In Counsel Update – Spring 2016

16 / 05 / 2016

Welcome to the Spring edition of our In Counsel update. The topic on everyone’s mind, the upcoming UK referendum on EU membership, features prominently in this issue. In three articles we examine the legal implications of a Brexit decision on certain legal areas, namely data protection and employment rights, and look at possible post-Brexit models for engaging with the EU.

We outline other recent legal developments affecting your business, in particular, what steps you need to take now to ensure your company’s compliance with the PSC register regime, reflect on signs in the executive remuneration world that pressure is building for yet another “Shareholder Spring”, and set out as a reminder what trading subsidiaries of charities need to consider when making donations to their parent organisation. We analyse, among other things, the implications for UK businesses of the EU’s recently published Trade Secrets Directive, and look at when a private investigator needs to comply with a subject access request pursuant to the data protection regime. Our Property team further comments on a recent High Court case which confirms that tenants cannot assign to their guarantors which may be particularly relevant in the context of a proposed intra-group re-organisation.

We will keep you updated on these and other UK law developments as and when they happen. 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



What a Brexit could mean for UK businesses – A lot has been written about the economic effects of Brexit, much of it contradictory – for example:  The 100 “worst” EU derived regulations are consistently said to cost the UK economy £33 billion per year, but this has been challenged by research that has looked at the Government’s impact assessments (always undertaken as part of any consultation concerning the implementation of new regulations) done in respect of each of these 100 regulations and which concludes that the UK economy benefits from them to the tune of £58 billion per annum. Can there be any more certainty about the legal effects of a Brexit?


  • Operating under the PSC Regime – Last year the new Part 21A was introduced into the Companies Act 2006, creating a new regime for almost all companies incorporated in any part of the UK to create and maintain a register of people with significant control (the PSC register regime). Read full article
  • The Shareholder Spring: revisited – During the Shareholder Spring of 2012 shareholders won the argument that non-executive directors alone could be trusted to keep directors’ pay under appropriate scrutiny and control.  Accordingly, the UK government took action and put in place a new remuneration reporting regime for listed companies (not including companies with securities admitted to trading on AIM or the ISDX Growth Market).  Read full article
  • Trading subsidiaries of charities and Gift Aid: A reminder – Many charities have subsidiaries which carry out trading activities in order to generate income which can then be applied to further the objects of the parent charity. There are a number of ways in which such income can be paid up to the parent charity and one frequently used route is to make a donation to the charity. Read full article

Data Protection


IP & Commercial

Pensions & Employee Benefits


  • Tenants cannot assign to their guarantors – The High Court has held that a tenant cannot assign its lease to its own guarantor. This follows from the terms of the Landlord and Tenant (Covenants) Act 1995. In this update, we will summarise the case and let you know what you need to do now. Read full article

White Collar – Bribery