Uncategorized

Post Archives


Department for International Trade Briefing

The British American Business Council of Greater Philadelphia

Department for International Trade Briefing

On Monday, May 15, 2017 BABC Board Members along with a select group of executives from other businesses and regional organizations visited the British Consulate in New York City.   More than 50 people participated in the meeting led by Ross Allen, Director, Department for International Trade (DIT), USA and Deputy Consul General in New York.  Ross opened the meeting with a briefing and high level overview of what is currently happening in the UK.  Theresa May’s surprise June 8 general election announcement started a period of “purdah” (the pre-election phase in the UK, specifically the time between an announced election and the final election results).  Ross introduced members of his team, and a leader from each sector represented spoke about their campaigns and regional opportunities in the Greater Philadelphia region.

Rhett Workman, BABC Chairman, talked about the BABC mission – bringing businesses together to bolster the trade and commercial relationship between the US and the UK. He presented the BABC as the go to organization for British business development in the region.  The BABC’s job is to help members connect the dots, and create valuable relationships to enhance their businesses.  Rhett mentioned the importance of partnering with DIT and other organizations in order to best serve our members.

Rebecca Lewis, Deputy Head of Trade & Investment, New York is the DIT liaison on the BABC Board of Directors. She is also the lead for the energy sector.  Rebecca kicked-off the DIT sector discussion and financial services, life sciences, advanced engineering, UN trade, food & drink, retail, tech & digital followed.  The breadth and scope of DIT’s work is expansive and impressive.

Everyone sitting around the table had the opportunity to introduce themselves. A dynamic question and answer session followed, focusing on how DIT generates their business; the areas of growth and greatest focus for the UK government; and trends related to trade with the US and the rest of the world.

The BABC thanks DIT for hosting this informative meeting and for the valuable time spent speaking with us about their role and objectives. The BABC invites DIT sector leads to contact us when they are in the Greater Philadelphia region.

Click here to view photos from the event.


The 2017 Transatlantic Conference – Recap

Each year the BABC brings together global business leaders to promote dialogue between the United States and United Kingdom. This year Chicago hosted the annual meeting.  The two-day Conference explored the 2017 theme “Navigating the New World,” focusing on evolving opportunities as the United States, Canada, and Europe absorb changes in the realities of economies, trade, borders, and governance.

The program opened at Shedd Aquarium on Wednesday evening, May 10. Lawrence Geller, CBE and Chairman of the 2017 Transatlantic Conference introduced speakers: Robert Winslow, Chairman, CBRE; Stephen Bridges, LVO, British Consul General; and Brad Keywell, Co-Founder Groupon, Uptake Technologies, Echo Global Logistics, MediaOcean, and Lightbank, to name just some of his ventures.  These dynamic speakers set the tone for the conference and paved the way for more than 40 presenters who engaged conference attendees in meaningful dialogue throughout the day on Thursday, May 11.

Sessions began very early on Thursday, and were planned down to the minute. Speakers presented in the Cathedral Room of the University Club – a remarkable building.  Leading global multinational executives spoke about: healthcare; energy; UK/US consumer trends; global talent mobility; big data; fintech; financial markets; and the dynamics of enterprises and startups.  Penny Prizker, Chairman, PSP Capital Partners and the 38th US Secretary of Commerce was the keynote speaker.  The day concluded with a closing reception and dinner at the legendary Art Institute of Chicago, in the Terzo Piano Modern Wing.  The Lyric Opera received the 2017 British Consul General Award and JB Pritzker, Chairman of the Pritzker Group was the keynote speaker.  PJ O’Rourke provided entertainment, and comic relief.

The 2017 Transatlantic Conference was flawless. It was meticulously planned and organized.  Attendees enjoyed the educational panels and speakers, and networking with senior business, government and academic participants from across many industries and regions.  We offer special thanks and congratulations to the Chicago BABC Chapter for hosting.

Click here to view photos.


2017 Summer International Business Networking Reception

For the seventh consecutive year, members and friends of Philadelphia’s international chambers have joined forces to host an international business networking reception to celebrate Philadelphia’s status as a top US destination for foreign direct investment and commercial trade.

