On August 1, new rules came into force in the UK governing the operation of a special registry of foreign legal entities, designed to identify corrupt oligarchs and elites who are trying to hide property in the UK, acquired illegally.
From now on, any foreign company wishing to purchase property in the UK will have to identify its beneficial owner and provide verified information to the UK Companies House before applying to the land registers. For those overseas entities that already own land in the UK, there is a 6 month transition period to register their beneficial owners or managers.
The measures are part of an economic crimes law passed to stop the flow of illegal Russian money into London following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Note that these rules apply retrospectively to property purchased: from January 1999 in England and Wales, and from December 2014 in Scotland. Those foreign companies that do not comply with the new obligations risk facing criminal liability, namely a fine of up to £2,500 a day or imprisonment for up to 5 years.