United States

The UK and US are moving in tandem in many respects, not least in the way their respective financial regulators deal with potential threats to market stability.

In the US, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is examining hedge funds and the Department of Justice is exploring whether anti-competitive behaviour exists among private equity houses. In November the UK’s Financial Services Authority (FSA) declared that it too would be seeking responses on whether private equity funds need more regulation.

This special report examines how the FSA and SEC are both making increasing use of criminal courts. It also discusses how US courts are seeing creative claims based on consumer protection acts.

Transatlantic harmonisation is a far-off prospect for patent laws, however. As outlined here, US firms are getting round the problem by hiring European patent attorneys with experience of both jurisdictions.