On the evening of July 26th, join hundreds of your business peers to network together and reaffirm Philadelphia’s economic, political, and commercial impact as an influential global city.

Date: Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Time: 5:00 to 7:00 pm

Venue: National Museum of American Jewish History, 101 South Independence Mall East

 


Uber & Out – What Happens After Start Up?

On Thursday, April 27, 2017, the BABC of Greater Philadelphia Young Professionals Group (YPG) hosted the sixth annual panel discussion and networking event: Uber and Out – What Happens After Start Up? Young professional entrepreneurs are the driving force behind current economic development in our region and around the world.  The creative and information technology sectors are two of the fastest growing industries.  This discussion focused on our region’s entrepreneurial-friendly environment, and how Philadelphia compares to other Smart Cities.  Panelists addressed the Internet of Things and how this topic is shaping not only regional development, but the trajectory of the global economy.  Creative and information technology sectors, innovation, Smart Cities, young professional entrepreneurs, Brexit, and cybersecurity were all part of the discussion.  Jason Gosselin, Partner at Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, moderated the session and led the panelists through their talk.  It was a free-flowing, dynamic discussion with questions from the audience peppered throughout.

Dimitris Horiatis, Vice-Consul, ICT & Creative Media, Department for International Trade, set the stage. He discussed the creative sector, the largest sector in the UK after financial services.  The UK is setting trends in music, art, and advertising.  The largest global brands are concentrated in London.  The UK spends a higher proportion of its GDP on advertising than other major markets, and leads Europe in digital advertising. Its £8.6bn digital advertising market is bigger than the French and German markets combined and only second to China’s in terms of its share in proportion to the overall advertising market.  Technology is creating new developments in the creative sector.  The crossover generated by VR / AR technology and creative approaches to traditional industries and enterprise is a key UK opportunity.  UK software and tools businesses are creating new platforms for content development.  While hardware manufacture is unlikely to form a key part of the UK VR industry, UK companies are able to deliver software tools and peripherals to support VR content production and experience.  US companies looking to expand internationally choose to look toward the UK first for automotive, consumer goods, multiculturalism, and a large talent pool.  The UK is interested in negotiating a favorable trade deal with the EU – this will create and grow the international talent pool.  Philadelphia is a key market for the UK due to geography/accessibility.  The Greater Philadelphia region boasts a burgeoning tech sector and artistic community, making it a great partner for UK businesses.

Ellen Hwang, Program Manager for Innovation Management, City of Philadelphia and Archna Sahay, Director of Entrepreneurial Investment, Department of Commerce, City of Philadelphia explained the “Smart City” initiative and how the region compares to other areas. They discussed the important economic development impact of start-ups, and the entrepreneurial community, and civic tech organizations in Philadelphia.  Archna highlighted the StartupPHL program – a platform supporting entrepreneurs in the City – and what commerce is doing to enhance this initiative.  Philadelphia is at the forefront and can provide leadership outside of the City.

Jay Jumper, Partner, Pepper Hamilton LLP spoke about emerging companies and venture capital markets. He provided data and other findings from 2016 and talked about the economic outlook for 2017.  Jay’s discussion touched upon market performance, trends and expectations, and the “hot” sectors.  Where and what are the trends for entrepreneurs to seek capital and grow their business?  What does “working smarter” mean and how are emerging companies embracing these trends?  For example, Jay highlighted shared workspace, networking and meet-up groups, online resources and tools.  Jay discussed what’s unique about Philly and the local start-up environment.

Sophie Ding, Senior, Advisory Services – Cybersecurity, Ernst and Young LLP highlighted the key trends in the global cybersecurity market. She talked about Brexit and cybersecurity and what BABC members need to know.  Disruptive technology, like that of Uber for example, creates new risks for businesses and individuals.  Sophie also touched upon her Firm’s entrepreneurial environment, innovation and thought leadership in emerging technologies.

