Ireland: Funds Quarterly Legal And Regulatory Update – Q1 2014

Last Updated: 14 January 2014
Article by Breeda Cunningham and Michele Barker

Most Read Contributor in Ireland, July 2017

UCITS, NON-UCITS & HEDGE FUNDS

(i) EU Member States Agree on UCITS V

On 4 December 2013, the European Council issued a press release announcing that its permanent members had agreed a position on the draft UCITS V Directive. The draft UCITS V Directive sets out proposed reforms to the UCITS rules in respect of the depositary function, manager remuneration and administrative sanctions.

In particular, the draft UCITS V Directive:

  • Introduces specific provisions on depositary safekeeping and oversight duties;
  • Defines the conditions in which safekeeping duties can be delegated to a sub-custodian;
  • Sets out a list of entities that are eligible to act as UCITS depositaries;
  • Clarifies the depositary's liability in the event of the loss of a financial instrument held in custody;
  • Includes provisions on redress for investors;
  • Introduces a requirement for UCITS management companies to implement remuneration policies that are consistent with sound risk and effective management and do not encourage risk taking which is inconsistent with the risk profiles, rules or instruments of incorporation of the UCITS they manage;
  • Introduces a whistleblowing regime; and
  • Sets out the administrative sanctions that regulators should be empowered to apply.

This agreement enables trilogue negotiations to start between the European Parliament, Council and Commission with the aim of adopting the draft UCITS V Directive in advance of the European Parliament elections, which are due to be held in May 2014. Failure to reach that deadline leaves open the possibility that a new parliament might re-introduce some of the more controversial aspects of the early UCITS V proposals which were narrowly rejected earlier this year, such as the bonus cap for fund managers.

Once the European Parliament and Council adopts the UCITS V Directive it will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union, and EU member states will have two years from that date to transpose the Directive into national law.

(ii) Central Bank Publishes Revised UCITS Notice 10

In October 2013, the Central Bank of Ireland (the "Central Bank") published a revised UCITS Notice 10, which covers Financial Derivative Instruments. The Notice has been amended in light of Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 July 2012 on OTC derivatives, central counterparties and trade repositories ("EMIR"), pursuant to which counterparties to derivative transactions will be required to begin trade reporting from 12 February 2014 (for more, see the EMIR section).

Paragraph 4 of UCITS Notice 10 has been amended, whereby the counterparty in the case of a subsequent novation of an OTC derivative contract must be:

  • A credit institution listed in sub-paragraphs 1.4 (i), (ii) or (iii) of UCITS Notice 9 or an investment firm, authorised in accordance with the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (Directive 2004/39/EU), (the "MiFID Directive") in an EEA member state, or is an entity subject to regulation as a Consolidated Supervised Entity ("CSE") by the US Securities and Exchange Commission; or
  • A central counterparty ("CCP") authorised, or recognised by the European Securities and Markets Authority ("ESMA"), under EMIR or, pending recognition by ESMA under Article 25 of EMIR, an entity classified as a derivatives clearing organisation by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission or a clearing agency by the SEC (both CCP).

Paragraphs 4(iv) – (vi) of the previous UCITS Notice 10 have been deleted. Some of these provisions covered the valuation of OTC derivatives and are redundant following EMIR. Article 11(2) of EMIR requires that OTC derivative contracts not cleared by a CCP be valued using mark-to-market on a daily basis and that where market conditions prevent marking-to-market, reliable and prudent marking-to- model must be used.

UCITS should review their procedures regarding financial derivative instruments to ensure compliance with the revised UCITS Notice 10.

(iii) UCITS Annual Update of Key Investor Information Document Due 19 February 2014

UCITS are required to update their Key Investor Information Document ("KIID") for each subfund/ standalone fund on an annual basis, within 35 business days of the end of each calendar year. The KIID annual updates must therefore be filed no later than 19 February 2014.

The Central Bank's "Regulatory Reporting Requirements of Irish Authorised Investment Funds" Vol. 2.2 - October 2013 may be accessed at the following link:

http://www.centralbank.ie/regulation/industry-sectors/funds/Documents/Guidance%20Note%20Regulatory%20Reporting%20Vol%202.2%20October%20%2013.pdf.

