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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Wall St woes: Watching Wachovia

It was literally a last-minute intervention. At 11.59am yesterday (8 October), the Federal Reserve extended its standstill on Citigroup’s lawsuit over Wells Fargo’s bid for US bank Wachovia. Wachovia’s lawyers at Boies Schiller & Flexner, Citigroup’s litigators at Gregory Joseph Law Offices and Wells Fargo’s lawyers at Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz were all ready […]

Eversheds curbs travel in bid to cut costs

Eversheds curbs travel in bid to cut costs” />Eversheds has called on its staff to restrict the amount they travel in a bid to cut down costs. The move comes after Clifford Chance earlier this year curbed the use of taxis as part of a belt tightening exercise (TheLawyer.com, 26 February). Eversheds financial director Claire […]

Business Court project allocated extra space

Her Majesty’s Courts Service (HMCS) is to take more space in the Rolls Building to create London’s new Business Court after initially underestimating the amount of space needed. It has acquired the fifth floor of the building, which will be shared by the Royal Courts of Justice (RCJ) and the Tribunals Service. High Court director […]

Mayer Brown grabs final Northern Rock mandate

Mayer Brown grabs final Northern Rock mandate” />Mayer Brown has won the last major role up for grabs on the Northern Rock saga, with litigation partner Clare Canning advising the valuer of the bank’s compensation scheme. Canning, who gave up her role as Barlow Lyde & Gilbert’s commercial litigation head to join Mayer Brown last […]

Loan market turmoil sets parties scrambling to re-read the boilerplate

The last month’s upheavals in the credit markets are “seismic”. And with each new tectonic shift in the world’s financial map, lenders, borrowers, and agent banks have been closely re-reading the “boilerplate” provisions of the typical US credit agreement. The last month’s upheavals in the credit markets are “seismic”. And with each new tectonic shift […]

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