Shari Shapiro, Senior Manager for Public Affairs for Pennsylvania and Delaware at Uber, talked about the City’s adoption of Uber, drivers and riders. She provided interesting international visitor stats for the Greater Philadelphia region.  Uber had riders from 76 different countries last month, and many more during the DNC and other major events.  Shari explained how Uber has met with success and grown through partnerships with local institutions.  She explained how there have been challenges and hurdles in the regulatory environment both at the State and City levels.  Uber and companies like Uber are imploring the City to translate “Philadelphia is open for business” into practice.

While each presenter covered a different topic, a consistency across the board was the importance of education – developing a pipeline of STEM students and ensuring diversity and minority participation. Mentoring future professionals and grooming the up and coming working pool of potential employees will provide a competitive advantage for businesses and our region.

Conversation and questions from the audience could have gone on well into the evening. Jason thanked partnering organizations: Philly Startup Leaders (PSL) and Select Greater Philadelphia.  PSL began in September of 2007 as a handful of entrepreneurs meeting in the back of a neighborhood bar to trade war stories – fast forward and PSL years later has thousands of members.  PSL is a volunteer, grassroots organization of startup entrepreneurs dedicated to helping each other on their entrepreneurial journeys.  PSL provides emotional and practical support to mentor and coach new entrepreneurs.  The group collaborates and connects with other people and organizations who are not themselves entrepreneurial.  Select Greater Philadelphia is the region’s business attraction organization for the 11 counties within the Greater Philadelphia Region.  Select provides comprehensive regional data to help companies, site selectors, economic development teams, real estate professionals and others make informed decisions when relocating to and expanding across the Greater Philadelphia marketplace.  Jason asked Jane Rosenberg, BABC Executive Director to pull the winning business card for four tickets to a Philadelphia Union home game this season.  Lastly, he thanked BABC Marketing & Communications Chairman and long-time board member Ian Cross, proprietor of the Trestle Inn for hosting us.  Jason encouraged attendees to join us for our next program – International Soccer Night at Talen Energy Stadium to watch Philadelphia Union vs. Houston Dynamo on Wednesday, May 17 from 6-9:30 pm.

Attendees networked long after the formal part of the program ended. Everyone enjoyed their signature whiskey sours, while developing new and enhancing old business ties. http://www.thetrestleinn.com/

Special thanks to Philly Startup Leaders and Select Greater Philadelphia for partnering with us.

Click here to view photos from the event.

Philadelphia Business Journal Article


Opening of “Their Finest”

STX Entertainment’s new British historical drama, THEIR FINEST, opened at the Ritz Five last week and is expanding to additional theatres including the United Artists King of Prussia and Bryn Mawr Film Institute.

Inspiring, funny and genuinely romantic, “Their Finest” is a solid, refreshing crowd-pleaser.” Lindsey Bahr, ASSOCIATED PRESS

“A heart tugging salute to all the impossible dreamers who believe in the magic of the movies” Allan Hunter, SCREEN INTERNATIONAL

‘Their Finest’ delivers in a way that would please the Ministry of Information: it’s rousing and emotional, there are laughs and tears, and it portrays people trying and, mostly, succeeding at being their best selves in the service of their country.” Alonso Duralde, THE WRAP

Cast:

Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin, and Bill Nighy

Director:

Lone Scherfig

Writer:

Screenplay by Gaby Chiappe

Based on the novel by Lissa Evans

Producers:

Stephen Woolley, Amanda Posey Finola Dwyer, Elizabeth Karlsen

With London emptied of its men now fighting at the Front, Catrin Cole (Gemma Arterton) is

hired by the British Ministry as a “slop” scriptwriter charged with bringing “a woman’s touch”

to morale-boosting propaganda films. Her natural flair quickly gets her noticed by dashing

movie producer Buckley (Sam Claflin) whose path would never have crossed hers in peacetime.

As bombs are dropping all around them, Catrin, Buckley and a colorful crew work furiously to

make a film that will warm the hearts of the nation. Although Catrin’s artist husband looks

down on her job, she quickly discovers there is as much camaraderie, laughter and passion

behind the camera as there is onscreen.

