Fotini Kardiopoulis joins Leaders in Law as the exclusive Anti-Counterfeiting Law member in Greece

Leaders in Law, the leading platform in its field, is delighted to welcome Fotini Kardiopoulis as our exclusively recommended & endorsed Anti-Counterfeiting Law expert in Greece. Fotini’s office is located in Athens.

Fotini Kardiopoulis, partner and co-founder of Dr Helen G Papaconstantinou and Partners (HP&P), heads the firm’s anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy department. She holds a law degree from the University of Athens with first-class honours and an LLM from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She joined the Athens Bar in 1985 and has been admitted to practice before the Greek Supreme Court and the Council of State. She has also been a lecturer for 10 years at the Police Academy.

Since 1998 she has been dealing with a broad range of IP matters with an emphasis on trademarks, anti-counterfeiting/anti-piracy, plant breeder’s rights, contract drafting and reviewing and alternative dispute resolution. She has extensive experience in devising and implementing anti-counterfeiting programs, filing and administering customs actions, IP litigation, monitoring and enforcing IP rights online and advising on domain name disputes, consulting on license & franchise agreements and on copyright issues.  In addition, she has conducted numerous significant seizures/raids, including preparatory investigations concerning various sectors, such as apparel, electric/electronic goods, toys, watchmaking, alcohol and tobacco/cigarettes, often involving civil and criminal action in addition to customs procedures.

If you require any assistance in this area, please use the contact details provided in Fotini’s profile below or contact us at & we will put you in touch.

Adelina Prokop and Pawel Puacz Make Partner at Clifford Chance

Adelina Prokop and Pawel Puacz have been promoted to Partner in Clifford Chance’s Warsaw office.

Former Counsel Prokop, who joined Clifford Chance in 2010, focuses on litigation and dispute resolution. According to the firm, she “specializes in disputes in the financial and renewable energy sectors, and acts for financial investors, in accountants’ defense, and in post-acquisition disputes”

Former Counsel Pawel Puacz, who joined Clifford Chance in 2007, is the Head of the Energy and Environment Group in the firm and also focuses on corporate matters. According to the firm, his “practice is focused on renewable energy, energy transition, and climate change issues.”

“The promotions of Adelina and Pawel are great personal achievements by them,” commented Warsaw Managing Partner Agnieszka Janicka. “This is a well-deserved reward for their hard work and a consequence of creating specialized teams, developing client relationships, and market recognition.”

Rossana Chu Joins Leaders In Law As The Exclusive M&A Law Member In Hong Kong

Leaders in Law, the leading platform in its field, is delighted to welcome Rossana Chu as our exclusively recommended & endorsed M&A Law expert in Hong Kong.

Rossana Chu is known for her expertise across mergers and acquisitions, capital market transactions and corporate finance. She also advises on corporate restructuring, wealth management, insolvency and debt restructuring, private equity/venture capital investments with Mainland China and Hong Kong elements, as well as on legal and regulatory compliance matters in relation to Hong Kong-listed companies.

As a thought leader in the legal industry, Rossana has been recognised as a #Lexology Legal Influencer (Individual Expert) respectively in “Future of legal services – Cross-border” and “Corporate – Asia-Pacific” for Q1 2021, “Employment – Asia Pacific” for Q2 2021, and “Infrastructure – Asia-Pacific” for Q1 2022.

Impact Of The War On Women And Their Rights

The Russian aggression has impacted women in many ways.

There are increasing reports of women becoming victims of rape as a weapon of war.

At the same time, more than 4 million refugees arrived in the EU from Ukraine, 90 per cent of them being women and children, in need of housing, healthcare, education for the children and work opportunities.

There are as well many unofficial reports of increased risks of trafficking and sexual exploitation for the refugees.

The FEMM Committee is looking into all these aspects.

On Monday 25 April, the FEMM Committee voted on its question for oral answer and motion for a resolution on the impact of the war against Ukraine on women.

The FEMM Committee is preparing an oral question and a resolution on the impact of the war against Ukraine on women.

The question for oral answer was adopted with 30 votes in favour, 0 against and 4 abstentions and the motion for a resolution was adopted with 29 votes in favour, 2 against and 3 abstentions.

Gen Takahashi Joins Leaders In Law As The Exclusive Cross-Border M&A Law Member In Japan

Leaders in Law, the leading platform in its field, is delighted to welcome Gen Takahashi as our exclusively recommended & endorsed Cross-Border M&A Law expert in Japan.

