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In­ter­na­tion­al commercial law firm

Commercial law reaches into all sectors. It is at the core of every business. With over 400 commercial lawyers across 43 countries globally, our multi-disciplinary teams understand the cultural and business factors impacting your commercial arrangements.

In today’s increasingly regulated markets, operators have to manage commercial risk as they work towards their business objectives. Success depends on fruitful relationships with customers and suppliers, based on effective, sector-specific contracts. Wherever you operate, your business needs the right legal advice and support, based upon in-depth understanding of your specific markets.

We organise our teams around sectors and industries relevant to you, including financial services, manufacturing, automotive, consumer products, energy, hotels and leisure, infrastructure and projects, life sciences, supply and logistics, real estate and construction, technology, telecoms, media and sports.

Whatever advice you need, we can help you achieve the optimum outcome for your business. Whether for commercial contracts, supply services, e-commerce, IT or telecoms agreements, data protection, design and manufacturing, advertising, sponsorship and marketing, consumer sales, software licensing, outsourcing or sales, agency or distribution and franchise agreements, we aim to find the best solution for you.

If you want to discuss the commercial opportunities and challenges facing your business, we would be delighted to speak with you.

Keeping you up to date

This is a priority for CMS. We create comparative law products covering a wide range of jurisdictions to help you prepare for legal and business opportunities, along with thought leadership initiatives, e-guides and know-how programmes on key commercial issues.

Check our latest CMS Expert Guides to e-signatures in commercial contracts, force majeure, payment term legislation and autonomous vehicles.

Commercial webinars

CMS hosts regular webinars to help your teams stay in touch with regulatory discussions and new legislation affecting your business across your national markets. This popular format gives you interactive access to business-critical knowledge without having to leave your office.

Online insights straight to your inbox

Thousands of subscribers to CMS Commercial eAlerts receive real-time updates on market news, legislative changes and significant cases. Subscribe on cms-lawnow.com to get the latest commentaries straight to your inbox.

CMS Expert Guide to e-signature law in commercial contracts
 Digital trans­form­a­tion affects all aspects of a business’s operations, including contracts, internal doc­u­ment­a­tion and employment re­la­tion­ships. This trend has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic which has created the need for contactless and
CMS Expert Guide to the law and regulation of force majeure
 The laws on force majeure differ from country to country. Some countries do not recognise the term force majeure in law and therefore contractual parties are free to regulate its meaning between themselves. In other countries, the law contains a spe
CMS Commercial Global Brochure
Commercial law reaches into all sectors. It is at the core of every business. With over 400 Commercial lawyers across 43 countries globally, we can help you across a range of Commercial issues in all...


