Middle East – Still standing

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As the Arab Spring spreads across the Middle East, investors are flocking to safe ground. LB discovers which states will prosper and which have the most to lose.

It is late April and tanks are being deployed by security forces in Syria following the government’s inability to quell civil resistance protests. Of the long list of countries affected by political unrest recently, those that have hit the headlines most emphatically include Libya, Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen. But does this turmoil have the lawyers in the region’s main financial centres worried?

Continue reading “Middle East – Still standing”

Portugal – Out of the ruins

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As Portugal considers the implications of its recent €78bn bailout, LB assesses the impact it will have on the legal market and how Portuguese law firms can survive in an economy stuck in limbo

By the time that this issue of Legal Business hits desks, Portugal will be on the brink of electing its new government. What form that government takes remains to be seen, although a majority coalition involving one of the two largest parties (the Socialist Party and the Social Democratic Party) looks almost certain. Continue reading “Portugal – Out of the ruins”

System failure

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The Advocates General of the European Court of Justice have argued that more work needs to be done before a single European patents court replaces national jurisdiction in the EU. More than 20 years after it was mooted, a unified patent litigation system is still being debated.

If you thought patent lawyers were mild-mannered boffins, think again. You could almost hear the collective wailing and gnashing of teeth throughout the EU this summer when a leaked opinion appeared to shatter any hope of a unified patent litigation system being introduced in Europe. Continue reading “System failure”

Cracking up

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As legal aid comes under the strain of budget cuts, pro bono work by commercial law firms is helping paper over some of the cracks, playing a critical role in helping to close the justice gap

It’s a scene far removed from Canary Wharf. In the offices of a small legal aid firm in Acton, two young children are playing at a desk with some dog-eared magazines while their dad talks to a lawyer. Their mother died last year and their Ghanaian father is living illegally in the UK. They’re homeless and living out of a suitcase in a B&B. Continue reading “Cracking up”