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Cayman Considering Legal Challenge To UK Beneficial Ownership Law

by Mary Swire, Lowtax.net, Hong Kong
14 June, 2018

Cayman Premier Alden McLaughlin met with lawyers in London on Monday to discuss the territory's constitutional relationship with the UK in light of UK legislation forcing the territory to set up a publicly accessible register on the beneficial ownership of legal entities.

Under the UK Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018, enacted in late May 2018, the UK is requiring its 14 Overseas Territories to bring in publicly accessible registers concerning the beneficial ownership of legal entities by 2020 or face having them imposed by the UK Government.

A number of Overseas Territories, including the British Virgin Islands and Bermuda, have expressed concern that the legislation infringes existing constitutional arrangements, with the British Virgin Islands having instructed lawyers to consider a legal challenge.

McLaughlin has echoed these concerns saying: "We are concerned about the actions of the House of Commons in seeking to legislate for the Cayman Islands, which amounts to constitutional overreach by forcing the Cayman Islands to adopt public registers of beneficial ownership."

Talks were scheduled for the full working week ending June 15, with McLaughlin to meet with the UK's Minister for the Overseas Territories and the heads of government of other UK Overseas Territories.

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