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This alert provides a snapshot on how authorities have adjusted their dawn raid practice and procedures to handle unannounced inspections during lockdowns, and what you need to do to adjust your internal dawn raid procedures to a “hybrid” work environment in which staff split their time between the office and home.

Competition authorities around the world continue to sharpen their focus on markets for employee talent. The current push to scrutinize competition issues in labor markets can be traced to guidance issued in October 2016 by federal antitrust enforcers in the United States.

China has approved and enacted its first Export Control Law, the first export control legislation in China aimed at regulating the export of sensitive materials and technologies from China to overseas. Jay Ruan, Marcela Robledo, Alison Stafford-Powell, and Vivian Wu have an insightful discussion about what is covered by this new legislation and how it can possibly affect the US-China trade relations. Our panel of experts delve into the aspects of the Export Control Law that will have an impact on the technology industry and what steps can be taken to manage these.

Welcome to the March edition of this quarterly publication that includes a variety of legal and market focused articles on current topics of interest in the world of trade finance.

As always we hope that you enjoy this edition of Baker McKenzie’s Trade Finance Quarterly Insight and invite you to reach out to any of the contributors or indeed anyone else in the team should you wish to discuss any of the issues covered in this edition or have any other trade finance related queries.

On 5 March 2021, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) formally announced the dates of the future cessation or loss of representativeness of all 35 LIBOR settings currently published by ICE Benchmark Administration Limited (IBA).
This announcement:
constitutes an index cessation event under the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) IBOR fallbacks supplement and the ISDA 2020 IBOR fallbacks protocol for all LIBOR settings
may trigger contractual requirements in certain LIBOR fallback provisions
fixes the spread adjustments in the ISDA Fallbacks Supplement and ISDA 2020 IBOR Fallbacks Protocol

The COVID-19 crisis has brought into focus the obligations of service providers towards customers with disabilities. In particular, there were reports of some retailers failing to recognise legitimate exceptions to rules regarding wearing face coverings and/or handling enquiries about exemptions with a lack of sensitivity. The issue of “hidden disabilities” became particularly significant in that context. Heavy reliance on online service channels highlighted the importance of ensuring that those services were fully accessible to customers with a range of disabilities, particularly as those channels were tested by a sudden uptick in demand. Older customers and customers with disabilities who relied on online shopping and in-store assistance found that they could not access the same level of support. Reconfiguration of store access to facilitate social distancing required retailers to re-assess whether those arrangements created difficulties for those with mobility and other impairments. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) issued some helpful guidance to retailers in response to some of the issues that had arisen.

In July of 2017, Andrew Bailey, the chief executive of the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), announced in a speech that after 2021 the FCA would no longer use its power to compel panel banks to submit rate information used to determine the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Mr. Bailey encouraged the market to develop robust alternative reference rates to replace LIBOR.

LIBOR has long been the dominant rate for determining interest payments on adjustable-rate financial products and, although progress is being made, LIBOR transition remains a fundamental issue confronting financial markets. Understanding and planning for the impact on your business is key to a smooth transition. Baker McKenzie is pleased to provide expert guidance on this issue below. Please do get in touch if you’d like to learn more.

While businesses progress their recovery and renewal strategies amid the disruption of the global pandemic, there is more change in store for 2021, as US president Joe Biden takes office and the UK and EU adjust to their formal separation. Below we outline the latest employment considerations surrounding US and UK politics and how they will impact the global workforce.​