09 June 2020
Switzerland to hold referendum on proposed human rights due diligence law
A referendum on a Swiss civil society initiative on mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence for companies is expected to be held towards the end of the year. A number of countries are currently debating similar laws, after France introduced the Law on the Corporate Duty of Vigilance...
03 June 2020
US DOJ seeks to stop human rights lawsuits against corporations
In a May 26, 2020 filing , the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) has urged the U.S. Supreme Court to hold that domestic corporations cannot be sued in U.S. courts for alleged human rights violations under the Alien Tort Statute (“ATS”).
19 May 2020
COVID-19: Pressure Points: Business and respect of human rights (Global)
The current COVID-19 crisis is putting businesses under unprecedented levels of pressure, in terms of time, finances and operations. Meanwhile, human rights within businesses and their value chains are at risk, particularly in countries where labour laws and social systems offer limited protection...
19 May 2020
Queensland case to focus on the human rights implications of climate change
Snapshot A group of young Queenslanders is challenging the mining lease and environmental approval for the Waratah coal mine, part of the Galilee Coal Project. Although detailed grounds are not yet available, statements on behalf of the group indicate that the grounds will explicitly link climate...
31 March 2020
NSW legislative committee recommends NSW Modern Slavery Act be brought into force in 2021
After receiving over 100 submissions, the New South Wales Legislative Council’s Standing Committee on Social Issues has released its Final Report into the Modern Slavery Act 2018 and associated matters ( Report ).
18 March 2020
COVID-19 People: Short guide for employers (Australia)
The COVID-19 virus is new, rapidly evolving and having a major impact on workplaces. The virus is giving rise to multitude of employment and safety-related questions in a context which has not previously been contemplated, on topics ranging from an employer’s payment obligations and dealing with...
03 March 2020
Directors walking tightrope on ESG disclosure
In the context of BlackRock’s climate ‘epiphany’ last month, as well as clear indications from significant fund managers such as Sir Christopher Hohn’s TCI Funds Management that they will be taking more overtly activist steps to catalyse climate action in future, listed company boards have never...
07 November 2019
New and emerging technology: What this means for human rights and business in the digital age
The increasing velocity and convergence of new and emerging digital technologies will have a significant impact on our lives. Our submission to the UN Human Rights Council provides our perspective on the key challenges and opportunities for the protection of human rights in light of these digital...
30 September 2019
Could Germany introduce a mandatory human rights due diligence law?
On 10 September 2019, the seventh anniversary of the devastating fire in the Ali Enterprises factory in Pakistan whose main customer was the German retailer KiK, a coalition of NGOs and trade unions in Germany launched a campaign calling for the issuance of a mandatory supply chain due diligence...
16 August 2019
NSW Modern Slavery – opportunity to provide input
In June 2018, the Parliament of New South Wales passed the NSW Modern Slavery Act , ahead of the Commonwealth Modern Slavery Act which passed in December 2018. However, the NSW Modern Slavery Act is yet to commence and it has been reported that the NSW Special Minister of State had received advice...
25 July 2019
Mandatory human rights due diligence on the cards in the US?
On July 10, 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services opened debate on the discussion draft of a bill that would require publically listed companies to conduct human rights due diligence and report on their findings and responses.
07 September 2020
London International Disputes Week 2020
We are pleased to announce that London International Disputes Week (LIDW) is returning for a second year in September 2020. Herbert Smith Freehills is proud to be associated with this key event, which celebrates London as a global centre for dispute resolution. 7 – 11 September 2020 For more...
03 July 2020
People: Post-lockdown issues for employers (UK)
On 11 May 2020 the UK Government published its roadmap for coming out of lockdown, providing for a (conditional) phased return of schools and businesses over the coming months and subject to continuing social distancing requirements. Most businesses and venues (except for certain close contact...
03 July 2020
Pressure Points: Key actions checklists for trustees and sponsors of DB schemes (UK) - Updated
Current events related to Covid-19 and the related economic impact are raising a number of time critical issues that sponsors and trustees of defined benefit schemes need to address. To help with this, we have created checklists (based on our experience advising clients to date) which summarise the...
03 July 2020
People: Key actions checklists for trustees and employers of DC schemes (UK) - Updated
Current events related to Covid-19 and the related economic impact are raising a number of time critical pensions-related issues that employers with defined contribution (DC) schemes and trustees of such schemes need to address. To help with this, we have created checklists (based on our experience...
02 July 2020
Woolworths spam receives unwelcome attention
The Australian Communications and Media Authority ( ACMA ) reported on the 2 July that Woolworths Group Limited has paid a million-dollar infringement notice and agreed to a court-enforceable undertaking in response to breaches of spam laws. The infringement notice for $1,003,800 is the largest...
02 July 2020
Pressure points: Trustees beware – Changes to UK insolvency regime are now in force (UK)
The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 received Royal Assent and is now in force. The Act contains the most far-reaching reforms to UK insolvency law in over 30 years. The Act has been introduced on an emergency basis in an attempt to ensure that otherwise financially viable companies...
02 July 2020
Foreign Investment: Rising Tides of Politics in Regulation - Updated Report
We are delighted to share with you our newly updated report on Foreign Investment: Rising Tides of Politics in Regulation, which reflects a swathe of recent changes to Foreign Direct Investment ( FDI ) regimes around the world against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic.
01 July 2020
People: Job Retention Scheme and Pensions (UK)
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ("CJRS"), opened for claims on 20 April. Originally due to end on 31 May, then 30 June, the Chancellor announced on 12 May that it will remain in place and available to all sectors through to the end of October 2020. New rules, which will apply from 1 July 2020...
01 July 2020
Pressure Points: Corporate real estate: a post-Covid-19 perspective (UK)
Revival signs in real estate M&A The Covid-19 pandemic caused a noticeable slowdown in real estate M&A activity. Despite this, there are early signs in the market of a bounce back. Opportunistic/strategic deals are still completing and many investors have capital reserves ready to be...
30 June 2020
REACTIVACIÓN: Análisis del Real Decreto Ley 23/2020, de 23 de junio: su impacto en renovables (España)
El 24 de junio se publicó en el Boletín Oficial del Estado, el Real Decreto-Ley 23/2020, de 23 de junio, por el que se aprueban medidas en materia de energía y en otros ámbitos para la reactivación económica (“RDL 23/2020”). Este Real Decreto-Ley entró en vigor el 25 de junio de 2020, si bien debe...
30 June 2020
Saving millions of shareholder dollars and forests of trees is easier than you think
How often do those of us in M&A and in-house legal and company secretariat teams have an opportunity to save trees and millions of shareholder dollars? The recent temporary changes to the Corporations Act in response to the challenges posed by COVID-19 facilitate this by allowing notices of...
29 June 2020
COVID-19: Pressure Points: The Global Impact on the Mining Industry
The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented humanitarian and economic crisis. The mining industry has sought to respond quickly to protect the health of its employees and its communities. These steps are in response to (and often ahead of) emergency measures and lockdowns implemented by governments...