Gen Takahashi handles a variety of corporate matters with a particular focus on cross-border M&A transactions involving Japanese entities. He provides thorough and practical legal advice based on his experience of working in Singapore and Australia, as well as at the M&A division of a major securities firm in Japan. His other major areas of practice encompass domestic M&A deals including public deals, general corporate, anti-trust and commercial contracts. He also regularly advises on labor and dispute resolution matters for domestic and overseas clients.

If you would like to get in touch with Gen, please use the contact details provided in the below profile.

Bird & Bird Advises Toposens on New Series Pre-A Financing Round

International law firm Bird & Bird has advised the Munich-based company Toposens GmbH on its latest Series Pre-A financing round, led by its existing investors ALPANA Ventures from Switzerland, Basinghall Partners from the UK and a new investor SPDG Ventures from Belgium, amongst others. This brings Toposens’ total funding since 2017 to around €3.9 million.

The startup, which has developed the world’s first ultrasonic sensor with 3D functionality for automotive, robotics and industrial applications, plans to use the investment to improve its sensor technology and software, build partnerships and evaluate new use cases based on the technology. The startup works with well-known partners such as Infineon and Murata and has implemented and successfully tested the technology in a wide range of automotive, robotics and industrial projects together with customers such as BMW, Continental and Daimler.

Bird & Bird has represented Toposens GmbH for several years and the team advising on the current Series Pre-A financing round included the following lawyers: Counsel Andrea Schlote (lead), Counsel Michael Gassner, associates Marina Dolina and Kilian Hummel (all Corporate/M&A, Munich).


Difference Between Motorcycle and Bicycle Accidents

Riding a motorcycle is one of the most thrilling things you can do. That sense of freedom can hardly be compared to anything else. Still, motorcycling also can be dangerous. Statistics figures are relentless, they’re showing that, only in 2019, 5,014 motorcyclists died in crashes. It’s almost 14 casualties per day. Unfortunately, the death rate continues to grow in following years.

Statistics for bicycle accidents shows that bicyclists are in a bit better position than motorcyclists. However, according to the NHTSA, 846 bicyclists have been killed in traffic in 2019 only.

Having in mind these figures, we want to point out the importance of the safety on the road and present to you basic differences between motorcycle and bicycle accident cases. Hopefully, it will give you a better overview about your potential accident and what to do if it happens. Even though you can’t predict the accident, you can ask for professional help and try to neutralize the damage caused by it.


Motorcyclists are more vulnerable to serious injury than drivers in cars are. The rider has little protection between him or herself and the ground, cars, or other obstacles that may cause injury.

In 2017, nearly 5,000 motorcyclists died in traffic crashes and over 81,000 were injured on U.S. roadways. While motorcycles only account for 3% of all registered vehicles and 0.7% of all vehicle miles traveled in 2017, motorcyclists accounted for 14% of all traffic fatalities, and more than 80% of these involved collisions with another vehicle

Due to lower speed, bicyclist casualties are less frequent, but it doesn’t mean they don’t happen. Of course they do! NHTSA says there are 3 reported fatal accidents involving bicyclists on the U.S. roads per day.

If you’re riding a bicycle, a helmet is an essential item of safety equipment, but it can only do its job if it fits properly. The following tips will help you make sure that your helmet is snug and secure, enabling the helmet to absorb impact in the event of a collision:

  1. Make sure the helmet fits snugly on your head, and isn’t tilted backwards or forwards. If it’s too loose, tighten the straps. If it’s too tight, loosen them up a bit.
  2. Most helmets have adjustable straps that allow for fine-tuning the fit around the ears and chin area. Make sure these straps are snug and comfortable, and that they hold the helmet in place without letting it shift or tilt around when you move your head.
  3. When you put your helmet on, try pushing it to different areas of your head while holding it in place with your hand—if there’s room for the helmet to slide around on your head even after tightening the straps, then it doesn’t fit properly and may not provide adequate protection in an accident.


When riding a bicycle, the rider is less protected than someone who rides a motorcycle. This means that if they get into an accident and are hit by a car, they are more likely to suffer severe injuries.

However, speed is a critical factor. Studies are showing that 80% of motorcycle crashes result in severe injuries or death.

