Latest updates

On the right track: developments in light rail
Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP
  • Projects & Procurement
  • United Kingdom
  • 21 May 2019

Given the growing popularity of light rail systems across the globe, operators, passenger transport executives, local authorities and commentators alike are calling for further investment in order to better harness the great opportunities for building on this growth. Developments in this sector have the potential to provide welcome improvements to public transport in the United Kingdom, ease the pressure on congested roads and improve access for many communities.

Supreme Court's recent take on non-disclosure and misrepresentation
Tuli & Co
  • Insurance
  • India
  • 21 May 2019

The Supreme Court recently ruled in a case between Reliance Life Insurance and the wife of an insured party who had died of a heart attack. Reliance had repudiated the respondent's claim due to the suppression of material facts by the insured, who had failed to provide details of a second policy with another insurer. In its decision, the Supreme Court considered the nature of the disclosure made by the insured and the validity of the ground for repudiation of the claim.

Court of Appeal specifies consequences of rescinding contracts
Luther SA
  • Litigation
  • Luxembourg
  • 21 May 2019

The buyer of an apartment signed a long-term lease and agreed to live in the apartment for at least 12 years. However, in contravention of this commitment, the buyer moved out and rented the property to a tenant. The seller sued the buyer, seeking to have the contract rescinded. In its decision, the Court of Appeal ruled that the contract had been divided into a contract of sale and a lease contract, and that the retroactive rescission principle would have a different effect on each of these.

Prohibition on passing on commission in reinsurance context – exemption uncertainty
Arnecke Sibeth Dabelstein
  • Insurance
  • Germany
  • 21 May 2019

The controversial prohibition on passing on commission forbids brokers and insurers from granting or promising special remuneration to policyholders, insured persons or beneficiaries under an insurance contract. According to the legislature, the prohibition was upheld during the implementation of the EU Insurance Distribution Directive into national law over the past three years. However, whether reinsurance remains excluded from the prohibition is unclear.

No-fault system and compensation for road accidents
Levitan, Sharon & Co
  • Insurance
  • Israel
  • 21 May 2019

Israel has a no-fault system for road accident compensation under the Road Accident Victims Compensation Law. According to the law, drivers must have a valid insurance policy that covers all bodily injuries. This mandatory insurance system ensures that drivers, passengers and any third parties receive compensation when injured in a road accident. Further, it provides compensation to pedestrians who may have been hit and injured by an insured motor vehicle.

Declaration of Economic Freedom – impact on new and existing litigation
TozziniFreire Advogados
  • Litigation
  • Brazil
  • 21 May 2019

The Declaration of Economic Freedom was recently instituted by Presidential Provisional Measure 881/2019. Designed to curtail the state's undue interference in economic activities performed by individuals and companies, the law (which is subject to confirmation by Congress) is also expected to affect new and existing litigation. The provisional measure modifies certain provisions of the Civil Code – namely, those concerning contract interpretation and the piercing of the corporate veil.

Disclosure pilot scheme under spotlight: application and privilege
RPC
  • Litigation
  • United Kingdom
  • 21 May 2019

The chancellor of the High Court recently clarified to which cases the disclosure pilot scheme applies. He also provided useful guidance on the extent to which the court should exercise its discretion to inspect allegedly privileged documents under the new regime and emphasised the change in behaviour and culture envisaged under the pilot.

Jurisdictional challenges to arbitral awards: raise them before they're gone
Dentons
  • Litigation
  • Canada
  • 21 May 2019

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice recently provided a comprehensive judicial review of a jurisdictional challenge to an arbitral award. This decision will be of interest not only to car manufacturers, but also to most parties subject to an arbitration agreement. However, the broader takeaway from this case is that non-compliance with the Arbitration Act is not a ground for review. Therefore, jurisdictional challenges must be brought at the beginning of hearings.

The gagging order and Norwich Pharmacal two step
RPC
  • Litigation
  • Hong Kong
  • 21 May 2019

The Norwich Pharmacal order is an important tool for combating fraud. Given the prevalence of electronic and identity fraud, the ability of victims to recover lost money through the civil courts has assumed a high profile of late. For plaintiffs who fall prey to such fraudsters, the ability to obtain a court order prohibiting a defendant from disposing of (among other things) money in a bank account (ie, a Mareva injunction) and to obtain timely disclosure of details of alleged wrongdoing from a defendant's bank (eg, Norwich Pharmacal relief) is often crucial.

Act now: follow this to-do list to save money on Canadian trademarks before 17 June 2019
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Intellectual Property
  • Canada
  • 20 May 2019

Canada's trademark regime is changing, bringing about dramatic amendments to the law, regulations and practice. These long-awaited changes will have a significant impact on brand owners in terms of both strategy and costs. In order to prepare for the changes, brand owners should consider renewing and classifying registrations, filing multi-class applications, pushing allowed applications to registration and ensuring that all portfolios are troll-proof before the new law enters into force on 17 June 2019.

