Skip to main content
Latest 19 May 2023

REVEALED: Rishi Sunak sought to “evade” US securities law

I T S / Shutterstock

US court documents show how the hedge fund that Sunak worked for used ‘exotic derivatives’ to keep share prices down.

The Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, sought to “evade” US securities law, a document seen by Good Law Project reveals. The document, filed in litigation in 2008, relates to Mr Sunak’s time working at the Children’s Investment Fund (TCI) hedge fund. You can read it here.

TCI was accumulating a large stake in a listed company, CSX Corporation, which ran one of the biggest railroads in the United States. And its principals, including Mr Sunak, wished not to have to disclose to the investing public that fact. Had other investors known TCI was buying large parcels of CSX shares they would have driven up the price and made it more expensive for TCI to buy those shares. 

However, US securities law obliges anyone who has more than 5% of the shares in a listed company to disclose this fact. To evade this law, TCI embarked on a scheme to try and prevent disclosure by buying exotic derivatives – economic interests in CSX shares – rather than the shares itself. The scheme – which TCI went on to execute – would have benefitted TCI at the expense of other CSX investors.

Good Law Project is powered by people across the UKDonate now

The document records that Rishi Sunak was aware of the scheme, and indeed actively participated in it:


“In a December 18, 2006, email titled “CSX Swap Positions”, Rishi Sunak of TCI indicated that TCI is concerned ‘about [brokers] having to file at 5%’.”

And it contains a number of other references to Rishi Sunak’s participation in the scheme to, as the Court found, “evade the reporting requirements”. 

The decisions of the US Courts (which you can read here and here) do not record whether the scheme was lawful or unlawful.

Good Law Project approached 10 Downing Street and TCI fund for comment.

We can only do this work with your help. If you are interested in supporting us to hold power to account, you can do so here.