Posts from Practical Law In-house

Industry analysis: a buoyant market for energy upstream oil and gas borrowers and M&A

On 18 September 2018, I attended a roundtable discussion with Bracewell (UK) LLP partners Jason Fox, Oliver Irwin, Adam Blythe and John Gilbert to talk about the state of the debt and M&A in oil and  gas markets.

Diversity and inclusion in the workplace with Yasmin Sheikh

Practical Law recently spoke with Yasmin Sheikh, founder of Diverse Matters, a consultancy that helps people have confidence around disability, both visible and non-visible. She is also Vice-Chair of the Law Society’s Lawyers with Disability Division. Across a series of three videos, Sheikh discusses diversity and inclusion in the workplace, breaking down what disability means … Continue reading Diversity and inclusion in the workplace with Yasmin Sheikh

Allocating and controlling risks in commercial contracts

An in-house lawyer’s edict when negotiating a contract is simple: “make sure our risk exposure is as low as possible” and of course, “let’s sign this as soon as possible!” How can a business translate its risk exposure into its contracts and how can the in-house lawyer facilitate the business with this?  Practical Law Commercial’s … Continue reading Allocating and controlling risks in commercial contracts

Brexit: August 2018 round-up

In August, the government outlined its preparations for a no-deal scenario and published the first 25 in a series of “no deal” technical notices. No-deal Brexit speech “No deal” describes the scenario in which the UK and the EU fail to conclude a draft withdrawal agreement by the time of the UK’s exit from the … Continue reading Brexit: August 2018 round-up

What’s on the agenda for in-house lawyers in September 2018?

Key items on the agenda for businesses this month include a consultation on a new Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation, the launch of an independent review of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, a report on gender pay gap reporting and publication of revised guidance on the strategic report.

Brexit: July 2018 round-up

The most significant developments in July were the publication of two government white papers: the first on the future UK-EU relationship, and the second on legislating for the withdrawal agreement between the UK and EU.

What’s on the agenda for in-house lawyers in August 2018?

This month, in-house lawyers will be continuing to digest the new version of the UK Corporate Governance Code, which was published in July, together with the Financial Reporting Council’s (FRC) revised version of its Guidance on Board Effectiveness.

Working with external counsel: Building innovative and strategic partnerships

At Practical Law’s GC Leadership Summit last week, one demand was repeatedly made of external counsel by in-house lawyers: know our business. This doesn’t just mean knowing what a company sells, its share price, or where its offices are, which some firms still fail to familiarise themselves with. These are important, but in-house counsel want … Continue reading Working with external counsel: Building innovative and strategic partnerships

Want to change your career? Options for the senior in-house lawyer

If you are a senior in-house lawyer and want to try something new it is easy to lock yourself into a “Head of Legal or bust” mentality (in the same way that private practice can be fixated on partnership) without looking at the other career options that are on offer. There is a lot more … Continue reading Want to change your career? Options for the senior in-house lawyer

Brexit: June 2018 round-up

Key developments in June included the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 being given Royal Assent and the government’s publication of a UK proposal for an Ireland border backstop option in the withdrawal agreement.

What’s on the agenda for in-house lawyers in July 2018?

The revised Corporate Governance Code and updated Guidance on the Strategic Report are  due in July. Other key items on the agenda this month include consultations on personal liability for directors for nuisance calls, and on periodic financial information and inside information. Thomson Reuters is also hosting its annual GC Leadership Summit on 3 July … Continue reading What’s on the agenda for in-house lawyers in July 2018?

Brexit: May 2018 round-up

The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill 2017-19 completed its passage through the House of Lords this month. The Department for Exiting the European Union and the European Commission also jointly published a document setting out the topics for discussion in the negotiations on the framework for the future UK-EU relationship.

What’s on the agenda for in-house lawyers in June 2018?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) became directly applicable across the EU today. Companies will be continuing to digest the raft of new and updated guidance on the GDPR that the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) published in the run-up to the implementation date. Other items on the agenda for businesses this month include the expected … Continue reading What’s on the agenda for in-house lawyers in June 2018?

