By Merrill April and Emily Parker, Memery Crystal LLP
What happened when the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal (NI CoA) considered the conflict between religious beliefs and same-sex marriage in the context of a ‘Bert and Ernie’ cake? The decision in Lee v Ashers Baking Co Ltd  NICty 2, handed down on 24 October 2016, concerns the treatment of conflicting protected characteristics – sexual orientation and religious beliefs.
By Elizabeth McDonald, McCabes Lawyers
Foreign investors in Australian real estate will need to ensure they comply with a raft of changes to Australia’s foreign investment framework, while the signing of the China and Australia Free Trade Agreement expands opportunities for Chinese investment in Australian property.
By Andrew Lacey and Danyal Ibrahim, McCabes
The Australian Government recently introduced the Insolvency Law Reform Bill 2015 into Parliament. The reforms are part of a wider government initiative, labelled the ‘National Innovation and Science Agenda’, which are designed to boost innovation and entrepreneurship amongst Australians.
By Dr. Attila Kovács, Kovács Réti Szegheõ Attorneys at Law
The new Civil Code has brought fundamental changes to the regulation of lien. The establishment of lien has been simplified, the rights of the lienor concerning the enforcement of the pledge have been broadened and new legal institutions have been introduced.
By Johan. F. Langelaar and Michiel Teekens, TeekensKarstens advocaten notarissen
Creditors involved in international business can optimise their (legal) collection position by knowing and applying the (national) rules of extra judicial costs collection and by using a thorough debt collection service provider in the country in which the debtor is located.
By Catherine M. Clayton, Gibbons
Earlier today, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued its long-awaited decision in Christian Louboutin S.A. v. Yves Saint Laurent America Holding, Inc. The Appellate Court decision reversed the lower court's finding that a single color can never serve as a trademark for fashion.
By Seiichi Yoshikawa, Koga & Partners
Lawyers often face the question whether to resolve a commercial dispute in court or via arbitration. In Japan, arbitration is not necessarily considered a favourite forum (Each year twenty or so arbitration cases are filed with the Japan Commercial Arbitration Association).
By Jeffrey L. Kenens, TeekensKarstens advocaten notarissen
The EU’s Working Time Directive (2003/88/EC) requires EU countries to guarantee paid annual leave of at least 4 weeks per year for all employees. In some cases, the question arises as to what amount the employer must pay an employee while on annual leave. Is it just the gross salary or does one have to include other elements of the total remuneration package as well, like commissions received by the employee in the past?
By Seiichi Yoshikawa, Koga & Partners
In Japan, a new statute on conflict of laws was promulgated in 2006. Under the new law, the governing law on contract is the law that the parties have selected, and if the parties have not so selected, the law of the place which has the most significant relationship with the contract.
By Magdalena Michalska, Sójka Maciak Mataczyński Adwokaci sp.k.
Polish Copyright Law seems to be overly generous to the rightsholders whose economic rights have been infringed. However, these regulations are subject to growing criticism.
By Sanjeeva Narayan, Ashwani & Associates
While Greece may be leading the way in terms of restructuring of debt, corporations in India have also adapted to the fad and have been applying for restructuring left right and centre. The slowdown in the economy after 2010-11 has had a ripple impact on the fortunes of India Inc. and lenders alike. With gross domestic product (GDP) growth decelerating from 8.4 per cent in 2010-11 to the sub-five per cent level in the first three quarters of the current financial year, the number of companies seeking succour from lenders under the aegis of the corporate debt restructuring (CDR) cell had almost doubled since 2011.
By KC Chia, KC Chia & Noor
“Corporate restructuring is an effective tool to resurrect distressed companies with a view of giving them a new lease of life, therefore enabling them to positively contribute to the nation’s future social and economic development…” Many companies in an economic downturn are making losses and may find themselves in a position of insolvency, meaning that they are unable to pay their debts as and when they fall due. Being trapped in such position is precarious, as there is a risk of the company being wound up, causing undue hardship to employees, creditors and shareholders alike. In addition, creditors will rush to enforce their debts, which is usually disastrous state of affairs. This may eventually lead to the end of a company following a harsh liquidation process, which is costly, less efficient and time consuming. However, there are revival mechanisms in place to address such issues, depending on the root cause.
