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!
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digitisation has transformed the day-to-day tasks of company lawyers completely – long nights at the library have been replaced by continuously bright monitors.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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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
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?
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.
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?
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?
BEST PRACTICES SHARING FOR COMPANY LAWYERS – CENTERS OF EXCELLENCE
1. Corporate | Mergers & Acquisitions
3. Public Policy | EU Regulations
4. Digitalization | GDPR
5. Legal Technology
6. Organization | Diversity
– “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
– 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