Are there turbulent waters to be left in LIBOR’s wake?

What is LIBOR?

The London Interbank Offered Rate is a benchmark interest rate that forms the basis of trillions of pounds’ worth of financial instruments across the world.  It is derived from the interest rates at which banks are willing to lend money to each other and is calculated with reference to the pool of rates submitted daily by panel banks.  However, the well-publicised rigging scandal that occurred following the 2008 financial crash has in-part contributed to the growing feeling of discontent with the current system and led to the head of the Financial Conduct Authority, Andrew Bailey, announcing in 2017 that LIBOR would be phased out and replaced in 2021.  However, LIBOR is an ingrained reference point throughout the financial world and is not something that can be amended without consequence.

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The Myth of the Common Law Marriage

It is perhaps the most persistent of all myths and is widely believed to be fact by an astonishing number of people. It almost trips off the tongue too easily, “But you’re surely a common law wife after 20 years of living together…” The simple and sometimes the often hard answer is, “No”.

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Wealth protection on marriage and divorce

A nuptial agreement, either a pre-nuptial agreement or a post nuptial agreement, can be entered into by the parties to a marriage to set out what will happen in the event of a divorce. There are many obvious advantages, such as to protect pre-acquired assets and to establish certainty, insofar as it is possible, in the event of divorce. Of course agreeing such matters when both parties are on the same page usually reduces legal costs and acrimony if the marriage does not survive.

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Whose fault is it anyway? Finally an end in sight for the blame game…

Divorce and separation can be a time of huge conflict and heartache for couples. It is widely accepted that the current divorce law in England & Wales has further exacerbated the position, leaving divorcing couples with no option to end the marriage amicably immediately upon separation. As it stands, unless blame is apportioned, they must wait until they are separated for two plus years. This can be very distressing for separating couples and can result in increased acrimony or considerable delays, neither of which are particularly helpful in already very difficult circumstances. The impact of starting proceedings on an acrimonious note on the families going forward is immeasurable.

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Zombie companies – be very afraid

Beware of Zombies.jpg

The acclaimed comedy film Shaun of the Dead featured Simon Pegg and Nick Frost trying to keep hordes of zombies at bay, as they infiltrated a leafy suburb. The humans sought refuge in a pub called The Winchester Tavern, where the final grisly showdown takes place.

In the business world, there is no shortage of zombies. Whilst there is no set definition, a regular symptom of such a business will be that is getting by through paying interest due on its debts, but not the underlying debts. Absent parental company or third party support, the business may only be surviving courtesy of the continuing low interest rates in the UK. Its viability in the future may therefore be questionable.

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Cybercrime – you can’t stop it, but can you minimise it?

In the wake of the GDPR coming into force we have seen a heightened awareness of cyber risk.  We are seeing the news carry stories around the latest high-profile “hack”, a word rarely mentioned in the business news until recently. Now, however, cybercrime has moved up the risk agenda of businesses all over the world, who could find themselves targeted by a malicious actor, every computing milli-second of every working day. It’s a term that covers a multitude of evils, from the compromise of customer data to bullying and harassment. This article focuses on cyberattacks that seek to damage or drain a business of financial or information assets.

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New laws bolster powers for prosecuting authorities

In September 2018, we reported on the Crime (Overseas Production Order) Bill (“Bill”) – which was the UK’s attempt at expediting the cumbersome process that UK law enforcement agencies (“LEAs”) navigate when seeking to obtain data that is held overseas as part of a criminal investigation and/or prosecution. It was the case that in order to obtain overseas data, the only route available to gather such evidence would be via the Mutual Legal Assistance channel, which was seen as sluggish, and potentially riddled with red tape.

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