Trusts: Weapons of Mass Injustice?

60 Pages Posted: 30 Mar 2017 Last revised: 13 Nov 2017

Date Written: February 13, 2017


This paper seeks to start a debate on the harms that trusts can inflict on societies (e.g. money laundering, corruption and tax evasion risks, potential to defraud creditors, avoid taxes, etc.), and what can be done about this. The paper takes a global perspective on the risks of secrecy, asset protection and a race to the bottom on trust regulation, and proposes global and local solutions. The paper does not address the purely internal relationships between parties to a trust (such as settlors, trustees and beneficiaries), but focuses on trusts’ impact on wider society.

Keywords: trust, law, asset protection, tax evasion, transparency, beneficial ownership, tax avoidance, limited liability

Suggested Citation

Knobel, Andres, Trusts: Weapons of Mass Injustice? (February 13, 2017). Available at SSRN: or

Andres Knobel (Contact Author)

Tax Justice Network ( email )


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