Despite the Parliamentary recess, Brexit still dominates the agenda as the new Prime Minister grapples with his role and sets out his strategy. The deadline of 31 October 2019 is fast approaching, with many analysts indicating that a no deal is now more likely than ever. As such, no deal planning remains the key risk for in-house lawyers in September. Other news of note this month includes the release of a new version of the Incoterms® by the International Chamber of Commerce.
No deal Brexit planning
With the 31 October 2019 deadline looming, planning for a no deal Brexit remains at the top of the agenda for in-house lawyers. To help prepare, Practical Law has published two flowcharts that analyse how modified and unmodified retained EU law will be interpreted on and after exit day under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 if the UK leaves without a deal.
International Chamber of Commerce to release new version of Incoterms®
The International Chamber of Commerce will release a new version of the Incoterms® in early September 2019. The Incoterms® are a standardised set of international trade terms that provide a common set of rules that traders based in different countries can choose to incorporate into contracts for the sale of goods. The new rules will come into effect on 1 January 2020.
Thomson Reuters Legal Debates: Sanctions are fair and effective
Recent years have seen an expanding use of sanctions as a foreign policy tool. But with this increased activity, are sanctions bringing governments the results they envisaged? Join The Rt Hon. the Lord Darling of Roulanish, journalist and author, Alastair Campbell, Maya Lester QC, Brick Court Chambers, and Ben Emmerson QC, Monckton Chambers, as they debate whether sanctions are fair and effective.
The debate will be held in London on the evening of 4 September 2019. Although the event is free to attend, spaces are limited, so register now.
Guidance for businesses on improving consumer understanding
BEIS has published guidance for businesses on how to improve customer understanding of their contractual terms, conditions and privacy policies online. The guidance presents techniques available to businesses to increase engagement, drawing on new evidence-based research and a review of existing academic literature. The most effective suggested techniques include:
- Displaying key terms as frequently asked questions.
- Using icons to illustrate key terms.
- Showing customers contractual terms within a scrollable text box instead of requiring a click to view them.
- Providing information in short chunks at the right time.
SFO corporate co-operation guidance
The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has published corporate co-operation guidance, which seeks to assist corporate entities in explaining what is considered to be co-operation. This is first time the SFO has brought together the best practice advice on corporate co-operation in one place and it includes new means of co-operation that were not previously mentioned.
Although certainty is not guaranteed, this guidance is the best starting point for reducing potential fines or obtaining a deferred prosecution agreement in the event of corporate wrongdoing. The guidance suggests the following to be examples of co-operation:
- Providing assistance to the SFO that goes above and beyond what the law requires.
- Identifying suspected wrongdoing and criminal conduct together with the people responsible, regardless of their seniority or position in the organisation.
- Reporting this to the SFO within a reasonable time of the suspicions coming to light.
- Preserving available evidence and providing it promptly in an evidentially sound format.
Working with the CMA to tackle cartels
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published a blog encouraging companies and individuals to work with the CMA to tackle cartels. The CMA’s “#stopcartels” campaign has seen tip-offs rise by over 30%, and the CMA has been working to make it even easier to report cartels and cartel activity. In particular, it has published:
- An updated campaign page explaining what cartels look like in practice.
- An online reporting form.
- Several real-life case studies.
- A video on how to report cartels.
Dates for your diary
9 September 2019
Closing date for ICO consultation on its draft updated data sharing code of practice.
13 September 2019
Consultation on recommendations made by the Competition and Markets Authority in its final report on its market study into statutory audit services closes.
15 September 2019
Consultation on improving how people and organisations can digitally verify identities ends.
17 September 2019
Closing date for Home Office consultation on supply chain transparency in the Modern Slavery Act.
27 September 2019
Financial Reporting Council consultation on proposed changes to its Ethical and Auditing Standards closes.