This week’s top 15 legal briefings – 13 July 2014

Back in the day, BYOB had a special ring to university students. There was a house party going down and all were welcome, provided they brought their own booze. Now global big business has only gone and sullied those fond memories by creating another similar initialism, but one that has a lot less romance once it’s spelt out. BYOD means ‘bring your own device’ and refers to businesses allowing employees to use their personal communication gadgets at work. In addition to laptops, tablets and smartphones being a damn sight less fun – at least for those of a certain age – than a bottle of cheap plonk or special-offer vodka, BYOD comes with a whole raft of problems requiring guidelines and legal advice. As our commentator from law firm Kemp Little points out, a recent survey of UK employers showed that 65 per cent allowed staff to use their own devices at work, while only a quarter claimed to have a policy in place to deal with the practice. BYOB was so much easier, involving little more than slouching against the fridge in the kitchen with bottle in hand and talking football to a mate… while the cool crowd danced. Click here for more information.

Jonathan Ames
Jonathan Ames

Of course, devices are all about data – indeed, data and devices go together like an old-style bottle and its cork. Which is why keeping up with the latest musings on ‘Big Data’ from Brussels is crucial. Our lawyer from Dentons wading through the eurocracy reports that, despite recent rumours to the contrary, the EU Data Protection Regulation is likely to go ahead. Brussels mandarins are still claiming the rules will be in place by the end of this year, but the word around the Berlaymont is that adoption is more likely some time in 2015. It is expected that the original one-stop-shop concept will be diluted so that a data controller will be regulated by the regulator in the EU jurisdiction of its main establishment, but that regulator will need to work closely with other regulators. According to our man holding les frites mayonnaise: ‘This looks like a dilution of the advantages of locating in the UK or Ireland in order to avoid regulators in other member states.’ Click here for more information.

Talking about Europe, just about everyone in the EU agrees that a unitary patent system and unified court to go with it is a good thing. Everyone, that is, bar the Spanish. So agitated is Madrid over the proposed harmonisation that it has launched a second challenge in the EU’s top court, which began hearing the case in the last few days. Our reporter from magic circle law firm Allen & Overy looks at the delicate balancing act involved as the Court of Justice attempts to maintain the political consensus without betraying its own constitutional case law. Judgment is expected towards the end of the year; according to A&O, it will be a ruling ‘of paramount importance to the future of the patent litigation system in Europe’. Click here for more information.

Top five briefings by law firm
Shoosmiths: What is the legal position when only one of two joint tenants gives notice to quit?Download
Kemp Little: The ‘bring your own device to work’ challengeDownload
Winckworth Sherwood: Admissibility of covert recordingsDownload
Arendt & Medernach: ‘Allowances’ used as part of the fixed remuneration targeted by the European Commission, co-legislators and the EBADownload
Karanovic & Nikolic: New system for the purchase and sale of real estate in Croatia for Russian citizensDownload
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Top five briefings by practice area 
Banking & finance: Bitcoin: bringing you up to speed on a digital currencyDownload
Employment: Flexible working: floodgates of doom or fountain of opportunity?Download
Real estate: The new capital allowances rules for property transactionsDownload
Litigation: Divorce proceedings become more reportable following High Court judgmentDownload
Information technology: EU Data Protection Regulation: updateDownload
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Top five briefings by region 
Asia-Pacific: Night shifts a genuine occupational requirement for continuous shift workersDownload
Middle East & Africa: Qatar construction update — enforcement of arbitration awards in QatarDownload
Offshore: More TIEAs: first challenge under judicial review regimeDownload
Europe: CJEU hears the Spanish challenge to the European unitary patentDownload
US & The Americas: California Supreme Court: gentry is gone. PAGA lives onDownload
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