Preview 2019 highlights legal and regulatory developments to look out for this year across a range of areas. It also identifies key trends that we can expect to see feature prominently in the legal and regulatory landscape this year.

Unsurprisingly, this year’s Preview is dominated by Brexit and the uncertainty that this brings to the UK and its legal landscape. At the time of writing, the Government has voted overwhelmingly against Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement by 432 votes to 202, the biggest defeat for a government since 1918. Much remains unknown and we still lack clarity with regard to the way ahead, but the Brexit section and subsequent sections of this guide attempt to summarise the current state of play.

In other key developments:

  • in Dispute Resolution we saw the introduction of a disclosure pilot scheme on 1 January 2019, which will run for two years and potentially restrict the scope of disclosure;
  • in Corporate, the corporate governance reforms continue including the 2018 UK Corporate Governance Code and the Companies (Miscellaneous Reporting) Regulations 2018, extending reporting requirements;
  • in Finance, in relation to the potential discontinuation of LIBOR, the Financial Conduct Authority has emphasised that it will not encourage or enforce banks to continue providing quotes for LIBOR after 2021. Despite further reform, the lack of data from any underlying market remains an issue and the view is that an alternative risk-free rate should be developed;
  • in Pensions (see page, we can expect to see a new Pensions Bill introduced which will strengthen the Regulator’s powers, facilitate the establishment of consolidator vehicles for defined benefit schemes and enable the establishment of collective DC schemes, and
  • in Real Estate the introduction of reduced filing deadlines for SDLT returns and payments comes into effect from 1 March 2019 with the time limit for submitting and paying a Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) return reduced from 30 calendar days to 14 calendar days. Systems for dealing with SDLT returns will need to be updated accordingly to reflect the shortened window for making a submission.

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