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On 10 May 2022 the UK Government announced, through the Queen’s Speech, that the United Kingdom's data protection regime is to be reformed. What is the bill? The Data Reform Bill (“the Bill”) will reform the UK’s current data protection framework. As a result of Brexit, the UK incorporated the EU data protection regime (the EU GDPR) into domestic law as the “UK GDPR” ...

To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, if you fail to prepare, prepare to fail – and that certainly applies to selling a business or company. You might still sell it, but you will almost certainly sell it for less. Selling a business may be the most important decision a business owner may take and it is never too early to bring in quality advisors to assist with the sale process (and potentially to help find potential buyers) ...

Running a business can be an extremely rewarding experience, but it is not without its challenges. While pandemic-related restrictions have eased, rising energy costs and inflationary pressures continue to cause concern for UK businesses. Further, the personal impact that dealing with periods of distress can have on directors should not be overlooked ...

The Unified Patent Court (the “UPC”), which will have jurisdiction over most European patents, is due to commence operations at some point between the final quarter of 2022 and early 2023. It has been a long time coming and is part of the ‘Unitary Patent Package’. The aim of this package is to establish unitary patent protection within Europe, and to make it cheaper and easier for patentees to obtain and enforce patents ...

February’s Supreme Court ruling in Bloomberg confirmed that those under criminal investigation have a right, enforceable in the civil courts, to prevent publication of their identity until the moment they are charged. In this short article Gordon Downie, Partner in our regulation and markets team, considers some questions about the implications of Bloomberg, in particular for regulatory investigations ...

All-Energy 2022 was seen by many in the clean energy sector as an opportunity to build on the progress made at COP26 and to set out a route map for Scotland and the UK to achieve their net zero targets. A key focus of this year’s conference was offshore wind, providing an ideal opportunity to reflect on the sector’s achievements to date and its future ambitions ...

Bob McIntosh, the Tenant Farming Commissioner, has published a blog on the Scottish Land Commission website about the powers that the commissioner has to investigate alleged breaches of codes of practice. It seemed to me that the headline was slightly misleading. It stated boldly “Tenant farmers encouraged to notify the TFC of alleged code breaches” but of course landlords and tenants have duties under the codes and either party is entitled to complain ...

Prescription (Scotland) Act 2018  Prescription is the rule of law in Scotland that extinguishes certain rights and obligations after a period of time. This includes a right to recover damages for breach of contract. In Scotland, a contractual claim prescribes after five years; therefore formal proceedings, either court or arbitration, must be raised and served in order to stop the five-year period running.  On 1 June 2022, important changes to prescription become law in Scotland ...

Last year, the UK Government published its green paper and consultation on Transforming Public Procurement. The government response to the consultation was published in December 2021 and on 11 May the draft Procurement Bill (the “Bill”) was published. You can download a copy of the Bill here ...

  Prescription is the legal rule in Scotland that prevents a person from pursuing their legal rights to a claim after a certain time period has elapsed (the equivalent in England is limitation). A claim ‘prescribes’ when the relevant time period runs out (known as the ‘prescriptive period’). For contractual claims, the prescriptive period is five years ...

  “ESG” is an acronym that is being used with growing frequency across the investment community. ESG stands for environmental, social, and governance criteria, which are increasingly used by socially conscious investors when deciding whether or not to invest in a company. Environmental criteria are effectively a company’s green credentials. Social criteria relate to the people the company works with and the community it serves ...

  There has been concern within the agricultural industry for some time the race to achieve carbon net-zero is leading to the loss of productive agricultural land to forestry purchasers. Another perceived threat is from investors, both private and institutional, looking to invest in natural carbon, for example, by way of peatland restoration and rewilding projects ...

 Environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations have taken on an increased significance in recent years, and the pace of change is accelerating. ESG performance is becoming an additional standard by which businesses are being judged by consumers, investors and other stakeholders ...

 The British energy security strategy published by the UK Government on 7 April 2022 reasserted the key role that offshore wind must play if we are to achieve the overarching objective of providing “clean, affordable, secure power to the people for generations to come” ...

  In a fascinating court case involving perhaps the best known players in the crytocurrency sector, old legal principles were used to try to solve a new problem. The claim relates to very substantial digital currency assets that Tulip Trading Limited (TTL) claimed it owned but is currently unable to control or use. Following what it says was a hack of computers at the home office of Dr Craig Wright, its primary owner, the company allegedly lost access to more than 111,000 bitcoins ...

  Controversially, the ‘Everyone Wins’ goody bags gifted to this year’s Oscar nominees included “the title of Lord or Lady of Glencoe, along with a small plot of land in Scotland”. However, the recipients may be disappointed to learn that this particular ‘freebie’, distributed alongside gourmet foods, cosmetic surgery, and luxury trips, confers neither title nor ownership ...

  There is concern the race to achieve carbon net-zero is leading to the loss of productive agricultural land to forestry. Investors recognise land with planting potential as an excellent investment, which has had a distorting effect on land values. To some extent, this is simply the operation of market forces. A landowner with an unprofitable farming business may well be tempted to sell land to a forestry investor and there are no restrictions on their ability to do so ...

  Family businesses underpin the Scottish economy and most have endured a particularly turbulent few years. While many businesses have sadly struggled, others have adapted, and family businesses, in particular, have demonstrated a remarkable resilience and ability to positively respond to the market in these uncertain times ...

HM Treasury has recently published the outcome of its UK Prospectus Regime Review.  The Review Outcome sets out important reforms to the UK prospectus regime for the public issuance of securities and admission to trading on capital markets, outlining the policy approach the UK Government will take following last year's Prospectus Regime Review consultation.  This briefing note sets out the key measures confirmed by the UK Government in the Review Outcome ...

Changes to the rules relating to the use of red diesel will come into effect from April 1 2022 as a result of amendments to the Hydro Carbon Oil Duties Act 1979. The new rules set out a list of “excepted machines” which are allowed to use red diesel. A vehicle that is used for a purpose related to agriculture, aquatic farming, horticulture and forestry is allowed to use red diesel and can be used on the public road if the use is for one of those purposes ...

  On 25 March 2022, the European Commission and the United States Government announced an “agreement in principle” on a new EU-US Trans-Atlantic Data Privacy Framework (the Framework). The purpose of this is to address the concerns that the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) raised in the Schrems II decision, and thus allow the flow of personal data from the EU to the US in a manner that is compliant with the requirements of the GDPR ...

HM Treasury has recently published the outcome of its UK Prospectus Regime Review.  The Review Outcome sets out important reforms to the UK prospectus regime for the public issuance of securities and admission to trading on capital markets, outlining the policy approach the UK Government will take following last year's Prospectus Regime Review consultation.  This briefing note sets out the key measures confirmed by the UK Government in the Review Outcome ...

  Following the Scottish Government’s statement on 15 March 2022 regarding COVID-19 restrictions, organisations should take time to review the status of recently eased restrictions, and those which are to be eased in the coming weeks. These changes will be of particular relevance to businesses and employers throughout Scotland, who should follow the up-to-date guidance when dealing with employees and customers alike ...

  The recent Winter Olympic Games and the conclusion of the Six Nations rugby were just two of many sporting events, large and small, that have been welcoming back fans (in accordance with local laws and restrictions) over the last several weeks.  As we continue to live with COVID-19, it is crucial that organisers of sporting and other events are aware of health and safety requirements and their duty of care towards attendees ...

  The UK’s new safeguard mechanism for international transfers of personal data came into force on 21 March 2022. Organisations that make restricted transfers of personal data should review their data transfer processes now ...

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