In 28 October 2021 Facebook rebranded as Meta, with the aspiration "to be seen as a metaverse company". Since then, there's been a significant buzz about the metaverse – the "next chapter of the internet", according to Mark Zuckerberg.
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The challenge for a business when drafting a restrictive covenant is that if it seeks to constrain the other party's freedom to operate too much or for too long in the interests of protecting its own business, the courts may refuse to enforce the restriction. Two recent Court of Appeal rulings highlight some of the hazards in relation to post-termination non-compete obligations in B2B agreements.
This decision considers the somewhat ambiguous test in English law regarding unilateral mistake.
The High Court recently considered whether the delay to the Premier League season caused by the first COVID-19 lockdown triggered a material adverse change clause (commonly known as a MAC clause) in contracts for broadcasting rights. In this briefing we look at how this compares with previous cases on MAC clauses and what the lessons are when drafting such provisions.
Further to our previous article here, the SFO has now secured a conviction against Glencore on seven counts of international bribery. The successful prosecution makes Glencore the first company to admit to bribing a person under the Bribery Act and is the SFO’s third corporate conviction under these rules.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has recently published its response to the consultation on data protection reform (which we previously wrote about here). For those disappointed by the lack of detail in the Queen's Speech on the Data Reform Bill, this response provides a clearer picture of UK data protection reforms to come – which measures the UK Government is taking forward, which it is dropping and which it needs to consider further. For the detail, we'll need to wait for the text of the draft Bill itself.
Last month, the UK Government set out its legislative programme for this Parliament in the Queen's Speech. In this briefing, we look at some of the proposals relevant to business which have had less media attention.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has recommended legislating to impose a positive obligation on consumer-facing businesses to disclose information about the environmental impact of their products. It has also recommended changes designed to make it easier to enforce consumer law against companies making misleading environmental claims, to allow orders to be made requiring businesses to make redress payments for environmental harm and to increase supply chain transparency.
The ICO's recent fine of over £7.5m issued against Clearview AI Inc (Clearview) for using images of UK citizens scraped from the internet as part of Clearview's global online database is one of the largest that the ICO has issued to date. But it is considerably less than the £17m fine announced by the ICO in its provisional decision in November 2021.
Glencore has indicated that it will plead guilty to seven counts of bribery in connection with its oil operations in Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, and South Sudan. The Serious Fraud Office opened its investigation into Glencore's activities in 2019 and alleges that the commodities giant approved the payment of over $25m in bribes for preferential access to oil.
The Supreme Court's judgment in Lloyd v Google in November 2021 (see our briefing) significantly curbed "opt-out" representative actions brought under CPR 19.6, but it left a number of unanswered questions - a trail of crumbs for claimant law firms to pick over. One such question was whether a different conclusion would be reached under the Data Protection Act 2018 (and UK GDPR) as the claim for loss of control of data in Lloyd was made under the Data Protection Act 1998.
The UK Government has confirmed that it plans to introduce significantly stronger powers for the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to enforce consumer law, including the ability to impose fines of up to 10% of global turnover. This is a major change for consumer-facing businesses, although question marks remain over the exact timing.
In the recent decision in MUR Shipping BV v RTI Ltd  EWHC 467 (Comm), the court found that a force majeure clause applied, even though the affected party had offered alternative performance. The case also contains some useful lessons about the limits of arbitral appeals and obligations to pay in a particular currency against the background of sanctions.
The UK Government has announced that new border controls on imports from the EU scheduled for July 2022 are being postponed. In the short term, many (but not all) businesses are likely to welcome this move, as it reduces the risk of disruption to supply chains and will ease cost pressures.
The European Commission published a draft Data Act on 23 February 2022 ("Data Act"), as part of the implementation of its February 2020 strategy for data. This proposed regulation, which will have direct effect in members states, is intended to set standards at an EU-wide level to facilitate and create a fairer, more competitive digital environment for the sharing and re-use of data (both personal and non-personal). This briefing looks at who the Data Act impacts, what it does and how it fits into the EU's vision for a single European market for data.
In the recent case of SK Shipping Europe Ltd v Capital VLCC 3 Corp (C Challenger)  EWCA Civ 231, the Court of Appeal clarified several points in the law of misrepresentation, including the circumstances in which a representation of fact will be implied from the offer of a contractual term, the effect of a reservation of rights on an alleged affirmation, and the operation of section 2(2) of the Misrepresentation Act 1967 concerning damages in lieu of rescission.
Commercial contracts can often provide that all liability for loss of profits is excluded – and sometimes wasted expenditure may be excluded as well. But what is the impact of this in practice?
The High Court has recently rejected an attempt by British Sugar to challenge aspects of the UK's post-Brexit sugar tariffs on the basis that they amounted to an illegal subsidy to its competitor, Tate & Lyle. In this briefing, we look at the wider implications of the ruling for the UK's post-Brexit state aid and tariff regimes.
Several recent cases highlight the importance of process for both customers and suppliers when contracting on standard terms (or a mixture of standard terms and "bespoke" terms). In this briefing, we highlight some of the key pitfalls for the unwary, particularly around the so-called "battle of the forms".