The severity of injuries depends on several factors such as speed and angle of impact, but there are common types that occur with all types of accidents involving motorcycles. Injuries resulting from these include: broken bones, brain injuries like concussions or contusions; spinal cord injuries which result in paralysis; burns and other disfigurement; amputation or loss of limbs; internal bleeding; organ damage; loss of vision or hearing due to trauma; and death.

Some injuries are not always immediately apparent. More serious injuries may not become apparent until some time after the accident has occurred. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident it is important to seek medical attention right away even if you don’t believe your injuries are serious.

Law compliance

When you ride a motorcycle or a bicycle, you have the same responsibilities on the road as someone driving a car. You must follow all traffic laws and yield to pedestrians. You must obey all traffic control devices, including stop signs and stop lights, even if there is no one else at the intersection.

However, the enforcement of these rules can be a bit trickier when it comes to bicyclists. Many bicyclists do not feel that they are required to stop at a stop sign if no one is at the stop light. However, both bicyclists and motorcyclists can be charged with reckless and careless driving if they disobey traffic laws or ride in an unsafe manner.

In addition, both bicyclists and motorcyclists can be charged with reckless or careless driving. These positions are held by several state governments across the United States, although they vary slightly from state to state.


Accidents happen. And the sad truth is that they will always happen. But there are a few steps you can take to lessen their likelihood and severity.

First, don’t get intoxicated. Stay out of alcohol and drugs, including some prescribed medications. It negatively affects your judgment and vehicle control.

Second, Obey traffic lights, signs, speed limits, and lane markings; ride with the flow of traffic and leave plenty of room between your bike and other vehicles.

Third, wear sturdy protective gear. Your motorcycle or bicycle helmet should meet U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) standards.

Last but not least, defensive driving means watching out for other drivers who may not be watching out for you. To stay safe on the road: avoid being in a driver’s blind spot; watch out for cars that might pull out in front of you from driveways or side streets; be extra cautious at intersections—especially when drivers are making left turns; don’t “lane split” or weave through traffic in heavy congestion or poor visibility conditions; keep a constant lookout for road hazards such as potholes or gravel; allow extra stopping distance on wet or slippery roads; be alert for pedestrians or bicyclists who may move into your path; avoid sudden braking if a vehicle behind.

Follow those tips, stay safe on the road and try to get out of national statistics. That’s the key to your long and safe ride.


Francis Xavier joins Leaders in Law as the exclusive International Arbitration Law member in Singapore

Leaders in Law, the leading platform in its field, is delighted to welcome Francis Xavier as our exclusively recommended & endorsed International Arbitration Law expert in Singapore. 

Francis is Regional Head, Disputes Practices of Rajah & Tann and was appointed Senior Counsel in January 2009. He practises in the areas of international and treaty arbitration and cross-border commercial litigation.

He specialises in corporate and commercial disputes especially in the areas of corporate, banking, property and financial and investment related claims. He also specialises in aviation law and advised in the class-action suit resulting from the crash of the SilkAir flight in Indonesia in 1997 and the Taiwan SIA crash.

If you require any assistance in this area, please use the contact details provided in Francis’ profile below or contact us at & we will put you in touch.

Forsters Promotes 10 Lawyers in Record Year

Forsters, the leading London real estate and private client law firm, announces today that it has promoted six Senior Associates to Partner and four to Counsel. This is the single largest round of promotions that the firm has recorded in in its 24-year history. Forsters now has 66 partners and 420 other members of staff.

Emily Exton, Managing Partner at Forsters, commented: “We have promoted 10 talented lawyers from across our practice areas, reflecting the fantastic talent pool we have at Forsters and the strength of the firm’s business. Each of these exceptional individuals has already established a strong market profile and has a track record of providing technically excellent advice to our growing client base while also contributing to our positive working culture. I look forward to working with them as they continue to develop in their new roles.”

The promotions to Partner are as follows:

The promotions to Counsel are as follows:

James Brockhurst, new Partner in our Private Client team, commented: “Forsters is an extremely powerful player in my sector, private wealth, so I am delighted to be joining the partnership. I will be working with clients and intermediaries in the offshore market, and especially look forward to promoting our business in the Middle East. Alongside this, I will continue to work on a deep level in the cryptoassets space, as that industry grows rapidly.”

