Mon - Fri 08.30 - 18.00
Second Floor Goldsmith Building Temple London EC4Y 7BL
Tel: +44 020 7936 3637
Fax: +44 020 7583 2061
DX 458 London Chancery Lane
Chambers provides an out of hours service. If you call Chambers main number you will be diverted to the clerk on call who will be able to deal with your enquiry.
The new Prime Minister Theresa May has announced a review of the Modern Slavery Act 2015; it is clear that corporate compliance shall be high on the agenda in her first year in Office. She observed in robust terms a little over a year ago that “…it is not acceptable for any organisation to say, in the twenty-first century, that they did not know about slavery. It is not acceptable for organisations to ignore the issue because it is difficult or complex. And, it is certainly not acceptable for an organisation to put profit above the well-being of its employees and those working on its behalf”.
It is thus surprising that an independent survey by VinciWorks has revealed that only 9% of the FTSE 500 have fulfilled their disclosure duties under the terms of the Act. Not only are such companies at risk of financial penalties, it is plain that a company with strong policies in respect of slavery and corporate compliance will be attractive to clients and investors; as such they are damaging their reputation. We consider that it is only a matter of time before companies shall be named and shamed and the introductory grace period seemingly being afforded shall expire.
Modern slavery is undoubtedly extremely prevalent across the globe. The Modern Slavery Act provisions are designed to encourage businesses to tackle slavery in a proactive fashion. The relevant provisions in the Act requires that any commercial organisation in any sector, which supplies goods or services, and carries on a business or part of a business in the UK, and is above a specified total turnover (currently £36million) must produce a slavery and human trafficking statement for each financial year of the organisation. The obligation even applies to law firms; and not all of those have complied.
The statement must set out what steps the company have taken during the financial year to ensure that slavery is not occurring in their supply chains and in their own organisation. That statement must be readily available online, accessible from the company’s homepage.
If a business fails to produce a slavery and human trafficking statement for a particular financial year the Secretary of State may seek an injunction through the High Court requiring the organisation to comply. If the organisation fails to comply with the injunction they shall be in contempt of a court order, which is punishable by an unlimited fine (in addition to no doubt being obliged to pay the Secretary of State’s legal fees).
The same taken together with the potential damage to reputation means that those companies that have not complied should do so as matter or urgency. Those that are unsure if they are required to comply or whether their subsidies/supply chains are obliged, should seek advice at the earliest opportunity. A proactive approach, not reactive, is required.
It is advised by CORE that companies take action to understand the risks of modern slavery occurring in business operations, paying particular attention to business models, operating context and the nature and location of work. CORE suggest developing comprehensive policies which will influence decision-making within the business on a day to day basis in relation to slavery and human trafficking. Closely linked to the issue as to compliance in respect of the statement, is that companies should put in place procedures for reporting concerns over modern slavery within the company’s operations, including whistleblowing procedures. CORE also recommend that companies should identify who will require training on the new obligations, for example, directors and employees who have direct responsibility for supply chain management and procurement.
Suggested reading can be found at:
If you or your organisation would like legal advice or training on tackling slavery then please do not hesitate to contact Chambers’ Senior Clerk, Daniel Bartlett.
Kevin Molloy: Kevin defended as Leading Counsel in the first slavery prosecution in England for 200 years and shortly thereafter the first slavery case in Wales; he was acquitted in both. He is routinely instructed to defend in the broad spectrum of criminal offences and is renowned for tackling complex legal matters in a no-nonsense straight talking fashion.
Colin Witcher: Colin routinely provides advise on corporate compliance including to banking institutions on insider dealing and personal employee account dealing. He has provided training on corporate crime, health and safety and whistleblowing including to local authorities.
Over the past week, Lewis Power QC has been representing the Church Court International Law Team across the pond. Mr. Power QC... more
Lincoln’s Inn Barrister Still Missing Despite the Promises of Foreign Adviser Gowher Rizvi to Assist after Al Jazeera Head to... more
Yasin Patel and Amy Hazlewood look at one of the most important pieces of legislation passed in recent years. One that is looking... more
As October 31st 2019 draws nearer, Britain’s exit from the European Union and its exact terms become all the more important. ... more
The Corporate Manslaughter and Homicide Act 2007 (the Act), was designed to create a statutory offence, facilitating the... more
Yasin Patel and Amy Hazlewood look at the area of drill music and the law. This article is split into two parts: the first part... more
Yasin Patel looks at the question of “racism in football”. In this two part series, the first article outlines the arguments... more
In this article, written by Yasin Patel and Amy Hazlewood, we look at the areas of drugs, and in particular ‘county lines’... more
The British government and its agencies powers of investigation will increase significantly with a new piece of legislation.... more
Since the downfall of ISIS and the liberation of many Syrian people, women and children (and whole families) have been fleeing to... more
Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion. What is the difference? One is illegal and one is smart tax planning. But which is which? Local... more
Yasin Patel and Amy Hazlewood explore the problems surrounding drones, from their use in humanitarian activities to drugs being... more
Yasin Patel looks at the growing area of ‘Image Rights’ and why it makes sense for a sports star to protect their ‘image... more
The case of Zamira Hajiyeva and the Unexplained Wealth Order “UWO” restrictions imposed upon her have brought to... more
New Law Journal publishes article by George Hepburne Scott regarding the recent ground breaking High Court case regarding prison... more
New Law Journal publishes an article by George Hepburne Scott regarding changes to the judiciary in Poland. George Hepburne Scott... more
‘Suck my d**k, you n****r, you n***o’ Offended by the title. And so you should be, but what are you going to do about it?... more
Please follow link below to read George Hepburne Scotts article on extradition published in the New Law Journal.... more
The Situation before the Human Rights Act In the traditional doctrine of statutory interpretation, the courts looked at the... more
The new Prime Minister Theresa May has announced a review of the Modern Slavery Act 2015; it is clear that corporate compliance... more
The Court of Appeal in the case of Griffiths 1 QB 589, made an apposite observation concerning a growing trend towards indicting... more
On 23 June 2016 over 33 million people voted in the EU referendum. Since that date there has been widespread anger from those who... more
Alkan Shenyuz is a barrister with Church Court Chambers specialising in international commercial law and in this article for... more
Leading legal publisher Westlaw has published Michael Polak’s article on INTERPOL notices. INTERPOL notices can severely... more
Alkan Shenyuz, a barrister and specialist in banking and financial services looks at the new EU Payment Services Directive and... more
In a clear sign that regulators want to open up competition in the UK banking industry to new banks, the Prudential Regulatory... more
In R (on the application of DC and The Secretary of State for Justice EWHC 33 (Admin) the High Court considered the law of... more
Whilst it would be naïve to suggest that ‘marriages of convenience’ do not occur, the Home Office seem to me to be using... more
Anthony assisted partners in Peters & Peters LLP in providing an expert summary of the laws and regulations which have been... more
Looted antiquities from Syria – what collectors need to know Alkan Shenyuz, barrister with Church Court Chambers discusses what... more
Modern Slavery Act 2015 The introduction of this consolidating act is to be welcomed. As with all recent changes to criminal... more
Alkan Shenyuz, a barrister with Church Court Chambers in London and a specialist in international law, summarises the key legal... more
The Government’s announcement in June that it is to bring forward legislation in Parliament to ratify the Hague Convention on... more
An interesting and insightful article from Lesley Manley of Church Court Chambers on mental impaired clients. It is often helpful... more