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MISES À JOUR

NEW EUROPEAN INSOLVENCY REGULATION WILL BE APPLICABLE SOON

23.6.2017

The recast European Insolvency Regulation replaces the current Regulation of 2000 and will be applicable on cross boarder insolvency procedures opened after June 26, 2017.

The new rules address the main shortcomings of the old Regulation and endeavor to contribute to a more efficient settlement of cross boarder insolvency procedures.

We highlight the main changes in this update.

  • The pre-insolvency procedure and hybrid procedure fall from now on (and more than before) within the material scope of the Regulation. These are the procedures aimed at safeguarding undertakings in financial difficulties through restructuring. For Belgium, this implies an expansion to all procedures of judicial reorganization including the amicable settlement.
  • The key concepts “centre of main interests” (COMI) and “establishment” that determine the competent court, are being clarified.
  • The Regulation entails an improved coordination between main and secondary insolvency proceedings. Secondary proceedings do not need to be a liquidation procedure anymore, which will facilitate the maintenance of the going-concern of a cross-border establishment.
  • Procedural simplification is introduced by the so-called “synthetic proceedings”, whereby the rights of foreign creditors will be protected in the main insolvency proceeding, as if a secondary proceeding were opened.
  • The member states are obliged to create an electronic register for insolvency proceedings in which the information concerning the insolvency procedure will be published. Afterwards, the different national registers will be linked via a central European e-justice portal, which gives the national judges and creditors from different member states the possibility to access all relevant information. In Belgium, the REGSOL is in the meantime up and running.
  • Lastly, this Regulation also lays down rules on the coordination of insolvency proceedings that are related to several members of the same group of companies. The aim of which is to make the efficient and combined settlement of insolvency procedures possible.

The new Insolvency Regulation works out and builds upon the experience Europe gained the past 15 years, especially with regard to the insolvency of subsidiaries of a group of companies. By creating a framework for coordination, the chances of a smooth settlement of a complex international insolvency proceeding are being increased. Contact?

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CORPORATE AND TECHNOLOGY PARTNER STEVEN DE SCHRIJVER MODERATES STARTUP LAW CLINIC WORKSHOP AT THE 2017 ITECHLAW WORLD TECHNOLOGY LAW CONFERENCE IN CHICAGO

20.6.2017

Partner Steven De Schrijver of Astrea, along with Principal Attorney Charles Lee Mudd Jr. of Chicago law firm Mudd Law, has moderated the interactive workshop “Startup Law Clinic” during the 2017 ITechLaw World Technology Law Conference which took place in Chicago from 3 to 5 May 2017. Panelists included the founders of 2 Chicago startups: Jimi Allen of Bureau Gravity (www.bureaugravity.com) (and Dr. Steven Lee of Opternative (www.opternative.com).

The workshop proactively discussed the specific needs of startup companies by combining both legal and entrepreneurial points of view on dealing with legal issues related to startups and structuring law firm engagements in a way that is mutually beneficially to lawyers and their entrepreneur clients. The attorneys on the panel described their experience of working with startups and provided an overview of a wide range of issues that tend to come up for startups, whereas the entrepreneurs on the panel described their respective startups and explained how they each dealt with law firms and legal issues as their respective businesses evolved.

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STEVEN DE SCHRIJVER RECEIVES WHO'S WHO LEGAL GLOBAL IT LAWYER OF THE YEAR AWARD AT AWARD CEREMONY IN LONDON

20.6.2017

Astrea Partner Steven De Schrijver was recognised by Who's Who Legal as the Global IT Lawyer of the Year at the 4th Annual Who’s Who Legal Awards ceremony.

Since 1996 Who's Who Legal has identified the foremost legal practitioners in multiple areas of business law. In total, this site features over 17,000 of the world's leading private practice lawyers from over 100 national jurisdictions. Who's Who Legal is published by Law Business Research Limited.

