Experts in Regulatory Law
Regulatory Law Solicitors
Navigating regulatory compliance can be a challenge for any business, especially SMEs who do not have the budget to appoint regulatory officers to manage compliance. Our regulatory solicitors can bridge this gap, providing up-to-date, commercially astute advice in a cost-effective manner.
We are a niche practice with offices in central London and Hounslow. We understand the need for swift advice when it comes to regulatory advice. Therefore, we take the time to get to understand your business, so we can work proactively to ensure you are fully compliant with all relevant UK and international regulations.
To contact our regulatory solicitors, please call our office on 020 3824 8080 to make an appointment at our London office.
Our team focus heavily on providing quality legal service and exceptional client care. We recruit talented solicitors who have a razor-sharp understanding of the areas in which we practice. We have a wide base of commercial clients based in the UK and abroad.
What is compliance in business?
Compliance means conforming to the law, be it in the form of regulation, policy, or specification.
The UK has a significant amount of regulation, much of it coming from the European Union. This situation is set to change once the UK leaves the EU. However, much of the existing EU law that applies to the UK will be transposed directly into UK law via the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill.
Various bodies also regulate different sectors; for example, the Financial Conduct Authority regulate the banking & finance sector, and the Care Quality Commission control health and social care in England. Professions are also governed by regulatory bodies; solicitors must comply with the Solicitors Regulation Authority, and architects with the Architects Registration Board.
What areas of business are regulated?
Regulation covers almost every aspect of business. Some of the regulatory domains which affect most businesses include:
Health & Safety
Health and safety at work is regulated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The HSE is tasked with investigating accidents at work and ensuring all commercial entities comply with health and safety legislation, including the Health & Safety at work etc Act 1974. If an organisation breaches health and safety regulations, the HSE has the power to launch a prosecution.
Fines for health and safety breaches can be extremely punitive. The Sentencing Guidelines for Health and Safety, Corporate Manslaughter and Food Safety and Hygiene Offences allow the courts to hand down a fine based on the turnover of a company (as opposed to profit) depending on the level of culpability and the harm caused. Large multi-nationals may be able to swallow such punitive fines, but such a sentence can crush an SME with high turnover but low margins.
Our solicitors can assist you to understand the health and safety obligations relevant to your industry and advise and represent you if you are facing an HSE investigation.
GDPR - The General Data Protection Regulations
The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) will come into force in May 2018. At that point, all entities handling personal data must be compliant. The GDPR replaces the General Data Protection Act 1998 and is an EU directive which will apply to the UK post-Brexit.
The changes brought in by the GDPR are ambitious and extensive. Examples include:
- All businesses whose commercial operations primarily involve processing or monitoring personal data must appoint a Data Protection Officer.
- Any breaches of personal data must be reported without delay, preferably within 72 hours. For entities with multiple locations (either domestic or international) and/or computer servers, this will be easier said than done. Therefore, it is imperative a comprehensive audit of all the data held by your organisation is completed well in advance of May 2018.
- If your business or charity relies on consent to process and use personal data (i.e. for direct marketing purposes), you will need to show that the consent is freely given, specific, informed, and is an “unambiguous indication” of a data subject’s wishes and expressed either by a statement or a clear affirmative action. This is most likely achieved by giving the public a chance to ‘opt-in’ rather than the standard practice of ‘opting-out’.
- Individuals will have the right to demand their personal data is deleted.
Penalties for breach of the GDPR are severe. The maximum fine that the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) can impose is 20 million Euros or 4% of group worldwide turnover (whichever is greater), against both data controllers and data processors.
Our regulatory lawyers have a wealth of experience in advising clients on how to prepare for GDPR and will be happy to meet with you to find out more about your organisation and compliance requirements.
HMRC inquiries and investigations
Non-compliance with HMRC rules and regulations can lead to time wasting and costly investigations. The tax system is complex, and it is easy for SMEs to be caught out by issues such as the employment status of subcontractors. HMRC analyse tax returns, existing assets, social media, overseas bank accounts, third parties, and a great many other sources, looking for anomalies. You can become subject to a tax inquiry even if you have been fully compliant.
At MPR Solicitors, we can collaborate with your accountant, helping you understand the inquiry process and acting as a buffer between you and HMRC. We can also demonstrate your compliance and answer any intrusive questions on your behalf, ensuring your best interests are fully protected.
Financial Conduct Authority
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulates the financial services industry. The organisations three main functions are to:
- Protect consumers
- Protect financial markets
- Promote competition
An investigation by the FCA can be extremely stressful. We will ensure your business complies with government regulations pertaining to the financial sector and FCA standards. If an investigation does occur, we can provide expert advice and representation.
To contact our regulatory law solicitors in complete confidence, please call 020 3824 8080 or fill in our contact form to get in touch.