Chambers Newsletter | February Updates

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Chambers Newsletter | February Updates

In this month’s Chambers Newsletter, we cover the latest Global Practice Guides, articles, podcasts and videos from Expert Focus and all our upcoming events.

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Chambers Global Practice Guides and Chambers Expert Focus

Our Global Practice Guides are yearly online guides which include articles written by legal experts around the world in many areas of business law. The articles in our guides are in-depth commentaries from the best in their field, and because they come from lawyers in every continent, they allow the reader to compare the legislation and procedures described in these articles across different jurisdictions.

Chambers Expert Focus provides multimedia content (articles, videos and podcasts), featuring legal professionals offering fresh and concise insight into international legal practices.

Trending in Global Practice Guides

TMT 2024

Published 22 February 2024 

Had it not been for TMT (technology, media and telecommunications) during the pandemic years, the expression ‘lockdown’ would have equalled ‘shut down’. Luckily, with technology on our side, our compulsory state of isolation became much more bearable, although still not even remotely (pardon the pun!) comparable to the human interaction offered by a kiss, a hug, or a handshake.

Now, with those dark days (hopefully) behind us, we are still enjoying the convenience, privacy and comfort offered by all our TMT services, for both home and work; but with bigger use comes an even bigger need to protect us from electronic threats and attacks. While it helps us distinguish our ‘cloud’ from our ‘metaverse’, the Chambers TMT 2024 e-guide presents commentaries from over 40 law firms across the world who remind us that in the TMT sector data protection and cybersecurity remain very high on the agenda of legislators and business leaders; their main purpose is to improve the legal framework to defend us from fraud, strengthen the identification of consumers and facilitate licensing for digital marketing so that we can embrace TMT in total confidence.

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What’s new in Global Practice Guides

Family Law 2024

Published 29 February 2024 

At a time where the turmoil brought by international wars and illnesses knows no boundaries, globalisation has had a huge impact on families everywhere and the law that governs them, with family groups having been forced to move through different countries, carrying with them their culture and national legislation. Against this background family lawyers have found they needed to expand their competence of family life and apply it to multi-national regions.

Mentioning famous court cases in several areas across the world, the Family Law 2024 e-guide handles specific issues which may arise in the family context, such as less traditional marriages, what provisions are granted to cohabiting couples, and the distribution of assets during separation trials. Special focus is dedicated to the most innocent and vulnerable, the children, with description of the legislation devised to maintain their anonymity from journalists and legal bloggers during court proceedings, and reports on how the law treats the children coming from war-torn countries, confirming that any family lawyer, regardless of their jurisdiction, always has the best interests of the minor at heart.

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Trade Marks & Copyright 2024

Published 20 February 

The development of new technological equipment and the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) are now imposing on legislators the need to resolve particular issues concerning intellectual property, trade marks and copyright law. Even if we are now witnessing how machinery can create new content at the press of a button,  we should remind ourselves that this is possible thanks to the feeding of massive amounts of data which is likely to be owned and copyrighted; even trade marks have now become readily available at the end of an internet search, bringing us to ask ourselves: who owns this content? Can we use it without constituting infringement? Who is liable when this happens?

Our Trade Marks & Copyright 2024 guide explores some famous legal infringement disputes battled in the court. To mention a couple, Andy Warhol Foundation v Lynn Goldsmith, when the AWF licensed an image recreated over the photo of the musician Prince for a magazine cover after his death; or Ninth Circuit v Jack Daniel’s, where the drawing of a dog toy (Bad Spaniels) was used to create a ‘parody’ of the famous whisky bottle. Trades, inventors and artists all want, of course, to protect their creations when they have not made them available for use to the public, but our guide will shed light on where the line should be drawn between the transformation, or reinterpretation, of a product, and the consumer’s right to apply their artistic licence to it.

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Insurance & Reinsurance 2024

Published 23 January 2024 

Practitioners dealing with insurance law provide legal advice when their clients enquire about an insurance claim, but they also specialise in managing risk, and have to deal with the financial losses caused as a result of such risks; as risks are constantly evolving, their work proves to be particularly challenging. Last year climate change was the cause of many catastrophic natural losses ranging from hurricanes to winter storms, which ‘naturally’ (pardon the pun) led to insurance claims applied for ruined assets totalling a value exceeding USD100 billion. As global warming is likely to impact on our planet with more devastating consequences, we can only predict a progressing increase in natural disasters, including flooding and thunderstorms, in the long term, with inevitable subsequent requests for compensation.

