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Discover thought leadership and legal insights by our legal experts from across CMS. In our Expert Guides, written by CMS lawyers from across the jurisdictions where we operate, we provide you with in-depth legal research and insights that can be read both online and offline. You can also find Law-Now articles with focused legal analysis, commentary and insights to help you anticipate future challenges and much more.

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18 June 2021
Sup­ply chains – Con­tin­gency plan­ning for fu­ture dis­rup­tion (Video)
The COV­ID-19 crisis has high­lighted just how quickly and how eas­ily un­ex­pec­ted events can dis­rupt sup­ply chains. In a world where the trend in re­cent years has been for sup­ply chains to op­er­ate on an...
17 june 2021
Cli­mate Change and the In­sur­ance Sec­tor - June 2021
In this edi­tion we dis­cuss Lloyd’s ‘Fu­ture­set’, the ABI sus­tain­able in­sur­ance ini­ti­at­ive, claims against Shell to cut emis­sions and per­spect­ives from New Zea­l­and and Aus­tralia. 
16 June 2021
Re­bound & Re­mod­el: Scot­land's road to re­cov­ery
Much of our at­ten­tion has turned to Scot­land’s road to re­cov­ery post pan­dem­ic, post-Brexit and post-elec­tion.  As a na­tion, Scot­land is still ad­dress­ing a cata­stroph­ic pan­dem­ic and is in the midst of an un­cer­tain eco­nom­ic land­scape ahead. It is deal­ing with the UK’s exit from the EU and the re­cent Scot­tish gen­er­al elec­tion, which has firmed up the pro­spect of an­oth­er in­de­pend­ence ref­er­en­dum in the me­di­um term.  
16 June 2021
CMS In­fra­struc­ture In­dex: Ac­cel­er­at­ing trans­form­a­tion
The in­fra­struc­ture mar­ket has re­mained re­si­li­ent in the face of COV­ID-19. The CMS In­fra­struc­ture In­dex has ranked 50 coun­tries by their at­tract­ive­ness for in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ment and it paints a very pos­it­ive pic­ture. Singa­pore tops the lead­er board, bolstered by the un­veil­ing of its Green Plan 2030 which aims to ad­vance sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment and re­duce the coun­try’s car­bon foot­print. There are big spend­ing plans in every re­gion as gov­ern­ments seek to close in­fra­struc­ture gaps, re­cov­er from the pan­dem­ic and stim­u­late their eco­nom­ies.   Please click through the re­port or down­load the pdf ver­sion at the bot­tom of this page.
16 June 2021
CMS European Class Ac­tions Re­port 2021
First re­port on the true pic­ture of European class ac­tion risk, a key con­cern for ma­jor cor­por­ates 
15 June 2021
Belt and Road Ini­ti­at­ive
What does the fu­ture hold for the Belt and Road ini­ti­at­ive at a time of heightened geo­pol­it­ic­al ten­sions, as gov­ern­ments around the world try to deal with both the coronavir­us and cli­mate change?
15 June 2021
Fore­word: Ac­cel­er­at­ing trans­form­a­tion
The in­fra­struc­ture mar­ket has re­mained re­si­li­ent in the face of COV­ID-19, save the ob­vi­ous area of trans­port. Gov­ern­ment stim­u­lus pack­ages around the world prom­ise fur­ther activ­ity with the UK, US and EU, for ex­ample, out­lining am­bi­tious in­fra­struc­ture spend­ing pro­grammes.  As is of­ten the ques­tion, will these even­tu­ate? COV­ID-19 has also provided the back­drop for tough­er con­trols on for­eign in­vest­ment. The likes of the UK, France and Aus­tralia have either in­tro­duced laws for the first time or re­duced the thresholds for vot­ing rights or trans­ac­tion val­ues.  However, that is not the case for all mar­kets. Pri­or to the pan­dem­ic, pro­tec­tion­ism ap­peared to be de­clin­ing in the Middle East, CEE and APAC where the need for for­eign cap­it­al is great­er.  It is too early to tell what im­pact such reg­u­la­tions will have on cap­it­al flows in de­veloped mar­kets but on cur­rent trans­ac­tion levels, it ap­pears to be lim­ited. Nev­er­the­less, it is vi­tal that in­fra­struc­ture in­vestors are fully aware of the broad scope of the con­trols when con­sid­er­ing their in­vest­ment plans.There is sig­ni­fic­ant at­ten­tion on di­git­al in­fra­struc­ture and the pan­dem­ic demon­strated the need for in­vest­ment in a bal­anced range of tech­no­lo­gies. Cloud ser­vices and satel­lite con­nectiv­ity will in­crease to de­liv­er high speed in­ter­net any­where in the world. In­fra­struc­ture has al­ways played an im­port­ant role in ESG, and these con­sid­er­a­tions are now the rule, not the ex­cep­tion. Net Zero plays a big part in gov­ern­ment policy; dis­clos­ures are now man­dat­ory re­quire­ments and pro­jects that will re­duce car­bon emis­sions are be­ing sup­por­ted. In­vest­ment strategies are also be­ing shaped by stake­hold­ers as they start to voice their con­cerns, in­clud­ing by way of share­hold­er act­iv­ism and lit­ig­a­tion. The CMS 2021 In­fra­struc­ture In­dex has ranked 50 coun­tries by their at­tract­ive­ness for in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ment and it paints a very pos­it­ive pic­ture. Singa­pore tops the lead­er board, bolstered by the un­veil­ing of its Green Plan 2030 which aims to ad­vance sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment and re­duce the coun­try’s car­bon foot­print. There are big spend­ing plans in every re­gion as gov­ern­ments seek to close in­fra­struc­ture gaps, re­cov­er from the pan­dem­ic and stim­u­late their eco­nom­ies. In­fra­struc­ture mar­kets re­main buoy­ant and there is no sign of slow­ing down. Thank you to GIIA, who col­lab­or­ated with us through­out, our re­search part­ners Cap­it­al Eco­nom­ics and our in­ter­viewees for giv­ing up their valu­able time to share their views on the in­fra­struc­ture sec­tor in their re­spect­ive mar­kets.
