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Nominate Today – Global Awards 2021

Leaders in Law is delighted to announce that we are taking nominations for our upcoming Leaders in Law – Global Awards 2021.

If you would like to be considered / nominate a peer, please fill in the nomination form on Nominate Today – Leaders in Law (leaders-in-law.com)

Guidelines & Protocols in Medical Negligence Cases

Adherence to current clinical guidelines of commonly accepted practice is generally a complete defence to a claim in medical negligence.

Guidelines are established by national organisations such as the National Institutes for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) in the UK, special interest groups such as in gastroenterology or general surgery and may be produced as a matter of local policy in an individual institution. The intention is to promote best practice from a meta-analysis of available evidence such as found in a Cochrane Review, which is an analysis of a relevant database related to a specific condition.

Guidelines are not intended to be exclusive but rather provide a solid foundation on which to base clinical practice.

Their standing in legal matters is therefore the subject of debate. Medical evidence is usually generated from the results of clinical trials and is therefore based on a statistical analysis which never gives an absolute answer but rather, what is the “most likely” answer within statistical guidelines ie to around 95% certainty. This means there are certainly outliers in any such analysis, which indicates that a small number of patients may not respond or respond adversely to “routine” management. The more experienced the medical practitioner, the more likely they are to have seen and managed such outlying cases.

Guidelines therefore cannot be absolute, and management of a particular case may vary in specific circumstances based on the previous experience of the medical practitioner. However, in a legal situation, where guidelines are in place, any deviation needs to be explained in a logical way by a “reasonably, respectable and responsible” body of opinion and it is this that may be tested in court. Therefore, it is up to the defendant in a medical negligence action to logically explain their choices and behaviour when they deviate from accepted guidelines and policies.

MDU figures for 2019 show that less than one in six actions in medical negligence actually succeed with the vast majority failing on the grounds of causation. It must be remembered that subsequence is not the same as consequence.

Initial screening is therefore essential to manage client expectations at an early stage. This avoids unnecessary effort and costs for all concerned. Too many cases are taken to Court with no chance of success. This is stressful for both the client and their legal advisor and indeed for the medical personnel involved.

For fast and effective screening of all potential medical negligence cases, contact Peyton Medico Legal Services now on +44 (0)28 87724177 or email rpeyton@rpeyton.com

Cyprus: Government Assistance During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The global pandemic of COVID-19 has left no country unaffected, with a second wave currently sweeping through Europe. Since its arrival on the island in March 2020, the Cypriot government closely monitored the situation and acted swiftly. Early lockdown measures and widespread testing were effective in flattening out the initial infection curve, providing valuable reaction time to better equip and organise the healthcare system with medical resources and staff. The government’s response subsequently shifted from containment of the virus, which had brought the economy to almost a virtual standstill, to a re-opening of the economy with reinforced protection. To this effect, various measures, plans and schemes were enforced by the government in order to support the economy, its citizens, and workers from the severe impact of the pandemic.

As part of a budgetary policy response in the wake of COVID-19, Cyprus introduced its “Stability Programme 2020–2023”. The aim of the Programme has been to provide emergency relief and support the Cyprus economy under the present exceptional economic crisis that has arisen as a result of the pandemic. One of the measures introduced by the Stability Programme was the suspension of loan instalments for enhancing liquidity, enabling a payment moratorium for nine months to apply to credit-worthy borrowers that have been affected by the restrictive measures imposed by the authorities.

These temporary measures are applicable for a period from 30 March 2020 to 31 December 2020. The moratorium covers capital, interest and compound interest payments, and both physical and legal entities are eligible.

Liquidity Aid Measures

In addition to the above in May 2020, the Cyprus government announced further stimulus measures to “jump-start” the Cypriot economy, impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with major input from the European Investment Bank (“EIB”), in the form of loans worth approximately EUR 1.2 billion, along with interest rate subsidies for businesses and housing loans. By utilising the tools provided by the European Union and European financial institutions, the Cyprus government introduced various liquidity aid measures, as follows:

Pan-European Guarantee Fund

By participating in the Pan-European Guarantee Fund (established to tackle the adverse economic consequences of the pandemic), and in return for a contribution of EUR32.5 million, Cyprus expects to be allocated EURO 300-400 million of direct guarantees from the Fund for the needs of businesses. The Fund will guarantee up to 80% of the bank’s indebtedness to small- and medium-sized enterprises employing up to 3,000 people, with the caveat that they must not have laid off staff during the lockdown period. The guarantees are intended to encourage the banks to cover working capital shortfalls for businesses that were viable before the onset of COVID-19.

