Fintech – Trends and Developments in France

Finance, Legal Technology | 12 November 2018

Overview of the current legal market in France and recent developments

French authorities and regulators have exhibited constant interest for FinTechs, which are driving technological innovation and providing additional financing sources . François Villeroy de Galhau, Governor of the French central bank and Chairman of the French banking regulator, said in 2017 that “the digital revolution is creating challenges but also incredible opportunities that are just waiting to be seized, whether by FinTechs themselves, by the entire financial system – banks and insurers – or by the French and European economy as a whole.” Regulations implemented in the last few years demonstrate French regulators’ commitment to quickly establish appropriate frameworks that foster the development of FinTech companies while ensuring investors’ protection. [Continue Reading]

Grave professional misconduct; a remaining ambiguity in EU public procurement

Public Sector | 01 November 2018

The legislation regulating public procurement procedures in the EU is the Directive 2014/24/EU, which repealed Directive 2004/18/EC. In Cyprus the Directive has been transposed into national law under the Law no. 73(I)/2016 (hereinafter “the Law”). Under Article 57 the Law refers to public procurement procedures which entail, inter alia, the grounds for exclusion of economic operators. Article 57 of both the EU and national law serves as a guide to national authorities when deciding on the possibility of excluding economic operators who have placed bids on public tenders, whilst concurrently serves as a guidebook to economic operators as to what behaviours to avoid in order not to be excluded. [Continue Reading]

A Blockchain Reaction

Disruptive tech, Finance, Legal Technology | 31 October 2018

Malta’s proactive approach towards asserting itself as a leader in the regulation of virtual financial assets

Anyone taking even the slightest interest in FinTech over the past few years would be very much aware of the increased adoption of cryptocurrencies, ICOs and utility tokens as alternative methods of raising finance or creating a challenge to the world’s standard ‘fiat’ currencies. These phenomena are not entirely new, with cryptocurrencies having risen from the proverbial ashes of the 2008 financial crisis. However, the increasingly widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies, which ostensibly create a medium of exchange that could challenge regular government issued money, have made them central to national and international efforts to address these phenomena through proper legislation and regulation. Perhaps – many argue – too little too late. [Continue Reading]

Brexit and mergers

Brexit | 04 October 2018

Losing the ‘one-stop-shop’: the real cost of a dual UK/EU merger process post-Brexit

With only a matter of months left before the UK officially leaves the EU, the Government is no clearer as to what a deal (if indeed there is one) will look like.  Meanwhile businesses across the country remain largely in the dark as to what Brexit will mean in practice.  This is particularly problematic for companies planning their corporate M&A strategy.  The statistics suggest that Brexit has not resulted in the expected downturn in merger activity.  However, if the UK is no longer a member of the European Economic Area (EEA), then there will be no ‘one stop shop’ for mergers at the EU level and a separate review may need to be carried out by the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).  This means merger notification may be required to both the European Commission (Commission) and the CMA.  Although the UK regime is voluntary, notification is advisable if competition issues are likely to arise.  This will result in a significant increase in transaction costs, time and administration for UK companies faced with an additional merger filing.  There is also potential uncertainty as UK companies face possibly divergent or inconsistent decisions.

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Brexit: deal or no deal

Brexit | 02 October 2018

Since late August 2018, against a backdrop of growing concern over the prospects for the Brexit negotiations as the clock ticks down, the UK has published batches of ‘Technical Notices’1 on the steps it is taking, and what steps organisations and individuals should consider taking, to prepare for the possibility of a ‘no deal’ Brexit. This article assesses the risk of ‘no deal’, when it will be clear whether it will materialise and what steps companies should consider taking to prepare. [Continue Reading]

The increasing role of PR in litigation

Litigation | 02 October 2018

The asymmetric approach

King Pyrrhus of Epirus famously said: ‘If we are victorious in one more battle with the Romans, we shall be utterly ruined.’ He was talking in 279 BC about the large number of soldiers he had lost in the battle of Asculum, but today he could just as easily have been referring to the high cost of litigation, or the pitfalls of winning the legal battle inside the courtroom at the expense of losing the communications war outside it.

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Revolutionising dispute resolution

Dispute Resolution | 02 October 2018

Technology is at the heart of the legal sector’s current, well-publicised drive for innovation. With the demands placed on in-house legal teams increasing, and legal budgets trending downwards, the pressure on outside counsel to provide genuine value to their corporate clients has never been greater. GCs are rightly challenging firms in pitches, panel reviews and on an ongoing basis to demonstrate how they will provide that value. While in the past firms might have been able to pay lip-service to innovation, today, demonstrating efficiency through smarter ways of working and optimising resources is critical in winning and retaining clients, while also allowing firms to maintain profitability. [Continue Reading]

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Recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments in China

Global Outlook: Disputes | 02 October 2018

After the landmark decision by a Chinese court finding reciprocity between China and the US, and recognising and enforcing a US judgment for the first time, there have been heated discussions on whether this case signals a genuine broader trend towards recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments in China. The term ‘foreign judgments’ does not include foreign divorce judgments, which are generally enforceable subject to certain limited exceptions. Also for the purpose of this article, the term ‘China’ does not include the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Macau Special Administrative Region and Taiwan. [Continue Reading]