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Corporate eBulletin: Autumn 2019

29 October 2019

Welcome to our first Corporate eBulletin, which focusses on a corporate outlook on Brexit, signatures in a digital age, the FCA guidance on cryptoassets as well as our most recent deals.

Brexit: the corporate outlook

The implication of Brexit for company law and corporate activity will depend on the terms and timing of the UK’s exit. While the main focus to date from a corporate law standpoint has been the potential impact on financial services legislation, the terms of the withdrawal agreement (or of a no-deal Brexit) are guaranteed to affect all aspects of corporate and commercial law for years to come.

It is no surprise therefore that various branches of UK government and authorities have published guidance and assured the sector that contingencies are in place. The UK government intends to secure continuity after exit day by way of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (EUWA 2018). The EUWA 2018 will implement the majority of directly applicable EU law, as well as certain EU rights and obligations, into UK law. It will also seek to preserve UK law that implements EU requirements.

You can read the article in full here.

Signatures in the digital age

Many businesses use electronic signatures for day-to-day contracts and agreements as it can be more practical, efficient and cuts down on printing.

In contrast, there has been a general reluctance to use electronic signatures in more ‘formal’ circumstances such as corporate transactions, banking arrangements or, in particular, where a document has to be executed as a deed due to uncertainty about the current law.

However, a recent Law Commission report has confirmed that in most circumstances electronic signatures can be used.

You can read the article in full here.

FCA publishes final guidance on cryptoassets

During the summer, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published a final guidance on which activities involving cryptoassets fall within its current financial services regulatory framework.

This is the first time that the UK regulator has provided clear advice as to how cryptoassets fit into its regulatory regime.

The guidance confirms that any firm in the UK issuing, buying, selling or advising on regulated cryptoassets without prior authorisation from the FCA may be committing a criminal offence.

You can read the article in full here.

Recent deals

We have recently advised:

  1. Online estate agent Yopa on a £16m funding round
  2.  A tech services group on four acquisitions and an IPO
  3.  An ‘agri-tech’ start-up on a new investment into ways to reduce atmospheric pollution from cattle
  4.  A food-tech innovator, which uses AI to offer personalised, nutritinoal, high-quality meals, on an investment round led by Ocado
  5.  Smart Pension on a strategic investment from J.P. Morgan
  6.  On the sale of RSRCHXchange, a technology-led digital marketplace for buying and selling research
  7.  All3Media on an acquisition of award-winning sports producer Aurora Media Worldwide
  8.  A car subscription platform on a significant investment round
  9.  Cult fashion brand Astrid & Miyu on a £4m investment round
  10.  Venture capital firm Earlybird on $4.4m Series A investment in Lexoo, a legal tech start-up
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