Latest updates

Streaming finance agreements: a dispute resolution perspective
Norton Rose Fulbright
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • International
  • 07 January 2021

Streaming agreements are increasingly relied on by mining companies as a primary source of financing. As always, in parallel with the increase in popularity of particular transactions, there has been a corresponding increase in disputes between counterparties. This article explores the nature of streaming agreements, the types of dispute that can arise and how contracting parties can take steps at the outset to put themselves in the best position to mitigate disputes risk.

Family governance – enforceability and sustainability in private wealth structures
Forsters LLP
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • International
  • 07 January 2021

Any legal structure incorporating family governance principles will be a hybrid of elements from corporate governance but with flexibility that is not possible in a truly commercial context; rigid structures and families rarely go together. The most successful governance structures have a level of transparency and include the wider family members within a framework of tried and tested corporate governance mechanisms.

Financing M&A deals
Kayum & Demir
  • Corporate Finance/M&A
  • International
  • 23 December 2020

At its core, financing constitutes using a fund which incurs the lowest cost for the borrower and provides the highest rate of return for the financier. Each party has their own considerations in an M&A deal which are reflected in the financing of the deal as much as in the deal itself. This article sets out the most common ways of financing an M&A transaction.

Uber-zoom: case against trademark genericide
Spoor & Fisher
  • Intellectual Property
  • International
  • 21 December 2020

Imagine if 'zoom' became a synonym for conducting online video meetings, regardless of the app used – or worse, became a verb. In this way, ZOOM would lose its distinctiveness and become a generic trademark and its owners would be unable to stop others from using 'zoom' to refer to online conferencing services. This would not be a first. Over the years, many brands have come to realise the adverse consequences of a trademark that is too successful.

World Bank investigations arm sets anti-corruption priorities for 2021
Hogan Lovells
  • White Collar Crime
  • International
  • 21 December 2020

This article examines the World Bank Group's (WBG's) recently published third Sanctions System Annual Report FY2020, which covers 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020. The report provides a detailed look at the recent activities of the three units of the WBG's sanctions system: the Integrity Vice Presidency (INT), the Office of Suspension of Debarment and the Sanctions Board. It also provides important insight into INT's priorities for fiscal year 2021.

Overview of dispute trends in mining and metals sector: volatility as the new normal
Norton Rose Fulbright
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • International
  • 17 December 2020

Considerations of agility, resilience and risk mitigation must feature high on every corporate agenda. This article examines the areas that must be considered when it comes to disputes risk mitigation in the mining sector, including identifying the potential origins of disputes, enforcement of international arbitral awards, contractual disputes and disputes with states or state-owned entities.

Five key changes in the ICC's 2021 arbitration rules
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • International
  • 10 December 2020

The International Chamber of Commerce has updated its arbitration rules with effect from 1 January 2021 and applying to all cases registered from that date. These modifications are relatively subtle, aimed at streamlining the overall arbitral process. By expressly outlining certain procedural powers which had been arguably uncertain, the risk of disruption from parties' intent on delay should also be reduced. These updates are consistent with the chamber's efforts to control time and costs.

Protecting your IP rights during the COVID-19 pandemic
Spoor & Fisher
  • Intellectual Property
  • International
  • 07 December 2020

This article examines how to safeguard IP rights against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now more than ever, what is needed is slow thinking, reflection and anticipation if a company seeking to protect or gain IP rights is to yield a well-thought-out IP protection plan that contains clear priorities. After all, it is vital to ensure that critical IP matters do not fall by the wayside as a result of the pandemic.

What's in a name? Petsmart Inc fails to prove that Vietnamese pet business infringed its trademark
Mirandah Asia (Singapore) Pte Ltd
  • Intellectual Property
  • International
  • 16 November 2020

US distributor PetSmart Inc recently failed in a Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy case against Vietnam-based pet business Pet Mart Vietnam Co Ltd before the World Intellectual Property Organisation's Arbitration and Mediation Centre. The case illustrates the fact that despite the similarity between the two companies' marks, a battle over domain names was not the most definitive method of resolution with respect to trademark enforcement.

European Commission comments on Western Balkan countries' level of harmonisation of antitrust rules
Schoenherr
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • International
  • 05 November 2020

The European Commission recently adopted the 'enlargement package' for 2020, which encompasses reports on candidate and potential candidate countries' progress towards EU accession. The progress reports contain, among other things, an assessment of the level of harmonisation of the Western Balkan countries' national competition laws with EU competition law and practice.

