Anthony Hilton: City Needs To Evolve Business Law
Feb 27, 2017 08:03 AM EST
Business needs the rule of law, and capitalism will not work when it is absent. There must be respect for property rights, patents, rules against the theft of intellectual property and more. The City has to evolve business laws because we live in an era of innovation.
You cannot develop a modern economy without the rule of law, The Evening Standard reported that there is an embedded legal structure in the UK built up over 300 years. We may fail to understand how its structures need nurturing, refreshing and attention.
The Lord Chief Justice was speaking at an event organised by the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law to announce an initiative to identify legal challenges businesses face when they operate internationally. It has been backed by BP, BT, Diageo, Unilever, Shell, Vodafone and HSBC.
Which are the challenges and goals?
There are two major problems. First, the world is in the midst of a revolution which raises huge legal issues. Second, the fracturing caused by globalisation is creating an environment in which society sees business as the enemy.
The Bingham Centre wants to promote a clear understanding of the importance of the rule of law in facilitating trade and growth. The New Law Journal reported that the Centre focuses particularly on developing states.
Royal Bank of Scotland set aside a further £3 billion against the possible cost of a negotiated settlement with the US judicial authorities. It is astonishing that there should be such a lack of clarity over what the specific offences were.
In the recent Rolls-Royce case, the settlement between prosecutor and the company had to be examined and approved by a British judge in open court. Such transparency is often completely lacking in other jurisdictions.
The Bingham initiative marks a shift in these companies to a collaborative pioneering approach. The message is that it underlines the determination of the legal profession and business to maintain the value of English law.