 


Club Level Feature: Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP

‘BREALITY CHECK’—BREXIT UPDATEs AND THIRD COUNTRY PASSPORTING IMPLICATIONS

By: Morgan Lewis Partners Simon Currie and William Yonge

Recent April 2017 Update

On 24 January 2017, the UK Supreme Court by a majority of 8-3 found that the UK government could not decide to trigger withdrawal from the EU under the relevant Treaty without the prior approval of Parliament. In early March, the UK Parliament confirmed the result of the referendum on 23 June 2016 by voting in both Houses in favour of the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill which received the Royal Assent on 16 March. On 29 March, just over 44 years since the UK joined what was then called the European Economic Community on 1 January 1973, Prime Minister May notified the European Council in accordance with Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union of the UK’s intention to withdraw from the EU. The UK government’s Department for Exiting the European Union then published a White Paper entitled “Legislating for the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union” in which it published its plans to bring to Parliament a Great Repeal Bill which will repeal the European Communities Act 1972, the statute that gives effect to EU law under UK law and renders EU law supreme over UK law; that repeal will take place on the day the UK leaves the EU and the Great Repeal Bill will also convert EU law as it applies in the UK into UK domestic law to facilitate an orderly transition and confer powers on the UK Government to correct or remove the laws that would otherwise not function properly once the UK has left the EU on a case by case basis from time to time.

There are three stages of Brexit, the first being the period that occurred prior to the UK submitting notice of its intention to withdraw. Stage two began when the government gave notice to the EU of its intention to exit the EU and began the process of exiting. Stage two will be by far the most significant stage embodying the UK-EU negotiations for Brexit, which will shape UK-EU relations and Britain’s post-Brexit future for decades to come. The timetable for that process is initially set at two years, but with power to extend. Strictly in terms of EU legality, stage three is when the exit process is complete and the UK is able to “go it alone” in negotiating its post-Brexit future with the rest of the world; however, the UK is understandably reluctant to wait for the actual exit before embarking on stage three, which will last for years, so will begin stage three early (or, at least, early in the eyes of the EU) once it has given notice to quit. The reality is that, overall, although an exit from the EU will be on a two year time frame, the entire process could last five to ten years.

Any Brexit deal will encompass a wide range of workstreams covering Britain’s legal separation from the EU; a withdrawal agreement under which existing assets and liabilities will be allocated; a free trade agreement covering the UK’s future relationship with the EU (EU-UK FTA); a transitional phase between Brexit and commencement of the EU-UK FTA; accession to full membership of the World Trade Organisation; new free trade agreements to replace those between the EU and 53 other countries; and cooperation in the realms of defence, foreign policy, and security. Negotiation of fair and mutual transitional arrangements will be key for the economies of the UK and the EU to avoid adverse results of the “cliff edge” variety upon the UK’s exit.

There is a spectrum of possible outcomes of any Brexit deal, bookended by “hard Brexit” and “soft Brexit”. However, neither of those terms can clearly be defined. Some define “hard Brexit” as rejecting privileged access to the EU single market in return for submitting to some EU laws and institutions, While the swirl of day-by-day posturing, partisan commentary, and reluctance of the UK and EU authorities to reveal their negotiating hands make it challenging to discern probable routes forward and plan accordingly, there is no reason why even a “hard Brexit” cannot encompass access to the single market for financial services companies.

 

In this article, we explore how the established EU concept of third country passporting for financial services firms could mitigate the adverse effects of any exit from the EU single market for London as a leading world financial centre.

Passporting

The City of London is one of the world’s leading financial centres, vying only with New York City for the top spot. As such, many financial services firms choose the UK to headquarter their businesses, anchoring themselves in a convenient time zone and location from which to access the European and global markets. Post-referendum, the primary concern of financial services professionals is whether they will be able to continue to access the European single market for financial services. This begs the question of whether the UK, in its Brexit trade deal negotiations, will accept the fundamental European principle of the free movement of people in order to gain such access.

The importance of the EU passport and access to the single market should not be underestimated. According to the European Banking Authority, there are more than 2,000 UK investment firms carrying on Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) business which benefit from an outbound MiFID passport:

  • Nearly 75% of all MiFID outbound passporting by firms across the EU is undertaken by UK firms into the EEA;
  • 2,079 UK firms use the MiFID passport to access markets in other EU countries; and
  • more than 50% of all investment firms authorised under MiFID are based in the UK.

