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?
- Brexit or Bremain, there’s the rub – Richard Isham looks at possible post-Brexit models for engaging with the EU in the event of a Brexit. Read full article
- What a Brexit could mean for data protection and UK businesses – James Castro-Edwards analyses the implications of a Brexit on data protection in the UK. Read full article
- EU referendum (should we stay or should we go?) – Employment implications – Adam Grant provides an outlook on the implications on employment rights if the UK votes to leave. Read full article
- 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
- When does a private investigator need to comply with a subject access request? – The High Court case of Gurieva & Anor v Community Safety Development (UK) Ltd dealt with the obligations of a private investigator (as data controller) to comply with a data subject access request made by a couple who were the focus of the defendant’s investigations. Read full article
- A spring clean: important rate changes in April 2016 – April 2016 saw a number of important changes to employment rates with the introduction of the National Living Wage and increases to compensation and redundancy limits. Read full article
- Does an employee sacrifice childcare vouchers during maternity leave? – There has been a recent decision in the Employment Appeal Tribunal in relation to continuing childcare vouchers during maternity leave which may be of interest to those of you who provide these vouchers by way of a salary sacrifice scheme. Read full article
IP & Commercial
- Want to know a secret? The EU’s Trade Secrets Directive – If we were to ask you to cast your mind back to the festive period, no doubt your immediate (and happy) recollection would be that of the long-awaited publication of the EU’s Trade Secrets Directive. Read full article
Pensions & Employee Benefits
- Promises, promises… (of a pensions nature) – The Pensions Ombudsman has held that an employer “unjustifiably” stopped a member’s monthly pension payments which it had funded for some years following the winding-up of its occupational pension scheme. Read full article
- Pensions liberation: has the High Court opened the floodgates for fraudsters to exploit both individuals, and flaws within the system? – The High Court has overturned a decision of the Pensions Ombudsman which supported Royal London’s decision not to transfer a member’s benefits to another pension arrangement due to pensions liberation fears. This could have serious repercussions for pension scheme trustees, and for the Pensions Regulator’s crusade against unlawful liberation activity. Read full article
- Q&A with Justin McGilloway, Head of Pensions and Employee Benefits – Justin discusses his practice and his views on the changing needs of the client. Read full article
- 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