line Law.

The White Collar Centre