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.

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BLG relaunches Oxford with Henmans hires

Barlow Lyde & Gilbert (BLG) has poached two partners from Oxford firm Henmans. They will join BLG’s Oxford office, which traditionally was used as a base for support staff. BLG senior partner Richard Dedman said: “It is a significant move for the firm. Physically we have had an office in Oxford for sometime, but it […]

Reed Smith steps up to the platform for Bebo web initiative

Reed Smith Richards Butler senior associate Gregor Pryor has bagged a role advising social networking site Bebo on an open media content-sharing platform. Reed Smith steps up to the platform for Bebo web initiative” /> Reed Smith Richards Butler senior associate Gregor Pryor has bagged a role advising social networking site Bebo on an open […]

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Calunius Capital

Life for Calunius Capital founding partner Mick Smith (pictured) has come full circle. Life for Calunius Capital founding partner Mick Smith (pictured) has come full circle. Having quit the law in 1996, one year after qualifying as an associate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Smith is now at the helm of the first broker of third-party […]

Shearman bolsters London with raid on Latham

Shearman & Sterling has snared a high yield finance partner from US rivals Latham & Watkins’ London office. Jacques McChesney, who has been based in the London office of Latham & Watkins since 1999, will join Shearman’s high yield group in London. Latham corporate finance partner, Bryant Edwards, said: “We continue to lead the market […]

To the manners, scorn

Tulkinghorn feels standards of social etiquette have plummeted to a nadir. If its not those youngsters loitering in public spaces, attired in hoodies and giving the few dutiful citizens intent on pursuing their civic duty a bit of ‘get outta ma face yo innit’, it’s those shameless creatures known as lawyers. In a recent electronic […]

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