• insights-banner

    In the Press

The Telegraph quotes Dominic Lawrance on Labour’s proposed expansion of rules governing trusts

Labour has pledged to widen registration requirements for UK trusts to stop them being used for illegal activity and boost transparency around trust ownership of property.

Many within the industry are flagging that these proposals could deter legitimate wealth creators, increase red tape, and harm the UK's attractiveness to investors. 

Dominic Lawrance, Partner at Charles Russell Speechlys says:

The days in which ultra high-net worth clients baulked at any kind of disclosure pursuant to transparency laws are long gone. Wealthy individuals accept that transparency rules are part and parcel of the modern world. However, they often do have legitimate concerns about public registers of beneficial ownership, particularly where such registers include the value of assets held and/or information that could be plundered for use in identity theft. Such registers engender worries about fraud, kidnap or perhaps just adverse and unjustified publicity, and arguably infringe the right to a private life, which is enshrined in the UK by the Human Rights Act.

There is already very detailed and pretty comprehensive legislation in place in the UK regarding trusts and overseas entities that are registered owners of UK land. The register for overseas entities that own UK land is to a large extent public, and therefore creates concerns about fraud, kidnap and invasion of privacy. The register for trusts is essentially private (i.e. can generally only be accessed by HMRC and law enforcement agencies), and therefore takes a much more sensible, legally justifiable approach. 

The legislation in this area is over-complex and has developed in a haphazard way, with the result that there can be an overlap between what is required to be registered under these separate regimes. Some of the drafting of the existing rules is poor. There is a great deal of merit in the proposition that all of the disclosure rules should be brought into a single statute and rationalised, and that all beneficial ownership registers should be private so that the right to a private life is not infringed. However, it is unclear whether this forms part of the package of reform which Labour are proposing.

Read the full piece in The Telegraph here.

Our thinking

  • IBA Annual Conference 2024

    Charlotte Ford


  • Re UKCloud: The importance of exercising control over a fixed charge asset

    Cara Whiffin


  • Bloomberg quotes Dominic Lawrance on pledges to scrap preferential tax treatment for non-doms

    Dominic Lawrance

    In the Press

  • Consumer Duty Board Report

    Richard Ellis


  • Standard of repair put to the test - Estates Gazette Q&A

    Emma Humphreys


  • LIDW: Is arbitration an effective process for disputes involving state interests: a panel discussion of concerns raised in Nigeria v. P&IDL [2023] EWHC 2638

    Richard Kiddell


  • Injunctions against potential protesters - Estates Gazette Q&A

    Samuel Lear


  • Michael Powner, Isobel Goodman and Hauwa Ottun write for Law 360 on the Tips Act

    Michael Powner

    In the Press

  • LIDW: An Era of Constant Change – an event to explore the General Counsel’s role in delivering sustainable growth whilst managing global ESG risks

    Caroline Greenwell


  • Emily Chalkley writes for The Times on how best to use employee influencers

    Emily Chalkley

    In the Press

  • LIDW: Liability imposed on UK Directors and how to mitigate the risks

    Claudine Morgan


  • The Lawyer covers our Training Contract support, in light of the shift to the SQE

    Karen Stages

    In the Press

  • Are Yorkshire pudding toppings a reason for divorce? Fortunately not anymore: no fault divorce – over 2 years on

    Hannah Owen

    Quick Reads

  • The Use of Experts in International Arbitration

    Peter Smith


  • The Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Act receives Royal Assent! What can we expect to see in consumer law changes?

    Dillon Ravikumar


  • Volunteers’ Week 2024: Celebrating Our People


  • The Telegraph quotes Sarah Jane Boon on potential issues around Labour’s pledge to levy VAT on private school fees

    Sarah Jane Boon

    In the Press

  • Property Patter: Great Estates Miniseries - part 2

    Cara Imbrailo


  • Property Week quotes Claire Fallows on Labour's proposed new towns programme

    Claire Fallows

    In the Press

  • Business Green quotes Caroline Greenwell on the FCA's new sustainability disclosure regime

    Caroline Greenwell

    In the Press

Back to top