The Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee of the House of Lords has published its correspondence with the Law Society relating to the new sanctions reporting requirements in the EU Financial Sanctions (Amendment of Information Provisions) Regulations 2017, SI 2017/754, which came into force on 8 August 2017. Those regulations imposed reporting obligations on an expanded group of professionals and businesses, including independent lawyers (see previous blog here).
The correspondence shows the Law Society raising concerns that HM Treasury had undertaken “only minimal discussion with stakeholders” before the Regulations, that the process followed had allowed “almost no opportunity for Parliamentary scrutiny” before the Regulations came into effect, and that the Regulations had the potential to cause significant harm to firms providing advice and for individuals subject to sanctions wishing to seek legal advice. HMT’s response states that the regulations do not “represent any substantial change in Government policy”, that there was no consultation requirement, that OFSI did “engage with a number of representative bodies”, and that OFSI’s guidance addresses legal privilege. The Lords Committee decided not to draw the Regulations to the special attention of the House. The correspondence is in Appendix II of the Committee’s Report.