Brexit: April 2018 round-up

The most significant Brexit developments this month centred around the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill 2017-19, which reached the Report Stage in the House of Lords.

Updating the business case for inclusion and diversity

Diversity, whether gender, ethnic or cultural, is an increasingly high profile issue for organisations.  But how can organisations be convinced to implement the changes required to ensure diversity? The persuasive economic and business case for embracing diversity often leads back to a 2015 report by McKinsey & Company, which was updated earlier this year. The … Continue reading Updating the business case for inclusion and diversity

What’s on the agenda for in-house lawyers in May 2018?

By far the most significant developments this month surround data protection and privacy. On 25 May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation ((EU) 2016/679) (GDPR) will become directly applicable in all EU member states.

Brexit: March 2018 round-up

The key development this month was the publication of a revised version of the draft Article 50 withdrawal agreement, which highlights the areas on which the European Commission and the UK government now agree.

What’s on the agenda for in-house lawyers in April 2018?

Key items on the agenda for businesses this month include the due date for publication of the first gender pay gap reports and the continuing countdown to implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation ((EU) 2016/679) (GDPR).

Brexit: February 2018 round-up

The most significant development in February came right at the end of the month when the European Commission published a draft text of the UK-EU withdrawal agreement.

What’s on the agenda for in-house lawyers in March 2018?

Key items on the agenda for businesses this month include the countdown to implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation ((EU) 2016/679) (GDPR) and the government’s response to the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices.

February vlog: less than 100 days before GDPR implementation

In February’s vlog, I discuss ongoing preparations for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the consultation on amendments to the UK Corporate Governance Code, the government’s response to the Taylor Review,  the feasibility of virtual-only AGMs, the government’s new Office for Product Safety and Standards and other developments on the horizon for April 2018 and beyond. … Continue reading February vlog: less than 100 days before GDPR implementation

Brexit: January 2018 round-up

Several Brexit-related Bills continued their passage through Parliament during January, including the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill 2017-19, the Trade Bill 2017-2019 and the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill. Near the end of the month, the General Council (Article 50) adopted a Council Decision and supplementary negotiating directives for the Brexit negotiations, which set out the … Continue reading Brexit: January 2018 round-up

What’s on the agenda for in-house lawyers in February 2018?

Key items on the agenda for businesses this month include the expected publication of secondary legislation on corporate governance reform and the deadline for responses to the FRC consultation on proposed revisions to the UK Corporate Governance Code.

Brexit: December 2017 round-up

The breakthrough in Brexit negotiations which enabled the European Commission to recommend that sufficient progress had been made to proceed to the next phase of Article 50 negotiations was by far the most significant development in December.

LawTech: what can be digitised will be commoditised

“Although automation is having an impact on legal services, LawTech is lagging behind other sectors, such as FinTech and RegTech.” This was one of my key takeaways from a recent AI for professional services event that helped contextualise the progress that the legal sector has made in adopting new technology.

What’s on the agenda for in-house lawyers in January 2018?

Corporate governance remains near the top of the agenda for businesses following the FRC’s publication of its consultation on proposed revisions to the UK Corporate Governance Code. Companies will also be interested in the publication of the new UK Anti-corruption Strategy and upcoming changes to the UK Immigration Rules.

New legal sourcing toolkit and panel review case studies

Business units in all organisations with a calendar year end are likely looking at the business plans and their allocated budgets for 2018 and wondering how they are going to deliver more with less next year. In-house legal teams are no different and this is a good moment for legal leaders to take stock of … Continue reading New legal sourcing toolkit and panel review case studies

Brexit: November round-up

Two key Brexit-related Bills were introduced into Parliament in November: the Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Bill 2017-19 and the Trade Bill 2017-2019. David Davis also announced that a Withdrawal Agreement and Implementation Bill (which will implement into UK law the major policies in any withdrawal agreement agreed between the UK and the EU) will be brought … Continue reading Brexit: November round-up

What’s on the agenda for in-house lawyers in December 2017?

Key items on the agenda for businesses this month include responding to the FRC’s review of the UK Corporate Governance Code, maintaining a focus on improving gender diversity at leadership level and continuing to prepare for the GDPR.

