Latest legal and regulatory news: 18th February

Latest legal and regulatory news: 18th February

In this issue:


Risk & Compliance



Info law and TMT


LexTalk®In-house: a Lexis®PSL community


Virtual networking and forum events

There’s no need to feel isolated if you’re 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.

24 February 2021

IR35, worker status and the end of self-employment?

Register now to attend

The planned changes to IR35 are now scheduled to be in force in April 2021 (deferred from April 2020). Join this session to learn how you can safeguard your organisation against significant liabilities and prevent your business from making incorrect and costly decisions.Held in partnership with Radius Law and Flex Legal.

24 March 2021

The commercial benefit of effective panel management

Register now to attend

An opportunity to share experiences and helpful insights with your peers under Chatham House rules. This month we focus on effective panel management. Discover how legal teams take a strategic approach to law firm management to demonstrate commercial value to their organisations.

Various dates

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. We have several events planned for the new 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.

Risk & Compliance

Financial crime prevention

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has published a consolidated table of assessment ratings. The table details the ratings that countries have achieved in terms of effectiveness and technical compliance as per the FATF Recommendations. See: LNB News 17/02/2021 64.

The European Commission has opened the feedback period for its proposed initiative to tackle organised crime. The proposed agenda covers the period from 2021–2025, and will address the main criminal markets, and the corruption and financial aspects of organised crime. It will also include a new strategic approach against trafficking human beings. The roadmap is open for feedback until 15 March 2021. See: LNB News 17/02/2021 45.

Data protection

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has announced that it has launched its data analytics toolkit and urges organisations considering the use of data analytics on personal data to have a look. See: LNB News 17/02/2021 40.

The ICO has issued fines to two companies totalling £270,000 for making unlawful marketing calls to numbers registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS). Call Centre Ops Ltd and House Guard UK Ltd made approximately 860,000 illegal calls between them. See: LNB News 12/02/2021 73.

Business activities

Globally, a trend is taking shape towards legislation which goes further than the reporting obligations of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, in the area of business and human rights. The EU is currently consulting on a proposed mandatory due diligence human rights law to be enacted in 2021. These proposals are similar to those passed in France in 2017 and narrowly defeated in a 2020 Swiss referendum. Calls are increasing for the UK to follow suit. See News Analysis: Business and human rights legislation and the enforcement question—a report by Kingsley Napley LLP and Dr Rachel Chambers.

John Penrose MP has published a set of proposals on updating the competition and consumer regime in the UK. The report includes recommendations on how to adapt to an increasingly digitalised world and how to strengthen the competition rules when it comes to powerful sector regulators. See: LNB News 16/02/2021 39.


The Supreme Court has allowed an appeal concerning the court’s jurisdiction in respect of a claim brought against a UK domiciled parent company in tort for the acts/omissions of a non-UK domiciled subsidiary. Written by Christopher Snell, barrister at New Square Chambers. See News Analysis: Establishing jurisdiction for claims in tort—when is a parent company liable for its subsidiary? (Okpabi v Royal Dutch Shell).

Mohamed Sacranie of Allen & Overy considers whether a parent company is liable if it restructures its operations and a now disused subsidiary is prevented from meeting its own contractual obligations after the Court of Appeal held in Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd v James Kemball Ltd [2021] EWCA Civ 33 that the parent neither induced nor intended its subsidiary’s breach and reaffirmed this economic tort’s restricted scope. See News Analysis: Inducing a subsidiary’s breach of contract—Parental Misguidance.

The EU-AstraZeneca agreement imposes a ‘best reasonable efforts’ obligation on AstraZeneca to manufacture and deliver its coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine doses to the EU. Christophe Ronse and Kirian Claeye of ALTIUS discuss this obligation and whether AstraZeneca is allowed under the agreement to prioritise supply of the UK over the EU with its vaccines produced in the UK. See News Analysis: Is AstraZeneca obliged to supply the EU with sufficient coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines?

How does the basic contract law of offer and acceptance apply to arbitration agreements? Second, can you imply an arbitration agreement into a contract by reason of custom alone (absent any course of dealing)? Written by Oliver Caplin, barrister at Twenty Essex and counsel to Black Sea Commodities. See News Analysis: Offer and acceptance and trade custom applied to arbitration agreements (Black Sea Commodities v Lemarc Agromond).

Intellectual property

In Penhallurick v MD5, Mr Penhallurick developed a computer program that automated a methodology he had created during the course of completing a master’s thesis. The program was developed, in part, in his spare time using his personal computer. When his employment with MD5 terminated, he claimed ownership of various copyright works in the source code, object code, various versions of the program and a user guide. His Honour Judge Hacon held that the program had been developed in the course of the Mr Penhallurick’s employment with MD5, as part of the central duties for which he was being paid. Therefore, the works vested in MD5. Written by Joshua Marshall, senior associate at Fieldfisher LLP. See News Analysis: Authorship and ownership of works in the course of employment (Penhallurick v MD5).

