Latest legal and regulatory news: 3rd June

Latest legal and regulatory news: 3rd June

In this issue:

In-house resources

Risk & Compliance

Commercial

Corporate

Employment

Information Law and TMT


In-house

Crafty Counsel videos available in Lexis®PSL

LexisNexis® has entered into a content sharing partnership with Crafty Counsel, the market-leading provider of video guidance for in-house lawyers.

A selection of Crafty Counsel videos are now available within Lexis®PSL—you can find them in the ‘Training for you and your team’ topic within Lexis®PSL In-house Advisor and they are also available alongside practical guidance and tools in related Lexis®PSL subtopic areas. Practice Note: Crafty Counsel videos in Lexis®PSL In-house Advisor contains a consolidated list of all the videos currently available. Additional videos will be added over the coming months, so watch this space.


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.

23 June 2021

The power of an effective learning, development and training strategy

Register now to attend

In this session we explore how a robust approach to learning, development and training can benefit you, your team and your organisation to tangibly demonstrate the value of the legal department. Interactive discussion led by senior counsel and subject matter experts will explore practical approaches on how to deliver effective training to the business; top tips on how to implement a learning and development programme for you and your team; and the opportunities presented by the SQE and the day-to-day implications to consider in the immediate future.

21 July 2021

Attenborough, ESG and Net Zero: How GCs are driving the sustainability agenda

Register now to attend

Businesses are facing increasing pressure to align with Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria, driven by factors such as increasing government legislation, investor activism and customer demands. Much of this is related to the climate crisis, which isn’t going away. We are delighted to welcome Lawyers for Net Zero to discuss how legal teams are driving change—and increasing their organisational influence as a result. Join us to understand why Net Zero is such a critical agenda, for business, society and our shared future; the pivotal role of the legal team and to hear case studies on how legal teams are taking action including good practice, learnings and top tips.

22 September 2021

Disrupted or accelerated? Digital transformation in legal teams

Register now to attend

COVID-19 showed how an agile in-house team can be a competitive advantage for a business. Yet did the pandemic accelerate or disrupt digital transformation in legal teams? In this session, we explore the issues that deserve deeper consideration on the topic of legal tech. How are other legal teams using technology to increase productivity, reduce risk and collect meaningful data to demonstrate their value? Is there just a shift from legal tech to enterprise tech? What should you expect from your law firms in relation to use of technology to improve efficiency and reduce costs? What practical strategies can be used in implementing an effective change management initiative?

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

Data protection

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has launched a call for views on the first draft chapter of its anonymisation, pseudonymisation and privacy enhancing technologies guidance. The first chapter covers the legal, policy and governance issues surrounding the application of anonymisation and pseudonymisation in the context of data protection law. The ICO will continue to publish draft chapters for consultation. The deadline for responding to the call for views is 28 November 2021. See: LNB News 28/05/2021 89.


Financial crime

The Chair of the European Data Protection Board (EDPB), Andrea Jelinek, has written to the European Commissioner for financial services, financial stability and Capital Markets Union, Mairead McGuiness, and Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, on the protection of personal data in the anti-money laundering (AML) and combating the financing of terrorism (CFT) regimes. In the letter, Jelinek recommends considerations and inclusions for the new legislative proposals that the Commission aims to present later in 2021, including outlining how certain data protection principles are of ‘utmost, and equal, importance’ in the context of AML-CFT. See: LNB News 28/05/2021 130.

Law360 analysis: The EU’s new public prosecutor’s office, designed to fight corruption, money laundering and VAT fraud, finally opened its doors on 1 June 2021 after months of delays in recruiting for the new enforcer. See: EU’s new corruption watchdog launched to fight fraud.

Law360 analysis: Lawyers who enable unlawful tax avoidance schemes should face criminal prosecution and increased fines, the head of an anti-corruption group of MPs spearheading reform efforts told Law360. See: MP pushes crackdown on lawyers who enable tax avoidance.

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has announced that the Swiss Bank Julius Baer & Co Ltd (BJB) has admitted conspiracy to launder more than $US 36m worth of bribes to FIFA and other football officials via the US. BJB has come to a three-year deferred prosecution agreement with the DoJ and has agreed to pay over $US 79 as a penalty. See: LNB News 28/05/2021 36.


 

Commercial

Advertising marketing and sponsorship

Three complaints were received by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) about stories posted on Instagram by three social media influencers, paid for by lead generation company Debt Slayers. The complainants challenged whether the ads were obviously identifiable as marketing communications, whether they exaggerated their message, and whether the risks of engagement were made clear. The ASA issued a further challenge as to whether the ads were misleading. See: LNB News 02/06/2021 37.