Brexit: October round-up

The European Council’s conclusion that sufficient progress had not yet been achieved in Brexit negotiations on withdrawal matters to move on to discussing the framework for the future relationship and transitional arrangements was the most significant development in October.

November vlog: nudging compliance

Reflecting on Richard Thaler’s Nobel prize for Economics in recognition of his work on ‘nudge’ theory, in November’s vlog I highlight a number of recent initiatives where smaller organisations are being gently encouraged to follow guidance or regulation aimed at larger ones.

Through the Looking Glass: contrasting perceptions of the role of the GC in 2017

Winmark and Clyde & Co recently published the 2017 Looking Glass Report. The 2017 report focuses on risk management in the context of a risk landscape which is “increasingly complex, uncertain and difficult to read” – and highlights the role of the GC in assisting their organisation to respond to this changing environment. The report’s … Continue reading Through the Looking Glass: contrasting perceptions of the role of the GC in 2017

Counting down to GDPR: key messages from the Thomson Reuters Data Protection Forum

For those wondering how many sleeps are left until the GDPR comes into force, it was confirmed at the sixth annual Thomson Reuters Future of Data Protection Forum, which took place last Thursday, that there were only 161 business days remaining. With the looming deadline in mind, and a reminder in Ardi Kolah’s introductory address … Continue reading Counting down to GDPR: key messages from the Thomson Reuters Data Protection Forum

October vlog: top tips for the 13% who haven’t thought about GDPR yet

October’s vlog focuses on preparations for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Over 70% of respondents to our recent survey on GDPR compliance thought it would necessitate significant changes to some of their business processes but 13% hadn’t yet begun to tackling the task of compliance.

Brexit: September round-up

Theresa May’s Brexit speech in Florence and the fourth round of negotiations between the UK and the EU were the key developments in September. Earlier in the month, the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill 2017-19 received its second reading in the House of Commons.

What’s on the agenda for in-house lawyers in October 2017?

Key items on the agenda for businesses this month include assessing the government’s proposals on corporate governance reform, continuing to prepare for the GDPR and several changes to intellectual property legislation.

Brexit: August round-up

The UK government published a flurry of Brexit position papers in August, including papers on continuity in availability of goods and confidentiality, and access to documents; the exchange and protection of personal data; cross-border civil judicial cooperation; and enforcement and dispute resolution.

What’s on the agenda for in-house lawyers in September 2017?

Key items on the agenda for businesses this month include the expected publication of the Data Protection Bill, the coming into force of the corporate offence of failure to prevent facilitation of tax evasion and dealing with the implications of the Supreme Court’s judgment on employment tribunal fees.

Brexit: July round-up

The key developments this month were the government’s introduction of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill 2017-19 and publication of a joint UK-EU technical note on citizen’s rights.

Benchmarking your Modern Slavery statement: race to the top

It is now over a year since the first organisations were required to start producing their slavery and human trafficking statements in compliance with section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, making it possible to assess and compare the large number of statements already published.

Brexit: June round-up

The key developments this month were the formal start of Brexit negotiations and the publication of several Brexit-related Bills in the 2017 Queen’s Speech.

Planning for Brexit: results of Practical Law’s in-house survey

Practical Law has published a report on the results of the survey I previously wrote about which sought to examine how in-house lawyers, and the organisations they work in, were approaching Brexit. The report can be accessed here and is also available in PDF format.

What’s on the agenda for in-house lawyers in July 2017?

Key items on the agenda for businesses this month include digesting the implications of the new Bills and proposals announced in the Queen’s Speech, reviewing a report on directors’ remuneration voting trends and continuing preparations for GDPR.

Brexit: May round-up

Key developments in May included the European General Affairs Council’s authorisation of the opening of Article 50 negotiations and adoption of the first set of negotiating directives. The European Commission also published draft position papers on citizens’ rights and financial settlement, while the House of Commons Library released a briefing paper on options for the … Continue reading Brexit: May round-up

What’s on the agenda for in-house lawyers in June 2017?

