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Press releases and law firm thought leadership

This page is dedicated to keeping readers informed of the latest news and thought leadership articles from law firms across the globe.

If your firm wishes to publish press releases or articles, please contact Shehab Khurshid on +44 (0) 207 396 5689 or shehab.khurshid@legalease.co.uk

 

Legal Developments Worldwide

Articles contributed by Simmons & Simmons

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Failure to counter financial crime: Norwich Union Life

February 2008 - EU & competition. Legal Developments by Simmons & Simmons .

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In December 2007, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) imposed a fine of £1.26m on Norwich Union Life (part of the Aviva Group), one of the largest life insurance businesses in the UK with around seven million customers. The fine related to failures to take reasonable care to establish and maintain effective systems and controls for countering the risks of financial crime. The fine is the latest confirmation of the emphasis being placed on protecting clients and customers from the threat of financial crime.

Commercial fraud: the art of private policing

September 2007 - Corporate compliance & regulatory enforcement . Legal Developments by Simmons & Simmons .

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Disputes are commonplace in commerce of every kind. The aggrieved party’s sense of grievance is genuine, and often keenly felt. But the business of business is profit, and a good and certain result is often preferable to a risky one that could easily be better, but just as easily worse. Even where the other side is using a strong economic position to make up for a weak legal one, the commercial reality is that getting to an outcome is often a win in itself, even with no victory parade in sight. Such is the way of the world.

The Serious Crime Bill: introducing corporate ASBOs

August 2007 - Corporate compliance & regulatory enforcement . Legal Developments by Simmons & Simmons .

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If the Serious Crime Bill (SCB) passes into law in its current form, the resulting Act will create a significant new layer of business risk and could compel employers to monitor their employees' activities more closely. It will become extremely difficult for businesses to balance the legitimate right of protecting themselves from fraud and sanction with the need to comply with legislation designed to protect the privacy of their employees.

Potential effect of ecological crime laws proposal on UK law

May 2007 - Corporate compliance & regulatory enforcement . Legal Developments by Simmons & Simmons .

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'Proposal to launch ecological crime laws' was a recent front page splash in the Financial Times. The FT's article was regarding a new proposal from the European Commission (the Commission) seeking to standardise the punishment of environment offences through criminal law. The proposed directive does not create any new offences or prohibited activities, as these are covered by existing directives. Instead it seeks to attach criminal sanctions to the existing prohibitions.

The Third European Union Anti-Money Laundering Directive

April 2007 - Corporate compliance & regulatory enforcement . Legal Developments by Simmons & Simmons .

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In January the UK Government published the draft Money Laundering Regulations 2007 to implement the Third European Money Laundering Directive. Although in-house lawyers are not directly affected by the provisions covering ‚Äėindependent legal professionals' in the Regulations, they should be aware of the consequences of this new regime. Their businesses may fall under the widened scope of the Directive, and their financial and legal advisers will certainly be affected.

Raising the stakes for international corporate compliance

March 2007 - Corporate compliance & regulatory enforcement . Legal Developments by Simmons & Simmons .

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an analysis of the Norris extradition proceedings

In January, Ian Norris, the ex-CEO of Morgan Crucible, came a step closer to facing antitrust charges in the US when he lost a High Court appeal to overturn an extradition decision against him. If the judgment stands, it will significantly increase the chances of business people accused of antitrust activity in the US being extradited to stand trial there - a risk that demonstrates the importance of international corporate compliance policies. The story is not yet over, however - lawyers for Mr Norris are applying for leave to appeal to the House of Lords.

Internal investigations: what issues should be considered?

February 2007 - Corporate compliance & regulatory enforcement . Legal Developments by Simmons & Simmons .

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Internal investigations often have to be carried out quickly but thoroughly. The conclusions reached may then be tested by regulators or others. In this briefing we highlight many of the issues which will need to be considered when taking part in an internal investigation.

The Fraud Review: effect on businesses managing fraud risk

January 2007 - Corporate compliance & regulatory enforcement . Legal Developments by Simmons & Simmons .

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The Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, published the final report of the government's Fraud Review in July 2006. A consultation process followed and it is expected that further findings will be published late this year or early next year. What will the Review mean for businesses seeking to manage their fraud risk in the wake of the publicity generated by the WorldCom and Enron scandals and the anti-fraud initiative championed by the Financial Services Authority (FSA)?

The battle against corruption: is it being lost?

November 2006 - Corporate compliance & regulatory enforcement . Legal Developments by Simmons & Simmons .

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Corruption remains a major obstacle to international business, according to a survey commissioned by Simmons & Simmons and Control Risks, the London-based international risks consultancy. Although member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) have introduced laws criminalising overseas bribery, there have been few prosecutions outside the US, and honest companies still seem to be losing out to dishonest competitors on a large scale. Despite the high level of risk involved in corrupt practices, awareness of international laws is low, with half of those questioned admitting to being ‚Äėtotally ignorant' of their own country's foreign bribery legislation.

Corporate Manslaughter Bill: new offence aims to overcome current identification issues

October 2006 - Corporate compliance & regulatory enforcement . Legal Developments by Simmons & Simmons .

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The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Bill was introduced to the Commons on 21 July 2006, proposing a new offence of corporate manslaughter (‚Äėcorporate homicide' in Scotland). The offence, which is likely to be passed in 2008, will make corporations liable for the way in which their activities are run by senior managers. This will be in contrast to the current regime, under which liability depends upon an individual's guilt, which has made it difficult to prosecute medium-sized and larger corporations successfully.