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Author interviews

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27 Apr 2016 - In interview with Alon Kaplan

Now that the book is in its fourth edition, have you noticed any key differences since the previous editions? The book was first published in 2000, at which time the trust and estate practice environment was calm and off shore jurisdictions were flourishing even before they changed their name to “financial centers”. In 2016 we see dramatic changes in many jurisdictions: The new EU Regulation on Succession and wills became effective in August 2015 and could affect many people in EU countries and outside the EU. New regulations relating to reporting requirements of Trusts were enacted in many countries. OECD implemented automatic exchange of information rules. Tax Authorities in a number of countries  ... View full interview

31 Mar 2016 - In interview with Stephen Revell

What was your motivation behind putting together this book? Through the many conversations I have with law firms all around the world, it is clear that there is a clear focus on developing good business development skills within lawyers and law firms. That led me to conclude there was a need for a book – particularly an IBA book – to provide a practical guide for lawyers on both the skills and tools needed to implement good business development. In embarking on the project I was very committed to ensuring I drew on the target of business development,namely the client. How do our clients perceive business development by lawyers and law firms is critical in determining how to approach business development. How does  ... View full interview

31 Jan 2014 - Shale Gas- new interview with consulting editor Vivek Bakshi

Q.         There has been a lot of controversy in the United Kingdom in relation to the environmental impacts of shale exploration. What is your view on the nature/scale of the environmental risks of shale, and on shale development within the United Kingdom? A.         Environmental controversy in the United Kingdom appears to be derived from protest groups opposed to hydraulic fracturing - perhaps originally triggered, in part, by seismic activity said to be related to one operator's hydraulic fracturing.  However, in the United Kingdom, regulatory authorities from the Environment Agency to the Department of Energy and Climate Change have been proactive in issuing detailed  ... View full interview

02 Dec 2013 - Video interview with Sally Woodward on challenging & engaging Gen-Y: Managing Talent

An author interview with Sally Woodward on the challenges and opportunities for law firms managing Generation Y.  View full interview

20 Nov 2013 - Video interview with Rebecca Normand-Hochman - Managing Talent for Success

Globe Law and Business talk to consulting editor Rebecca Norman-Hochman from the Institute of Mentoring about how to attract, develop and retain talent in law firms.  View full interview

08 Nov 2013 - Video interview with Nicholas Fox - Intellectual Property in Electronics and Software

We speak with consulting editor Nicholas Fox of Simmons & Simmons about topical IP issues affecting the high-tech industry, discussed in further detail in our practical guide on Intellectual Property in Electronics and Software.  View full interview

01 Jul 2013 - Video interview with Mark Kendall and Jason McNerlin - Product Recall, Liability and Insurance

Consulting editors Mark Kendall and Jason McNerlin talk to us about their new book on product recall, liability and insurance in a Globe Law and Business video interview.       View full interview

07 Feb 2012 - Intellectual Property in the Life Sciences

What is intellectual property and how does it affect innovation within the life sciences industry? Intellectual property is a diverse body of national, EU and international laws concerned with the substance, ownership and protection of exclusive rights to works or products of innovative technology and other many other creative endeavours. It is absolutely crucial in the life sciences sector. This is because without exclusive rights to sell an innovative drug for a number of years, pharmaceutical and biotechnology enterprises would never be able to recoup the billions of dollars of investment required to bring those drugs to market. And once the drugs are on the market, trademarks and related rights become essential for  ... View full interview

18 Oct 2011 - Private Equity Exits

1. What is a private equity ‘exit’? A private equity exit is the way in which private equity funds ultimately return money to their investors from their underlying investments.  They typically take the form of share sales, asset sales, initial public offerings (IPOs) and winding-ups which result in proceeds being released by the private equity fund, which are then distributed to its investors. 2. Are they important for private equity? Yes - they are the lifeblood of the private equity industry. Without (successful) exits, a private equity house cannot raise funds to make investments in the first place; so every time that a private equity fund makes an investment, it will be thinking about the  ... View full interview

14 Sep 2011 - Risk and Energy Infrastructure

1.             What are the main risks that project sponsors need to think about in starting new projects?   One of the key messages to emerge from the book is that project risk needs to be analysed and acted upon holistically.   This is easy to understand and demonstrable in project execution.  However, it is often difficult to apply within the ‘siloed’ structure of business functions and business units of many global enterprises.  Herein lies another key message from the book: many project risks are within the control of the project rather than a collection of ‘external’ phenomena.  On its face, this seems  ... View full interview

