The sentencing of Romy Andrianarisoa, the first ever foreign public official to be convicted under the Bribery Act 2010, provides important takeaways.

By Pamela Reddy, Robin Spedding, and Matthew Unsworth

On 10 May 2024, Romy Andrianarisoa was sentenced to three-and-a-half years’ imprisonment for soliciting bribes contrary to Section 2 of the Bribery Act 2010 (Bribery Act). Andrianarisoa, former Chief of Staff to President Andry Rajoelina of Madagascar, requested substantial cash payments in exchange for helping UK-headquartered Gemfields Group

UK Chancellor launches consultation on the proposed Private Intermittent Securities and Capital Exchange System (PISCES) as part of the Spring Budget.

By Mark Austin, Rob Moulton, Anna Ngo, Frederick Gardner, Charlotte Collins, and Johannes Poon

On 6 March 2024, HM Treasury published a consultation paper seeking industry feedback on the UK’s proposed new regulated crossover market, the Private Intermittent Securities and Capital Exchange System (PISCES). PISCES would allow private companies to trade their securities in

The time is right to review the rules on electronic service, says judge in a case involving invalid service of claim form.

By Oliver Middleton and Duncan Graves

A recent decision in the English High Court highlights the continued need for litigants to faithfully abide by the procedures governing the service of claim forms, which are “bright line rules” requiring stricter observance than many others in the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR).[1] In the decision, the judge commented that the present framework governing service by electronic means, such as email, may not reflect modern litigation practice and could therefore be due for reform.

Critical Third Parties serving the UK financial sector must ready themselves for compliance with the newly proposed operational resilience requirements.

By Rob Moulton, Fiona Maclean, and Charlotte Collins

On 7 December 2023, the PRA, FCA, and BoE jointly published a Consultation Paper (PRA CP26/23 and FCA CP23/30) which proposes a set of regulatory requirements and expectations for critical third parties (CTPs) that provide services to authorised persons, relevant service providers, and financial market infrastructure entities (FMIs). The key aim of the proposals is to manage potential risks to the stability of, or confidence in, the UK financial system that may arise due to a failure in, or disruption to, the services that a CTP provides to such entities.

Stapled W&I policies and synthetic policies will likely be increasingly common features of E&I transactions, although their feasibility should be assessed case by case.

By Simon J. Tysoe and Devdeep Ghosh

Warranty and indemnity insurance (W&I) is a long-established feature of M&A transactions in Europe, especially with private equity sellers. The 10th edition of the Latham & Watkins Private Equity Market Study shows that nearly 48% of all European M&A transactions in 2023 involved W&I with 65% of private equity sellers favouring W&I-backed exits. However, on the flipside, our market study indicates that on an aggregate basis only 35% of energy and infrastructure (E&I) transactions involved W&I, with varying levels of adoption across European geographies.

Certain recurring characteristics of E&I transactions could explain the dislocation in this trend: the sometimes challenging nature of the assets and jurisdictions for these transactions and the assets themselves frequently having a fragmented shareholder base, which usually means that there are no negotiated business warranties to be covered.

Along with a recent softening of the W&I market, two developments can help bridge this gap for E&I transactions: stapled policies and synthetic coverage.

The Act demonstrates the UK’s renewed commitment to reaching net zero and paves the way for players in key industries to achieve their targets.

By Tom Bartlett, Paul A. Davies, JP Sweny, Michael D. Green, James Bee, and Samuel Burleton

On 26 October 2023, the UK Energy Act 2023 (the Act) received Royal Assent. The Act is a landmark piece of energy legislation detailing the UK’s approach to achieving energy independence and its net zero obligations.

The provisions of the Act lay the foundation for potentially £100 billion worth of private investment in clean energy infrastructure. The government has indicated that the Act is intended to support up to 72,000 jobs in carbon capture and storage (CCS) and hydrogen by 2030.

This blog post summarises how the Act is likely to impact key industries.

Companies had raised serious concerns about the additional red tape that the proposed reporting obligations would require.

By Mark Austin, Chris Horton, James Inness, Anna Ngo, and Johannes Poon

On 16 October 2023, the UK government withdrew the draft Companies (Strategic Report and Directors’ Report) (Amendment) Regulations.

The regulations, which formed part of the wider proposals to reform the UK audit and corporate governance regulatory landscape, were laid in Parliament on 19 July 2023. They

Whilst not a sea of difference apart, the two regimes present notable distinctions for companies operating on both sides of the Channel to navigate.

By David Little and Alexandra Luchian

Upon its expiry on 31 May 2022, the 2010 Vertical Block Exemption Regulation was replaced by the 2022 Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (VBER) in the EU and the Vertical Agreements Block Exemption Order (VABEO) in the UK. The European Commission (EC) issued its Vertical Guidelines at the same time whilst the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published its VABEO guidance in July 2022. Both the EU VBER and the UK VABEO allowed a one-year transitional period for agreements concluded before 1 June 2022 to be brought in line with the new regimes.

With both regimes now applicable to “old” and “new” vertical agreements alike, this blog post provides an overview of the key differences between the EU VBER and the UK VABEO. It follows and updates our previous blog post which included an outline of the main similarities and differences between the draft UK VABEO and the draft EU VBER (as of September 2021).[1]

FCA takes an innovative approach to obtain feedback from industry and stakeholder groups.

By Chris Horton, James Inness, Anna Ngo, and Johannes Poon

In May 2023, the FCA launched a process of engagement and dialogue on how the UK’s future prospectus regime could operate. The FCA’s first thematic engagement papers, published on 18 May, aim to solicit discussion and feedback on: (i) whether or how to set prospectus requirements for issuers seeking admission to trading on UK regulated markets; (ii) whether or how to set prospectus requirements for issuers raising further capital; and (iii) how forward-looking information should be covered in prospectuses.

The government has announced it will come up with a new code of practice to replace an earlier approach that faced opposition from the creative sectors.

By Deborah Kirk and Brett Shandler

Latham previously reported on the UK government’s proposal to introduce a new copyright and database exception that allows text and data mining (TDM) for any purpose, provided that the party employing TDM obtains lawful access to the material (June 2022 TDM Proposal). The UK government has now announced that it is abandoning this proposal, and intends to consult with AI firms and rightholders to produce a code of practice to support AI firms to access copyrighted work as an input to their models, whilst ensuring protections on generated output to support rightholders. It has foreshadowed that this code of practice, due by summer 2023, may be followed up with legislation if it is not adopted or agreement is not reached.