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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RGA bags RiverStone counsel for global role

US reinsurance giant RGA International has hired RiverStone Management general counsel and company secretary Catherine Regan as international legal counsel. Regan will take responsibility for legal matters relating to Europe, South Africa and India, reporting to US-based RGA assistant general counsel Bill Hutton. She will be based in St Louis and work with a global […]

Store and order

Tulkinghorn was amused to learn the identity of one of the firms involved in the inquest into the deaths of Diana, Princess of Wales, and Dodi al Fayed. According to a release from the Coroner’s Office, the firm acting as solicitor to the inquest is one ‘Field Fisher Warehouse’. Presumably it specialises in bulk distribution, […]

Ladies awaiting

It is somewhat disheartening that out of the 100-odd law firms in the City, only three managed to secure places on The Times‘ ‘Top 50 Places for Women to Work’ list released last week. The chosen firms – Addleshaw Goddard, Clifford Chance and Eversheds – may have made the list, but like most of their […]

Quadrant raids 4-5 Gray’s for banking trio

Quadrant Chambers has raided 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square for a trio of barristers as it ramps up its banking and financial services practice for the expected influx of work following the credit crunch. The set has recruited derivatives specialist Tom O’Riordan, who, before joining 4-5 Gray’s Inn, worked as external counsel for Cadwalader Wickersham & […]

Lovells Shanghai chief fills vacancy on partnership council

Lovells has elected Shanghai managing partner Doug Clark to its partnership council following the promotion of Marc Gottridge to the international executive. Gottridge took up the post of US regional managing partner in August, moving from the council to the executive at the same time. Both established in 2002, the international executive deals with business […]

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