Rulings of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on privacy issues between November 2022 and May 2023 have resulted in the closing down of public access to information on the beneficial ownership of companies, along with a disincentive to the investigation of company ownership and on public disclosure or reporting of it. In an article in the Law Society of Ireland Gazette of June 2023, our senior lawyer Paul Egan SC explains these cases and their effects.
Just after the article was published, the Irish government enacted an amendment to the law, ostensibly to restore access to this information in Ireland for the press and public interest bodies.
However, as this Irish Times article highlights, for the press or those bodies to gain access to ownership information, it looks like they need to know that information already. As our partner Frank Flanagan points out in the article, it's Catch-22.