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Welcome to EQUITY ISSUES, a short note on a relevant issue in the private equity and venture capital industry.

If you would like to discuss any of the points we raise below, please contact me or one of our other lawyers.


Claire Cummings

020 7585 1406


The Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill

This week the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill (the “Bill”) had its third reading in the House of Lords, after it was first introduced in October 2017.

The UK government’s ability to impose sanctions stems from the European Communities Act 1972. However, as a result of Brexit, this Act is due to be repealed. The UK’s remaining domestic powers to impose sanctions have been considered insufficient to meet its obligations under the UN and as a result, the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill was first published on 19 October 2017 in order to provide the UK government with the necessary power to impose sanctions. Since the Bill’s introduction, a number of amendments have been made and it recently had its third reading in the House of Lords and, after debate, the bill was passed and sent to the House of Commons for consideration on 24 January 2018.


The purpose of the Bill is, among other things, to enable sanctions to be imposed for the purposes of compliance with UN or other international obligations or for the prevention of terrorism and to make provision for the purposes of the detection, investigation and prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing, and to protect against threats to the international financial system. It is also intended to provide the UK with the necessary legal power to continue to implement sanctions post-Brexit, including the maintenance of existing sanctions currently imposed under EU law.

Beneficial Ownership Registers

Clause 41 of the Bill provides that regulations may provide for, among other things, registers of persons with significant control and registers and records relating to the beneficial ownership of prescribed entities, trusts or other arrangements. In addition, a new clause has been added to the Bill which requires the Secretary of State to publish and lay before Parliament progress reports on the development of a register of beneficial owners of overseas entities that now own or buy property in the UK or participate in UK government procurement.
Additional Considerations
With the UK moving away from the European Communities Act 1972 and adopting its own sanctions legislation under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill, the UK sanctions regime could possibly diverge from the European sanctions program and the UK’s sanctions programme may be less subject to European influence.

This document is for general guidance only. It does not contain definitive advice.


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Tel: + 44 20 7585 1406
Mob: + 44 7734 057 327

Cummings Law
42 Brook Street
London Greater London W1K 5DB
United Kingdom

25 05 2019

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