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- Budget Launches Task Force to Uncover Exploitation of the UK Government’s COVID-19 Financial Rescue Schemes
In today’s budget, UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a £100 million Taskforce to scrutinise claims made under business support schemes designed to help companies and workers navigate their way through the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Taxpayer Protection Taskforce will be examining claims made honestly but in error as well as those made fraudulently.
- The Brexit Deal Leaves Some Mighty Big Holes
Takeaways - Goods trade was provided for, at the cost of much new paperwork. - Crucial rules for banking and other services were left unresolved. The Christmas Eve agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union to settle their relationship now that the U.K. has withdrawn from the union was hailed by both parties as a successful conclusion to their protracted, contentious talks.
- Landlords have freedom to decide how to apportion service charges between commercial tenants in McKinsey case
The High Court has ruled that a landlord has authority to decide the “due proportion” of the service charge that is payable by each of its tenants. Criterion Buildings Ltd v McKinsey and Company Inc (UK) and another  EWHC 216 (Ch) concerned the Criterion Building at Piccadilly Circus, comprising offices, a sportswear store, a…
- FRC advice on improving the quality of ‘comply or explain’ reporting
The FRC has published advice, based on an analysis of 100 companies (FTSE 100 & 250 and Small Cap companies), on how listed companies can report transparently and effectively when departing from provisions of the 2018 UK Corporate Governance Code (the “Code”). This advice builds on the findings of the FRC’s Review of Corporate Governance Reporting issued in November 2020 which found a number of inadequacies when it came to reporting against the new (2018) Code.
- Pre-Pack Sales and the New Draft Regulations
On 24 February 2021, the UK government laid The Administration (Restrictions on Disposal etc. to Connected Persons) Regulations 2021 before Parliament. These draft regulations introduce (among other items) new restrictions on “pre-pack” disposals to connected persons and are seemingly a policy response to growing criticism around the inequity of pre-pack sales. To some, pre-pack sales allow companies in distress to retain value and protect saleability, reassurance of which often can only be found in connected persons, e.g., existing directors and shareholders who have a personal or emotional interest in the company or otherwise understand its value. However, to others, including creditors whose value is depleted through pre-pack sales, such sales lack the transparency and governance considered appropriate for protecting creditors’ long-term interests. The draft regulations are expected to enter into force on 30 April 2021. As drafted, they will apply to England, Scotland and Wales.
- Coronavirus (UK): Impact of the Budget announcement on the furlough scheme - key points for employers
The extended Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (“CJRS”) had been expected to continue until the end of April 2021. However, in light of the UK government’s recent announcement in relation to the gradual lifting of lockdown restrictions, the CJRS has been further extended until 30 September 2021.
- Coronavirus (UK): Impact of the Budget announcement on the furlough scheme for the hospitality sector - key points for employers
The extended Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (“CJRS”) had been expected to continue until the end of April 2021. However, in light of the UK government’s recent announcement in relation to the gradual lifting of lockdown restrictions with indoor hospitality not re-opening until 17 May 2021 at the earliest, the CJRS has been further extended until 30 September 2021.
- London Court of Appeal Vacates and Remands Decision Blocking Transfer of Approximately 370K Annuity Policies
A London Court of Appeal recently vacated and remanded a High Court’s decision precluding the approval of a deal to transfer approximately 370,000 annuities after concluding that the High Court made several errors in its analysis of the relevant factors in play.
- Bribery: SFO secures its second conviction of 2021 as bribery returns to the courts' radar in the UK
On 24 February 2021, the SFO secured a fourth conviction related to the long-running Unaoil case. Paul Bond, a former executive at Single Buoy Moorings Inc., was found guilty on two counts of conspiracy to give corrupt payments.
- Navigable Challenges for Private Funds
The negotiations that culminated in the establishment of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) at the end of 2020 concluded with no meaningful agreement in relation to the provision of financial services between the United Kingdom and the European Economic Area (EEA). For the private funds community operating in the UK, this result was disappointing but not unexpected. Private fund sponsors and managers have implemented different solutions since the 2016 Brexit referendum to address this outcome. In this article, we explore some of those solutions and what may follow now that the transition period has concluded.
- The U.K. Passes the Bribery Act Creating Several New Anti-Corruption Offenses, Including “Strict” Criminal Liability
A major development in the enforcement and prosecution of overseas bribery occurred last week with the long awaited passage of the U.K.’s Bribery Act. The Act, which received royal assent last Thursday, creates several new anti-corruption offenses that could impact companies doing business in the...
- UK Public Procurement Law Digest: Risks of Abandoning Procurements
Court defeat for contracting authority shows the potential risks of aborting a public procurement in favour of a parallel procurement, and highlights issues in the use of a “public sector comparator” model. Leeds City Council has lost the first stage of what might be a protracted legal...
- FSA Hedge Fund Surveys Conclusions Published
The UK Financial Services Authority (FSA) recently published a report entitled “Assessing possible sources of systemic risk from hedge funds.” It sets out the FSA’s key findings and conclusions from two surveys it conducted in April 2010—the Hedge Funds as Counterparties Survey (HFACS) and the...
- European Commission Consultation on the Review of MiFID
The Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (“MiFID”) came into force in November 2007 and made significant changes to the regulatory framework of financial services within the EU, introducing a harmonised regime for the regulation of investment services. On 8 December 2010, the European...
- Two Million Reasons to Break the Silence
Following a recent Ofcom announcement, UK entities using automated dialling software face a change in the risk profile of marketing calls. Any UK entity using automated dialling software to facilitate marketing calls should be aware of a significant change in risk following the...
- UK Bribery Act to come into force on 1 July 2011
On 30 March 2011 the Ministry of Justice released its long awaited guidance (the Guidance) setting out what may constitute an “adequate procedures” defence to an allegation that a commercial organisation failed to prevent bribery under section 7 of the UK Bribery Act 2010 (the Act). The publication ...
- Commercial Contracts: The Uncertainty of Construction
Although disputes between contracting parties about the meaning of their documents have always been common, such disputes have been particularly prominent of late in the context of complex debt restructurings. The modern approach to contractual interpretation is derived from the speeches ...
- In Brief—UK Employment and HR Newsletter
In this mid-year issue of our employment and HR newsletter, we look at the top ten lessons in dismissal and discrimination that we can learn from case law so far this year. We also highlight the key employment law changes that took effect in April and preview what is expected over the next few...
- UK Government Consults On Statutory Residence Test
Background In recent years, UK law on tax residence has become increasingly problematic following a number of high-profile cases and changes to the UK Revenue’s published guidance. Although for most people living and working full-time in the UK the application of the residence rules is...
- Recent Contract Law Cases Relevant in the Financial Services Industry
This DechertOnPoint examines some decisions of the English courts in the past year that may have relevance in the financial services industry. It is aimed primarily at in-house counsel and covers decisions in the following areas: - excluding liability for misrepresentation &...