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Expertise
28/06/2022
Tech­no­logy Trans­form­a­tion: Man­aging Risks in a Chan­ging Land­scape
Chan­ging tech, chan­ging risks
01/06/2022
CMS Next
What’s next? In a world of ever-ac­cel­er­at­ing change, stay­ing ahead of the curve and know­ing what’s next for your busi­ness or sec­tor is es­sen­tial.At CMS, we see ourselves not only as your leg­al ad­visers but also as your busi­ness part­ners. We work to­geth­er with you to not only re­solve cur­rent is­sues but to an­ti­cip­ate fu­ture chal­lenges and in­nov­ate to meet them.With our latest pub­lic­a­tion, CMS Next, our ex­perts will reg­u­larly of­fer you in­sights in­to and fresh per­spect­ives on a range of is­sues that busi­nesses have to deal with – from ESG agen­das to re­struc­tur­ing after the pan­dem­ic or fa­cing the di­git­al trans­form­a­tion. We will also share with you more about the work that we are do­ing for our cli­ents, help­ing them in­nov­ate, grow and mit­ig­ate risk.To be able to provide you with the best sup­port, we im­merse ourselves in your world to un­der­stand your leg­al needs and chal­lenges. However, it is equally im­port­ant that you know who we are and how we can work with you. So, we in­vite you to meet our ex­perts and catch a glimpse of what is hap­pen­ing in­side CMS.En­joy read­ing this pub­lic­a­tion, which we will up­date reg­u­larly with new con­tent.CMS Ex­ec­ut­ive Team
24/03/2022
CMS European M&A Study 2022
The CMS Cor­por­ate/M&A Group is pleased to launch the four­teenth edi­tion of the European M&A Study
10/01/2022
Tech­no­logy: a uni­fy­ing force
Com­pan­ies of­ten talk about the scourge of the silo, the farm­ing stor­age meta­phor that has come to rep­res­ent teams or de­part­ments that op­er­ate on their own. However, with tech­no­logy trans­form­ing vir­tu­ally every in­dustry on the plan­et, col­lab­or­a­tion across sec­tors has be­come es­sen­tial. Ad­di­tion­ally, the COV­ID-19 crisis has high­lighted the cru­cial role tech­no­logy, spe­cific­ally con­nectiv­ity, plays as the back­bone of our busi­ness world across all sec­tors, and once COV­ID-19 is brought un­der con­trol or even erad­ic­ated, it will prove es­sen­tial for so­cial and eco­nom­ic prosper­ity. For­ging links in di­git­al in­fra­struc­ture pro­jects Jonath­an Dames, a part­ner at CMS in Lon­don, says that his team’s prac­tice tra­di­tion­ally centred on so­cial and eco­nom­ic in­fra­struc­ture and en­ergy fin­ance, but is in­creas­ingly shift­ing to­wards di­git­al in­fra­struc­ture pro­jects, in­clud­ing fibre net­works and data centres.He says that these kinds of pro­jects re­quire close col­lab­or­a­tion between tra­di­tion­al pro­jects and pro­ject fin­ance law­yers and their col­leagues in Tech­no­logy, Me­dia & Com­mu­nic­a­tions (TMC), “We al­ways had cros­sov­er, and en­joyed great col­lab­or­a­tion with both the In­fra­struc­ture & Pro­jects and En­ergy Sec­tor Groups, for ex­ample, but now we are work­ing with the TMC Sec­tor Group much more closely be­cause we are fa­cing reg­u­lat­ory is­sues and re­gimes that we have nev­er faced be­fore such as Code Powers, the re­quire­ments of the Com­mu­nic­a­tions Act and re­lated le­gis­la­tion.