Newsletter, December 2019

ECLA Newsletter, December 2019


ECLA Webcast Series: Times Change, Even For Lawyers – Progress vs. Challenges

Our speakers will discuss the outlook for legal departments in 2020 and potential challenges that in-house teams can expect to face in the upcoming decade. The session will be excellent for legal counsel of all seniority levels, as the facets it will touch are relevant for all members of legal departments. Issues such as assessing the level of digitalisation within the department, how to respond to the ever-changing trends within the legal market, and the top trends of 2020 for corporate legal departments will be discussed.


Legal Disruption 2020 – 26-27 February Dublin

Legal Disruption returns in 2020, kicking things off in Dublin!. We pick up where we ended in Paris, bringing together company lawyers and experts passionate about legal technology and other disruptive elements relevant for contemporary legal departments. Come join, increase your network of company lawyers across Europe, discuss best practices and gain insight into future tech!

We have already published our first speakers, stay tuned to find out who else will join us!


EU Whistle-blower Directive in force

The EU has published a new whistleblower Directive, aimed at harmonising whistleblower protection rules across Europe. Currently, only 10 EU Member States have comprehensive legislation in place. Amongst other things, the Directive will require the creation of safe channels for reporting and aims to protect informants against retaliation from employers.


Australia and EU negotiating free-trade agreement

The EU is steadily increasing its FTA area across the World, with Australia being the next potential country to conclude the negotiations with the Union. The total annual volume of trade in goods and services between the two sides amounts to more than €40 billion per year. The European Commission, which negotiates on behalf of the 28 EU member states, believes that trade in goods alone could increase by 37% if an FTA is concluded.


ECJ: Parties not directly affected by actions of a cartel may claim compensation for losses incurred

The CJEU has held that pursuant to the EU’s antitrust rules enshrined in the Treaty, public authorities and other third parties can claim compensation for losses caused by a cartel, even when they are not actors themselves in the relevant market. The decision stems from a dispute taking place in Austria, where the state of Upper Austria was indirectly affected.


“AI is nothing to be afraid of”

ECLA, the Law Society of England and Wales, and the Association of Corporate Counsel held a comprehensive workshop on artificial intelligence and regulatory challenges at the European Parliament. The debate was chaired by Ilse de Loof, General Counsel of LBC group. Panelists included Helena Raulus, Head of the Joint Law Societies Office; Aswin Parkunantharan from the legal tech company Wolters Kluwer, and Quang-Minh Lepescheux, Director for EU Government Affairs at Microsoft in Brussels.

Newsletter, November 2019

ECLA Newsletter, November 2019


Legal Disruption 2020 – 26-27 February Dublin

Legal Disruption returns in 2020, kicking things off in Dublin!. We pick up where we ended in Paris, bringing together company lawyers and experts passionate about legal technology and other disruptive elements relevant for contemporary legal departments. Come join, increase your network of company lawyers across Europe, discuss best practices and gain insight into future tech!

Stay tuned on our event website – we will start publishing our Speakers soon!


EU adopts new rules for cross-border conversions of limited liability companies

The EU is moving forward with its plans to introduce new legislation for cross-border conversions, mergers, and divisions. The new rules would put an emphasis on targeting fraud and safeguarding the rights of minority shareholders and creditors during such processes.

Foodstuffs from Israeli settlements must state their specific geographical origin, top EU court rules

The Court of Justice of the European Union has affirmed that food produce sold in the European Union must clearly indicate their geographical origin. The Court’s reasoning in this case aimed to highlight scenarios, whereby a State would be occupying certain territories and the subsequent foodstuff from within such regions.


Legal departments hire less, but spend more on external services, survey finds

A recent worldwide study has found that legal departments in 2019 spent considerably less on new recruits, opting to increase their spending on alternative legal services and matters such as legal technology. The study also found an overall decrease in the total expenditure for legal departments. It will be interesting to see how the trends will change in the upcoming decade.


German property company slapped with €14.5m fine for GDPR infringements

Berlin’s Data Protection Authority has imposed the second-largest GDPR fine to date. The offender in the case was a German residential property company, based in Berlin, whereby the company illegally stored multiple points of data of its former tenants, from payslips to social security information.

Newsletter, October 2019

ECLA Newsletter, October 2019


German court rules legal bot is against the law

The Cologne District Court has ruled that the activities of Smartlaw, an online document generator provided by Wolters Kluwer, is unlawful. The key element is the requirement under German law for such documents to be provided by qualified solicitors. Wolters Kluwer has said to appeal the verdict.

ECLA Noon Webinars: How to implement technology in your legal department – 28 November 11:30-12:30 CET

Our third webinar will focus on the practical approaches to implementing and modernising processes in your legal departments. Our experienced speakers will give firsthand knowledge and tips on how to position yourself and your department to ensure a smooth transition and get the most out of your new and improved workplace.

