Finance | 01 October 2012

Having reformed insurance law for consumers with a new Act in spring 2012, the Law Commissions have been grappling with changing the law as it affects business insurance.

The principle drivers for reform are, firstly, that insureds say they struggle with fulfilling their obligation to disclose all material information that an insurer requires and, secondly, that the current remedy available to an insurer to avoid an insurance policy for any material non-disclosure is perceived to be outdated, one-sided, draconian and unfair. 
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Finance | 01 September 2012

On 16 May 2012, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) announced that it had decided to ban Anthony Verrier, a senior executive at BGC Brokers LP (BGC), from performing a controlled function in the financial services industry. The FSA banned Mr Verrier because it believes that he is not a fit and proper person due to concerns over his honesty, integrity and reputation. Mr Verrier is appealing the FSA’s decision to the Upper Tribunal. [Continue Reading]

Finance | 01 July 2012

Over the past five years lenders have suffered staggering losses on residential mortgage lending. Many lenders have sought to mitigate these losses by taking legal action against third parties – often valuers and solicitors – alleging that the losses (at least in part) were caused by the negligence of these professionals. In more extreme cases of loss, lenders have taken action against fraudulent borrowers involving injunctions and recoveries litigation extending into foreign jurisdictions.

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Finance | 01 June 2012

The number of syndicated loans signed in EMEA in the first quarter of 2012 was less than half the number seen in the same period last year and the pipeline for the remainder of 2012 remains thin, bar any uptick in M&A activity. Banks are operating under tighter capital constraints and are increasingly selective on deals. For as long as market volatility persists, this seems set to continue. For those borrowers embarking on any form of financing in the current market, they are likely to find themselves treading a fine line between protecting their banking relationships (and locking in available liquidity) and signing up to a facility that is overly or unduly restrictive and that potentially prevents them from carrying out their day-to-day business without seeking bank consent. The aim of this article is to provide finance directors, treasurers and in-house counsel with an overview of some of the key issues they may face when negotiating a syndicated loan agreement in the current market and to highlight those areas where borrowers may wish to focus their efforts when negotiating with their banks.

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Finance | 01 May 2012

Calling on a performance bond should result in swift receipt of the bond amount by the beneficiary. However, there are risks involved in making calls on performance bonds, which can result in complex proceedings leading to delay and cost. Partners Richard Ward and Ben Bruton of Eversheds report on this area of law with attention given to issues highlighted by recent case law.

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Finance | 01 April 2012

International law firm Eversheds LLP recently gathered together senior City executives and canvassed their views concerning the City’s regulatory framework. The results clearly demonstrate that, while the City is broadly in favour of compulsory regulation, the generally held view was that the current uncertain regulatory landscape – particularly around international regulation – is creating a problematic working environment for the City. In some cases, this is even leading to organisations delaying business activity. As well as unearthing the detail of this in-depth research study, this article also unveils a ‘Regulation in the City’ charter – a wish list that summarises how City professionals would like to be regulated.

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Finance | 01 March 2012

You are the general counsel of a company that is the corporate sponsor of a substantial defined benefit pension scheme. The trustees of the scheme consult the company in relation to a revised statement of investment principles. You notice that the statement proposes substantial investments in infrastructure assets. You want to know what risks this may present to the company. What are some of the questions you might what to ask the trustees in order to appropriately assess the potential risk for the company?

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Finance | 01 February 2012

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act 2010 (Dodd-Frank) passed through US Congress and became law on 21 July 2010. It has been a controversial piece of legislation. In particular, it has significantly enhanced the whistleblower protections afforded by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act 2002 (Sarbanes-Oxley). These changes to the whistleblower regime will affect not just publicly traded US companies, but their non-publicly traded subsidiaries and affiliates as well.
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Dispute resolution | 01 December 2011

In this article, we review case law from South Australia Asset Management Company Ltd v York Montague Ltd [1997] to Rubenstein v HSBC Bank Plc [2011] to examine the current approach to assessing loss in economically volatile times.

Assessing recoverable loss in tort claims is sometimes a knotty problem. Breach of a duty of care can cause a spiral of dramatic consequences. It may seem unfair for a duty-breaker to be liable for events clearly caused by this breach but attributable to economic forces beyond their control. 
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Finance | 01 November 2011

On 28 September 2011, the European Commission published a draft directive proposing the introduction of a financial transaction tax (FTT) across all of the member states of the European Union. In essence, the FTT would operate to tax all transactions in ‘financial instruments’ to which a ‘financial institution’ is party, provided at least one party to the transaction is established in the EU. [Continue Reading]