We are a team of regulatory and international disputes lawyers with thought provoking insights to share on the future of regulation and governance, how regulated organisations and consumers obtain justice, and the cultural, legal, and social implications of technological innovation.

In working with clients in regulatory and compliance settings both in the UK and overseas we have identified a number of current themes of critical importance to them and the industries in which they operate.  As regulatory specialists, a critical aspect of our role is to act as thought leaders, offering new ideas for tackling the issues which emerge from these themes.

The themes that we have identified, with some examples of the key questions that we are exploring, are:

  • Future of retail regulation: What is the best model for regulating the bundle of retail services in essential public service markets? How do regulators tackle the challenges around low customer engagement, data privacy and vulnerability?  Where do intermediaries and consumer brands fit within the regulatory landscape?
  • Infrastructure, convergence and innovation: How should regulators respond in the face of the sort of rapid technological changes that are driving convergence between different industry sectors (think, smart cities, for instance)? In the search for efficiency, how far will contestability take us and at what price (e.g., in terms of system security)?
  • Evolution in regulatory governance: How will regulators evolve to remain relevant, responsive and accountable? Is there an optimal balance for the roles of regulator, government, firms and customers? How far can principles replace rules in modern regulation?  How should business leaders be accountable, individually and collectively, for compliance?
  • Justice and regulation: How well do our courts perform in dispensing justice in a regulatory context alongside or in place of enforcement agencies? What are the barriers to justice faced by regulated businesses or their customers?   How should our civil remedies regimes evolve in response to regulatory change?
  • Intellectual property and competition: How do businesses and regulators respond to the tension between the monopolies allowed through intellectual property rights? How do businesses deal with issues that arise when brands, ideas and inventions clash?

None of these themes, or the issues that they raise, are completely separate from the others and, indeed, there is much we can gain by thinking about the ways in which they overlap.  And the cross-cutting dynamics of public policy (take ‘Brexit’ for instance) and business (such as the emergence of ‘AI’ or the ‘blockchain’) offer new ways of tackling old challenges.

Our aim is to make practical contributions to the debate around these issues and to stimulate fresh thinking on the part of policy-makers in the process.  If you are interested in joining the discussion, please do get in touch.

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