Major changes to the enforcement of economic crime in the UK pass into law

On 26 October the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023 finished its passage into law. We reported on this legislation while it was still in the bill stage (here).

This Act introduces unprecedented changes to criminal enforcement against corporations in the United Kingdom.

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Bribery begins at Home

Two recent anti-corruption enforcement actions in the U.K. are a reminder of how readily the UK’s anti-corruption laws can apply to people who are not ordinarily based here.

On 10 August, the National Crime Agency arrested the Chief of Staff of the President of Madagascar along with another man who is a French national. The next day they were charged with requesting a bribe contrary to the Bribery Act 2010 and made their first appearance in court on 12 August. They are due to appear again on 8 September. The offences are alleged to have taken place at a meeting in London where the two are alleged to have sought significant cash payments as well as an equity stake in a mining project in Madagascar in return for the award of licences.

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New Legislation will make it easier to prosecute Foreign and Domestic Companies for financial crimes in the UK

Duane Morris is tracking the passage of the Economic Crime and Transparency Bill 2023 through the British Parliament. Amongst other changes, once it is enacted in the coming months it will introduce major changes to corporate criminal liability in the UK, making it much easier for prosecutors to successfully convict corporates of financial crime.

For more detail see our recent client alert: 

Avoid Getting Stuck in Employment Tribunal’s Backlog by Resolving Cases Early

With public services seeking to catch up on waiting lists, it seemed timely to provide an update regarding the ongoing backlog of employment tribunal cases.

A statistical data set published on 13 February 2023 by the HM Courts & Tribunals Service reported that there are more than 50,000 live cases awaiting a hearing or decision. This figure is a 7 percent increase from the December 2021 figure of 47,041.

For context, it was reported in 2019 that the number of outstanding employment tribunal cases had reached 23,700, which at the time was the highest level recorded since the abolition of tribunal fees in 2017.

It is clear that the number of cases issued in the employment tribunal continues to increase rapidly and consistently. However, with current wait times of between 12 and 24 months from claims being filed, processed and then heard, it is evident that the tribunals do not have the structural capabilities to support the existing caseload, let alone any further increase to these numbers.

On a positive note, the Employment Lawyers Association’s (ELA) ‘Bringing down the backlog’ report showed that in 2022-23, 74 percent of cases were resolved without the need for a hearing at the Employment Tribunal, either through Acas early conciliation or resolution between the parties. There are also steps organisations can take within their operations to assist in reducing the backlog:

•Increase attempts by the HR department to resolve disputes within the early conciliation window. This can be achieved by working closely with occupational health and trade unions.

• Increase the ‘conflict confidence’ and capability among line managers in dealing with employment issues as they arise. The ELA also stated in their report that this lack of conflict confidence and capability among line managers acts as one of the key barriers to early and successful resolutions.

• Increase line management training to instil confidence in dealing with workplace conflict.

• Update handbooks with clear policies and procedures that are followed and applied correctly and consistently.

If you have any questions or queries on this topic or any other matter, do please get in touch. Our London Employment Law team provides assistance with review of existing policies and procedures or training programmes for line managers and are happy to discuss these at any time.

Jurisdiction in International Arbitration

International arbitration is, by its very nature, multi-jurisdictional. The international element could come from the parties being located in different jurisdictions, or perhaps having elected to refer disputes to a forum connected to a jurisdiction common to one, all or none of them. There are many factors that play into this decision. For example, one party may want ‘home court’ advantage, or be concerned as to the limit of remedies available in the jurisdiction where the underlying work is taking place. Another party may be more familiar with dispute resolution within a specific jurisdiction, or have easier access to resources if a dispute is determined in a certain place. The overlay to this is the governing law agreed between the parties – it is not unusual for an arbitration tribunal in one jurisdiction to determine a claim governed by the laws of another jurisdiction. The governing law and jurisdiction can be entirely unrelated to the location of the subject matter of the contract.

To read the full text of this post by Duane Morris attorney Chris Recker, please visit the Duane Morris International Arbitration Blog.

Arbitration: the Brexit get out of jail free card?

One of the most useful assets in the classic board game Monopoly is the famous get out of jail free card. A player who finds themselves in jail can utilize it to ‘free’ themselves, almost immediately, but more importantly without paying a monetary penalty.

But what has Monopoly got to do with Brexit or arbitration? Whilst the similarities may not be immediately obvious, for commercial agreements made after 11:00 pm on 31 December 2020, jurisdiction clauses that specify arbitration are in many ways a legal get out of jail free card.

Read the full post on the Duane Morris International Arbitration Blog.

Social Security Benefits: Increases to Statutory Payments

By Nic Hart

On 14 March 2023, the Social Security Benefits Up-rating Order 2023 made increases to the rate of payment for statutory sick pay (SSP) as well as statutory maternity, paternity, adoption, shared parental and parental bereavement pay.

The new rates are as follows:

    • SSP: £99.35 to £109.40.
    • Statutory maternity, paternity, adoption, shared parental and parental bereavement: £156.66 to £172.48.

The increased payment rate for SSP will come into force on 2 April 2023, and the new rates for statutory maternity, paternity, adoption, shared parental and parental bereavement will apply on 6 April 2023.

The full Social Security Benefits Up-rating Order 2023 can be viewed at

Reaping the Awards – Avoiding the Pitfalls of Enforcing Arbitral Awards

As with litigation, a successful arbitral award is a hollow victory if the responding party refuses to honour it, and enforcement proceedings are necessary. Given the international nature of arbitration, a number of things could go wrong at this stage and put a downer on a successful award. There are matters that ought to be considered strategically at the outset at contract stage and beyond to be ready to deal with a reluctant party after the award. It is therefore crucial to take certain steps at various stages to ensure you cross the finish line and reap those awards.

To read the full text of this post by Duane Morris’ Charlyn Cruz, please visit the Duane Morris International Arbitration Blog.

© 2009- Duane Morris LLP. Duane Morris is a registered service mark of Duane Morris LLP.

The opinions expressed on this blog are those of the author and are not to be construed as legal advice.

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