22 Jun 2011 - Upstream Oil and Gas

1.        What recent developments have there been in oil and gas law? The UK government has licensed the exploitation of onshore petroleum reserves since the 1930s and offshore reserves since the 1970s. The UK Continental Shelf is now considered a mature petroleum province. One might therefore conclude that oil and gas is a stale legal subject. Yet paradoxically, maturity has led to updated laws and regulations for the industry. The super-major oil companies which dominated the North Sea from its infancy are now withdrawing and making way for new entrants. Government is encouraging this ownership diversity and has recently promoted regulations designed to make asset transfers quicker and less  ... View full interview

31 May 2011 - US Securities Regulation

1) Why are US securities laws particularly topical right now? The US capital markets are the largest and most liquid in the world, offering tremendous opportunities for international companies (ie, non-US companies) to finance their operations.  Raising capital in these markets has grown in importance as the global credit crisis has often made other sources of financing more difficult to access.  However, accessing the US capital markets requires compliance with the requirements of the US securities laws, which have become increasingly complex over the last decade.  This makes it critical for international companies to have a practical knowledge of the issues presented by these requirements and the various  ... View full interview

18 Apr 2011 - Renewable energy: the fallout from Fukushima

What is your position on the outlook for renewable energy generally at the moment? In our chapter “Why renewable energy ?”, which forms part of the recently published book Renewables:  A Practical Handbook, we set out our views on the key drivers for the adoption of renewable energy and investment in clean technologies.   These included a rise in the cost of fossil fuels and concerns over security of energy supply.  Over the past month or so, we have seen the price of oil climb to just over $125 per barrel.   Of course, this price rise is partly driven by the recent uncertainty in Libya and the broader Middle East region.    What has been the impact on the renewable  ... View full interview

08 Mar 2011 - Directors' Liability

Since the first edition of Directors’ Liability and Indemnification was published, the world has been turned upside down by the global financial crisis. In your view, how has this affected the way that businesses are run?  It has had a profound effect on the way that financial institutions are run, both directly (through government intervention/ownership) and indirectly (through heightened regulation and litigation). It will be many years before this sector normalises.  The main issue for other businesses has been the lack of available credit, so that even well-run businesses have felt the pinch or have had to rein in their plans.  All businesses are now run more conservatively, as they try to avoid  ... View full interview

18 Feb 2011 - Renewables

Why is renewable energy particularly timely right now? It is becoming increasingly obvious to all but the most hardened climate sceptics that the world needs to transition to a low carbon economy. The reasons for this are numerous and well documented.   An increase in global warming beyond two degrees centigrade caused by the release of greenhouse gases would be dangerous for human populations and threaten many of the planet's natural systems.  Energy security of supply is critical, as is reducing exposure to a potentially volatile fossil fuel price.   The development of renewable energy generation will create ‘green jobs’ and represents, particularly for the United Kingdom, a real  ... View full interview

18 Nov 2010 - Commodity derivatives

What, in a nutshell, are commodity derivatives? Commodity derivatives are the oldest form of derivative instrument. On their simplest level, they can help a grain producer to get a better, or at least more predictable, price for its produce, such as a fixed price per tonne, by entering into a physically settled forward commodity transaction.  The end counterparty might be a grocery chain looking to secure wheat at that specified price on a future date. Both parties give up the potential benefit of a price rise (for the farmer) or fall (for the grocery chain) to guard against an adverse profit-wiping price movement. Such contracts were being entered into thousands of years ago in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia and, through  ... View full interview

21 Oct 2010 - Trusts

1. What are the global trends in the area of trusts?  The change to 'onshore' trusts in jurisdictions which are not labelled 'black' or 'grey'.  The trend is to move from 'offshore', non-tax-compliant structures to tax reporting with effective estate planning. 2. What do you think about the increasing use of foundations? This trend is developing fast and covers multiple jurisdictions. The aim is to find and use a simplified trust entity.  It has some advantages, but one important disadvantage:  there is very little case law to rely on in resolving unexpected situations or events which may not be included in the statutes. On the other hand, the legislation of the specific jurisdiction  ... View full interview

25 Aug 2010 - Public-Private Partnerships

Q1 – It has been nearly four years since publication of the first edition.  What would you say have been the major changes in public-private partnerships (PPP) since then? A1 – As we went to press with the first edition, PPP remained very much in full swing and the move towards standardisation of documentation, in the United Kingdom at least, was very much in the ascendancy.  That insistence on adherence to precedent undoubtedly was saving costs in many deals and creating a model that could be and was exported to other jurisdictions eager to take a shortcut in getting to acceptable risk positions.  Across Europe, the PPP model was developing and deepening.  There were some signs of resistance to  ... View full interview

