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.

Recommended

2014: a year of mergers, diversity and US laterals

It’s been a busy year in the legal market. Over the past two weeks we’ve been looking back at the stories of the year, highlighting some of the trends and reminiscing over the news which hit the headlines. Consolidation has been a feature of the sector for some time, and looks unlikely to go away. […]

Wendy Miles

Silk appointments 2015 – Why be a QC?

We talk to seven of this year’s 93 successful applicants for silk to discover the enduring appeal of the Queen’s Counsel kitemark. The ‘new’ silks appointment system has now been in place for nine years. This year’s round of appointments, announced last month, suggests a stabilisation of the revamped system. While the number of applicants […]

No5 Chambers’ Andrew Keogh prosecutes fake kidnap case

A man has been jailed after faking his own kidnapping to swindle ransom money from his ex-girlfriend. Mohammed Kahn sent pictures to his partner with fake injuries to back up his story. He was rumbled when he asked for a further four-figure sum from his partner, who then told the police. Appearing at Wolverhampton Crown Court, […]

Melbourne

Minter Ellison raids Maddocks for three-partner tax team

Australia’s Minter Ellison has bolstered its tax practice with the addition of three partners from rival firm Maddocks. Litigator Carmen McElwain as well as Peter Poulos and Chris Kinsella have moved across with their teams of associates. All three were partners at Maddocks and all three also previously worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), where Minter Ellison’s […]

BT

Clifford Chance, Freshfields and Norton Rose Fulbright on call for £12.5bn BT EE acquisition

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is leading negotiations for BT on a £12.5bn deal to acquire telecoms operator EE, whose joint owners Orange and Deutsche Telekom are being represented by Norton Rose Fulbright and Clifford Chance. Freshfields M&A partner Ben Spiers, corporate TMT partner Natasha Good and antitrust head Rod Carlton are advising BT on the deal. […]

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