14 June 2021
Cent­ral and East­ern Europe
An­oth­er new source of fin­ance is the Three Seas Ini­ti­at­ive In­vest­ment Fund, backed by vari­ous CEE na­tion­al de­vel­op­ment fin­ance in­sti­tu­tions. This made its first in­vest­ments in 2020, buy­ing a con­trolling in­terest in Green­ergy Data Cen­ters, a CEE data centre plat­form, and Cargounit, a key play­er in the CEE rail­way in­dustry. The fund is in­ten­ded to com­ple­ment and strengthen the cap­it­al de­ploy­ment of in­di­vidu­al Three Seas coun­tries and EU fin­an­cial in­stru­ments.Some CEE na­tions have also signed up to China’s Belt and Road Ini­ti­at­ive (BRI), al­though the amount of Chinese in­vest­ment that has oc­curred vari­ous sig­ni­fic­antly between coun­tries, with many re­gion­al BRI pro­jects be­ing in smal­ler non-EU states. Bol­ster­ing con­nectiv­ity There is sig­ni­fic­ant fo­cus on con­nectiv­ity – both phys­ic­al and tech­no­lo­gic­al – across CEE. Re­gion­al policy ob­ject­ives in­clude strength­en­ing EU in­teg­ra­tion by en­han­cing the se­cur­ity of in­fra­struc­ture sup­ply and con­trib­ut­ing to en­hanced in­ter­con­nectiv­ity between EU mem­ber states. The rail sec­tor in par­tic­u­lar has ini­ti­ated prom­in­ent cross-bor­der pro­jects, such as the mod­ern­isa­tion of the Bud­apest-Bel­grade line, and the con­struc­tion of a line between Katowice in Po­land and Os­trava in the Czech Re­pub­lic. Work also con­tin­ues on the Rail Balt­ica net­work, aimed at in­teg­rat­ing the Balt­ic States in­to the EU’s rail net­work.In con­trast, des­pite the re­gion’s good 4G cov­er­age and re­l­at­ively com­pet­it­ive fibre broad­band avail­ab­il­ity, 5G pen­et­ra­tion looks likely to be slow, with many pro­grammes hav­ing been dis­rup­ted by the pan­dem­ic. While the CEE di­git­al eco­nomy has been grow­ing strongly, without ad­di­tion­al in­vest­ment in in­fra­struc­ture its tech­no­lo­gic­al com­pet­it­ive­ness may be at risk – al­though key di­git­al lead­ers, such as Es­to­nia, are likely to re­tain their strong po­s­i­tions. En­ergy trans­form­a­tion gath­ers pace CEE coun­tries are mak­ing great strides in the en­ergy sec­tor. Mar­ket par­ti­cipants ex­pect to see a wave of EU back­ing for en­ergy trans­form­a­tion pro­jects. De­cent­ral­ised en­ergy sys­tems are driv­ing in­vest­ment in net­works, and cli­mate change tar­gets are spur­ring pro­gress in areas such as re­new­able en­ergy, waste-to-en­ergy in­fra­struc­ture and, in some coun­tries, nuc­le­ar new build.
