Latest Legal and Regulatory news update - 24th September

Latest Legal and Regulatory news update - 24th September

In this issue:

In-house

Risk & Compliance

Commercial

Corporate

Information law and TMT

Employment

 


 

In-house

Virtual networking and forum events

There’s no need to feel isolated if you are working from home—join one of our virtual networking or forum events. Even if you aren’t working from home, take some time to network with your peers, find out what challenges they’re facing and how they are meeting those challenges.

29 September 2020
LexisNexis i-LIKE forum: Scenario Planning for Legal Teams
Register now to attend

The LexisNexis i-LIKE forum brings together senior counsel, knowledge managers and legal operations directors working in-house to drive meaningful engagement, collaboration and innovation in driving peak in-house legal department performance through sharing best practice.
With COVID-19 bringing unprecedented pressure to bear on the in-house legal function it can be hard for you to raise your head and look to the future. So how do you escape the reactivity trap and get the legal function ahead of the curve?

14 October 2020
Commercial and employment law updates
Register now to attend

In this bitesize session we will discuss the latest government guidance as well as regulatory news and legal updates.

11 November 2020
Modern slavery
Register now to attend

Modern slavery is a topic of vital global importance. A panel discussion on this topic will be followed by an interactive Q&A session. As this is Armistice Day, we will end the session with a minute’s silence.

8 December 2020
Gift to you
Register now to attend

This session will focus on your personal and career development. There will be an executive coach guest speaker who will address virtual networking and leadership. The session will also include both a commercial and COVID-19 update.

Various dates from September to December 2020
LexisNexis Aspire Forum for Junior In-house Lawyers
To register your interest in joining the events, sign up as an Aspire member today

Aspire is a professional development and networking forum for junior in-house counsel. Following the success of the summer event series, we have several events planned for the remainder of the year to continue supporting you through these uncertain times and provide a platform for you to connect with your peers. Events take place at the same time each month, from 5pm to 6:30pm.
Upcoming subjects include mental health and junior in-house counsel, legal operations, career development and mentoring for junior in-house counsel and, of course, a Christmas quiz and networking social.

 


 

Risk & Compliance

Coronavirus

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published data protection guidance for organisations required to collect customer and visitor information amid the coronavirus pandemic. In England, businesses in the hospitality sector, leisure and tourism sector and close-contact businesses, such as barbers and beauticians, are required by the government to collect customer information for its test and trace programme. The Scottish and Welsh Governments have also mandated certain organisations to ask for customer and visitor information. See: LNB News 21/09/2020 19.

Data protection

The ICO has launched an Accountability Framework to help organisations set out a roadmap for compliance. See: LNB News 10/09/2020 103.

Financial crime and sanctions

Karl Masi, associate at Peters & Peters Solicitors LLP, discusses the proposed Economic Crime Levy, which originated from the government’s Economic Crime Plan (ECP) and which is designed to help combat money laundering and support reforms arising out of the ECP, and considers why is it needed and how it may work in practice. See News Analysis: What is the proposed Economic Crime Levy and why is it needed?

The government has announced that Companies House is to be reformed to clamp down on fraud and money laundering. Compulsory identity verification is to be introduced, with directors not being able to be appointed until their identity has been verified by Companies House. In addition, Companies House will be given greater powers to query, investigate and remove false information. See: LNB News 18/09/2020 60.

Law360, London: Recently leaked documents detailing $US 2trn worth of suspicious bank transactions have exposed Britain’s role as a money laundering hub, offering what white collar lawyers called a stark symbol of failed law enforcement and deficient dirty money defences in need of an overhaul. See News Analysis: FinCEN leaks reveal failure of AML enforcement, regulation.

The Chair of the Treasury Committee, Rt Hon Mel Stride MP, has written to government Ministers, HMRC and the Financial Conduct Authority to answer a series of questions regarding the FinCEN papers. See: LNB News 23/09/2020 70.

A review of 41 actions undertaken since the US Department Justice’s (DOJ) Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) corporate enforcement policy was introduced four years ago reveals that the DOJ and US Securities and Exchange Commission consistently reward timely self-disclosure and full co-operation, say lawyers at Ropes & Gray. See News Analysis: Self-disclosure trends in US FCPA corporate enforcement policy.