The key event this month is the general election on 8 June. In-house lawyers may also be interested in new research highlighting an increase in legal cases against FTSE100 companies and the expected publication of the Taylor review on modern employment practices.

General Election 2017: implications for in-house lawyers

The Conservative Party, Labour Party and Liberal Democrat Party have published their manifestos for the General Election on 8 June 2017. They contain several policy statements of interest to in-house lawyers.

Brexit: April round-up

Key developments in April included the European Council’s adoption of EU negotiating guidelines for Brexit and the publication of a report by the House of Commons Exiting the European Union Committee on the UK government’s negotiating objectives.

What’s on the agenda for in-house lawyers in May 2017?

Theresa May’s announcement of a general election on 8 June 2017, and the accompanying period of “purdah”,  will have an impact on several issues that in-house lawyers have been tracking recently, in particular the various proposals on corporate governance reform. Other notable developments this month include final guidance on gender pay gap reporting and two consultations … Continue reading What’s on the agenda for in-house lawyers in May 2017?

Planning for Brexit: Practical Law In-house survey

You may already be aware that Practical Law’s In-house team has compiled a survey with a view to understanding how organisations are reacting to the Brexit vote, but if you have not already participated and would like to do so, you can access the survey by following this link.

The rise of the machines: new technology and its impact on the professions

I have recently attended two events organised by Thomson Reuters. The first was a day dedicated to knowledge management – specifically management of legal know how; the second was devoted to analysis of trends and developments in insurance law. Despite their different subject matters, significant portions of both days were given over to the common … Continue reading The rise of the machines: new technology and its impact on the professions

Brexit: March round-up

Key developments in March included the government triggering Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union and publication of the government’s White Paper: Legislating for the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union.

What’s on the agenda for in-house lawyers in April 2017?

Key items on the agenda for businesses in April include the start of the first reporting periods for large companies on payment practices and performance, the countdown to go-live for the Small Business Commissioner’s complaints function and data gathering in anticipation of the first gender pay gap reports. April is typically a busy month for … Continue reading What’s on the agenda for in-house lawyers in April 2017?

Alternative legal service providers study: key points for in-house lawyers

Alternative suppliers comprise a new and fast-growing sector of the legal market. According to a study by Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute, The Center for the Study of the Legal Profession at Georgetown University Law Center and Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford, alternative legal service providers (ALSPs) now account for $8.4 billion … Continue reading Alternative legal service providers study: key points for in-house lawyers

Brexit: February round-up

Key developments in February included publication of the White Paper setting out what the UK government seeks to achieve in negotiating the UK’s exit from the EU and the progress of the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill 2017 through Parliament.

What’s on the agenda for in-house lawyers in March 2017?

Key themes and developments on the agenda for businesses in March include corporate governance, guidance on audit tendering, the launch of the National Cyber Security Centre and the spring Budget.

Modern employment: back to the future?

On 14 February Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the RSA, and his team held the first of ten town hall events designed to gather evidence for the Taylor Review on Modern Employment Practices, which was launched on 30 November last year. Fittingly, for a review inspired in part by concerns about the status of those … Continue reading Modern employment: back to the future?

What’s on the agenda for in-house lawyers in February 2017?

Key themes and developments on the agenda for businesses in February include a consultation on the reform of corporate criminal liability, guidance on the duty to report on payment practices and performance, and assistance with complying with the General Data Protection Regulation.

Brexit: January round-up

There have been several important Brexit developments in the past few weeks, including the Supreme Court’s decision on triggering Article 50 and publication of the government’s European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill.

What’s on the agenda for in-house lawyers in January 2017?

Key themes and developments on the agenda for businesses in January include the government’s Green Paper on corporate governance reform, the duty to report on payment practices and performance and the rise of the “gig economy”.

Legal advice privilege: High Court applies Three Rivers

The High Court has applied the controversial Court of Appeal decision in Three Rivers (No 5) holding that certain employees of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) did not form part of the “client” for the purposes of legal advice privilege.

In-house round-up: autumn 2016

This round-up summarises the developments that generated the most interest from in-house lawyers in the past three months, including government proposals on corporate governance, preparing for the GDPR, the EU-US Privacy Shield, Brexit and several interesting High Court decisions.

