• 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.
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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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.

The salvation of "dark" trading?

Many commentators felt the planned introduction of MiFID II along with a wave of other regulation in the aftermath of the financial crisis would see the end of the use of dark pools by trading firms and investment banks. Recent announcements by the London Stock Exchange (“LSE”) and Deutsche Börse mean the rumours of the dark pool’s demise may have been premature.

Dark pools operate as an organised system for trading shares where the transactions take place with no pre-trade transparency. Information on quotes, bid and offer levels are not publicly available information. A dark pool aims to match two parties who are looking to trade in similar sized transactions with the price of the transaction often determined by reference to an external system. Although there is no pre-trade transparency, transactions executed in a dark pool are subject to post-trade transparency.

Under MiFID I, dark pools in shares can be operated either by regulated markets and multilateral trading facilities or as internal matching systems run by an investment firm or investment bank. MiFID I requires that all trading venues provide pre-trade and post-trade transparency in shares admitted to trading on regulated markets. However MiFID I allows venues to avoid pre-trade transparency by providing for a price waiver (where no transparency is required if the price is taken from another market, such as a mid-point price) and a negotiated trade waiver (where it is thought that direct negotiations between parties leading to a bilateral transaction do not need to be subject to pre-trade transparency). A dark pool, therefore, provides a trading system where shares can be traded without creating a significant market impact on the trade price because the trade is not disclosed to the market until after it is concluded. This can be helpful to certain traders, especially those transacting in larger than average trade sizes, and it offers the possibility for parties to trade within the prevailing spread at transparent trading venues. Such systems and trading venues operating in this way are generally open to a wide range of different types of investors, including institutional investors, high frequency trading firms and firms acting on behalf of retail investors.

Due to the perceived risks of these “hidden trades” and the potential conflict of interest with investment firms executing client trades in their own dark pools, regulators have moved to address this area.  Thus MiFID II will introduce limitations on the use of the pre-trade transparency waivers in the equity markets. On implementation (currently expected in January 2018), for equities a double volume cap mechanism limits the use of reference price waivers and negotiated price waivers (4% per venue cap and 8% global cap). Large-in-scale waivers and order management waivers remain the same as under MiFID I. MiFID II also broadens the pre- and post-trade transparency regime to include non-equity instruments, although in view of the specificities of non-equity instruments, pre-trade transparency waivers are available for large orders, request for quote and voice trading. Post trade transparency is provided for all financial instruments with the possibility of deferred publication or volume masking as appropriate.

Both the LSE and Deutsche Börse have recently announced that they have developed MiFID II compliant dark pools in which traders will be able to move large trades without pre-trade transparency. Deutsche Börse's model operates by only allowing those involved in a similar deal to see the order that has been placed on the venue. The LSE model enhances its hidden “Mid-Price Pegged Order functionality” designed to facilitate large scale dark trading. The LSE system will allow traders to enter an order at the current market mid-point without displaying either price or volume to other participants. These orders will then be able to interact with both the displayed orders (lit) and other hidden orders on the order book (dark). The LSE claim that in the post-MiFID II environment, where dark pool trading will be constrained, those using their new model will benefit from a new central destination for trading large blocks of shares in a dark environment.

 For more information please contact the Financial Regulatory team at Kemp Little.