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Insights

02 May 2017

Compliance newsletter - April 2017

This is a quarterly bulletin for businesses of all sizes and in all sectors in which we aim to provide updates on the most important legal developments that impact you and to help guide you past some of the biggest pitfalls in today's increasingly complex legal landscape.

What do we mean by "compliance"? The term carries different connotations to different businesses and sectors. We have focused on those legal areas where we think businesses are at greatest risk of adverse consequences (fines, litigation or cost) from a failure to take legal advice or put in place sensible policies or procedures. The newsletter covers a series of different legal areas: corporate governance, competition law, employment, data protection, product liability and immigration. Each section is written by specialists from a dedicated practice group. If there is another area you would like us to cover, please do let us know.

The English philosopher George Santayana said "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." Reading across the articles in this edition, there are numerous tales of woe where businesses have suffered heavy liabilities for failing to operate within the law. Rather than scare you, we aim to help you learn from the challenges faced by others and advise you on how to overcome them. In this edition we also look at the increase in corporate transparency and how to balance the legal requirements in a competitive environment. Plus the following:

  • How the failure to safeguard intellectual property and confidentiality can be expensive
  • Don't let innovation be stymied by regulation
  • The tightening grip on e-commerce and antitrust infringements
  • How manufacturers of IoT devices face product liability legislation
  • Driverless cars and the government's approach to their regulation
  • Gender pay reporting and the requirement to publish pay differentials
  • Supplier vetting and payment processes – don't be caught out
  • Property ownership and transparency - increased scrutiny on the cards
  • EU nationals - holding on to your workforce in the face of Brexit

Forewarned is forearmed as they say and we are always more than happy to assist our clients with putting effective policies in place. If there is anything in these pages that you would like to discuss further, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

We hope you enjoy this issue.

EU & Competition Law update

Given the seriousness of infringements of EU or UK Competition Law, one would not expect so many businesses, particularly prominent ones, to fall foul of the law. After all, no PLC (or SME) wants to face a fine that could remove 10% of its global revenues from the company coffers. Many have invested in expensive and sophisticated compliance programs so again, you would expect very few outfits to infringe the law. And yet, this is not the case, as these recent developments show...

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Corporate Governance

The UK has led the way in corporate governance developments and the push for greater corporate transparency. This has been seen in, for example, the development and implementation of the "PSC (persons with significant control) regime", requiring reporting of "persons with significant control" in companies ahead of European measures for beneficial ownership transparency being brought in through the Fourth Money Laundering Directive this year.

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Mandatory gender pay gap reporting

The mandatory gender pay report needs to be signed off by senior management before being published on a relevant employer's own website and uploaded to the appropriate Government website. For those employers affected by this new legislation, it needs to be on the radar of the executive board or managing committee.

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Immigration: Recent Developments

Rose Carey explores the latest developments in immigration law, including: Brexit, the Immigration Act 2016, changes to immigration rules and workforce diversity and supporting EU national employees.

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Data Protection

If a data protection officer or other privacy practitioner was asked to list the issues that had been occupying the majority of their time over the last few years, there is a strong possibility that they would mention the entry into force of the General Data Protection Regulation (the "GDPR"), overseas data transfers and Data Subject Access Requests.

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Bribery & Corruption

Rhys Novak and Max Davis provide an update on recent developments in bribery & corruption law, including: Deferred Prosecution Agrerements (DPAs) gaining acceptance, the effect of Brexit on negotiating terms for UK companies for DPAs and overseas corruption in the London property market.

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Intellectual Property

In the main, businesses are better at understanding how they create intellectual property (IP) and its commercial value. However, the protection of confidential information from misappropriation by former employees has reared its head again this quarter.

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Environmental Offences

Helen Hutton explores the latest updates in environmental compliance.

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Product liability and the Internet of Things

Jamie Cartwright explores the fitness for purpose of UK product liability law in light of the rapid pace of technological change.

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