By Marina Doithier, LMBE Avocats
Working time in France has been the subject of two major reforms (in 1998 and 2000) setting the legal duration of full-time work at 35 hours per week, as an annual average, instead of 39 hours previously, in return for more flexible working hours.
By Nicholas Scott and Eleanor Hassani, Memery Crystal
In the recent case of OMV Petrom SA v Glencore International AG  EWHC 666 (Comm), Flaux J, sitting in the Commercial Court, had to determine the correct measure of damages in a case where the seller, Glencore, had fraudulently delivered crude oil of a blend which differed from that specified in the contract. The Court determined that the correct measure of damages was the difference between the price paid for the shipments and the actual value of what was delivered as at the date of delivery. Although the case arises in the context of oil trading, the principles are applicable to all fraud claims, regardless of subject matter.
By Dennis Kennedy, Dressman Benzinger LaVelle psc
Reports of data breaches are appearing in the media at an alarming rate. No one industry is safe from cyber attacks. In fact, recent attacks have been made against financial institutions, retail outlets, and health insurance companies. Most recently, Anthem announced a data breach affecting more than 80 million current and former customers. While cyber attacks across various industries have been grabbing the headlines, data breaches come in many forms.
By Sreeraj Ghosh, L.B. Jha & Co. Chartered Accountants
Banks and financial institutions have been experiencing difficulties in recovery of dues from their Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) and enforcement of securities charged with them because of protracted legal hassles. For this reason, "The Recovery of Debt Dues to Banks and Financial Institutions Act, 1993" was enacted to facilitate faster recovery from NPAs. Subsequently, Debt Recovery Tribunals (DRTs) were established for dealing exclusively with debt recovery applications of banks and financial institutions. Debt Recovery Appellate Tribunals (DRATs) were also established and have now been functioning for more than a decade.
By Melina Karaolia, M. Eliades & Partners LLC
In a euro-crisis reality, when clients don't pay their dues, it means business and cash flow shrinks even further. Debt collection in Cyprus is definitely a challenging task. The process is usually initiated with a notice to the debtor. If there is no response, a claim is filed to the District Court that has jurisdiction. The claim is served upon the debtor who then has ten days in which to file an appearance before the Court.
By Seiichi Yoshikawa, Koga & Partners
In Japan, the debt collection process is normally started by an attorney sending an official letter of demand for payment to the debtor. If this letter turns out to be unsuccessful, the creditor commences legal action.
By Ralph A. Dengler and Luis J. Diaz, Gibbons
D'Artagnan Trademarks LLC, ("DT") recently sued the Saul Zaentz Company ("SZ") in the District of New Jersey regarding the trademark ROHAN. In December 2011, DT filed a trademark application for ROHAN in connection with the sale of poultry, namely, duck. The PTO approved the application and SZ opposed its registration when it published for opposition in late March. SZ alleged that it has exclusive rights to certain trademarks (the "Marks") derived from the trilogy of books known as "The Lord of the Rings," by J.R.R. Tolkien. Readers might recall that in the books, "Rohan" is a fictional realm within the fantasy world of the stories. SZ alleges it owns federal trademark registrations for ROHAN, RIDERS OF ROHAN and ROHAN NUTRITION, relating to animal feed and feed supplements for horses, plastic figurines for use with table top hobby battle games, and website services about computer games. SZ has a number of licensees using these marks.
Currently only the paper edition of the EU Gazette has legal effect. Effective 1 July 2013, only the online version will be legally binding. This binding change was published on 14 March 2013 in the paper edition. As Council Directive No. 216/2013, the Official Gazette of the European Union announced its own paper-based end. Instead the electronic version on the EUR-Lex website will become binding this summer. It is available under http://eur-lex.europa.eu. Access to EUR-Lex is free of charge and no registration is required. The Publications Office of the European Unit is responsible for administration.