Jade Capper, new Partner in our Commercial Real Estate team, commented: “I am delighted to have been promoted to Partner during my 10th year at Forsters. Having trained at Forsters, I am excited to be embarking on this new role at the firm and to continue working with our brilliant Commercial Real Estate team and fantastic clients on a broad range of investment and development work. I look forward to further contributing to the team and the firm as a whole, and helping to grow our already formidable network of industrial and logistics clients and advising them on complex and interesting high value deals.”

Amy France, new Partner in our Commercial Real Estate team, commented: “I am delighted to have been promoted to Partner. Having trained at Forsters it is a very special opportunity for me to join the next generation of Partners who will help to steer the firm forward. I am looking forward to leading the Later Living practice within the Commercial Real Estate team and advising our clients who are investing in this exciting growth sector. I will be working alongside the other real estate partners to ensure that our clients receive the fantastic Forsters’ service that we are rightly recognised for.”

Anthony Goodmaker, new Partner in our Commercial Real Estate team, commented: “Having trained at the firm, to become a Partner at Forsters really means a lot to me. I am incredibly proud and excited to be making this step up at such an interesting time for the real estate industry. I am keen to build on our existing network of fantastic clients across the spectrum of investment and development work, with a particular focus on the industrial and logistics sector. As a Partner, I look forward to further contributing to our team and the firm as a whole.”

Caroline Harbord, new Partner in our Dispute Resolution team, commented: “I feel so proud to now count myself among the partners here at Forsters. In addition to being home to fantastic lawyers, the firm is a trail blazer on gender equality and has fostered a culture which really promotes thought leadership. As a partner in the Dispute Resolution team, I look forward to continuing to build my commercial litigation practice, and in particular helping trustees and other parties recover offshore investment losses.”

Anna Mullins, new Partner in our Property Litigation team, commented: “I am delighted to have been promoted to partner in our highly-regarded property litigation team. This promotion reflects the success and growth of our team. I look forward to working strategically with the partners in our award-winning commercial real estate and residential practices to ensure that we continue to grow and deliver a first-class service to our clients.”

Michael Armstrong, new Counsel in our Private Client team, commented: “Having trained at Forsters, I am delighted to have been promoted to Counsel in our award-winning Private Client group. This promotion confirms the firm’s commitment to mental capacity work, and I am looking forward to the chance to develop my practice advising and supporting vulnerable clients and their families.”

Polly Reeve, new Counsel in our Rural Property team, commented: “Having been with Forsters since 2010, I am delighted to be moving to this next phase of my career with the support of such an excellent team around me – our top ranked Rural Property practice provides a strong platform for this to happen. This promotion reflects the expertise we have built and continue to build in the rural sector and in my particular case, in rural transactions, complex and high value residential and mixed-use developments and renewables. My expertise in rural housing development and green energy projects, particularly solar, battery storage facilities and wind farms in rural areas are key issues for our clients and I will developing a broader practice in this demanding area of law.”

Amanda Sandys, new Counsel in our Family team, commented:
“In my new role as Counsel I will be further developing my expertise in advising and supporting clients who are part of a growing network of modern families, with a focus on the financial and parenting issues that can arise on separation particularly amongst cohabitants. Working closely with the wider team, and building on our strong market reputation, I look forward to contributing to the ongoing success of our practice.”

Bryan Shacklady, new Counsel in our Dispute Resolution team, commented: “I am looking forward to developing further our market leading dispute resolution practice, which is unique in combining highly effective commercial litigation with other practice areas for which Forsters is justifiably renowned.”

First Case Law on Agile IT Projects

In 2001, the authors of the Agile Manifesto probably could not foresee what flight the concept of ‘agile’ would take. Most software developers nowadays work on the basis of some form of lightweight development method and there are organisations that set up their entire (non-IT) organisation ‘agile’. Much has been written in the legal literature about the nature of software development agreements based on agile principles.

This literature usually amounts to a warning for the client who does business with an agile developer: if you do not make agreements about the end result to be achieved, you cannot hold a supplier liable for poor quality software.

We are now seeing the first case law on agile IT projects in the Netherlands. Do these rulings confirm the warnings in the literature?

Agile vs Waterfall

When applying the traditional waterfall method, the emphasis is on the design phase. In the design phase, all the technical and functional requirements for the software are drawn up. After this phase has been completed, the software is realized in its entirety, possibly divided into a handful of large components. This sounds logical, and makes contracting relatively easy, but in practice it poses a number of problems. During the building process, new wishes and insights often arise. The waterfall method can then be experienced as a straitjacket, in which there is insufficient space for flexibility and maneuverability. In an extreme case, the software is delivered at the end of the project in accordance with design and planning, but the software does not meet the (actual) wishes of the customer. The agile approach offers a solution here.