Modern slavery

The government has published its response to the transparency supply chains consultation on proposed changes to the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (MSA 2015). It has committed ‘to an ambitious package of measures to strengthen and future-proof the Modern Slavery Act’s transparency legislation’. As part of these measures, public bodies with a budget of at least £36m will be required to report on a regular basis on the steps taken ‘to prevent modern slavery in their supply chains’, and to publish ‘their modern slavery statements on a new digital government reporting service’. The government also intends to set up a single enforcement body for employment rights and to take forward ‘options for civil penalties for non-compliance’ with the MSA 2015. See: LNB News 22/09/2020 62.

 


 

Commercial

Brexit and beyond

The Cabinet Office has published new guidance on trading with the EU to help stakeholders prepare for the end of the transition period. See: LNB News 23/09/2020 34.

The Department for International Trade has reported on the removal of 175 barriers to trade across 61 countries worldwide in the financial year 2019–20, ‘opening new global markets for British exporters’. See: LNB News 23/09/2020 104.

As negotiations on the future UK-EU relationship continue, the UK is said to be in ‘advanced stages’ of parallel negotiations with the US, following the fourth round of talks on the UK-US Free Trade Agreement. See: LNB News 22/09/2020 45.

For analysis of the UK Internal Market Bill, see News Analyses: Goods in the UK Internal Market Bill—the Emperor’s new clothes? and Can the European Commission secure UK compliance with the Northern Ireland Protocol? (and why we should be worried if it can).

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Cabinet Office has announced further national restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). As of 23 September 2020, face coverings must be worn in private hire vehicles and taxis. The requirement to wear face coverings will extend to staff in hospitality and retail and customers of such establishments except when sitting at a table to eat or drink from 24 September 2020. From 24 September 2020, businesses which sell food, alongside businesses such as casinos and bingo halls, must be closed between 10pm and5 am, however, delivery services can continue after that time. Those businesses must also display NHS QR code posters to allow customers to check-in at the premises. Stricter rules requiring businesses and organisations to make their premises ‘COVID Secure’ will also come into force on 28 September 2020. A further £60m will be made available to support additional enforcement activities by local authorities and the police. See: LNB News 23/09/2020 21.

Public procurement

In a preliminary ruling, the European Court of Justice decided that a contract for no identifiable, financial consideration did not fall within the definition of a contract ‘for pecuniary interest’ within the meaning of Article 2(1)(5) of the Public Contracts Directive. Written by Jonathan Lewis, barrister, at Henderson Chambers. See News Analysis: Meaning of ‘contracts for pecuniary interest’ (Tax-Fin-Lex d o o v Ministrstvo za notranje zadeve).

 


 

Corporate

Equity capital markets

The London Stock Exchange (LSE) has adopted various amendments and updates to the Rules of the LSE effective from 21 September 2020. All LSE member firms are bound by the rules, which are now aligned more closely with the structure of the trading system and have been simplified to make them more user-friendly. See: LNB News 21/09/2020 62.

Companies House

Companies House has updated its webpage on filing a second filing of a document previously delivered (RP04), to add online filing options for second filing and advice about correcting errors made on company incorporation documents. See: LNB News 18/09/2020 71.

Corporate governance

The World Economic Forum has released a white paper setting out 21 core metrics and 34 expanded metrics, covering environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues ranging from emissions to social factors such as pay and gender ratios and governance targets. See: LNB News 23/09/2020 53.

Financial Services analysis: Lora Froud, partner, and Tiffany Cox, solicitor, at Macfarlanes discuss the scope, impact, new concepts and next steps of the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (EU) 2019/2088 (EU Disclosure Regulation), the majority of whose provisions come into force on 10 March 2021. See News Analysis: Overview of the EU Disclosure Regulation.

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has published preliminary data which shows that for the first time more than a third of board members across the FTSE 350 are women. See: LNB News 23/09/2020 40.