“CMS has ex­tens­ive in­fra­struc­ture, en­ergy and tele­coms ex­pert­ise and is able to bring it all to­geth­er to cre­ate the skill set re­quired to de­liv­er long-term pro­ject fin­an­cing to tech­no­logy-based in­fra­struc­ture pro­jects.”Ad­di­tion­ally, the fund­ing of di­git­al in­fra­struc­ture pro­jects, such as the 10,000km El­laLink sub­sea cable between Brazil and Por­tugal, de­mands more com­plic­ated fin­an­cing struc­tures to cov­er the re­lated risks and cre­ate the op­tim­al cap­it­al stack to get the best all-in pri­cing. This has in­volved us­ing mezzan­ine fin­ance and vendor fin­an­cing for con­struc­tion, with a view to at­tract­ing cheap­er op­er­a­tion­al peri­od fin­an­cing in the me­di­um term. A sub­sea cable, cross­ing in­ter­na­tion­al wa­ters and land­ing in mul­tiple leg­al jur­is­dic­tions, is not, un­der­stand­ably, ex­posed to the same po­ten­tial threats and per­ils as a hos­pit­al or a con­ven­tion­al power sta­tion or a wind farm on a single site. So, not all the usu­al rules, mar­ket norms, leg­al con­structs and stand­ard mit­ig­ants ne­ces­sar­ily fit for a fin­an­cing of this type of as­set. Rise of the ma­chines The CMS In­tel­lec­tu­al Prop­erty (IP) Group has un­sur­pris­ingly been at the fore­front of tech­no­lo­gic­al in­nov­a­tion, sup­port­ing cli­ents in the iden­ti­fic­a­tion, pro­tec­tion and com­mer­cial­isa­tion of their IP as­sets. Tom Scourfield, Co-Head of the group, is based in Lon­don and Warsaw, two cit­ies well-known for their tech­no­logy in­cub­a­tion. He ob­serves, “We are not only see­ing an in­crease in the use of tech­no­logy in col­lab­or­a­tion, but much more fre­quently, col­lab­or­a­tion with tech­no­logy it­self.”Ar­ti­fi­cial In­tel­li­gence (AI) is a grow­ing area of fo­cus. Pat­ent ap­plic­a­tions for AI tech­no­lo­gies have in­creased by 170,000 since 2013, ac­cord­ing to a re­cent re­port by the World In­tel­lec­tu­al Prop­erty Of­fice (WIPO). In the field of AI pat­ents, there is cur­rently a fas­cin­at­ing de­bate around the ques­tion of pat­entab­il­ity of in­ven­tions cre­ated by AI ma­chines them­selves. Ac­cord­ing to Tom Scourfield, “Bey­ond pat­ents, we are also see­ing an in­creased use of AI in de­tect­ing and mon­it­or­ing coun­ter­feits and oth­er on­line brand harms. AI is also be­ing used to sup­ple­ment and sup­port the ana­lys­is of sim­il­ar­it­ies between com­pet­ing brands, wheth­er in terms of brand clear­ance or in­fringe­ment scen­ari­os.”Whatever de­vel­op­ments AI and oth­er in­nov­a­tion may bring, he thinks that one thing is cer­tain, “As IP law­yers, we al­ways have to be for­ward-think­ing, look­ing to pro­tect and se­cure com­pet­it­ive ad­vant­ages for our cli­ents in mar­kets and op­por­tun­it­ies that are not even fully es­tab­lished yet.” Pi­on­eer­ing new products Lon­don Funds part­ner Chris­toph­er Luck sees a real ap­pet­ite for new types of as­sets from the funds com­munity. He says that di­git­al tech­no­lo­gies are trans­form­ing the back-of­fices of as­set man­agers and are im­prov­ing the cus­tom­er ex­per­i­ence. Fund man­agers are be­com­ing bet­ter at stor­ing and har­ness­ing data, us­ing block­chain tech­no­lo­gies and plat­forms to make on­board­ing of know your cus­tom­er (KYC) in­form­a­tion and data pro­tec­tion a more stream­lined pro­cess. The use of smart con­tracts is also be­com­ing more pre­val­ent. Chris­toph­er Luck notes that the ad­vent of token­isa­tion, the pro­cess of con­vert­ing real as­sets in­to di­git­al rep­res­ent­a­tions (tokens) on a block­chain, has opened up the in­vest­ment mar­ket to a broad­er range of in­sti­tu­tion­al and re­tail in­vestors. “By demo­crat­ising or cre­at­ing more op­por­tun­it­ies for in­vestors, this is provid­ing ad­di­tion­al li­quid­ity in­to a num­ber of sec­tors, most not­ably real es­tate.” He says, “We are see­ing tokens at their most ad­vanced in the United States and Asia, and grow­ing in the UK and Europe.”  