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What are the implications of a Yes vote in the Scottish referendum for corporate lawyers? Kenneth Rose, partner at CMS Cameron McKenna in Edinburgh, says Scottish independence could be a stimulus for corporate activity, including acquisitions and disposals, as businesses assess the changes in the Scottish market.
Any form of material change in the business environment is usually a catalyst for corporate activity. With Scottish independence we would expect businesses based in Scotland and/or doing business in Scotland to be looking at their business structures to determine whether they are appropriate for any revised business and legal environment. The creation of new legal entities on either side of the border, the re-alignment of assets and the creation of revised group and corporate structures will all generate corporate activity. We can also see that such a change could be a stimulus for corporate activity, including acquisitions and disposals, as businesses assess the changes in the Scottish market.
While Scots law is already distinct from English law, the two legal systems are, in many ways, very similar. In particular the distinctions in the corporate area are generally minor, with both relying on a common set of companies and financial regulation legislation--in many cases derived from EU sources. The key regulators such as the Competition and Markets Authority, Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Prudential Regulatory Authority and Bank of England are common across the UK. It would remain to be seen what approach would be taken to regulation in an independent Scotland and the likely impa
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