Human resources | 01 April 2016

The Pensions team from Burges Salmon has been shortlisted in the European Pensions Law Firm of the Year category at the forthcoming European Pensions Awards 2016.

Shortlisted for its innovative client service delivery and overall team performance, the Burges Salmon Pensions team – which will be eight partners strong, following the promotions of Alice Honeywill and Susannah Young in May 2016 – has been widely respected with leading clients for almost 30 years.  The team has continued to grow significantly its offering in the UK pensions sector, with a substantial proportion of its work being delivered for pan-European and international clients.

Pensions continue to remain high on the agenda both in the UK and across Europe as the industry undergoes significant changes and this, along with the team’s focus on exceptional client service, has resulted in sustained growth across its pensions client base.  In London, the Burges Salmon office continues to provide a valuable base for servicing the team’s national and international clients.

Richard Knight, head of Pensions at Burges Salmon, said: “We’ve been delighted to have been shortlisted in previous years at these distinguished awards and are once again proud to receive such recognition.  We believe our shortlisting is attributable to the recent strong growth of the team and positive and progressive rise in both the quantity and quality of the work we are undertaking for clients.

“Our 40 pensions lawyers now act for a national and international client base comprising more than 750 trustee and employer clients across the private and public sectors.”

Organised by European Pensions Magazine and now in their ninth year, the European Pensions Awards recognise outstanding achievements in the varied fields of European pension provision, honouring the investment firms, consultancies and pension providers across Europe that have set the professional standards in order to best serve European pension funds in these increasingly challenging times.

The awards are independently judged and the winners will be announced at an annual gala dinner on 23 June 2016 at The Millennium Hotel, London Mayfair.

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Corporate and commercial | 30 March 2016

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 (CRA) came into force six months ago in October 2015. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has now published Guidance on writing fair contracts.

The Guidance consists of short two page guides to help businesses who deal with consumers understand the provisions of the CRA and provides some tips for drafting. They point out that a term that is unfair will not be binding on a consumer and may lead to enforcement action against the business. Topics covered in the guides include deposits and advance payments, automatic renewals, excessive charges for breach of contract or early cancellation, limits of liability, variations, rights of cancellation and other boilerplate terms such as entire agreement clauses and prohibitions on assignment.

The message from the CMA is that having clear and fair terms in a contract will:

  • Save the business time
  • Help prevent disputes and reputational damage
  • Protect the business if something goes wrong

Businesses should act now to review their terms and conditions and, where necessary, amend them to make sure they comply with the law.

The author Chris Lewis is an Associate in our Commercial team.

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Corporate and commercial | 13 June 2016

The capacity market, which was introduced as part of the government’s electricity market reform, was established to ensure security of supply in light of the increasing diversity of generation technologies in the UK market.

Previous articles from the Burges Salmon team have set out the details of the capacity market and tracked recent updates and consultations. This article provides a high-level overview of the opportunities presented by the market and looks at some of the potential issues prospective investors might encounter. [Continue Reading]

Technology, Media and Telecoms | 15 March 2016

The EU’s governing bodies recently reached an agreement on the text of the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) after months of ongoing trilogue negotiations. [Continue Reading]

Projects, energy and natural resources | 01 March 2016

The Energy Bill, legislating for the government’s electricity market reform (EMR), finally became the Energy Act in December 2013. The government initially announced its proposals back in December 2010. This legislation, three years in the making, is central to the government’s energy policy and its stated aims of keeping the lights on, keeping energy bills affordable and decarbonising energy generation.

Over the past three years, the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) have issued an ever-increasing stream of papers. More recent papers have disclosed some key shifts in original thoughts on implementation, the latest being prompted by EU state aid guidelines.
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Projects, energy and natural resources | 09 December 2015

In recent years various UK governments have made commitments at international, European and national levels to reduce overall emissions of greenhouse gases including through the promotion of energy efficiency. These high-level commitments have impacted both commercial and domestic energy consumers through the introduction of regulation, taxation and incentives aimed at helping to meet these commitments.
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Corporate and commercial | 13 November 2015

One of the challenges facing the shale gas industry is grappling with the different regulatory regimes in each jurisdiction. The UK provides an interesting illustration of these challenges. In England, the Conservative Party supports the progression of the industry. In comparison, the Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish administrations are taking a more cautious approach. This divergence corresponds with recent commitments made by the UK government to devolve onshore oil and gas licensing powers to Wales and Scotland. Consequently, the latest onshore licensing round, which was announced in August 2015, issued petroleum exploration and development licences to operators in England only.
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Projects, energy and natural resources | 09 October 2015

Following the May 2015 election, the UK government has commenced a wholesale reform of the way in which renewable energy is supported and incentivised in the UK.

This reform appears to have been shaped by a drive to slash costs and, as with the early closure of the Renewables Obligation (RO) to large solar PV generating stations (LSGS) (generating stations with an installed capacity greater than 5 MW) in March 2015, the proposed changes are likely to lead to a short-term boom in renewables deployment, followed by a run-off period where fewer generating stations are accredited under specific time-limited exemptions (commonly referred to as grace periods). [Continue Reading]

Projects, energy and natural resources | 01 September 2015

This article presents an update on some key areas in chemicals regulation and product stewardship. A central theme is the importance of businesses having reliable control of the information available through their supply chains, without which compliance is much harder to achieve and reputational risks much greater.

[Continue Reading]

Projects, energy and natural resources | 01 July 2015

Ensuring the security and quality of electricity supply across the GB transmission system is a huge challenge. The responsibility for this sits with National Grid by virtue of its Transmission Licence (granted pursuant to the Electricity Act 1989) and a series of codes, including the Balancing and Settlement Code (BSC). An obligation to comply with balancing requirements is also included in individual generation and supply licences.

[Continue Reading]