Un­der­stand­ing new en­vir­on­ments  In oth­er more tra­di­tion­al sec­tors, law­yers are in­creas­ingly be­ing ex­pec­ted to provide ad­vice on how to deal with the chal­lenges and op­por­tun­it­ies that tech­no­logy provides.Mark Ziek­man, Co-Head of the CMS Con­sumer Products Group, says, “In the con­sumer goods sec­tor, block­chain is mak­ing an im­pact, provid­ing the sup­ply chain and cus­tom­ers with a great­er de­gree of con­fid­ence in the proven­ance of a product and wheth­er it meets key sus­tain­ab­il­ity cri­ter­ia.”Cus­tom­ers, par­tic­u­larly mil­len­ni­als, are in­creas­ingly de­mand­ing in­form­a­tion around trace­ab­il­ity and audit­ab­il­ity to have con­fid­ence in FM­CG com­pan­ies, lo­gist­ics com­pan­ies and re­tail­ers.Fur­ther­more, Mark Ziek­man be­lieves that tech­no­logy in gen­er­al has played a pivotal role in ad­dress­ing wide­spread busi­ness dis­rup­tion caused by COV­ID-19, en­abling com­pan­ies to trans­form their busi­ness mod­els. Good ex­amples are res­taur­ants which al­most in­stant­an­eously changed their busi­ness mod­el to provide takeaways and food de­liv­er­ies. Shops shif­ted their fo­cus to selling on­line. These changes will not dis­ap­pear in the af­ter­math of the COV­ID-19 pan­dem­ic. Shift­ing reg­u­lat­ory land­scapes Reg­u­lat­ors con­tin­ue to face the on­go­ing chal­lenge of keep­ing pace with in­nov­a­tion and the new mar­ket dy­nam­ics it cre­ates. ESG factors have come to the fore in the minds of reg­u­lat­ors as well and this think­ing is only go­ing to in­tensi­fy. Cristina Reich­mann, a Bucharest based part­ner in the CMS Bank­ing & Fin­ance Group, says that reg­u­lat­ors are al­ways hav­ing to re­spond to new eco­nom­ic mod­els and pub­lic sen­ti­ments. She has seen fast dis­rup­tion in the bank­ing sec­tor CEE, “Ro­mania, for ex­ample, has a his­tory of in­nov­a­tion, pre­vi­ously emer­ging as a ma­jor in­ter­na­tion­al out­sourcing hub and then be­com­ing a fintech centre with a num­ber of uni­corns.” She points to agile bank­ing and fintech, which are provid­ing great­er ac­cess and a broad­er suite of ser­vices to cus­tom­ers, and with this comes reg­u­lat­ory chal­lenges. She says, “There are a lot of com­pli­ance as­pects to be met and solved.”
10/12/2021
Glob­al Life Sci­ences & Health­care Fest­iv­al 2021 – Vir­tu­al – High­lights
The emer­gence of new and sus­tain­able tech­no­lo­gies
24/11/2021
On the Pulse
Wel­come to CMS ‘On the Pulse’ video/pod­cast series for all Life Sci­ences & Health­care pro­fes­sion­als – leg­al, com­pli­ance, reg­u­lat­ory
27/10/2021
Epis­ode #1 - Nav­ig­at­ing the data pro­tec­tion land­scape in Asia, in­clud­ing...
Nick Beck­ett (Beijing/Hong Kong) chats with Jonath­an Chu (Hong Kong) and Sheena Jac­ob (Singa­pore) on data pro­tec­tion and in par­tic­u­lar:Does Asia need a GDPR equi­val­ent? The new China PIPL - should com­pan­ies be con­cerned? Cross-bor­der trans­fers of per­son­al data in Asia - cut­ting through the thick­et So you have a breach in Asia - how to man­age a data breach in this part of the world Cy­ber­se­cur­ity laws and reg­u­la­tion of crit­ic­al sec­tors - the new na­tion­al se­cur­ity fron­ti­er
26/10/2021
CMS Tech In­nov­a­tion Asia
Wel­come to CMS’s ‘Tech In­nov­a­tion Asia’ video/pod­cast series for pro­fes­sion­als deal­ing with leg­al, com­pli­ance, IP and reg­u­lat­ory is­sues in the Asia-Pa­cific re­gion.
