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Six years of GDPR: Europe-wide analysis shows increasingly dynamic sanction...
Highest GDPR fine of 1.2 billion euros imposed by the Irish data protection authority in May 2023 for a breach of the rules on international data transfers. Further fines imposed by this authority in 2023 amounted to hundreds of millions of euros. The main violations are “Insufficient legal basis for data processing” and “Failure to comply with the general principles of data processing”. The next most common violation is “Insufficient technical and organizational measures to ensure information security”. Spain tops the list of countries with the most fines for the fifth year in a row, followed by Italy and Romania. Ireland, Luxembourg and France have the highest average fines and total amounts per country. Berlin – Today, international law firm CMS has published the fifth edition of its annual Enforcement Tracker Report. The English-language report shows the developments of all publicly known GDPR fines based on CMS's own online database, GDPR Enforcement Tracker. The current edition of the report covers the analysis period between March 2023 and March 2024. 510 fines were added for the past year as of the editorial deadline on 1 March 2024. This brings the total number of data protection fines since the GDPR came into effect in May 2018 to 2,225, or 2,086 if only fines with full details such as the amount of the fine, date and authority are counted. The total amount of fines since the start of the survey is around 4.5 billion euros. This means that fines of around 1.7 billion euros have been added compared to last year’s Enforcement Tracker Report. This shows that authorities are no longer shying away from imposing high fines. The average fine for the entire reporting period was around 2.1 million euros - with high fines against “big tech” companies in 2021/22 and the first fine in the billions in 2023 having a particularly heavy impact.“At the top of the list of GDPR fine triggers is, once again, insufficient legal basis and non-compliance with the general data processing principles as well as insufficient technical and organisational measures. Companies should pay particular attention to this,” says Christian Runte, lawyer and partner at the international commercial law firm CMS Germany. Dr Alexander Schmid from the Enforcement Tracker team at CMS Germany adds: “In addition to data protection authorities, the courts have also increasingly dealt with the interpretation of the GDPR. For example, the Court of Justice of the European Union has further clarified the scope of data subjects' right of access. “These rulings create more clarity, but at the same time tighten the requirements for companies, which is why, in addition to a viable compliance concept, current developments will also be decisive for them in practice in the future.”Read the full Enforcement Tracker Report here; a summary can be found here. Pressekon­takt presse@cms-hs. com
CMS promotes 54 to global partnership
International law firm CMS is pleased to announce the promotion of 54 new partners. The new partners are based in 24 cities in 17 countries around the world, reflecting the firm's international strength and depth. Women account for 41% of all global promotions. Pierre-Sé­bas­tien Thill, CMS Chairman, comments: “Con­grat­u­la­tions to our new partners. In addition to their legal expertise and cutting-edge sector knowledge, they demonstrate deep curiosity about future business challenges and opportunities as well as help foster a culture of innovation, inclusivity and sustainability within our organisation. All these are traits needed to help our clients, and CMS, prepare for the world of to­mor­row.”CM­S's annual partner promotions take into account promotions that take effect between 2 May 2023 and 1 May 2024. The full list of new Partners can be found below:
CMS signs global partnership with leading legal GenAI vendor Harvey
International law firm CMS has entered into a global partnership with Harvey, one of the world’s leading generative AI (GenAI) platforms. This partnership puts CMS, operating in 47 countries, at the forefront in using GenAI to enhance the delivery of legal services to clients. CMS has a strong track record of using AI technology in its legal service delivery in transaction, litigation and advisory practice groups. Adding GenAI technology to support clients around the globe is the next evolutionary step. CMS has been looking at the potential of AI for a number of years and at generative AI since before ChatGPT hit the news. “CMS believes that GenAI  will enhance and support our human knowledge and skills, enabling the firm to deliver even greater  benefits to its clients,” said Isabel Scholes, CMS Executive Dir­ect­or.​​Backed by ​OpenAI​,​​ ​Harvey augments productivity and streamlines workflows across ​different parts of legal work, such as contract analysis, due diligence, litigation and regulatory compliance. Harvey can help produce insights, assist in creating initial drafts, suggestions and forecasts from large amounts of data, which are used to create final deliverables. This helps lawyers provide quicker, better and more affordable solutions to their clients. In 2023, CMS started a pilot programme with Harvey, involving a large number of CMS lawyers, tax advisors and notaries in several jurisdictions. Now, CMS will introduce Harvey in a phased approach across its member firms, starting in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal and the UK. Pierre-Sé­bas­tien Thill, CMS Chairman, said: “We are very pleased to be collaborating with the GenAI platform Harvey. CMS lawyers will now not only have access to GenAI tools that will help them enhance the delivery of services to our clients but will also work with the Harvey team to help shape the future of GenAI systems in the legal sector.”Duncan Weston, CMS Executive Partner, added: “At CMS, we are constantly challenging and innovating the way legal services are delivered. Our focus is on using technology to solve problems and generate value for our clients. Our global partnership with Harvey is a prime example of this.”"CMS's pioneering spirit in embracing Harvey's AI technology is a powerful move towards a more innovative legal sector. We are honoured to be a part of this journey," said Gabe Pereyra, Harvey Co-Founder and President."By joining forces with CMS, Harvey is helping to chart a new course for legal services that is more efficient, accurate, and client-focused. It's a privilege to support such a dedicated team of professionals," said Winston Weinberg, Co-Founder and CEO of Harvey.
