FinReg News

IALS student elected as Director of the Ontario Bar Association

George Daoud, a student at IALS, has been elected as Director of the Ontario Bar Association for the Central-West region. George is responsible for representing the central-west council members as well as constituents in all matters relating to the Ontario Bar Association, regarding law, practice, policy, continuing professional development, initiatives, and business development.

For more information, see  https://www.oba.org/News-Media/News/2021/OBA-Announces-2021-2022-Board-of-Directors 

For details of George’s research, see: George Daoud | IALS (sas.ac.uk)

Tuğçe Yalçın research visit

IALS doctoral candidate, Tuğçe Yalçın, commenced being a Visiting Researcher at the Faculty of Law and the Institute of European and Comparative Law (IECL), University of Oxford. During her visit, Tuğçe will continue her in-depth research in the field of comparative contract law, securities law and corporate law.

Tuğçe's PhD thesis is provisionally entitled 'Warranty and Disclosure of Information in M&A Transactions in the Light of Contract Law Theories and Comparison of the Common Law and the Civil Law'.

IALS student to present reform proposals to Law Commission

IALS doctoral candidate Tuğçe Yalçın will present her proposals for reform to the Law Commission this week, at an online conference about the Commission’s 14th Programme of Law Reform. 

Tuğçe’s proposal on the "Reforms to the M&A Sector / Private Securities Market" deals i.a. with the rapidly increasing cross-border M&A transactions as well as the remarkable growth and expansion of the unregulated private securities. In her presentation, Tuğçe will argue that the shift of the capital-raising activity from the public to the private securities market, and thus the avoidance of the mandatory disclosure regime of the public securities market, show the need for legal reform to ensure that the law is fair, modern, simple and cost effective. 

FinReg Director gives evidence at Cullen Commission

In December 2020, Dr Colin King gave evidence at the ‘Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia’ (Introductory Statement - Cullen Commission). The focus of Dr King’s evidence was civil forfeiture of proceeds of crime and the work of the Criminal Assets Bureau in Ireland. 

IALS PhD student Tugce Yalcin Conference Presentation

IALS PhD student Tugce Yalcin will give a talk on November 30th at a conference on “EU’s Foreign Direct Investment Screening Framework & China’s Outbound Investment”. The conference is hosted by DLA Piper and China Data Analysis & Research Hub – CDA. 

For more information, see: https://www.dlapiper.com/de/austria/insights/events/2020/11/eus-foreign-direct/30-november/ 

George Daoud, Council Member for the Central-West Region of the Ontario Bar Association

George Daoud, who is currently researching for a PhD at IALS, has been elected as a Council Member for the Central-West Region of the Ontario Bar Association to represent constituents in matters relating to law, practice of law, judicial and legislative oversight, access to justice, court dynamics, market dynamics, legal research and initiatives for professional development and oversight. Congratulations, George! 

New Visiting Professor of Practice

Barnaby Hone of Drystone Chambers has taken up a position as Visiting Professor of Practice on October 1, 2020. For further information on this appointment, see: https://ials.sas.ac.uk/about-us/news/barnaby-hone-appointed-visiting-professor-practice

Crime and COVID-19

IALS Associate Fellow, Professor Dimitris Ziouvas, hosted an online panel discussion on Crime and COVID-19: The impact of the pandemic on organized, financial and corruption crimes. 
Speakers were Mr Ilias Chatzis (UNODC), Gemma Aiolfi (Basel Institute on Governance) and Luca Bird (Global Initiative for Transnational Organised Crime). 

The video of the webinar is now available: https://ials.sas.ac.uk/podcasts/crime-and-covid-19-impact-pandemic-organized-financial-and-corruption-crimes

COVID-19

As the situation with COVID-19 continues to develop, and the numbers of confirmed cases and deaths continue to increase, it is trite to even think about ‘business as usual’ at this time. Here at IALS, the library is (rightly) closed until further notice, library staff are working from home, going above and beyond in their efforts to support our students and researchers, and we are doing our best to maintain some sense of normality – at a distance - during the pandemic. There has been some positive news during the ongoing shutdown, however, with a number of students successfully passing their Upgrade from the MPhil to the PhD programme and a successful PhD defence – all of which were conducted virtually, using either MS Teams or Skype (with a huge thanks to our IT specialists, who ensured that everything ran smoothly). 

