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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.

 

Saudi Arabia announces reforms protecting migrant workers

The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (HRSD) in Saudi Arabia launched today a Labor Reform Initiative (LRI) Wednesday aimed at improving job mobility for migrant workers by lifting “kafala” restrictions that have historically left workers vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.

The LRI seeks to regulate employee exit and re-entry visa issuance, allowing workers to move freely without requiring the employer’s consent, and enables workers to transfer sponsorship between employers. However, employers will receive a notice of the employee’s departure from the country via smartphone apps with the worker “bearing all consequences” of violating the employment contract. The Kingdom hopes these reforms will improve the job market, reduce the disparity between Saudi and migrant workers, and strengthen Saudi Arabia’s presence in the global market sphere. Reforms are due to take effect in March 2021.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced reforms as part of a broader plan called Vision 2030 designed to attract foreign investors. Vision 2030 seeks to expand the Saudi private sector and “diversify” the country’s oil-dependent economy.

Human rights organizations remain skeptical. Migrant Rights researcher Ali Mohammed says the current kafala system will continue as long as migrant worker visas are sponsored by an individual, known as the “kafeel.” However, Mohamed notes that “any move toward delinking migrant workers from the control of a single sponsor will certainly benefit migrant workers and is to be welcomed.”

Amnesty International migrant rights researcher May Romanos cited similar concerns, stating that “the devil is usually in the details.” Romanos says that Saudi must publish and enforce the new reforms if there is any hope for change. Otherwise, she says, foreign workers may be vulnerable to a new host of human rights violations.

US Election 2020: Americans choose between Trump and Biden

Americans are voting in one of the most divisive presidential polls in decades, Republican Donald Trump against Democrat Joe Biden.

Polls have opened in the east of the country after a long and bitter campaign amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Nearly 100 million people have already cast their ballots in early voting, putting the country on course for its highest turnout in a century.

Both rivals spent the final hours of the race rallying in key swing states.

National polls give a firm lead to Mr Biden, but it is a closer race in the states that could decide the outcome.

To be elected president, a candidate must win at least 270 votes in what is called the electoral college. Each US state gets a certain number of votes partly based on its population and there are a total of 538 up for grabs.

This system explains why it is possible for a candidate to win the most votes nationally – as Hillary Clinton did in 2016 – but still lose the election.

Control of the Senate is also at stake in these elections, with the Democrats seeking to gain control of both houses of Congress and the White House for the first time since early in Barack Obama’s first term.

Baker McKenzie Announces Global Carbon Emissions Reduction Targets

Today Baker McKenzie announces a plan to significantly reduce its global carbon emissions over the next decade.  The reductions are part of the Firm’s wider sustainability strategy and support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The Firm commits:

  • To reduce its emissions from energy consumption* by 92% by 2030 (from a 2019 baseline)
  • To develop a strategy and target by 2021 to lower emissions from its business air travel; and
  • To report its emissions with the Carbon Disclosure Project starting in 2020.

“Climate change is one of the most pressing issues facing humanity,” says Global Executive Committee member Ai Ai Wong who is also Chair of the Firm’s Asia Pacific Region and the Global Environmental Committee. “Limiting warming requires everyone – including Baker McKenzie — to take action to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, without delay. We are setting targets to drive better environmental performance across our global operations, and to clearly demonstrate our commitment.”

“These targets are part of the Firm’s continuing effort to integrate sustainability meaningfully into our strategy and operations,” added Christie Constantine, Baker McKenzie’s Global Director of Sustainability.

“Climate change is a priority and a concern for many people at our Firm, as well as for our clients and the communities where we do business.  Our various stakeholders want to know that we are part of the solution.” Constantine, who has been with Baker McKenzie since 2013, was appointed to the newly created Global Director of Sustainability role earlier this year, reflecting the Firm’s commitment to sustainability.

Last year, the Firm launched a refreshed global sustainability strategy, centered on the environmental, economic, social and governance issues most material to the Firm as identified by more than 1400 stakeholders. Additionally, Baker McKenzie has prioritized a number of the UN Sustainable Development Goals linked to these issues which it will focus on over the next ten years. This includes Goal 7 (clean and affordable energy); Goal 12 (responsible consumption and production); and Goal 13 (climate action).

The Firm plans to lower its energy consumption through improvements in the energy efficiency of its offices (including a shift to green buildings over time), as well as via procurement of renewable energy credits.

With respect to business air travel, which is the Firm’s biggest emissions source, in addition to lessening non essential travel, Baker McKenzie will assess investments in enhanced video conferencing technology and redesign key meetings and events to make virtual attendance viable. The Firm currently offsets all business air travel associated with its annual and regional partners meetings, using offsets that provide social benefits in addition to carbon abatement, such as reducing poverty, improving health, empowering women, job creation, or other benefits to local communities.

The new targets build on successive efforts by the Firm to make its operations more environmentally sustainable in recent years. In 2017, Baker McKenzie launched B-Green, a program designed to help its offices around the world to “green” their operations. The program provides a road map for each office to follow, along with tools and guidance to help them measure, evaluate and incrementally improve their environmental performance.

The Firm also strives to contribute to environmental sustainability through strategic partnerships (for example, it was the first law firm to join both the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition);  pro bono and community service initiatives; and through the work of its award winning Climate, Environment and Energy practice groups.

* This covers Baker McKenzie’s “scope 1 and scope 2” emissions.  The Green House Gas (GHG) Protocol (the international standard for corporate emissions accounting and reporting which Baker has followed in its own emissions tracking and calculations) classifies emissions by so-called scopes, with scope 1 emissions being direct emissions from owned or controlled sources and scope 2 emissions being indirect emissions from the generation of purchased energy.

White & Case Advises on Aeroflot’s US$1 Billion Capital Increase

Global law firm White & Case LLP has acted as the sole international legal adviser on the more than US$1 billion equity fundraise by PJSC Aeroflot, Russia’s largest airline group.

“The White & Case team, acting as sole international legal counsel, has successfully advised on this strategically important transaction for Aeroflot,” said White & Case partner Darina Lozovsky, who co-led the Firm’s deal team. “It is the largest capital increase by a company listed on the Moscow Exchange since 2013.

VTB Capital acted as the sole global coordinator and bookrunner on the offering. The fundraise is part of the Aeroflot’s  financial strategy of strengthening its equity and liquidity position in context of the exceptional circumstances caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The White & Case team that advised on the transaction was led by partner Darina Lozovsky (Moscow & London) and local partner Dmitry Lapshin (Moscow), and included partner Inigo Esteve (London) and associates Renat Akhmetzyanov, Anastasia Sheyndlina (both Moscow) and Samuel Curme (London).

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