(iv) Change in Central Bank Filing Procedures

The Central Bank has advised that it will now accept by email:

  • Country Supplements;
  • Consolidated/Extract Prospectuses; and
  • Requests for UCITS Attestations.

The associated noting, acknowledgment and replies will also be communicated electronically. It should be noted however that the filing of Country Supplements by email is only possible where there is no other documentation to be submitted alongside the Country Supplement. The relevant email addresses are countrysupplements@centralbank.ie for Country Supplements and fundsmarketing@centralbank.ie for Consolidated/Extract Prospectuses and requests for UCITS Attestations.

(v) Central Bank Publishes Consultation Paper on a UCITS Rule Book

The Central Bank has published Consultation Paper 77 - Consultation on Publication of UCITS Rulebook ("CP77") which proposes publishing a UCITS Rulebook which will consolidate into one document all of the conditions which the Central Bank imposes on UCITS, their management companies and depositaries. In addition, CP77 addresses whether any aspects of the current regulatory regime that come within the discretion of the Central Bank are no longer necessary or appropriate.

The aim for the UCITS Rulebook is to eliminate duplication and text which does not clearly constitute a regulatory requirement. The Central Bank has stated that residual guidance will be published on the Central Bank's website.

Relevant amendments and additions from the UCITS Rulebook will be incorporated into the AIF Rulebook when the AIF Rulebook is next updated in an effort to have consistency between the requirements of the UCITS Rulebook and the AIF Rulebook.

As part of this consultation, the Central Bank is considering three key changes, namely:

1. Removal of the Promoter Approval Process

Reflecting the position adopted for AIFs, the Central Bank is proposing to end imposing a promoter approval process for UCITS and to instead place reliance on the regulatory regime for UCITS management companies. At the same time, it proposes to elaborate on the obligations of directors when a UCITS gets into difficulties, again in similar fashion to its approach for AIFs.

This development will be welcomed, particularly by UCITS sponsors who to date have had to hold and maintain net shareholders funds of Euro 635,000 to satisfy Central Bank Promoter Rules, often significantly in excess of what they are required to have under their home jurisdiction's regulatory requirements. It should also accelerate the UCITS authorisation process.

2. Changes to approach on Regulated Markets

UCITS are permitted to invest in transferable securities and financial derivative instruments which are admitted to or dealt in on regulated markets and on certain other stock exchanges.

The Central Bank's approach to whether a market meets the criteria for being a "regulated market" is currently outlined in its Guidance Note 1/96. Given certain duplication between that Guidance Note and the Eligible Assets Directive, the Central Bank is withdrawing that Guidance Note. As a result, it will no longer review submissions on proposed regulated markets and will no longer publish a list of permitted markets for UCITS.

Accordingly, it will be for UCITS investment managers to consider whether a particular market or exchange meets the UCITS Regulations "regulated markets" criteria.

3. Half Yearly Management Accounts

The Central Bank is also proposing to extend the current financial reporting requirements for UCITS management companies and depositaries by requiring the additional submission of half-yearly management accounts covering the second six months of the financial year.

The format of the UCITS Rulebook which the Central Bank is proposing follows closely that of the AIF Rulebook. The proposed UCITS Rulebook contains the following three chapters:

Chapter 1 – Product Requirements;

Chapter 2 – Management Company Requirements; and

Chapter 3 – Depositary Requirements.

Draft versions of each of these chapters form part of CP77.

A Dillon Eustace article on CP77 may be viewed at the following link:

http://www.dilloneustace.ie/download/1/Publications/Financial%20Services/Central%20Bank%20consults%20on%20UCITS%20Rulebook.PDF.

Submissions on CP77 are invited by email or in writing by 28 March 2014. CP77 may be accessed via the following link:

http://www.centralbank.ie/regulation/poldocs/consultation-papers/Documents/CP77%20Consultation%20on%20publication%20of%20UCITS%20Rulebook/CONSULTATION%20PAPER%20-%20CP%2077%20JAN%202014.pdf.