13/07/2021
Fu­ture of Work
This guide helps you find an­swers to es­sen­tial ques­tions about mo­bile work­ing.
26/05/2021
Belt and Road Ini­ti­at­ive
China’s Belt and Road Ini­ti­at­ive (BRI) con­tin­ues to evolve and of­fer op­por­tun­it­ies for na­tions, com­munit­ies and busi­nesses. But it is not without con­tro­versy in areas such as en­vir­on­ment­al pro­tec­tion and in­ter­na­tion­al debt.As a lead­er in many Belt and Road sec­tors, CMS has polled and in­ter­viewed over 500 BRI par­ti­cipants around the world, about their cur­rent think­ing on BRI and the pro­spects they see for it. This series of re­ports ana­lyses sen­ti­ment around the world, con­siders what BRI means for each re­gion, shines a spot­light on dif­fer­ent na­tions and high­lights leg­al con­sid­er­a­tions.  You can ac­cess the full series of re­gion­al re­ports be­low.16%me­di­um16%me­di­um16%me­di­um16%me­di­um16%me­di­um16%me­di­um 
21/04/2021
BRI - View from LatAm
China’s Belt and Road Ini­ti­at­ive (BRI) is where some of the key is­sues of our time in­ter­sect, in­clud­ing glob­al­isa­tion, sus­tain­ab­il­ity, the mod­ern­isa­tion of in­fra­struc­ture, new tech­no­logy and health­care. But it also marks the con­ver­gence of some ser­i­ous con­cerns, such as en­vir­on­ment­al pro­tec­tion, in­ter­na­tion­al debt, the Cov­id-19 pan­dem­ic and, in­creas­ingly, geo­pol­it­ic­al ten­sions between the US and China.Our new re­port shows that sen­ti­ment to­wards BRI in Lat­in Amer­ica re­mains re­l­at­ively pos­it­ive, des­pite such head­winds. From the in­volve­ment of Chinese busi­nesses in Panama Canal ports to Chinese in­vest­ments in lith­i­um min­ing and re­new­able en­ergy, trans-Pa­cific con­nec­tions between Lat­in Amer­ic­an eco­nom­ies and China’s Asi­an power­house con­tin­ue to grow.China’s am­bi­tions to ad­vance Belt and Road co­oper­a­tion high­light the po­ten­tial for BRI to help na­tions in Lat­in Amer­ica bridge the re­gion’s massive in­fra­struc­ture gap and re­cov­er from the ter­rible dam­age of the pan­dem­ic, as well as of­fer­ing many new op­por­tun­it­ies for re­gion­al busi­nesses and in­vestors. 
08/02/2021
BRI - View from MENA
Na­tions across the Middle East and North Africa have been keen to par­ti­cip­ate in China’s Belt and Road Ini­ti­at­ive. Rail­ways, ports, roads, power pro­jects and even smart cit­ies have all seen sig­ni­fic­ant Chinese in­vest­ment. The re­gion forms an im­port­ant part of China’s trade route jig­saw, with the Gulf in par­tic­u­lar a stra­tegic cross­roads, while its oil and LNG re­main cru­cial to ful­filling China’s en­ergy re­quire­ments. The Belt and Road Ini­ti­at­ive has been hit first by geo­pol­it­ic­al ten­sions and then by the pan­dem­ic. But, as our new re­ports shows, China’s pivot to­wards a more sus­tain­able Belt and Road, with more em­phas­is on green­er pro­jects and the Di­git­al and Health Silk Roads, has re­newed its po­ten­tial to help MENA na­tions meet their in­fra­struc­ture and de­vel­op­ment needs, as well as of­fer­ing many new op­por­tun­it­ies for re­gion­al busi­nesses and in­vestors.