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Commercial

United Kingdom

As a business operating in today’s increasingly regulated markets, you need to manage your commercial risk while achieving your business objectives. Your success is built upon the effectiveness and robustness of your relationships with third parties, whether they are your customers, suppliers or intermediaries. Contractual arrangements attuned to the sectors and markets in which you operate are key.

Whether you require advice on supply arrangements, services agreements, technology or telecommunications contracts, IP licensing, manufacturing agreements, consumer arrangements, software licensing, outsourcing or any other bespoke commercial arrangement, our specialists can guide you towards the best business outcome for you.

We are market-leading practitioners, and have shaped many of the landmark deals in the various sectors which we serve. This means that we do not simply counsel our clients on how to paper their transactions, but work with them from the start to come up with the structure which is most effective for them, and share with them our experience of the many other deals we have executed.

Our commercial lawyers also benefit from the support of colleagues expert in complementary legal areas. Tax lawyers ensure that contracts are tax-efficient and that any liability is properly allocated between the parties. Competition law specialists enable contracts to exploit rights or distribute products as effectively as possible, within the constraints of an ever-changing legal and regulatory framework.

We don't distinguish "legal points" and "commercial points". If an issue is relevant to the deal we are working on then we will understand it and help our clients to resolve it. We also understand that contracts are important for our clients, and time-pressured. Our clients don't need to explain to us that something is urgent or critical; we know already.

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CMS stands out for its global reach and sector focus. The 'can do' team has a 'great understanding of the legal position, the deal, the commercial reality and the regulatory framework'.

Legal 500 UK, 2015

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    Advertising, Marketing & Sponsorship

    Working to raise your businesses’ profile is an exciting place to be, and as you work with your in-house marketing team or creative agency to develop your advertising, marketing and sponsorship strategies, it is also important to consider all the legal and regulatory requirements, including those for the industry in which you work.   

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    Commercial Contracts

    Commercial contracts are the fundamental basis upon which any business develops and grows. Getting it wrong can have serious consequences for your business. Whether the agreements relevant to your business concern the procurement or the supply of goods, technology, information or services, or your business processes such as licensing, distribution, agency and resale, you will need legal advisers who understand your commercial imperatives and can deliver results efficiently and cost-effectively based on market knowledge and experience.

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    Data Protection & Freedom of Information

    The EU data protection landscape is shifting with a radical new regulatory framework on the horizon. Our global data protection expertise allows us to handle the very largest and most complex multi-jurisdictional matters. 

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    Health & Safety

    Health & Safety is of paramount importance to all businesses. As an increasingly regulated area, every employer must comply with health and safety rules to protect employees, contractors, visitors and the general public. These regulations also put responsibility on all employees, so it is vital that everyone is aware of the relevant legislation.

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    Outsourcing

    Many organisations look to outsource business functions to help drive their business’ growth, achieve quality improvements, increase efficiency and manage costs. The decision to outsource elements of a business is often complex - finding the right service provider, ensuring the right set up, contracting for appropriate performance incentives and ensuring good governance are just a few of the considerations.