State Guarantees

The government will provide an additional EUR 500 million of state guarantees to the EIB, which will, in turn, advance loans at more favourable interest rates to businesses in the small- and medium-sized enterprise sector.

The Cyprus Entrepreneurship Fund

The Cyprus Entrepreneurship Fund will be expanded by EURO 800 million. Businesses with a maximum of 250 staff will be eligible to apply for a maximum loan of EURO 1.5 million, repayable over a period of up to 12 years at interest rates currently ranging from 2.55% to 4.5%, depending on the perceived risk of the loan. The Cyprus government will fund 50% of the new money via a loan from the EIB, with local lenders providing matching funding with a 50/50 split of the risk between the parties.

Scheme to Subsidise New Loan Interest Rates

A scheme that will subsidise interest rates for new loans taken out between 1st March 2020 and 12th December 2020 provided that the maximum interest rate for such loans does not exceed 4.25%. The subsidy will run for four years and cover loans taken out between 1st March 2020 and 12th December 2020, provided that the maximum interest rate on them does not exceed 4.25%. All previously viable businesses adversely impacted by the pandemic will be eligible to participate.

The loans may be used for the purpose of investment or, as working capital, but they cannot be used to repay existing indebtedness or for the purposes of restructuring a business.

Tax Measures

Aside from the aforementioned measures, and in order to further aid business liquidity, numerous tax and other measures were implemented, providing temporary suspensions of the duty to pay VAT (without any penalties) for February, March and April 2020, until November 2020, and an extension for the submission of tax returns and the settlement of overdue tax liabilities. Relief from import duties and VAT on imports of goods needed, from the European Commission to combat the effects of COVID-19 for the first seven months of 2020, was introduced as a further measure.

Extensions of two months were provided for the settlement of overdue contributions to social-insurance-related funds.

The increase in special contributions regarding the General healthcare system (GESY) was suspended for the period of three months, applicable from April–June 2020.

Business Suspension of Operations Schemes 

Certain business and other emergency measures were quickly introduced to alleviate hardship in households, to support businesses and to prevent termination of employees’ employment.

Among these was the payment of unemployment benefits to employees under the plans for the Complete or Partial Suspension of Business operations. This was an extremely useful measure, as business employers were encouraged to retain their employees during the lockdown period between March–May and thereafter, and to participate in these schemes, under which the employees received a percentage of their salary ranging from 60% for partial suspension, to 90% for complete suspension of business operations (in the form of a state benefit). During this period for which Special Unemployment Allowance was paid, the employer’s duty to pay the salaries was waived with regards to employees who received the allowance. A business employer could participate in the Special Complete Suspension Scheme, subject to it not carrying on any business other than the administrative work of the business while the entire business was required to suspend activity, provided by the decrees of the related Ministries and decisions taken by the Council of Ministers and in addition that the business’s nature was not altered. A business employer could participate in the Special Partial Suspension Scheme, provided its operations were partially suspended due to its turnover decreasing by more than 25% in March 2020 until April 2020, in comparison to the previous corresponding period and such decline in turnover was caused solely by COVID-19.

One of the essential conditions to enable participation in the Scheme was the pre-requisite that no employee had been dismissed from 1st March 2020, and once approved to participate in the scheme, no employee could be dismissed for the duration of business participation in the scheme and for an additional period equal to the period of participation – plus an additional month, except for reasons justifying dismissal without notice. Hence, participating businesses were unable to dismiss employees for financial reasons during this period.

Other Measures

Other measures included special sickness benefits, special leave for the care of children, and amendments to the Statutory Tenants Law to suspend eviction of tenants until the end of May 2020.

Conclusion

In summary, the Cypriot government took immediate measures to combat and contain the effects of the pandemic, and has continued to take measures to restart much of the social and economic activity which came to a standstill in the past months, as well as to support the economy through these challenging times. How substantial and effective these measures will be to relieve and reverse the socioeconomic impact of the pandemic, especially in light of the inevitable domino effect of other world economies and how they fare from the crisis, remains to be seen.

Update of the Romanian Trademark Law

With a delay that nearly triggered sanctions from the European Court of Justice at the request of the European Commission, Romanian legislative body fulfilled its obligation to implement the EU Directive for approximation of the trademark laws in the Member States; the law came into effect in July.