ACC Annual Meeting 2023
Meet our experts at booth #712
UK Government announces consultation on consumer protection reforms
On 4 September 2023, the Department for Business and Trade launched a consultation (“Con­sulta­tion”) to assess how to improve price transparency and product information for consumers. Prompted by its...
Summer Snapshot: Tech and Data Highlights You Might Have Missed
Have you taken a break from your usual spot in front of the computer screen over the past few weeks? No worries, this article provides a succinct overview of the significant advancements in the world...
CBAM Implementing Regulation and Extensive Additional Reporting Guidance...
Earlier this month, the European Commission (“EC”) adopted an Implementing Regulation (“IR”) and released extensive Guidance Documents (“Guid­ance”) on the prac­tic­al­it­ies of reporting re­quire­ments...
APAC TMC Update – Summer 2023
ASEANASEAN and EU release joint guide to ASEAN MCCs and EU SCCsOn 24 May 2023, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and European Union (EU) released a Joint Guide to the ASEAN Model Con­trac­tu­al...
AI-ming high: the integration of AI into gaming
Since gaming’s inception in 1958, when physicist William Higinbotham created what is thought to be the first video game, the landscape of the industry has undergone a remarkable trans­form­a­tion as many...
Designs practice update: Advocate General backs 6-month priority period...
Can a Community Design application claim priority from an earlier patent application – and if so, what is the applicable priority period?The recent opinion of Advocate General Capeta in EUIPO v The...
Significant overhaul of EU batteries legislation now law
On 28 July 2023, the EU Regulation on Batteries and Waste Batteries was published in the Official Journal of the European Union (the “Reg­u­la­tion”). It will enter into force twenty days following its...
Beauty box sub­scrip­tions: the makeover mandated by the new DMCC Bill
Everyone loves a well-thought-out surprise. And many consumers feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of products available in the cosmetics industry. In steps the beauty box: a per­son­al­ised, monthly as­sort­ment...
5G: A reality check
If you were to ask the average citizen or business executive about 5G, they would probably tell you it’s been rolled out across most developed markets and making money. But this is not the case: deployment tends to be partial and patchy, and telcos are yet to see return on investment on the hundreds of billions of dollars that have been invested globally.In compiling this year’s edition of our 5G report, we spoke to legal and technology experts in over 50 markets to learn the true state of last-gen­er­a­tion roll-outs across the world. We asked which technology companies are offering, whether consumers and industry can access it, whether it’s being monetised, where regulation stands, which spectrum is being used and how it’s being auctioned, how networks are being shared, whether net­work-spe­cif­ic cy­ber­se­cur­ity measures are in place, and what each country’s positions are on Chinese network equip­ment.North America had the highest 5G penetration (41%) as of the end of 2022, according to Ericsson’s June 2023 Mobility Report. Behind that region were North East Asia (30%), the Gulf Cooperation Council (18%) and Western Europe (13%). By December, the vendor predicts that there will be 1.5 billion 5G sub­scrip­tions globally.In terms of number of 5G sub­scrip­tions, China is in the lead, with more than 60% of the world’s total (644m, versus 417m outside the country) as of the end of 2022.Other markets are home to technical quirks that are delaying 5G. In The Netherlands, for example, the 3.5 GHz band is not yet commercially available because NATO is operating a satellite 'listening station' with Inmarsat using the 3.4 and 3.8 GHz bands, and Inmarsat is using the 3.5GHz satellite traffic band to provide emergency com­mu­nic­a­tions to ships and air­crafts.The US and Canada dealt with interference between air traffic control systems and consumer 5G by setting up exclusion zones around airports. Spectrum rights - award and duration Spectrum rights have tended to cost far less than they did for 3G and 4G, because governments have recognised that high licence prices may have hampered in­vest­ment.They are mainly awarded via tender or public auction, though in China, 5G licences are assigned directly to the four main telcos (China Mobile, China Unicom, China Telecom and China Broad­net).The duration varies across markets, from 15 (eg France) to 30 years (Chile) - often with five-year ex­ten­sions.   Network and spectrum sharing agreements Network sharing agreements are already a priority in large countries with vast swathes of low population density regions that are expensive to connect. The US, like Africa before it, is seeing mobile as more efficient in rural areas than fixed-line (in this case fibre), which takes longer and is more expensive to deploy. T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T are offering separate Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) 5G services they hope will replace wired internet access in those areas.  According to Ericsson1, by 2028 more than 25% of global mobile data traffic will be through FWA, part of it with passive network sharing.In Australia, some state governments have proposed funding active network sharing initiatives in areas with low population density. For example, New South Wales’ Gig State programme includes a trial to fund the design and build of Multi-Op­er­at­or Core Networks (MOCN), which enable active sharing between carriers. In the US, T-Mobile as part of its agreement to acquire Sprint, had to offer 5G network access to Dish, in a deal lasting until 2027. Standalone vs non-stan­dalone As of January 2023, there were 229 commercial 5G networks, according to the GSMA. But in most countries, the majority of services sold as 5G are in fact non-stan­dalone (NSA), meaning that the radio access network (RAN) is 5G, but the core network remains 4G.The Global Suppliers Association (GSA) says that 36 operators in 21 countries and territories have launched public standalone networks, while 