England’s Court of Appeal affirms “absolute nature” of legal privilege

The Court of Appeal of England & Wales has reaffirmed the absolute nature of legal privilege, attesting that there are no exceptions to it, unless an existing statute explicitly overrides it or the individual waives it.


Washington wins WTO approval for punitive tariffs on EU goods over Airbus subsidies

The dispute between Boeing and Airbus, and subsequently the United States and the European Union, continues. The arbitration panel ruled that the subsidies provided to Airbus by the EU resulted in lost sales for the American company, entitling the US to impose tariffs amounting to $7.5 billion worth of goods from the EU.


European Legaltech Congress 2019, November 20-22 2019

The European LegalTech Association (ELTA) will be having their General Assembly and Annual Conference in November in Madrid, organising practical sessions for legaltech enthusiasts.

Newsletter, September 2019

ECLA Newsletter, September 2019


ECLA Legal Technology Study

One of the many projects that ECLA is currently in progress of involves the status of legal departments across Europe – a comparative pan-European project that aims to show how legal departments in various countries have overall responded to the challenges that digitalisation has brought to corporate legal departments.
A part of our research for the study involves a 15-minute online questionnaire. The questionnaire aims to map out the extent to which legal departments have transformed their processes and what does their future outlook look like.
The questionnaire can be done either on a computer or on mobile and all answers will be processed strictly anonymously.
As a thank you, we provide all participants with a free digital copy of the study in early 2020.

ECLA Wednesday Noon Webinars: Making the Business Case for Legal Department Software – 2 October 11:30-12:30 CET

Our second webinar is almost here! The session will focus on how to make a business case for investing in modern tech solutions in your legal departments. It will aim to show the benefits of legal technology in numbers – something that board members and C-level executives alike will understand clearly. This webinar is ideal for both decision-makers and junior level lawyers alike, illustrating the material value that legal technology can bring to a department. Do not miss it!
23 May 2019. @vivianhertz

Green leader blames ‘arrogant’ Socialists and ‘bully’ Macron for European Parliament failure to reach agreement

In September, ECLA conducted a two-part interview series with Mr. Philippe Lamberts, Co-President of the Greens/EFA Group at the European Parliament. In part one, Mr. Lamberts gave us a behind-the-scenes look into the selection process that ended with the nomination of Ms. Ursula von der Leyen. It is a fascinating read for anybody interested in EU politics.


‘Growing the volume of international trade further is wrong’

Part two of our interview series with Mr. Lamberts focused on topical policy issues, such as digitalisation and the Green Agenda. The interview touched matters from regulating digital questions on the European level to implementing a carbon tax to international trade in the current climate.


European Legaltech Congress 2019, November 20-22 2019

The European LegalTech Association (ELTA) will be having their General Assembly and Annual Conferencein November in Madrid, organising practical sessions for legaltech enthusiasts.

Newsletter, August 2019

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Newsletter, July 2019

ECLA Newsletter, July 2019

Paris night II

Legal Disruption Roadshow
Paris, 25-26 September 

The third edition of Legal Disruption is coming soon. The discussions will encompass fields such as digitalisation, data privacy, legal technology, organising modern legal departments, and much more, with the speakers coming from well-known companies and institutes.

Come, learn and network with your peers across Europe!

US slaps Facebook with $5 billion fine over privacy violations 

The US Federal Trade Commission has imposed a large fine on Facebook due to its role in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The settlement puts a number of restrictions on Facebook regarding its treatment of user data. The settlement might be an important step towards stricter American data protection rules, though nothing certain is planned for the near future.

European opposition to Mercosur trade deal?

The EU has widened its free-trade areas across the world, moving from Asia to South America, signing a deal with the Mercosur countries. The agreement has both strong proponents from the political side and strong opponents from the agricultural sector. As the agreement needs to be ratified by national parliaments, expect an uphill climb for the deal to go through.


Glyphosate and cancer: The jury is out

The Monsanto glyphosate saga has not swayed Bayer from acquiring them. A look into the controversial herbicide gives an overview of how the American judicial system has viewed the issue and how European countries have responded to the numerous lawsuits that Monsato has been facing in the US.


France Moves to protect confidentiality of legal advice by in-house counsel

A member of the French Parliament produced a report, proposing to extent legal privilege to company lawyers. The discussion has been heated for a long period, as there is heavy opposition from certain interest groups. The reports main argument for extending legal privilege concerns the competitiveness of French companies on the international stage, given the advantages that companies based in countries with legal privilege for in-house counsel enjoy.


