The UK’s autonomous sanctions regime came into effect on 31 December 2020. Regulations made to date cover country-specific regimes (including recently Belarus, Somalia and Myanmar) and thematic regimes (including in relation to cyber-crime, human rights violations and corruption). The UK has had the opportunity to make a number of substantive changes to its approach to sanctions which we explore more in this section.
Over the past year, large hedge funds, investment banks, custodians, and asset managers have increasingly entered markets for cryptoassets and are forming critical mass. The Bank of England considers that this could “increase the interlinkages between cryptoassets and other systemic financial markets and institutions.” As these “interlinkages” between the cryptoasset world and traditional financial markets grow, so does legal risk.
Group litigation, as every defendant knows and fears, makes it economic for claimants to pursue claims which are individually modest in financial terms but which in aggregate make it worthwhile for litigation funders to support litigation on a basis which is cost and risk free to claimants but can be highly problematic for defendants. In this section, we explore the following areas which we think are particularly in focus for group proceedings in the short to medium term: ESG, fintech, anti-competitive behaviour, LIBOR and cybercrime.
The civil court system has coped surprisingly well with the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic and consequent closure of nearly all court buildings in England and Wales. In particular, the courts’ response to the pandemic has caused shifts in the approach to dispute resolution, which are likely to impact parties engaged in civil litigation at all levels of the court system for years to come.