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Counsel to Counsel (some content requires log in)
PROFILE: James Cook, General Counsel and Company Secretary, Aconex
James Cook is General Counsel and Company Secretary at Aconex. In this profile we asked him about in-house lawyers in his industry and the challenges they face, how he manages his team to provide legal support, working with external counsel, implementing legal technology, and adding value to the in-house role.

The lawyer is out to lunch and robots are taking over the firm!?
There is a temptation, when thinking about the future of legal services, to simply think about introducing unique structures, or outsourcing, or innovative ways of billing. However, it is more a question of how law firms and legal departments deliver their services, says Max Hubner, Director Corporate Legal & Tax at PGGM.

New Talklaw contributions (some content requires log in)
Morocco - The new due diligence risks for companies expanding abroad
It is not common practice in Morocco for a bank to request legal due diligence reports prepared by a buyer’s advisor on a reliance basis. In general, advisors provide a disclaimer in the due diligence report stating that it is specifically issued to their client, explains Mehdi M. Bennani, a Partner with Bennani & Associes.

USA - The new due diligence risks for companies expanding abroad
In the United States, it is not uncommon for legal advisors of a potential buyer to share with financing sources a due diligence report prepared for the potential buyer, but the practice is to do so on a non-reliance basis, says Robert DeLaMater (pictured) and Melissa Sawyer, both partners with Sullivan & Cromwell LLP.

China - The new due diligence risks for companies expanding abroad
In China it is not common practice for a bank to request legal due diligence reports to be prepared by a buyer’s advisor on a reliance basis. In addition there are five key issues in legal due diligence that may have material impact on the transaction process, says Kevin Y. Qian, Founding Partner of MWE China Law Offices.

Italy - The new due diligence risks for companies expanding abroad
In Italy, as elsewhere, legal advisors are ever more frequently receiving requests from financing banks to disclose their due diligence reports prepared for a potential purchaser. But legal advisors are quite reluctant to share their due diligence with the banks, says Gianmatteo Nunziante, a Partner with Nunziante Magrone.

Thailand - The new due diligence risks for companies expanding abroad
It is common for banks in Thailand to request and receive the due diligence report of the buyer’s advisor, even though the scope of the report may not align with the bank’s purpose of financing, and the due diligence may be different from the bank’s requirements, says Pakdee Paknara, a Partner with Weerawong C&P.

Japan - The new due diligence risks for companies expanding abroad
Although there are no fact-specific precedents in Japan at this time, allowing a bank (or other financial institution) to rely on a due diligence report could create potential liability exposure for legal advisors, say Akira Kawamura, Of Counsel and Takashi Toichi, a Partner with Anderson Mori & Tomatsune.

Australia - The new due diligence risks for companies expanding abroad
Requests from banks that are financing transactions to rely on due diligence reports provided by advisers is increasingly common. For such a request, the adviser needs to determine if it is willing to expand its potential professional liability risk for no additional reward, says Costas Condoleon, a Partner with Minter Ellison.

France - Responsibility for delay in the global construction industry
As in most jurisdictions, problems arising out of delays in construction work are very common in France. There are different ways to deal with those under French law. In principle, had the constructor not accomplished his work on time, he would be held liable, says Stanley Chaney, a Partner with Ravet & Associés.

Hong Kong - Responsibility for delay in the global construction industry
Extension of time claims are notoriously rich in detailed factual analysis, knowledge of project history and complex expert analysis. To promote quick and fair decisions, it is key that the parties practice proactive contract administration and keep aware of circumstances on the ground, says Glenn Haley, a Partner with Haley & Co.

India - The new due diligence risks for companies expanding abroad
Third parties, including financial institutions, seek to refer to the due diligence reports prepared by advisors of the buyer/investor – either on a reliance or a non-reliance basis. There are various reasons for which this approach is taken, says Cyril S. Shroff, Managing Partner of Amarchand Mangaldas.

Spain - The changing landscape of financial regulation & governance in sports
The Spanish National Professional Football League (“LNFP”) has recognized the similarities between the aims of UEFA’s new rules on financial fair play and the aspirations of the Clubs and Sports Companies belonging to the Spanish football divisions, reports Felix Plaza Romero, a Partner with Garrigues.