Reding: “In the European Parliament, there are noise-makers and there are law-makers”

In-House Legal had the privilege to sit down with Ms. Viviane Reding during ECLA’s Annual Conference. The discussion focused on GDPR and what Ms. Reding, as one of the instigators, envisioned it to be, the status of Brexit, international relations, and gender equality.

Our interview series with prominent European politicians will resume in Fall!

Newsletter, June 2019

ECLA Newsletter, June 2019


ECLA Webinar Series – Vol.1 Digitalisation
July 10 2019, 11:30-12:30 CEST 

From July onwards, ECLA, together with Wolters Kluwer, will bring you a series of webinars that focus on challenges that concern company lawyers across Europe. The first edition will focus on digitalisation – the bane of many legal departments all around. The session is ideal if you need to understand where your legal department currently stands, how can you move forward, and what are the best practices that one should keep in mind when proceeding with digitisation.
Paris night II

Legal Disruption Roadshow
Paris, 25-26 September

The third edition of Legal Disruption is coming soon. Building upon the excellent speeches we already had in Dublin and Stuttgart, expect Legal Disruption in Paris to bring together experienced company lawyers and industry experts from France and abroad. The discussions will encompass fields such as digitalisation, data privacy today, legal technology, organising modern legal departments, and much more. More information will be available soon!
Come, learn and network with your peers across Europe!

Clamping down on hate speech

The CJEU will soon release a judgment that will give guidance into how to regulate offensive statements online. As the AG opinion has already been released, one can already assume what the outcome will be. The opinion does not place a heavy burden on providers but does obligate them to address other offensive posts that the same user has posted. In addition, providers themselves have started to change their policies on tackling racist messages on their platforms and have proven to be rather effective over the past years.


Preparing for the unknown

On Day 2 at the ECLA Annual Conference in Brussels, a panel convened to discuss the short- and mid-term implications of Brexit, both from an economic and from a legal standpoint. In-House Legal has collected some main points that the panelists emphasised, from the effect it has on SMEs to what has been buzzing around various industries. At the end of the day, nobody still knows what will happen.


Airbus-Boeing dispute nearing end 

The dispute between the two aircraft manufacturers has been ongoing for well over a decade and might very soon reach an ending. Regarding one of the complaints lodged by the EU, the World Trade Organisation Appellate Body concluded in March that Boeing had benefited from specific tax programmes, putting Airbus at a disadvantage. Another judgment is expected to be published in July, where the US hopes the court to find that the EU has illegally subsidised Airbus.

Newsletter, May 2019

ECLA Newsletter, May 2019

24 May.@vivianhertz

ECLA Annual Conference 2019

On 22-24 May, ECLA organised its first ever Annual Conference. Taking place at the Steigenberger Wiltcher’s Hotel in Brussels, Belgium, the two-and-a-half-day conference brought together over twenty nationalities at the European heart to discuss various fields of law and share best practices.
The first day focused on corporate legal departments of today and tomorrow and addressed contemporary developments in compliance and M&A. The morning session included an electrifying speech by Mr. Philippe Lamberts, Co-Chair of Greens/EFA and a panel discussion concerning digitalisation within corporate legal departments. The day ended with a memorable evening reception and dinner at Train World.
The second day tackled Brexit and what it will entail for company lawyers, both from a economic and legal standpoint. This was followed by practical discussions regarding legal departments and a concrete look into data privacy and labour law challenges. The event culminated with a memorable speech by Ms. Viviane Reding in the afternoon.
We would like to thank all participants who joined us and our esteemed speakers and sponsors CMS, Wolters Kluwer, Knowliah and Debevoise & Plimpton, who made this event possible. We hope that everybody had a wonderful time and are eager to join us at our upcoming events.

5G and political developments

Europe has taken a strong initiative in advancing 5G technology. The key reason behind it is the inherent advantage a functioning infrastructure will give to everyone – from companies to individuals. As 5G will be a definitive milestone in technological evolution, it is necessary to look in depth – what is 5G, what is the EU doing and how the World is reacting to it. From EU policy initiatives such as the 5G PPP to companies such as Huawei to countries such as Belgium, stakes are high and not every Member State will come out as a winner.

Companies must record employees’ working hours, European Court of Justice rules  

Companies in Europe are obligated to set up systems to allow the recording of daily working hours of employees. This requirement is done in order to enforce legal limits on working hours. The judgment rests on the Charter of Fundamental Rights, entitling all workers to work only a limited number of hours and to have daily and periodical rest periods.


Orthodox monk wins right to practice as a lawyer in Greece

The Court of Justice of the European Union has held that in theory, Member States can prevent lawyers who have obtained their qualifications in another Member State from working as lawyers. However, the principle of proportionality must be taken into consideration when restricting migrant lawyers from working. In this case, a monk, who has qualified as an attorney in Cyprus, won the right to practice in Greece.


