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The UK Supreme Court (the “Court”) in its most important and far reaching judgment to date decided that the UK Government has to seek the approval of the UK Parliament before issuing an Article 50 notice to begin the process of leaving the European Union. In its eagerly awaited judgment in the Miller case – R (on the application of Miller and another) (Respondents) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union (Appellant) – the Court ruled on 24th January –Read More–

Prospects for an early post-Brexit trade deal between Britain and the US are remote, despite what British ministers may hope for and recent comments from the man being inaugurated as US president today. On this side of the Atlantic, Theresa May set out her vision of Brexit and the UK’s negotiating position in in her Brexit speech earlier this week. For the first time since the referendum last June, we now know what “Brexit means Brexit” actually means. Brexit means –Read More–

On 17 January 2017, the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, gave a historic speech regarding Brexit and the UK’s negotiating position. For the first time since the Brexit vote in June 2016, the UK Government has officially announced that the UK will not be seeking access to the Single Market or seeking to replicate any existing trade arrangement as those enjoyed by countries such as Norway, Switzerland or Turkey. Whilst the speech will be the subject of considerable media comment, –Read More–

Should Parliament have a say over whether Britain could remain in the European Economic Area? Introduction The UK Government faces yet another challenge over its determination to take the UK out of the EU and the EEA Single Market without Parliamentary approval which could further complicate Brexit. The British people on 23rd June 2016 confirmed through the EU referendum result they wanted to leave the European Union. However the big question the EU referendum result did not address was what –Read More–

The UK Supreme Court on 18th November 2016 gave permission to the Lord Advocate of Scotland, on behalf of the Scottish Government , to intervene in the UK Government’s forthcoming appeal against the English High Court’s decision that the UK Government can only trigger Article 50 with the consent of the UK Parliament . The Welsh Government was also given permission to intervene as well. However the Scottish intervention is potentially significant to the Brexit process given its unique legislative –Read More–

The European Commission’s state aid decision against Apple and Ireland could have consequences for other multinational companies In a highly politically charged decision, the European Commission has decided that Ireland granted Apple illegal state aid amounting to €13 billion as a result of selective tax treatment. It is believed that the Commission is currently reviewing more than a thousand similar types of tax rulings, involving other EU member states and companies, as part of its ongoing investigation into their granting –Read More–

After what seemed like an eternity, but in reality has only been a few months, the Prime Minister announced on 2 October 2016 that Article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union would be triggered in March 2017, starting a two year countdown to the UK leaving the EU. Alongside what has become the world’s most famous procedural announcement, the Prime Minister laid out her Government’s first stab at legislative direction, but stating that there would be a ‘Great –Read More–

On 9 August 2016, following their retail banking market investigation, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) concluded that large banks well established in the personal and small business retail market do not have to compete hard enough for customers with smaller and newer banks. To tackle this issue, and to enable customers to make more informed choices when deciding which bank to open an account with, the CMA has adopted several new requirements to which retail banks in the UK –Read More–

The recent Communication from the European Commission on cross-border e-commerce is likely to have a significant impact on online trading within the European market. The proposals are designed to break down artificial barriers created by online suppliers that restrict the freedom of choice for online buyers located in different EU member states. The final version of the proposals is expected next year with legislation coming into force in mid-2017. It is therefore advisable that online suppliers closely follow the debate –Read More–

On 1 July 2016, the UK High Court held in the case of The Software Incubator Limited -and- Computer Associates UK Limited that intangible software may qualify as “goods” for the purposes of the application of the Commercial Agency Regulations 1993 (“the Regulations”) (implementing Council Directive 86/653/EEC on the co-ordination of the laws of EU Member States relating to self-employed commercial agents). This decision marks a significant movement in the law. Previous case law had explicitly excluded software which was –Read More–

Car rental sales in the United Kingdom amount to an estimated £1.2 billion industry. However attempting to rent a car normally means surfing through various price comparison websites in search of a easily understandable and affordable deal with no hidden charges only to be surprised at the last minute by an unexpected but unavoidable charge. In a crackdown on price comparison websites who are often found to blur the real cost of renting a car, the UK’s Competition and Market –Read More–

What you need to Know? Despite the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, companies doing business in the UK can still continue to trade with the European Union in exactly the same way as they have done in the past. The UK is still a member of the EU and until it negotiates an exit deal or the two year period for the re-negotiation for such a deal expires the UK remains a full member of the European Union –Read More–

As cloud storage has widely spread, there have been growing concerns from the UK authorities about whether consumer rights are effectively protected. New guidelines for consumers and a new checklist for industry bring fresh obligations to providers, who should follow the new developments closely. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) recently launched a review of compliance with consumer law in the cloud storage industry. In this context, it is critical for companies offering cloud storage services to keep abreast of –Read More–

Britons are due to go to the polls to vote in a referendum on 23rd June 2016 to decide whether the UK should remain a member of the EU, or exit (a so called “Brexit”). As many readers will be aware, there is no certain answer on what effect, whether positive or negative, Brexit would have on the UK economy or individual sectors of it. Below, we summarise a few key considerations when considering the effect of Brexit on the –Read More–

On 25 May 2016, and following an in-depth sector inquiry and consultation period, the European Commission (“EC”) published proposals for a set of new e-Commerce rules. The EC believes that this three-pronged strategy will benefit consumers and businesses alike by providing facilitated online buying and selling, increasing consumer protection through enforcement measures, and providing legal certainty for businesses. Additionally, the new rules are anticipated to enhance the functioning of Digital Single Market which, according to the EC, has the potential –Read More–

Since 15 February 2016, all EU retailers who sell online should have complied with the rules of the EU’s new online dispute resolution (“ODR”) platform. Compliance is mandatory for all retailers — from small independent shops with online stores to multinational retailers. What is the ODR platform? The ODR platform is a website, administered by the EU, to serve as a portal for handling complaints between consumers and retailers relating to provided goods or services. Once a consumer submits a –Read More–

On 8 March 2016, the Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) published a policy document recommending that the government overhaul the currently franchised rail system. (Click here to access the full policy document.) 99% of Britain’s trains presently run under franchise agreements, which companies bid for and obtain from the government. The main criticism of the system is that rail operators face little to no competition; effectively being granted a monopoly when they are awarded franchise contracts. After over a year –Read More–

The European Commission has announced a delay to the implementation of MiFID II (the latest piece of EU legislation dealing with the regulation of investment services within Europe). MiFID II will amongst other things introduce greater regulation of certain markets where complex financial products can currently be traded with limited reporting or transparency requirements. Greater regulation of these types of trading arrangements was widely viewed as one of the key lessons learnt from the global financial crisis. On 10 February –Read More–

In order to update the legislation regarding novel food which has been in place for almost 20 years, the European Parliament adopted on November 16, 2015 a new regulation 2015/2283 in order to respond to the food industry’s wish for more unified decisions across Europe and fewer regulatory hurdles blocking innovation. The Regulation will come into force from January 1, 2018. “Novel food” is defined as any food product which was not generally consumed in the European Union before 1997 –Read More–

Earlier this month, the UK’s competition watchdog, the Competitions and Markets Authority (“CMA“), criticised Transport for London’s (“TFL“) proposed new rules for private hire vehicle companies, which would impose significant restrictions and burdens on companies such as Uber. Since March 2015, TFL has been conducting a wide-ranging review into private hire vehicle regulations and entering into consultations. In its September 2015 Consultation paper, TFL lay down twenty-five suggested measures which seek to reform the rules concerning private hire operators, private –Read More–

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