We recognise that some legal developments need to be understood in detail.

Our publications and briefings provide an in-depth analysis of commercial and legal developments, as they happen.

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Brexit: can "Exit Day" be changed in time?

22 Mar 2019
On 21 March the European Council agreed to extend the UK's Article 50 notice period, either:
Until 22 May if the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration (WA) is approved by the House of Commons before 29 March; or
Until 12 April if the WA is not approved.
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When does a loss occur in the context of a contract for ground investigations?

21 Mar 2019
The law of prescription in Scotland, or the period beyond which a claim will prescribe or become inactionable due to the passage of time, is currently undergoing change. As a result of, amongst other things, recent decisions regarding assessment of when a loss might be considered to have been incurred by a wronged party, the Scottish Law Commission underwent consultation. The result of that is the Prescription (Scotland) Act 2018 which was given Royal Assent on 18 December 2018.
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Member activism: challenging a funding deficit

21 Mar 2019
The cost of funding pension plans has, for some time now, proved a considerable problem for many employers who sponsor a defined benefit occupational pension plan. This is due to a combination of factors such as changes in markets, low interest rates, greater life expectancy, stricter legal regulation of pension plans and a tendency for the trustees who run pension plans to take an increasingly risk-free approach in a desire to ward off member or regulator criticism, thereby pushing up the costs to the employer (as any deficit in a defined benefit pension plan must be met by the employer).
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Brexit: extension or no deal?

20 Mar 2019
The UK Prime Minister has written to Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, requesting an extension of the Article 50 notice period to 30 June 2019. During Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, the Prime Minister confirmed her opposition to any further extension beyond that date. The Prime Minister has also confirmed her intention to bring the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration (WA) back to the House of Commons for a third time, explaining that the proposed extension to 30 June would be to allow time to "enact our commitments under the Withdrawal Agreement into domestic law".
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Brexit: the long goodbye

15 Mar 2019
The Parliamentary week began with a stark choice between the UK government's Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration (WA) and a "no deal" Brexit. The week has ended with no real change. Next week, the government will seek for the third time to secure approval for the WA in order to obtain a short "technical extension" to the Article 50 notice period so that the necessary legislation can be passed. If the WA were to be rejected again, then the government would have to ask for a longer extension, and that request might be vetoed by any EU member state. Consequently, the House of Commons still faces a choice between the government's WA and "no deal".
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Brexit: going through the motions

14 Mar 2019
On 13 March the UK government tabled a motion to determine whether the House of Commons wished to rule out a "no deal" Brexit on 29 March. By a narrow margin of 4 votes the government's motion was amended to make it clear that the House of Commons wished to rule out "no deal" not just on 29 March, but at any time. The government then issued an instruction to Conservative party MPs to vote against the amended motion. Despite that, the amended motion passed with an increased majority of 43.
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Brexit: temporary tariff rates

13 Mar 2019
The UK government has published details of the temporary rates of customs duty it would impose on imports should a "no deal" Brexit occur.  Under the temporary regime, the government expects 87% of total imports to be tariff-free.
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Brexit: a leap of faith

12 Mar 2019
"Best endeavours" clauses and the concept of "good faith" are used when parties either cannot, or will not, accept an absolute obligation to deliver a particular result.  Even if one party is found not to have tried hard enough, or to have fallen short of the requirement of "good faith", that does not automatically mean that the other can simply walk away. Article 178 of the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) merely provides that if either the EU or the UK is found to have acted in breach of those obligations, then there would be a temporary suspension of parts of the agreement while further negotiations take place. There is no provision for unilateral termination of the WA, or of the "backstop" provided by the Northern Ireland protocol, should that come into effect. From a legal perspective, that position remains essentially unchanged by the additional documents that emerged from the Strasbourg talks on 11 March.
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No-deal for the insurance sector: a look across Europe

12 Mar 2019
We are now in the final few weeks before the United Kingdom is due to leave the European Union. If the UK leaves the EU without a transitional period or agreed withdrawal terms, ie on ‘hard’ Brexit terms, at the end of March the UK will be abruptly removed from the regulatory ‘passporting’ framework that allows insurance contracts to be entered into and serviced on a cross-border basis. The UK regulators have been open in communicating about their preparations to ensure continuity of insurance contracts and protection of policyholders if there is a ‘hard’ Brexit.  In this article we take a look at how a number of European Member States have similarly been planning for a hard Brexit scenario, in particular in terms of contract continuity and how insurers may service existing insurance contracts.
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Can UK pension plans influence good governance in listed companies?

12 Mar 2019
On February 4 2019, after nearly four years of litigation, and a three-week trial, a UK pension plan won a rare victory over an American pharmaceutical company (Puma). The case went to jury trial in California, where the jury found that Puma, together with its CEO and board chairman, were liable for securities fraud.