 

In addition, the European Securities and Markets Authority’s (ESMA’s) opinion of 30 July 2015 on the functioning of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) passport noted that out of 7,868 AIFs notified for marketing in other EU member states, including sub-funds of umbrella AIFs, 63.8% of those (5,027 AIFs) were from the UK.

In addition, out of the 1,777 non-EU AIFMs marketing AIFs in EU member states, 1,013 (57%) were marketing AIFs in the UK. The figures are clear—the UK generates a significant proportion of the EU’s MiFID and AIFMD passporting business. Conversely, the UK financial services sector benefits hugely from the EU passport and access to the single market. For completeness, passporting rights also exist under the Insurance Mediation Directive, Mortgage Credit Directive, Electronic Money Directive, Capital Requirements Directive and Solvency II. However, those directives are outside the scope of this article.

In a recent wider analysis by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) which took into account all the passporting directives, FCA found the following:

 

Total Inbound from

EU27 into UK

Outbound from

UK into EU27

Number of passports in total 359,953 23,532 336,421
Number of firms using passporting 13,484 8,008 5,476

 

Many firms hold more than one passport; hence, there are significantly more passports than firms.

The optimal outcome for UK financial services firms that wish to retain their current access to the single market in financial services would be a bespoke deal, but if not achievable, the third country passport can mitigate the issues arising from withdrawal of passporting rights.

Upon the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, the passporting regime will, broadly, cease to apply to UK-authorised firms. In other words, the following will be the case:

  • Investment firms, banks, and fund managers will no longer be able to passport into, or establish branches in, the remaining EU member states.
  • Firms will not be able to market Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS) and AIFs EU-wide on a passported basis.
  • Firms will only be able to market AIFs EU-wide using local private placement regimes.
  • Investment managers will need to acquire local authorizations to conduct investment activities in each EU member state in which they operate.
  • Many investment firms, banks, and fund managers would need to consider whether to relocate their base of operations in an EU country while retaining a substantial UK foothold in order to retain the passport.

Options if the UK Does Not Negotiate Continuing Access to the Single Market

The EU has already recognised the concept of non-EU or third country access to the passport, provided that stringent (but, in our opinion, entirely achievable) conditions are met. The best current examples of that are the AIFMD, the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR), and to some extent, the Prospectus Directive. In addition, MiFID II—due to come into force in January 2018—provides for such access, albeit in the non-retail sector only. However, the UCITS regime does not envisage the extension of its regime to non-EU countries, as by definition UCITS and their managers must be domiciled in the EU.

AIFMD Third Country Passport

AIFMD contemplates that non-EU AIFMs in eligible third countries may benefit from the right to manage AIFs and/or market units or shares of AIFs throughout the EU with a passport. At present, no such passports have been granted. However, the process for doing so is well underway. Canada, Guernsey, Japan, Jersey, and Switzerland have recently been given a “favourable opinion” by the ESMA in its advice to the European Commission on the extension of the AIFMD passport. In addition, ESMA has given favourable but qualified opinions regarding the same in respect of Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the United States, but has not yet been able to provide definitive advice in relation to Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, and the Isle of Man. The Commission is deliberating on the timing, and it is not clear when the third country passport will become available to AIFs and AIFMs based in a third country that has already been given a favourable opinion by ESMA.

If the UK was to leave its current AIFMD-compliant regime in place, it ought to be technically straightforward, following Brexit, for the AIFMD passport to be extended to the UK. If so, UK AIFMs managing EU AIFs and/or non-EU AIFs could become authorised under AIFMD by achieving authorised status in an EU country and could continue to use marketing and management passports subject to a positive opinion from ESMA and a decision by the Commission that the UK qualifies for such treatment under the applicable criteria. However, political considerations would be inherent within any such decision and would likely complicate it.

