In-house legal and regulatory update -June 2019

We bring you updates across Brexit, Corporate & Commercial, Data Security, Advertising & Marketing, Employment, Consumer law, focusing on the commercial aspects and look at the practical steps for you to consider.

This month we cover Brexit consumer protections, data protection, crime prevention, cyber security, the challenges presented by the GDPR in its first year, increasing pension scheme buy in and modern slavery. 

In this issue:

Brexit

Risk & Compliance

Commercial

Corporate

Information Law & TMT

Employment

Brexit-- EU and Member State no-deal preparations

The House of Commons Library has released a report called ‘EU preparations for a no-deal Brexit’, which looks at both EU-level preparations for a no-deal Brexit and those preparations put in place by some EU Member States. See: LNB News 03/06/2019 67. 

Brexit—consumer protection

The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper on the impact of Brexit on consumers rights in the UK. The briefing paper summarises the current structure of the UK consumer protection regime and EU consumer policy and provides an outline of the possible impact of Brexit for UK consumers, including in a no-deal scenario. See: LNB News 31/05/2019 3.

Risk & Compliance

Risk & Compliance monthly highlights—May 2019

This month’s edition of Risk and Compliance highlights includes: (1) Brexit; (2) economic crime; (3) dealing with the regulators; (4) data protection; (5) modern slavery; (6) cybersecurity, (7) a selection of other news and updates; and (8) all the latest new and updated content. See: Risk & Compliance monthly highlights—May 2019.

Data protection

Britain’s top court has said that it will hear an appeal from supermarket chain Morrisons challenging a ruling holding it liable for data protection violations after a disgruntled employee stole and published payroll details for almost 100,000 fellow workers. See News Analysis: Morrisons data breach dispute heads To UK top court.

As part of a series on different data protection regimes across the globe and how UK businesses operate within them, Professor Anne Mitchell, attorney in internet law and policy and CEO of the Institute for Social Internet Public Policy, presents a US perspective, see News Analysis: The global outlook on data protection—the US, and James Mullock, partner at Bird & Bird, discusses the impact of the General Data Protection Regulation, Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (the GDPR) and the future of EU data protection in regard to the UK. See News Analysis: The global outlook on data protection—the European Union.

The European Commission has issued guidance for businesses on how Regulation (EU) 2018/1807 on the free flow of non-personal data interacts with the GDPR and how to process mixed datasets of personal and non-personal data. See: LNB News 30/05/2019 20.

Crime prevention

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has fined FH Bertling Ltd £850,000 for its $20m Angolan bribery scheme, after a four-year investigation. While involved in an oil project in Angola, employees at FH Bertling Ltd bribed a local state oil company official to secure $20m worth of shipping contracts, paying bribes amounting to $350,000. See: LNB News 04/06/2019 22.

The recent collapse of the SFO prosecution of former Tesco managers has led many commentators to denounce the deferred prosecution agreement regime. To understand why this criticism is flawed, compare the different lenses through which a prosecutor and a judge examine the evidence in a DPA, says Andrew Smith of Corker Binning. See News Analysis: Deferred prosecution agreements are not unfair.

A former company director has pleaded guilty to bribery chargers in relation to a scheme which saw her company secure £12m worth of contracts. See: LNB News 31/05/2019 11.


Cybersecurity

The European Commission has published a brochure on the EU’s main cybersecurity policy and research activities. The brochure provides an overview of measures adopted to shield the European digital single market and protect infrastructure, governments, businesses and citizens. It also estimates that the EU cybersecurity market will be worth €30bn in 2020. See: LNB News 05/06/2019 73.

Commercial

Consumer protection

The government has announced its plans to create a new independent Consumer Advocate to increase consumer protection against unfair practices in the telecommunications sector. See: LNB News 03/06/2019 55.

Ofcom has announced that all of the UK’s biggest providers of broadband, mobile, pay-TV and home phone services have signed a set of new fairness for customers commitments. The commitments are designed to put fairness at the heart of business and have been developed to strengthen how companies treat their customers. See: LNB News 03/06/2019 5.

