Navigating Legal Challenges in Data Centre Operations

Data centres are crucial to the digital world we live in. They support everything from storing our photos and files in the cloud to making sure we can send emails across the globe in seconds. But running a data centre isn’t simple, especially when you consider the maze of laws and regulations that come with it. This is where having a great lawyer that understands the data centre industry can make a big difference for data centre owners and operators. We look in further detail at the role our lawyers play in advising datacentres.

Understanding the Legal Terrain for Data Centres

The legal world surrounding data centres is complicated. It covers a lot of ground, from the specifics of property and building laws to the details of data privacy and cybersecurity rules. Add to this the mix of local, European, and international regulations, and it’s clear why expert legal advice is critical.

For example, data privacy laws, especially with the EU’s GDPR, have set strict rules on how personal data should be handled. This doesn’t just affect companies in the EU; it also impacts any company dealing with EU citizens’ data. Knowing these laws inside out is crucial for avoiding legal issues and fines.

Focus on Sustainability and Energy

Data centres use a vast amount of energy, which puts sustainability and energy efficiency in the spotlight. Navigating the legal landscape here is essential for tapping into renewable energy incentives and meeting sustainability goals, such as those outlined in the European Green Deal and the UK’s net-zero emissions target by 2050. For more information on the latest regulations impacting Datacentres see here.

More Than Just Compliance

Commercially minded lawyers do more than ensure you’re following the law. They’re also strategic advisors, helping with growth and managing deals. This includes everything from buying properties, negotiating leases and construction deals, to getting the necessary permits for expanding your data centre. With the growing interest in investing in data centres, having the right legal advice is crucial for making deals, negotiating contracts, and doing due diligence to protect your interests.

Tackling Data Sovereignty and Emerging Tech Challenges

Laws around data sovereignty, which govern where data can be stored and processed, add another layer of complexity, especially for data centres operating across borders. Plus, new technologies like 5G and the Internet of Things are creating fresh legal challenges, from telecoms licensing to questions around artificial intelligence and data ethics.

Leveraging Legal Expertise

Having a great lawyer who understands data centres isn’t just about solving legal problems. It’s about combining knowledge in technology, law, and strategy to help your business stay ahead. It’s about seeing legal expertise not just as a necessity but as a strategic advantage, making sure your operation is ready for the future.

At Conexus Law, we aim to provide comprehensive legal advice that covers every aspect of running a data centre. From planning and site acquisition to construction, leasing, and finance, we have the expertise and industry connections to help you move quickly and efficiently through negotiations and to focus on what really matters. We’re enthusiastic about data centres, their global significance, and staying on top of sector innovations, ensuring our clients are well-equipped to thrive in the digital age.

Sustainable Data Centres: Navigating Regulations and Innovations for a Greener Future

In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, the drive towards sustainability has become not just a goal but a necessity. This is especially true for data centres, which are often described as “the backbone” of our current digital landscape. These facilities, critical for storing, processing, and disseminating vast amounts of data, consume a significant amount of energy ( with sources reporting that they account for around 4% of Global Energy Consumption)* making them prime candidates for green measures. Recent regulatory changes have emphasised the urgent need for these measures and the importance of adopting sustainable practices within data centres globally. As we delve into the complexities and challenges that data centre operators face today, it’s crucial to recognise the innovations and strides taken toward a more sustainable future.

