05 December 2019
The new European Commission 2019 - 2024
The European Parliament confirmed the new class of European Commissioners with 461 votes in favour, 157 against and 89 abstentions on 27 November 2019. The new President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and her team of European Commissioners took office on 1 December 2019 and will drive the EU’s agenda for the next five years. Ms von der Leyen, the former German defence minister, says that it will be a “geopolitical Commission,” signalling an intention to position Europe as a heavyweight on the world stage.
Here Clifford Chance experts, including Of Counsel Michel Petite who worked for EU institutions for 27 years and was legal adviser to three Commission Presidents, assess the priorities for the von der Leyen Commission.
19 November 2019
The WTO Appellate Body crisis - A way forward?
Faced with criticism from the United States, the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) appeals system is grinding to a halt. By the end of the year, the Appellate Body is likely to have too few appointed Members to hear appeals (a division of three Members is required for each case). Unless the United States agrees to the appointment of new Members, the WTO’s Appellate Body will cease hearing new disputes, and the continued effectiveness of the dispute settlement system may be threatened.
This briefing provides an overview of the Appellate Body crisis by setting out the legal framework that governs the appeals process and discussing some of its perceived shortcomings. We also consider potential reforms and alternatives to the current system, including recent decisions by the EU, Canada and Norway to establish interim arbitration mechanisms.
16 October 2019
Market access and the Brexit legacy
Financial institutions are focusing on market access in preparation for Brexit, but with the rise of deglobalisation, there is also a broader global trend towards limiting cross-border market access and tightening barriers. Our experts take a look at the issues around navigating market access, the impact of Brexit and the challenges ahead.
03 October 2019
Public procurement and Boris Johnson's 'buy British' pledge
In July, when campaigning to lead the Conservative Party, Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised party members that he would "roll back the influence of the state" by changing public procurement rules in order to favour UK companies when bidding for billions of pounds worth of Government work and turbo-charge the advantages of the UK economy. Here we look at how such a "buy British" pledge might be implemented, the effect it may have on British companies bidding for contracts outside the UK under WTO terms and the implications that such a policy might have on the UK agreeing Free Trade Agreements.
18 July 2019
The Capital Markets Union: Should the EU shut out the City of London?
The EU's capital markets union is intended to make its economy more resilient. That goal will be easier to achieve if the EU remains open to City of London markets argue Clifford Chance Partner Simon Gleeson and Sir Jonathan Faull, Chair of European Public Affairs at the Brunswick Group, in this paper first published by think tank, The Centre for European Reform.
01 August 2018
Report on Dutch Businesses and Brexit
This Dutch language report follows the collaboration between Clifford Chance and Oliver Wyman in our Red Tape Cost of Brexit report. It is specifically focussed on Dutch businesses and sectors in the Dutch economy which are likely to be affected the most by Brexit. This report investigates the cost to businesses of tariffs and non-tariff barriers should the United Kingdom and European Union revert to a World Trade Organization trading relationship after Brexit.
30 July 2018
Contractual continuity in OTC derivatives – Challenges with transfers
The issue of contractual continuity in the over-the-counter derivatives market following the exit of the UK from the EU is a subject of considerable concern to firms and their clients and counterparties. The International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) and the Association for Financial Markets in Europe (AFME) have published a joint paper examining the challenges faced by UK and EU firms and their clients seeking to transfer their legacy cross-border over-the-counter derivative contracts to an appropriately licensed affiliate in advance of Brexit. Clifford Chance assisted ISDA and AFME in the preparation of this paper.
02 July 2018
EU (Withdrawal) Act: What it does
The European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 has finally passed all its Parliamentary stages, received Royal Assent, and become law. It will keep most existing EU law as UK domestic law after Brexit in order to ensure the continuity and completeness of the UK's legal system. It will also confer wide powers on the Government to amend that retained EU law in order to remedy or mitigate any deficiencies arising from the UK's withdrawal from the EU. Identifying deficiencies and then deciding how to address them is where the real work starts.