Swedish law firm Wistrand successfully integrated into CMS
Today, following an onboarding period, the top-ten Swedish law firm Wistrand formally becomes CMS Wistrand. In November 2023, CMS first announced that it would be expanding into Sweden, strengthening its presence in the Nordic re­gion.“De­vel­op­ing a strong Nordic platform is important as our clients expect us to support them in major business hubs around the world,” says Pierre-Sé­bas­tien Thill, CMS Chairman. “We already have CMS Kluge offices in Bergen, Oslo and Stavanger. Now with CMS Wistrand, we can offer clients deep local expertise in Sweden, combined with our global reach.”Wis­trand, a full-service law firm, has 51 equity partners and around 210 employees, with offices in Sweden’s capital Stockholm and its second-largest city Gothenburg. The firm has a well-established presence in the Swedish business and legal com­munit­ies.“After more than 100 years as a Swedish law firm, we are pleased to announce that, following the successful integration with CMS, we have formally become CMS Wistrand and are now colleagues with over 5,800 lawyers in 47 countries worldwide,” says Maria Kosteska Fägerquist, Chair of the Board at Wistrand in Gothenburg. “In today's legal landscape, having effective and well-structured teams across borders is crucial. It creates value for clients by reducing friction in deliveries and expediting the process of acquiring legal services.”CMS and Wistrand not only share expertise areas, but both also recognise that being future-ready is busi­ness-crit­ic­al. “Being future-facing means anticipating challenges and driving innovation. We are positioning ourselves to deliver solutions that shape the industry and help our clients navigate the changing landscape confidently,” says Fredrik Råsberg, Chair of the Board at Wistrand in Stockholm. “However, our commitment doesn't end with innovation. Successfully steering the ESG agenda with a focus on climate change and social responsibility is of great importance for companies now and in the future, and as a law firm, we have a responsibility to help our clients successfully tackle these is­sues.”“Ex­pand­ing in the Nordic region is a key part of CMS becoming future-ready,” says Duncan Weston, Executive Partner at CMS. “As businesses increasingly face global challenges, whether supply chain issues, digitalisation and AI or climate change, we believe that a strong global legal organisation with deep local roots can offer the most effective solutions.”
