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Koen De Puydt

News Article by Leaders in Law Member – Koen De Puydt

Professional Liability of Intellectual professions in the Construction Sector 

Following the ten-year liability insurance for real estate projects for architects, engineering firms and contractors, which was made mandatory by the “Peeters-Borsus Law” since 1 July 2018, another insurance obligation has been introduced within the construction sector by the “Peeters-Ducarme Law” effective 1 July 2019. 

The title of this law is self-explanatory. It introduces “a professional liability insurance for architects, surveyor experts, safety and health coordinators and other service providers in the construction sector relating to construction works and amends various legal provisions regarding civil liability insurance in the construction sector”, as mentioned earlier also called the Peeters-Ducarme Law. 

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This title shows that this law has in principle a larger scope than the Peeters-Borsus Law. Where the latter applies primarily to contractors and architects in the context of housing projects and for works that require the intervention of an architect, the Peeters-Ducarme Law introduces a professional liability insurance for all intellectual professions within the construction sector, with regard to all construction work. 

Consequently, the Peeters-Ducarme Law does not apply to contractors, but it applies to all kind of real estate work (and therefore not only with regard to housing projects). Thus, as a result of the execution of all real estate works, the principal will enjoy this protection regardless of the final destination of the property or the possible intervention of an architect. 

Compulsory insurance coverage cannot be lower, per claim, than:

  • € 1,500,000 for damage resulting from physical injuries;
  • € 500,000 for the total material and immaterial damage;
  • € 10,000 for the objects entrusted to the insured by the principal.

The law also provides for a posterior coverage on the basis of which the liability for claims must be covered if the claim is filed within three years after the cessation of the activities of the insured service provider . 

Although it could be expected that the Peeters-Ducarme Law has a larger scope than the Peeters-Borsus Law, we must conclude that it is largely eroded by the exceptions that are provided for in respect of the damage that the insurance must cover. 

For example, Article 5 of the Peeters-Ducarme Law states that damages are not covered if it is the consequence of a failure to comply with one or more contractual obligations or if damages resulting from environmental degradation, claims relating to an inadequate budget, or disputes in relation to fees and expenses.

These exceptions erode the potentially extensive coverage provided by the Peeters-Ducarme Law significantly and therefore the latter offers less protection than might be expected at first sight. 

The Peeters-Ducarme law has been published yesterday (26 June 2019) in the Belgian Official Gazette and will enter into force on 1 July 2019. 

Peeters Law (to be soon Seeds of Law) will be happy to provide you with the necessary advice or assistance in this matter. Please contact us via info@seeds.law or by telephone on +32 (0)2 747 40 07.

Koen De Puydt – Toon Delie

Real Estate and Construction Law    Professional Liability     Professional Liability insurance     Intellectual professions     construction sector     architect surveyor expert    safety and health coordinator

Simon Steel

LCF Law Firm Celebrates Domains 21st Anniversary

A leading Yorkshire law firm’s domain name is celebrating its 21st anniversary, making it one of the oldest legal domains in the region and reinforcing the importance of trade marking to protect company names, domains and brands.

LCF Law initially registered www.lcf.co.uk in the summer of 1998, which was two months before www.google.co.uk was registered and the search engine giant was born. It would also be another seven to 10 years before iconic domain names such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook arrived on the scene.
Simon Stell, Managing Partner at LCF Law, said: “In 1998 the internet was in its infancy, you needed a modem to connect to it and lots of patience! However as a forwarding thinking business, we could immediately see its potential and how it was going to be transformational for our industry. We started exploring how to capitalise on the online world and launched a website. We had to buy a domain name, so we went for www.lcf.co.uk because it was distinctive, straightforward and easy to remember.

“At the time, some people suggested that creating a website for a law firm was frivolous and insignificant. However, we were ahead of the curve, as very few regional or national legal firms took the initiative that early on. It quickly became one of our best ever investments and has attracted millions of visitors over the years, doing a great job to illustrate LCF Law’s foresight and innovative approach to exploring new technologies.”

Simon added: “Another thing that became apparent early on was how important it is to trade mark both company names and domain names, because it can be easy for unscrupulous operators to impersonate companies or brands using the internet. They can register a similar domain and create a genuine looking website to divert users away from the site they were aiming for and there are lots of examples of this happening.”

Abid Perwaze, Commercial & Intellectual Property Solicitor at LCF Law, added: “Having the right trade marks in place makes it much easier to stop anyone that tries to do this and also helps to protect company names and brands. There’s a common misconception that it costs thousands of pounds to create a trade mark, but in most cases it can be done for just a few hundred pounds.”

