John Binns for The Times – Magnitsky regime adds to burden on business

John Binns for The Times – Magnitsky regime adds to burden on business

BCL partner John Binns writes for The Times on the government’s upcoming plans for a Magnitsky Sanctions regime, and what it could mean for UK companies.

Here’s an extract from the article:

“As with many of Britain’s post-Brexit policies, the details of the government’s plans for a Magnitsky sanctions regime remain unclear.
Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary, has been vocal for some time about the need for a British equivalent to the Magnitsky Act in the US, which targets those responsible for human rights abuses and corruption. However, notwithstanding comments during the election campaign about needing a Magnitsky regime to target Russian dirty money, it seems the regime shortly to be unveiled will target only the first of those categories.

Beyond that all we know for sure is that the new structure will look to target a different set of people to the EU regimes. That may mean that Britain’s targets will be associated with countries that the EU has not wanted to act against so far and indeed is expected not to do so act during the transition period. Targets of the UK regime will also have remedies in domestic courts, unlike their counterparts under the EU system.

The political dimension of this is interesting and is an early signal of how EU and UK sanctions policies will diverge. But there is also an inevitable adverse impact on those British-based businesses that, as part of their increasingly onerous compliance processes, will have to ensure their compliance with an additional set of sanctions — which involves not just straightforward asset freezes, but also bans on providing economic resources and strict reporting requirements — on top of those from the EU and, almost inevitably given their jurisdictional reach, the US.”

This article was originally published February 13th by The Times. You can read the full version in pdf or on their website.

John Binns is a partner at BCL specialising in all aspects of business crime, with a particular interest in confiscation, civil recovery and money laundering under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (“POCA”). His business crime experience includes representing suspects, defendants and witnesses in cases invoking allegations of bribery and corruption, fraud (including carbon credits, carousel/MTIC, land-banking, Ponzi and pyramid scheme frauds), insider trading, market abuse, price-fixing, sanctions-busting, and tax evasion. He has coordinated and undertaken corporate investigations and defended in cases brought by BEIS, the FCA, HMRC, NCA, OFT, SFO and others.