The new law includes important changes based on the directive, inter alia:

  • the definition of trademarks has been updated for the “digital age”,
  • among other clarifications and simplifications of the registration procedure, some terms have been shortened,
  • extent of trademark protection depends on description of goods/ services,
  • counterfeit goods, found on Romanian territory in transit, are now subject to possible sanctions,
  • new legal remedies on cancelation of trademarks,
  • updated list of reasons for rejecting requests for trademark registration and so on.

The directive is aimed at the modernization of the trademark law EU-wide; with its implementation, the Romanian legislation is brought to the required level. The new law introduces a more efficient registration procedure, shorter periods and extended contestation options, which overall increases the protection for existing and future trademarks. Corresponding procedure rules should also be implemented in the near future.

More information in the link below:

https://stalfort.ro/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/20201005_MM_Update_of_the_Romanian_trademark_law_MM.pdf

Poland – New Public Procurement Law

On 11 September 2019 the Polish legislature introduced a new bill to the Public Procurement law which shall take effect as of 1 January 2021 and will replace the current Public Procurement Act from 29 January 2004, which has been in force in Poland for over 15 years. Many discussions were carried out in public between interested parties prior to the enactment of the new law. The new bill is designated to regulate the procedure for procurement by contracting authorities in a complex and detailed manner, whereby a procurement assignment shall be deemed a public contract for pecuniary interests concluded between authorities and economic operators subject to the execution of services and/or supply of products. The preparation of the new law meets long-term expectations of  entrepreneurs. In addition, the new bill also implements EU–directives in this area in order to tailor the procurement law in Poland better to EU–requirements and standards as well as to regulate the subject matter of awards of public contracts in a more transparent and conclusive way. The Polish legislator was also determined to establish new regulations in particular to support small and medium sized enterprises within public procurement proceedings, simplify conditions for selection of enterprises below and above the EU-threshold amounts, to equal parties’ rights within contractual relationships subject to public services / products supply, to impose an obligation to estimate the value of a contract, to improve the system of appeals against the decision of the National Body of Appeal (Polish Abbreviation “KIO”1) and the system of controls over public procurement proceedings, to implement the possibility of out of court settlements of disputes arising from public contracts and finally to strengthen the function of the public procurement sphere in Poland.

The outbreak of the Covid–19 Pandemic has already had a significant impact on the execution of public contracts already concluded under the present public procurement law. On 7 May 2020 a new Act on Special Regulations related to the Prevention, Counteracting and Combating of Covid-19 and other Transmissible Diseases within Crisis Situations was introduced in Poland to help current economic operators to meet their obligations under public contracts by way of conclusion of supplemental agreements with contracting authorities and to avoid the payment of any penalties due to delays in performance.

We have already written a comprehensive article about the new Polish Procurement Law which will be published in the Legal Magazine WiRO (www.wiro-zeitschrift.com) soon.

Article By:

Robert Lewandowski

 

Hogan Lovells listed in The Times Best Law Firms 2021

The Times has listed Hogan Lovells among England and Wales’ top law firms in its Best Law Firms guide, for the third consecutive year.

The report, published in conjunction with international market research firm Statista, is based on a survey of legal professionals and their views of competitors, across a range of 26 categories.

In addition to ranking in the overall list, Hogan Lovells has been commended in the following categories: administrative & public law; banking & finance; commercial dispute resolution; commercial property; company & commercial; energy & renewables; insolvency & restructuring; intellectual property; landlord & tenant; technology, media & telecoms.

LabLaw and Deloitte Legal announce a Strategic Alliance

LabLaw and Deloitte Legal announce a strategic alliance aimed at promoting the union between excellence in labour law and multidisciplinarity and innovation in the legal advisory services market.

LabLaw Studio Legale Rotondi & Partners and Deloitte Legal have announced a strategic alliance aimed at bringing together LabLaw’s excellence in labor law and the multidisciplinarity and innovation in the legal advisory services market of Deloitte Legal, part of the network of one of the world’s leading consulting firms.

The agreement will maximize the synergies produced by the combination of LabLaw’s specialized excellence with the breadth of consulting services offered by Deloitte Legal and the Deloitte network to its clients. In particular, the agreement will not only increase LabLaw’s market presence within its specific expertise in the field, consolidating its position as market leader, but will also be instrumental in pursuing the respective strategic objectives of both firms in the field of international development and innovation.

LabLaw and Deloitte Legal will remain independent and autonomous realities, with focus, respectively, on litigation and consulting. Francesco Rotondi will remain at the helm of LabLaw, with more than 50 professionals, while Luca Failla (Co-Founder and Chairman of LabLaw) will leave LabLaw in order to take over, as of October 1, the leadership of the Employment & Benefits practice of Deloitte Legal in Italy, which will count about 25 professionals and 3 partners.

