Freshfields forms utilities niche with Anglian Water deal

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Latest Briefings

The Commercial Agents Regulations: a step behind the times?

By Alex Williamson The Commercial Agents (Council Directive) Regulations 1993 (the Regulations) are 25 years old this year. An evaluation by the European Commission concluded in 2015 that the underlying Commercial Agents Directive (the Directive) still met its objectives and functioned well. However, a recent Court of Appeal decision has shown that the legislation is struggling to […]

Exclusion clauses under the spotlight: UCTA reasonableness

By Perran Jervis In decisions handed down one day apart, the Court of Appeal concluded that a far-reaching exclusion clause which limited liability for negligence was reasonable under the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 (UCTA), whereas an exclusion clause in a lease (in the form of a non-reliance clause) was not. The decisions emphasise that […]

Currency, cost calculations and contractual clarity

Walker Morris’ Head of Commercial Dispute Resolution, Gwendoline Davies, highlights the importance of dealing comprehensively and clearly with matters of currency and calculation in cross-border contracts…

Belgian draft Trade Secrets Act: opportunities for the life sciences sector

On 8 June 2016, the EU Trade Secrets Directive was adopted. The main purpose of the Directive was to harmonise and enhance the protection of trade secrets EU-wide and to thus create an innovation-friendly environment for businesses. The EU Member States had to implement this Directive by 9 June 2018. Belgium missed the deadline, but […]

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‘Open justice’ wins as DCA rewrites claim access rules

Media lawyers have forced the Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA) into a U-turn over the introduction of a controversial rule that restricted the public’s access to court documents. A new rule, which comes into effect today (2 October), gives the media and members of the public access to documents such as pleadings and defence of […]

Pro bono is vital for lawyers establishing rule of law overseas

There are many things we take for granted in the UK. Ironically, one of the most overlooked is also one of the most fundamental – the rule of law. We expect – and rightly so – the absence of corruption, an independent, impartial judiciary, the presumption of innocence, the right to a fair and public […]

Watson Burton confirms ousted MP’s successor

Newcastle-based firm Watson Burton has elected construction head Rob Langley to replace toppled managing partner Andrew Hoyle. As first reported on www.thelawyer.com (September 26), Hoyle was ousted by the partnership last month following internal rows about the direction of the firm. As predicted in The Lawyer (October 2), Langley will take the reigns of the […]

US firms line up for tobacco class action

A host of US firms are preparing for battle after a New York judge ruled that a groundbreaking $200bn (£105bn) class action against tobacco firms could go ahead. The case was first filed by Cohen Milstein Hausfeld & Toll in May 2004, against Philip Morris, RJ Reynolds, British American Tobacco (BAT), Liggett Group, Brown & […]

Zurich chops UK panel by 80 per cent

Zurich has slashed its UK legal panel from over 25 firms to just five after an extensive review of its legal provision. Beachcroft, Bevan Brittan, Pinsent Masons, Shoosmiths and Gloucester firm Tanners are the successful firms, appointed after a competitive tender process. Zurich’s UK general counsel James Butler said the new panel would enable the […]

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