Recent Regulatory Changes: A Catalyst for Action

EU Regulations
In the face of climate change, governments and regulatory bodies worldwide are tightening the reins on emissions and energy consumption. The EU, for example, has been at the forefront with its ambitious Green Deal, aiming to make Europe the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050. This broad legislative framework directly impacts data centres alongside other sectors, mandating significant reductions in carbon footprints, increased reporting and disclosure under the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and increased renewable energy targets under the recast Renewable Energy Directive (RED III).
In addition, the EU very firmly has the data centre sector more specifically in its sights with the EU Commission adopting on 15 March 2024 a new an EU-wide scheme to rate the sustainability of EU data centres as foreseen under the recast Energy Efficiency Directive (EED). Under the scheme data centres will be required to publish information on their energy performance and sustainability and this information, along with KPIs, will form part of an EU database. The delegated regulation, which defines the initial sustainability indicators that will be used for the rating of data centres, requires data centre operators to report the key performance indicators to the European database by 15 September 2024 and then by 15 May in 2025 and subsequent years.
The new scheme is part of ‘promoting climate-neutrality actions for the IT sector’ foreseen in the EU Commission’s Action Plan for the Digitalisation of the Energy Sector, issued in October 2022. It is intended to increase transparency and potentially to promote new designs and efficiency developments in data centres that can not only reduce energy and water consumption, but also promote the use of renewable energy, increased grid efficiency, or the reuse of waste heat in nearby facilities and heat networks.
The EU’s Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD) was also adopted by the EU Council on 15 March 2024 paving the way for it to be passed into law in a European Parliament vote currently scheduled for April.
After significant last minute setbacks and negotiations between member states it now requires EU-based companies with global turnover of at least €450m and 1000 employees to identify, mitigate and prevent negative impacts on human rights and the environment in their upstream and downstream supply chains, or risk being fined up to 5% of net turnover.

Regulations and updates in the UK
Whilst in the UK there are fewer regulations currently specifically targeting sustainability in the sector there are plenty of general regulations which already impact data centre operators including the Building Regulations in England and the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) both of which were tightened in 2023. The Energy Act 2023 provided powers for government to implement heat network zoning in England through regulations which will impact the sector amongst others and there are the existing voluntary schemes such as the Climate Change Agreement for Data Centres which sets out specific targets for energy efficiency, encouraging operators to adopt greener practices or face stringent penalties.
Large UK companies are already required to report publicly on their UK energy use and carbon emissions within their Directors’ Report under the Streamlined Energy & Carbon Reporting (SECR) framework implemented by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) but as most operators in the sector operate internationally it is already more likely than not that operators in the UK will be looking to comply with the various more prescriptive EU regulations from the start.

US Initiatives
Across the pond, the United States is also stepping up its game building on previous voluntary initiatives such as the Energy Star certification for data centres, a voluntary labelling programme providing certification for qualifying data centres, and the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge designed to encourage facilities to improve their energy efficiency and reduce their environmental impact.

On 6 March 2024, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC), approved final rules requiring companies to disclose certain climate-related information in registration statements and annual reports. Whilst on March 15, 2024, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit granted an administrative stay of the final rules in response to a request for review and therefore there is still some uncertainty regarding the implementation of the rules (both in terms of timing and the exact details of the rules) the direction of travel is still pretty clear and will define a new standard for data centre regulation in America.

All these regulatory changes in different parts of the world, though challenging, serve as a necessary push towards innovation and sustainability in the global data centre industry.
Compliance is now a watchword for the sector in the EU in 2024 and beyond not just for the purposes of regulatory compliance but also because customers, investors and the most talented employees are increasingly focused on the sustainability practices and ambitions of data centres. There are huge opportunities for data centre operators to turn compliance into a competitive advantage.

Embracing Green Measures: Where Theory Meets Practice

Acknowledging the necessity is one thing; implementing practical solutions is another. The journey towards sustainability requires a multifaceted approach, combining advanced technology, innovative design, and strategic planning. Let’s explore how some data centres are leading by example, not just in adopting green measures but in setting new standards for the industry.

The EcoDataCentre in Falun, Sweden, stands as a paragon of sustainability. It’s the world’s first climate-positive data centre, leveraging 100% renewable energy sources and a highly efficient cooling system that uses the cold Nordic air. What sets it apart is its integration with the local community’s energy system, where excess heat generated by the data centre is repurposed to warm surrounding buildings, highlighting a symbiotic relationship between technology and the environment.