The conflicts in Ukraine, Israel and Gaza have also emphasised the need to provide cover for war risk, for instance when we witnessed the imposition of sanctions on Russia and on all the organisations associated with Putin’s regime. Other potential risks which may lead to insured losses are adding to the strain on insurers and brokers: a lack of protection of sensitive data, COVID-19 in the healthcare sector, and even post-Brexit in Europe, as a regulatory framework is still to be agreed between the UK and the Union’s member states. As explained by the leading experts in our Insurance & Reinsurance 2024 guide, some international governments are already working on ways to legislate these uncertainties and challenges, for instance by drafting risk profiles, analysing the costs of claim disputes and speeding up the handling of claims.

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What’s new in Expert Focus

State of the Market: Corporate M&A

In this informative interview with Chambers’ research manager Matthew Court, senior partner at Sullivan & Cromwell Frank Aquila analyses the current status of the M&A landscape in the US and the possible future trends in this sector. Aquila starts by recounting his early career as a lawyer during which he had learnt to pay attention during the boardroom discussions of important merger deals. In time this experience allowed him to become a well-rounded counsellor and eventually a partner in the American law firm.

He also talks about the challenges presented during last year for deal makers, with the uncertainty of the recession, delays in transactions brought by rising interest rates and regulatory pushbacks. Aquila predicts that the future of M&A looks optimistic, with a pick-up in cross-border work in a number of areas.  He also expects that in 2024 companies will work towards investing more in new technology, leading smaller companies to consider mergers or acquisitions as part of their strategy to compete with them. The video will divulge more information on the M&A world, but it also provides an interesting insight in the career of a prominent figure in the international legal landscape.

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Italy Cracks Down on Synthetic Foods and Misleading Plant-Based Labels

Italy is currently experiencing a pacific ‘revolt’ from Italian farmers and agricultural workers against the rising cost of living. These passionate workers are driving their tracks throughout the Italian motorways in the direction of the Home Office in Rome (at the time of writing some are parked outside the Coliseum)  to ask government officials for financial subsidies to help them maintain their biological produce and livestock, and produce the best that Italy has to offer: wheat and flour (for the production of pasta), milk, cheese, cold meats, and all those goods which regularly fill our tables. Not obtaining these funds, they explain, would result in the end of the production of natural crops and the closure of their farms. At the same time, following the EU directives, some Italian laboratories are researching and trying those alternative nutritional products commonly known as ‘synthetic foods’ (insect flour, plant-based meat and fish analogues), to the disgust of some chefs and the general public.

This interesting article from Laura Carrara of Mondini Bonora Ginevra Studio Legale reports on how Italian firms are legislating the commercial introduction of synthetic foods in a way that guarantees this is safe for human consumption, while also ensuring the preservation of the natural Mediterranean products that form what is universally known as the best diet in the world.

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Recent Developments in Dutch Labour Law

Workers and companies in the Netherlands can now rely on fairer working conditions thanks to the introduction of exciting changes in employment law at the start of the year. Edith Nordmann and Thomas Klaarenbeek from law firm ACG International explain in this riveting article how from 1st January the Netherlands has seen developments such as the introduction of the minimum hourly wage, a new calculation of expenses and more comprehensive employment contacts, all already welcomed by the country’s workforce.

One of the most popular among these adjustments, the authors tell us, is certainly the introduction of a minimum hourly wage. Previously, the minimum wage had been calculated on a monthly, weekly, or daily basis for all employees, regardless of the nature of their work, leading to discrepancies among different sectors that had variations in their standard weekly hours. The new system, however, is based on a fixed minimum wage of EUR13.27 per hour, and should therefore guarantee consistency in compensation, whatever the period or the overtime worked. The lawyers also add that the possible implementation of a bill mandating firms with over ten employees to designate a confidential adviser to improve safety at work will also certainly benefit both the company and its staff. These amendments surely mark a pivotal shift in the Netherlands’ labour law and aim at improving the environment in which the Dutch workforce operates; let’s hope that the employment legislators from other countries also follow their example with the implementation of equally positive policies.