MiFID II Third Country Passport

The Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation (MiFIR), which is due to come into force in January 2018 (and forms part of the MiFID II regime), entitles “third country” investment firms to provide investment services only to professional clients across the EU upon registration with ESMA. Registration will be contingent upon a range of conditions, including a decision made by the Commission that the relevant third country’s prudential and business conduct framework is equivalent to EU standards.

Would the UK pass the third country test?

In our opinion, yes. On 24 June, the FCA made it clear that firms are to continue down the road to implementation and are to comply with all EU legislation until further notice. As such, if the UK implements in full the provisions of MiFID II, it ought to be a relatively simple process, following Brexit, for the MiFID II passport to be extended to the UK, thus providing firms with non-retail single market access. However, political considerations could trump that.

EMIR Third Country Passport

EMIR is the product of an international initiative of the G20 developed in the wake of the Great Recession. With this in mind, the UK is unlikely to want to unravel EMIR post-Brexit. Since in a post-Brexit world a UK undertaking would no longer be established in the EU, under EMIR, UK undertakings that are currently financial counterparties or non-financial counterparties would become third country entities (TCEs) for EMIR purposes and no longer directly subject to EMIR. However, EMIR does impact TCEs when they trade with EU counterparties, and to that extent EMIR will continue to impact the same post-Brexit.

The City of London boasts some of the world’s largest clearing houses, and at least three of them are currently permitted under EMIR to provide clearing services to clearing members and trading venues throughout the EU in their capacity as ESMA-authorised central counterparties (CCPs). Post-Brexit, however, a UK CCP would become a third country CCP. Under EMIR, a third country CCP can only provide clearing services to clearing members or trading venues established in the EU where that CCP is specifically recognised by ESMA. This would require, among other things, clearing houses operating out of London to apply to ESMA for recognition, the Commission to pass an implementing act on the equivalence of the UK’s regime to EMIR, and relevant cooperation arrangements to be put in place between the EU and the UK—a lengthy process overall and one thrown into doubt by Brexit.

Encouragingly for the UK, since 27 April 2015, 19 third country CCPs have been recognised by ESMA emanating from Australia, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, Mexico, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland, and most recently the United States. Clearly, there is an appetite within ESMA and the EU for third country CCPs to provide services within the EU, and post-Brexit, we believe that financial institutions based in the EU will certainly want to continue to access UK regulated markets and CCPs.

Prospectus Directive Third Country Passport

As an EU member state, the UK is currently a participant in the Prospectus Directive’s passporting regime for prospectuses. Any failure by the UK to secure continued access to the single market would bring challenges. Notably, prospectuses approved in an EU member state in connection with a listing on a regulated market in that member state would need to be recognised by the FCA in order to be approved for UK listing purposes. Conversely, prospectuses approved in the UK would need to be approved afresh by the regulatory authority in an EU member state under applicable Prospectus Directive standards for the prospectus to be used for a listing on a regulated market in that state.

However, under the Prospectus Directive, an EU member state regulator is able to approve a prospectus approved in a “third country” if the Commission is satisfied that the prospectus was drawn up in accordance with international standards, and that the relevant third country’s prospectus content requirements were equivalent to those in the Prospectus Directive. Provided the UK’s prospectus requirements do not change dramatically from what are currently in place, we believe that the UK’s requirements should be considered equivalent to the Prospectus Directive requirements for the purposes of listing in the EU.

UCITS

UCITS funds and their managers (but not necessarily the delegates of their managers), by definition, must be domiciled in the EU. Unlike AIFMD, EMIR, MiFID II and the Prospectus Directive, the UCITS regime does not envisage the extension of its regime to non-EU countries. In other words, UK UCITS funds would no longer qualify as UCITS. Instead, UCITS would become AIFs. This means that UK-based UCITS funds would no longer be automatically marketable to the public in the EU and would therefore become subject to local private placement regimes. Conversely, a UCITS fund established, say, in Ireland or Luxembourg, would no longer be marketable in the UK to the general public, and a management company based in Ireland or Dublin would no longer be entitled to provide management services to a UK-based UCITS fund.

