Law and regulation

Insight / Treasury consults on £95,000 cap on public sector payouts

The Treasury is consulting on draft regulations to introduce a cap of £95,000 on exit payments in the public sector, which are being introduced in response to concerns about the number of such payments that exceed or come close to £100,000 and the need to ensure they represent value for money

Accounting / Law firms probed on anti money laundering compliance

Solicitors’ firms are to be inspected to ensure they are meeting anti-money laundering obligations, with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) revealing it will be carrying out checks on a sample of 400 law firms

Accounting / FCA fines UBS £27.6m for reporting failures

Swiss bank UBS has been fined £27.6m by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for failings relating to 135.8m transaction reports filed over a ten-year period, which breached the regulator’s rules regarding the information required to identify potential market abuse and financial crime

Insight / Engagement letters: what you need to know

Engagement letters are relevant to every accounting and professional services firm, irrespective of size or the services provided. It is crucial firms ensure their engagement letters are updated whenever a client relationship starts or terms change. Rachel Farris FCA CTA provides the top five tips for accountants

Audit / Section 2 notices raise risk level for accountants

Professional services firms, requests for documents and Section 2 notices under Criminal Justice Act 1987 could pose a risk for accountants and auditors as illustrated in the recent Omers case at the High Court, explains Andrew Wanambwa, partner at law firm Lewis Silkin

Insight / MPs call for better anti money laundering supervision

The Treasury select committee is calling for the government to do more to tackle economic crime, saying the anti money laundering (AML) regime should be strengthened, with proposals including introducing corporate liability legislation, reforms to Companies House, and removing HMRC’s responsibility for AML supervision

Insight / UK lags US in penalty enforcement for serious economic crime

The UK is lagging behind the US in holding large companies to account for serious economic crimes such as financial fraud or money laundering, according to research by Corruption Watch, which is calling for more effective legislation

Accounting / Extension of beneficial ownership register to overseas territories delayed

Plans to extend the public register of beneficial ownership of overseas entities to cover offshore Crown dependencies and overseas territories will not happen before 2023 at the earliest, the government has confirmed

Insight / ICAEW loses appeal over extending legal services regulatory work

ICAEW has failed in its attempt to extend its legal services regulatory work, after its appeal against the lord chancellor’s earlier refusal was turned down at a High Court judicial review

Insight / Headaches of a defined benefit pension scheme

Increasing regulation, the threat of government intervention and recent court decisions mean that defined benefit pension schemes are proving to be a real liability for employers, says Rosalind Connor, partner at ARC Pensions Law

Insight / Early results show gender pay gap widening

With only weeks to go until the reporting deadline, four in 10 private companies that have published their latest gender pay gap are reporting wider gaps than they did last year, according to BBC analysis

Insight / KPMG to launch legal services offering in UK

KPMG International has reported record growth for its global legal services offering, and indicated it plans to extend its services this year, including in the UK where it will launch a legal consultancy arm

Insight / Insolvency: investors left hanging in event of business failure

Investors in the company that owns Patisserie Valerie are looking at launching legal action over the collapse of the cafe chain, highlighting the dilemma facing investors in cases of insolvency and business failure. Mark Fletcher, senior associate and Thomas Bond, associate at Russell-Cooke consider the legal options 

Insight / Directors could land jail term for pension mis-management

The government is to introduce a new criminal offence of ‘wilful or reckless behaviour’ in relation to pensions, which would see ‘devil may care’ directors facing up to seven years in jail, under proposals to crack down on abuse of final or average salary schemes

Tax / Hike in probate fees set to go ahead despite opposition

Probate fees are set to be hiked up to £6,000 for the largest estates as the government plans to overhaul the death tax from April 2019, a measure delayed from 2017 due to the early general election