(vi) ESMA Publishes Updated Q&A on their Guidelines on ETFs and other UCITS issues

On 27 November 2013, ESMA published an updated Q&A document on its Guidelines on ETFs and other UCITS issues (the "Guidelines"). The aim of this Q&A document is to promote common supervisory approaches and practices in the application of the UCITS Directive and the Guidelines. The Q&A document is directed at the various competent authorities but it is also intended to help UCITS management companies by providing clarity on the requirements of the Guidelines.

Two new questions have been added to the updated Q&A document:

  • Question 6(m) in the Collateral Management section provides that when UCITS reinvest cash collateral, the reinvested cash collateral should be taken into account for the calculation of the investment restrictions applicable to a UCITS; and
  • Question 7(i) in the Financial Indices section provides that paragraph 59 of the ESMA Guidelines (which provides that that UCITS should not invest in financial indices whose methodologies permit retrospective changes to previously published index values ('backfilling')), does not cover calculation mistakes.

The Q&A document is intended to be continually edited and updated on a regular basis. It can be accessed at the following link:

http://www.esma.europa.eu/system/files/2013-1547_qa_on_guidelines_on_etfs_and_other_ucits_issues.pdf.

(vii) ESMA Guidelines on ETFs and other UCITS issues – Index Related Issues

The IFIA made a submission to the Central Bank on 21 October 2013 relating to the treatment and classification of indices following the coming into force of the of the ESMA Guidelines on ETFs and other UCITS issues (the "Guidelines"). In its submission, the IFIA sought clarification that a distinction should be made in relation to "indices" and "financial indices" and that Part V of the Guidelines (Index-Tracking UCITS) should apply to all indices whereas Part IX of the Guidelines (Treatment of secondary market investors of UCITS ETFs) should only apply to "financial indices". According to the IFIA's submission, the term "financial indices" constitutes indices which are able to avail of increased diversification limits under the UCITS Regulations; i.e. "financial indices" are in effect a sub-set of the term "indices".

On the 23 December 2013, the Central Bank issued a response to the IFIA advising that there should be no distinction drawn between "indices" and financial indices" for the purposes of applying the Guidelines. In support of this approach, the Central Bank referenced question 7(b) of the ESMA Q&A Document which clarifies that the Guidelines apply to any UCITS investing in financial indices including index tracking UCITS. Unfortunately, the Central Bank considers that Part IX of the Guidelines apply to all indices.

In addition, the IFIA had a concern that there was an inconsistency between Guideline 491 and Article 9(2) of the Eligible Assets Directive2, in relation to how a UCITS may invest in a financial derivative instrument where the underlying financial index does not comply with the 20/35% rule. The Central Bank confirmed in its letter that it does not consider there to be any inconsistency between the Guidelines and the Eligible Assets Directive. In the Central Bank's view, Article 9(2) of the Eligible Assets Directive provides that where an index does not meet with the applicable criteria for indices set out in Article 9(1), but is composed of UCITS eligible assets, then investment by a UCITS in the index is not regarded as a derivative on an index but is regarded as a derivative on the combination of assets (i.e. in the same way as a derivative on a basket of assets).

(viii) ESMA Publishes Updated Q&A on Risk Measurement and Calculation of Global Exposure and Counterparty Risk for UCITS

On 19 December 2013, ESMA published an updated Q&A on risk measurement and calculation of global exposure and counterparty risk for UCITS. A new question was added on how UCITS should calculate their counterparty risk for exchange-traded derivatives and OTC transactions that are centrally cleared under EMIR. The answer provides:

"When calculating the counterparty risk for exchange-traded derivatives and OTC transactions that are centrally cleared, UCITS should look at the clearing model used to determine the existence of counterparty risk and, if any, where the counterparty risk is located. When analysing the clearing model used, UCITS should have regard to the existence of segregation arrangements of the assets and the treatment of claims on these assets in the event of bankruptcy of the clearing member or central counterparty."

The Q&A also provides that ESMA is continuing its work in relation to the calculation of counterparty risk by UCITS for exchange-traded derivatives and centrally-cleared OTC transactions in light of the provisions of EMIR and that ESMA plans to issue more detailed guidance on this issue, dealing with such aspects as the status of the central counterparty and the level of segregation to be put in place by the UCITS, early in 2014.