The current pandemic has impacted our plans to launch a new research centre here at IALS – the Centre for Financial Law, Regulation & Compliance (FinReg). We have postponed our launch event – The Bribery Act: 10 Years On – as well as other events that we had planned, including two public lectures on (i) counter terrorist financing and (ii) competition law. We will post details of future events on this website in due course – when we have a clearer idea of when IALS will re-open. For the moment, research events can take a back-seat role as we focus on looking after ourselves and our loved ones. 

Take care! 

Publications

New article on beneficial ownership transparency

Dr Mahmood Bagheri (IALS) has co-authored an article with Jia Zhou, entitled Beneficial Ownership Transparency: The Viability of Global Implementation of G20 High-Level Principles. This article is published in European Business Law Review Volume 32, Issue 6 (2021) pp. 1021 – 1038, and the abstract is below.


The concept of beneficial ownership originally came from dual ownership regime which allows the division of legal and beneficial ownership, serving good economic functions, i.e. protection of family property and personal privacy. However, as dual ownership structures, e.g. trust, have been abused to such an extent that the transparency now outweighs the economic values of dual ownership, at least for most developed economies of the world. The G20 High-Level Principles on Beneficial Ownership Transparency thus came into being, pushing forward an agenda for changing the law globally to make the identities of the beneficial owners transparent, with a broader term of beneficial ownership than its original use in trust law. In this paper, we argue that these Principles, made by and serving the interests of small exclusive group of developed countries, could not be applied universally as the rule-takers, i.e. developing countries, do not share the same concern as the developed world and are unwilling to counter a problem they did not consider as a priority. Under the pressure of robust review mechanisms and name-and-shame strategy deployed by FATF and relevant international financial bodies, the rule-takers are forced to make relevant changes, but the changes will just be artificial and superficial to bypass the Principles prescribed and recommended by the rule makers who are not themselves taking a serious step to implement them.

Fei Nie and Mahmood Bagheri publish article on investor protection

Fei Nie (a student on IALS’ LLM in International Corporate Governance, Financial Regulation and Economic Law) and Dr Mahmood Bagheri (IALS) have co-authored an article entitled  “A comparison of investors’ protection in different securities holding systems and the legal implications of direct and indirect holding: a focus on china’s central securities depository legal position”. This article is published by the Capital Markets Law Journal, with advance access available from April 2021:  https://academic.oup.com/cmlj/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/cmlj/kmab004/6231550 

Abstract:
This article analyses the account opening, registration and custody functions of the Central Securities Depository in mainland China’s stock market, which are considered to form a typical direct holding system.  Taking these functions as a start point, this article then compares the advantages and disadvantages of protecting investors’ rights, both personal rights and proprietary rights, in direct and indirect holding systems. Different securities holding models are shaped by economies, technology and legal systems at different times. At the present stage, the further opening of China’s financial market and the diversified investment needs of investors have gradually formed a mixed holding system in China dominated by direct holding and supplemented by indirect holding. On the other hand, the Anglo-American market characterized by indirect holding also gradually provides a direct holding service.  From the aspects of protecting investors’ rights and the converging trend in practice, this article advocates that a hybrid securities holding system should be adopted to satisfy different investment demands. For the sake of clarity, under the indirect holding of securities, the intermediaries have some kind of ownership over the securities, while in the direct holding the investor (shareholder) directly and fully exercises his/her ownership proprietary rights. These diverse approaches have significant implications where intermediaries which hold the securities in their proprietary capacity go bankrupt. 

FinReg Director co-authors article on anti-money laundering compliance and the property market

Dr Ilaria Zavoli (Leeds) and Dr Colin King (IALS) have published an article in the Modern Law Review entitled ‘The Challenges of Implementing Anti-Money Laundering Regulation: An Empirical Analysis’.

The Modern Law Review, 84: 740-771. https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-2230.12628

Abstract: For over three decades, money laundering has been an area of concern for policymakers and law enforcement, with significant efforts undertaken at national and international levels to combat it. Recently, laundering of criminal proceeds using real property has attracted increased attention amongst policymakers. Various efforts are now being undertaken to tackle money laundering in the UK property market, but there are still significant difficulties in its practical implementation. Drawing upon semi-structured interviews with estate agents and compliance officials, this study identifies critical aspects of AML compliance that are particularly problematic for those involved in it. In so doing, this article delivers a new perspective, by analysing data gathered with the first empirical study on the implementation of AML obligations in practice (in the UK property market) since the introduction of the 2017 Money Laundering Regulations.

