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UK Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill - the wait is over

The highly anticipated Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers (DMCC) Bill was introduced to Parliament on 25 April 2023. Described by Sarah Cardell, CEO of the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) as a "flagship bill" with the "potential to be a watershed moment", the Bill sets out far-reaching changes to the competition and consumer law regimes here in the UK, as well as a new ex ante regime for scrutiny of Big Tech.

Stamp taxes modernisation – a breath of fresh air

As part of the "Tax Administration and Maintenance Day" on 27 April, the Government has published a consultation setting out proposals for the reform of stamp duty/SDRT for shares and marketable securities.

Further guidance for effective TCFD reporting

In 2020, the UK outlined its roadmap to implementing the recommendations of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures ("TCFD"). With the first wave of premium listed companies already having prepared reports, the second wave will see standard listed companies, the largest asset managers and very large companies issuing TCFD reports or TCFD-aligned reports under the Companies Act this year. Smaller asset managers with over £5bn of assets under management will already be thinking about how to make their first firm-level reports next year.

Importance of solicitors' duties to keep clients fully apprised of developments affecting their matter or claim: Mackenzie v Rosenblatt Solicitors (a firm) and another [2023] EWHC 331 (Ch)

In the recent decision in Mackenzie v Rosenblatt Solicitors (a firm) and another, Fancourt J dismissed a professional negligence claim against a defendant firm of solicitors arising out of advice they had given to the claimant in relation to a claim he had issued against his former employer and certain directors of the employer for unlawful means conspiracy. The decision provides a useful reminder of solicitors' contractual and common law duties to keep a client properly apprised of developments on a matter or claim and makes clear the need for claimants to demonstrate that, in the absence of any breach of duty, they would have behaved differently and avoided some or all of the alleged loss.

New Q&As from the European Commission on the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation

The European Commission (Commission) has issued further guidance on the interpretation of the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR).  This is in the form of responses to questions put to it in September 2022 by the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs).  The responses include guidance on the definition of sustainable investment, disclosures around the reduction of carbon emissions and principal adverse impact disclosures.

Mapping the social audit trail: what the Tesco and LBMA claims tell us about the direction of ESG litigation in the UK

Businesses with overseas operations, and firms that provide social audit support services to those businesses, need to be cognisant of attempts by claimant law firms to extend the existing boundaries of tort law and bring novel and ambitious value chain liability claims against them. Several claimant law firms (and litigation funders) have explicitly pivoted towards bringing these claims in the ESG space.

The FCA ramps up enforcement focus in its 2023/24 business plan

In its Annual Business Plan for 2023/24, the second of its three-year strategic plan, the Financial Conduct Authority ("FCA") – among other things - continues its drive to become a more assertive regulator, and to strengthen its enforcement strategy, with investment in people, data, and technology. This includes a significant increase in headcount in its Enforcement and Market Oversight Division ("Enforcement Division") intended to build capacity and resilience in its case and investigation teams, and to enable it to act faster against firms causing harm to consumers and/or markets.

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