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TIPS Newsletter - June 2023 | Clamping down on SLAPP suits and political integrity

Dear TIPS Member,


On 13 June 2023, the UK Government announced that judges will have greater powers to dismiss lawsuits “designed purely to evade scrutiny and still freedom of speech” (aka Strategic Law Suits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs)) in government amendments to the Economic Crime and Transparency Bill currently making its way through Parliament. SLAPPS have been used predominantly by Russian oligarchs to silence critics, including investigative journalists, writers and campaigners. This is a welcome development following last year’s annual TI-UK event which focused on the role of media in exposing corruption and welcomes investigative journalist Catherine Belton, author of Putin’s People and defendant in a high profile SLAPP suit.


In addition, TI-UK has responded to revelations from the BBC and Evening Standard that Javad Marandi, a major donor to the Conservative Party, has been named in connection with court proceedings as a key part of an international money laundering operation (the Azerbaijani Laundromat). The Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) revealed how £2.3bn of dirty money had been spirited away by members of the country’s elite largely to benefit themselves but also to bribe European politicians. You can read TI-UK’s statement on the investigation here.


Please see below the TIPS Newsletter for June 2023. We look forward to seeing you soon.


- the TIPS team

 

1. Upcoming Events (register on our Events page)


TIPS Event | Anti-corruption efforts in Lebanon and beyond: how to expand a local anti-corruption initiative | 25 July 2023 | 7-8pm BST


Robots and Robbers - Financial Crime Technology Summit | 11-13 July 2023


Leveraging Big Data to Measure Cyber Risk | 11 July 2023 | 4pm BST


ESG in Practice: A Guide for Asset Managers and Landlords | 12 July 2023 | 8.30am BST


2. Recent Events


TIPS | 1MBD – A Whistleblower’s Story


On 27 May 2023, it was a pleasure and a privilege for the TIPS Network to host Xavier Justo, whistleblower in the 1MDB case and author of Rendezvous with Injustice. He discussed the his experience of sharing the information he obtained from Petrosaudi in the case as well as the role of law firms and banks in structuring the transactions that were central to the scandal.


The discussion was followed by an excellent Q&A session. Thank you to TIPS committee member Molly Vaughan for leading the conversation, to Kroll for kindly hosting the event, and to TIPS committee member Sandra Saadi for her support in putting the event together.


 

3. Items of Interest


TI publications.

- Millions of dollars missing: ‘Our auditors need autonomy’ – solutions to stem the corruption fuelling Sahel insecurity. See here.

- Spirited Away: What do we know about the demise of Scotland’s deposit return scheme? See here.


TI blogs.

- UK government needs to act to close property transparency loophole. See here.

- UK’s NICE must improve its approach to conflicts of interest. See here.

- Increasingly difficult to justify seats for life in parliament being routinely handed out by former prime ministers. See here.


Podcasts.

- Susan Rose-Ackerman: A deep dive into her research, tracing the global framework and overcoming challenges. Listen here

- Preparing for Europe’s AMLA and fighting financial crime with Dutch central banker Willem Schudel. Listen here.

- Kickback: John Githongo on lessons from the fight against corruption in Kenya. Listen here.


Other items.

- New SFO Director announced. See here.

- The cost of the global arms race. See here.

- Aftershock: Ukraine can win the war but lose the peace. See here

- Public funding of political parties is unlikely to reduce corruption. See here.

 

4. Jobs Board


- Research Project Manager – Government Defence Index (GDI), TI-UK, London. Apply here. - Director, Financial Crime | Forensic & Litigation Consulting, FTI Consulting, London. Apply here.

- Global ESG Analyst, LGIM, London. Apply here.

 

5. One Minute Reads


New One Minute Reads have been uploaded to the TIPS website. Please do click the link to read more – perfect for your morning/evening WFH coffee break!

 

6. Support TI-UK directly by joining Friends of TI-UK!


As a friend of TI-UK you will receive updates from TI-UK directly about TI-UK's ground-breaking research & advocacy campaigns. Your subscription will also support TI-UK's ongoing work across the UK, Business, Health, Defence & Security initiatives. Find out more here.

 

7. Focus on...

Rebecca Rossiter


Director | Forensics,

AlixPartners LLP

TIPS Member



What is your background?

I got involved in the TIPS network around two years ago after being introduced through James Ford, Co-Chair of the TIPS Managing Committee. The network’s activities strongly align with my focus as a Forensic Accountant at AlixPartners where, amongst other areas, I cover investigations of fraud, misconduct, bribery, and corruption.


Having worked in several countries over my career, I have seen a wide range of issues faced by different organisations and how approaches can differ depending on the culture. The more I have had the opportunity to speak to people from different backgrounds, different countries and cultures who work in the same area, the more I continually learn.


TIPS is a great way of meeting like-minded people with shared interests in the field. It is an opportunity to learn from others, exchange information and build on each other’s ideas.


Why did you get involved with TIPS?


One of the significant objectives of TIPS is to facilitate discussion on anti-corruption issues. In this regard, I have found that the events and discussions that the TIPS network organises, and supports are informative and incredibly thought-provoking. They arrange a whole host of fascinating speakers and debates, from anti-corruption authors and whistle-blowers through to sanctions experts, whose knowledge and expertise are incomparable. As an avid anti-corruption reader, I love to hear from the experts themselves and pose questions to them that you ordinarily would not have the opportunity to ask.


Connect with Rebecca on LinkedIn.

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