Public procurement

Lucy James, partner at Trowers & Hamlins LLP, looks at the legal effect of a decision to abandon a procurement exercise and whether it extinguishes an accrued cause of action a bidder may have against a contracting authority for breaches of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, SI 2015/102. See: Abandoning a procurement exercise—when can a contracting authority extinguish a challenge? (Amey Highways Ltd v West Sussex County Council).

Corporate

Trends in UK Equity Capital Markets

Market Tracker’s annual report on trends in UK Equity Capital Markets reviews IPOs and secondary fundraisings from 2016 through to 2018 on both the Main Market and AIM. The report also looks at legal and regulatory developments in 2018 and the first quarter of 2019, and analyses current hot topics including the effect of recent reforms to the Main Market IPO process and the impact of Brexit on risk factors in prospectuses.

 

Corporate governance

The Governance Institute (ICSA) has published a consultation aimed at assessing the quality of independent board evaluation in the UK listed sector, as well as ways in which it might be improved. See: LNB News 31/05/2019 33.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published a policy statement (PS19/13) following its consultation paper (CP19/7) on proposals to (i) implement requirements of the revised Shareholder Rights Directive (SRD II) and (ii) improve shareholder engagement. See: LNB News 31/05/2019 49.

 

Information Law & TMT

Data protection

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published an overview of its work regarding the implementation of the GDPR and future priorities for the year ahead. See: LNB News 03/06/2019 13.

Iain Wilson, managing partner at Brett Wilson LLP, comments on the utility of the GDPR in privacy cases in light of the recent case brought by the Duke of Sussex, which was settled out of court. See News Analysis: Using the GDPR in a privacy claim.

The Irish Supreme Court shot down Facebook’s latest attempt to block the European Court of Justice from considering whether two popular mechanisms (standard contractual clauses and the EU-US Privacy Shield) used to transfer Europeans' personal data to the US are lawful. See News Analysis: Facebook can't keep data transfer row out of EU High Court.

AI

The ICO has published the Project Explain interim report, looking at practical guidance for organisations to help them explain AI decisions to the individuals affected. See: LNB News 03/06/2019 52.

Cybersecurity

Emily Taylor, CEO at Oxford Information Labs, associate fellow with the International Security Department at Chatham House and editor of the Journal of Cyber Policy, explains some of the concerns surrounding Huawei and the broader political and security issues. See News Analysis: National security and cybersecurity risks stemming from Huawei.

As new technologies develop, the smart grid and smart devices become increasingly interconnected and exposed to security incidents. In the European Union, as in other jurisdictions, the critical nature of energy infrastructure, and the vital nature of energy supply, have required new cybersecurity policies and initiatives. It is not always easy for stakeholders to keep up. See News Analysis: Key issues for energy companies in EU cybersecurity guidance.


Employment

Challenges presented by the GDPR in its first year in the employment context

One year on from the introduction of the GDPR, Kim Roberts, counsel at King & Spalding, assesses its impact in the field of employment. See News Analysis: Challenges presented by the GDPR in its first year in the employment context.

Equality—disability

The positive effects of measures taken to treat or correct a physical or mental impairment are generally to be excluded when assessing whether a person’s impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities, and is thereby a disability for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010. However, an exception to this rule applies in relation to a sight impairment, to the extent that the impairment is, in the person’s case, correctable by spectacles or contact lenses. The correct approach to be taken when applying this exception was considered by the EAT in Mart v Assessment Services Inc (UKEATS/0032/18/SS). See News Analysis: Disability: meaning of sight impairment being ‘correctable’ by spectacles or contact lenses (Mart v Assessment Services Inc).

Modern slavery

The Home Office has introduced plans to allow an independent group of professionals to assess specific cases relating to victims of modern slavery. See: LNB News 03/06/2019 3.

Pensions

87% of eligible employees were participating in a workplace pension in 2018, up from 84% in 2017, according to the latest analysis by the Department for Work and Pensions of workplace pension participation and saving trends of employees eligible for automatic enrolment. See: LNB News 05/06/2019 51.

Immigration

How efficient and effective is Home Office policy on preventing illegal working? Shahjahan Ali, partner and head of immigration at DAC Beachcroft LLP, looks at the latest report on the matter by the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration (ICIBI). See News Analysis: Is the Home Office’s approach to preventing illegal working effective?


 

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