Elsewhere in Europe, the Amsterdam Data Tower embodies efficiency and green technology. It also boasts an advanced cooling system that uses outside air and recycles waste heat, supplying it to nearby greenhouses. Furthermore, it’s powered by renewable energy, making sustainable operation possible without compromising on performance. The Google data centre in Hamina, Finland, is another notable example – utilising sea water from the Gulf of Finland for its cooling needs, significantly reducing its energy consumption.

Meanwhile, in the United States, data centres are also embracing the green revolution. Facebook’s data centre in Fort Worth, Texas, for example is supported by 100% renewable energy and aims to be water positive by 2030 – restoring more water than it consumes.

The Path Forward: Sustainability as a Competitive Advantage

The transition to greener data centres is not just an ethical or regulatory imperative but a strategic business move. In an era where consumers are increasingly conscious of their environmental impact, companies that demonstrate a genuine commitment to sustainability stand to gain a competitive edge. Investors are increasingly attracted by sustainable business practices and commitments for future innovation. This shift is already evident, with a growing preference for green cloud services and sustainable data storage solutions among both individuals and corporations.

Moreover, sustainable practices can lead to significant cost savings over time, particularly in terms of energy consumption and operational efficiencies. By investing in advanced cooling technologies, renewable energy sources, and energy-efficient infrastructure, data centres can reduce their overheads while simultaneously enhancing their corporate reputation.

Sustainability : A challenge and an opportunity

The increasing need for sustainability measures in data centres is both a challenge and an opportunity. As we’ve seen, recent regulatory changes across the globe are pushing the industry towards a greener future. Examples from the UK, Europe, and the US highlight the innovative approaches being taken to minimise environmental impact while maintaining, if not improving, operational efficiency.

For data centre operators the message is clear: sustainability is no longer an optional extra but a crucial component of strategic planning and operations. By embracing green measures, investing in sustainable technologies, and fostering a culture of innovation, data centres can not only comply with regulatory demands but also lead the way in the global shift towards a more sustainable and environmentally responsible technology sector.

As we look to the future, it’s evident that the data centres that thrive will be those that view sustainability not as a burden but as an opportunity to innovate, differentiate, and contribute to a more sustainable world.

*Source: Engie Global Energy Report

Exploring the latest developments in sporting venues

As the world of sports evolves, so does the need for state-of-the-art stadiums and arenas. From design and materials to technology and sustainability, the construction industry is constantly innovating to deliver venues that meet the demands of athletes, fans, and the environment. In this article, we will explore the latest developments in sports stadium and arena construction in the UK, Europe and around the world.

Design and Materials

Gone are the days of plain, utilitarian sports venues. Today’s stadiums and arenas are architectural marvels that blend function with form. In the UK, Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium is a shining example of design innovation. The 62,000-seat stadium boasts a retractable pitch that allows for the installation of a synthetic NFL playing surface for games played in London. The venue also features a glass-walled tunnel that leads from the locker room to the field, giving fans a unique view of the players.

Another trend in stadium design is the use of sustainable materials. Many stadiums are now incorporating recycled materials into their construction, as well as using locally-sourced materials to reduce transportation emissions. The recently opened Allianz Field in Minnesota, USA, is the first stadium in the world built entirely from sustainably-sourced timber.

Technology

Technology has had a significant impact on the construction of sports venues. From augmented reality and 3D printing to drones and robots, innovative technologies are streamlining the construction process and enabling the creation of complex designs that were previously impossible.

One example of this is the new Las Vegas Raiders Stadium in the USA. The stadium features an advanced security system that uses facial recognition technology to monitor fans entering the venue. The system uses cameras that can scan thousands of faces per second and can detect anyone who is on a banned list. This technology not only enhances security but also speeds up entry times for fans. This technology has also been deployed at selected locations near to “high risk” fixtures in the UK for the same purpose but as yet does feature permanently in UK arenas.

