In Context

Low rates complicate balancing of interests by pension fund boards

In the history of measuring the interest rate of long-term listed, “risk free” financial debt (approximately 400 years), the rate has never been as low as it is now. The idea that this interest rate might fall below zero, may lead to participants’ behaving unpredictably on financial markets. But it’s not only participants who are affected. Low interest rates also greatly co...

E3 triggering JCPOA dispute resolution risks reimposition of sanctions against Iran

Early in the new year, Iran signalled that it would no longer comply with the restrictions imposed on its nuclear programme under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran Deal. In response, on 14 January, the ministers of foreign affairs of France, Germany and the UK (the E3) triggered the JCPOA dispute resolution mechanism. If the issue is not resolved, this may ...

ECJ restates: any party can claim damages for loss caused by competition law infringement

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) recently ruled that third parties – including public bodies that provide promotional loans to customers – must be compensated for competition law infringements, provided they can prove their loss and a causal link between the loss and the infringement. The ECJ confirmed that although the public body in question was not directly active in the relevant market,...

UK election makes 31 January 2020 Brexit date inevitable

With a convincing Conservative majority win in the recent UK general election, Boris Johnson is expected to present his revised Brexit deal to parliament before Christmas. A new protocol in the revised deal replaces the controversial backstop arrangements in Theresa May’s deal.   After 31 January 2020, the EU and the UK government will enter into negotiations about the future trading re...

Pension funds with >90% cover ratio do not have to cut pensions

The Dutch government has announced that it will use its exemption powers to extend the deadlines by which pension funds must meet their mandatory and requisite own capital requirements (known in the Netherlands as VEV and MVEV).   In deviation from current rules, pension funds which fail to meet the MVEV funding ratio of 104.3% for the sixth time in a row by the end of 2019 will not have to a...

Labour Market in Balance Act to take effect in the new year

From 1 January 2020, new legislation will come into force in the Netherlands aimed at making temporary work less attractive for employers and promoting the use of permanent contracts. The Labour Market in Balance Act will change rules on dismissal, transition payments, successive temporary contracts, payrolling and on-call employees that will impact the daily employment practice. The new cumulativ...

ECJ provides more options for forum shopping in connection with Community designs

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has issued a preliminary ruling stating that all courts with jurisdiction over national designs are also competent to rule on provisional measures under Community designs. This ruling applies to EU trademarks and EU trademark courts too.   The ECJ’s ruling clarifies how Community design courts function, and it facilitates forum shopping for provisiona...

Probity screening (Bibob) Act increasingly applied to environmental permit applications

The Public Administration (Probity Screening) Act – known in the Netherlands as the “Bibob Act” – was originally created to prevent the government from inadvertently facilitating criminal activities through the granting of permits, subsidies or public contracts. However, public bodies increasingly – and sometimes even automatically – apply this probity screening legislation to ...

Our IAPP panel on convergence of data-related enforcement in digital age – key insights

The ongoing intertwinement of data protection, competition and consumer law (see our earlier article) explains why authorities of all stripes are turning the spotlight on companies’ personal data collection and monetisation practices. Does this mean that competition and consumer authorities can enforce data protection law on par with or instead of the DPAs? Do the various authorities work togeth...

New draft AML bill requires greater exchange of information

A draft bill on anti-money laundering (AML) is under consultation in the Netherlands. Individuals, legal entities or companies acting professionally as a buyer or purchaser of goods may not accept cash payments of EUR 3,000 or more, in one or several connected actions. This concerns cash payments into or from the Netherlands.   Under current Dutch AML legislation, the outsourcing of transac...
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