 

Kelly Hyman

Kelly Hyman’s Journey from Child Actress to Top Class Attorney

Standing at 5’9″ in flats or bare feet, with shoulder length long blonde hair and bluish green eyes, American attorney Kelly Hyman may come across as someone who is about to walk the red carpet more than someone you would meet in a courtroom

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After being discovered by Charlton Heston and landing the role of Loretta on “The Young and the Restless” – Attorney Kelly Hyman set her sights on becoming the next Eric Brokovich.

Standing at 5’9” in flats or bare feet, with shoulder length long blonde hair and bluish green eyes, American attorney Kelly Hyman may come across as someone who is about to walk the red carpet more than someone you would meet in a courtroom.  That’s probably because before she went on to receive accolades like receiving the AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale-Hubbell three years in a row (the highest possible rating for attorneys), and before being named one of the top 25 class action trial lawyers in her home state of Colorado, Kelly Hyman was enjoying a successful career as a child actor.

Born in Miami Beach, Florida and then raised by her single mother, first in Southern California, and later moving to New York City, Kelly Hyman is probably most known for her role as Loretta on the iconic daytime television program “The Young and The Restless” as well as lending her voice to the now infamous “Gimme a break” commercial for Kit Kat.  Her Hollywood looks and ability to navigate the screen continue to serve her now in her prominent legal career.  Leveraging her legal skills and her background as a performer, she now appears as a regular legal contributor and voice of reason on difficult and controversial topics like the nationally covered Jussie Smollett hate crime hoax case, voters’ rights, free speech and key concerns among today’s working women.

Interview:

You grew up in California and had a successful career as a child actor.  How did you get into acting, and what were some of your favorite projects?

My mother was a single mother who was struggling financially. She was however a tennis pro and was teaching Charleston Heston tennis lessons in southern California. My mom asked Mr. Heston if he could help get me an agent and he did. I started doing commercials at age 5.  One of my favorite projects that I worked on was a movie called “Doin’ Time on Planet Earth” with Adam West from Batman. I remember my first day on the set and Adam West was dressed up as a police officer and not knowing who he was, my mother, who was born in Australia,  approached him and said, officer, and he smiled and said yes, my mom then asked him for the location of where I needed to check in for my day on the set, and Adam, pointed to the direction where I needed to go and told her to keep walking straight and it will be on the left side. My mother smiled and stated, thank you officer, and he, playing the role of the police officer, smiled, and stated that it was his pleasure.  It was an experience I will always cherish and never forget. I always smile when I think about it.

How did you transition from acting to law?

I knew that I always wanted to go to law school, and one of my dear friends from college suggested that I apply.  I realized that I reached a point in my acting career where I wanted to take a break and go to law school.

What made you pursue consumer protection law? 

I have always wanted to make a difference in this world and help people. Protecting people and fighting for their rights enables me to help them, and therefore have a positive effect on their lives.  Having a positive impact on people is my biggest motivation.

You have been called “a Modern Day Erin Brokovich” by the media, how do you feel when you hear that?  Was she an inspiration to you?

It is great to hear that people consider me a modern-day Erin Brockovich, she is truly an inspirational female role model, and it is incredibly humbling to be compared to someone that has created the kind of legacy that she has. She has fought for and helped so many people and continues to help people and have a positive effect on people’s lives even to this day.

She is an inspiration to me because she wants to make a difference in people’s lives and truly help them. Justice works when people stand up for what they believe in.

What would you consider to be your most interesting case that you fought and won?

When I worked at a law firm in Florida, I worked on tobacco litigation and mass tort litigation where I represented people that were harmed by medical devices and drugs. These cases were interesting because I knew that my clients were harmed, and I wanted to help them. I represented women that had transvaginal mesh implanted and they had serious complications because of it. Knowing that I was helping undo a wrong and make a positive impact on these women’s lives is something that I will always truly cherish. Knowing that they received justice for their harm is something that I am most proud of in my legal career. Knowing that I was helping people and making a positive difference in their life is one of the things that I’m so thankful for every day. Knowing that I am helping people get justice for their harm.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Follow your dreams. You can achieve everything that you want. The only limitations that you have are the ones that you put on yourself. Be brave, be bold and be you.

KPMG legal consultancy arm coming to UK

PMG is to set up a legal consultancy arm in the UK, the ‘Big Four’ professional services firm revealed, as it reported strong growth in its global legal services business.

The legal consultancy is expected to launch in the next few months, though the firm has not yet disclosed further details.

This is but the latest signal of intent from the ‘Big Four’ and follows last month’s news that rival firm Deloitte has hired a former magic circle partner to lead its UK legal arm.

KPMG’s UK consulting arm will be part of the Legal Operations & Transformation Services (LOTS) offering, which KPMG says helps in-house counsel identify ‘technologies, flexible resources and managed services that can support delivery of legal services’.