The updated Q&A may be accessed here:

http://www.esma.europa.eu/system/files/2013-1950_qa_risk_for_ucits.pdf.

(ix) ESMA Publishes Consultation Paper on Diversification of Collateral Provision in its Guidelines on ETFs and other UCITS Issues

On 20 December 2013, ESMA published a consultation paper on revising provisions on diversification of collateral in its Guidelines on ETFs and other UCITS issues (the "Guidelines"). The consultation paper provides that ESMA has been asked by stakeholders on numerous occasions to reconsider its position on the requirements on collateral diversification (paragraph 43(e) of the Guidelines) on the basis that they have a significant adverse impact on UCITS' collateral management policies. Particular attention has been drawn to the consequences for money market funds that place cash into reverse repurchase agreements.

Accordingly, ESMA is seeking views on the merits of revising the requirements on collateral diversification and, should this be necessary, on the best ways to address stakeholders' concerns while retaining the appropriate level of investor protection. Draft revised guidelines are contained in Annex III to the consultation paper.

ESMA requires that comments on the consultation paper (see link below) be provided by 31 January 2014.

http://www.esma.europa.eu/system/files/2013-1974_cp_guidelines_etfs_and_other_ucits_issues_for_publication_0.pdf

EUROPEAN MARKET INFRASTRUCTURE REGULATION ("EMIR")

(i) ESMA Approves Trade Repositories ("TR's")

ESMA, has to date, approved the registration of six TR's under EMIR. The newly registered TRs for the European Union are:

  • ICE Trade Vault Europe Ltd. (ICE TVEL), based in the United Kingdom;
  • CME Trade Repository Ltd. (CME TR), based in the United Kingdom;
  • DTCC Derivatives Repository Ltd. (DDRL), based in the United Kingdom;
  • Krajowy Depozyt Papierów Wartosciowych S.A. (KDPW), based in Poland;
  • Regis-TR S.A., based in Luxembourg; and
  • UnaVista Ltd, based in the United Kingdom.

The newly approved TR's can be used by the counterparties to a derivative transaction to fulfil their trade reporting obligations under EMIR.

The reporting obligation start date for all asset classes will begin on 12 February 2014; i.e. 90 calendar days after the official registration date. It will be possible to meet the reporting obligation by reporting to any ESMA recognised TR.

Separately, the European Commission has confirmed that it intends to reject ESMA's request to delay the start date for the reporting requirement for exchange traded derivatives. As such, the reporting requirement for all derivatives, however they are traded will come into force on 12 February 2014.

(ii) List of non-EEA CCPs

EMIR requires all non-EEA CCPs offering clearing services to clearing members or trading venues in the EEA to seek recognition from ESMA. In order to continue offering such clearing services, the non-EEA CCPs were required to apply to ESMA for recognition by 15 September 2013. ESMA has published a list, which is not necessarily exhaustive, of non-EEA CCPs which have submitted an application. It is available here –

http://www.esma.europa.eu/system/files/2013-1581_list_of_applicant_tc-ccps_published_on_6_november_2013_v2.pdf.

(iii) Updated ESMA Questions and Answers ("Q&A") on the Implementation of EMIR

ESMA published an updated Q&A on EMIR implementation on 11 November 2013 which was further updated on 20 December 2013. The purpose of the Q&A is to promote common supervisory approaches and practices in the application of EMIR. It provides responses to questions posed by the general public, market participants and competent authorities in relation to the practical implementation of EMIR.

The table of questions on pages six and seven provides a record of which questions and answers are new or and which have been updated, and includes questions relating to:

  • Calculation of the clearing threshold;
  • Risk Mitigation techniques for OTC derivative contracts not cleared by a CCP;
  • Portfolio Reconciliation;
  • Frontloading requirement for the clearing obligation;
  • Pension scheme exemption from the clearing obligation;
  • Segregation and portability;
  • Transparency requirements for central counterparties;
  • Reporting of outstanding positions following the entry into force of EMIR (Backloading);
  • Reporting to Trade Repositories : Table of fields;
  • Reporting of collateral and valuation; and
  • Exchange traded derivatives reporting questions.

