Peters & Peters

Scoping the landscape of legal and financial risk

Geopolitical instability and regional realignments have always by definition had a profound impact on the shape and intensity of business and personal risk. The last two years are certainly no exception.

In this report, Peters & Peters has invited prominent observers of the international political and economic landscape to share their thoughts on new and developing trends in legal and financial risk, for the benefit of our clients.


We’re pleased to welcome a keynote article from Tom Keatinge, Director of the Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies at the Royal United Services Institute, on how unscrupulous players in the new political order are exploiting and misusing systems established to combat global financial crime. Twenty years on from 9/11, Tom which surveys the architecture of the global counter-terrorism and financial crime regime erected in the aftermath of that atrocity, and shows how it is being abused by populist regimes to target political opponents. It’s a thought-provoking, even chilling piece, which ends with a clarion call for the founders of the world system to do more to prevent its abuse, targeting crimes of omission as well as commission.


Shifting to one of the main axes of growing global conflict today, George Magnus looks at Sino-US relations and how they are increasing risk for business and investors. George is an associate at the China Centre at Oxford University, a research associate at the School of Oriental and African Studies, and former chief economist of UBS. He wrote the highly regarded book Red Flags: Why Xi’s China Is in Jeopardy, and takes us through the laws, policies and practices that heighten commercial and personal risk for those doing business under the watchful eye of the Chinese Communist Party.


The Middle East and Central Asia remain a key epicentre of uncertainty. We secured a commentary from a samizdat voice with deep knowledge of the workings of the fiscal and economic policies and systems of key states in the region. To disguise their identity, we have converted their thoughts into an animated overview of medium-term prospects and economic developments in Saudi, the UAE, Egypt, Iran and Afghanistan. We hope you find these unique insights of interest.


And of course, all these phenomena have legal consequences. My colleagues at Peters & Peters have distilled their thoughts into short commentaries to help you navigate the new landscape.


Anna Bradshaw, Partner, has day to day experience of the rise of economic sanctions as a tool of inter-state conflict, and has seen how individuals and companies get caught. She sets out 11 things you need to know.


International tensions have, paradoxically, gone hand in hand with constant large-scale collaboration between law enforcement agencies in states which officially appear not top trust one another an inch. Nick Vamos, Partner, looks into the hidden world of Mutual Legal Assistance and sets out what you can do if an abusive regime is targeting you: how can you prevent your own country assisting in the injustice?


The most severe form of the mutual legal assistance is of course extradition. Our partner Jasvinder Nakhwal draws on years of experience resisting extradition to set out the key factors you should bear in mind. Get this wrong, and the consequences could threaten liberty and personal safety.


The combination of Covid-19 lockdowns and globalisation has been a veritable epidemic of fraud, affecting ever more businesses and individuals around the world. Our Partner and Head of Civil Fraud and Commercial Disputes, Jonathan Tickner, and our specialist researcher Caroline Timoney, chart the various mechanisms you can use – both civil and criminal – if you are seeking to trace and recover assets, or if your assets have wrongly been subject to confiscation.


Finally, the internationalisation of business and the increased tensions between corporations and states are driving a growth in cross-border litigation. But in which jurisdiction do you want your case to be heard? Our Head of International, Keith Oliver, and Senior Associate Vladimir Meerovich, take a deep dive into the rules governing you choice of jurisdiction – and what you need to do to avoid a case being heard elsewhere, against your will.


We hope you enjoy our report. We’ll be adding to it over the months ahead, so do sign up for further updates.


Michael O’Kane, Senior Partner, Peters & Peters