Corporate weekly highlights—27 January 2017

Welcome to the weekly highlights from the Lexis®PSL Corporate team for the week ending 27 January 2017, which provide news updates and a comprehensive list of dates for your diary. This week’s edition features: the European Commission’s public consultation on the Capital Markets Union (CMU); the Supreme Court’s decision in R (on the application of Miller and another) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union where it was ruled that an Act of Parliament is required to authorise the triggering of Article 50 TEU by the UK government; two news analysis pieces concerning the landmark Brexit judgment; and news analysis of the government’s recent consultation on whether to reform the law on corporate liability for economic crime. 

Headlines (News updates & analysis)

Capital Markets Union

Commission seeks input on CMU progress and prospects

The European Commission has announced a public consultation ahead of its CMU mid-term review MTR in June 2017. The CMU is the EU-wide plan to strengthen capital markets and investment in the long term.

The Action Plan published in September 2015 sets out the priority actions needed to put in place the building blocks of a CMU by 2019. The Commission says that 15 initiatives outlined in the Action Plan have been completed, and that several more will be launched in the coming months.

The Commission says the MTR will take stock of the progress on the implementation for the CMU Action Plan, update actions in the light of work undertaken so far and evolving market circumstances, and complement the CMU Action Plan with new measures that constitute an effective and proportionate response to key challenges.

The Commission says input from the consultation, together with findings from its 2015 Call for Evidence on the EU regulatory framework for financial services, will help it take stock of the already adopted measures, help it plan new measures, and feed into the MTR.

Evidence-based feedback and specific operational suggestions are sought by 17 March 2017.

Brexit related developments

Article 50: Government must legislate but not obliged to consult devolved legislatures

In its judgment in R (on the application of Miller and another) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union [2017] UKSC 5, the Supreme Court ruled (by majority) that an Act of Parliament is required to authorise the triggering of Article 50 by the UK government. However, the Court unanimously concluded the government is not legally compelled to consult the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and the devolved legislatures do not have a veto on the UK’s decision to withdraw from the EU. Legal experts believe the Act of Parliament required to set in motion the UK's withdrawal will likely trigger a period of major constitutional debate, throwing the Prime Minister’s March 2017 deadline into some doubt. Meanwhile, lawyers tell LexisNexis, despite the Supreme Court’s ruling on the devolution issues, the government might still have a political obligation to consult the devolved administrations.

Relevant updates from other practice areas

Public law

Article 50 litigation―UK Supreme Court rules on the limits of the prerogative and devolved powers

In this analysis, Professor Adam Cygan, who lectures on EU law at the University of Leicester, considers the judgment in R (on the application of Miller and another) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union. The author analyses the central issues in the judgment, the impact on the government's Brexit plans, the implications for the UK devolved administrations and wider legal and constitutional implications.

The Supreme Court's judgment on Article 50―what happens now?

In this analysis, our panel of experts considers what the judgment in R (on the application of Miller and another) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union means for the UK's withdrawal from the EU. The panel also explores the wider legal, political and constitutional significance of the judgment.

Corporate crime

Economic crime and corporate liability

In this analysis, Kevin Dent, barrister at 5 St Andrew’s Hill, considers the rationale behind the government’s recent consultation on whether to reform the law on corporate liability for economic crime.

The government has issued an open call for evidence on the extent to which the identification doctrine is deficient as a tool for enforcement against large companies. The call for evidence is concerned with criminal offences designed to punish and prevent economic crimes committed on behalf or in the name of companies, such as fraud, false accounting and money laundering. The call for evidence closes on 24 March 2017.

The author examines what is currently perceived to be wrong with the identification doctrine, the options for reform contained in the consultation, the arguments for and against amending the current law, and the consultation's relevance for lawyers.

Dates for your diary

Date Subjects covered
1 February 2017 The Institutional Shareholder Services Inc's final 2017 benchmark voting policy changes will apply to shareholder meetings taking place on or after 1 February 2017.
1 February 2017 The government has published draft tax legislation to implement policies published at Summer Budget 2015, Budget 2016 and Autumn Statement 2016 in Finance Bill 2017. Consultation on the draft legislation will run until 1 February 2017.
2 February 2017 The consultation on the Financial Conduct Authority's (FCA) decision making process under the Money Laundering Regulations 2007 closes on 2 February 2017.
2 February 2017 The consultation on the FCA's decision making process under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014 closes on 2 February 2017.
17 February 2017 The government has published a Green Paper on corporate governance reform, which seeks views on three areas where the government is considering updating the UK’s corporate governance framework. The government is inviting responses to the Green Paper by 17 February 2017.
17 February 2017 The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has issued for consultation its plan and budget for 2017/18. A key focus of the FRC’s work will be its monitoring and enforcement activities to ensure the UK’s reputation for high standards of corporate governance and reporting, and its standing as a global centre of excellence for accountancy, audit and actuarial work. Comments are sought by 17 February 2017.
17 February 2017 The FCA has published its fourth and final consultation paper (CP16/43) on the implementation of Markets in Financial Instruments Directive 2014/65/EU (MiFID II) and the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation 600/2014/EU (MiFIR). The deadline for comments is 17 February 2017.

Relevant Articles
Area of Interest