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General counsel update, February 2018

28 February 2018 | UK, Asia Pacific, Australia, Hong Kong
Legal Briefings – By Emily Lew, Editor

This is the latest in our series of general counsel updates which aim to summarise major developments in key areas. Click download above for a copy of the update.

Please see a summary of content below.

For more information, please contact Emily Lew, Editor.




  • The European Commission publishes draft legal text on Brexit transitional arrangements
  • Legal certainty on whether there will be status quo transitional arrangements unlikely until shortly prior to Brexit
  • EU's official Brexit preparedness notices warning stakeholders across sectors of their views on consequences of a no deal – a valuable if not wholly reliable resource
  • The clock is ticking with 12 months to go 


Competition, regulation and trade

  • Coty: Greater online protection for luxury goods suppliers
  • UK court confirms that exchange of competitively sensitive information on a single occasion can breach competition law



  • The new FIDIC contracts



Corporate governance

  • Corporate governance – FRC consultation on new Governance Code
  • Corporate governance in private companies – new industry group to draw up proposed governance code for large private companies

Mergers and acquisitions 

  • M&A in a changing world: opportunities amidst disruption 


Dispute resolution

  • Diverging authorities on the dominant purpose test for litigation privilege
  • Proposed rule changes reinforce that there is no right to a private hearing


Employment and pensions


  • EHRC threatens enforcement action for failure to report gender pay gap
  • Government proposes minor employment law reforms and further consultations following Taylor Review
  • Employers could face EHRC enforcement action over lack of sexual harassment measures


  • Pensions Regulator successfully prosecutes BHS's Dominic Chappell for failing to produce information
  • Pension increases – switching  from RPI to CPI


Energy and environment


  • Capacity Market Auction results
  • CfD consultation
  • House of Lords paper on Brexit’s impact on UK energy security


  • Deadline for submission for registrations under REACH
  • The 25 year environment plan 


Finance: debt capital markets, securitisation and derivatives


  • Prospectus Regulation to replace current Prospectus Directive
  • The potential discontinuation of LIBOR
  • MiFID II/PRIIPs and application to DCM 


Financial services regulation

  • Extension of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime
  • FCA consultation on industry codes of conduct and Principle 5



  • Insurance Distribution Directive postponed
  • Extension of Senior Managers and Certification Regime to insurers and insurance intermediaries
  • Insurance and Reinsurance Disputes Annual Review of 2017 published


Real estate and planning

Real estate

  • New restrictions on letting properties with F and G rated Energy Performance Certificates pursuant to the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards Regulations
  • Register of beneficial ownership of UK property held by overseas entities


  • Land value and Community Infrastructure Levy
  • New London Plan
  • National Planning Policy Framework amendments



  • Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Bill
  • Finance Bills
  • HMRC consultation: royalty withholding tax


Technology, media and telecommunications, sourcing and data

  • The EU General Data Protection Regulation to apply
  • Cyber Security Directive to be implemented into national law



Asia Pacific

  • Herbert Smith Freehills launches new Asia-Pacific Competition Law Guide
  • Open Banking developments in Asia Pacific



  • Australia’s New Payments Platform
  • Australian mandatory data breach scheme commences
  • Labour hire licensing update

Hong Kong

  • Updated guidance note on cooperation with the Hong Kong SFC
  • Hong  Kong SFC publishes consultation conclusions on enhancing regulation of asset management industry and point-of-sale transparency and launches further consultation 


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