 


 

Information law and TMT

Coronavirus

The ICO has published data protection guidance for organisations required to collect customer and visitor information amid the coronavirus pandemic. In England, businesses in the hospitality sector, leisure and tourism sector and close-contact businesses, such as barbers and beauticians, are required by the government to collect customer information for its test and trace programme. The Scottish and Welsh Governments have also mandated certain organisations to ask for customer and visitor information. See: LNB News 21/09/2020 19.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has announced that the ASA Council has agreed three guiding principles to apply when assessing ads that depict scenes or behaviours which are contrary to the coronavirus rules and guidelines. See: LNB News 21/09/2020 90.

ePrivacy

MLex: An EU proposal to allow WhatsApp, Skype, Viber and other services to continue screening for child abuse images and messages could help ease negotiations on the planned ePrivacy Regulation by removing a key point of contention. See News Analysis: EU plan to fight online child abuse boosts chances for ePrivacy Regulation.

Smart contracts

The Law Commission has started work on two new projects to ensure English law can accommodate the emerging technologies of smart contracts and digital assets. See: LNB News 21/09/2020 58.

 


 

Employment

IR35

HMRC has updated the off-payroll IR35 aspects of its Employment Status Manual ahead of the changes to the regime taking effect on 6 April 2021. See: LNB News 23/09/2020 66.

Immigration

Three new sets of draft Regulations were published on 21 September 2020 which will form part of the legislative framework governing the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020 (IP completion day). The new Regulations cover provision for: ‘frontier workers’ (EEA and Swiss citizens who primarily live outside the UK, but have worked regularly in the UK prior to IP completion day); protecting the lawful residence of certain EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members who were resident in the UK on IP completion day but did not yet have leave granted under the EU Settlement Scheme (until the end of the application grace period); and implementing the Withdrawal Agreement and equivalent EEA and Swiss agreements in relation to EU law protections from expulsion. The frontier worker regulations could also be relevant for persons who have obtained pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, but were subsequently unable to meet the requirements for settled status relating to continuous residence in the UK. See News Analysis: ‘Frontier workers’ and other IP completion day preparations.

The Home Office has updated its guidance webpage on the right to work in the UK for frontier workers, on 21 September 2020. It confirms that frontier workers who are working in the UK before 1 January 2021 must apply for a ‘frontier worker permit’ to retain their frontier worker status. From 1 July 2021, individuals will be required to hold a valid passport or national identity card and a frontier worker permit in order to enter the UK as a frontier worker. Irish citizens will not need a permit but may apply for one if they wish. Applications will be free and individuals can make an application from inside or outside the UK. Further details on the frontier worker permit scheme will be set out ‘later this year’. See: LNB News 21/09/2020 37.

The Home Office has updated its guidance ‘Points-based system sponsor licensing: renewals’ on 18 September 2020 to include details on the ‘streamlined renewal process’. Sponsors who have successfully renewed their sponsor licence twice, and have no ‘compliance concerns’ may be eligible for a streamlined consideration process when applying to renew their licence. See: LNB News 18/09/2020 74.

Protected characteristics

The Minister for Women and Equalities, Elizabeth Truss MP, has outlined the government’s response to the consultation on the Gender Recognition Act 2004 (GRA 2004). The government has concluded that current provisions within the GRA 2004 enable individuals to change their sex legally in a safe and fair manner. Essentially, the require


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About the author:

Louisa leads marketing for the in-house legal community at LexisNexis. She joined the dedicated in-house team at LexisNexis four years ago and has a passion for driving and facilitating initiatives which are customer-focused at their heart. Her vision is to support in-house counsel succeed in their fast-evolving role based on deep insight, data analysis and best practice gathered across the in-house community.

Prior to her in-house focused role, Louisa led the marketing for the bar and mid-market private practice sectors as well as product marketing lead for LexisPSL - LexisNexis' cloud based, practical guidance and legal research software solution.

She brings 20 years' marketing experience both client and agency side, specialising in B2B marketing in the Legal, TMT (Telco, Media and Technology) and Financial Services industries. In both South Africa, Europe and the UK.

Louisa is also an active member on the LexisNexis Gender Equality Matters (GEM) steering committee and is involved with the Families at LexisNexis Group which brings together, supports and lobbies for change those with an interest in balancing the challenges of work and family.