REUTERS | Nikola Solic
REUTERS | Nikola Solic

Much attention is focused on the remuneration for executive directors in large UK listed companies. It receives huge media, Government and investor interest even though it concerns less than 1,000 people directly – but one theme is of wider application as it is beginning to affect UK bonus arrangements generally.

This is “malus and clawback”. Although there are now many investor and corporate governance bodies which recommend malus and clawback, the Investment Association has issued the most recent guidance in the form of its updated Investment Association principles of remuneration.

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REUTERS | Mike Segar

November was a pivotal month for Brexit negotiations with the publication  of the full text of the draft UK-EU withdrawal agreement, and the political declaration on the framework for the future UK-EU relationship (the deal). The House of Commons will debate and vote on a motion to approve the deal over five days, with the debate starting on 4 December 2018, and the vote taking place on 11 December 2018.

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REUTERS | Amit Dave

As a Magic Circle lawyer turned GC, I genuinely thought I had tried everything to make compliance a reality: from quizzes, workshops and role play, through to diving into IT systems to identify payment schemes or correct unfortunate wordings in commercial templates. I thought I had done it all. However, despite my best pedagogic efforts, I would still see people’s attention gradually drift to their phones during training sessions. Continue reading

REUTERS | Kacper Pempel

Earlier this month I attended Practical Law’s inaugural Legal and Technology Procurement Conference. Many of the themes highlighted in my Legal Geek 2018 post were again hot topics of debate and there were engaging sessions on legal procurement strategy, improving operational efficiency and overcoming the challenges of implementing legal tech. Here are my top ten takeaways.

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I’ve been worrying about whistleblowing lately. In particular, whether the traditional methods of reporting really are effective, as the level of reporting in many organisations just seems low. I’m not sure that this is a situation where “least said is soonest mended”, as the saying goes. If there’s misconduct occurring in an organisation, the compliance team needs to know, and know fast.

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Brexit planning dominates the agenda this month but in-house lawyers should also keep an eye on corporate governance reforms,  new regulations introducing personal liability for  directors for unlawful direct marketing, and two consultations on the future of audit.

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REUTERS | Enrique Castro-Mendivil

While it’s impossible to know exactly how many people are living in modern slavery, the respected Walk Free Foundation put the global number in 2016 at 40.3 million. The systemic nature of this most serious of issues can make us feel powerless. It was really inspiring therefore to attend a couple of sessions at the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s Trust Conference which took place last week in London. Continue reading

REUTERS | Ognen Teofilovski

Although contracts document a consensual commercial relationship between two parties working together to achieve common or overlapping business goals, they are also enforceable legal instruments that can have potentially devastating effects on businesses due to the imposition of liability.

The legal and business personnel involved in the negotiation need to deal with this contradiction, and find a balance between achieving commercial objectives and safeguarding against legal risk. For repetitive contracts, an intelligent use of playbooks can help address some of the pain points in this process.

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REUTERS | Vasily Fedosenko

The Institute of Business Ethics (IBE) Ethics at Work Survey 2018 report identifies a number of key findings from the UK relating broadly to culture, behaviour, speaking up and ethics programmes. The UK findings are compared in the report with the European responses from Ethics at Work: 2018 survey of employees – Europe.

For those with a compliance or ethics role in an organisation, the findings are an interesting, and at times surprising, read and are a useful tool in the testing and benchmarking of corporate culture and ethics and compliance programmes.

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