Monthly Archives: July 2019

FCA publishes final rules on the SMCR

On Friday 26 July the FCA published its final rules on the Senior Managers and Certification Regime; the complete regulations on the extension of the SMCR to FCA solo-regulated firms. The final rules, published on the FCA website, reflect the …

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Changes to Collyer Bristow Management Board

Law firm Collyer Bristow has made changes to its Management Board following a Partnership election to appoint new departmental heads. Joining the Management Board are Michael Grace, previously Head of the Real Estate Litigation team and now Head of Real …

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Brexit -The impact on SMEs, Entrepreneurs and Investors

At our recent Brexited.London seminar, Henk Potts, Director of Global Investment Strategy for Barclays Private Bank gave us his insights on the current and post-Brexit developments on the UK and global markets. Here are some of the key points Henk …

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Office of Tax Simplification publishes recommendations to simplify inheritance tax

While these amendments do not go so far as to shake the foundations of the tax itself, nevertheless the proposals would require all practitioners to come to terms with the amendment of a number of rules that have stood firm …

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Should inheritance tax be simplified?

The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) has published a number of recommendations for how inheritance tax (IHT) could be amended and simplified. While these amendments do not go so far as to shake the foundations of the tax itself, nevertheless the proposals would require all practitioners to come to terms with the amendment of a number of rules that have stood firm for decades.Some of the key proposals include:1. Reducing the current IHT period during which lifetime gifts are brought into account on death from 7 years down to 5 years and, at the same time, abolishing tapering relief on chargeable lifetime gifts.2. Replacing/reforming some existing lifetime IHT exemptions (such as the annual exemption, the exemption for gifts in consideration of marriage, and the exemption on normal expenditure out of income), with an overall personal gifts allowance.3. Removing the CGT uplift on assets that pass free from IHT due to an exemption. In effect that would mean that the recipient would receive the asset at the deceased’s base cost, akin to hold over relief.4. Making it so that death benefit payments from life insurance policies pass free from IHT without the need for the policies to be written into trust.It will remain to be seen whether any of these proposals are considered any further by the Law Commission or the Government. The Labour Party has already published a policy document suggesting further, more radical amendments to the UK tax code in general and so one suspects that the above proposals will only survive so long as the Conservative Party remains in power.

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British Airways facing record GDPR fine

The fine represents 1.5% of its 2017 worldwide turnover, and whilst below the maximin possible 4% fines represents the largest single fine handed down by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Patrick Wheeler, Partner and Head of Intellectual Property and Data …

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Protecting crypto consumers from themselves?

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has proposed a ban on financial instruments linked to cryptocurrencies, warning that such products could cause huge losses for consumers unlikely to understand their risks or value. The FCA said products such as derivatives and …

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AI: It’s time to ExplAIn

The ICO and The Turing conducted public research to gather information about the views held on AI. The ICO has said that they are working on the project as they believe that AI presents ‘some of the biggest risks related …

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Overview of the UK Gig economy

The gig economy as a labour market is characterised by short-term contracts or freelance work rather than permanent jobs. It is very much a product of the IT revolution enabling agile working and alternative business models such as Uber or …

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It’s time to AI-xplain

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)  in a collaboration with The Alan Turing Institute (The Turing) has created Project ExplAInto which aims to create practical guidance to assist organisations with explaining artificial intelligence (AI) decisions to the individuals affected.The ICO and The Turing conducted public research to gather information about the views held on AI. The ICO has said that they are working on the project as they believe that AI presents ‘some of the biggest risks related to the use of personal data’. The ICO wants to provide ‘effective guidance’ on how to address data protection risks from new technology. The current lawThe GDPR makes no specific provisions for technology or AI. There are several provisions which are relevant to the use of AI:• Principle 1. (a) requires fair, lawful, and transparent processing of data. • Articles 13-15 give individuals the right to be informed of the existence of solely automated decision-making and the consequences. • Article 22 gives individuals the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision producing legal or similarly significant effects. It obliges organisations to adopt  measures to safeguard individuals when using solely automated decisions; and• Article 35 requires organisations to carry out Data Protection Impact Assessments when what they are doing with personal data, particularly when using new technologies, is likely to have high risks for individuals.Project ExplAIn plans to advise and assist organisation with meeting the requirements for use of AI in terms of data protection. They also intend to promote ‘best practice’. The ReportThe interim report published by the ICO sets out their findings from research into the current understanding of AI. This research will inform the guidance. EducationOne of the key findings was a need to improve education and awareness surrounding AI, so that individuals are better informed to understand the implications the technology has on their data. They hope that improving education will improve public confidence in AI decisions. This is particularly important in the wake of recent discussions on the use of AI in decision making and in Online Courts. The research suggests that there is a lack of understanding which leads to a lack of faith in the decision. The conclusion reached also posed the alternative view that over-normalising the use of AI decisions could lead to individuals being less likely to question its use and expect explanations. Though they want to avoid campaigns emphasising risks and negative impacts of AI. It was decided that it was important to be aware of this point and to include diverse voices in the work. The report identified the need to translate complex decision-making rationale into an appropriate language for a lay audience.ContextAnother key point from the report was that the content of AI explanations will depend on the context , including: timing and urgency, impact of decision, the ability to change influencing factors, scope for bias and interpretation, type of data and the recipient. The individual’s ability to challenge or respond to the decision will increase the need for an explanation. For example in criminal justice decisions. Whereas in situations where individuals are more focused on a quick decision, the explanation may be less relevant. The level of expertise of the individual alongside the technicality of the decision will also be relevant. Therefore, the ‘appropriate explanation’ is likely to be different in different cases. This will be factored into the guidance. Cost The report also concludes that cost will be a major challenge in providing explanations and will affect how they pitched. Industries are also concerned with revealing commercially sensitive information. This can be both in relation to third party details and to competitors. Next steps The report will be out for public consultation over the summer. The guidance is due to be published this autumn. The ICO’s AI auditing framework is due to be finalised in 2020 and it is likely that these findings will influence the framework. The guidance may serve to legitimise the use of AI and improve public confidence in its use. However, if the best practice is too onerous, it may hinder the development of AI in smaller businesses. 

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