As a result of the expanding adoption of blockchain technologies worldwide, lawmakers seek to introduce regulatory frameworks to compete in the ever-fast-growing field, particularly when it comes to crypto assets. As these assets spark debates in the financial world and among regulators, some countries’ lawmakers adopt regulations to define their legal status, whereas others choose to remain silent.
The end of September 2023 not only marked the close of the month but also heralded the replacement of Macedonia’s previous Law on Advocacy with a new substantially amended law. The new law, which entered into force on 3 October 2023, introduced significant amendments designed to elevate the level of practice of law in Macedonia.
The Ministry of Economic Development and Tourism adopted the Draft Law on Real Estate Brokerage. The adoption of this law is motivated primarily by the need to suppress the grey economy that is flourishing in the field of real estate brokerage. The second, equally important motive is the protection of participants and the prevention of abuses and fraud in real estate sales.
In the past, banks have predominantly relied on financial metrics to guide their funding strategies. However, with the prominence and importance of ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) principles, a paradigm shift is underway. Sustainability metrics are gaining prominence in the decision-making process for financing companies or projects.
Cashless and contactless interactions have dramatically increased over the last few years, driven by several factors, such as the increasing adoption of smartphones, the growth of e-commerce, and the need for contactless payments during the COVID-19 pandemic. Digital transactions have become commonplace and straightforward daily for many users in every field. Most consumers switch from traditional payments with plastic cards to online payments via smartphone apps.
After a delay of more than a year, an act on preventive restructuring (the "Act") implementing the EU directive on preventive restructuring frameworks finally became effective in the Czech Republic on 23 September 2023. The long-awaited Act introduces a brand-new legal tool preventing the insolvency of viable enterprises in temporary financial distress.
In a significant development, the European Parliament and Council have recently reached a preliminary agreement on a set of new regulations designed to combat misleading advertising and provide consumers with more accurate product information. This agreement aims to strengthen consumer rights and tackle deceptive marketing practices, including greenwashing and planned uselessness of products.
At the end of September, the long-awaited Regulation (EU) 2023/1804) on the deployment of alternative fuel infrastructure, and repealing Directive 2014/94/EU (“AFIR”) was published in the Official Journal of the European Union. Though the entry into force of AFIR is 13 April 2024, it is worth reviewing the key takeaways that the AFIR introduces as part of the EU’s Fit for 55 package.
Trade secrets are an invaluable asset for many businesses, often encompassing years of research, innovation, and strategic development. Protecting them is paramount, and the legal landscape surrounding this protection is ever-evolving. The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) recently published the report “Trade Secrets Litigation Trends in the EU” (June 2023), which provides fresh insights into the state of trade secrets litigation within the European Union.
For almost every industry, sustainability involves adopting environmentally and socially responsible practices throughout a company's operations, from sourcing and production to sales and customer engagement. This includes reducing carbon emissions, promoting fair labor practices, supporting the product lifecycle, leveraging blockchain and digital systems, ensuring supply chain transparency, and maintaining ethical governance standards. Therefore, environmental sustainability policies need to be integrated into internal company rules, and, in particular, stakeholders in every sector need to take more responsibility for ESG practices.
September 2023 – According to Article 5 of the Serbian Banking Act (Zakon o bankama), no person other than a bank licensed in Serbia may engage in the granting of loans unless authorised by law. One Serbian law that does allow foreign banks (i.e., banks not established and licensed in Serbia) to provide cross-border loans to Serbian entities is the Serbian Foreign Exchange Act (Zakon o deviznom poslovanju). In particular, Article 18(7) of the Foreign Exchange Act expressly allows Serbian entities to borrow cross-border from foreign banks, which are not required to obtain a banking licence in Serbia for this purpose.
Under Hungarian law the judge can reduce the amount of the contractual penalty if it is excessive. The penalty reduction shall be expressly requested by the defendant during the litigation. Can the defendant submit such request at any time during the litigation, or is there any deadline for that? In a recent decision, the Hungarian Supreme Court addressed this issue.
One of the important advantages of arbitration proceedings is that the parties can appoint co-arbitrators. Thus, the parties can ensure that those whose impartiality, knowledge and fairness they trust will decide on their dispute. This opportunity raises the question of who the party-appointed arbitrators should be and the criteria by which the parties should appoint the party-appointed arbitrators.