GRAD DIARY| September 2014 Legal News Review & Commentary

Theme: Protecting Missing Persons Interests


Case/Update
Presumption of Death Act 2013

Area
Property and affairs of missing persons

What to Note
An application for the declaration of a missing person thought to be dead can be made to the High Court under this act. Additionally, persons who are unknown to be alive for at least 7 years will be presumed dead.

Consequently, the person declared to be dead will have their personal property/assets passed on to others following inheritance laws.

Case/Update
Guardianship of the property and affairs of missing persons

Area
Property and affairs of missing persons

What to Note
There is currently no UK legal mechanism for an appointed person to act on behalf of a missing person. If this were to become UK law we could protect missing persons from the deterioration their assets by acting in their best interests.

The consultation for this matter closes on 18 November 2014.

Make the Connection
As the Presumption of Death (Scotland) Act 1977 and the Presumption of Death Act (Northern Ireland) 2009 already exist it appears that England and Wales are comparatively slow to protect the interests of missing persons and their family members.

Theme: Strengthening the UK Economy


Case/Update
Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill 2014/15

Area
Corporate

What to Note
On June 4th 2014 this bill was announced with the objective of supporting the UK in increasing its appeal to business entrepreneurs and investors. It is currently moving forward toward the House of Commons Committee stage for further review.

Make the Connection
This will strengthen the current UK system and introduce new policy that makes the holding of information on who owns and controls companies, by the companies themselves mandatory. This is a move toward increasing transparency and trust to ultimately increase UK economic growth.

Case/Update
Consumer Rights Bill 2014

Area
Consumer

What to Note
The Consumer Rights Bill is intended to simplify and clarify consumer law by containing a clear list of consumer rights and the new measures to protect them. This bill is moving to the House of Lords Committee stage on 13 October 2014. Make the Connection

This is important because it will make it easier to tackle rogue traders, and make it easier for small companies to take legal action against larger companies breaking competition law. – Refer back to the August legal round-up for cases of small companies fighting back against dominant industry force.

Theme: The Changing Legal Landscape of Europe


Case/Update

EU Trade Secrets Directive

Area

Intellectual Property/Competition Law

What to Note

This legislation could be in force by end of 2014, promoting a fairer standard of competition law across Europe. This will support business innovation, as it will become easier to secure damages for the misappropriation of trade secrets as the directive harmonises member state laws.

Make the Connection

The current UK legislation fails to effectively safeguard business trade secrets making it arguably an unattractive place to run an innovative business. This move will however mirror international standards changing this situation. A key aspect of this directive is that any product/service that has been created using a misappropriated trade secret will be considered an infringement of intellectual property, thus offering significantly greater protection to innovative businesses.

Case/Update

EU Accountancy Directive

Area

Corporate/Finance

What to Note

In June 2013 the EU adopted this directive to provide opportunities for the government to further reduce the administrative burdens associated with compiling and maintaining company statutory accounts, particularly for small companies.

This directive will transpose into UK law no later than 20 July 2015 and it is currently open for consultation until 24 October 2014.

Make the Connection

This is further evidence of the increasing legislative support of SME’s. This directive recognises the different needs of SME’s and MNC’s thus this tailored legislative approach should further support economic growth.


Also published on: Grad Diary

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