We asked some of our partners around the world to tell us about the challenges their clients are currently facing.
Partner CMS Hong Kong
We continue to see the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as a priority for many of our overseas and regional clients in Asia. When contemplating an investment in the BRI clients need to consider how to mitigate and avoid the potential risks. As a result, they should take advantage of the protection available under the applicable bilateral and multilateral investment treaties at the start of any overseas investment. If, and when, risks materialise and problems arise during a project, investment arbitration provides a powerful and effective tool for investors to protect their interests.
Partner CMS Rome
In our view, a corporate compliance programme improves a company’s reputation and public trust in the brand, thereby enhancing competitiveness and leading to greater innovation. In this way, the independent ethical dimension of business is promoted while consumer confidence in the private sector is increased. In the light of this, we are focusing our activity on crime prevention and the development and implementation of corporate compliance programmes that can help avoid the risk of civil or criminal liability.
ELENA ESPARZA ALEJO
Partner CMS Madrid
A recent Royal Decree-law established mandatory daily registration of working hours by companies and we are now being asked to advise on solutions and control systems that can be implemented to handle this. Our clients are mainly concerned about functions or activities where employees provide their services remotely and are not monitored by traditional entry systems at the work place, or in cases of flexible working time.
Potential solutions could be the deployment of software that allows companies to control the working time of employees by installing apps or web applications on their electronic devices. A significant increase in service providers offering such products is expected.
Partner CMS Monaco
The pending negotiation between the EU and the Principality of Monaco, and the potential implementation of European regulations in Monaco, is a challenge we are advising our clients on.
Over the last seven years, the European Commission has issued two communications outlining steps for closer integration between the EU and Monaco. They advise taking full account of the small territorial dimension of Monaco, taking further steps to create an efficient institutional framework to ensure a dynamic transposition of the acquis communautaire and considering the need to reconcile the freedom of establishment envisaged under the association agreement and national provisions in Monaco and preserve the socio-economic inclusion of its citizens.
Partner CMS Prague
Our clients include financial institutions as well as investors. The banking sector is under constant pressure from various sources, including changes to the regulatory framework, new market participants, Blockchain and cryptocurrencies as well as innovative and complicated technologies. These challenges also bring new opportunities for us as legal advisers. The Czech business environment remains extremely active and a major part of our legal advice relates to transactional financing work. This includes all sorts of industry areas such as real estate, which is traditionally one of the strongest investment opportunities, IT, healthcare, manufacturing and other industries. One of the hot areas that we are currently advising clients on relates to a public-private project (PPP) in the infrastructure sector. If this project is successful, it will bring new opportunities for investments in the infrastructure sector.
Partner CMS Rio de Janeiro
Our multinational clients with operations in Brazil have been asking for advice on data protection and cybersecurity issues and there are laws in place that impose some requirements in relation to consumer data and internet use. However, there has been no dedicated regulatory authority, little enforcement and local companies have not given this much attention until recently. That is all changing with Brazil’s first General Data Protection Law coming into force next year. Brazilian companies are now increasingly concerned about their compliance readiness. Although the law is modelled on the EU’s GDPR, there are certain differences, so multinational clients are also checking their readiness for the new regime.
Partner CMS Istanbul
Turkey is still facing difficulties in stabilising its market and securing comfort for investors. This has led to the majority of our mandates being tailored around the potential financial difficulties our clients or their respective counterparties might suffer from. This situation does not, however, affect all of our clients negatively. Several have found themselves in a stronger position because counterparties with a history of aggressive business behaviour have now become more result-oriented. Investors who are able to make accurate projections of Turkey’s near future have been able to tap into the market and cherry pick some of the top Turkish companies, which would have been very difficult about four or five years ago.
We are still expecting a significant portion of our work to be based around the upcoming currency control and other measures to ensure financial stability and dealing with the impact upon our clients’ investment positions.