E-commerce

The EDPB has published the recommendations it adopted regarding the retention of credit card data for the sole purpose of facilitating further online transactions. See: LNB News 28/05/2021 12.

The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has published a study on cybersquatting in an effort to quantify the phenomenon of cybersquatting and to explain methods, as well as business models, employed by cybersquatters. EUIPO said that the study revealed that certain squatting models caused brands to lose sales. According to EUIPO, the study received co-operation with EUIPO Observatory stakeholders and relied on knowledge and data that was shared by brand protection experts from selected brands. See: LNB News 28/05/2021 37.


Intellectual property

Tony Holloran, senior associate at DLA Piper, considers the landmark decision in Sky UK Ltd v Alex Cherrie where the Court of Session in Scotland has, for the first time, granted an interim interdict (akin to an interim injunction in England) against an individual alleged to have infringed Sky UK Ltd’s (Sky) copyright by providing hyperlinks on Reddit to copies of Sky’s broadcasts, and uploading copies of such broadcasts to YouTube. See News Analysis: Scottish Court of Session grants injunction, in copyright case on communication to the public (Sky UK Ltd v Alex Cherrie).


International

The Chair of the House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee, Neil Parish, has written to International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss, calling for an agreement in principle with Australia to be published as soon as it is signed off. In the letter, the concerns of the farming community caused by suggestions that the UK is offering a zero-tariff, zero-quota trade deal are mentioned, demonstrating the need for key details of the agreement to be published ahead of the full legal text late in 2021. The government has also been urged to confirm details of the Trade and Agriculture Commission (TAC), which will be important in the scrutiny of new Free Trade Agreements. Details of the TAC’s chair, membership and how well it is resourced are specifically requested. The Committee has also expressed concern that the TAC is not currently constituted. See: LNB News 27/05/2021 64.

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) has welcomed news that the UK-Australia Free Trade Agreement is in advanced stages of negotiation. The CTSI, however, has voiced concerns about potential impacts on consumer standards, insisting that negotiations ‘must not come at the cost of consumer standards and the excellent bond of trust that currently exists between the public and the consumer protection system’. See: LNB News 01/06/2021 98.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) has announced that the Comprehension and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) nations has agreed to the UK’s bid to begin the accession to joining the alliance, made up of 11 countries. See: LNB News 02/06/2021 53.

The government has announced the introduction of the Trade Remedies Authority (TRA), a new body whose role is to defend economic interests in the UK against unfair international trading practices. The TRA, launched on 1 June 2021, will have investigatory powers to look into complaints brought by domestic businesses regarding detriment caused by unfair import practices. It will also have the power to recommend the implementation of trade remedy measures, such as tariffs, in order to mitigate and prevent harm to domestic producers caused by the unfair practices. Investigators at the TRA will review 43 current EU trade remedy measures that are relevant to UK industry which were kept on when the UK left the EU. See: LNB News 01/06/2021 57.

HMRC has updated its import, export and customs guidance to reflect the post Brexit regime. The update covers the period from 24 May 2021 to 31 May 2021. See: LNB News 01/06/2021 1.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has published an update on signals from the Goods Trade Barometer, following a ‘steep but brief’ coronavirus (COVID-19) induced drop in the second quarter of 2020. The barometer is currently reading 109.7, which is almost ten points above the baseline value of 100 for the index and up 21.6 points year-on-year. The WTO believes this reflects both the strength of the current recovery and the depth of the coronavirus shock in 2020. See: LNB News 01/06/2021 42.


Public procurement

The Council of the European Union has agreed a mandate for its negotiations with the European Parliament on the details of a regulation providing for the creation of an International Procurement Instrument (IPI). It is hoped that the IPI will help level the playing field in world procurement markets by providing the EU with a leverage tool which can limit or exclude access to its own public procurement markets from countries that apply restrictive measures. Following the endorsement by the EU ambassadors of the Council mandate, the legislative texts will advance to interinstitutional negotiations with the European Commission and European Parliament ‘after the summer’. See: LNB News 02/06/2021 108.

The Institute for Government has published a report entitled ‘Taking back control of subsidies’, in which it details how the UK could establish a State aid regime ‘more flexible than the EU’s in an effort to achieve certain objectives, such as levelling up and environmental net-zero goals’. The report is published ahead of the government’s introduction of a new State aid regime which would regulate around £8bn of subsidies annually, and includes recommendations to ensure success and that objectives are met. See: LNB News 01/06/2021 30.


Supply of services

The DIT has published new guidance for UK businesses selling services to customers in EU Member States. Subjects covered in this guidance include information where particular Member States have reserved the right to not follow commitments outlined in the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), and the interactive reservations tool for businesses to ascertain whether certain reservations are EU-wide or Member State-specific. See: LNB News 28/05/2021 38.


