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The Value of Expertise

6 December 2013

The expert evidence given at trial often plays a crucial role in determining the ultimate outcome of professional negligence litigation. Three recent cases act as reminders of the importance which needs to be placed on selection of the experts, if a party is to be given the best chance of success at trial.

Published in New Law Journal on 6 December 2013.

Class Actions (India-Style)

2 December 2013

India’s Ministry of Corporate Affairs began a comprehensive review of the 1956 Companies Act as far back as 2004. The review eventually led to a Companies Bill, detailed scrutiny of which led to India’s Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance (SCF) issuing a report in August 2010. A private consultation process then followed and a new, substantially different, Bill was introduced into the Lok Sabah, India’s lower house of parliament, in 2011. That Bill never became law. Discrepancies were found between the Bill and the 167 recommendations the SCF had made in its August 2010 report. The Lok Sabah finally produced a new Companies Act this year. Presidential Assent was received on 29 August 2013 and parts of the Act came into force on 12 September 2013.

Published in Global Reinsurance on 2 December 2013.

Corporate governance - time for a new approach?

1 December 2013

Corporate governance ideals and the balance that needs to be struck between regulation and practice have been brought into focus by proposals from the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) to enhance the transparency of UK company ownership and increase trust in UK business (the BIS discussion paper), and the announcement by David Cameron of the creation of a publicly accessible register of beneficial ownership.

Published in the December 2013 issue of Practical Law Company magazine.

The Role of Commissioners in Quality and Safety

1 December 2013

The recent Government response to the Mid Staffordshire NHS FT Public Inquiry Recommendations has set out once again some significant expectations for commissioners in the National Health Service.

Published in Healthcare Market News on 1 December 2013.

Year ahead will be shaped by CC investigation and commissioning

1 December 2013

Change is never far away when it comes to healthcare but the coming year has the potential for a radical shift in the landscape. As we move into the New Year, Healthcare Market News asks some of the most influential names in the sector to sum up what they believe will be the biggest challenges and opportunities for independent healthcare over the next 12 months. Jocelyn Ormond, head of the independent health and social care group provides his predictions.

Published in Healthcare Market News on 1 December 2013. 

The value of data breach insurance policies

13 November 2013

For most UK companies, there is no legal obligation to notify the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) or affected data subjects in the event of a data breach. The absence of a compulsory notification regime is often cited as a reason why demand for data breach policies (which indemnify the legal and technical costs associated with breach notification) has been lower in the UK than the US where notification is often mandatory.

Published in Insurance Day on 13 November 2013.

Regulation Focus-LatAm

1 November 2013

DAC Beachcroft and its associated firms provide a comprehensive overview of the latest regulatory and legal updates in the Latin American region’s insurance sector.

Published in LatAm Insurance Review on 1 November.

New health regime may be torpedoed by planning

1 November 2013

At the end of 2013 the government announced a £50m pilot to extend GP surgeries' opening hours – up to 12 hours a day, seven days a week. The main aim is to reduce admissions to accident and emergency departments, and alleviate the pressure on hospitals. In the process, the scheme is expected to enhance primary care and make the heath service more accessible to people who work.

Published in Property Week on 1 November 2013.

Litigation trends: regulatory investigations, whistle-blowing, and bribery

20 October 2013

The trend for increased regulatory investigations and follow-on criminal proceedings in both the US and UK has shown no sign of abating. With it has also come an eye watering level of punitive sanction, with fines imposed in the hundreds of millions of pounds or dollars. The threat of financial and criminal penalties are always a great driver in changing business practices, and they do help to focus the business community's collective mind. In turn, legal advisers have identified this need, and there is a noticeable trend towards firms bulking up expertise, as they ready themselves to meet an increasing demand for regulatory advice to steer them and their employees through unfamiliar territory.

Published in New Law Journal on 20 September 2013.

Meet the vision for paperless data through procurement

18 October 2013

In July NHS England published its vision of access to digital data across care settings - Safer Hospitals Safer Wards - Achieving an integrated digital care record - and how this to be achieved. It acknowledged that the NHS has been slow to adopt new developments and that this has to change. NHS England's strategy builds on Jeremy Hunt's vision of a paperless NHS by 2018 and this new vision of the future came in the same month that NHS England began a consultation on a proposal to require a much larger dataset be electronically provided by hospitals from April 2014. This will require many hospitals to implement new systems.

