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Brexit Resource Center

  • Continuity of Contracts and Business on a “Hard” Brexit: Human Rights and Reverse Solicitation to the Rescue!

    31 Oct 2017

    Various industry bodies and regulators, including the Bank of England and Bafin, have recently raised fears that there will be a cliff edge on Brexit for certain types of financial contract, most notably derivatives and insurance, due to the loss of passporting rights.[1] This note explains why, in a no-deal Brexit scenario, this should not be the case. The loss of “passporting” rights and other freedoms under EU treaties should neither frustrate existing contracts nor render the performance of existing cross-border UK-EU contracts illegal nor cause them to be void or voidable.

    We discuss how the right to property under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, and the doctrine of “acquired rights” under public international law, protect contractual rights. The protections afforded will shield many contracts entered into between UK and EU-27 parties before Brexit and should therefore permit such contracts to be performed to their full extent in a hard-Brexit scenario. These human rights concepts will mean that, despite the removal of the financial services “passport” upon Brexit, any licensing requirements that spring into force on Brexit for parties performing existing contracts—and any other legislative changes that frustrate contracts—would be contrary to the human rights and other protections afforded to contracts entered into before Brexit.

    UK-based and EU-based businesses should be cognisant of these protections and, moreover, should take additional steps to future-proof their existing contractual agreements before the UK withdraws from the EU so that they can continue to provide a full range of services to their customers.

    Our previous client note on Brexit and the free movement of natural persons considered whether the concept of “acquired rights” would safeguard free movement rights post-Brexit. This note now evaluates the concept, and human rights law, in the context of businesses and contracts, with particular reference to financial sector contracts.

  • EU Proposals to Strengthen the Powers of the European Supervisory Authorities

    26 Oct 2017

    On 20 September 2017, the European Commission made proposals[1] to strengthen the regulatory and supervisory powers of the three European Supervisory Agencies (ESAs) namely the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), European Banking Authority (EBA) and the European Insurance and Occupational Pension Authority (EIOPA). To become legally binding, the proposals must be approved by the European Parliament and the European Council. The proposals are part of the Commission’s plan to create more integrated financial markets, and to complete the Capital Markets Union and Banking Union. The EU has increasingly used regulations to implement new requirements in financial services instead of using directives which require member states to adopt national laws to implement the requirements. The intention has been to iron out local member state discrepancies. However, it is apparent that there are still differences in the application of EU regulations by national regulators and that this leads to distortions across the EU. The Commission considers that more integrated financial markets supervision is necessary and that enhancing the powers of the ESAs is key to achieving that objective.

  • Barney Reynolds on Brexit Opportunities for English Law Practitioners and the UK Courts

    15 Sep 2017
    Head of our global Financial Institutions & Advisory Practice, partner Barney Reynolds authored an article in Legal Week setting out his thoughts on the opportunities arising from Brexit for English law lawyers and the UK Courts.
  • Brexit: The Great Repeal Bill

    26 Jul 2017
    On 13 July 2017, the UK government published the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, known as the “Great Repeal Bill.” This major piece of constitutional legislation sets out the government’s proposals for transforming existing EU laws into UK laws and ending the supremacy of EU laws in the UK after Brexit.
  • Reynolds Authors a Template for Enhanced Equivalence: Creating a Lasting Relationship in Financial Services Between the EU and the UK

    18 Jul 2017
    As the negotiations for Britain's departure from the EU begin, the spotlight is on future trade with the EU and globally. 
  • Energy Update

    May 2017

    We are pleased to release the latest issue of our client newsletter, Energy Update, designed to inform clients and friends of the firm about important developments affecting US and international energy markets.

  • Video: Reynolds Leads Panel on Brexit’s Effect on the Insurance Industry

    26 Apr 2017
    Partner Barney Reynolds (London-Financial Institutions Advisory & Financial Regulatory Group) leads a panel discussion with insurance industry leaders on the effect of Brexit on the life, general and re-insurance market, including the potential for job losses and the future of Solvency 2, during the Prosperity 2017 Conference in London.
  • Video: Reynolds Chairs Panel on Brexit’s Effect on UK’s Financial Infrastructure

    26 Apr 2017

    Partner Barney Reynolds (London-Financial Institutions Advisory & Financial Regulatory Group) leads a panel discussion with financial industry leaders on the stock exchanges, settlement and the future of euro clearing, during the Prosperity 2017 Conference in London.

  • Video: Reynolds Looks at Deregulation Opportunities Created by Brexit

    26 Apr 2017

    Partner Barney Reynolds (London-Financial Institutions Advisory & Financial Regulatory Group) and a panel of industry leaders look at whether the UK is ready to take advantage of deregulation opportunities created by Brexit, during the Prosperity 2017 Conference in London.

  • Energy Update

    Feb 2017

    We are pleased to release the latest issue of our client newsletter, Energy Update, designed to inform clients and friends of the firm about important developments affecting US and international energy markets.

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