Key Issues


Regulatory change in a digital world

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Right now, we’re living and working through the fourth industrial revolution, in which the lines between the physical and digital worlds are becoming blurred. The pace of adoption of digital tools has been accelerated yet further as we adapt to the demands of the coronavirus pandemic and its aftermath. Businesses in all sectors are seeing fundamental change in the way they operate.

Change requires a parallel evolution of regulation that sets standards, monitors risks and enforces where there is non-compliance. In all sectors, across all jurisdictions, digital transformation is presenting regulators with a triple challenge. They must:

  • monitor new activities arising out of the digital revolution
  • adopt digital technologies to proactively detect and address risky behaviours
  • respond to calls for more agile regulation that abandons ineffective practices and adopts new ones as circumstances change.

Meanwhile, the existing regulatory frameworks and their enforcement are being tested in the unprecedented extremes of the coronavirus pandemic and the fight back against it.

A technological response from the regulator

Facing these challenges, regulators are beginning to adopt complex data-analysis processes and technology. For example:

  • The UK Advertising Standards Authority announced it is using AI to identify non-compliant marketing claims and to prioritise enforcement action.
  • The Bid Rigging Indicator Analysis System in South Korea uses data from electronic procurement portals and applies a formula that generates a potential bid-rigging score to identify cartel activity. Bid rigging investigations are then efficiently targeted and sanctions can include debarment from public contracting.

Maintaining compliance in a shifting landscape

As change is swift, and new regulation emerging constantly, we’re working with our clients to help answer fundamental questions and meet specific challenges.
Together, we’re asking how their business responds effectively to a shifting landscape. How can the client’s organisation react appropriately to the changes in regulatory regimes and increasing use of technology, in particular AI and machine learning? Often, new skill sets are needed within an organisation. In response, we work with legal and compliance teams to expand their expertise, satisfying the Board’s demand that regulatory risks are efficiently identified and managed.

We know this isn’t necessarily easy. To understand and adapt to the technologies driving business change, and how they interact with the current and future regulatory landscapes, can be time-consuming and costly. But with our support, it is possible.

Specialist support where you need it most

Our practical experience is particularly strong in this area, covering a wide range of regulatory fields. In one instance, we helped a UK trade association navigate the competition, policy and regulatory challenges of moving across to an entirely digital platform, providing in-depth, compliance-related legal advice.

In a complex and rapidly changing regulatory market, we can help you chart the most appropriate, efficient and compliant course towards new ways of working.

Learn more about our regulatory and compliance services here