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CMA Order: don't forget to self-certify

There is an approaching deadline (7 January 2022) for trustees again to self-certify their compliance with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) Order regarding investment consultants' objectives and tenders for fiduciary management services.

Tax Administration and Maintenance Day

The first "Tax Day" back in March proved to be a fairly low key affair. This time around the government called the event "Tax Administration and Maintenance Day", and it lived up (or down) to its name, with lots of the materials focussing on improving the nuts and bolts of tax administration so as to take advantage of modern technology and reduce opportunities for non-compliance.

New tax rules published for Long-term asset fund (LTAF)

The government has enacted new tax regulations for the LTAF, the UK's new authorised open-ended fund vehicle. It is designed to facilitate investment in long-term, illiquid assets and has been generating a lot of interest from our clients.

CMA Recommendation on Vertical Agreements: divergence from the EU?

On 3 October 2021, the UK Competition & Markets Authority ('CMA') published its recommendation to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy as to whether the existing Vertical Agreements Block Exemption Regulation ('VABER'), both in force in the EU and retained from EU law following Brexit, should be renewed or varied in the UK. The retained VABER will expire on 31 May 2022 so, without a renewal or variation, an automatic exemption regime for vertical agreements would cease to apply in the UK.

REIT reform – some helpful changes to the draft legislation

As part of the government's review of the UK's fund regime, and its wider efforts to enhance the UK's attractiveness to asset managers and investment funds, a number of changes are to be made to the UK's REIT regime with effect from 1 April 2022. Further changes to the REIT rules are likely to follow further down the line as the review progresses.

Pension scams: new statutory transfer right restrictions

The Government has laid regulations to restrict individuals' statutory transfer rights in specified circumstances, with the aim of helping trustees to stop scam transfers.

The legislation has effect in relation to applications for DB transfer value statements of entitlement or DC transfer requests made on or after 30 November 2021. Trustees who make statutory transfers need to ensure that their transfer processes and communications are aligned with the legislation.

Business & Human Rights: Proposals for a New 'Failure to Prevent' Regime

The UK's Corporate Justice Coalition ("CJC"), an organisation made up of various UK and international Civil Society Organisations ("CSOs") including Anti-Slavery International, Friends of the Earth and Business Human Rights Resource Centre has recently recommended the implementation of a potentially wide-reaching corporate "failure to prevent" regime targeting negative human rights and environmental impacts. Such a regime would track similar EU proposals relating to the diligence of 'value chains' for ESG failings and malpractice.

New mandatory TCFD reporting for more UK companies

With climate change dominating the headlines, at the end of last week, the Government published its response to the March 2021 consultation on mandatory climate-related financial disclosures. The consultation set out proposals for certain publicly quoted companies, large private companies and LLPs to disclose climate-related financial information in line with the recommendations of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures ("TCFD recommendations"). The response summarises feedback the Government has received on its proposals and confirms that the changes will be implemented largely as set out in the consultation.

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