• At Kemp Little, we are known for our ability to serve the very particular needs of a large but diverse technology client base. Our hands-on industry know-how makes us a good fit with many of the world's biggest technology and digital media businesses, yet means we are equally relevant to companies with a technology bias, in sectors such as professional services, financial services, retail, travel and healthcare.
  • Kemp Little specialises in the technology and digital media sectors and provides a range of legal services that are crucial to fast-moving, innovative businesses.Our blend of sector awareness, technical excellence and responsiveness, means we are regularly ranked as a leading firm by directories such as Legal 500, Chambers and PLC Which Lawyer. Our practice areas cover a wide range of legal issues and advice.
  • Our Commercial Technology team has established itself as one of the strongest in the UK. We are ranked in Legal 500, Chambers & Partners and PLC Which Lawyer, with four of our partners recommended.
  • Our team provides practical and commercial advice founded on years of experience and technical know-how to technology and digital media companies that need to be alert to the rules and regulations of competition law.
  • Our Corporate Practice has a reputation for delivering sound legal advice, backed up with extensive industry experience and credentials, to get the best results from technology and digital media transactions.
  • In the fast-changing world of employment law our clients need practical, commercial and cost-effective advice. They get this from our team of employment law professionals.
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  • We have an industry-leading reputation for our outsourcing expertise. Our professionals deliver credible legal advice to providers and acquirers of IT and business process outsourcing (BPO) services.
  • We work alongside companies, many with disruptive technologies, that seek funding, as well as with the venture capital firms, institutional investors and corporate ventures that want to invest in exciting business opportunities.
  • Our regulatory specialists work alongside Kemp Little’s corporate and commercial professionals to help meet their compliance obligations.
  • With a service that is commercial and responsive to our clients’ needs, you will find our tax advice easy to understand, cost-effective and geared towards maximising your tax benefits.
  • At Kemp Little, we advise clients in diverse sectors where technology is fundamental to the ongoing success of their businesses.They include companies that provide technology as a service and businesses where the use of technology is key to their business model, enabling them to bring their product or service to market.
  • We bring our commercial understanding of digital business models, our legal expertise and our reputation for delivering high quality, cost-effective services to this dynamic sector.
  • Acting for market leaders and market changers within the media industry, we combine in-depth knowledge of the structural technology that underpins content delivery and the impact of digitisation on the rights of producers and consumers.
  • We understand the risks facing this sector and work with our clients to conquer those challenges. Testimony to our success is the continued growth in our team of professionals and the clients we serve.
  • We advise at the forefront of the technological intersection between life sciences and healthcare. We advise leading technology and data analytics providers, healthcare institutions as well as manufacturers of medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biotechnological products.
  • For clients operating in the online sector, our teams are structured to meet their commercial, financing, M&A, competition and regulatory, employment and intellectual property legal needs.
  • Our focus on technology makes us especially well positioned to give advice on the legal aspects of digital marketing. We advise on high-profile, multi-channel, cross-border cases and on highly complex campaigns.
  • The mobile and telecoms sector is fast changing and hugely dependent on technology advances. We help mobile and wireless and fixed telecoms clients to tackle the legal challenges that this evolving sector presents.
  • Whether ERP, Linux or Windows; software or infrastructure as a service in the cloud, in a virtualised environment, or as a mobile or service-oriented architecture, we have the experience to resolve legal issues across the spectrum of commercial computer platforms.
  • Our clients trust us to apply our solutions and know-how to help them make the best use of technology in structuring deals, mitigating key risks to their businesses and in achieving their commercial objectives.
  • We have extensive experience of advising customers and suppliers in the retail sector on technology development, licensing and supply projects, and in advising on all aspects of procurement and online operations.
  • Our legal professionals work alongside social media providers and users in relation to the commercial, privacy, data, advertising, intellectual property, employment and corporate issues that arise in this dynamic sector.
  • Our years of working alongside diverse software clients have given us an in-depth understanding of the dynamics of the software marketplace, market practice and alternative negotiating strategies.
  • Working with direct providers of travel services, including aggregators, facilitators and suppliers of transport and technology, our team has developed a unique specialist knowledge of the sector
  • Your life as an entrepreneur is full of daily challenges as you seek to grow your business. One of the key strengths of our firm is that we understand these challenges.
  • Kemp Little is trusted by some of the world’s leading luxury brands and some of the most innovative e-commerce retailers changing the face of the industry.
  • HR Bytes is an exclusive, comprehensive, online service that will provide you with a wide range of practical, insightful and current employment law information. HR Bytes members get priority booking for events, key insight and a range of employment materials for free.
  • FlightDeck is our portal designed especially with start-up and emerging technology businesses in mind to help you get your business up and running in the right way. We provide a free pack of all the things no-one tells you and things they don’t give away to get you started.

Regulatory references: are you ready for 7 March 2017?

Financial services firms still have a few weeks to get ready for the new regulatory reference regime that comes into force on 7 March 2017. These rules have been introduced as part of the SMCR/SIMR accountability regimes and place obligations on all financial services firms, not just those currently caught by SMCR and SIMR. At our recent client roundtable event, just over half of those surveyed said that they were starting to review their internal policies but for others, there is still work to be done!

What are the new rules?

The reference rules replace the transitional arrangements which have been in place since March 2016 and will require all FCA regulated firms recruiting for certain roles, including SMFs, SIMFs, FCA-controlled functions, SHF, PRA-controlled functions, KFH and Notified NEDs to request regulatory references going back over the last six years of the applicant’s employment. Firms in receipt of such a request are required to provide a reference, covering the last six years and beyond in the event that the individual had committed serious misconduct at any point during their employment. References should be provided as soon as reasonably practicable and within 6 weeks of the request. Banks and insurance firms are required to respond to reference requests by using the FCA/PRA mandatory template but must also include all “relevant information” regarding the individual’s fit and proper status. Relevant information includes such information as the regulator would typically take into account, such as matters relating to conduct; honesty, integrity and reputation; competence and capability; and financial soundness. Other FS firms are not obliged to use the template when responding, but must still give all relevant information.

The new rules also contain an obligation to provide an updated reference where information comes to light after a reference has been given, where such information would have changed the contents of the original reference had it been known to the reference giver at the time it gave the original reference. The obligation extends to updating the current employer only and the firm updating the reference is required to take reasonable efforts to find out whether the firm(s) to which it has provided references in the past still employ the individual.

What must firms do now?

Under the new rules, firms are required to have appropriate policies and systems in place to enable them to meet their obligations, and for those firms in the SMCR and SIMR regimes, responsibility for the reference process will lie with a SMF or SIMF. This means that firms should now be:

  • Designing a reference policy and identifying the areas of the business responsible for managing and following it
  • Ensuring that data regarding performance and conduct is kept so as to allow references to be provided
  • Devising a system to allow for updating of references including a right of reply to the individual affected by the updated reference
  • Considering the impact of the new rules on existing systems and policies, such as recruitment, disciplinary procedures and remuneration/reward processes
  • Reviewing settlement agreements to ensure that the firm’s regulatory reference obligations are not fettered or limited
  • Training managers to ensure the new rules are taken into account on employee hires and exits

For advice on how best to meet your obligations under the new reference regime, please get in touch.

Contact our experts for further advice

Marian Bloodworth