Every year Who’s Who Legal issues awards to the individuals and firms that have performed exceptionally well in their research. During this year’s ceremony, which took place at Plaisterers' Hall in London on Monday 15 May, the individual and firm winners from 34 practice areas were celebrated.

This is the third time Steven De Schrijver has received the Global IT Lawyer of the Year award, having also received the award in 2012 and 2014.

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STEVEN DE SCHRIJVER CONTRIBUTES ARTICLE ON "THE RIGHT TO BE FORGOTTEN: THE CURRENT AND FUTURE LEGAL FRAMEWORK” TO THE EXPERT GUIDES WEBSITE

26.4.2017

Astrea corporate and technology partner Steven De Schrijver has contributed an article entitled “The right to be forgotten: the current and future legal framework” to the Information Technology section of the Expert Guides website (www.expertguides.com).

Expert Guides has been researching the world's legal market for over 20 years and has become one of the most trusted resources for international buyers of legal services.

Its guides cover a broad — and growing — range of legal practice areas.

You can read the full article through the following link: The right to be forgotten - the current and future legal framework

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STEVEN DE SCHRIJVER CONTRIBUTES BELGIAN CHAPTER TO THE INTERNATIONAL COMPARATIVE LEGAL GUIDE TO MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS 2017

7.3.2017

Steven De Schrijver of Astrea has contributed in writing the Belgian Chapter 9 of the International Comparative Legal Guide to Mergers & Acquisitions 2017 (11th edition). This guide provides corporate counsel and international practitioners with a comprehensive worldwide legal analysis of the laws and regulations of mergers and acquisitions. The country question and answer chapters provide a broad overview of common issues in mergers and acquisitions in 41 jurisdictions. All chapters are written by leading mergers and acquisitions lawyers and industry specialists.

Read the complete article written by Steven De Schrijver

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WHO'S WHO LEGAL: TMT 2017 : ASTREA PARTNER STEVEN DE SCHRIJVER LISTED AGAIN AS ONE OF THE MOST HIGHLY REGARDED INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY LAWYERS IN EUROPE

9.1.2017

Every year Who’s Who Legal undertakes an in-depth research to identify the firms and practitioners who stand out worldwide in the field of technology, media and telecommunications (TMT).

In its latest edition Who’s Who Legal recognises over 800 IT specialists and over 400 telecoms and media experts across 71 jurisdictions, covering a broad range of commercial and regulatory matters in these sectors.  All are considered leaders in these fields of law, following votes from clients, in-house counsel and peers.

In the Who's Who Legal: TMT 2017 edition, Astrea corporate and technology partner Steven De Schrijver is listed once again as one of the 6 most highly regarded IT lawyers in Europe.

In 2012 and 2014, Steven already received the award by Who’s Who Legal as the Information Technology Lawyer of the Year and he was also listed in the Who’s Who Legal: TMT 2016 last year.

In its TMT 2017 Analysis, Who’s Who Legal states that  “At independent Brussels outfit Astrea, Steven De Schrijver ranks as the top IT lawyer in our research drawing praise from a huge number of respondents internationally. He is very active advising large domestic and foreign tech companies on complex technology transactions and privacy law. A client reports, “He is utterly brilliant and will always find the best possible commercial outcome.””.

The full Who's Who Legal: TMT 2017 Analysis can be found here.

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ASTREA CONTRIBUTES TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF EUROPEAN CLOUD PRIVACY CHECK (CPC) PORTAL

9.1.2017

We know that data protection is challenging. It is not only subject to constant change because of new technology, but also difficult due to differences in regulation between individual EU member states. Steven De Schrijver contributed to the Cloud Privacy Check (CPC) Portal, the largest European information platform explaining data protection laws.

Steven De Schrijver is part of the team of lawyers from across 32 countries who have created the Cloud Privacy Check (CPC) portal. Initiated by Eurocloud (a pan-European cloud innovation hub), the website www.cloudprivacycheck.eu hosts a free of charge infographic which explains the principles of data protection regulations in 26 languages. The portal is intended to simplify certain decisions and processes for those directly interested in cloud services.