Consumer protection

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published a guidance consultation on cancellations and refunds. This consultation proposes to keep current temporary guidance in force, due to the ongoing uncertainty during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The FCA has asked for comments by 26 February 2021. See: LNB News 12/02/2021 96.


The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) has published updated guidance for stakeholders, including on importing food and drink from the EU to Britain and exporting animal products, live animals and plants to the EU. See: LNB News 12/02/2021 89.

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has published updated guidance for stakeholders, including whether UKNI marking needs to be used, when to use UKNI marking and how to use UKNI marking. See: LNB News 12/02/2021 85.


Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Council of the EU has adopted targeted amendments to the EU Markets in Financial Instruments Directive 2014/65/EU (EU MiFID II) and the EU Prospectus Regulation (EU) 2017/1129, which form part of the Capital Markets Recovery Package of measures proposed by the European Commission in July 2020 to address the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. See: LNB News 15/02/2021 84.

Equity capital markets

UK Finance says the banking and financial services industry welcomes the UK government’s review of the UK’s Listing Rules as an opportunity to consider improvements to the UK’s primary market landscape. See: LNB News 17/02/2021 86.

The London Stock Exchange (LSE) has published updated cross-reference checklists to be used in conjunction with the production of an AIM admission document. See: LNB News 17/02/2021 61.

An advocate general of the Court of Justice of the EU (ECJ), Richard de la Tour, has given a preliminary ruling on the obligation to publish a prospectus when securities are offered to the public or admitted to trading under the Prospectus Directive 2003/71/EC, and civil liability towards qualified investors in the event of a prospectus being inaccurate or incomplete. See: LNB News 17/02/2021 96.

Corporate governance

ISS ESG, the responsible investment arm of Institutional Shareholder Services, has published its annual report entitled ‘Volatile Transitions – Navigating ESG in 2021’. See: LNB News 15/02/2021 89.

The Chartered Governance Institute (ICSA) has released the results of a poll on the issues that will be at the forefront of governance professionals’ thoughts in 2021. The results found that environmental and social matters, climate change, diversity and remote working are likely to be the biggest considerations. See: LNB News 12/02/2021 50.

General meetings

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has published a new Lab report, ‘Virtual and Augmented Reality’ in corporate reporting, which considers how virtual and augmented reality can be used to expand the audience and scope of corporate reporting. See: LNB News 17/02/2021 30.

Info law and TMT

Digital identities

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) has published draft rules, which set out the framework for governing the use of digital identities. The government aims to make it quicker and easier for people to ‘verify themselves using modern technology and create a process as trusted as using passports or bank statements’. See: LNB News 11/02/2021 89.


MLex: Internet platforms and telecoms companies got a fillip last week as EU governments finally agreed on a compromise text for the bloc’s ePrivacy Regulation, overcoming years of divisions over protection of citizens’ metadata, use of tracking cookies and data-retention measures. But now the big battle begins: talks with the European Parliament to hammer out a consensus text. See News Analysis: Comment—Expect sparks as EU governments, lawmakers gird for battle on ePrivacy regulation.



HM Treasury has launched a consultation on the implementation of the increased minimum pension age from 55 to 57 in 2028. The consultation also seeks views on the proposed protection regime. The deadline for responses is 11 pm on 22 April 2021. See: LNB News 11/02/2021 81.


HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has published an issue briefing to explain the approach it will take for compliance in relation to the changes to the off-payroll working rules (IR35) from 6 April 2021. See: LNB News 16/02/2021 59.

HMRC has published updated guidance for stakeholders on social security contributions and UK National Insurance contributions. This now reflects that EU Member States have opted in to apply the detached worker provision. Individuals who intend to work temporarily in the UK should therefore apply for a certificate or document from the social security organisation in the EU Member State they are coming from. See: LNB News 12/02/2021 61.

HMRC has published new guidance on the national insurance contributions (NIC) relief available for employers who hire veterans on civilian employment after leaving the regular armed forces. See: LNB News 11/02/2021 39.

HMRC has published its bi-monthly magazine providing the latest information on payroll-related topics for employers and agents. See: LNB News 16/02/2021 7.


UK Visas and Immigration has published new guidance for stakeholders. Subjects covered in this guidance include information on EU, EEA and Swiss citizens' right to work in the UK. See: LNB News 12/02/2021 112.

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About the author:
Allison is a former partner of Shoosmiths, with extensive experience of legal management and practice compliance.