14 June 2021
Middle East
For an­oth­er, Saudi Ar­a­bia’s giga-pro­jects provide a sub­stan­tial pipeline of work. The de­veloper of the 28,000 square kilo­metre Red Sea Pro­ject tour­ist re­sort awar­ded USD 4bn dol­lars of con­struc­tion con­tracts last year alone, while Neom, the smart-city pro­ject, is backed by USD 500bn of pub­lic funds. Al­though pro­jects such as Neom are the ob­vi­ous flag-bear­ers for di­git­al­isa­tion, Saudi Ar­a­bia is also con­tinu­ing to strengthen its di­git­al in­fra­struc­ture by de­ploy­ing 5G net­works and in­vest­ing in 6,500 new towers. Di­git­al leap-frog­gers More broadly, though, the emer­gence of nu­mer­ous am­bi­tious green­field pro­jects and a ready sup­ply of land for de­vel­op­ment in the re­gion, will al­low for di­git­al in­fra­struc­ture to be em­bed­ded in so­ci­ety by design and by de­fault, rather than ret­ro­fit­ted in­to age­ing pre-di­git­al in­fra­struc­ture. Coun­tries are mak­ing the move to build on in­ter­na­tion­al best prac­tice and lever­age op­por­tun­it­ies to trans­form, such as with the UAE’s Smart Dubai 2021 pro­ject. In­vest­ment in lo­gist­ics and trans­port is also ex­pec­ted across the re­gion (see our case study) as well as in re­new­able en­ergy and agri-tech. Di­git­al tech­no­lo­gies will be at the heart of all these de­vel­op­ments.The oil and gas sec­tor will re­main a sub­stan­tial part of the Gulf eco­nomy for many years yet and will con­tin­ue to of­fer in­vest­ment op­por­tun­it­ies. However, the trans­ition to­wards re­new­ables is also hap­pen­ing with­in the re­gion. Saudi Ar­a­bia, which has some of the low­est cost sol­ar schemes in the world, aims to gen­er­ate half its elec­tri­city from gas and re­new­ables by 2030. Ease of do­ing busi­ness lim­its re­gion’s rank­ings While in­vest­ment op­por­tun­it­ies in the re­gion abound, the busi­ness en­vir­on­ment can be chal­len­ging. The ten­der­ing pro­cess can be pro­trac­ted in Kuwait, while a dip­lo­mat­ic three-and-a-half-year fal­lout between Qatar and its neigh­bours that res­ul­ted in sanc­tions and bor­der clos­ures only came to an end at the start of 2021. Pro­tec­tion­ism is a factor to con­sider in Saudi Ar­a­bia, with en­tit­ies wish­ing to work with the gov­ern­ment re­quired to be based in the coun­try. And, as part of the King­dom’s ‘Saudi-isa­tion’ policy, pro­ject bids must spe­cify what ele­ment of em­ploy­ment gen­er­ated will be for loc­al people. Is­sues around the ease with which in­vest­ment in the re­gion can be con­duc­ted are not new and are ac­cep­ted by many as part of the busi­ness en­vir­on­ment. However, without them the re­gion would score more highly in our rank­ings.
14 June 2021
West­ern Europe
The EU has set leg­ally bind­ing tar­gets for a bloc-wide goal of Net Zero green­house gas emis­sions by 2050 and a min­im­um 55% cut in emis­sions by 2030 (com­pared with 1990 levels). The pro­gramme in­cludes in­cent­ives to en­cour­age private sec­tor in­vest­ment and is aimed at eco­nom­ic growth and in­creas­ing jobs and prosper­ity. With tar­gets for emis­sions re­duc­tions now leg­ally bind­ing, West­ern European coun­tries with­in the EU have a mam­moth task ahead. Strong ac­tion is ne­ces­sary if the Par­is cli­mate agree­ment goals are to be met.Cent­ral banks in the re­gion have joined in ef­forts to ad­dress cli­mate change, and to con­sider ESG con­sid­er­a­tions as part of their man­dates. The Bank of Eng­land re­cently an­nounced that it will no longer buy bonds is­sued by highly pol­lut­ing com­pan­ies, while the European Cent­ral Bank and Riks­bank have pledged to buy more green bonds as part of their as­set pur­chase pro­grammes.Ful­filling these green policy ini­ti­at­ives will be no easy task. In or­der to see these tar­gets through, gov­ern­ments in the re­gion will need to be flex­ible with how they fund these am­bi­tions. While the role of state fund­ing has in­creased in re­sponse to the pan­dem­ic, many gov­ern­ments across West­ern Europe face huge de­fi­cits. Suc­cess­ful part­ner­ships with the private sec­tor will be cru­cial to make crit­ic­al in­fra­struc­ture pro­jects more eco­nom­ic­ally sus­tain­able and vi­able.While chal­lenges ex­ist, coun­tries across the re­gion con­tin­ue to break bound­ar­ies in