New report on Targeting Proceeds of Foreign Corruption in Ireland

Dr Colin King, director of FinReg, has co-authored a report for Transparency International Ireland exploring the AML and anti-corruption framework in Ireland. The report is available on the TI website: https://transparency.ie/news_events/report-finds-much-be-done-stop-ireland-becoming-%E2%80%98safe-haven%E2%80%99-world%E2%80%99s-dirty-money 

New publications by Tuğçe Yalçın

IALS PhD student  Tuğçe Yalçın has published two articles:

Well done, Tuğçe.    

‘The use of the comparative method in international arbitration scholarship’ – new article by Morad El Kadmiri

The article is published in (2020) Ius Comparatum 164-210, available here: bit.ly/3jXkoPt 

Abstract:
The comparative method is central to the developments of international arbitration. The recurrent epistemological debates on the nature of comparative law and its relationship with method have constituted a hindrance to the developments of the subject thus redefined. Starting from the premise that method is particular to the individual who sets to study an object comparatively, the initial question also determines the method to deploy. Therefore, an awareness of both the gaze of the comparison and methodology is necessary. Since the comparative method is not pan-disciplinary, the question of methodology is specifically addressed. The second salient development of this paper is concerned with the contribution comparative law can make to the teaching of international arbitration. Uses and misuses of the comparative method are underlined. Identifying the educational function of comparative law as one of its principal facets and arbitration as belonging to the realm of practice, the reconciliation of these two components seems difficult. A critical investigation on the treatment of comparative law in the literature is conducted before discussing shortcomings and needs in a conclusion on the direction scholarship should take to challenge comparative issues in international arbitration.

New publications on money laundering; company law; and financial markets, by Mahmood Bagheri

Dr Mahmood Bagheri, IALS has been very busy recently with three articles now published. These articles are:

  • Money Cleansing and Effectiveness of FATF Coercive Measures: An Overview, Amicus Curiae, Series 2, Vol 1, No 2, 274-86 (2020)
  • Okigbo, M., & Bagheri, M. The Application of the German Model of Company Law to the Banking Sector: A Private Law Measure to Avert Systemic Risk, Corporate Law & Governance Review, Vol 2, Issue 1, 27-41 (2020)
  • Basaran, B. and Bagheri, M. (2020) “The Relevance of ‘Trust and Confidence’ in Financial Markets to the Information Production Role of Banks,” European Journal of Risk Regulation. Cambridge University Press, pp. 1–17

Well done, Mahmood!

Impact of the EU's new foreign direct investment (FDI) screening framework for foreign companies in Austria

IALS Law PhD student Tuğçe Yalçın has published an article in International Trade Law and Regulation (Sweet & Maxwell), analysing the screening framework introduced by Regulation 2019/452 for foreign direct investments (FDIs) in the EU, and the potential consequences for FDIs in Austria. The article examines the position for investments covered by the Foreign Trade Act, including the scope for potential delays in the approval procedure, the situation regarding examination of the factual control of foreign companies, and the weight Member States must give to Commission opinions.
 
The article is available here: Int. T.L.R. 2020, 26(3), 197-201

Tuğçe Yalçın is an associate in the Corporate and M&A team at DLA Piper Austria and currently a PhD Candidate at IALS, University of London, as well as the Editor-in-Chief of the IALS Student Law Review. The title of her PhD thesis is "Warranty and Disclosure of Information in M&A Transactions in the Light of the Theory of Contract Law – Comparison of the Common Law and the Civil Law".  As an associate at DLA Piper, she advises national and international clients on cross-border M&A and financial transactions, corporate restructurings, in corporate law, financial law, commercial law, private foundation law, European law, foreign trade law, including regulatory issues. She heads DLA Piper’s Austrian-China-Desk: https://www.dlapiper.com/en/austria/people/y/yalcin-tugce/.

This article is co-authored with Christoph Mager, who is partner and head of the Corporate and M&A team at DLA Piper Austria. 

Special Journal Issue: Fraud and Financial Crime in the Public Sector

A special issue of Public Money and Management (https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rpmm20/40/5?nav=tocList ) has now been published (volume 40, number 5) examining fraud and financial crime. Amongst the articles is one by Dr Ilaria Zavoli (Leeds) and Dr Colin King (IALS) on ‘Estate agents’ perspectives of anti-money laundering compliance’. See the attached cover for the full table of contents.