In a separate announcement this morningm, KPMG said ‘rising demands’ for legal services had resulted in revenue growth for its global legal services arm of more than 30%. The practice now has more than 2,300 legal professionals worldwide, including more than 20 new partners added during 2018, it added.

Jürg Birri, KPMG’s global head of legal services, said: ‘Our approach is different. We’re not a traditional law firm, and we’re not copying the approach of a traditional law firm. We focus on offering our clients integrated legal advice and technology-led solutions and methodologies, in combination with a range of alternative legal managed services.’

He added: ‘We expect continued growth in 2019 as we eagerly meet the evolving needs of clients across the globe. Increasingly, our clients are being asked to implement business transformation programmes that need an integrated approach that combines business and legal methodologies, not just pure legal advice. We understand this and are able to deliver.’

In January, the Gazette reported on the opening of a KPMG affiliated legal practice in Hong Kong. An associated Shanghai office is expected to follow later this year.

White & Case Advises Naspers on US$1.16 Billion Acquisition

Global law firm White & Case LLP has advised Naspers, a global internet and entertainment group and one of the world’s largest technology investors, on its US$1.16 billion acquisition of an additional 29.1 percent shareholding in Avito, the leading Russian online classifieds site.

The transaction values Avito at an implied enterprise value of US$3.85 billion. Following the acquisition Naspers stake in Avito will increase from 70.4 percent to 99.6 percent (on a fully diluted basis). The remaining shares are held by existing management.

White & Case also advised Naspers on its minority investment in Avito in 2013 and on Naspers’ subsequent US$1.2 billion investment in 2015, when Naspers became the majority owner of Avito.

Avito was established in 2007 by Filip Engelbert and Jonas Nordlander together with founding investors Vostok New Ventures and Kinnevik. It achieved revenue of US$286.5 million and EBITDA of US$127.6 million for its last full financial year to March 2018 and Avito currently has 10.3million unique visitors per day.

The White & Case team which advised on the transaction was led by partners Eric Michailov (London / Moscow) and Johan Steen (Stockholm) with support from counsel Sophie Sahlin (London) and associates Hanna Wingren (London / Stockholm) and Ksenia Tyunik (Moscow).

 

INNOVATION

Eversheds takes innovation steps

Eversheds Sutherland is pleased to announce the formation of a global innovation team dedicated to working with clients to address their most pressing priorities through creative and innovative solutions.

The Global Co-Heads of Innovation are UK-based Andrew McManus and US-based Anusia E. Gillespie. Mr. McManus brings to the role his deep experience in technology and years of experience at Eversheds Sutherland, while Ms. Gillespie offers her experience in the practice and business of law and a fresh and unique perspective from her recent work at Harvard Law School Executive Education.

Together, Mr. McManus and Ms. Gillespie will take a comprehensive, analytic and disciplined approach to innovation to better serve clients globally.

“We define innovation as focused and creative change in service to our clients,” said Eversheds Sutherland Co-CEO Mark D. Wasserman. “Our clients’ needs are ever-changing; the dedicated innovation team allows us to work together with our clients to focus on developing new ways to assist them in reaching their business goals.”

In the last year, Eversheds Sutherland has demonstrated its commitment to creating a robust innovation pipeline with the launch of Idea Drop, an internal crowdsourcing platform to curate innovative ideas; the global implementation of legal technology solutions including CaseReady, Client Portals and ESLocate; and the launch of Client Conversations, a custom app that provides key information about Eversheds Sutherland.

With their complementary backgrounds, Mr. McManus and Ms. Gillespie will lead the strategic planning for innovation and will coordinate on research and development, client partnerships, and best practices. They will engage with clients, lawyers and professionals from across the global legal practice to develop new resources and enhance existing processes, and will highlight areas for change and growth within Eversheds Sutherland.

“We have always seen innovation as central to our strategy to be a leading law firm by 2020,” said Eversheds Sutherland Co-CEO Lee Ranson, “Developing an innovation team was a natural next step to further our innovation goals. Andrew and Anusia are ideally placed to support our existing innovation projects. They will also propel the pace of our development more quickly into new areas that are ripe for change.”

Mr. McManus has been with Eversheds Sutherland for over four years. In his previous position he led the technology function as IT Director leading the development of the core platform. He is now solely focused on the technology and innovation needs of clients and in developing Eversheds Sutherland’s overall Digital Strategy and growing adoption of solutions to support lawyers and clients.

Mr. McManus said, “Our clients and our legal teams have the dual challenge of needing a stable and resilient platform on which to operate as well as needing to constantly innovate and change to keep up with the opportunities that disruptive technology provides. In order to truly adapt to the fast-growing needs of our clients, we need to ensure we are able to adopt new ways of working, whether this is based on new technologies or through the fostering of an innovative culture. We also need to provide our teams with the knowledge and the training to get the best from new ways of working themselves.”