In-house agenda: December 2016

Key themes and developments on the agenda for businesses in December include government proposals on corporate governance reform, reports on improving board diversity, ending quarterly reporting and continuing preparations for GDPR. There are also some developments to look out for which are expected in early 2017.

In-house agenda: November 2016

Key themes and developments on the agenda for businesses in November include the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, evaluating the first international anti-bribery management system standard and reviewing the Criminal Finances Bill. All in-house lawyers should also be aware that the new CPD regime will become compulsory on 1 November.

FCA discussion paper on the impact of the senior managers regime on the in-house legal function

On 28 September 2016 the FCA published a discussion paper (DP16/4) on whether the person who has overall responsibility for the legal function (the GC) at a bank, building society, credit union or PRA-designated investment firm (a Regulated Firm) should be a Senior Management Function (SMF) and therefore subject to the senior managers regime (SMR). If a GC … Continue reading FCA discussion paper on the impact of the senior managers regime on the in-house legal function

Employment round-up: autumn 2016

This round-up summarises the employment-related developments that generated the most interest from in-house lawyers in the past three months, including the delay of the gender pay gap reporting regulations, the introduction of the illegal working offence and the implications of Brexit on employment law in the UK. It also highlights several key employment cases.

In-house agenda: October 2016

Key themes and developments on the agenda for businesses in October include a likely consultation on a proposed Criminal Finances Bill, an inquiry into corporate governance and new minimum wage rates.

In-house agenda: September 2016

Key themes and developments on the agenda for businesses in September include reviewing revised directors’ remuneration reporting guidance, analysing the issues for boards to consider in the light of Brexit and keeping track of EU-US Privacy Shield developments.

Approaching the Brexit maelstrom: steadying the ship and readying the crew

Many of us are still getting over the shock of the UK’s unexpected decision to leave the EU. Politicians of all hues in the UK and across the continent, sent into a spin, begin to grapple with the geopolitical and economic consequences. Theresa May’s fledgling UK government starts to contemplate its Brexit negotiation strategy. The … Continue reading Approaching the Brexit maelstrom: steadying the ship and readying the crew

In-house round-up: Summer 2016

This round-up summarises the developments that generated the most interest from in-house lawyers in the past three months, including Brexit, the formal approval of the General Data Protection Regulation, the implementation of the Market Abuse Regulation, the anti-corruption summit, the first compensation order for workers kept in modern slavery, and a number of interesting commercial … Continue reading In-house round-up: Summer 2016

In-house agenda: July 2016

Key themes and developments on the agenda for businesses in July include dealing with the implications of the EU referendum result, the introduction of the new EU market abuse regime and the publication of the Briggs review of the civil courts structure.

In-house agenda: June 2016

Key themes and developments on the agenda for businesses in June include the EU referendum, responding to announcements made at the anti-corruption summit, changes to company filing requirements and starting preparations for the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation.

E.ON and Pinsent Masons: creative law firm partnering

I recently read Tom Bangay’s blog post on how the UK arm of international energy company E.ON reduced its pool of external legal advisors from around 40 to just one: Pinsent Masons. The post highlights four key themes that will resonate with businesses.

In-house agenda: May 2016

Key developments on the agenda for businesses in May include the approval of a new EU Trade Secrets Directive, a consultation on the E-Privacy Directive and changes in the recruitment industry.

In-house round-up: Spring 2016

This round-up summarises the developments that generated the most interest with in-house lawyers in the first three months of 2016, including the new PSC register requirements, Brexit, gender pay gap reporting, EU and US privacy shield and the 2016 Budget.

In-house agenda: April 2016

Key developments on the agenda for businesses in April 2016 include the introduction of the PSC register and the national living wage, and the adoption of a new directive on trade secrets. The adoption of the new General Data Protection Regulation is now not expected until the summer.

In-house agenda: March 2016

Key developments on the agenda for businesses in March 2016 include the publication of gender pay gap regulations, the start of modern slavery reporting and the UK Budget.