Gee on Injunctions – 7th Edition now available

Sweet & Maxwell has published Commercial Injunctions, authored by Steven Gee QC.

Now in its 7th edition, Commercial Injunctions is regarded as the essential textbook on injunctions. It is cited in argument and judgments throughout the common law jurisdictions, including at the highest levels. The 7th Edition maintains and extends the quality of previous editions which has given the book its deserved reputation. It has been updated in the light of extensive new case law and legislative developments, including to the Civil Procedure Rules. This new edition includes an appendix providing a unique comparative look at practice and procedure of injunctions under US and French law. Steven is grateful to Lord Collins of Mapesbury for providing the foreword.

Assisting Steven with this latest edition were Monckton’s Kristina Lukacova and Alfred Artley.

For further details, click here for the publishers’ website

Ben Lask – LexisNexis: Abuse of process – follow-on damages claims and admissions in EU infringement proceedings (ABVolvo v Ryder)

 

Dispute Resolution analysis: This case concerned the application of the common law doctrine of abuse of process in claims for damages arising from an infringement of competition law. The Court of Appeal upheld a judgment of the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT), finding that it would be an abuse of process for the defendants in such a case to contest findings contained in the decision of the European Commission (the Commission), where those findings reflected admissions by the defendants, unless there was some justification for doing so.

Written by Ben Lask, barrister at Monckton Chambers.

This analysis was first published on Lexis®PSL on 18 November 2020 and can be found here.

Meredith Pickford QC provides his views on proposals to increase economic regulation of major technology companies

Across the globe, competition authorities and legislators are keenly exploring new curbs on powerful, US ‘big tech’ companies – most prominently, Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon. In the EU, there is a particular focus on developing regulation of “digital platforms” – search engines, social media, app stores, online market places, and price comparison websites that link sellers with customers.

The European Commission, and in particular, the Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG CNECT) and the Directorate General for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW) recently put together an informal working document with ideas for extending regulation.

The Commission’s working document can be seen as building on a number of papers that have been written in the last year or so considering whether and how existing laws dealing with competition should be developed to meet the challenges posed by digital platforms. Those papers universally recognise the immense benefits that digital platforms have brought to users. Many also tend to suggest that there is a consensus on the need for regulatory change.

Meredith Pickford QC is a barrister at Monckton Chambers in London who specialises in competition law and economic regulation. He was asked by Google to provide his personal, independent view of the Commission’s proposals, based on his experience in this area of law of over 20 years. He has produced a paper, which seeks to examine the foundations for the so-called consensus for further regulation. He does so by reference to specific examples such as ‘self-preferencing’ – when companies provide themselves with advantages that they withhold from their rivals. He assesses the need for, and appropriate content of, new regulatory rules in the light of established jurisprudence and competition policy.

Meredith concludes that there may be scope for development of competition law and regulation to make it more effective in connection with digital platforms in particular. Measures worth proper consideration include:

  • strengthening personal data ownership and portability;
  • developing a procedure for designating market power in certain digital markets to allow swifter action to tackle competition problems;
  • making greater use of measures that allow action before the conclusion of a full competition law investigation; and
  • developing existing case-law that prevents companies from misleading consumers by, for example, presenting search results as more relevant to them than could fairly be claimed.

However, Meredith also concludes that there is no need for a radical departure from established principles enshrined in existing, orthodox competition law in the context of digital platforms. Suggestions that ‘technology is different’ are overstated. There is no evidence that innovation is suffering in the technology sector – far from it: companies such as Google, Apple and Amazon are the world’s biggest innovators and investors in R&D. Moves to develop special rules for digital platforms therefore need particularly careful scrutiny. They threaten to undermine innovation that has led to technology companies bringing immense benefits to people’s lives – benefits made all the more important as a result of the restrictions brought about due to the Covid pandemic.

Meredith’s paper is available here.

Former Head of Chambers, Paul Lasok QC, is lead editor on just released EU Value Added Tax Law

Written by a team of practitioners led by former Head of Monckton Chambers, KPE Lasok QC, and recently released as part of the Elgar Tax Law and Practice series, EU Value Added Tax Law provides a practical commentary on, and analysis of, the harmonised system of Value Added Tax (VAT) in the European Union and each of its Member states.

Monckton’s Tarlochan Lall, fellow of the Chartered Institute of Taxation and member of the VAT Experts Group set up by the European Commission in 2012 until 2016, is one of the contributors.

For further details, click here for the publishers’ marketing flyer.

Thomas Sebastian – Lloyd’s Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly – Arbitration and the act of state doctrine

Tom Sebastian has published a note in Lloyd’s Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly on the Commercial Court’s judgment in Reliance Industries Limited v The Union of India [2018] EWHC 822 (Comm). In that case the Commercial Court ruled that the doctrine of act of state applies in London-seated arbitrations. Tom argues that the Court reached the wrong result.

The full note can be accessed here: [2020] L.M.C.L.Q. 359 (subscription required).

George Peretz QC – Tax Journal – Trade remedies: the new UK regime

After Brexit, the UK will operate its own system of trade remedies. The essential scheme of the new regime is that a new Trade Remedies Authority will act as the gatekeeper, investigator and first-line decision-maker, while the secretary of state will have general powers of supervision and the ability to block any proposal to impose a trade remedy on broad public interest grounds. Those who wish to challenge the TRA’s or the secretary of state’s decision must do so by way of judicial review application to the Upper Tribunal. The operation of the new trade remedies regime is going to provide significant challenges both for the TRA and for advisers to both UK companies seeking trade remedies and importers and foreign governments seeking to contest them.

Read the article.

George Peretz QC – Tax Journal – Trade remedies: the WTO framework

Under the WTO framework (within which the new UK regime will operate post-Brexit), there are broadly three types of trade remedies: anti-dumping duties (on exported products where the export price to the importing country is less than its normal value); ‘countervailing measures’ (to deal with subsidies); and ‘safeguarding measures’ (to deal, essentially, with sudden floods of exports). A subsidy against which countervailing measures could be imposed is a financial contribution (or income or price support) that confers a benefit, and would therefore extend to tax credits and, for example, a low rate of corporation tax confined to a particular region or sector. Trade remedy decisions are open to challenge by way of judicial review or where the exporting member state brings a dispute before the WTO’s dispute resolution mechanism (although the mechanism for doing so has run into serious difficulties in recent years).

Read the article.