Latest updates

Mandatory independent scrutiny of pre-pack sales to connected parties to be introduced
Squire Patton Boggs
  • Insolvency & Restructuring
  • United Kingdom
  • 23 October 2020

The government recently published a report reviewing voluntary measures introduced in 2015 to improve the transparency of pre-pack sales in administration. The voluntary measures sought to improve creditor confidence, enabling connected person purchasers to voluntarily obtain an independent opinion from the Pre-Pack Pool that the proposed sale was the best option. The government's report notes that despite these measures, pre-packs are still a concern.

Supreme Court clarifies principles for determining law of arbitration agreement
Clifford Chance
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • United Kingdom
  • 22 October 2020

The Supreme Court has clarified definitively the principles for ascertaining the law governing an arbitration agreement. In contrast to the Court of Appeal's earlier decision in the same case, the Supreme Court held that where the law governing an arbitration agreement is not expressly specified, a choice of main contract law (whether express or implied) will generally also apply to an arbitration agreement which forms part of that contract.

Global Talent visas for digital technology applicants: factsheet
Lewis Silkin
  • Employment & Immigration
  • United Kingdom
  • 21 October 2020

The Global Talent visa route is designed for individuals who are recognised or emerging leaders in digital technology and wish to work in the United Kingdom. Successful applicants will be granted up to five years' leave in the United Kingdom and can apply to extend their visa as many times as they like. This article outlines the criteria for endorsement used to assess whether an applicant qualifies as either a recognised or an emerging leader.

What does the COVID-19 tier system mean for offices?
Lewis Silkin
  • Employment & Immigration
  • United Kingdom
  • 21 October 2020

New regulations underpinning the three-tier lockdown system are now in force in England as part of the government's efforts to step up its response to the pandemic. This article considers whether the new regulations will demand a stricter approach to office work, as well as what may constitute a gathering, the rules for travelling to work in a different tier and how to approach client and internal work meetings.

Hidden owners, ostensible authority and Duomatic principle
RPC
  • Litigation
  • United Kingdom
  • 20 October 2020

According to a recent Privy Council decision, the Duomatic principle can apply to ostensible authority as well as actual authority. The council found that a company's director and registered agent were not in breach of their tortious duties of care to the company where they were acting on the instructions of an agent who had ostensible authority. This case provides insight into circumstances where arrangements cloaking the beneficial owners of, in particular, offshore companies are relatively common.

Government consults on ecodesign and energy information laws changes
CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP
  • Energy & Natural Resources
  • United Kingdom
  • 19 October 2020

Until 11 November 2020, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is consulting on the draft Ecodesign for Energy-Related Products and Energy Information Regulations 2021. The consultation asks stakeholders to comment on the ecodesign and energy labelling proposals, BEIS's assessment of the costs and benefits and the intended timetable for reviewing the draft regulations after they came into force, noted in each product-specific section.

Changes to temporary measures affecting UK insolvency proceedings – a bite-sized update
Squire Patton Boggs
  • Insolvency & Restructuring
  • United Kingdom
  • 16 October 2020

Numerous recent extensions and changes to temporary measures have been announced that affect insolvency practice and procedure. These concern the ipso facto regime for small suppliers, the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020, the temporary restrictions affecting winding-up petitions, the prohibition on forfeiture proceedings and the revised Temporary Insolvency Practice Direction.

Further updates to UK sanctions against Belarus
Baker McKenzie
  • International Trade
  • United Kingdom
  • 16 October 2020

The Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation has further expanded the reach of sanctions in respect of Belarus to cover an additional 40 individuals. These 40 individuals have been designated at EU level and added to the consolidated list. Five of these individuals were previously sanctioned under the United Kingdom's global human rights regime and are now subject to an asset freeze under both this regime and the EU regime.

Employment tribunals – will Winter 2020 see a flurry of claims?
Lewis Silkin
  • Employment & Immigration
  • United Kingdom
  • 14 October 2020

It is almost inevitable that the coming months will see employers receiving more employment tribunal (ET) claims. Imminent changes in ET procedures are likely to reduce case backlogs and lead to claims progressing to a hearing more quickly in a climate in which employment disputes are increasing. How will this affect employers?

MAC publishes report recommending expanded shortage occupation lists
Lewis Silkin
  • Employment & Immigration
  • United Kingdom
  • 14 October 2020

The Migration Advisory Committee has recommended a significant expansion of the occupations deemed to be in shortage for the purposes of sponsorship under the new skilled worker category, which will replace Tier 2 (General) from 1 January 2021. The Home Office will now need to consider the recommendations and finalise the Immigration Rules for skilled workers.