EU high court clears CETA arbitration tribunals

The Court of Justice of the European Union has concluded that the Investment Court System, which is a part of the free trade agreement between the EU and Canada, is consistent with EU law. The scope of the tribunals are limited, as it denies the possibility to challenge public policy measures that have been taken to protect health, safety or the environment, permitting only measures that are “manifestly excessive” in light of their objective.


ECLA Member Association News

Following the elections in April, where AIGI members re-elected Giovanni Cerutti, Raimondo Rinaldi and Silvia Bonacossa as Board members, the new Board convened on 8 May to appoint the new Chairman and other Officers for upcoming 3 years.

We are pleased to inform you about the new appointments: Chairman Giuseppe Catalano, Deputy Chair Wanya Carraro, Treasurer Massimo Scaravonati. Silvia Bonacossa was confirmed as the delegate for ECLA Assembly.

Under the AIGI Article of Association, Raimondo Rinaldi couldn’t be reelected as Chairman after two mandates; in addition, Silvia Bonacossa didn’t run for the Treasurer position. Also, given the great involvement as ECLA Treasurer, Giovanni Cerutti has denied to apply for any Office in addition to the Board membership.

Newsletter, April 2019

ECLA Newsletter, April 2019


ECLA Events in 2019  

In 2019, ECLA has already organised two successful Legal Disruption roadshow events. Back in February, our first one took place in Dublin, followed by our second event in Stuttgart in April. It is clear that the introduction of tech solutions in legal departments is a highly captivating topic that can increase departmental efficiency and ease workload immensely. We will have two additional roadshow events in Fall – one in Paris and one in Prague. Stay tuned!
On 22-24 May, ECLA will organise its Annual Conference, taking place at the Steigenberger Wiltcher’s in Brussels, Belgium. The two-day conference is packed with extremely interesting discussion topics and guests. Just check out our agenda and you will understand how intriguing it really is. You can see more information by visiting our website , or by clicking register below.

ECLA Member Association News  

The Associazione Italiana Giuristi di Impresa (AIGI), the Italian Company Lawyer’s association, held elections in April, where Raimondo Rinaldi was re-elected as the Chairman. In addition, Silvia Bonacossa has been re-elected as treasurer and Giovanni Cerutti have been re-elected as a board member.
In addition, AIGI has announced its second Summer School, taking place in on 14-16 June in Bertinoro in June. After a highly successful event last year, this year’s theme will be Internet law and legal tech. To learn more about the event and the speakers, click on the button below.

Europe’s disputed copyright law: An overview    

With the adoption of the Copyright Directive by the European Parliament, the Union’s rules on copyrighted materials will get a large overhaul. The main goal is to modernise copyright rules and bring them to the Internet era. Certain aspects, such as Article 13 of the Directive, have come under immense criticism, with opponents fearing it may bring dystopian results.


Banning China’s Huawei?

The close governmental collaboration that is required from Chinese companies is no secret. Hence, with the rise of Huawei and its expansion to the Western World, governments have become increasingly alarmed of the potential consequences that introducing such a company to the Western markets can bring. Consequentially, the response and approach has been divided across Europe.


EU wants to allow class action suits – under certain terms

The European Commission has been pushing for an option for collective redress for the better half of the teens. However, there has been opposition on multiple sides, especially by corporate representatives, who are arguing that the proposed measures lack adequate safeguards to prevent fraud.


UK competition authority wants to force Big Four to split off audit business

The British competition authority has called for legislation that would obligate the Big Four to divest some of their businesses, as it is hampering competition. The main reason behind such a call has been the number of sub-standard audits that the Big Four produces yearly, that has already reached over a quarter of the total number of audits.


Tweeting yourself into legal trouble

The SEC investigation regarding Tesla and Elon Musk specifically has demonstrated clearly the strength of social media and how it can influence the financial markets. As a tool that enables companies to reach an extremely wide audience, social media should be treated with care and tact.

Newsletter, March 2019

ECLA Newsletter, March 2019


ECLA Events in 2019  

With April around the corner, it is almost time for another Legal Disruption. On 9-10 April, our roadshow will bring us to Stuttgart, where experienced general counsel across Europe will gather to discuss technological advancements for in-house lawyers and illustrate, how a modern legal department should look like. The legal work that company lawyers are tasked to perform is getting increasingly complex, so all and any tools that ease the workload are very welcome.

The agenda for Stuttgart is very comprehensive. Industry heavyweights such as Microsoft and Deutsche Telekom are represented, as are Stuttgart-native Daimler AG and Robert Bosch GmbH, which is based a mere moment away in Gerlingen. The speeches will provide a wide range of themes that will surely spark discussion long-after the event: from ethical questions that artificial intelligence poses; to specific legal technology solutions that ease the workload; to emerging challenges that corporate counsel are faced with in the complex global world. And, of course, the applicability of blockchain for corporate legal departments will be looked in-depth as well.

