Latest updates

California's legislature passes bill enhancing antitrust scrutiny of patent settlements
Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • USA
  • 31 October 2019

California's governor recently signed a bill designed to enhance antitrust scrutiny of patent settlements between branded and generic pharmaceutical companies. The bill follows the California attorney general's nearly $70 million settlement in Summer 2019 with several pharmaceutical companies based on patent settlements that the attorney general claimed violated the Cartwright Act and is yet another example of diverging interpretations between federal and state antitrust laws.

Why GSE should reduce instead of revoke incentives for PV plants
Norton Rose Fulbright Studio Legale
  • Energy & Natural Resources
  • Italy
  • 21 October 2019

According to a recent Lazio Regional Administrative Court ruling, before reaching a decision on the revocation of incentives, the Energy Services Operator must confirm whether the renewables exception set out in Article 42(3) of Legislative Decree 28/2011 applies (ie, the plant in question must have received incentives when the violation was verified) and assess the size of the reduction with regard to the extent of the violation detected.

Data protection and cyber-risk issues in arbitration: regulation, cyberattacks and hacked evidence
Norton Rose Fulbright
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • International
  • 17 October 2019

Data protection and cybersecurity are hot topics in international arbitration and international surveys demonstrate that users of arbitration are concerned about data security. While there are signs that the market is listening, users seem to think that institutions, counsel and tribunals could do more to address cybersecurity. As these issues become more common, it is hoped that consistent practices will emerge to reassure users that their data will be secure.

Singapore Convention: update on enforcing mediated settlement agreements
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • International
  • 10 October 2019

The United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation (Singapore Convention) has been signed by 46 states and will come into force six months after being ratified by at least three state parties. The convention responds to the demand from a growing body of mediation users for an enforcement mechanism applicable to mediated settlement agreements in cross-border disputes. However, its language has created some uncertainties.

Hart-Scott-Rodino annual report confirms likelihood of challenge for transactions subject to second requests
Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • USA
  • 10 October 2019

The Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division recently released the Hart-Scott-Rodino Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2018, covering 1 October 2017 to 30 September 2018. This report is the first opportunity to review data regarding the merger challenges issued exclusively during Trump's administration. The data underscores the importance and benefit of advance planning and strategy to avoid a second request investigation whenever possible.

Recent developments in ISDS reform: the big picture
Norton Rose Fulbright
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • International
  • 03 October 2019

Investor-state dispute settlement is an important feature of investment treaties as it is the procedural mechanism through which investors can claim compensation for a violation of a substantive investor-protection standard. The traditional mechanism (ie, investment arbitration between the investor and the host state, modelled on commercial arbitration) has been increasingly criticised. Hostility to the traditional model has led to changes in individual treaties and wider reform initiatives.

Arbitrating M&A disputes: changes in arbitration landscape and the impact of technology
Norton Rose Fulbright
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • International
  • 26 September 2019

M&A lawyers mitigate buyer risk through expansive due diligence exercises and tight contractual controls. Arbitration has become a prominent forum for resolving these disputes. For example, the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) has reported a significant increase in the number of shareholder, share purchase and joint venture agreements being referred to LCIA arbitration. This article examines the growth of arbitration as a forum for resolving such disputes.

Enhancing the 'carrot': DOJ announces changes to its compliance programme policy
Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • USA
  • 01 August 2019

In a historic shift, the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division will now consider providing credit to companies in the charging and sentencing stages of an antitrust criminal investigation if they have a robust and effective antitrust compliance programme. While a positive step, significant questions remain regarding the extent to which the opportunity for compliance credit will incentivise companies to self-report criminal antitrust violations and how the guidance interacts with the division's leniency programme.

ICC construction industry arbitration report
Norton Rose Fulbright
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • International
  • 20 June 2019

The International Chamber of Commerce Commission recently published an update to its report on construction industry arbitration, focusing on recommended tools and techniques for effective management. The report is a helpful reminder for practitioners and arbitrators of the procedural mechanisms available which are particularly relevant to the conduct of arbitration in the construction sector.

Use of corporate power purchase agreements
Norton Rose Fulbright Studio Legale
  • Energy & Natural Resources
  • Italy
  • 17 June 2019

The use of corporate renewable power purchase agreements (PPAs) looks set to increase in Italy. Corporate PPAs are contracts between buyers and power producers to purchase electricity at a pre-agreed price for a pre-agreed period. As the market for the development of subsidy-free renewable energy projects grows, corporate PPAs are expected to become a common part of the energy and sustainability strategies of Italian corporates.