Published in Health Service Journal on 18 October 2013.

Who’s responsible if a product doesn’t do what it says it does on the tin?

15 October 2013

The question of whether responsibility for product failures lies with the closely regulated product providers or the financial advisers who distribute the product is a perennial one in dealing with claims against financial advisers. Some of the highest profile claims against financial advisers – the AIG bond, Keydata and Arch Cru - are obvious examples, but the issue arises on many claims and is at the heart of what IFAs are doing every day when they carry out due diligence on products. Can you trust what product providers tell you?

Published in PFS Magazine, October 2013 issue

Competition Review

1 October 2013

The Competition Commission (CC) published its provisional findings in relation to its Private Healthcare Market Investigation on 28 August and 2 September 2013.

The investigation, which started on 4 April 2012 following a referral by the Office of Fair Trading, must be closed by 3 April 2014. Its main focus is on the interactions between consultants, hospital operators, patients and, where relevant, Private Medical Insurers (PMIs).

Published in Healthcare Market News on 1 October 2013.

Clinical Commissioning and the Francis Report

23 September 2013

The Francis Report is arguably the most influential report in recent years on the state and practice of the NHS. While it focuses on the sub-standard provision of care by Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, the report also examines the role played by its commissioners in the resultant patient care failings.

Published in Health Service Journal on 23 September 2013.

Shutting the stable door

11 September 2013

Earlier this year, consumers, retailers and producer discovered an unwelcome ingredient in meat products and so the horsemeat scandal was born. It is still early days in terms of assessing the full cost of horsemeat claims, although early indications are that consumer claims may be modest. What this does do, however, is highlight the exposure and opportunities around supply chain risks.

Published in Insider Quarterly on 11 September 2013.

The corporate governance that came in from the cold

4 September 2013

In March 2013, EIOPA launched a public consultation on four draft Guidelines related to the preparation for Solvency II, covering among other things the area of System of governance. The purpose of the Guidelines is to support both national supervisors and insurers in their preparations for the Solvency II requirements, following EIOPA’s Opinion on interim measures issued in December 2012.

Published in Global Reinsurance on 4 September 2013.

Integrated health and social care services – a landscape of opportunity for providers?

1 September 2013

The integration of health and social care services acquired a new statutory status last year when the Health and Social Care Act 2012 imposed duties to promote integration on the new NHS bodies, Monitor and the new local authority Health & Wellbeing Boards.

Published in Community Care Market News on 1 September 2013.

The Energy Act 2011

29 August 2013

Why is it significant for insurers and their policyholders? Because commercial and residential buy-to-let properties, which fail to meet energy efficiency standards by 1 April 2018, cannot be rented out, until improvements have been made.

Published by the Chartered Insurance Institute's Journal on 29 August 2013.

More Mis-selling Claims for Financial Lines Insurers

22 August 2013

High street banks are bracing themselves for yet another wave of compensation payments following the recent announcement that compensation will soon be paid to customers who were mis-sold fraud or identity protection policies issued by Card Protection Plan Ltd (CPP).

Published in Insurance Day on 22 August 2013.

The Malaysian Financial Services and Islamic Financial Services Acts 2013

7 August 2013

The Malaysian financial sector is poised to experience major changes in the way its insurance and financial institutions operate, with the Islamic Financial Services Act 2013 and the Malaysian Financial Services Act 2013 now finally in force (1 July 2013).

Published in Insurance Day on 7 August 2013.

Islamic Insurance at the Crossroads

6 August 2013

The Inland Revenue and Stamp Duty Legislation (Alternative Bond Schemes) (Amendment) Ordinance is not the flashiest title you could give a new piece of legislation, so it is perhaps understandable that its arrival in Hong Kong went largely unnoticed outside of the territory. Yet this obscure law, which puts the taxation of sukuk (Islamic bonds) on a level footing with conventional bonds in Hong Kong, marks a significant effort by the Hong Kong Government to promote the development of a sukuk market in the territory.

Published in Insurance Insight on 6 August 2013.