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Navigating the EU ETS Regulation in Denmark

It is now universally known that by 2050 the EU aims at achieving climate neutrality, or net zero greenhouse gas emissions, for all its member countries; the Union hopes to realise these objectives by cutting emissions, investing in green technologies and protecting the natural environment but also by introducing the ETS (Emissions Trading System) Regulation 2021/11191, also known as the ‘cap and trade’ system, in all aspects of its economy. Since 1st January 2024, the shipping sector has also been incorporated into this system to regulate the emission of all maritime transport, with a particular focus on cargo, passenger ships and offshore ships of larger dimensions.

In this article, Camilla Søgaard Hudson and Johannes Grove Nielsen of Bech-Bruun provide an overview of the most important aspects of the ETS Regulation and how it will be administered in Denmark; they explain in detail the EU’s obligations according to the new rule (for instance, the quantity of greenhouse gases allowed to be emitted), and where responsibility lies for shipping companies to conform with the directive. A section of the article is also dedicated to the role of the Danish Business Authority, which in Denmark will impose serious fines whenever compliance is not ensured.

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Chambers Expert Focus Podcast

Listen to our informative Chambers Expert Focus podcasts which include legal experts sharing their knowledge and analysing key themes and market trends.

Listen to podcast

Chambers Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

LGBT+ History Month

This interview was conducted by Leonardo Rodrigues from Chambers with Eduardo Machado, partner from PwC Brazil and D&I Sponsor for the LGBTI+ Initiatives, addressing LGBT History Month and its impact on LGBTI+ rights in Brazil and corporations.

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Chambers Events

Chambers Greater China Region High Quality Development Forum 2024 – Beijing

Join us in Beijing for a 2-day forum taking place Wednesday, 6 to Thursday, 7 March at the InterContinental Beijing Sanlitun. This event will feature topical legal discussions on a range of subjects including but not limited to:

  • New developments in arbitration rules of various Institutions in China
  • Hong Kong stock listing under new filing regulations
  • Legal matters in construction project timelines management
  • Observation on global diversified dispute resolution mechanisms
  • Overseas investment legal risk prevention and control and more.

Registration is free for general counsel and available here.

Chambers Fórum: Brasília 2024 – Brasília em Foco: Particularidades, Tendências e Desafios do Mercado Jurídico da Capital

On Tuesday, 19 March, we will be hosting our first ever event in Brasília, taking place at the B Hotel Brasília. The event will run for the full day (9:30AM-3:45PM) and end with a networking and drinks reception for attendees. Attending promises the chance to meet our Head of Brazil Research, Mateus Monteiro, and offers the opportunity to take part in a variety of legal discussions on topics including but not limited to:

  • Tax reform
  • The practice before the Higher Courts
  • CADE: Internationalisation of antitrust law and more.

Registration is free for general counsel and available here.

Chambers Brazil Awards 2024

Join us on Thursday, 21 March for the annual Brazil Awards, where we will celebrate the achievements of firms and individuals from the past 12 months. The event will take place at Teatro B32 in São Paulo. Tables are available now at the standard rate, with the option to upgrade your table purchase to our sponsorship tables! Benefits of this upgrade include:

  • Logo on all event marketing
  • Gifts/souvenirs for participants placed on every table
  • Pop-up banner with your brand at the event

You can learn more about table purchases and the upgrade opportunity by getting in touch with Fabio Sch?lter at [email protected]

Chambers Fórum: Rio de Janeiro 2024 – Energia em Transição: Novos Desafios e Oportunidades na Jornada em Direção a um Futuro Sustentável

On Tuesday, 26 March, we’ll be returning to Rio de Janeiro for a full-day legal event taking place at the Fairmont Rio de Janeiro Copacabana. Attending the event offers the opportunity to meet and network with the Head of Brazil Research, Mateus Monteiro, and the chance to hear from our sponsors on a variety of topics including but not limited to:

  • New Energies and Renewables
  • Climate Change Litigation across the world and what are the trends in Brazil
  • Intellectual Property: protection of clean energy technologies; development and commercialisation of new energy solutions
  • Challenges and Incentives for energy efficiency and sustainability
  • Tax Carbon Markets: Pricing Mechanisms and Regulatory Framework and more.

The event is free and open to general counsel. Registration is available here.