Additionally, the Data Protection Compliance database found at the link https://dataprivacycompliance.eu/ provides highly relevant legal information for 32 countries that can easily be compared with each other.

Understanding the complexity of current European data protection laws and regulations is already difficult enough for an IT engineer, buyer or business user. In combination with the often small but nevertheless significant differences between various EU member states however, it can become an almost insurmountable challenge without proper legal guidance from the very start.

Steven De Schrijver (Partner, Astrea) says: “Apart from the language complexity, cloud service providers operating in Europe are faced with major obstacles in observing the different national data protection frameworks. This is perceived by them as causing massive and unacceptable competitive disadvantages in comparison with, for example, the USA.”

Dr. Tobias Höllwarth (Advisory Board Member, EuroCloud Europe Spokesman) says: “This is a European project. With the CPC portal, we have created the largest European information platform explaining data protection laws in the simplest possible terms and free of charge, making 32 different national regulations directly comparable. This allows companies to save thousands of Euros.”

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STEVEN DE SCHRIJVER PUBLISHES ARTICLE ON “M&A IN BELGIUM – CURRENT TRENDS AND OUTLOOK”

5.1.2017

Astrea corporate/M&A partner Steven De Schrijver has published an article entitled “M&A in Belgium – Current Trends and Outlook”  in the Global Mergers & Acquisitions Guide 2017”, an ALM publication which provides expert analysis and updates from some of the leading law firms in jurisdictions across the globe, providing key insights on a country-by-country basis.

In the article, Steven discusses the current M&A climate in Belgium and gives his view on what 2017 might bring.

Read the complete article written by Steven De Schrijver

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STEVEN DE SCHRIJVER AND THOMAS DAENENS PUBLISH BELGIAN CHAPTER IN “THE PRIVACY, DATA PROTECTION AND CYBERSECURITY LAW REVIEW"

5.1.2017

Astrea corporate and technology partner Steven De Schrijver and senior associate Thomas Daenens have published the Belgian chapter in “The Privacy, Data Protection and Cybersecurity Law Review” (Third Edition, Ed. Alan Charles Raul), which has been published by Law Business Research in their “Law Reviews”-series.

The Law Reviews give readers a business-focused insight in some of the key substantive and procedural issues, as well as an analysis of important cases, deals and hot topics in each field of law.

The Law Reviews help practitioners to look beyond their own borders where they may see opportunities to practise ever more actively, exploiting strategic solutions and understanding options in foreign jurisdictions which are different from their home forum.

In their chapter, Steven and Thomas discuss the most recent Belgian legislative and regulatory developments with respect to privacy, data protection and cybersecurity law, as well as some recent case law.

Read the complete Belgian chapter published by Steven De Schrijver and Thomas Daenens

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SHIPPERS IN BELGIUM: FOREWARNED IS FOREARMED

3.11.2016

Stowed containers which are loaded on board must have been weighed beforehand. An enforceable obligation now exists since the Royal Decree of 25 September 2016, implementing the 2014 amendment of the SOLAS- Convention (Safety of Live at Sea).

The verification of the gross mass is the responsibility of the shipper, who is obliged to state the gross mass in the shipping document and submit this document to the master or his representative and to the terminal representative, before loading the container on board.

This responsibility is to be taken seriously as it may lead to liability in case of shipping or stevedoring accidents.

According to the Vessel Safety Act of 5 June 1972, the Belgian Shipping Authority (“Dienst Scheepvaartcontrole”) is authorized for supervising this obligation on shore and on board. The Shipping authority is responsible for registering any infringement, which may lead to criminal sanctions. Administrative sanctions may be further imposed through Ministerial Decree.

In case you want to receive further information on this topic or if you have further questions, contact our Transport Department by sending an e-mail to: mvl@astrealaw.be or lve@astrealaw.be.

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