111 operators in 52 countries are running trials, planned or actual de­ploy­ments.In the meantime, the GSMA is forecasting that of the new 5G networks deployed in 2023, 15 will be standalone (SA). It noted that some operators have blamed the limited number of mobile devices that support standalone as a reason for delaying deployment.A notable exception is Singapore, whose telcos now all provide at least 50% outdoor coverage using standalone networks, with Singtel hitting 95% as of July 2022. Monetisation - consumer vs industrial Experts in almost all markets noted that telecom operators are yet to monetise 5G, especially in the consumer segment, where prices have remained the same as 4G. In Sweden, however, Telenor Sverige and Telia Sverige buck the trend, but offer enhanced benefits such as insurance, streaming services or more/un­lim­ited data. Tele2 Sverige and Hi3G Access, for their part, have stopped offering new 4G sub­scrip­tions altogether. In Europe and Asia, the industrial segment is showing more promise thanks in part to government subsidies, though more time is needed to demonstrate use cases. Industrial 5G In most countries, it is telcos that are setting up industrial 5G, enabling private networks that connect specific areas such as factories and campuses. But starting this year, industrial companies in Sweden can apply directly for local licences to use radio transmitters in the 3.7 GHz and 26 GHz bands, enabling coverage in mines, harbours and hospitals. This year, the Spanish government announced it would reserve part of the 26 GHz band for direct award to industrial players, without the need for in­ter­me­di­ation by telcos. The German Federal Network Agency has already allocated frequencies in the 3.7 to 3.8 GHz and 26 GHz bands for local 5G, meaning that more than 140 companies are now able to operate their own local net­works.Net­work slicing, which enables multiple virtual networks to sit on top of a shared physical in­fra­struc­ture, represents another way to offer dif­fer­en­ti­ated services to enterprise clients across industries - though it requires SA 5G. However, because slicing uses software and vir­tu­al­isa­tion, telcos will both compete and partner with cloud providers. According to the GSMA, operators outside China have so far shown limited interest in slicing deployments due to concerns about return on investment. China The tech decoupling between the US and China has left other countries caught in the middle when it comes to selecting which companies will provide network equipment. Many European governments have signed up to the US ‘Clean Network’ initiative, with Portugal in May becoming the latest to show signs it will ban “high risk” vendors. Some countries like Brazil, Mexico and Turkey are remaining neutral, while others such as Bulgaria and Angola are entering into explicit partnerships with high risk vendors.In June, the Financial Times reported that the European Union was considering banning all member states from using equipment from companies that might present a security risk to 5G networks. Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Markets, told telecom ministers he was disappointed that only one third of member states had banned high risk vendors from “critical parts” of 5G in­fra­struc­ture, which risked “exposing the union’s collective security.” Germany was named as a key outlier. Conclusion By and large, most countries covered in the survey appear committed to launching 5G, but progress has been slower than hoped due to factors including Covid, regulatory delays, and high costs for operators whose investors want to see return on investment. Governments appear to be trying to ease the way by lowering spectrum costs and removing some red tape, while telcos generally aren’t charging customers more for 5G than 4G. As roll-outs continue, and providers upgrade core networks to proper 5G, it is likely that telcos will continue the trend towards seeking outside investment by selling off in­fra­struc­ture and sharing networks.The GSMA estimates that there are 400 million people who lack access to mobile broadband. Looking ahead, it is unclear how the expected launch of mobile satellite services (MSS) by the likes of Starlink, Kuiper, Vodafone+AST Space Mobile, and Or­ange+OneWeb will impact the deployment and prof­it­ab­il­ity of the 5G networks in less populated areas. It is possible that 5G operators could face hurdles to monetising rural networks, which are part of their coverage obligations, depending on the level of competition from MSS service pro­viders.Based on our con­ver­sa­tions with clients, we see 5G as an example of a long-term investment subject to the short-term tech­no­lo­gic­al and commercial landscape and other challenges. In future, there will be a range of competing tech­no­lo­gies: optical fibre, Wi-Fi7 and SA 5G (with network slicing) in populated areas, and a mixture of SA 5G, FWA and satellite mobile services in rural areas.All of them will serve both humans - and in­creas­ingly, IoT.SA 5G will become not just a way for individuals to communicate, but an environment for digital ecosystems housed in different network slices.In all scenarios, these technologies will have to co-exist and cooperate, providing the fullest service to the client - now, and as we head towards 6G. 1 Eric­sson: ht­tps://www.eric­sson.com/en/re­ports-and-pa­pers/mo­bil­ity-re­port/data­fore­casts/mo­bile-traffic-fore­cast?gclid=EAI­aIQobChMI5Y-qzby-_wIVQwg­GAB3ZyAOVEAAY­AS­AAE­gI08PD_BwE&gcls­rc=aw.dsSee also ht­tps://www.eric­sson.com/4a9aa7/as­sets/loc­al/cases/cus­tom­er-cases/2022/us­cel­lu­lar-bridging-di­git­al-di­vide.pdf.
Resource Nationalism in Battery Metals: Risks and Mitigation
With continued warfare in Ukraine, conflict in Sudan and tensions between the U.S. and China, the state of in­ter­na­tion­al relations appears increasingly volatile. This fractious landscape sits abreast...
The EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism: An Overview
In­tro­duc­tionThe EU Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (“CBAM”) entered into force on 5 June 2023. It aims to reduce carbon emis­sions and also dis­cour­age producers from moving their production outside...