The year that was……
The year that would be…….
The World changed in 2016.
That’s probably an understatement. Everything around us has changed in 2016 and the impact of the change was mammoth, immediate & cascading.
2016 saw a total of 413 amendments to various legislations in India. 101 new regulations came into effect. 72 drafts of proposed legislations were issued. Various authorities issued 79 clarifications on various regulations. There were 52 landmark judgments declared by various courts in India.
The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016 came into effect which will bring about reforms in the bankruptcy and insolvency regime of the country. The year also saw the coming into effect of the Real Estate Regulation and Development Act 2016 which aims at regulating the largely unregulated real estate sector. The Constitution (One Hundred And First Amendment) Act, 2016 was passed by both the houses in September, 2016. This amendment gave the Parliament and State Legislatures concurrent powers to make laws on the Goods and Services Tax. The Companies Act 2013 underwent some more amendments. The Office of Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade marks (Indian Patent Office) on February 19, 2016 issued a revised set of Guidelines for Examination of Computer-Related Inventions. On 13 May 2016, the National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy was announced by the Government of India’s Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).
As practicing Lawyers, our world changed more than anticipated, expected or experienced in recent past.
Legaltech: In 2016, Legaltech space experienced unprecedented shift. Although the debate of Death of Conventional Lawyers is still out in open, it became an imperative that without the backup support of technology, lawyering output became strenuous. Conventional lawyers found it very difficult to deliver with competitive advantage. Nasdaq acquired the Boardvanatge for $ 200 Million. Diligant was acquired by Insight Venture Partners for $ 624 Million. Just these two examples show the trends in coming years about the legaltech space that is show-casing the value proposition of businesses that were built on robust and sustainable platforms.
Corporate Governance: On July 21,2016, a group of executives and CEOs of major US MNCs released “Commonsense Principles of Corporate Governance”. Although it is probably too early to determine the adoption of these principles across the Boards of the companies, they set the tone for practical good governance practices. In India we experienced some turmoil and change of guards across some of the very visible enterprises. These changes in the management brought to the foreground of business considerations a sharp discussion on corporate governance and ethics. It is a great sign and excellent opportunity for Indian companies now to exhibit in near future that a new era of Indian Corporate Governance can emerge setting high ethical standards and balancing the Business Judgment Rules and Stakeholders inclusiveness.
Compliance: Compliances with statutory & regulatory requirements have become more rigorous across the globe. Especially in India, the frequency with which the laws are changing is simply incomprehensible. When we analyzed our database of over 365,000 business tasks we realized that about 1.5 task changes every day. Team Legasis tried to capture how life of a lawyer or compliance executive changed during 2016 . We realized that while the cost of compliance is rising, cost of non-compliance vs cost of compliance is no longer a discussion issue. We also experienced “quacks” advising large corporates on critical compliance issues. The so-called technology and legal support providers tried to impress the clients with half-baked knowledge. Profile of some of these “experts” indicates that they are “uneducated”, thrown out of their jobs because of causes such as violation of Prevention of Sexual Harassment at work place, failed professionals who have no ethical base or simply not competent to support the requirements of businesses.
If you would like to know more about the new regulations that came into effect last year or about the various amendments that were brought about in 2016, please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org I look forward to hearing from you.