Also, ECLA’s Annual Conference will already convene in less than two months. Come, meet your peers across Europe and discuss contemporary legal developments and what outcomes will the European elections bring to the continent (and maybe even another island). The two-day agenda will be diverse, with themes ranging from antitrust to labour law to digitalisation to Brexit. We have also prepared more practical sessions, discussing organisational matters in corporate legal departments.


Plans for New EU labour authority are controversial

The steps put forth by the European Commission to set up a European Labour Authority has met some backlash from some Member States. With the posting of workers to other EU Member States becoming more and more prominent, the Commission saw a need to create a set of rules that would facilitate it. A key issue however has been the difference regarding specific terminology and procedural requirements for posted workers, that differs between Member States.

EU Cybersecurity Act clears final parliamentary hurdle    

With the adoption of the EU Cybersecurity Act in Strasbourg, a cybersecurity standard has been established in Europe that requires certified products, processes and services to meet certain standards. The permanent mandate for tackling cybersecurity-related issues will be at the hands of ENISA.


Why every company needs a compliance programme

A comprehensive and far-reaching compliance programme for a company not only shields the company from criminal liability, but also keeps the company operations more stable whilst minimising costs. There are many elements that must be taken into consideration, from the scope and risk elements to language requirements (for multinationals) to the overall purpose of the scheme – is it to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements, to prevent errors, or to find errors that already are in place.


Siemens-Alstom merger: Where law and politics clash

The European Commission has been pushing for an option for collective redress for the better half of the teens. However, there has been opposition on multiple sides, especially by corporate representatives, who are arguing that the proposed measures lack adequate safeguards to prevent fraud.


German antitrust regulator lashes out at Facebook

The German Federal Cartel Office obligated Facebook to start changing the way data in Germany is collected. The key concern they highlighted was the aggregation of data for a person that Facebook can obtain from various sources and then compile a unique database for each individual user. The data was not obtained solely from Facebook’s webpage or even its sister companies, such as Instagram or Whatsapp – it also supplanted user profiles with their activities on other websites, where elements such as Facebook’s ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ buttons had been included in the layout.

Newsletter, February 2019

ECLA Newsletter, February 2019


Battle over access and transparency intensifying.

With Brussels being the hotspot for all EU-related special interest representatives, lobbying at the EU-level has got some unwarranted responses from the general populace. An overview of the lobbying activities, what are the steps that must be done to register as a lobbyist and what are the most covered sectors for lobbyist is essential to understand better the system in place in Brussels.


Reining in the tech giants?   

The EU has noted that things must change in order for European tech companies to be competitive globally. The Digital Single Market strategy is an excellent beginning, aiming to create a level playing field for European companies whilst protecting the rights of European consumers. However, with the way that decision-making is set up in the EU, the Commission needs to be extremely efficient and precise, in order to pass far-reaching legislation, to appease all interested factions. Otherwise they can expect heavy backlash, as it is the case with the Copyright Directive’s specific articles at the moment.


EU policy and legal developments in 2019   

2019 will be an interesting year for the EU, with developments from all fields coming in left and right. We have put together an overview of some topical and some interesting fields where one can expect changes as the year goes on. These issues are not equal in weight, but all are fascinating topics that every person interested in EU policy-making should be aware of. All topics however are very susceptible to have a considerable impact on the European economy at large. Expect more of these types of articles in the future.


EU-Singapore trade deal nearing finishing line

Now it is Singapore’s turn for a large-scale FTA, as the EU is expanding its economic impact across the globe. Trade will be fully liberalised; EU consumer safety requirements will be adhered to and Singapore’s public procurement market will open up for European companies. Expect to see Pecorino Romano in grocery stores in Singapore soon.


Music in the air: Was Spotify’s IPO a trailblazer? 

Opting for a direct public offering, Spotify made a large gamble – and it worked. Even though Spotify is a well-known brand, the risk was huge. The success however has raised some questions about the US IPO market altogether. Moreover, a choice for a DPO carries its own potential risks that most companies, who do not have the clout that Spotify possesses, might run in to.

Newsletter, January 2019

ECLA Newsletter, January 2019

Samuel Beckett bridge and Convention Center in Dublin, Ireland

ECLA’s Events in 2019  

ECLA will organise a diverse set of events in 2019. The first Legal Disruption will take place on 13-14 February in Dublin, Ireland. We welcome all to join us to discuss how innovative legal solutions can benefit company lawyers and how it changes the work that corporate counsel does. If you wish to attend, just click the Register button below. If you cannot make it in February, we welcome you to Stuttgart in April with open arms.

