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Welcome to the Business Brief newsletter

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In this issue:   

Commercial Legal Update for the month ended 30 November 2016 In Depth Review - Cross-border Transfers of Personal Data Legal Health Check

Commercial Legal Update for the month ended 30 November 2016 

New guidance as research finds UK Businesses unfamiliar with unfair contract terms – The Competition and Markets Authority has published new guidance on the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (CRA). The guide follows research demonstrating that 54% of UK businesses do not sufficiently understand the unfair contract rules, the purpose of which are to restrict contractual terms and conditions deemed unfair for customers. Even for the 15% of businesses who believe they are familiar with the CRA, the guide may still be a useful reminder; highlighting how fair terms can save time and help avoid disputes with customers and challenges to your terms, and offering advice on reputational protection where disputes do arise.

Privacy advocacy groups challenge EU-U.S. Privacy Shield (Privacy Shield) – Last month, our In Depth Review set out the principles of the Privacy Shield and its aim of strengthening protection for transatlantic data flows. However, as largely anticipated, the Privacy Shield has already received two legal challenges in the EU General Court. Arguments for the annulment of the Privacy Shield are centred on questions surrounding the independence and investigatory powers of the body that, under the Privacy Shield, is now responsible for redress where data-related complaints are made. It is expected that the court will take up to a year to come to a decision, during which the Privacy Shield will remain in full effect.

Ethnic minorities under-represented on UK boards – Companies should take note of the Parker Review report, which has found that the representation of ethnic minorities on UK boards is disproportionately low. The report summarises research conducted on companies


within the FTSE 100 and sets out a number of recommendations with the aim of promoting ethnic diversity, ensuring board members are drawn from diverse backgrounds, increasing transparency on diversity policies, and compliance with board composition recommendations. There is the opportunity to submit comments on the report until 28 February 2018. 

Publication of IP resources for educational institutions – The UK Intellectual Property Office has published a summary of intellectual property resources available to those in the education sector. These may be of use to schools, university lecturers and researchers, students and those who manage universities. The resources range from “IP Tutor” online training courses, which provide a basic grounding on IP rights, to lesson plans surrounding IP related topics.

Brexit – The Department for Exiting the European Union has published a list of answers to the most frequently asked questions surrounding Brexit. These include a government assurance that a second referendum will not take place, questions on the process by which Article 50 will be activated, as well as broader topics of interest, such as the future of trade and free movement. Answers surrounding Article 50 may be of particular interest, as the Supreme Court has now heard the appeal judgement following the High Court ruling that the UK government cannot trigger Article 50 by using royal prerogative (without consulting Parliament). A response from the Supreme Court is expected next month.

Data protection breaches – Several recent cases serve as a reminder to businesses and charities that personal information held by a company must be kept secure and processed correctly if they do not want to risk both fines and a negative reputational impact. The breaches varied from the stealing of an unencrypted (although password protected) work laptop whilst a member of staff was working away from the office, to a lack of comprehensive information provided by the charities to data subjects regarding the use of their personal data. The fines ranged from £500-£25,000.

If you would like further information on any of the above “snippets”, please contact Brian Miller or email brianmiller@stoneking.co.uk.


This Month’s In Depth Review: Cross-border Transfers of Personal Data Transfers of personal data outside of the UK can be made without additional restrictions to data importers in the European Economic Area or EEA. However, transfers by UK data controllers to data importers based outside the EEA have to comply with the eighth data protection principle (“Eighth Principle”) in Schedule 1 to the Data Protection Act 1998. Read more


Legal Health Check Please note that we provide a free legal health check to all businesses and organisations. Further details can be found on our website. For Stone King updates specifically on Charity and Social Enterprises or Employment, please email marketing@stoneking.co.uk.

Upcoming Events Stone King runs a range of workshops and seminars on current legal issues. Click below to see all our upcoming events.

Click here to see all upcoming events

For further advice, please contact Brian Miller, solicitor and partner in the Corporate & Commercial Team via email or call 020 7324 1523.


DISCLAIMER Please note that BUSINESS BRIEF legal updates do not constitute, and are not a substitute for, professional legal advice. Action should not be taken based on these updates without taking specialist legal advice in individual circumstances. Š Stone King LLP 2016

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