Switzerland - The changing landscape of financial regulation & governance in sports
A number of football clubs in the top division in Switzerland – the Super League – have faced financial difficulties in recent years. Indeed, these difficulties have in certain cases even led to bankruptcy; this was the case in the much publicized Neuchatel Xamax FC, explains Olivier Niggli, a Partner with Carrard & Associes.

Ireland - Is Patent Litigation the big threat to company profits?
The speed of the Irish Commercial Court, which has been conferred with specific jurisdiction over IP disputes, together with a quasi-expert judiciary presiding over IP cases, can reduce the amount of time it takes to resolve a patent dispute, says Partner John Whelan and Solicitor Angeline O’Connell from A&L Goodbody.

Event reports (open access)
General Counsel in the Driver’s Seat
In the Hotel Van Oranje, by the windswept expanse of the North Sea, General Counsel from across Europe gathered on a blustery October afternoon and hunkered down to participate in the Corporate Counsel Exchange 2015 hosted by IQPC.

Special Report: Reputation management in a crisis
For most companies corporate reputation is an intangible foundation which serves as the basis of ongoing relationships with customers. This was the background to the latest GC Leaders’ Club roundtable discussion in London, led by Farrer & Co partner Julian Pike, a specialist in crisis reputation management.

The smarter legal model: A lesson in corporate law office economics
For decades the general counsel was seen among legal professionals as a second class citizen. In his 20-plus years career spanning such multinational corporations as Dell, Apple, Tyco, and since 2009, Ernst & Young, it is unlikely that Trevor Faure (pictured right) ever laboured under that impression.

Shareholder activism blows in from the Atlantic
The UK is probably more susceptible to shareholder activism than ever. This was the message heard at the recent inaugural dinner of the GC Leaders’ Club organized by TalklawMedia and hosted by City law firm Macfarlanes (Charles Martin, Senior Partner, pictured) in collaboration with New York firm Wachtell Lipton.

Effective boards are at the heart of corporate governance
A report from the International Bar Association’s inaugural corporate governance conference in Singapore which featured keynote speaker Simon Israel (pictured). Mr. Israel is the Chairman of Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. and explained in lucid and clear language that strategy was central on a company's agenda.

Event announcements (open access)

Topical comparative law (some content requires log in)
TalklawGlobal - The new due diligence risks for companies expanding abroad
In this edition Anthony Kenny, Assistant General Counsel Corporate and CBS at GSK, argues that due diligence has now become central to any transaction and looks at the new risks for companies expanding abroad. Chairing the law firm panel is Suet-Fern Lee, Senior Partner with Stamford Law in Singapore.

TalklawGlobal - Responsibility for delay in the global construction industry
In this edition of TalklawGlobal, Stuart Connor, Chief Counsel, Gas Business at Alstom, focuses on several grey areas faced by lead counsel in project companies around the world such as claim resolution, concurrent delay, and managing the float. Chairing the law firm panel is Doug Jones, Partner at Clayton Utz.

TalklawGlobal - Patent Litigation - the big threat to company profits?
Patent litigation and damages awards are hitting the headlines on a regular basis and Mark Beariault, General Counsel, Head of Legal Affairs for Kudelski Group in Switzerland, asks legal experts to ascertain the risks. Chairing the law firm panel is Thierry Calame, Partner and Head of IP at Lenz & Staehelin in Switzerland.

TalklawGlobal – New EU data privacy regulation worries legal departments
Johan Huizing, Director and Head of European Legal Affairs for Atmel Corporation unites leading specialists to look at the risks associated with the recently-updated European data protection regulation. This edition is co-chaired expert by Monika Kuschewsky, who is a partner with Van Bael & Bellis in Brussels.

TalklawGlobal – Is corporate liability for corrupt business activity in the danger zone?
In this first edition of TalklawGlobal™ Adam Smith, General Counsel for DCNS Group in France, chairs a panel of experts on one of the most pressing problems facing chief legal officers everywhere: what will be the impact in other countries of the high-profile UK Bribery Act?

