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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Hong Kong

Linklaters loses Asia US securities head Ludwick to Freshfields

The head of Linklaters’ Asia-based US securities practice has quit the firm to join magic circle rival Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. David Ludwick, who has been a partner at Linklaters since 2005, joined the firm’s New York practice as an associate in 1998. He had previously been an associate at US firm Davis Polk & Wardwell. […]

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The Lawyer European Awards: Ireland’s A&L Goodbody takes top honours

A&L Goodbody was named European Firm of the Year at The Lawyer European Awards last night, becoming the first Irish firm to take home the top honour in the sixth edition of the Continent’s biggest legal awards. A&L Goodbody also picked up Irish Firm of the Year and European banking and finance deal of the […]

Passmore Colin

Byte by byte, our rights of privilege are being eroded

The Government has admitted unlawful monitoring practices by our intelligence services and new technology will augment their power – unless we act now Sir Tim Berners-Lee recently said that, “we need a Magna Carta for the communications age”. We certainly do, if the recent revelations about our security services snooping on privileged conversations are anything […]

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Eversheds creates new role of international managing partner to accelerate global growth

Eversheds has appointed head of litigation Ian Gray to the newly-created role of international managing partner to boost its strategic development outside the UK. The role sees Gray take responsibility for managing all of Eversheds’ international offices from 1 May. He will work alongside Eversheds’ managing partner Lee Ranson and chief executive Bryan Hughes to […]

Canary Wharf Banking

GCs in banking – The big bank load

The pressure on in-house lawyers in the financial services sector is growing as banks face up to new challenges such as greater regulatory scrutiny. Increased competition, a new regulatory landscape, and multi-billion dollar fines – in-house lawyers in the financial services sector have had plenty of challenges to keep them on their toes over the […]

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