Is 'stale' a reason for 'male and pale' boards?
Cooley LLP
  • Company & Commercial
  • USA
  • 20 May 2019

California's new board gender diversity mandate is expected to fuel a greater effort towards board gender diversity. Under the new law, public companies will be required to have at least one woman on their board of directors by the close of 2019. That minimum increases to two women by 31 December 2021 if the company has five directors and to three women if it has six or more directors. While the first of its kind in the United States, this mandate may not be the last.

Supreme Court of Cassation examines shareholders' agreements and put option clauses
Grieco e Associati
  • Company & Commercial
  • Italy
  • 20 May 2019

The Supreme Court of Cassation recently examined the admissibility of a put option clause in a shareholders' agreement of a joint stock company by which one shareholder was committed to indemnify the other shareholders from any losses arising from payments to the company for stock capital contributions or other payments having a similar effect. The court's decision confirms that Italian company law admits shareholder agreement clauses in line with the international principles of lex mercatoria.

Breaking ground: technology in construction
Fenwick Elliott Solicitors
  • Construction
  • United Kingdom
  • 20 May 2019

The continuing development of robotics and AI is a potential game changer for the construction industry and may help to resolve (or at least improve) skills shortages and poor productivity rates. However, this technological future will also bring new risk profiles to construction contracts and additional contractual provisions to deal with matters such as IP rights, data protection, confidentiality, health and safety and cyber risk. Perhaps the real question is how this technology will develop and what its impact will be onsite.

Directors' remuneration – new draft regulations
Squire Patton Boggs
  • Company & Commercial
  • United Kingdom
  • 20 May 2019

The draft Companies (Directors' Remuneration Policy and Directors' Remuneration Report) Regulations 2019 were recently published as part of the drive to encourage long-term shareholder engagement and to strengthen the governance and performance of traded companies. Most of the directors' remuneration reporting requirements inserted by the EU Shareholder Rights Directive II already apply under UK law and the draft regulations will implement most of the requirements that do not currently apply.

Amendments to Patented Medicines Regulations expected to come into force no earlier than Spring 2020
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Intellectual Property
  • Canada
  • 20 May 2019

Health Canada recently released its Forward Regulatory Plan 2019-2021: Regulations Amending the Patented Medicines Regulations. This brief document provides a high-level overview of the anticipated amendments released in draft form on 2 December 2017, the expected impact of these amendments and the consultation process.

How a 'House of Bonang' can house its intellectual property
KISCH IP
  • Intellectual Property
  • South Africa
  • 20 May 2019

Many celebrities extend their brands by venturing into various industries, such as Bonang Matheba who recently launched her own range of sparkling wine. While these endeavours can work well, they also create opportunities for individuals to infringe on the IP rights embedded in celebrities' respective ventures. As such, there are a number of IP rights that celebrities can use to maintain control over their brands and regulate how they are used by others.

Unitary patent and UPC – Italy moves forward
IP Law Galli
  • Intellectual Property
  • Italy
  • 20 May 2019

The government recently adopted provisions to coordinate national legislation with the EU Unitary Patent Regulation and the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement. Italy has chosen a proactive approach to the UPC system, aligning its national law with the system's substantive rules in all respects.

Importance of certainty in agreements: can there be room for an agreement to agree?
Solsidus Law
  • Company & Commercial
  • Cyprus
  • 20 May 2019

The Contracts Law provides the legal framework for establishing legally valid and enforceable agreements in Cyprus. However, in real-life commercial situations, parties may not always achieve the certainty required to ensure that an agreement or contract term is valid and enforceable. The pressure associated with reaching an agreement often causes parties to defer important contract terms in order to close a deal at the expense of certainty and, ultimately, enforceability.

Supreme Court clarifies use of choice-of-jurisdiction clauses in adhesion contracts
Hogan Lovells BSTL SC
  • Banking
  • Mexico
  • 17 May 2019

Under Mexican commercial regulations, contracting parties have traditionally been free to determine in their corresponding agreement the jurisdiction in which disputes must be resolved. However, a new binding precedent from the Supreme Court challenges this traditional approach with regard to banking adhesion contracts and is a good example of how Mexico is advancing its consumer protection regulations.

Preference share funding structures: overview of Companies Act and Income Tax Act provisions
Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr
  • Corporate Tax
  • South Africa
  • 17 May 2019

Preference share funding structures are often preferred by banks and other financial institutions because dividends received by certain holders – including banks and other juristic persons – are exempt from income tax. As such, the provisions of the Companies Act and the Income Tax Act must be considered in the context of the outcome which a company wishes to achieve before it settles the terms of a preference share funding structure.

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