McDermott Comment | Treasury Plans New Security Rules To Tighten Grip On Listings


Hamid Yunis, a partner at law firm McDermott Will & Emery, said:

“Whilst security/public interest considerations are absolutely valid reasons to create restrictions, what is not is an overly interventionist approach that will hurt access to the capital markets for genuine businesses and investors from countries around the world. A perception that such restrictions, widely applied,  may exist can hurt the City. Therefore, any such restrictions need to be drafted in a way that is clear, concise and easily capable of interpretation, with perhaps a process of appeal/ approval, rather than being highly speculative and dependent on the prevailing political views at that time.”

Tom Whelan, a partner at law firm McDermott Will & Emery, added:

“I don’t see the connection between this additional protectionist regime and “dirty money”, given that there are already money laundering and sanctions laws in force that are designed to prevent fraudulent funds flowing through the system, and which apply in the context of listings.  It’s hard also to see how a listing of a company in the UK causes by itself a national security threat.  The new NSI Bill that is proposed to be implemented later this year should already cover areas of concern and also be capable of applying to UK listed companies in the context of acquisitions and investments they make in the UK where the control of such listed companies lies with foreign investors.  If the concern is around organic expansion of the business of the listed company and its subsidiaries in the UK or a change in the nature of the business in the UK into new sensitive areas, then consideration should be given to amending the NSI Bill to address that concern, and restrict such development.”