CJEU: WM and Sovim SA v. Luxembourg Business Registers (Joined Cases C-37/20 and C-601/20)

Rethinking Transparency of Ultimate Beneficial Owners Registers





Register of Beneficial Owners, AML, Sovim Case, Transparency, Data Protection, Right to Privacy, CJEU


Rules against money laundering and terrorist financing are an area of law in which the European Union is significantly active and introduces many innovations. Public registers of beneficial ownership were one of the crucial tools with which this legislation promoted the openness of corporate structures in the European environment. For this reason, the judgment of the European Court of Justice in the Joined Cases C-37/20 and C-601/20, WM and Sovim SA v. Luxembourg Business Registers, which cancelled public access to beneficial ownership registers, caused an immense response. Part of the public sees this step as a major blow to the transparency and part as a victory for the rights of individuals. This paper explains the factual situation in the given case, summarises the Advocate General's opinion and analyses the reasons that led the Court to the presented conclusions. The author also reflects on the jurisprudence of the Court, which led to the issuance of this decision and its importance in the field of AML and the protection of the right to privacy in general. Based on these facts, the conclusion presents the possible development of future beneficial ownership registers in the EU.

Author Biography

Daniel Zigo, Comenius University Bratislava

Institute of Clinical Legal Education
Assistant Professor
Šafárikovo nám. 6, 818 00 Bratislava, Slovakia.


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How to Cite

Zigo, D. (2023). CJEU: WM and Sovim SA v. Luxembourg Business Registers (Joined Cases C-37/20 and C-601/20): Rethinking Transparency of Ultimate Beneficial Owners Registers. Bratislava Law Review, 7(2), 227–240. https://doi.org/10.46282/blr.2023.7.2.725