ECLA’s Annual Conference will take place on 22-24 May in Brussels. Expect to hear discussion topics from a variety of themes that affect company lawyers – from antitrust to digitalisation to compliance to legal privilege. As it takes place the same week the European elections occur, the Annual Conference will be the ideal location to discuss the future of Europe for company lawyers, stakeholders and their peers. Don’t miss it!


US court decision a warning for in-house lawyers   

A district court in Colorado has decided a case regarding legal privilege, that might spark new discussions about the overall extent of it. The key aspect why the ruling was against legal privilege concerned the Primary Purpose Test, where the judge ruled that the corporation had not taken the necessary steps to establish attorney-client privilege. However, there have been substantial developments in US case law since the referred precedent was established, leading people to question the reasoning behind the judgment. Regardless, legal advice needs to be kept separate from other communications.


The impact of social media at the workplace  

Social media has completely changed the way people live their lives. It is everywhere, always, and instantly accessible. Thus it is not surprising that businesses have been slow to adopt a uniform stance regarding the workplace usage of social media. Research into the detrimental effects of using it at the workplace has not shown any conclusive results either. Businesses from around the globe have addressed the issue differently, pursuant to what rights the privacy laws of a given country provide.


Diversity in the workplace: Boon or distraction? 

Should companies actively promote workplace diversity? Nowadays appropriate legislation is not the only reason why many companies actively promote it. Research shows that a diverse working force puts companies at a competitive advantage. Moreover, the changing demographics at the labour market have led to a much more diverse workforce as well. Overall, the labour force of today is much more competitive and diverse than it was in the past. With various technology companies leading the way, it seems that it is here to stay that way.


Landmark agreement between EU, Japan creates world’s largest free-trade area

From February 2019, the EU and and Japan will enter into the largest free trade area in the World. It took over 5 years of deliberations, covers over 600 million people and a third of the global GDP. It will lower the expenses for customs duties considerably and remove various regulatory barriers, making trade between Japan and the EU much more feasible. Moreover, the agreement makes it easier for the movement of people for business purposes, making Japan an enticing option for European companies.

Newsletter, December 2018

ECLA Newsletter, December 2018


Legal Disruption 2019 – Save the date!  

On 13-14 February 2019, ECLA will host Legal Disruption 2019: Innovation, Technology, Collaboration at the Gibson Hotel in Dublin, Ireland. The event, tailored for company lawyers, will have general counsel from companies of all sizes giving their perspective on modernising legal departments. Themes such as artificial intelligence, process automation, legal matter management, and blockchain will be covered by our esteemed speakers and solution providers. Legal Disruption is ideal for company lawyers to get insight into how legal departments can be brought from the past into the future.


Employer Branding: Strategies to recruit the next generation of lawyers

Appealing to the ideal candidates has always been a tough task for companies. Finding candidates who fit the profile like a glove not only increases the output and efficiency of the company, but also ensures a positive workforce that will be associated with the company long-term. However, there is a number of approaches to finding the ideal candidates, from relying on recruiting study results to outsourcing recruiting to establishing a connection early on to turning to social media. One thing is certain – companies are a brand and brands must be appealing.


The digital services tax: Now or never?   

There have been numerous reports over the past couple of years regarding the low taxes that large digital companies pay. This has led to the EU taking the initiative, proposing a digital tax. However, there is no consensus between the Member States, as some countries have used low tax rates as an enticing selling point. In addition, there are fears of an overseas retaliation against any measures that predominately target U.S. based companies. With the European elections and Brexit stealing the spotlight in 2019 European affairs, it might very well be now or never with the digital tax.


Seizure of documents in diesel emissions scandal lawful, says Constitutional Court

In June 2018, the Federal Constitutional Court held that the search and seizure of documents regarding the emissions scandal are not objectionable. This has given the authorities specific access to internal investigation documents under similar circumstances. However, the ruling has given some leeway to companies and company lawyers regarding legal privilege. The Court also held that foreign legal entities cannot invoke material basic rights under German law and the German Constitution.


How modernisation changes the profession of company lawyers

A global market functions differently from national markets. With more companies participating in transnational activities, the legal departments must be prepared for any issues that might arise in a foreign country, from regulatory to cultural. In addition to globalisation, the advent of technology in legal departments is changing the type of work that company lawyers must do. Gone are the days where research at libraries was a necessity. The implementation of new technological solutions can already be seen as a positive force for company lawyers, as more work can be done in-house. However, software solutions still cannot replace trained lawyers completely.

