It’s been shown repeatedly that diverse workplaces make business sense (McKinsey made the point in its “Women Matter” report back in 2007; a World Economic Forum blog by Vijay Eswaran repeated it in April this year). Yet there is still a long way to go before big businesses will be in a position to challenge … Continue reading The turning of the tide? The role of in-house lawyers, and quotas, in tackling gender inequality in the law
With the announcement of a new Prime Minister due in July, Brexit remains at the top of the agenda for businesses. This month there are also some corporate governance developments to keep an eye on and Thomson Reuters is hosting its annual GC Leadership Summit.
Last week, the Institute of Business Ethics launched its Board Briefing on “Corporate Ethics in a Digital Age”. A wide-ranging panel discussion and Q&A session at the launch event tackled some of the implications of new technology for ethical business practice and emphasised that, despite its novelty and seeming complexity, it should be subject to … Continue reading Not just somebody else’s problem: notes from the launch of the IBE’s Board Briefing on “Corporate Ethics in a Digital Age”
In addition to Brexit, key focus areas for in-house lawyers this month include climate change, corporate transparency and smart contracts.
In the 9 years since the Bribery Act 2010 (the Act) came into force there has been a notable lack of case law. At the time the Act was made law this was the strictest anti-bribery legislation in the world and it is therefore interesting that so few prosecutions or deferred prosecution agreements have resulted … Continue reading The Bribery Act 2010: House of Lords recommends more guidance and greater clarity
The key Brexit development this month was the agreement reached on 11 April 2019 between the European Council and the UK government to extend the Article 50 period for a second time.
This month, beyond Brexit, in-house lawyers should be keeping track of developments in audit, executive remuneration reform, cyber security and artificial intelligence.
On 29 March 2019, the House of Commons voted against a government motion for the approval of the withdrawal agreement (but not the political declaration). This means that the UK is now due to leave the EU on 12 April 2019 without a deal. No-deal Brexit planning guidance continued to be published throughout March.
Continued uncertainty surrounding the date of Brexit ensures it remains at the top of the agenda for in-house lawyers this month. Other areas of focus include corporate governance reform and a consultation on the use of confidentiality clauses in situations of workplace harassment or discrimination.
On 26 February 2019, the Prime Minister gave a statement to the House of Commons (HoC) in which she confirmed that a second meaningful vote on her Brexit deal would take place no later than 12 March 2019. Guidance on no-deal Brexit planning continued to be published throughout February.
With the UK scheduled to leave the EU on 29 March 2019, Brexit planning remains paramount for in-house lawyers this month. Nevertheless, they should also be keeping abreast of developments in corporate governance, environmental reporting and gender pay gap reporting.
The House of Commons (HoC) delivered the biggest parliamentary defeat of any Prime Minister in British history as MPs emphatically rejected Theresa May’s Brexit deal on 15 January 2019. No-deal Brexit planning continued throughout the month.
Brexit remains at the top of the agenda this month but in-house lawyers should also be keeping track of reforms to corporate governance, audit and employment law.
Towards the end of last year, Thomson Reuters hosted a NEDonBoard expert panel event on the key learnings from the collapse of Carillion. The panel was chaired by Olivier Garrigue, experienced Chairman and CEO, and included the Reuters journalist, Kate Holton, and Giles Boothman, a partner and restructuring lawyer at Ashurst. Lucinda Case, Managing Director … Continue reading Key learnings from Carillion’s collapse
The week before Christmas saw several developments in relation to the UK audit market, including publication of the final report of the Kingman review. Meanwhile the government announced extensive employment law reforms following the Taylor Review and published a White Paper on the UK’s future skills-based immigration system. The Court of Appeal also gave judgment … Continue reading What you may have missed over the festive break
I met James Bartle at the Thomson Reuters Foundation Trust Conference 2018. Sitting in the front row of the audience, we struck up a conversation about his company, Outland Denim, a premium Australian-based denim brand. After a brief chat about slavery practices in manufacturing, he politely excused himself and casually walked up on stage to … Continue reading How to build an ethical supply chain: an interview with James Bartle, CEO and Founder of Outland Denim
Prime Minister Theresa May was forced to defer the meaningful vote on her Brexit deal in December and the vote will now take place during the week commencing 14 January 2019. In another key development, the ECJ gave hope to the anti-Brexit lobby by ruling on 10 December 2018 that the UK could unilaterally revoke … Continue reading Brexit: December 2018 round-up
In addition to Brexit planning, this month in-house lawyers should also be aware of new initiatives on corporate governance, tackling poor payment practices, and improving reporting on disability, mental health and wellbeing.
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 … Continue reading Brexit: November 2018 round-up
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.
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.
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 … Continue reading Playbooks help lawyers mean business
The pace of publication of Brexit statutory instruments (SIs) picked up this month. The government also continued to publish technical notices giving guidance to UK businesses and citizens on how to prepare for a no-deal Brexit.
Legal Geek 2018 attracted more than 2,000 people from over 40 countries and this year the event included a second stage aimed at the in-house market. It hosted some thought-provoking speakers and lively panel discussions, and one of the overarching themes was how customer behaviour is driving change and making digital transformation necessary for every … Continue reading Legal Geek 2018: key takeaways for in-house lawyers
The key agenda items this month include changes to the UK Immigration Rules, and the launch of consultations on further measures to tackle late payment of smaller businesses and mandatory ethnic pay reporting.
Why resilience training? Resilience can mean the ability to bounce back from disruption, stress or change, or a dynamic process that involves a personal negotiation through life that fluctuates across time, life stage and context, as defined by psychologists Tusaie and Dyer. More than ever, resilience has become also a necessary part of being a … Continue reading Resilience techniques for lawyers
This month the government published the second and third tranches of technical notices giving guidance to UK businesses and citizens on how to prepare for a no-deal Brexit. The Migration Advisory Committee also published its recommendations for the UK’s post-Brexit work immigration system.
Key items on the agenda for in-house lawyers this month include digesting the second tranche of no deal Brexit technical notices, the launch of a consultation on electronically executed documents, and a key decision on litigation privilege in internal investigations.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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’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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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
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.
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 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
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.