Corporate

Company disclosures, records and registers

Companies House has announced changes to its protected online filing (PROOF) service that will prevent unauthorised company name changes. As of 1 June 2021, form NM01 and a copy of the resolution will be needed to change a company name via the PROOF service. A change of name via a special resolution is the only type of name change that individuals can submit electronically. See: LNB News 01/06/2021 106.


Sustainable finance

The International Regulatory Strategy Group (IRSG) has published its recommendations for reviewing the EU taxonomy for UK application. In its paper, the IRSG endorses the approach of the government in staying aligned to the EU taxonomy in the short term, although it also recognises some limitations of the EU approach. It urges the government ‘to accelerate progress on this with a view to providing significant clarity to UK issuers and financial market participants in advance of COP26’. See: LNB News 01/06/2021 51.


Audit

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has issued a revised auditing standard for the auditor's responsibilities relating to fraud. The requirements for the identification and assessment of risk of material misstatement due to fraud and the procedures to respond to those risks have been enhanced. The revised standard is to apply for audits beginning on or after 15 December 2021. Early adoption is permitted. See: LNB News 27/05/2021 40.


Accounts and reports

The FRC has announced that the newly-functioning UK Endorsement Board (UKEB) has been delegated statutory powers. The statutory functions enable the UKEB to play a pivotal role in influencing the development of international financial reporting standards (IFRS) and will be responsible for the endorsement and adoption of IFRS for use by UK companies. The UKEB will report to BEIS on technical matters and will report to the FRC on its due process procedures and governance. See: LNB News 27/05/2021 11.


Employment

Status and worker categories

The Department for Education (DfE) has announced that businesses in England can claim £3,000 for each new apprentice they take on from 1 April 2021 until 30 September 2021. According to DfE, this cash incentive aims to help more employers invest in the skilled workforce, as part of the government’s Plan for Jobs. See: LNB News 01/06/2021 104.


 

Information Law and TMT

Data protection

Head of regulatory strategy at the ICO, Michael Murray, has announced a new blog series in which the ICO plans to explain the 15 standards set out in the Children’s Code, in an effort to support organisations in their compliance with it. The first blog is due to explore the Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIAs) standard, which requires all organisations covered by the Children’s Code to fill in a DPIA to mitigate data protection risks to the children likely to access the organisation’s service. See: LNB News 27/05/2021 97.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) has announced that it is undertaking research to understand the UK’s cybersecurity sector and how it is growing. The research will be commissioned by Ipsos MORI, alongside Queen’s University Belfast’s Centre for Secure Information Technologies and Perspective Economics. DCMS states that the survey will be conducted by a selection of UK cyber sector businesses, being invited to take part in the survey on a voluntary basis, via a telephone interview said to last around 12 minutes. DCMS also reassures that the survey will be fully confidential for all participants involved. See: LNB News 02/06/2021 85.

DCMS has published details of a new research project which will study how organisations manage devices that connect to the internet via their network, such as company computers, printers and smartphones. IFF Research has been appointed by DCMS to carry out interviews over the phone in June and July 2021. Anyone that has responsibility for the security of devices connected to their organisation’s network can book an appointment to speak with IFF. See: LNB News 02/06/2021 72.

The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) has opened two investigations. The first concerns the use of cloud services provided by Amazon Web Services and Microsoft under Cloud II contracts by EU institutions, bodies and agencies (EUIs). This investigation aims to assess the EUIs’ compliance with the Schrems II judgment when using these cloud services under the ‘Cloud II contracts’ when data is transferred to non-EU countries, including the US. The second investigation involves the use of Microsoft Office 365 by the European Commission, aiming to verify the European Commission’s compliance with EDPS’ recommendations previously issued on the use of Microsoft’s products and services by EUIs. The investigations forms part of the EDPS’ strategy for EU institutions to comply with the Schrems II Judgment, which aims to ensure international transfers comply with EU data protection law. See: LNB News 27/05/2021 98.


Information technology

Fortnite developer Epic Games’ antitrust trial against Apple concerning the manner in which it runs the App Store has come to a conclusion, after a three-week hearing hailed by MLex as a landmark moment in the global backlash against Big Tech. The case concerns Apple’s ‘exclusive control’ of apps on handheld devices and its 30% commission fee on digital purchases made through the obligatory In-App Purchasing mechanism. The latest MLex analysis contains a rundown of the trial as it happened, with a full chronology of its coverage of the case. See: LNB News 28/05/2021 51.


Telecommunications

The DCMS has published guidance on Project Gigabit, which covers plans to improve the UK’s broadband network, putting emphasis on making high-speed broadband available in rural areas. See: LNB News 01/06/2021 96.


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