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    Law-Now: Commercial

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    18/05/2017
    Brexit: a question of competence
    On 16 May 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) handed down its opinion on the process for concluding the EU’s free trade agreement (FTA) with Singapore, a so-called “new generation” FTA with a wider scope than more traditional FTAs.
    12/05/2017
    SFO overcomes privilege claim for internal investigation document...
    Summary The High Court has held that certain documents created by legal and other advisers of Eurasian National Resources Ltd (“ENRC”) during an internal investigation into allegations of wrongdoing, are not protected by legal professional privilege.
    25/04/2017
    Financial Conduct Authority launches discussion on distributed le...
    The Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) has opened for consultation its discussion paper on distributed ledger technology (“DLT”). The FCA is accepting responses until 17 July 2017. Overview The FCA has issued a discussion paper on the potential for future.
    21/04/2017
    Financial Conduct Authority launches consultation on draft guidel...
    On 13 April 2017, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) launched a consultation on a draft approach document setting out its approach to the implementation and interpretation of the Second Payment Services Directive (“PSD2”).
    13/04/2017
    Permissions in Principle and Brownfield Land
    This article was produced by Nabarro LLP, which joined CMS on 1 May 2017. Summary and Implications This week the Town and Country Planning (Permission in Principle) Order 2017 (the "2017 Order") comes into force which will allow "permission in principle" to.
    13/04/2017
    Challenging standard form exclusion clauses under UCTA: new TCC g...
    A TCC decision last week has rejected an attempt to challenge a broadly drafted standard form exclusion clause under the Unfair Contract Terms Act. The decision gives helpful guidance as to the circumstances in which broadly drafted exclusions might be considered.
    12/04/2017
    Risks of Brexit extensions for public contracts?
    The FT recently reported that “hundreds of government contracts with the private sector that are due to expire are to be automatically extended because civil servants are too busy with Brexit to focus on new and better-value tenders” (FT, 10 April).
    11/04/2017
    Supreme Court rules again on interpretation of contracts: busines...
    In Wood v Capita Insurance Services Limited [2017] UKSC 24, the Supreme Court has sought to reconcile the approaches to contractual construction and interpretation adopted by the Supreme Court in in Rainy Sky v Kookmin Bank [2011] UKSC 50 and Arnold v Britton.
    11/04/2017
    The UK Supreme Court… on tour?  UKSC to sit in Edinburgh for the...
    Last month, the UK Supreme Court announced that it will sit in Edinburgh in June 2017.   This is a historic first: it will be the first time the Court has sat outside of London.   From 12 – 15 June 2017, the Court will sit at Edinburgh City Chambers, the home.
    05/04/2017
    Europe: Pre-tender engagements under new Public Procurement Direc...
    Directive 2014/24/EU on public procurement (the “Directive”) allows contracting authorities to engage in pre-tender market consultations in order to: (i) identify potential bidders and solutions; (ii) build awareness and capacity in the market about the requirements.
    31/03/2017
    The Great Repeal Bill
    This article was produced by Nabarro LLP, which joined CMS on 1 May 2017. Summary and implications The Government's White Paper on the Great Repeal Bill (the Bill) was published yesterday. The Bill deals with all EU laws and regulations, of which there have.
    28/03/2017
    The European Commission launches a public consultation on FinTech...
    The European Commission has launched an action plan, and has opened a public consultation on FinTech, in a bid to further strengthen the Single Market for retail financial services. The Commission hopes to obtain input on how the regulatory and supervisory.
    15/03/2017
    Spotlight on vertical restrictions?
    Summary The CMA recently updated its register of warning and advisory letters, which are sent to businesses where the CMA suspects that practices may be breaching competition law but a full formal investigation is not justified under its prioritisation principles.
    15/03/2017
    FCA and Japanese Regulator Agree FinTech Co-operation Framework
    On 9 March 2017, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced that it had agreed a co-operation framework with its Japanese equivalent, the Financial Services Agency of Japan (JFSA). The co-operation framework aims to promote innovation in both Japan and.
    15/03/2017
    Spotlight on vertical restrictions?
    Summary The CMA recently updated its register of warning and advisory letters, which are sent to businesses where the CMA suspects that practices may be breaching competition law but a full formal investigation is not justified under its prioritisation principles.
    13/03/2017
    Spotlight on vertical restrictions?
    Summary The CMA recently updated its register of warning and advisory letters, which are sent to businesses where the CMA suspects that practices may be breaching competition law but a full formal investigation is not justified under its prioritisation principles.
    10/03/2017
    Caught in the crosshairs: CMA has the construction sector in its...
    On 28 February, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced an investigation into suspected anti-competitive behaviour in the provision of supplies to the construction industry.   This is now one of two Competition Act cases the CMA is investigating.
    08/03/2017
    Campaign Decommissioning - Issues with Multi-operator Contracts
    Multi-operator decommissioning contracts could play an increasingly important role in the decommissioning of oil and gas assets. But the challenges and issues raised can be significant. In the UK, the OGA recently launched a search for operators to voluntarily.