02 Jun 2010 - Joint Operating Agreements

What exactly is a JOA and why is it so essential to oil and gas projects? Modern upstream energy projects are characterised by the huge levels of investment required - many tens of millions of dollars are the basic table stakes, and with the costs of drilling a single well sometimes rising to a $100 million, this is very much a rich man's game. These projects are also fraught with all sorts of regulatory, commercial and practical uncertainties. This unique combination of expense and risk means that energy project participants often share the burden by forming some form of joint venture. The joint operating agreement (JOA) is the constitution for that joint venture; given the size of the investment that is required, the JOA is  ... View full interview

03 Mar 2010 - World trade law

Q: What is world trade law in essence? In essence, world trade law involves the examination of trading relationships between countries.  The international principle of free trade requires international laws and rules that facilitate and liberalize trade in the global context. Q: International trade laws seem to be very complex. How can I tell where a world trade law solution might be applicable in my practice? In actuality, international trade law situations are not overly complicated. As a practitioner, when a client presents you with a scenario that involves jurisdictional issues and economic activities, you should at least briefly examine the possibility that international trade law might be involved at some level. View full interview

07 Jan 2010 - Best practice in international public procurement

- From reading the introduction to your book, you seem to be passionate about public procurement. What is it about the field that attracts you? I have practiced in this area of law for more than 15 years, and every day I find new challenges.  I am always fascinated by the conflict between private and public interests and how the actors involved -governments as much as contractors and suppliers - have to achieve their goals and find new ways to improve the systems available to them.  Every day, clients present different problems to solve and new aspects to consider. - What do you think the main impact of the financial crisis has been on government procurement? In many countries, the financial crisis has led to  ... View full interview

07 Dec 2009 - The global financial crisis

It is over a year now since the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers.  Why do you think Lehman Brothers was allowed to fail and what do you think was the impact of its collapse on the wider economy? It is hard to say why Lehman Brothers was allowed to fail by the US Treasury and Federal Reserve.  After all, both government agencies had a long track record of bailing out financial institutions in distress, including: • the 1984 bailout of Continental Illinois National Bank after the Penn Square lending excesses; • the 1995 bailout of Wall Street investors in Mexican government securities following the peso devaluation of December 1994; • the 1998 bailout of Long Term Capital Management and  ... View full interview

13 Nov 2009 - Business Families and Family Businesses

Why are business families important?   Family businesses are an essential part of the backbone of the UK economy.  They produce more than 30% of the national gross domestic product and account for more than 40% of private sector employment, which equates to 9.5 million jobs.  Sixty five percent of the 4.5 million private sector enterprises in the United Kingdom last year contributed £73 billion in taxes - 15% of the total tax revenue.  Finally, family firms have a turnover of more than £1 trillion - over double that of the private equity sector - and employ more people than all the FTSE companies combined.   But it is also about more than just the numbers. Family businesses traditionally  ... View full interview

12 Oct 2009 - Islamic Finance

What is sukuk? One of the most striking features of the recent growth in Islamic finance has been the development of the market for issuance of sukuk. This is the Shariah product used to access the capital markets and is generally, if erroneously, referred to as the 'Islamic bond'. Strictly speaking, a sukuk is not a debt product at all.  Rather, a sukuk is a certificate which represents a proportional beneficial ownership in the asset underlying an Islamic finance transaction and gives the sukuk holder a right to receive a pro rata portion of the income stream of the underlying transaction.    Another way of looking at it is to see the sukuk as a capital markets overlay to an underlying Islamic  ... View full interview

14 Jul 2009 - Derivatives: The Practitioner's View

It has been popular to blame derivatives for being a driver of the current financial crisis. What has in fact been their role?   Derivatives remain integral to the world financial system, and indeed almost 95 per cent. of the world's largest companies continue to use derivatives (even some of Warren Buffet's companies).  At the end of 2008, the notional amount of CDS contracts was $38 trillion; of equity derivatives $8.7 trillion; and of interest rate derivatives $403.1 trillion.  The derivatives which caused problems though, were actually (by notional amount) a tiny part of the overall market; for example  - credit default swaps referencing toxic mortgage backed securities did  ... View full interview