Swaps: signs of a shift?

Swaps: signs of a shift?

3 Verulam Buildings’ Gregory Mitchell QC and Alexia Knight on what lies ahead for banks

Banks have had a bruising few years. After litigation over bank charges and the payment protection insurance (PPI) scandal, very serious allegations surfaced, regarding the alleged mis-selling of interest rate hedging products (IRHPs) and, more recently, regulatory investigations on LIBOR and forex manipulation. This article considers some of the legal challenges for banks as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) review closes.

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Fine wine and classic cars don’t necessarily make vintage investments

Fine wine and classic cars don’t necessarily make vintage investments

Chris Cole at Towry advises on financial planning.

Knowing where to invest your money can be a challenge, especially if you don’t have the time to be on top of what’s happening in the financial markets. It can therefore be tempting to invest your savings in areas
where you have a keen interest, in things like wine, art, classic cars or even violins as I heard recently.

However, while mixing hobbies and investment together may seem like a good idea, it can actually involve quite a lot of risk and may not help you achieve your long-term financial goals. Continue reading “Fine wine and classic cars don’t necessarily make vintage investments”

The legislative framework for ‘trapped’ property buyers

The legislative framework for ‘trapped’ property buyers

Andreas Haviaras and Stalo Papoui of Haviaras & Philippou discuss the new development in Cypriot property law.

The main problem the Cyprus property market currently faces is the failure of the developers, due to their financial problems, to issue title deeds to the buyers who paid for the property bought or to transfer the title in cases where it has been issued. In this sense, the buyer who paid for the property but did not receive a title is a trapped buyer as he cannot exploit the property.

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Bermuda’s evolving legal services landscape

Bermuda’s evolving legal services landscape

BDA’s Ross Webber highlights the benefits international entrants bring to the market.

Recent moves by leading global law firms to set up offices in Bermuda mark something of a watershed for our jurisdiction. Bermuda has been renowned for its strength and depth with regard to quality lawyers – however, it has not always been heralded for its variety of choice. That looks set to change.

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Hacked off with cyber risk? You may be…

Hacked off with cyber risk? You may be…

Carter Perry Bailey’s Mark Aizlewood and Simon Thomas highlight the threat to law firms.

At the time of writing, news arrived that car owners in the US have filed a federal class-action lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler and a dashboard computer manufacturer after hackers used a laptop computer to take control of a Jeep being driven on a St Louis highway, thus also precipitating a product recall and illustrating why cyber risk is widely considered to be the fastest-growing threat to businesses.

A leading global insurer reports that it presents the ‘biggest, most systemic risk’ faced by the market in over 40 years. Law firms are not immune. Continue reading “Hacked off with cyber risk? You may be…”

Beating ‘Friday afternoon’ fraud

Beating ‘Friday afternoon’ fraud

Sophisticated criminals are increasingly targeting firms of solicitors with so-called ‘Friday afternoon’ frauds.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) reported in March that it is receiving four reports a month of solicitors falling victim to these scams, which tend to involve a combination of identity fraud and cyber techniques, such as hacking and spear phishing.

The term Friday afternoon fraud has helped raise the profile of these types of scam – but it is important to note that they are certainly not confined to Friday afternoons, so firms and their employees must be vigilant at all times. Continue reading “Beating ‘Friday afternoon’ fraud”

Could trustee protection return post-Pitt and Futter?

Could trustee protection return post-Pitt and Futter?

Withers’ Steven Kempster and Sarah Aughwane on the doctrine of mistake.

Withers’ contentious trust and succession group is unrivalled in its size and the scope of its experience. Our team, based across Europe, Asia and the US, and consisting of 40 fee-earners, acts on the leading domestic and multi-jurisdictional trust disputes, as well as representing individuals, families and charities in every aspect of contentious trust and succession work. Continue reading “Could trustee protection return post-Pitt and Futter?”

Momentous decisions: seeking the court’s blessing

Momentous decisions: seeking the court’s blessing

Post-Cardigan analysis by 5 Stone Buildings’ Hugh Cumber

The recent decision of the English Court of Appeal in the Cardigan litigation illustrates the importance of applications by the trustees for the approval of ‘momentous’ decisions, as set out in the case of Public Trustee v Cooper [2001].

Such applications are widely used in offshore jurisdictions and have a number of advantages for trustees, who may prospectively insure that their decisions are insulated from challenge by dissatisfied beneficiaries. However, if this exercise is to be successful, the trustees will be required to give full evidence of their reasons. Continue reading “Momentous decisions: seeking the court’s blessing”

Cost reduction = quality reduction

Cost reduction = quality reduction

Cogence Search’s Mark Husband on the fallacy of cheap legal services

The respected legal commentator (and fan of mammals) Bruce MacEwen recently commented: ‘Of course, while hedgehogs know one big thing – that BigLaw hasn’t changed and hasn’t needed to so far – foxes know many things.

For example: a) 95% of the work on that indispensable “international M&A” deal consists of due diligence scutwork suitable for the skills of any conscientious team of $25/hour freelancers; b) IBM’s Watson is fast approaching the ability to understand language in context, and did we mention it has Moore’s Law on its side?; and c) pricing and efficiency pressure is actually not coming from the GCs [general counsel] and law departments of clients but from the CFOs [chief financial officers] and finance departments, who don’t give a fig about our noble profession and don’t consider it their problem to ensure the profitability, or even the existence, of the Global 50.’ Continue reading “Cost reduction = quality reduction”