in­nov­a­tion. The Neth­er­lands has had a fo­cus on float­ing photo­vol­ta­ic pro­jects, with two float­ing sol­ar parks re­cently com­pleted in the coun­try with a ca­pa­city of 29.2 MW. Aus­tria has a num­ber of ex­amples of in­nov­at­ive pro­jects in the pipeline – glass fibre pro­jects are look­ing for private equity in­vestors, a EUR 25m re­new­ables in­vest­ment in the con­struc­tion of Aus­tria’s largest elec­tro­lys­is plant, a EUR 30m in­vest­ment for pro­duc­tion of second-gen­er­a­tion bio­fuels and  OMV and Aus­tri­an Post have star­ted to build in­fra­struc­ture for hy­dro­gen busses. Pan­dem­ic re­in­forces need for re­li­able di­git­al in­fra­struc­ture The pan­dem­ic has un­der­lined the need for fast and re­li­able in­ter­net con­nec­tions at home. West­ern Europe’s broad­band in­fra­struc­ture has coped re­l­at­ively well in re­sponse to in­creased us­age dur­ing the height of lock­downs, but poli­cy­makers have ac­know­ledged that great­er in­vest­ment is needed to en­sure the re­si­li­ence of fibre-to-the home (FTTH) in­fra­struc­ture. A num­ber of coun­tries in the re­gion, in­clud­ing Aus­tria, Bel­gi­um, the Neth­er­lands, France and the United King­dom, have an­nounced plans for large-scale FTTH pro­jects over the last year, with fund­ing from these na­tions alone totalling over USD 10bn.  Sup­ply is­sues lead to pro­tec­tion­ism The pan­dem­ic has also high­lighted the vul­ner­ab­il­ity of key sec­tors of eco­nom­ies. With bor­ders clos­ing, na­tion­al man­u­fac­tur­ing sup­ply chains was chal­lenged. Sup­ply short­ages dur­ing the height of the pan­dem­ic, par­tic­u­larly of med­ic­al products, have led poli­cy­makers in Europe to con­sider op­tions for reshor­ing pro­duc­tion back to its mem­ber states, and to as­sess vul­ner­ab­il­it­ies in stra­tegic sec­tors that might later be filled by an act­ive in­dus­tri­al policy. However, much of these ini­tial ex­pect­a­tions of a shift in sup­ply chains have since been down­graded.   While there is much to be pos­it­ive about in the re­gion, there is also a note of cau­tion. The EU’s For­eign Dir­ect In­vest­ment (FDI) screen­ing mech­an­ism, which be­came fully op­er­a­tion­al in Oc­to­ber 2020, al­lows for FDI in sens­it­ive in­dus­tries to be scru­tin­ised to avoid the loss of crit­ic­al as­sets and tech­no­logy. A num­ber of coun­tries in West­ern Europe have made changes to their FDI rules in a bid to pro­tect stra­tegic­ally im­port­ant in­dus­tries in­clud­ing in­fra­struc­ture, tech­no­logy, raw ma­ter­i­als and health. For ex­ample, Ger­many has re­cently amended its FDI screen­ing rules, bring­ing parts of the health care sec­tor un­der the re­gime ap­plic­able to crit­ic­al in­fra­struc­ture. France, Spain and Italy have also re­cently ex­pan­ded their FDI re­gimes. It is un­clear if these in­creased con­trols will im­pact in­vest­ment in the re­gion, but heightened scru­tiny of deals and closer co­ordin­a­tion of na­tion­al gov­ern­ments are likely to en­sue.
14 June 2021
High­lights of in­ter­na­tion­al in­vest­ment op­por­tun­it­ies
The in­ter­act­ive map be­low shows some high­lights of the in­ter­na­tion­al op­por­tun­it­ies for in­fra­struc­ture in­vestors. Simply click on each re­gion to find out more.The full re­port and re­gion­al over­views con­tain a more de­tailed coun­try-by-coun­try ana­lys­is of all 50 jur­is­dic­tions.
14 June 2021
En­ergy Trans­ition: The evolving role of oil & gas com­pan­ies in a net-zero...
After an ex­traordin­ary year of health and eco­nom­ic chal­lenges, the glob­al oil and gas sec­tor has an es­sen­tial role to play in the eco­nom­ic re­cov­ery. The same could how­ever be said of any eco­nom­ic re­cov­ery and ex­pan­sion over the past 100 years – dur­ing this time oil and gas com­pan­ies have provided most of the primary en­ergy that has fuelled huge eco­nom­ic growth. But this time does look dif­fer­ent. The oil and gas sec­tor will power eco­nom­ic re­cov­ery not just through oil and gas ex­plor­a­tion and pro­duc­tion, but also (and per­haps counter-in­tu­it­ively to some) through fa­cil­it­at­ing the trans­ition to a lower-car­bon eco­nomy and even­tu­ally a net zero fu­ture. This re­port presents a wide-ran­ging re­view of the role of oil and gas com­pan­ies in that fu­ture.