Guide to international expansion in the education sector – part two
Fieldfisher LLP
  • Franchising
  • International
  • 03 November 2020

School closures, social distancing, remote learning and a reduction in international travel and student exchange for the foreseeable future are all placing a significant strain on businesses in the education sector. Nevertheless, with every crisis comes opportunity. For the education sector, international expansion will be an important way of securing long-term financial viability through the creation of new revenue streams and the development of new edtech innovations.

Pricing mechanisms in M&A deals
Kayum & Demir
  • Corporate Finance/M&A
  • International
  • 14 October 2020

The complexity and multitude of factors and external requisites which are not under the control of either party in an M&A transaction mean that significant time can pass between the company's valuation and the deal's completion. How the target operates during this time will affect its value. However, several adjustment and pricing mechanisms are available to amend this situation.

M&A in 2020: adjusting to COVID-19 shockwaves
Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan
  • Corporate Finance/M&A
  • International
  • 07 October 2020

The year 2020 has had an adverse effect on economies worldwide. Companies face varied and unique challenges and the actions undertaken to combat these will determine the continued viability of their business. In the coming months, various M&A practices are expected to emerge based on market demand and the extent of the pandemic's impact on each sector and jurisdiction. As there is no rule book for avoiding distressed deals, parties must be creative and flexible.

Climate change and sustainability: lessons learned from COVID-19 and resolving disputes by arbitration
Norton Rose Fulbright
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • International
  • 01 October 2020

Prior to COVID-19, few people would have found an obvious practical connection between a pandemic and climate change. But, with hindsight, the connections are manifold. As discussed in this article, some of these are obvious and some are subtle, while others are still playing out. However, what is becoming clear is that climate change-related disputes are unlikely to abate in the wake of the pandemic.

Competitive edge in merger control and FDI: everything you need to know to stay ahead
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • International
  • 24 September 2020

As the world emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, increased M&A activity is likely until at least the end of 2020. The pandemic has changed the landscape of M&A, antitrust and foreign direct investment reviews globally in many key areas, including with regard to so-called 'killer acquisitions', failing firm arguments, distressed transactions and gun jumping.

Arbitrating disputes in pharmaceutical, life sciences and healthcare sector during COVID-19 pandemic
Norton Rose Fulbright
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • International
  • 24 September 2020

COVID-19 is putting tremendous strain on the life sciences and healthcare sector. Disputes may be more disruptive than usual during this time, not least because they put further pressure on often already limited financial and managerial resources. Therefore, many parties are seeking alternative ways to avoid disputes. However, some disputes are inevitable and a number are likely to be resolved through international arbitration.

Groundbreaking judgment will result in quicker refusal of Benelux trademark applications for descriptiveness
  • Litigation
  • International
  • 22 September 2020

The Benelux Court of Justice recently assessed whether the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP) rightly refused the Benelux trademark PET'S BUDGET for being descriptive. The central question in this case was the criterion to assess whether a sign is descriptive. The implications of the case are groundbreaking since it will likely lead to quicker findings of signs or trademarks being descriptive and more refusals at the BOIP.

COVID-19: preliminary arbitration trends in transport sector
Norton Rose Fulbright
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • International
  • 17 September 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has severely curtailed court access in many jurisdictions. By virtue of its flexibility, arbitration has been offered up as a solution to commercial parties which nevertheless wish to progress the resolution of their dispute. Both institutional and ad hoc arbitrations have been accommodating in terms of virtual hearings and electronic documentation.

Distance insurance contracts: points to consider during pre-contractual phase
NautaDutilh Avocats Luxembourg S.à r.l.
  • Insurance
  • International
  • 15 September 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the usefulness of new communication techniques and provided greater legitimacy to digitalisation projects in the broader context of adapting to new consumer expectations. The insurance sector is not immune to these changes. This article provides a review of the provisions on distance insurance contracts, which reveals that insurers are subject to complex pre-contractual obligations to which particular attention should be paid prior to the conclusion of contracts.

Groundbreaking judgment will result in quicker refusal of Benelux trademark applications for descriptiveness
AKD
  • Intellectual Property
  • International
  • 14 September 2020

The Benelux Court of Justice recently assessed whether the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP) rightly refused the Benelux trademark PET'S BUDGET for being descriptive. The central question in this case was the criterion to assess whether a sign is descriptive. The implications of the case are groundbreaking since it will likely lead to quicker findings of signs or trademarks being descriptive and more refusals at the BOIP.