12 June 2018
French Businesses faced with Brexit
This French language report follows the collaboration between Clifford Chance and Oliver Wyman in our Red Tape Cost of Brexit report. It is specifically focussed on French businesses and sectors in the French economy which are likely to be affected the most by Brexit. France would be the third most affected EU economy with a cost of approximately 4 billion euros per year, according to the analysis. Agri-food, consumable goods and the automobile, chemical and aerospace industries, would be particularly affected. The report states that "French businesses should prepare to take action. Brexit will impact not only their clients and competitors, but also their suppliers and supply chains. Small and medium size businesses will be particularly vulnerable."
30 May 2018
The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill in the House of Lords
The House of Lords’ amendments to the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill can be categorised into five types: political; Parliamentary control over the Brexit process; Parliamentary control over the initial amendments to retained EU law needed to correct deficiencies; Parliamentary control over subsequent amendment to that law; and devolution. Many of the amendments are laudable in their aims, but it is important not to lose sight of the practical necessity of ensuring that UK law works effectively on Brexit and can then be kept up to date.
12 March 2018
The "red tape" cost of Brexit
Research carried out by Clifford Chance and Oliver Wyman indicates that Brexit tariffs and non-tariff barriers are expected to cost UK firms around £27 billion and EU exporters £31 billion. The automotive sector will be hardest hit in the EU27, while in the UK, financial services will incur the highest extra "red tape" costs. Jessica Gladstone, Partner, Clifford Chance, says: “Given the difficulty of knowing exactly what turbulence lies ahead many businesses are putting Brexit in the 'too hard' box, but failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Exporters that understand exactly what Brexit's risks and rewards could be for them will be able to implement the right plans at the right time to ensure that they are one of the winners rather than one of the losers.
19 February 2018
Brexit: The impact on wholesale financial services contracts
This new report, a collaboration between the Association for Financial Markets in Europe (AFME) and Clifford Chance, gives guidance to businesses and other market participants, explaining the potential significant impact of Brexit on contractual relationships for financial services. With just over a year until the UK is due to leave the European Union, there remains uncertainty as to the future relationship and the nature of any transitional arrangements between the UK and EU27. Financial services firms have already developed plans to adapt to the likelihood of the UK leaving the Single Market to ensure that firms can continue to service their clients across Europe. The report provides answers to a number of “Frequently Asked Questions” highlighting potential operational and documentation impacts.
16 November 2017
Supporting Europe's Economies and Citizens
In this new report, Supporting Europe’s Economies and Citizens: a modern approach to financial services in an EU-UK Trade Agreement, UK Finance sets out a model for cross-border market access following UK’s exit from EU.
The report was developed in collaboration with Clifford Chance and Global Counsel LLP and proposes an ambitious trade in services framework that would allow customers across Europe to continue to benefit from access to EU and UK banking and capital markets services.
26 October 2017
A Brexit transition period - wasting asset or business necessity?
The UK is due to leave the EU in March 2019 and it is now just over a month since Theresa May, the UK Prime Minister, sought to give new momentum to the Brexit negotiations and talked in Florence about the need for an implementation period so that businesses and public services only have to plan for one set of changes. Mark Poulton, Head of Corporate, London, discusses with Clifford Chance experts the timeline for achieving the proposed implementation or transition period, the legal challenges involved, the implications for trade and for multinational businesses outside the financial services sector more generally.
14 September 2017
EU proposal for screening of Foreign Direct Investments
The European Commission has presented proposed legislation that would create an EU framework for screening of foreign takeovers and investments on grounds of security and public policy.
The draft Regulation would allow the Commission to review (but not block) certain investments of "Union interest" and to issue a non-binding opinion to the member state in which the investment takes place. It would also clarify the scope of the issues that member states may take into account when applying their national screening regimes without falling foul of EU law, set certain common standards for those regimes and implement a system of cooperation and information exchange between member states and the Commission.
30 November 2016
Time to adapt: Achieving an orderly transition for banking
This report looks at why transition is needed and how transition arrangements may be structured to avoid a disorderly exit and deliver the most positive outcome for UK and EU27 citizens. It builds on the analysis in the August 2016 report 'UK exit from the EU: An orderly transition for banking'. The report was developed in collaboration with UK Finance and Global Counsel LLP and has since been supplemented by a second report "Time to adapt: Achieving an orderly transition for banking – an EU customer perspective", which looks in greater detail at the nature of the financial services supply chains.