In-house lawyer day: detailed articles

Published on 3rd Oct 2016

Osborne Clarke’s annual “In-house lawyer” days were held in Bristol, Reading and London.

Throughout the day, our experts covered a range of topical issues relevant to the work of in-house lawyers. We were also joined by Natasha Graham of
Newington Communications for a discussion on how businesses can engage in the decisions that affect them.

For more information on the topics covered, please see below, and follow the links for full articles on each of those topics.

If you want to find out more, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the relevant expert listed below.

Data privacy: the General Data Protection Regulation

The GDPR introduces fundamental changes to the UK and EU data protection regime and will have a profound impact on many organisations that collect and use information about individuals. We explain what those changes are, how businesses should prepare for the implementation of the GDPR and the likely effect in the UK of Brexit.

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We have also produced a full guide to preparing for compliance with the GDPR.

Don’t worry, be happy: the changing emphasis on health and wellbeing in the workplace

Corporate health and wellbeing programmes are very ‘of the moment’. No longer just for the disruptive, forward-thinking US tech businesses: organisations of all sizes and in all sectors are starting to place real value on programmes which encourage employees to eat healthily, get moving
and look after their mind. There are very good economic and legal reasons for businesses to be focusing on this issue.

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For your eyes only: trade secrets and other IP highlights of 2016

The most important developments in IP law in 2016 include a new directive which seeks to impose a level of harmonisation across the EU in relation to trade secrets, and several important judgments, at EU and national level, particularly in relation to copyright. We explain why in-house lawyers need to know about these developments.

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When the whistle blows: responding to an incident

For many businesses, whistleblowing policies and hotlines have been in place for some time, and represent a critical front line in protecting a company from reputational damage or worse. To be effective, a whistleblowing system needs to be accompanied by an effective process for dealing with issues raised,
including through internal investigations and consideration of whether to self-report potential issues to authorities.

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We also look at the employment issues relating to whistleblowers and what employers should be doing to enable genuine whistleblowers to raise their concerns in the right way.

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Signed, sealed, delivered: execution of deeds and documents and how it might go wrong

After a series of long and complex negotiations, the document is finally agreed. Each party breathes a sigh of relief. But now the document must be validly executed – and this is where all the hard work in reaching agreement can be undone. We answer ten commonly asked questions in relation to the execution of deeds and documents.

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Open for business: the trend towards greater corporate transparency

In the age of information and globalisation, transparency has become seen as a way to hold companies to account. From the LuxLeaks to the Panama Papers, from sweatshops in Bangladesh to child labour in the mineral mines of Africa; the revelations make headlines, hurt brands and hit profits. We discuss how transparency is shaping legislation across three corporate issues: tax arrangements, beneficial ownership information and supply chain management.

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Making money from smart energy

Every business uses energy. For many this is a very significant operational overhead. Yet there have historically been limited opportunities for businesses to manage and minimise their use of energy and its associated cost. The smart energy revolution offers businesses opportunities to reduce energy costs and exploit energy revenue generation.

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Banking without barriers: how changes to the payments industry affect your business

Payments are at the heart of commerce: every business makes and receives payments and wants to do so reliably, promptly and without excessive administrative burdens or costs. The payments sector is evolving rapidly due to advances in technology and legislative developments. These changes will impact profoundly on the way we pay and are paid for things.

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The EU Digital Single Market: copyright, telecoms and e-commerce

Jean-Claude Juncker’s recent State of the Union speech marked the start of another wave of measures in the European Commission’s Digital Single Market initiative, covering issues such as e-commerce, copyright reform, geo-blocking and telecoms.

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Office banter: the changing face of harassment and discrimination

In an era of enhanced discrimination and harassment protections, employers appear to be becoming increasingly exposed to the risk of tribunal claims, which carry unlimited awards that can run into hundreds of thousands of pounds, in the very worst cases. A now commonplace concern is the often cited excuse that the behaviour was mere ‘office banter’. Whilst this concept stirs up a variety of connotations including rude jokes, explicit language, nicknames and teasing, the real issue is whether such behaviour is simply a light hearted exchange or conduct that is capable of offending or intimidating other employees.

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* This article is current as of the date of its publication and does not necessarily reflect the present state of the law or relevant regulation.

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