Strengthen protection for whistleblowers says report… HSBC slashes legal spend by $1 billion…
Ashurst has acted as Australian legal counsel on the U$2.2 billion acquisition of Cristal’s Ti02 business by Tronox Ltd.
The deal between the two titanium industry giants involved $1.67 billion in cash plus class A ordinary shares in Tronox, a NYSE listed company.
Ashurst partner John Sartori (Corporate) led the team which also included partners Nick Terry and Kylie Lane, and senior associates Eliza Blandford and Lucienne Cassidy (Corporate); partners Peter Armitage and Ross Zaurrini, and counsel Alyssa Phillips (Competition); and partners Ian Kellock and Geoffrey Mann, and senior associate Bronwyn Kirkwood (Tax).
Teams from Kirkland & Ellis and Willkie Farr & Gallagher were the US counsel for Tronox.
Strengthen protection for whistleblowers says report
The digital era is making it easier for whistleblowers to be identified meaning greater protection is needed.
That’s the view of a report by the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in London, which says journalists are less able to protect their sources due to monitoring of online and phone conversations.
The report, backed by The Guardian, has been launched in the UK’s House of Lords and calls for stronger protection for what is a key principle of journalism.
A recent update to laws which aim to give a defence to journalists who refuse to reveal their sources, however there is concern that courts may differ in their interpretation of ‘journalism’.
The UK government told The Guardian that: “We believe in the freedom of the press, and would never do anything to undermine legitimate whistleblowing or investigative journalism – it’s not government policy and never will be.”
However, critics say that laws created to give the government greater counter-terrorism powers may also undermine protection for whistleblowers and journalists.
HSBC slashes legal spend by $1 billion
A year of high legal costs for HSBC in 2015 has led to a sharp decrease for 2016 according to its latest financial filing. The bank spent U$1.65 billion in 2015 but its 2016 figure was $681 million.
HSBC, along with some other big names in banking, was involved in several US regulator probes, contributing to the rise in costs.