Barclays investigated 

SFO seeks access to Barclays evidenceThe Serious Fraud Office is pressing Barclays to hand over confidential documents as part of its inquiry into whether the bank covertly lent £5.8bn to Qatari investors. The SFO will put its case for the documents, thought to contain advice from lawyers and senior executives at the bank, at a…

Property deals and Politics

SNP MP under investigationMichelle Thomson, the SNP frontbench spokeswoman on business affairs, has resigned the party whip after police launched an inquiry into property deals conducted by her lawyer. Mrs Thomson, 50, the MP for Edinburgh West, is known to have been involved in a succession of residential property deals in 2010 and 2011. She…

Apple vs The Law

Apple defies law enforcement encryption criticismApple has defied calls from the police and security services to weaken the advanced encryption on its iPhones and other computing devices. Law enforcement agencies argue that they should be given a master key to decipher lawfully intercepted communications. However, Apple has repeatedly refused to make one, arguing that it…

LGBT Campaign

LGBT equality campaign launchedFourteen global businesses including Google have launched a campaign to put forward the economic case for ending discrimination against LGBT individuals. Launched at the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting in New York, the Open for Business campaign includes measures to fight legislation discriminatory to LGBT people in different countries.

No smoking in Prison

Prison smoking ban to launchPrisons in England and Wales will start to bring in a smoking ban next month. The move comes after a pilot study in six jails measured the exposure of prison officers and other staff to second-hand smoke. It found that prison staff were exposed to concentrations of second-hand smoke that exceeded…

No Corporate Crimes

Government drops corporate liability law review  The Government has abandoned plans to create a new criminal offence for corporate wrongdoing after pledging in its manifesto to hold banks and other financial institutions to account for rate rigging, tax evasion and insurance mis-selling. According to Justice Minister Andrew Selous, “there was little evidence of corporate economic…

Volkswagen crimes

Prosecutors to investigate WinterkornGerman prosecutors have launched an investigation against former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn. The investigation targets accusations of fraud tied to the sale of vehicles, and will try to determine who was responsible for seeking to circumvent emissions regulations, prosecutors in Braunschweig, Germany, said in a statement. Volkswagen has also filed a criminal…

New Consumer rights act 

New Consumer rights act  Lawyers prepare for Consumer Rights ActUK lawyers are gearing up for a wave of new claims after the Consumer Rights Act 2015 takes effect October 1. The law permits collective actions on behalf of large groups. The law could also result in harder-fought investigations at EU-level, or prevent companies from whistleblowing…

Avoiding SDLT

Escaping stamp duty on enveloped propertiesHouse buyers have been told they could save millions in stamp duty on high-end “enveloped” properties if they purchase the offshore company that owns the house. It comes after Aston Chase, agents for an £8.95m house off Regent’s Park in London, said purchasers can save £985,750 in stamp duty by…