Law and regulation

Audit / Blockchain: game changer for audit?

Given its dubious black economy origins, initially there was widespread distrust of Blockchain among audit and accounting circles. But it could change audit radically if it is adopted by larger businesses and auditors are forced to review their technical capability, reports Calum Fuller

Insight / Accountant forged mother’s will

A chartered accountant who forged his dead mother’s will as part of a long-running and acrimonious dispute litigated across multiple jurisdictions with his three brothers over control of a $200m (£160m) family business has been branded ‘a self-confessed liar’ in the High Court

Insight / BREAKING: SFO charges Harlequin chairman with fraud

Chairman of Harlequin Hotels & Resorts David Ames has been charged by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) with three counts of fraud by abuse of position

Insight / Record number of employers underpaying workers

High street retail chain Debenhams tops the list of more than 350 employers found to have failed to pay either the national minimum wage (NMW) or the national living wage (NLW) to their staff, the biggest number so far.

Accounting / Hargreaves Lansdown admits breach of rules on dividend payments

Investment group Hargreaves Lansdown has admitted that a number of historic dividend payments have been paid out in breach of Companies Act requirements, and is to hold an additional general meeting for shareholders next month to correct what it calls ‘a technical issue’ in how it accounted for the payments

Insight / Case: pension rights for unmarried couples?

The Brewster Supreme Court ruling on the pension rights of a co-habiting partner highlights differences in regulations covering public sector pensions in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, and there are implications for private sector pension schemes, says Becky Ryding, a pensions solicitor at Gateley plc

Insight / Supreme Court rules on disputed pension rights for partner

A woman whose long-term partner died suddenly has won a legal battle which could change the pension rights of unmarried couples working in the public sector

Insight / Legal updates: February 2017

In this month's legal updates, experts at law firm Gateley plc consider the correct test to be applied when assessing a person's mental capacity to enter into a transaction, dealing with repeat offenders, use of an insolvent partnership name

Insight / Late payment reporting guidance to be published

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is to publish guidance to help large businesses report on how quickly they pay their suppliers, ahead of measures coming into force in April 2017 to boost transparency of payment practices to help small and medium sized businesses (SMEs)

Insight / FCA fines Deutsche Bank record £163m over AML failings

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has fined Deutsche Bank a record £163m for serious failings in its anti-money laundering (AML) controls over a so-called ‘mirror trading’ scheme between its London, New York and Moscow offices which shifted $10bn from Russia to offshore bank accounts in a manner highly suggestive of financial crime

Insight / Wilkins Kennedy $11.6m Harlequin appeal thrown out

Wilkins Kennedy’s application to appeal against a High Court order to pay hotel and property developer Harlequin $11.6m (£9.2m) in damages is denied by the Court of Appeal

Insight / Insolvency Service releases timetable for statutory forms

The Insolvency Service has given notice of the procedures it will follow to withdraw and replace all statutory forms relating to insolvency procedures from 6 April 2017, as part of the changes introduced by the Insolvency (England & Wales) Rules 2016

Insight / Bank switching to be easier after CMA accepts proposals

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has accepted proposals from Bacs Payment Schemes Ltd (Bacs) committing it to delivering easier bank switching within a year

Insight / Rolls-Royce to pay £671m over bribery charges

FTSE 100 engineering group Rolls-Royce is to pay £671m to settle a string of bribery charges, including a £497m deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) with the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), which is due to be approved in court today

Insight / Charity Commission tightens regulatory approach

The Charity Commission is to focus on promoting compliance by charity trustees with their legal obligations and enhancing the rigour with which it holds charities accountable in its new regulatory approach, released today