Fishing expedition or genuine application? Norwich Pharmacal relief when wrongdoing is still unknown
RPC
  • Litigation
  • United Kingdom
  • 13 October 2020

The High Court of England and Wales has recently taken a flexible approach to the conditions which a victim of wrongdoing must satisfy in order to obtain information from third parties potentially mixed up in that wrongdoing. In a recent decision in which it granted a Norwich Pharmacal order, the court held that it was sufficient to establish a good arguable case for essential elements of the cause of action, even if there were significant questions over important case aspects, such as limitation.

Terminating agreements under Electronic Communications Code
CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP
  • Real Estate
  • United Kingdom
  • 09 October 2020

EE Limited v Edelwind Limited is another in the increasing line of cases concerning the operation of the Electronic Communications Code, contained in Schedule 3A to the Communications Act 2003. This one, before the Upper Tribunal, concerned the code's provisions governing the service of a notice to terminate a code agreement in terms of when and on whom the notice should be served.

Countdown to new 2021 immigration system and Brexit – are you ready?
Lewis Silkin
  • Employment & Immigration
  • United Kingdom
  • 07 October 2020

From 1 January 2021 there will be a new immigration system in the United Kingdom. Due to free movement ending, the new system will apply to EEA and Swiss nationals as well as non-EEA nationals. Employers must start to prepare for this change now. This article provides a timeline which outlines the areas that employers must consider and suggests timeframes for taking action.

COVID-19 Job Support Scheme – FAQs for employers
Lewis Silkin
  • Employment & Immigration
  • United Kingdom
  • 07 October 2020

The government's new Job Support Scheme (JSS) replaces the furlough scheme and will start on 1 November 2020. The JSS will provide ongoing wage support for people in work, provided that employers meet certain access conditions, employees are working at least 33% of their usual hours and employers also provide additional wage support. This article answers FAQs covering eligibility, how the scheme works, what employers must agree with employees and alternative resourcing options for employers.

Podcast: how to prepare your business for franchising
Fieldfisher LLP
  • Franchising
  • United Kingdom
  • 06 October 2020

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the franchise model will play an important role in economic recovery, helping individuals to take their first steps into business ownership, presenting opportunities to established operators to grow their portfolios and enabling brand owners to expand and regain or grow their market share. This podcast explores the key legal considerations for any business which is preparing to franchise.

Judgment handed down in FCA's COVID-19 business interruption insurance test case
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
  • Insurance
  • United Kingdom
  • 06 October 2020

The High Court has handed down judgment in the COVID-19 business interruption insurance test case of The Financial Conduct Authority v Arch. Following expedited proceedings, the judgment brings highly anticipated guidance on the proper operation of cover under certain non-damage business interruption insurance extensions.

Overseas in-house lawyers' advice covered by legal advice privilege
RPC
  • Litigation
  • United Kingdom
  • 06 October 2020

There is no additional requirement for in-house foreign lawyers to be appropriately qualified or recognised or regulated as professional lawyers for legal advice privilege to extend to communications between them and company employees. The requirement for legal advice privilege to attach to communications is that the adviser was acting in their capacity as a lawyer. A recent decision by the High Court has confirmed these tenets of English legal advice privilege.

United Kingdom updates unilateral sanctions targeting Belarusian officials
Baker McKenzie
  • International Trade
  • United Kingdom
  • 02 October 2020

The Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation recently announced that eight Belarusian officials have been subjected to sanctions (asset freezes and travel bans) under the United Kingdom's autonomous global human rights sanctions regime. This regime was introduced earlier in 2020 as a 'Magnitsky-style' regime and is the first autonomous sanctions regime adopted by the United Kingdom following its departure from the European Union.

Marriott International faces class action in addition to potential GDPR fine
Bird & Bird LLP
  • Tech, Data, Telecoms & Media
  • United Kingdom
  • 02 October 2020

Marriott International announced a significant data breach in 2018 following which the Information Commissioner's Office issued a statement citing an intention to fine Marriott £99.2 million for breaches of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Whatever comes of that intention, recent filings in the High Court reveal that Marriott now faces the additional threat of a customer class action which cites GDPR non-compliance in respect of the same security breach.

High Court upholds stay of winding-up petition where debt was subject to arbitration agreement
Clifford Chance
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • United Kingdom
  • 01 October 2020

The High Court recently upheld an order that a petitioner should be restrained from proceeding with a winding-up petition on the basis that the petition debt in question was disputed by the alleged debtor and was subject to an arbitration agreement. The decision provides assurance that in the context of a winding-up petition, the court will consider the merits of a dispute relating to a petition debt which is subject to an arbitration agreement only in rare circumstances.

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