Annual Review 2017-2018
The impact of new technologies on the business environment is game-changing. At CMS, we work with technology pioneers who are driving this change.
SUPPORTING STARTUPS THROUGH EQUIP
First launched in the UK in 2015, the CMS equIP programme is designed to give startups and entrepreneurs the tools they need to grow and succeed by providing essential legal building blocks and support for their businesses.
Members benefit from several features designed specifically for startups. These include a heavy discount on rates during an initial three-year period, a package of fixed-price services, access to a dedicated relationship manager, invitations to exclusive events and training, promotion and marketing through CMS’s channels and introductions to industry peers and service providers. The programme also helps our members establish robust governance and compliance practices.
Since inception, CMS has worked with over 50 of the UK’s leading startups and tech disruptors such as Behavox, Echo Healthcare, Hoop and Lovespace. Many of our members have gone on to attract significant investment from key players in the market, including Spotify’s acquisition of audio detection technology maker Sonalytic and AI expert RAVN Systems’ sale to iManage After much success in the UK, we have now begun to roll the programme out internationally. This year, we launched equIP in Singapore – the first of its kind in South-East Asia – and recently welcomed our first Middle Eastern client, Blowout & Go.
ADVISING ON A BLOCKCHAIN PLATFORM LAUNCH
French startup LiquidShare is one of the key banking and financial consortia in the blockchain industry, including heavyweight entities such as BNP Paribas, Société Générale, Crédit Agricole, Euronext and Euroclear. LiquidShare aims to develop and manage a blockchain platform for SMEs to help reduce transaction costs related to the acquisition and sale of financial securities.
CMS France is providing strategic and legal advice to LiquidShare on the launch of its platform.
CREATING BLOCKCHAIN ARBITRATION RULES
Blockchain solutions provider Datarella conducted an arbitration proceeding using blockchain. Technology and dispute lawyers from CMS Germany assessed the legal potential of arbitration in blockchain and smart contract environments and advised on the creation of blockchain arbitration rules.
Blockchain provides the perfect environment for smart contracts because their execution cannot be controlled or influenced by any person. However, the advantages of smart contracts decrease if disputes are brought to state courts. The test run showed that the combination of a Smart Contract Arbitration Library with Blockchain Arbitration Rules can preserve the advantages of smart contracts in the case of disputes.
The Blockchain Arbitration Rules are intended to govern the procedural aspects in the case of a conflict. The advantage of such rules compared to conventional arbitration rules is that they explicitly allow for documents and pleadings to be shared using the blockchain as a verification mechanism. Furthermore, the Blockchain Arbitration Rules allow for interaction with an Arbitration Library included in the code of the Smart Contracts, which can automatically interact with the arbitrator.
HELPING TO LAUNCH AN AI FUND
The 42.cx Center of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence was established in 2015 by Daniel Mattes, founder of Jumio.com and Jajah.com. It focuses on the commercialisation of AI across various industries. Operating out of Austria and Monaco, 42.cx works closely with universities and scientific facilities around the world and has invested heavily in R & D to establish its algorithms and specs and to build the 42 machine.
For the financial sector, 42.cx partnered with UK asset management fund Tyndaris to launch an AI fund that is traded by algorithms out of the 42.cx labs.
CMS Austria advised 42.cx on establishing a joint venture with Tyndaris via a Jersey vehicle that operates a UCITS Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities) fund in Luxembourg.