The United Kingdom has had a problem with dirty money for a long time, which has resulted in billions of pounds being washed through the economy every year. As a longstanding problem that has had little change despite the efforts of various governments over the years, the current government plans to make a positive change in 2023. Therefore, the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill is one attempt to help tackle this situation. So, this article discusses how this change in UK law regarding corporate corruption may help changes for the better in the new year and beyond.

The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill

One of the main goals of the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill is to reform the role of the United Kingdom’s register of firms, i.e., the Companies House. The current role of the Companies House is to be a registry of information. However, the bill intends to expand that role to incorporate becoming a type of watchdog of corporate behaviour and malpractice.

This new bill is an expansion of the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022. That legislation became law after Russia invaded Ukraine. That legislation made it acceptable to place stricter sanctions on individuals, offered an exhaustive register of parties overseas who owned assets in the UK, and introduced stricter laws for wealth orders that were unexplained or unexplainable—and the state could confiscate suspected criminal assets without needing to prove the wealth’s exact origin.

Potential Reforms to Manage Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP) Cases

Something that also prevents corporate corruption from being exposed is Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP) cases. These are cases in which corporations take legal action against journalists who attempt to shine a light on their potential corporate corruption. These legal cases are damaging to individual journalists and their firms, which then discourage them from pursuing any other such cases that expose businesses engaged in channelling dirty money.

While there’s no change in UK Law regarding corporate corruption that’s specific to this type of legal action taken against SLAPP cases, there is hope that reforms are coming soon.

Mike Freer, who is the parliamentary under-secretary of state for the Ministry of Justice, spoke in November 2022 at the United Kingdom Anti-SLAPP Conference, saying that reforms are likely to come soon because discussions about this are already occurring. He also said that there is a solid commitment to tackling this issue.

Final Thoughts

If you’re a business owner, this change in UK law regarding corporate corruption should serve as an encouragement to double-check all of the processes in your company. You can hire a team of dedicated solicitors who are well-versed in this aspect of the law to help you with this process as well. However, if your company is being charged with fraud, then it’s crucial to get a solid legal team that can help you protect your assets and interests in the best possible way.