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.


Nick De Marco

Picking winners – and losers

If Olympic selection committees want to avoid appeals, their various policies need to be brought together The British Olympic Association (BOA) has promised that it will be sending “our greatest team” to the London 2012 Games. Around 550 athletes will be selected for Team GB and competition for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to compete at a […]

No a***holes

Details confused but principle clear in Hogan Lovells’ new partner pay system The post-merger training wheels for legacy Lovells partners at Hogan Lovells come off this year. For the first two years after merging, legacy Lovells partners were guaranteed a portion of a bonus pool equivalent to 15 per cent of revenue at the international […]


Veale Wasbrough in merger talks with Hewitsons

Merger talks are under way between Veale Wasbrough Vizards and Hewitsons to create a £34m turnover “national powerhouse” in education, charities and private client. A joint statement between Veale’s managing partner Simon Heald and Cambridge-based Hewitsons managing partner John Dix said the firms have been in “detailed discussions” on the back of similar strengths in […]

Doru Bostina

Fighting back

As the EU’s second poorest member, Romania has been hit hard by the downturn. Can the agriculture and energy sectors save the day? Like much of Europe, Romania’s residents have had enough of tough ­austerity measures. Public anger led to a no-confidence vote in Romania’s centre-right government just two months after it took office in […]

McGrigors merger pushes Pinsents’ turnover to £295m for 2011-12

Pinsent Masons saw its turnover increase by 4 per cent on a like-for-like basis in the 2011-12 financial year with that figure jumping to almost 39 per cent when turnover from merger partner McGrigors is added in. Turnover for Pinsents alone was £221m, according to unaudited results, up from £212.7 in 2010-11. McGrigors, which operated […]

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