During any Brexit negotiations, insertion of a “third country” equivalence test into the UCITS regime may be used as leverage by the EU negotiating team in exchange for concessions by the UK. Any third country equivalence regime that is substantially similar to that under AIFMD and MiFID II would be well received in the City of London and would provide the necessary reassurance for financial services firms operating in the UCITS space.

What Should You Be Doing Now?

There are a number of actions we recommend that firms consider taking in order to prepare for the eventuality of Brexit:

  1. Monitor Brexit developments and consult your legal services providers to help you understand these developments as they unfold.
  2. Develop a contingency plan for a “hard Brexit” and how to respond to withdrawal of passporting rights and the absence of a third country equivalent mitigant.
  3. Consider a review of your existing contracts:
  • The jurisdictional scope of your contracts may be limited. The definition of “EEA” may need to be redefined to continue to cover the UK in the event of Brexit.
  • Current investment strategies may require updating. In particular, investment strategies that permit investments in the EEA may need to be amended in order for investments in the UK to continue to be permitted.
  • There may be force majeure implications. Uncertainty may drive parties to look for an exit from contracts that are no longer profitable or are underperforming. EU law provisions may render contracts incapable of being performed as originally anticipated. Parties looking for flexibility in such circumstances should consider including Brexit in their force majeure provisions.
  • Termination rights. Those wishing for the option to withdraw from potentially loss-making contracts should consider drafting termination rights which will apply in the event of a Brexit (i.e., consider drafting and quantifying withdrawal rights in the event of a “material adverse financial event/downturn” in the markets).
  1. Lobby the UK government:
  • We recommend lobbying the UK government, either directly or through your relevant trade association, to ensure that your voice is heard and that key financial services sector considerations will be on the agenda when a Brexit deal is negotiated.
  • In addition to the range of sectoral trade associations, there are various lobby groups in existence, such as TheCityUK, whose aim is to preserve access to the European markets; the European Financial Services Chairmen’s Advisory Committee which is chaired by Shriti Vadera, former Labour business minister, and the Financial Services Negotiation Forum.

Resources

For further information on the implications of Brexit, please visit Morgan Lewis’s Brexit Resource Centre.

Contacts

If you have any questions or would like more information on the issues discussed in this LawFlash, please contact any of the following Morgan Lewis lawyers:
US

Michael Pedrick

London

Simon Currie

William Yonge

 

About Morgan Lewis

Morgan Lewis offers more than 2,200 lawyers, patent agents, benefits advisers, regulatory scientists, and other specialists in 30 offices* across North America, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. The firm provides comprehensive litigation, corporate, transactional, regulatory, intellectual property, and labor and employment legal services to clients of all sizes—from globally established industry leaders to just-conceived start-ups.

 

 


BABC New Member: Spring 2017

John Connolly

Willis Towers Watson
5 Radnor Corporate Center
Radnor, PA 19087
P: 610-212-0680
E: john.a.connolly@willistowerswatson.com


Human Interest Feature: Navigating the New World

2017 BABC Transatlantic Conference – Navigating the New World
By Alicia Talucci, BABC Coordinator

Every year, the British American Business Council picks a chapter to host its Transatlantic Conference. This year the Transatlantic Conference will be held in “The Windy City”. Chicago will host participants on May 10-11, 2017 for an invigorating discussion based on the thought leadership of Senior Executives.

This year’s theme will be “Navigating the New World,” a perfect sentiment to the changing international economic climate. The majority of the focus will be on the new opportunities presented to the US, Canada, & Europe, the realities these countries will face upon new trade agreements, changing economies, and new leadership and governance.

Many are buzzing about the relevance this particular conference has in light of so many changes around the world. CEO of the British American Business Council, Jeffries Briginshaw said, “This yearly conference brings together our UK-US business network to offer thought-leadership and substantive networking. Now, more than ever, business leaders are seeking connections with each other and engagement with local governments on both side of the Atlantic, in order to better navigate an uncertain global future.”

