Like so many conferences, the International Bar Association’s showcase annual event had to take place virtually due to Covid in November 2020. While host city Miami’s loss, that meant the session went out live-streamed to many hundreds of lawyers around the world.
Gary joined other experts on a panel looking at global comparative approaches to beneficial ownership – an area that New Zealand is also exploring.
Jurisdictions have taken different approaches to the obligation to report beneficial ownership of legal entities. Some jurisdictions require that mandatory reports be filed in a central database maintained by governmental authorities. Issues arise as to who can access this information, especially taking into account privacy considerations. Others allow the information to be maintained by the entities themselves.
The Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF) advocates a multi-pronged approach (including in a 2019 Best Practices report) – but which approach is more effective? And should that be measured from the perspectives of law enforcement, government, or users such as the legal profession? What challenges are encountered by lawyers advising their clients how to comply with these potentially burdensome requirements? What role do lawyers, forensic accountants, regulators play in this area – and what roles should they play?
The panel session explored all these issues and more.
Contact Gary if you would like a copy of the presentation notes.