Latest Briefings

AI – Commission publishes new legal framework

I wrote last autumn about the European Parliament’s approval of proposals for the regulation of artificial intelligence (AI), and the European Commission has now decisively picked up the legislative baton, publishing its comprehensive framework for an AI Regulation.

Replacing the vertical agreements block exemption: approaching a year to go

On 31 May 2021, the Vertical Agreements Block Exemption Regulation (VBER), which exempts certain agreements from the EU and UK prohibitions on anti-competitive agreements, enters its final year of service before its scheduled expiry at the end of May 2022. Both the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and the European Commission (EC) have begun consultations on whether to replace the current instrument and its accompanying guidelines and, if so, how the replacements can tackle some of their predecessors’ shortcomings.

Tech time out – health is wealth

Neil Lloyd, managing director at law firm FBC Manby Bowdler, set up Tech Time Out with Stephanie Henson last year after noticing that a lot of noise was being made about the amount of time people were spending on tech, and certainly, COVID just made it worse.

Austria: Supreme Court rules on long-term gas supply contracts

On 25 January 2021 the Supreme Court issued a decision on long-term contracts for the import of Russian natural gas into Austria (16 Ok 3/20g). The contracts had been concluded in 2006 for the supply of unstructured natural gas. All of the contracts expired on 31 December 2027. At the time of their conclusion, such long-term commitments were common for contracts between natural gas producers and importers or wholesalers throughout Europe. The contracts contained an obligation for customers to purchase 83% of the contract volume (at least in the medium term), even if this amount was not actually taken (take-or-pay clause). In 2011 one of the buyers was granted an early termination right.

Recommended

Super Thursday: A&O last out of the traps with magic circle financials

Allen & Overy’s turnover increased by 5 per cent over 2018/19 to £1.63bn, as discussions continue over the firm’s transatlantic merger deal. The firm is the last of the magic circle to post its figures, with the turnover increase coming alongside a slight bump in average profit per equity partner to £1.66m. This is 1 […]

Kathleen Russ, Travers

Travers NQs in line for pay bump after positive financial results

Travers Smith’s turnover increased by nearly 11 per cent over 2018/19, with the firm also following the likes of Macfarlanes and Slaughter and May by increasing its salaries for newly-qualified lawyers. The firm’s revenue jumped from just under £147m to £162.5m, while average profit per equity partner increased by 4 per cent to £1.25m. The […]

David Kerr

Financials 2018/19: Bird & Bird posts modest growth of 7 per cent

Bird & Bird posted single-digit growth as part of its 2018/19 financials, seeing a slight slowdown after a three-year strong run of results. In the last financial year, turnover at the firm grew 7 per cent globally from £337m to £361m. Average profit per equity partner (PEP) increased 4.4 per cent to £575,000, a modest […]

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