It’s hard to make light of politics at the moment, with the backdrop of such harrowing scenes broadcast all the time from Ukraine, Gaza and increasingly Africa sadly, but I’m hoping the Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, might just be able to spread a little cheer across the UK when he gives us his Autumn financial statement in a few days’ time, writes David Little, a partner in our Corporate and Commercial Law team.
I’m sure I’m not the only one to have been surprised that inflation has halved, and appears to be responding to the Bank of England’s focus on high interest rates.
This week has definitely been an interesting one in UK politics, who knew that a Prime Minister declaring himself ‘an agent of change’ would bring back a former Prime Minister as a demonstration that things will be different now.
Even the Chancellor will be flanked at the Despatch Box by a new a new-look team, with Laura Trott, Bim Afolami and Nigel Huddleston joining HM Treasury following the reshuffle.
So, following confirmation that the Office of Budget Responsibility has even revealed that the economy is doing better than many hoped, will Jeremy Hunt make himself popular by cutting inheritance tax and raise the Stamp Duty threshold, two measures currently topping predictions?
He might do. But he might also look at some of the areas of corporate law, which whilst not headline grabbing, would do wonders for greasing the wheels of the economy and give it the boost this government so badly needs if it wants to win the next election.
I can think of five areas. You may have others, do let me know.
Companies Act 2006 Amendments
The Companies Act 2006 is a fundamental piece of legislation governing company law in the UK. Amendments to this act in recent years address emerging issues to improve corporate governance standards.
Corporate Governance Code Updates
The UK Corporate Governance Code is not a law per se, but it sets out principles of good governance for listed companies. Changes or updates to the code could have a significant impact on how companies are expected to operate and be transparent.
Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Reporting
There has been a global trend towards increased focus on ESG factors. The UK is an international laggard on laws related to corporate reporting on environmental and social issues.
Insolvency and Corporate Rescue Reforms
Changes to insolvency laws provide businesses with more flexibility in times of financial distress, especially considering the economic challenges brought about by events like the COVID-19 pandemic.
How ironic that David Cameron, our new Foreign Secretary, who failed to predict the referendum he called would result in the UK’s departure from the European Union, is now back seven years’ later to face up to the consequences of that decision. We’re yet to see the Brexit dividend Rishi Sunak has hoped for. Is there time before the next election for a Brexit rabbit to be pulled out of the hat? If there is it will be one of these three men who perform the trick: Sunak, Cameron & Hunt.
No, that’s not the unlikely name for a new firm of solicitors, just the concentration of power that one, or a combination of all three of them, hold the key to switching on the UK’s economy. I wonder if they’ve time?
Contact our Corporate and Commercial team
David Little is a Partner at Bishop & Sewell in our expert Corporate & Commercial team. If you would like to contact him, please quote Ref CB432 on either on either 07968 027343 / 020 7631 4141 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The above is accurate as at 17 November 2023. The information above may be subject to change.
The content of this note should not be considered legal advice and each matter should be considered on a case-by-case basis.