Newsletter, November 2018

ECLA Newsletter, November 2018

Group Photo_38th GA_181109

ECLA’s 38th General Assembly in Berlin  

On 9 November, ECLA hosted its 38th General Assembly at the Kempinski Hotel Bristol in Berlin, Germany. The event was preceded by a dinner reception at the mesmerising Natural History Museum, hosted by the Arbeitgemeinschaft der Syndikus Anwälte im Deutschen Anwaltverein. During the 38th General Assembly, Jonathan Marsh and Giovanni Cerruti were unanimously re-elected as President and Treasurer of ECLA, respectively. Moreover, ECLA unanimously agreed to admit Sekcija korporacijskih pravnikov Slovenije from Slovenia as its 20th member. Welcome Slovenia!


The Company Lawyer of the Future   

As companies have globalised, so have company lawyers therein. Gone are the days where company lawyers had to only approve contracts and manage disputes. Company lawyers of today must consider issues ranging from business and technical information to environmental and compliance factors. In addition, digitisation has transformed the day-to-day tasks of company lawyers completely – long nights at the library have been replaced by continuously bright monitors. This transformation however, coupled with legal tech advancements, has enabled companies to keep much of their legal departments in-house.


Fine Tuning the GDPR    

With the inclusion of Article 83 in the GDPR, the Regulation aims to curtail data protection infringements by imposing high fines on the violators. The goal would be for controllers and processors to stop infringements as soon as possible, reverse practice and to compensate damages. It is inspired by the EU competition law rules, where high fines have long been seen as an effective measure to ensure compliance. It is up to the respective national Data Protection Authorities however, to impose the fines and ensure adherence to the GDPR.


Cyber liability insurance: safeguarding financial interests against modern threats

Over the last decade, cyberattacks have become more prominent, targeting various industry sectors around the World. As attacks similar to NotPetya and WannaCry will unfold in the future, safeguarding a company’s digital assets has become a priority. With an average total cost of a data breach exceeding €3 000 000, businesses have started to consider cyber liability insurances more with each passing year.

intellectual property concept

EU copyright reform draws criticism 

The EU aims to update existing online copyright laws in order to strengthen the rights of content producers and to divert some of the revenue from tech giants toward artists, authors and journalists. Critics, however, claim that the planned reform will threaten free use of the internet and make certain services more difficult to operate.


Legal Disruption: contemporary solutions and approaches for in-house counsel 

With the beginning of a new year, ECLA will venture into a new and exciting territory by organising an exclusive technology conference for in-house counsel: Legal Disruption: Innovation, Technology, Collaboration. The event, taking place on 14 February in Dublin, will concentrate on the usage of legal technology in the legal departments and present how companies of all sizes are implementing various solutions, in order to bring their legal departments into the modern era.

Newsletter, October 2018

ECLA Newsletter, October 2018


IN-HOUSE LEGAL: new information portal is online  

The positive feedback received following the start of our monthly Newsletter in May 2018 has encouraged ECLA to launch a new, comprehensive online platform called In-House Legal. The objective is for this web portal to become the go-to address for company lawyers seeking up-to-date information, background analysis, news, and best practices in their areas of interest.

Bras de fer_04

Companies caught in diplomatic spat between US and Europe   

President Donald Trump’s decision to exit the nuclear deal with Iran, and American pressure on other Western nations to abandon trading with Iran, has raised the stakes in transatlantic trade relations. The European Union has recently announced measures to protect businesses invested in Iran. This article looks at the risks companies could face in the coming months.

Brexit: Major headache for company lawyers

Brexit: Major headache for company lawyers   

With only a few months to go before planned exit from the European Union, the terms of the withdrawal agreement and the future EU-UK relationship are still unknown. This article looks at the potential implications Brexit could have for businesses and assesses what might happen in the event of a No-Deal Brexit.


Herculean quest for compliance with Europe’s new data protection rules   

The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation has kept businesses and legal departments busy in recent months. Efforts to become compliant with the new law are on-going amid complaints of spiraling costs. This article provides new insights and perspectives into what has become a crucial issue for many company lawyers.

eDiscovery: Detecting violations in international business

Electronic tools to detect compliance violations

Compliance violations by a single employee can result in serious damage and potentially threaten a company’s very existence. Many companies now deploy electronic tools such as e-Discovery software is to track them down. This article explains how this works and in which areas the tool can be deployed.

Newsletter, September 2018

ECLA Newsletter, September 2018


IN-HOUSE LEGAL: ECLA to launch new web portal  

The positive feedback received following the start of our monthly Newsletter in May 2018 has encouraged ECLA to launch a new, comprehensive online platform called In-House Legal. The objective is for this portal to become the go-to address for company lawyers in search of up-to-date information, background analysis, news, and best practices in their areas of interest.


EU Parliament approves controversial copyright reform   

The EU aims to update online copyright laws to reflect the internet age and to strengthen the rights of newspaper publishers and other authors vis-à-vis digital platforms. Critics, however, claim that the planned reform will threaten free use of the internet and make services like Wikipedia impossible to operate. On Wednesday, 12 September, the Parliament voted again on an amendment and approved the controversial and heavily criticised Copyright Directive.