The updated Q&A can be found at this link;

http://www.esma.europa.eu/system/files/2013-1959_qa_on_emir_implementation.pdf.

(iv) ESMA Publishes Final Draft Technical Standards on the Cross Border Application of EMIR

ESMA issued final draft regulatory technical standards ("RTS") related to derivative transactions by non-European Union (EU) counterparties on 15 November 2013. The RTS provides more detail on the application of EMIR to (i) transactions between non-EU counterparties with a direct, substantial and foreseeable effect within the European Union and (ii) lays down criteria for determining whether contracts should be considered as evading the rules and obligations laid down in EMIR. The draft RTS have been submitted to the European Commission for consideration and the European Commission has three months to decide whether to endorse them.

The document can be found here:

http://www.esma.europa.eu/content/Draft-technical-standards-under-EMIR-contracts-direct-substantial-and-foreseeable-effect-wit.

(v) EMIR Counterparty Classification Tool

The International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc. ("ISDA"), the British Bankers Association ("BBA"), the Investment Management Association ("IMA") and Markit announced the launch of the EMIR Counterparty Classification Tool. It is an online service that facilitates compliance with EMIR requirements regarding classification of counterparties to OTC derivatives contracts and application of the relevant standards of the regulatory requirements. Additional information regarding the tool is available at this link;

http://www2.isda.org/emir/.

(vi) Irish Stock Exchange to Provide Pre-Legal Entity Identifiers

All financial organisations, including listed legal entities, will need to comply with new global legal entity identifier ('LEI') requirements. A LEI is a global reference code which uniquely identifies each legal entity that engages in a financial transaction. The LEI is designed to enable the identification and linking of parties to financial transactions in order to manage counterparty risk.

The range of entities requiring LEI codes is broad and includes the following:

  • All entities listed on an exchange;
  • All entities that issue equity, debt or other securities for other capital structures;
  • All entities that trade stock or debt, investment vehicles constituted as corporate entities or collective investment funds (including hedge funds, private equity funds, umbrella funds and in certain cases sub-funds where contracts are entered at sub-fund level);
  • All financial intermediaries; and
  • Banks and finance companies.

In particular, under the EMIR technical standards on format and frequency of trade reporting, all EU counterparties are expected to have a LEI for reporting to trade repositories from 12 February 20143. The Central Bank, as a member of the Financial Stability Board's Regulatory Oversight Committee, has sponsored the ISE in becoming a Pre-Local Operating Unit ("Pre-LOU") with authority to issue pre-LEI codes. It is strongly anticipated that all pre-LEIs that are globally endorsed will transition into LEIs once the LEI governance structure is fully established. Pre-LEI's can be accepted for reporting under EMIR in the EU.

To read this Update in full, please click here.

Footnotes

1 Guideline 49 provides "A UCITS should not invest in a financial index which has a single component that has an impact on the overall index return which exceeds the relevant diversification requirements i.e. 20%/35%. In the case of a leveraged index, the impact of one component on the overall return of the index, after having taken into account the leverage, should respect the same limits".

2 Article 9(2) of the Eligible Assets Directive (2007/16/EC) provides "Where the composition of assets which are used as underlyings by financial derivatives in accordance with Article 19(1) of Directive 85/611/EEC does not fulfil the criteria set out in paragraph 1 of this Article, those financial derivatives shall, where they comply with the criteria set out in Article 8(1) of this Directive, be regarded as financial derivatives on a combination of the assets referred to in points (i), (ii) and (iii) of Article 8(1)(a)".

3 Please see Table 1 of the Annex to Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No. 148 of 19 December 2012 supplementing Regulation EU No 648/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council on OTC derivatives, central counterparties and trade repositories with regard to regulatory technical standards on the minimum data to be reported to trade repositories.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
In association with
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.

Disclaimer

Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.

Registration

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.

Cookies

A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.

Links

This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.

Mail-A-Friend

If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.

Security

This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.