TalklawGlobal – Writing the roadmap for doing business in China
The expansion of China in recent years is a headache for general counsel in other countries. Iohann Le Frapper, Chief Legal Officer for Gulf Bridge International (GBI), unites specialists across jurisdictions to discuss practical tips, opportunities, and traps to avoid when international companies contemplate doing business in China.

TalklawGlobal – Are US-style punitive damages creeping into other countries?
In this edition, Todd Ptak, Senior Legal Counsel for AIRBUS leads a discussion on the divide between common law and civil law jurisdictions when it comes to awarding punitive damages (or costs) to find out if companies outside the US, even in civil law countries, are immune from punitive damages/costs.

TalklawGlobal - The changing landscape of financial regulation & governance in sports
In this edition of TalklawGlobal, Mark Miller, Legal Counsel at the media and entertainment wing of Lagardere, looks at how football leagues around the world are complying with regulations and maintaining their principles. Chairing the law firm panel is Julian Pike, Partner and Head of Sports at London law firm Farrer & Co.

TalklawGlobal - Cost-effective and innovative dispute resolution around the world
In this edition of TalklawGlobal, Tom Sager, Senior VP and General Counsel, and David Burt, Corporate Counsel, at chemical conglomerate DuPont look at cost-effective and innovative litigation, arbitration, mediation and enforcement solutions. Chairing the law firm panel is Janet Whiting, Partner, Corrs Chambers Westgarth.

Special reports (some content requires log in)
Legal Spend Management Report 2014
This 2014 report focuses on one of the most crucial topics today for corporate legal departments: Legal Spend Management and how technology can help lower the costs of both performing the work in house, or outsourcing it to a law firm. Part of this process is the ability to analyse and group law firms through e-billing.

Independence key to successful running of a legal department according to new publication
A new 400 page English-language white paper compiling 20 proposals to improve the running of European legal departments has just been published. It’s a compilation of essays written by General Counsel as well as law firm partners and is co-edited by Philippe Coen, President of ECLA.

Legal Department Management Supplement 2013
Should corporate legal departments be more than just company secretaries and contract or litigation managers? Or should all digital information now run through an expanded function overseen by the chief counsel? The instigation of spend management into the law departments in Europe is now gathering pace.

Legal Spend Management Supplement 2012
Why should legal departments invest in e-billing technology? The main driver, for those considering such solutions, is leverage with external law firms to reduce legal spend. But for legal departments who have been using it for some time, leverage within their own company, becomes an unexpected and more important benefit.

Information Governance For Lawyers
Is digital overload now the greatest risk management challenge facing in-house legal departments? A new educational process is urgently needed to help change the in-house legal mind-set on the intertwined disciplines of information governance and risk management. This report is an introduction to that process.

The Profitable Legal Department
This ground-breaking report focuses on how corporate legal departments can turn their operations from a cost into a profit centre. With the correct organisation, motivation, and a willingness to seek money rightfully due, we demonstrate that millions of dollars can be recovered for the benefit of shareholders and the company.

Expert articles (some content requires log in)
Is the cloud pie in the sky, or legally sound?
Debate has raged within the legal profession for years about whether companies should outsource data to the cloud or keep it in-house in compliance with European data protection laws. Glyn Morris, Chairman of LSSA (pictured) and Steve Dixon, Co-Founder, Select Legal Systems, discuss the merits of cloud computing.

Legal profession ‘unready’ ahead of the incoming EU General Data Protection Regulations, survey suggests
A survey of corporate law departments and law firms in the UK to gauge attitudes and working practices related to data protection worryingly reveals that one in 10 legal professionals don’t know if they comply with current regulations, says Paul Doble.

Clearing the confusion on digital signatures
Digital signatures have been around for a few years and while adoption by corporations and governmental agencies is on the uptake, the legal profession is comparatively slow to adopt them. This is surprising considering the potential benefits, says Ronan Lavelle, UK country manager for ARX.

Our advisors (open access)