New Clause 67 - Civil asset recovery in cases of economic crime

Part of Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:45 pm on 24th November 2022.

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Photo of Margaret Hodge Margaret Hodge Labour, Barking 3:45 pm, 24th November 2022

To be honest, I do not think that would prevent the impact that the fear of incurring costs would have on how any of the agencies operate. Everyone in the House has great respect for Bill Browder, and I am sure that the Minister will have talked to him about the issue, and I know that the Under-Secretary has, too. Bill Browder is completely shocked and astounded by the fact that we allow any costs at all to be claimed by successful litigants when they challenge Government action.

I do not know whether either Minister had the chance to meet Judge Mark Wolf, who is over here campaigning for an international anti-corruption court. I do not know whether they have come across him. He was here last week and, when we talked about such litigation, he expressed absolute astonishment that defendants in any of these cases, have the right to any of their costs being met. In America, looking at those figures, great success comes from that hugely important lack of ability to claim costs.