EU Foreign Direct Investment Screening Framework for Foreign Investors

IALS Law PhD student Tuğçe Yalçin has published a blog post on the University of Oxford Business Law Blog, analysing the EU-FDI Regulation which shall be binding and directly applicable in all Member States from October 11, 2020: https://www.law.ox.ac.uk/business-law-blog/blog/2020/02/impact-new-eu-foreign-direct-investment-screening-framework-foreign 

Events

FinReg Webinar Series on The Bribery Act

FinReg are delighted to host a number of webinars during the Autumn term with an exciting list of participants from research, policy and practitioner backgrounds.

The first webinar is in collaboration with the Law Commission, exploring different aspects of the Commission’s Consultation Paper on Confiscation under Part 2 of the Proceeds of Crime Act. Details of this webinar are available at: https://www.ials.sas.ac.uk/events/event/23182 

FinReg has also organised a series of webinars exploring different aspects of The Bribery Act. This ‘festival of webinars’ replaces the launch event for the centre (originally scheduled for May, but postponed due to the global pandemic) – each webinar corresponding to a panel from the original plans – across five weeks. The five webinars look at: 

People

Professor Colin King

What is your current position?  

I am Reader in Law at IALS. 

What is your connection with IALS?

I joined IALS as Reader in Law and Director of Postgraduate Research Studies in October 2019. I am the founding director of the Centre for Financial Law, Regulation & Compliance. 

I currently supervise three PhD students here at IALS – on anti-money laundering law and regulation; child defendants in Pakistan; and judicial independence in Sierra Leone. 

What research are you currently conducting?

I am currently working on two projects:

  • Implementation of anti-money laundering regulations in the property market, with specific emphasis on the ‘view from the other side’ (ie how estate agents implement regulations in practice); and
  • Analysis of non-conviction based asset forfeiture (aka civil recovery) in Ireland and the UK. 

Why is that research important? 

‘Dirty money’ is regarded as a national security threat, as evident in various risk or threat assessments from the Home Office and other authorities. Equally, there are various proclamations from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) about money laundering and efforts to tackle it. My research projects are providing new, empirical insights into the operation of the law in practice using semi-structured expert interviews. 

My research has attracted interest from the likes of the Home Office; the Home Affairs Select Committee, Proceeds of Crime Inquiry; the Law Commission; the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security; and the British Columbia ‘Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in BC’.

Dr Mahmood Bagheri

What is your current position? 

Course Director for LLM in International Corporate Governance, Financial Regulation, Economic Law 

What is your connection with IALS?

Part time academic staff

What research are you currently conducting?

  • Law and Economics of Financial Markets 
  • Securities Regulation
  • Banking Law and Regulation
  • History of Financial Markets
  • Legal Theory and Philosophy  of Law
  • Legal Aspects of International Financial Markets
  • Contract Law Theories 
  • Conflict of Laws and International Finance
  • Competition Law and Financial Markets 
  • International Commercial Arbitration  

Why is that research important? 

Financial markets, both domestic and international, are at the core of the markets economies and are therefore related to each and every aspect of the economy. The research and teaching in this field, which requires an interdisciplinary approach, is both challenging and exciting as it is related to the most dynamic part of the economy. The legal framework of the financial markets, both private and public (regulatory) laws, provide the necessary platform and safeguard for smooth and safe operation of the markets.     

Anything else that you would like to add.

Special Interests: 

Dr. Bagheri is currently a currently the Course Director of  LLM in International Corporate Governance, Financial Regulation and Economic Law and teaches the International Trade and Finance module on the LLM programme.  His previous academic appointments include Lecturer in International Trade and Finance Law, School of Law, Brunel University; Research Fellow, Centre for Financial regulation, Cass Business School, City University; Visiting Senior Fellow and Lecturer in Banking and Finance Law, Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary College; Visiting Professor of law at the National University of Malaysia; Visiting Lecturer in Commercial Law, Birkbeck College School of Law, University of London; Visiting Lecturer in Contract Law, Open University; Visiting academic, School of Law, Doshisha University, Japan; Visiting scholar, Max Planck Institute, Germany. 

Additional Information: 

Dr. Bagheri is specialised in international financial law and has widely published on topics such as financial services under GATS, competition and integration among stock exchanges, internationalisation of securities markets and regulatory challenges, private international law of securities transactions and the role of informational intermediaries in financial regulation.

Dr Bagheri is willing to supervise PhD theses in the above research areas.