Carlo Gagliardi, Managing Partner, Deloitte Legal DCM (Deloitte Central Mediterranean), confirms that:

With this agreement Deloitte Legal continues its strategy of developing the employment practice globally. We equip ourselves with the tools to take advantage of all the opportunities offered by a strategic practice, even in the current economic situation. Our clients are facing exceptional volumes of activities with employment law implications and the arrival of Luca Failla and the alliance with LabLaw will allow us to complete the range of our offer to better support them, ensuring the excellence that has always distinguished our services in this area too “.

There is no doubt that our world is facing an extraordinary process of evolution and with it our way of working and our workplaces. We are excited to work with Deloitte Legal to address the new challenges that change brings. LabLaw has been providing litigation consulting and services in the areas of labor, union and social security law for over 10 years and we are now more than ready to broaden the horizons of services designed for our clients. We are starting today, strong in our alliance with Deloitte Legal” says Francesco Rotondi, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of LabLaw.

The professional services available to our clients also thanks to this strategic alliance – says lawyer Luca Failla – will allow us to continue to ensure the added value and quality to which we have accustomed them in dealing with any issue related to their business. The strategic alliance is therefore in the wake, also cultural, of the initiatives that have been undertaken by the two firms since their foundation.

For this new strategic alliance we sought and strongly desired an organization that understood and shared the fundamental value of making complete solutions available to clients. LabLaw’s services in labor law and, in particular, in litigation, are well known, client-oriented and will provide real added value to the clients of the network

says Alessandro Lualdi, Managing Partner Tax & Legal DCM.

Baker McKenzie Named World’s Best Law Firm Brand

Leading global law firm Baker McKenzie has been named as the best law firm brand for the 10th consecutive year by Acritas’ Global Elite Law Firm Brand Index. The Firm once again ranked top for each of the measures that make up the Index – awareness, favorability, consideration for multi-jurisdictional deals and for multi-jurisdictional litigation. Baker McKenzie also once more widened its lead over its nearest competitor, receiving an overall score of 100, which is 57 points ahead of the firm ranked in second place

The ranking is based on interviews with 1,596 senior legal buyers across the world’s largest multinationals with revenues in excess of $1bn.

Milton Cheng, Global Chair of Baker McKenzie, said, “Market disruption is an accepted reality for business, as new competition and technologies drive the pace of change faster than ever before. Our clients want lawyers who are prepared to lead, differentiate and adapt in a constantly changing world.

“We are unquestionably the leading cross-border law firm that large, global clients trust for complex transactional and other matters involving multiple jurisdictions. That’s why we are top of mind across so many countries and areas of law. Topping this ranking for the tenth consecutive year underlines that.”

Lisa Hart Shepherd, vice president of Research and Advisory Services at Thomson Reuters, commented: “For firms, choosing an overarching focus and sticking with it is essential to developing a differentiated brand. Baker McKenzie has shown that commitment to a long-term strategy that is in line with evolving client needs will deliver financial success. This strategic focus on global reach makes for a clear purpose that its people can get behind and that its clients can easily understand.“

China – Mergers and Acquisitions

One of the most common ways for a business to gain access to the China market is through acquisition of, or merger with a local company. But Chinese laws that govern foreign acquisition are complex and you may need to bring in a third party to accomplish it. And there’s another consideration, the resulting entity operates differently than a standard business, do it’s important to understand the rules.

That’s why if you are considering a merger or acquisition in China, you need the legal team at IPO Pang. IPO Pang has plenty of experience negotiating and closing mergers and acquisitions, representing either buyers or sellers. Their team has a strong understanding of how to get the job done, the law and the customs must be followed if you want to pull of the transaction on time and on budget.

There are a number of things that can slow or even stop the deal. Poor due diligence, inadequate understanding of regulatory legal and political risks, or underestimating the timetable to complete the deal. IPO can help withs with every aspect of a merger and acquisition from start to finish. They often represent the foreign party on a hybrid structure fee so they share the risk and with skin in the game, they will make sure the deal gets done to your satisfaction.

Whether you want to buy or sell, the best investment you will make is teaming up with IPO Pang.

Read out to them via info@ipopang.com or visit www.ipopang.com, you can also call them.

Article By Peter C. Pang

 

Covington Hires Former British Ambassador as UK Public Policy Head

Covington & Burling has hired the former British Ambassador to Morocco to head up its U.K. public policy team from its London office.

It is only the firm’s third senior London hire in 2020.