This week’s top 15 legal briefings – 22nd December 2013

Rarely does a High Court trial engender a football crowd-style atmosphere, but when England’s longest-running commercial case in recent memory wrapped up a few days ago, shareholders for the defendant companies were cheering outside the court. In dismissing Excalibur Ventures’ claim for an interest in various petroleum fields in Iraqi Kurdistan held by Texas Keystone and Gulf Keystone, Mr Justice Clarke drew a veil over only the first act of this drama, with much more tussling to emerge over costs. In the meantime, our commentators at Memery Crystal hail the judgment as a victory for ‘common sense’ and advise all ‘upstream’ companies to review carefully their precedent joint bidding agreements in the light of this litigation. Click here for more information.

European Commission bureaucrats are not renowned for cutting red tape – indeed, many suggest they have the stuff clogging up their veins. However, plans are afoot in Brussels to simplify Europe’s merger notification process to smooth the process for businesses. Analysts at global law firm DLA Piper say the reforms – which come into effect from the beginning of next year – will broaden the applicability of the simplified notification procedure and reduce the amount of information merging businesses are required to submit. Click here for more information.

‘In the end, 2013 did not disappoint,’ say our commentators at transatlantic law firm Hogan Lovells. It’s a bold statement and certainly one that the England cricket side might dispute. But the lawyers aren’t talking Ashes, but capital markets, suggesting the last year saw a resurgence in equity offerings, promising company valuations and greater market liquidity. Invoking the long-standing rule that allows hyperbole during the holiday season, the lawyers say: ‘It’s no wonder that some were keen to label 2013 as the year of the come-back for listings on the global capital markets.’ See what they forecast for 2014.

Top five briefings by law firm 

DLA Piper: European Commission reduces notification burden for more mergersDownload
Mills & Reeve: Misfeasance claims against directors of companies in liquidationDownload
Shoosmiths: Warning to employers relying on occupational health reportsDownload
Taylor Wessing: Safeguarding your business — landlordsDownload
Walker Morris: European Commission consults on new draft rescue and restructuring state-aid guidelinesDownload
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Top five briefings by practice area

Banking & finance: Further financial reform measures for Shanghai free-trade zoneDownload
Company/commercial: Webinar: a critical consideration for formal litigation, dispute resolution and corporate governanceDownload
Employment: Holiday pay and overtime — implications of Freightliner decision for pension schemesDownload
Information technology: Checklist of key criteria for a legal matter and spend solution for in-house counselDownload
Litigation/dispute resolution: Excalibur v Gulf Keystone: a victory for common senseDownload
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Top five briefings by region 

Asia & Australasia: Australian Federal Court rules in flyash caseDownload
Middle East:Explore: No.1, December 2013 — insights from the DLA Piper mining sectorDownload
Offshore: Cayman Islands: fund-specific guidance on corporate governanceDownload
UK and Europe: Global capital markets: 2013 marked as the year of the ‘come-back’. What’s in store for 2014?Download
US & the Americas : The Volcker Rule — an overviewDownload
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