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Questions on the interpretation of SFDR and the Taxonomy Regulation

On 13 May 2022, the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) submitted a number of questions to the European Commission relating to the interpretation of the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) and the Taxonomy Regulation (Taxonomy Regulation). Separately, the ESAs have also been asked by the European Commission for their input on possible amendments to the SFDR Delegated Regulation.

UK confirms plans for tougher consumer protection regime

The UK Government has confirmed that it plans to introduce significantly stronger powers for the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to enforce consumer law, including the ability to impose fines of up to 10% of global turnover. This is a major change for consumer-facing businesses, although question marks remain over the exact timing.

ESG Newsletter - Spring 2022

ESG and sustainability issues continue to be a priority for policy makers and regulators globally. The impact of the Ukraine conflict on energy policy and the recent publication of the IPCC's (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) "state of the union" report on the slender window we have to take action in order to meet our climate targets both highlight the scale of the global challenge we face on climate issues.

EU draft Data Act - proposed rules for accessing and sharing data

The European Commission published a draft Data Act on 23 February 2022 ("Data Act"), as part of the implementation of its February 2020 strategy for data. This proposed regulation, which will have direct effect in members states, is intended to set standards at an EU-wide level to facilitate and create a fairer, more competitive digital environment for the sharing and re-use of data (both personal and non-personal). This briefing looks at who the Data Act impacts, what it does and how it fits into the EU's vision for a single European market for data.

Government fights waste plastics with new tax for non-recycled packaging

In pursuit of its commitment to prevent all avoidable plastic waste by the end of 2042, the UK Government has recently begun to impose a tax on the manufacture and import of significant volumes of plastic packaging which does not contain a minimum amount of recycled content. The aim of the tax is to increase demand for recycled plastics, creating an incentive to collect and recycle plastic waste and divert it away from landfill and incineration.

UK Government confirms significant Competition law reform: but when will the bark be followed by bite?

Following lengthy debate, the Government has published details of the way in which it will reform the UK competition law landscape. However, with many aspects requiring legislative change, it is as yet unclear when these will be given teeth. Our briefing discusses the key changes to the merger, markets and competition law regimes. We will comment separately on the overhaul of the consumer law regime.

Russia and Ukraine - issues for pension scheme trustees

The Russian invasion of Ukraine presents issues for pension scheme trustees to consider. Alongside clear implications regarding investments and the need to comply with sanctions, these may include questions about covenant, funding, cyber security and scam risks.

This briefing addresses the issues most likely to arise, some of which are also noted by the Pensions Regulator in its guidance.

Sustainability and competition law: EU and UK partial 'green' light

With COP 26 still fresh in the memories of lawmakers, and both the European Green Deal and UK Government's 'Net Zero Strategy' setting the goal of being climate-neutral by 2050, it is no surprise that competition law is having to examine its interaction with the environmental, social and governance (ESG) agenda.

Spring Statement 2022: Key Tax Announcements

The Chancellor delivered his Spring Statement on 23 March 2022. Mr Sunak attempted to strike the difficult balance between delivering measures which will ameliorate the current cost of living crisis at a time when economic uncertainty and increased security spending as a result of the war in Ukraine is adversely affecting the public purse.

Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022 and the Register of Overseas Entities: who really owns this land?

On 15 March 2022, the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Bill (the "Bill") received Royal Assent, and is now known as the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022 (the "Act"). As explained in our recent briefing on the Bill, the Act introduces a register of beneficial ownership information for overseas entities that own or buy UK property ("the Register"), as part of the government's package of sanctions against Russia and in order to progress its longer-term strategy of combatting economic crime.

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