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General Counsel Update - November 2016

24 November 2016 | London
Guides

This is the latest in our series of general counsel updates which aim to summarise major developments in key areas.

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Developments of General Interest

BREXIT

  • Charting a new course

CORPORATE

  • Parliamentary inquiry into corporate governance
  • Board diversity – back in the spotlight

DISPUTE RESOLUTION

Arbitration

  • Russian arbitration reform: key changes
  • Arbitration tips for in-house counsel: what to expect from the first procedural conference

Litigation

  • Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements applies to Singapore from 1 October 2016
  • Guide to dispute resolution in Africa: 2nd edition

EMPLOYMENT AND PENSIONS

Employment

  • Business model of "gig economy" employers under threat: the Uber ruling
  • Shared parental leave: First tribunal decision highlights risks in relation to pay

Pensions

  • VAT reclaims by scheme sponsors – further extension to HMRC's transitional period
  • Retail Prices Index or Consumer Prices Index? Some clarity, for the time being at least
  • Beware the Pensions Regulator, however insignificant your scheme might seem 

Specific Sector Developments

COMPETITION, REGULATION AND TRADE

  • Record fine for gun-jumping
  • New US guidelines highlight need for competition law compliance in employment context
  • Advocate General Wahl in Intel appeal opts for more effects-based approach on rebates

CONSTRUCTION

  • Interpretation of a contractual "bad bargain"

DEBT CAPITAL MARKETS

  • EU Market Abuse Regulation – market soundings

ENERGY

  • The Energy Act 2016
  • Announcement of budget for UK second contract for difference allocation round
  • Government consultation on phasing out unabated coal generation

FINANCIAL SERVICES REGULATION

  • FCA response to Competition and Markets Authority report on competition in the retail banking market
  • The FCA's mission statement

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

  • The Great Repeal Bill – effect on intellectual property

PLANNING

  • National Infrastructure Commission to become a permanent executive agency of HM Treasury

TAX

  • Autumn Statement 2016
  • Draft Criminal Finances Bill: failure to prevent the criminal facilitation of tax evasion
  • European Commission proposal for a corporate tax reform package
  • Finance Bill 2017

TECHNOLOGY, MEDIA AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS

  • Legal challenges to the EU-US Privacy Shield launched
  • Digital Economy Bill to hold directors personally liable for "nuisance call" fines
  • New BBC Royal Charter and Framework Agreement to come into force on 1 January 2017  

Region Specific Developments

AUSTRALIA

  • The importance of complying with dispute resolution clauses
  • Question of indemnity costs and setting aside or resisting enforcement of arbitral awards remains unresolved
  • “Common fund” doctrine now available in Australia, exposing businesses to larger class action claims
  • Business ethics and anti-bribery policy survey
  • Long service leave in Western Australia – service with related bodies corporate does not count towards continuous service 

HONG KONG

  • Securities and Futures Commission issues guidance on client agreement requirements following submissions by Herbert Smith Freehills on behalf of major investment banks in Hong Kong
  • Hong Kong launches regulatory sandbox in wake of developments in Australia, Malaysia, Singapore and the UK
  • Hong Kong issues proposals to significantly enhance the Financial Dispute Resolution Scheme