Laurence Geller, Chairman, 2017 Transatlantic Conference said, “It is this backdrop of uncertainty and change that makes BABC’s Annual Transatlantic Conference so exceedingly important. With Thought Leadership as its underlying theme, the discussions will not only inform, identify the power and relevance of strategic partnerships and, without a doubt, provide an important voice in the policy debates proliferating on both sides of the Atlantic.”

This year’s conference follows two very successful conferences in London and New York. Engage with over 2,000 member companies from 22 chapters worldwide. Build valuable business connections, and connect with experts to shed light on the exciting future that lies ahead.

To register and for a full comprehensive list of speakers and topics, please click here.

 


President’s Letter: Spring 2017

rhett-workman

Dear BABC Members and Friends,

As our fiscal year winds down I would like to remind you to put your membership dollars to work, and of the value of BABC programing. In the digital age we rarely have the opportunity to network face-to-face or to meet and hear from expert business leaders all together in one room.  The BABC offers approximately one event per month, affording members the opportunity to market their services and to meet like-minded international business executives.  We have had a superb year, and we will be ending on a high note with several exciting activities.

We are pleased to announce we are working on a new logo and several other important marketing initiatives, all of which reflects BABC’s drive to better serve its membership on US/UK trade and investment matters. Our annual membership directory – including a listing of the who’s who of global commerce in the region; a guide to valuable business services on both sides of the Atlantic; trade statistics; a review of our events; and advertising – will hit members’ desks mid-summer.

This month we are hosting our Sixth Annual Young Professionals Group panel discussion and networking event, and next month we are going to the British Consulate-General and the Department for International Trade Office in New York City for an update on Brexit and to learn about their services and sector campaigns. Pre-registration for this special program is required.  If you are interested in attending, please contact us directly.  Also in May, we are hosting International Soccer Night at Talen Energy Stadium in collaboration with several other chambers.  Lastly, at the end of May the BABC Board of Directors are inviting prospects to an exclusive membership development meeting and dinner.

Our job is to serve you and ensure you are fully engaged in BABC activities. As we plan for next year please contact us with programing ideas or initiatives you would like to be involved in.  We look forward to seeing you often during the next few months.

Sincerely,

 

Rhett D. Workman

President, British American Business Council of Greater Philadelphia


BREAKING NEWS – UK Triggers Article 50

BAB Statement – please attribute all comments to BritishAmerican Business CEO Jeffries Briginshaw

“Today, the UK Government officially notified the European Commission of its intention to withdraw from the European Union. While the majority of BritishAmerican Business members had not been in favor of leaving the EU, they remain fully committed and ambitious when it comes to their business in the UK and in the transatlantic economy.

“Our members want the UK to remain an attractive place to live, work and invest in. For that to work, it is imperative that the UK makes its relationship with the EU work for business and that Government delivers on its promise to offer the business community a clear and realistic time frame and pathway for an ambitious future relationship with the EU, post-Brexit, right from the start of the negotiations.

“We welcome the UK Government’s efforts to consult and work with the business community in this important time of change, and we look forward to increasing the level of exchange between all departments involved; particularly as the negotiations will need to address complex issues, such as talent mobility, data flows, customs and regulation/ standards. It will be critical to provide clarity on how these issues are addressed during the time of the negotiations and after in order to minimize business disruption and facilitate the transition to the post-Brexit state.

“BritishAmerican Business brings together leading British firms and major US investors, who alone stand for 46% of Foreign Direct Investment in the UK. During these uncertain times, the UK-US economic relationship is, and remains, a significant source of strength and opportunity. To further build on this transatlantic relationship, it is important that the relationship between the UK and the EU delivers a healthy business environment for both the UK and the EU”.

## ENDS ## 

For more information please contact: Tim Horan, Communications Manager
Email: thoran@babinc.org; Tel: +44(0)207 2909878

↑ back to top


The BABCGP recognizes our Club Level Members:

  • American Airlines
  • Bartlett
  • Cigna
  • Deloitte
  • Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
  • Duane Morris
  • Ernst & Young
  • HSBC
  • KPMG
  • McConnell Johnson Real Estate
  • Morgan Lewis
  • Law Firm of Pepper Hamilton
  • PriceWaterhouseCoopers
  • TD Bank
  • United Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic