Topic: Corporate

 Subscribe to Corporate

TMT M&A trends: Road to recovery as sector looks to exploit technology deal drivers

May 01, 2024

After a lacklustre finish to 2022 when compared to the vintage year for M&A that was 2021, dealmakers expected 2023 to see the market continue to cool in most sectors, in response to the economic headwinds of rising inflation (with its corresponding impact on financing costs), declining market valuations, tightening regulatory scrutiny and increasing geopolitical tensions. Hopes remained high, however, for deal activity in the perennially active TMT sector, which was expected to capitalise on the ever-increasing digitalisation and connectivity requirements of businesses and consumers alike.

Tech M&A: A return to pre-pandemic levels?

January 25, 2023

Following a surge in M&A activity in 2021 and the first quarter of 2022, deal making in the Tech sector slowed significantly through the remainder of 2022. Overall, the outlook for Tech M&A at the start of 2023 is more positive than it was at the end of 2022.

A new approach to referrals under the EU Merger Regulation

September 27, 2022

The European Commission (along with the US FTC and DOJ, UK CMA, German FCO and others), has been focused on ensuring that so-called “killer acquisitions” in the digital and life sciences sectors are reviewed. Against this background, the General Court’s decision in Illumina/Grail is of key importance to companies acquiring start-ups.

The UK's new NSI regime

December 06, 2021

The UK’s new, more extensive national security regime enters into force on January 4, 2022.

Laying the groundwork: Practical tips for managing supply chain disputes

November 18, 2021

Supply chains are increasingly complex. Globalisation of markets has led to supply chains which extend across multiple borders and consist of an ever growing number of links. As the pandemic has highlighted, businesses of all types need to take a cold, hard look at risks to their supply chain and to ensure that mechanisms are in place to initially assess and mitigate disputes risk, and to later manage disputes that do arise.

There have been numerous reports on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on supply chains. The WHO recently predicted that COVID-19 will extend into 2022 because of the ongoing exposure in emerging markets, and that’s going to keep pressure on supply chains. Equally, there is increasing awareness of the impact that climate-related risks – physical and transition – will have on supply chains. We are already seeing weather-related disruptions to supply chains. In November 2021, a new report by Moody’s warned that critical industries have substantial exposure to physical climate risks in part due to supply chain risks. Among the most exposed are manufacturing, particularly electronic and electrical product manufacturing, but also petroleum and coal, non-metallic mineral products, food and chemicals.

For many in the technology sector, significant portions of their revenue is in regions with high exposure to physical risks of climate change and their supply chains are dependent on resources and regions threatened by climate change. So the exposure is both within their markets and their supply chains. The risk is compounded by the impact climate change will have on international transportation, in particular sea level rise and more frequent and extreme weather events.

This means that the risks to supply chains and the risk of related disputes are not going to go away. Businesses need to prepare accordingly.

Careful advance management these risks is critical given disruption can reverberate throughout the supply chain with significant time, cost, operational and liability implications for all involved.

Accept that disputes are a fact of doing business. Like any argument, how the issue is resolved often has a longer-term impact than the issue itself. A few practical tips are below:

  1. Know where your biggest risks are. Consider a legal risk audit to identify areas of risk and analyse past disputes. Invariably, patterns can be observed which allows underlying issues to be identified and mitigation measures to be implemented (contractual or practical) to avoid similar disputes in the future;
  2. Choose the right dispute resolution mechanism and tailor the clause to the parties, your operations and supply chain – international arbitration is often an excellent choice for cross-border, multi-party disputes, especially where emerging markets are involved or where privacy or commercial sensitivity is an issue;
  3. Consider disputes at the outset – do not leave it to 11th hour negotiations or, worse, after a dispute has arisen;
  4. Be realistic and put plans in place to ensure that your supply chain can still function whilst the dispute is being resolved;
  5. Establish systems that escalate issues that might lead to disputes at an early stage – early intervention can often resolve issues prior to it becoming an active dispute;
  6. Consider having different employees managing the dispute to those responsible for the day-to-day management of the supply chain;
  7. Have staffed trained and protocols in place that set out what can and can’t be agreed, and who is leading any negotiation or dispute resolution process. Concessions, ‘horse-trading’ or inadvertent waivers of contractual rights pose real risks to a successful outcome;
  8. Implement robust dispute protocols to take contemporaneous records of what went wrong, where, how, what was discussed or agreed, and to preserve evidence – this is a surprisingly easy fix with big results as it very often leads to a more efficient and effective dispute resolution;
  9. Be prepared for the other party to be uncooperative – this could range from seeking urgent interim relief to securing alternative supply;
  10. Don’t take it personally – keep your eyes on the end game and what your commercial goals are;

This is just a brief overview. For further information on managing supply chain disputes, see our full article here or contact the authors.

Access our Future of Supply Chains Insights Hub for further resources and information.

Blockchain law: When plaintiffs raise claims of platforms behaving badly

October 04, 2021

What happens when electronic cryptocurrency platforms do not function properly or the platform operators work against their own users?

Dialing in: Adapting to virtual shareholder meetings

August 19, 2021

Posted in Corporate Technology
In addition to technical issues and platform glitches, shareholders have expressed challenges during virtual-only meetings in the shift to a virtual world.

Ground-breaking arbitration rules for digital disputes released

August 09, 2021

The Digital Dispute Resolution Rules (the Rules) is a revolutionary set of arbitration rules designed to provide a framework to govern disputes relating to disruptive novel technologies.

Proposed Canadian law to regulate social media companies and streaming giants

August 05, 2021

The Bill proposes to subject social media platforms and streaming services to requirements similar to those imposed on traditional television and radio broadcasting companies in Canada.

Triple Point Technology Inc v PTT Public Company Ltd

August 02, 2021

Triple Point Technology Inc v PTT Public Company Ltd will provide welcome clarity in relation to the drafting and interpretation of liquidated damages clauses in construction, commercial and technology contracts.