• Charles Bott KC laments UK government dropping Lords’ amendments to Economic Crime Bill

The UK government recently resisted key amendments to its Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill, despite strong cross-party support including from prominent and well-respected former Conservative law officers.

These amendments – passed in the House of Lords – would have removed an exemption for small businesses from a new failure to prevent fraud offence; introduced a failure to prevent money laundering offence; and help protect law enforcement bodies from adverse costs when they pursued deep-pocketed suspects in civil asset recovery cases.

However, they were rejected by the government and overturned by MPs in a recent vote in the House of Commons.

Speaking about these developments, MKS Head of Advocacy, Charles Bott KC told Law360 UK:

“The Lords made a number of useful and sensible amendments which strengthen the bill and which I hope will remain in place.”

“Let us hope the Commons has the good sense to accept them and that, if they become law, our prosecuting authorities make better use of them than other legislation in the economic crime sphere.”

MKS will continue to monitor these developments and the passage of this bill back to the House of Lords, and then the Commons again.

▪️Bill passage: https://bills.parliament.uk/bills/3339

▪️Bill factsheet: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/economic-crime-and-corporate-transparency-bill-2022-factsheets/fact-sheet-economic-crime-and-corporate-transparency-bill-overarching

▪️The Law Society overview: https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/topics/anti-money-laundering/economic-crime-and-corporate-transparency-bill