In an agile working method, the emphasis is not on the design phase and formulating an end-result upfront, but on the process. Above all, there is an iterative, flexible process of software development. This usually means working with a central list of desired functionalities that have yet to be developed. These tasks are estimated by hours and prioritized. Within a fixed period of one or more weeks, the tasks with the highest priority are then taken up, with the intention that working software is delivered at the end of each sprint. By indicating the prioritization, the customer has a grip on what will be carried out and can easily adjust during the process. What the customer gains in flexibility, however, the customer may lose in terms of certainty about the end-result to be achieved.

Auction Platform

Developer DPDK spends almost three years building an online auction platform for client Dream Bid on the basis of the agile method. The launch of the platform is delayed several times due to issues with the system’s performance. After go-live, these problems persist and it turns out that a definitive fix would require a complete “rebuild” of the platform’s architecture. Dream Bid wants to wait nor pay for this rebuild and sues DPDK for damages.

In court, DPDK defends itself stating that the parties agreed on an agile approach. The functionality to be delivered was not predetermined and therefore whatever issues existed they do not amount to breach of contract. Moreover, according to DPDK, the fact that the architecture is not suitable for the desired number of users is the result of Dream Bid’s changes during the course of the project, which incidentally fits with the agile approach, but again cannot result in breach of contract.

The court finds the defense unconvincing and rules in favor of Dream Bid. The court bases this conclusion on DPDK’s duty of care. A software development agreement qualifies as a contract for services (Article 7:400 Civil Code). The developer must therefore observe the care of a good contractor (Article 7:401 Civil Code). In other words, DPDK must behave as a reasonably competent and reasonably skilled IT service provider. According to the court, a reasonably competent IT service provider can be expected to have provided a platform with an acceptable performance. If that were no longer possible due to changing requirements, DPDK should have explicitly warned about this. The fact that work is done on an agile basis does not in any way affect this warning obligation, according to the court.

Investment Platform

A somewhat similar project ended up before the district court in The Hague (the judgment has not been published, but I represented the supplier). For several years, a software developer works on an investment platform. At the start of the project, only the basic outline of the platform is clear and development takes place on the basis of agile principles, with many changes along the way. When go-live comes into view the performance does not meet the expectations of the customer. Go-live is delayed several times, the customer loses faith in the project and eventually terminates the agreement for cause.

The customer argues, among other things, that it was not sufficiently informed about the agile method and what that would mean for the project. It is also argued that the supplier has not warned sufficiently about the consequences of the customer’s changes during the project, resulting in long project duration and potentially inappropriate underlying architecture.

In this case, the court dismisses the customer’s claims. The assertion that the system was not working properly and that on that basis there would be a shortcoming is dismissed on formal grounds without touching on the substantive issues. With regard to the duty of care, the supplier is able to demonstrate, in the form of emails and other documents, that they have indeed informed the customer about the nature of agile projects and have warned the customer about the potential impact of certain changes in the project. The multi-million euro claim is therefore dismissed.

Provisional Conclusion

The above judgments only come from lower courts and, moreover, strongly depend on the specific facts of those projects. One should caution to draw general conclusions too quickly on this basis. Nevertheless, a provisional conclusion may be appropriate.

The cases seem to underline that while it is relatively difficult to successfully hold a supplier liable in an agile project, this is by no means impossible. The most promising base will generally be the duty of care of the IT service provider. In particular, a supplier must clearly warn the customer when the customer (in its role of product owner) changes the course of the project in ways that affect the progress of the project or the suitability of the underlying architecture. As is evident from other IT cases, under certain circumstances, this could mean that a supplier must warn insistently, suggest alternatives or even refuse to proceed on a certain course.

In my opinion, both cases also illustrate a specific vulnerability of agile projects, in which, as mentioned, the emphasis is not on the design phase. There is therefore a chance that the actual wishes of the customer in terms of functionality and performance, which become clear during the project, ultimately do not match the underlying architecture of the solution. This is an important point to consider when starting an agile project. Would you like to know more about the legal aspects of (agile) software development or IT projects? Please contact Natascha van Duuren attorney at law / partner at De Clercq.