Closeup side view of group of software developers working late at IT office. There are three people gathered around two dual display computers. Back lit through large office window.

Closing ranks with IT security experts   

At the beginning of next year, the European Cybersecurity Act will take effect and establish European-wide standards for the certification of smart products: from refrigerators to servers and microchips. It is often people who play a decisive role in IT security.


A victory for legal privilege: Court of Appeal rules against SFO in ENRC case   

In the case of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) vs. ENCR, legal privilege received a landmark win. On 5 September, the Court of Appeal in London overturned a controversial ruling by the High Court from May 2017 and ruled that in-house advice prepared prior to court proceedings falls under the same legal privilege protection as that given in the defence of proceedings.


IN-DEPTH Discussions: ECLA’s First General Counsel Roundtable   

How to effectively comply with antitrust and competition law on a European level, a practitioner’s view on competition damage claims and the impact of Brexit on competition law – those were the main topics of the first ever General Counsel Roundtable of the European Company Lawyers Association from 13 – 14 September 2018 in Rome.

Newsletter, August 2018

ECLA Newsletter, July 2018


ECLA and the national associations  

The European Company Lawyers Association (ECLA) is the umbrella organization for 19 company lawyer associations in Europe and represents the common interests of European company lawyers.  But what are these interests? What is the status of company lawyers in different European countries? And what are the main aspects of their day-to-day work?

GDPR - General Data Protection Regulation.

Europe’s Next Privacy Battle 

– The ePrivacy Regulation (ePR) – even stricter than the GDPR

– What companies need to expect

– Supporters and critics


Europe must undergo profound reform to succeed in the digital, globalized age 
– GDPR as a protective measure – Europe must increasingly take the lead

– Things have to change

– It can be done

– The European Union is the answer – but it must undergo profound reform

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Caught in the crossfire 

– Significant risks of non-compliance

– U.S. punitive tariffs raise concern

– Take contractual precautions

Newsletter, July 2018

ECLA Newsletter, August 2018

ECLA_First Board_meeting in prag_october1999

ECLA – from past to present  

The European Company Lawyers Association (ECLA) is the umbrella organization for 19 company lawyers’ associations in Europe. It has been representing the common interests of European company lawyers since 1983. Why was the association founded and by whom?


Why the EU digital tax is a sensitive issue 

The EU Commission’s proposed tax on digital business models is facing massive resistance: Member states are refusing support and trade associations are warning about the consequences. Companies, on the other hand, seem to be remaining remarkably calm. Experts are calling for an international solution – and anticipate national action.


Investor Activism – the underestimated threat 

Activist investors, who have primarily operated in the U.S. in the past, have now set their sights on Europe. The study Investor Activism by CLI – Corporate Legal Insights and CMS Hasche Sigle shows that in some areas, companies are significantly underestimating the threat. But what can be done by the companies to develop a counterstrategy?

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What does the future hold for intra-EU investment protection?

The Achmea ruling of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) caused a stir in trade policy in March 2018. The ECJ had to issue a decision on a bilateral investment protection treaty (intra-EU BIT) between two EU states, i.e. Slovakia and the Netherlands. It used these proceedings to make a general statement and ruled: Clauses of this kind in intra-EU BITs are not compatible with EU law. What does this mean for the EU member states? How will investors react to the termination of the intra-EU BITs?

Newsletter, June 2018

ECLA Newsletter, June 2018



– Services for members

– The website –

– Social Media

– ECLA Newsletter

– Communication works both ways

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1. Corporate | Mergers & Acquisitions
2. Compliance
3. Public Policy | EU Regulations
4. Digitalization | GDPR
5. Legal Technology
6. Organization | Diversity



– United States vs. Microsoft

– New law creates new legal basis

– ECLA’s brief of amicus curiae

– New search warrant



– Who is affected?

– Most companies are not ready

– Struggling companies

– What to expect?

Newsletter, May 2018

ECLA Newsletter, May 2018

EU flags waving in front of European Parliament building. Brussels, Belgium


– Tasks and objectives

– Management and Organization

– The beginning of a new era

– An opening event with prominent guests

– The advantages of membership



– “It‘s a brave new world”

– Pleading for the professional status of company lawyers

– Guy Verhofstadt on the future of the European Union

– ECLA‘s permanent presence in the heart of the European Union

– 2018 Reception

Bildschirmfoto 2018-04-30 um 15.48.07


– Threats and dangers

– Compliance and legal technology

– Solutions and perspectives

Cloud Computing


– French anti-corruption plan makes eDiscovery necessary

– Compliance hurdles are particularly high in international business

– Compliance violations can threaten a company’s very existence

– Internal investigations are now standard

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