Regulatory Tracker: Stay ahead of the key legal and regulatory changes impacting your organisation – part 1

Regulatory Tracker: Stay ahead of the key legal and regulatory changes impacting your organisation – part 1

This Practice Note highlights key legal and regulatory changes that affect or will affect in-house lawyers in 2021. While some are set in stone, others are more speculative at this stage or subject to the parliamentary timetable. It was last updated on 8 November 2021. Topics covered in this blog include:

  • Business crime
  • Commercial
  • Corporate governance

To find out more on Data & privacy, Employment & HR and Responsible business click here.

Business Crime:

Failure to prevent offence

The Law Commission has consulted on the law regarding corporate criminal liability. Potential improvements suggested by the Law Commission include extending the scope of failure to prevent offences to cover fraud and other economic crimes. The consultation closed on 31 August 2021. Read more…

Economic crime levy for MLR 2017 regulated firms

On 21 September 2021, HM Treasury announced that AML regulated entities with over £10.2m in UK revenue will be charged an economic crime levy, commencing the tax year 2022/2023.

The government also published a policy paper introducing draft legislation. This was subject to a technical consultation ahead of inclusion in the 2021-22 Finance Bill. Read more…

Anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing

The government issued a consultation on further amendments to the MLR 2017. These are required to ensure the UK continues to meet international standards set by the Financial Action Task Force, while also strengthening and ensuring clarity on how the AML regime operates. Read more…

European AML package

The European Commission has published a package of proposals, including:

  • Two draft Regulations (to create a single EU supervisory authority (AMLA) (the AMLA Regulation) and to set out detailed rules and requirements in areas such as client due diligence (the Conduct Regulation))
  • A new directive—6MLD

Read more…

Overseas property register

Proposed register of ownership and control of foreign companies that purchase property in the UK.

The draft Registration of Overseas Entities Bill was considered by a select committee in May 2019. The select committee reported and generally endorsed the proposal with some recommended improvements to minimise possible avoidance. Read more…

Commercial:

Customs and Excise Border Procedures (Miscellaneous Amendments) (EU Exit) Regulations 2021, SI 2021/830

These Regulations amend eight pieces of UK secondary legislation in relation to customs, with regulations coming fully into force 1 January 2022. Read more…

Directive on consumer contracts for the supply of digital content

Directive (EU) 2019/770 seeks to ensure consumer rules and protections also apply to digital content and digital services.

It sets out rules on conformity of digital content, remedies for non-conformity or a failure to supply and how to exercise these remedies, and also deals with modification of digital content or a digital service. Read more…

New powers for CMA

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has responded to the government’s proposals to enhance its ability to tackle breaches of competition and consumer law, and empower its new Digital Markets Unit.

The changes would see the CMA given power to declare companies in breach of consumer law, without taking them to court first, and levy fines accordingly. The proposals would also enhance the CMA’s competition powers, increasing their speed and effectiveness. Read more…

Economic duress

Pakistan International Airline Corporation v Times Travel (UK) Ltd, [2021] UKSC 40

The Supreme Court has considered and comprehensively stated the law on lawful act economic duress in the context of a dispute between an airline and a travel agent. Read more…

Corporate governance:

Dividends

The Supreme Court considered whether payment of a lawful dividend may amount to a transaction defrauding creditors contrary to section 423 of the Insolvency Act 1986 (IA 1986).

In BTI 2014 LLC v Sequana SA [2019] EWCA Civ 112, the Court of Appeal clarified when remedial relief under IA 1986, s 423 may be granted and when directors’ duties to have regard to the interests of creditors (the creditors’ interests duty) may apply. Read more…

Climate-related disclosures

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has published the consultation response to proposals to introduce mandatory climate-related financial disclosures by large private companies, publicly quoted companies and limited liability partnerships (LLP).

BEIS has also published draft Companies (Strategic Report) (Climate-related Financial Disclosure) Regulations 2021 which will amend CA 2006  to make changes to reporting requirements by affected companies to produce additional disclosures in line with the recommendations of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), published in 2017. Read more…

Environmental, social and governance (ESG)

The FCA has released a new environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy setting out its target outcomes and the actions it expects to take to deliver these. As part of the strategy, the FCA has issued discussion paper DP21/4, seeking initial views on new sustainability disclosure requirements for asset managers and FCA-regulated asset owners, as well as a new classification and labelling system for sustainable investment products. Read more…

Gender diversity

The government is backing a new five-year review (the FTSE Women Leaders Review) to monitor women’s representation in the upper rungs of FTSE companies. The FTSE Women Leaders Review has opened an online portal for FTSE 350 companies to submit their gender diversity data from 1 November to 30 November 2021. The next annual report will be published in February 2022. Read more…

Diversity

The Parker Review, led by Sir John Parker, found that directors of colour are vastly under-represented on the boards of the UK’s leading companies. The review committee recommended that each FTSE 100 company should have at least one director of colour by 2021. Read more… 

 

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