CMS Appoints Seven New Practice and Sector Group Heads
CMS is pleased to announce the new heads for five of its international expertise groups. All CMS lawyers work in cross-border groups in 76 cities across 45 countries that are structured according to the industries in which our clients operate. Commercial Sam De Silva (CMS UK) will join Aukje Haan (CMS Netherlands) as co-head of the CMS Commercial Group. Based in London, Sam specialises in complex and strategic technology and outsourcing projects including all forms of cloud computing, outsourcing, system development and supply, system integration, software licensing, and support and service agreements. Sam also regularly advises on data protection, privacy, cybersecurity and Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) issues. Employment Gaël Chuffart (CMS Belgium) and Daniela Krömer (CMS Austria) have been appointed as co-heads of the CMS Employment Group. Based in Brussels, Gaël advises on a wide range of employment law and social security matters. He specialises in collective labour relations, individual labour law and remuneration conditions. He also advises on international employee mobility. Daniela, based in Vienna, specialises in employment law and European law. In her work she focuses on assisting clients with issues such as the cross-border use of labour, as well as equal-treatment issues. Life Sciences & Healthcare Sarah Hanson (CMS UK) and Roland Wiring (CMS Germany) have been named as co-heads of the CMS Life Sciences & Healthcare Group. Sarah is based in London and specialises in high value, cross-border commercial, intellectual property and outsourcing transactions. She has advised on a broad range of commercial agreements related to in-licensing and out-licensing, sales and distributor arrangements, research and development, manufacturing and supply, strategic alliances and joint ventures. Based in Hamburg, Roland advises and represents pharmaceutical, medical device and biotech companies as well as enterprises in related industries. He specialises in drafting contracts for research and development, cooperations, distribution and transaction, and has expert knowledge of issues related to advertising. Private Equity Hamburg-based partner, Jacob Siebert (CMS Germany) joins Jason Zemmel (CMS UK) as co-head of the CMS Private Equity Group. Jacob advises strategic investors and private equity funds on merger and acquisition transactions, joint ventures and private equity investments, often across borders. He has significant experience in advising on buy-outs and public takeovers. Jacob also assists his clients with all aspects of corporate law. Public Procurement Brussels-based partner, Virginie Dor (CMS Belgium) has been named as the head of the CMS Public Procurement Group. In this role, Virginie specialises in legal support for large-scale public projects and advises contracting authorities and companies in all sectors on advisory and litigation matters. Additionally, she supports projects in the fields of life-sciences, construction, IT and energy.
10 CMS partners recognised by Lexology Client Choice Awards 2023
International law firm CMS is pleased to announce that 10 of its partners, across nine different countries, have been recognised by the Lexology Client Choice Awards 2023:Nick Beckett, China, Life Sci­ences Car­oline...
CMS | Empowering COP28 with comprehensive legal support
Press release - 27.11.2023Em­power­ing COP28 with comprehensive legal supportCMS will deliver broad-ranging legal pro bono support for COP28, which will be hosted by the United Arab Emirates from 30 November to 12 December 2023. The support includes sustainable finance, data privacy and security, trademark registration, brand protection, reputation management, event-related advice, UN-related partnerships, in­ter­gov­ern­ment­al cooperation, technology platforms for start-ups, and relevant agreements with global tech companies. The initiative is led by Dr. Döne Yalçın, partner and key member of the global CMS Sustainability and ESG leadership team. She is supported by Munir Hassan, partner and head of the CMS Energy & Climate Change Group, and more than 160 CMS colleagues from around the world. The project is strengthened by collaboration with stakeholders across the firm to ensure a comprehensive and effective approach. This achievement marks a significant milestone for the firm and reaffirms its commitment to climate action. As demonstrated by its engagement with the UN Global Compact, CMS actively contributes to the world's largest corporate social responsibility initiative. This commitment covers four key areas: the environment, human rights, labour and anti-corruption. CMS prioritises climate action, as evidenced by ambitious carbon reduction targets, and firmly believes that a successful transition to a more sustainable future requires thoughtful regulation that recognises its integral role in driving meaningful change. The Paris Agreement aims to reduce global emissions by 50% by 2030. As we approach the six-year mark, the gathering of government representatives, policymakers, NGOs, citizens, and businesses at COP28 will be crucial for assessing progress and developing plans to achieve this goal. Immediate and collaborative efforts across both the public and private sectors are essential to the success of these efforts. By empowering governments and businesses to live up to their responsibilities and by strengthening their capacity to deliver impactful change at scale, CMS is committed to building a better working world - one that is future-facing, sustainable, and inclusive. Dr. Döne Yalçın, managing partner, International Co-head of ESG and Sustainability, “It is a privilege and an honour for us to have been selected as a provider of legal services for COP28. This appointment is a testament to our commitment to embed sustainability in our DNA. We are excited to support an event that has the potential to create positive global change in addressing the climate crisis. Our approach aligns seamlessly with 'Unite, Act, Deliver' and demonstrates our unwavering commitment to advancing global sustainability efforts.”Learn more about COP28 UAE - United Nations Climate Change Conference
CMS launches International Digital Regulation Hub providing a clear roadmap...
