MEMBER - Solicitor – England & Wales Member (EU List) Barreau de Bruxelles

CETA – Provisional Application as of 21st September 2017

On 15 February, the European Parliament voted in favour of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between the EU and Canada (CETA), with a following ratification from Canada on 17 May 2017. At the G-20 meeting in Hamburg, the date of 21 September has been communicated as the start of the CETA's provisional application.

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The EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (今後の繁栄- prosperity ahead)

On 6 July 2017, the EU and Japan reached a general political agreement over the negotiations of the Economic Partnership Agreement, however the agreement is not signed yet (investment protection and regulatory cooperation are still open for negotiations).

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The CJEU’s Opinion over EU-Singapore FTA (Lost time is never found again/ The key is in not spending time, but in investing it.)

In long-awaited Opinion 2/15, the Court of Justice rendered its opinion that following matters fall within the EU shared competence:

  • Investor-to-state Dispute Settlement (ISDS),
  • The Non-direct Foreign Investment,
  • State-to-State dispute settlement relating to portfolio investment and ISDS.
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UK BREXIT – FIRST THOUGHTS

The UK referendum was a political process. The process to leave the EU is, however, framed in EU law, through the notification and negotiation procedures set out in Article 50 of the EU Treaty.

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EU LAW BLOG : IRAN SANCTIONS - OFAC General Licence H

In January 2016 the US Office of Foreign Assets Control adopted an important exemption for US companies in the context of the liberalisation of sanctions with Iran. 

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EU UPDATE: EU Sanctions Iran

The EU has adopted the legislation needed in order to complete a substantial round of relaxation of sanctions in relation to Iran.

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EU UPDATE: 21 October 2015 - John Grayston is Speaking at an Integration Point Webinar on WCO Explanatory Notes & the 2017 Update

We invite you to join Integration Point and Grayston & Company for a 60-minute educational webcast on Wednesday, October 21, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. Eastern/ 3:00 p.m. European Standard Time, to learn how companies are using the WCO Explanatory Notes today and how your company could benefit.

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EU UPDATE: GCO in the news

John Grayston was quoted in an article by leading Brussels publication, POLITICO, on the issue of EU Sanctions and the implications for those wishing to challenge such decisions.

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EU UPDATE: SANCTIONS and EXPORT CONTOL – Washington DC Conference

GCO is delighted to be a sponsor of the WorldECR’s 2015 Export Control & Sanctions FORUM which will be held in Washington DC on 21-22 September.  

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EU SANCTIONS UPDATE: Iran - Historic Deal, but Caution Still Needed

The historic agreement between Iran and the P5+1 countries to dismantle sanctions will unlock the floodgates of pent-up demand to enter the Iranian market and secure access to its oil resources.
 
The key word, however, is "will" as the joint agreement foresees a relaxation of sanctions leading to their final withdrawal spread out over a period of possibly 8 years or more.

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ICPA Berlin: EU China FTA

John Grayston led a session on EU China Free Trade Agreement with Darrel Pearson of Bennett Jones (Toronto).
 
The session looked forward at the start of the EU China FTA negotiating process and compared the potential for EU China with the outcomes of the EU Canada (CETA) agreement – completed over essentially a 10 year period of negotiation but still awaiting ratification.

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ICPA BERLIN 7-9 June 2015

GCO is pleased to be supporting again the ICPA Europe conference which this year takes place in Berlin.

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EU UPDATE - WTO and Trade Facilitation

Laura Beretta, our International Trade Advisor, will speak at the prestigious ERA - Academy of European Law in Trier Summer Course on EU and WTO Trade Law.

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EU UPDATE: Investment Arbitration & EU Law

Our firm is delighted to be a sponsor of The European Federation for Investment Law and Arbitration (EFILA) inaugural conference in London which will take place on 23 January 2015 (see at http://efila.org/?page_id=3298).

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EU Sanctions – Singapore Conference

John Grayston is speaking at a Eurocentrum Online conference in Singapore on 12 November.

The session will focus on  those situations in which EU sanctions impact on business conducted in Asian region. 

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GCO Sponsor of ICPA Asian Summit - Singapore 9-11 November 2014

We are delighted to be sponsoring again the ICPA Asian conference this year in Singapore.
 
Full details of the event at: http://www.icpainc.org/#upcoming-conferences

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EU UPDATE: More EU Sanctions - Russia

The next round of sanctions have been adopted and we are now waiting for their publication. The suggestions are that more individuals, companies active in dual use products and companies in the financial services sector will be affected. This then would mark a further development of the SMART sanctions adopted at the end of July.

As we cannot yet see the new measures it is worth just noting the three key issues that should be taken into account when we finally do review the text:

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The SFO and Rights of Defence

Some 20 years ago I attended a “contentious” meeting at the European Commission with a client. After the prelims the Commission officials asked the client (in front of me) whether it would not be better to invite the lawyer to leave the room. If this was unacceptable then, today it would be unthinkable. Over the ensuing 20 years the Commission’s procedures have been strengthened, the rights of defence have been codified in the EU Charter of Fundamental rights; and the Court of Justice of the EU has made judicially clear the absolute obligations of EU institutions and Member States to respects rights of defence when EU law is in issue.

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EU UPDATE: Proposed Reforms at the EU General Court

The General Court is considering to adopt a series of sensible modifications in its Rules of Procedure.

One of the most striking proposals is the introduction of a more stringent rules and protections in relation to access to confidential information held by EU Institutions in the context of acts adopted under Article 215 TFEU.   

This will be of particular concern in cases concerning eg application of EU Sanctions. We attach below a link to the latest draft which has being submitted to the EU Council.

Click here to view

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Sanctions Update: Russia

The EU adopted further sanctions against Russia on Friday.  Leaving to one side the political aspects, from a purely commercial level, for companies subject only to EU jurisdiction (as compared to those subject to EU and US measures) the current EU sanctions are unlikely to have any direct commercial impact.

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