Construction disputes: maximising time and cost efficiencies
Norton Rose Fulbright LLP
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • International
  • 13 June 2019

In construction disputes, a significant amount of legal time (and therefore expense) is often spent simply locating and trying to understand the relevance of key documents because of poor document management practices throughout the project lifecycle. Establishing clear guidelines for document management and information collection is critical and will assist contractors and suppliers in making and evidencing claims in arbitration.

Expert evidence: practical tips for managing party-appointed experts
Norton Rose Fulbright
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • International
  • 30 May 2019

The expert phase is often the most critical, and sometimes costly, part of the arbitration process. Thus, choosing the right expert is crucial. This means ensuring not only that the expert has the appropriate qualifications, technical expertise and reputation in the relevant field, but also (if possible) suitable experience of the dispute process and of writing expert reports and giving evidence in adversarial proceedings. This article offers some practical tips for managing party-appointed experts in arbitrations.

New York Appellate Division confirms narrow scope of manifest disregard doctrine
Norton Rose Fulbright LLP
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • USA
  • 30 May 2019

The New York Appellate Division has reaffirmed that the manifest disregard doctrine is a "severely limited… doctrine of last resort" that requires more than a mere error of law to warrant vacating an arbitral award. This case involved the acquisition contracts between Daesang and NutraSweet, under which NutraSweet could rescind the deal if it was sued for antitrust law violations. After NutraSweet exercised this right, Daesang commenced an arbitration proceeding for breach of contract.

Assistant attorney general suggests expanding scope of antitrust enforcement
Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • USA
  • 23 May 2019

The assistant attorney general recently suggested that antitrust enforcers should update their analytical framework to account for modern corporate structures, signalling the potential for antitrust violations when officers and directors serve multiple competing companies. The assistant attorney general's speech is a reminder that behaviour that is not explicitly prohibited by the letter of the antitrust statutes may still raise eyebrows.

Dispute resolution for multi-contract projects: avoiding parallel proceedings and conflicting decisions
Norton Rose Fulbright
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • International
  • 23 May 2019

Construction contracts are often part of a wider suite of project contracts, involving multiple, overlapping parties. This intertwined suite of contracts means that when a dispute arises, it arises under multiple project contracts, which can be difficult to deal with. Choosing arbitration as the dispute resolution procedure for each project contract – and ensuring that the arbitration agreement in each project contract is consistent – will help parties to achieve consolidation of future disputes under different project contracts.

Disclosure in international arbitration: using US courts to obtain discovery for non-US proceedings
Norton Rose Fulbright
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • USA
  • 23 May 2019

Unbeknown to many, Section 1782 of Title 28 of the US Code permits parties to obtain discovery in the United States in aid of non-US legal proceedings, including – in some instances – international arbitrations. Such discovery can include documents and sworn testimony (eg, depositions). In conducting an arbitration seated outside the United States (or other non-US legal proceedings), it is useful to understand the mechanics, requirements and key issues of Section 1782 discovery.

FBI and ACCC commit to sharing antitrust enforcement expertise
Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • USA
  • 02 May 2019

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) recently signed a new memorandum of cooperation to strengthen their ability to combat cartels and other anti-competitive conduct. According to the section chief of the FBI's Criminal Investigative Division, the memorandum codifies the FBI's relationship with the ACCC and provides an opportunity for increased information and resource sharing.

Fine line between financial initiatives in PV greenhouses and genuine agricultural projects
Norton Rose Fulbright Studio Legale
  • Energy & Natural Resources
  • Italy
  • 15 April 2019

The Regional Administrative Court of Sardinia recently annulled the regional authority's decision to revoke authorisation for the construction and operation of a photovoltaic (PV) plant on the rooftops of agricultural greenhouses following its alleged loss of status as an agricultural company. The decision confirms that the lack of qualification as a professional agricultural entrepreneur should not jeopardise the right to operate PV plants and receive incentive tariffs on the production of renewable energy.

Strategies to avoid lengthy pre-merger reviews
Norton Rose Fulbright
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • USA
  • 11 April 2019

Second requests can be expensive, time consuming and distracting to clients' employees. One way to ease the burden of a second request is to avoid it altogether. While second requests are inevitable for some transactions, certain strategies can help to lessen the likelihood of one being issued.

FTC eyes settlement agreements that restrict rivals' online search terms
Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • USA
  • 13 December 2018

Litigants often enter into settlement agreements without giving much thought to whether those agreements could form the basis for an antitrust claim – and for good reason because most settlement agreements simply resolve a dispute through money payments. However, agreements that restrict rivals' abilities to engage in advertising or other competitive activities could fall foul of the antitrust laws.