All businesses should be prepared to grasp the opportunities in digital regulation 
CMS to join forces with Swedish law firm Wistrand
With expansion into Sweden, CMS strengthens its presence in the Nordics
Blurring Boundaries – Exploring the convergence of life sciences and law
A unique life sciences Forum brought the legal challenges created by the rapid pace of technological advances into sharp focus with sector focused sessions and informative workshops. Experts from across the sector framed the incredible potential from digital and AI and called for the expertise of legal teams to take the ‘’regulatory handbrake’ off innovation that has transformative potential for healthcare systems and patients. CMS’s much-anticipated Global Life Sciences & Healthcare Forum 2023, co-hosted by Ellen Gielen, Roland Wiring and Gertie Lintjens, delivered a wealth of insight and ignited discussion about how regulatory frameworks can be tested and revised without compromising safety, security and compliance. Blurring Boundaries – Exploring the convergence of life sciences and law heard from leading figures from pharmaceutical companies, cutting edge AI enterprises, legal experts and biotech organisations with a strong accent on debate and collaboration. Marc Kaptein, Medical Director, Pfizer, revealed the unchartered territory he and his team had to tread during the pandemic as the company partnered with BioNTech to release a COVID vaccine and maximise its public uptake. In a fascinating talk, he outlined the twists and turns of the inside story of how Pfizer struck a rapid deal with BioNTech by ‘shaking hands’ and then balanced the societal benefits of maximising its vaccination with legal constraints designed to control public promotion.A willingness to break fresh ground legally, politically, scientifically and logistically was an integral part of the success story and he underlined to guests at the Forum, held in Amsterdam, that ‘without blurring boundaries, we would not have got where we are today’. Joep Rijnierse, Senior Medical Director at Amgen, highlighted its pioneering approach to  work closely with patient groups to generate therapy promise across a complete health condition. He said that the company’s medical departments worked with internal and external legal advisers to find ways to manage constraints in the mission to enhance all areas of healthcare delivery to improve systems and outcomes. Legal expertise is critical in shaping the landscape for AI developments and speakers from across the life sciences spectrum underscored the need for regulatory frameworks to evolve at pace. Life sciences is experiencing seismic change and Thibault Helleputte, the Founder and CEO of DNAlytics, revealed that the BioGPT initiative was able to identify medical hypotheses from deep in the data of 15 million papers in PubMed library to give scientists unprecedented R&D leads. The Forum was an opportunity to discuss how legal teams can use their skill and knowledge to ensure that regulatory frameworks did not impede progress and to explore fast and safe pathways for innovations to become working reality. Wouter Boon, Associate Professor in Innovation and Life Sciences at Utrecht University, emphasised the need to place legal aspects at the inception of the innovation process, observing that the sector was ‘highly regulated for all good reasons but it means that radical innovation has a tough job.’The Forum covered an impressive sweep of themes including AI, digital therapeutics, the challenges of multi-jur­is­dic­tion­al online pharmacies, the new EU medicines directive and co-creation with regulators.“We had a great range of speakers who focused on advances and roadblocks across the life sciences sector and provided us all with some innovative and provocative approaches,” said Nick Beckett, Global Co-Head of CMS Life Sciences & Healthcare Sector Group. “It was a fantastic opportunity to discuss, explore and collaborate and the insights and learnings it generated will help us face global challenges in life sciences.“We have to navigate global challenges such as sustainability, poverty, inequality, ageing populations; concerns about privacy with the use of data, concerns about ethics and the use of AI. To do that we need global perspectives and we believe that CMS as a firm, with 80 offices worldwide, is well positioned to navigate issues, foster collaborations and be a vital partner in moving life science innovation forward in the digital age.”
Closing the gap between fast-paced technological advances in life sciences...
CMS Life Sciences & Healthcare Sector Group’s Forum 2023 provides expert insights, discussion and innovations to meet the challenge
CMS now present in Mozambique
CMS signs with Maputo-based firm CGA