Ms. Gillespie recently joined Eversheds Sutherland from Harvard Law School Executive Education, where she worked with industry leaders and Harvard faculty to research, design and launch business of law programs for practicing lawyers from around the world. Previously, she practiced law, founded and developed a business, and co-authored a book with Dr. Heidi K. Gardner, a Distinguished Fellow at Harvard Law School’s Center on the Legal Profession.

“Staying ahead of the curve is vital, and the firms that can figure out how to do so will rise above the rest,” said Ms. Gillespie. “While at Harvard, I had the opportunity to study the challenges facing the legal profession and identify strategies that were and were not working. Eversheds Sutherland is forward-thinking in creating these positions, and I know we will develop innovative and competitive solutions to the benefit of our clients.”

Multiple wins for A&O at Global Transport Finance Awards

Allen & Overy took home the headline award, Transportation Law Firm of the Year at the recent Global Transport Finance awards which recognises the leaders in aviation, shipping and rail finance and the most innovative and complex deals in the market.

Global Head of Structured & Asset Finance, Mario Jacovides comments: “We are very proud to be the winner of this year’s Transportation Law Firm of the Year award which recognises the market leading, complex and innovative deals that we have worked on throughout the year across the whole of the transportation sector. This accolade is a further testament to the global expertise we have in aviation, shipping and rail, which allows us to meet our clients’ needs.”

The team also picked up six individual deal awards. They included:

Aviation Portfolio Deal of the Year – advising the secured parties on a USD700m facility relating to the financing and refinancing of a portfolio of 19 aircraft for CDB Aviation;

JOLCO Financing Deal of the Year, Latin America – advising UKEF and ING on the JOLCO financing of a Boeing 787 aircraft which was the first UKEF-supported JOLCO financing to a Latin American carrier;

Cruise Ship Deal of the Year – advising SACE and a syndicate of lenders (BNP, Unicredit) on the pre- and post-delivery financing of two new Fincantieri-built LNG powered cruise ships for TUI Cruises GmbH which are the largest ships ever to have been built in Italy;

Shipping Portfolio Sale of the Year – advising Oak Hill and Värde on the acquisition and USD1bn financing of the Project Lioness portfolio of shipping loans from Deutsche Bank;

JOLCO Deal of the Year, Middle East – advising Investec Bank as junior lender and BNP Paribas and DekaBank as senior lenders on the JOLCO financing of one new Boeing 787-9 aircraft for El Al Israel Airlines which was the first JOLCO financing in Israel and for El Al Israel Airlines;

Tax Lease Deal of the Year – advising the AFIC insurer group on the French Tax Lease financing of a Boeing 787-9 and Boeing 737 aircraft for Royal Air Maroc.

For further information, please contact Susanna Robinson, susanna.robinson@allenovery.com​, on +44 (0)20 3088 3918

LL PHOTO

Linklaters launches employment platform for tech start-ups

Linklaters has launched an innovative platform aimed at helping tech entrepreneurs turn their small business into a company with the potential to grow. TechLinks, a new online resource, will offer a select number of small and start-up technology businesses access to key employment documents and resources from one of the leading magic circle firms, providing them with vital company guidance on how to legally protect and enhance their business when building a workforce.

TechLinks offers an interactive site where tech businesses can download employment contracts and other resources which are the essential building blocks of a secure and stable company. It will also provide insights and trends on the current market and a glossary of terms to make it accessible to those without a legal background.

David Speakman, Counsel at Linklaters commented:

“We have found that start-ups and small technology businesses have a need to protect the value in their business. Key questions need to be addressed at an early stage of their development, such as what happens if their key employees (often the founders) leave before the business gets to a sale or how to properly protect the business’ unique IP. This is also important when the business seeks investment, as investors will look to see if these protections are in place. We hope that TechLinks will help companies get the basics right from the start.”

Laurie Ollivent, Practice Development Lawyer at Linklaters, has been working alongside small and start-up technology businesses at WeWork. She said:

“By working alongside small tech businesses we have gained a real understanding of the issues these businesses face during the early stages of their development. We are able to bring together this insight with our longstanding experience of working with large, multinational tech companies to provide small and start up tech businesses with the guidance they need in the early stages to enable them to build their teams the right way from the start, attract and retain talent, avoid future disputes and appeal to investors.”

Russia court upholds restriction of foreign ownership of media

The Russian Constitutional Court ruled Thursday that the restriction of foreign ownership of media is legal.

The court upheld a law restricting foreign ownership of media to twenty percent.

The case came to the court “after arbitration courts declared a dual Russian-Dutch citizen’s 49-percent stake in a radio station illegal.” The court stated that the reason for this ownership limit is “to prevent the strategic influence and control of the media” because this influence “may threaten the state’s information security.”

The court also ordered lawmakers to make certain portions of the bill clearer.