In Counsel update – Autumn 2015

22 / 10 / 2015

Welcome to the autumn edition of our In Counsel publication. In this update we will outline the most recent legal developments affecting your business, in particular, the revised timetable for implementation of some of the key elements of the transparency and filing provisions contained in the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015, and the new requirements for transparency in supply chains set out in the new Modern Slavery Act 2015. We further analyse, among others, the impact of a recent Court of Appeal decision and the forthcoming EU General Data Protection Regulation on the extent of data controllers’ obligations in the legal minefield of data protection with a special focus on organisations which handle large volumes of personal information such as pension schemes, and look at whether the recent Supreme Court decision in Woolway (VO) v Mazars LLP is likely to increase the business space burden for occupiers of premises on multiple floors of a building or in adjoining units.

If you would like to know more about any of the topics covered in this update please get in touch.

Janice Wall, Head of Corporate

Marlies Braun, Editor

 

Wedlake Bell News

We welcome Rosalyn Breedy as a partner in our Corporate Team. Rosalyn joins the firm from Forsters LLP. In addition to advising on deals Rosalyn specialises in complex financial regulation and compliance matters and will also be working closely with the firm’s Private Client, Family and Tax teams to advise individuals on their financial and wealth management needs. She has a diverse range of clients including family offices, high net worth entrepreneurs and fund managers and trust companies. Rosalyn strengthens and expands Wedlake Bell’s busy Corporate Team which continues to advise on a wide range of complex corporate matters.

We also welcome new Partner, Chris Vause to our Banking Team. Chris joins us after spending 7 years at Maclay Murray & Spens LLP as a Partner within their Banking division where he performed a dual role which allowed him to utilise his expertise in property and banking.

Jessica Warner also joins us as a Solicitor in the Employment Team.

 

 

Contents

Corporate

Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015
On 26 August 2015 Companies House published amended implementation dates for key elements of the transparency and filing provisions contained in Parts 7 and 8 of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015. Generally, implementation has been delayed, but some less significant changes have been accelerated.

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Consultation on proposed changes to the AIM Rules

On 15 October 2015, the London Stock Exchange published a consultation paper proposing certain changes to the AIM Rules for Companies relating to the admission criteria for investing companies and the rules governing fundamental changes of business.

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Improving the quality of reporting by smaller listed and AIM companies

The Financial Reporting Council in the United Kingdom caused some concern in the quoted SME space in late 2013 when, in setting its priorities for 2014 it indicated that it would investigate the standards of reporting within that sector.
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Capital Markets Union Action Plan

30 September 2015 saw the publication of the Capital Markets Union Action Plan by the European Commission looks to remove barriers to cross-border investment and lower costs of funding.

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Rosalyn Breedy Q&A

Partner, Rosalyn Breedy answers our questions

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Employment

Travel time is “working time” for mobile workers

For the majority of workers, their working day does not start until they reach their regular place of work. However, the European Court of Justice has ruled that time spent travelling to and from home, for workers with no fixed or habitual place of work, should constitute “working time” for the purposes of the Working Time Directive.

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Modern Slavery Act 2015 – transparency in supply chains

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 consolidates and updates protections against human trafficking and slavery. Although wide ranging, the most eye catching part of the Act for businesses will be section 54, which sets out requirements for transparency in supply chains and imposes annual reporting requirements.

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Welcome news for LLPs

Under the terms of an LLP Agreement, each individual member will usually have a profit share. Some members (e.g. founders) will have a significantly higher profit share than others and will also have a share in the capital of the LLP (i.e. over and above the amount of their own capital contribution). Individual members will also be subject to certain notice provisions, garden leave obligations during notice and restrictive covenants that govern what they can do once they cease to be a member (e.g. non-compete, non-solicitation of and non-dealing with clients of the LLP).

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Pensions & Employee Benefits

Data protection – never a dull moment…

Data protection law is changing. What’s more, this will affect you! A recent Court of Appeal decision, and the forthcoming EU General Data Protection Regulation, significantly increase the extent of data controllers’ obligations (and exposure) in this legal minefield. Read on, to see just how carefully you need to tread in future.

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Tax-tampering

The Finance Act 1921 introduced the concept of tax relief for pension schemes that satisfy certain criteria. Almost 100 years later this tried-and-tested system may well be turned on its head…

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Property & Construction

When two does not become one

The recent Supreme Court decision in Woolway (VO) v Mazars LLP is likely to increase the business rates burden for occupiers of premises on multiple floors of a building or in adjoining units.

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Payments under Building Contracts: it pays to be on time!

It is a fair to say that the payment regime under the Construction Act is complicated. In the recent decision of the Technology and Construction Court in Henia Investments Inc v Beck Interiors Ltd Mr Justice Akenhead acknowledged that the statutory requirements in the Act “have led to unnecessarily complex provisions, not least those dealing with the consequences of failure to comply with timing provisions”.

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