Sustainability

Sustainability has become a critical consideration in sports stadium and arena construction. Venues are now designed with energy-efficient lighting, heating, and cooling systems to reduce energy consumption. Many stadiums are also using renewable energy sources such as solar power to reduce their carbon footprint.

In Europe, the Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany, is a prime example of a sustainable stadium. The venue features an outer shell made up of over 2,800 air-filled ETFE cushions that regulate the temperature inside the stadium. The roof of the stadium is also fitted with solar panels, which generate renewable energy that can power the stadium and nearby buildings. The Nef stadium in Istanbul, Turkey recently broke the Guinness World Record for the most solar power output from a sports facility, generating enough renewable electricity to power 2,000 homes.

As sports continue to captivate audiences around the world, the demand for innovative stadiums and arenas is set to grow. Construction professionals are rising to the challenge, using the latest materials, designs, and technologies to deliver venues that are sustainable, secure, and stunning.

Conexus Law launches Conexus GC to unlock innovation in UK small and medium sized businesses

Conexus Law has officially launched Conexus GC, its virtual general counsel (i.e. the main in-house lawyer who gives legal advice to a business) service, to meet growing demand from the UK’s small and medium sized businesses operating in its specialist sectors. Since launching the rapidly growing boutique law firm in 2020 with a mission to unlock innovation in the built environment and digital world, managing partner Ed Cooke and the Conexus Law team have been informally providing a general counsel service for some clients who are not yet of a size or stage to hire their own in-house lawyer.

Ed Cooke, “With so much demand we decided to make this a service in its own right. In effect we’ve been market testing for three years so know exactly what legal services our smaller clients need, and how to deliver them, to accelerate their success.”

Conexus Law is a rapidly growing boutique law firm working exclusively for clients operating at the intersection of the built environment, technology and people.

Ed Cooke, “Applying the law to unlock innovation is our stated mission. We have a growth mindset, for ourselves and our clients, and we recognise that many small and medium sized businesses struggle to deal with the many legal demands that face them, especially when they are not big enough to have their own in-house legal team. This can be a real stumbling block to growth. Plus, it’s challenging for busy CEOs and COOs to find the right people who truly understand their markets and sectors. We totally ‘get’ the built environment and technology sectors, because it’s all we do. We remove the blocks and facilitate growth.”

A key benefit to Conexus GC clients is that they can choose from three, tiered subscription packages – bronze, silver and gold – and this allows them to predict their legal costs for six+ months. Clients with slightly different needs are offered custom arrangements. On signing up to the service, all new clients are given a named point of contact, a complimentary overview of their existing contract management with flagging of key dates, plus an initial horizon scanning service to highlight issues that could impact on their business, with advice on how to offset them.

“Our lawyers are all highly experienced in their specialist areas and many have worked as in-house lawyers too, so they totally understand the demands and pressure of supporting a growing business. The subscription model means Conexus GC clients can have all the multi-disciplined legal advice they need, at an affordable and predictable price.”

Conexus GC’s advice includes key areas such as commercial contracts, employment and intellectual property. Conexus Law’s sustainable business service is also available on the Conexus GC platform. For small to medium sized businesses needing emergency advice, whether a new or existing Conexus GC client, the team also offers an immediate crisis response team.

Although currently available for UK based companies only, the Conexus GC team can still work on international affairs, including global contracts and cross-border legal strategies, through its global network of best-friend firms.

Ed Cooke, “Every business that made a difference started out small. We’re looking forward to working with more businesses and speeding up their journey to success.”

Conexus GC is available from today on www.conexusgc.com.

Monaco. Conexus Law is coming for you!

Conexus Law is attending Data Cloud Congress in Monaco

Ed Cooke and Nancy Lamb will be there #datacloudglobalcongress meeting current and future clients and contacts.

Please contact Ed Cooke and/or Nancy Lamb for a scheduled catch-up. Otherwise we look forward to seeing you around and about!

Ed Cooke joins the Digital Infrastructure Advisors Panel at Data Centre World London

Day one at Data Centre World London and Conexus managing partner Ed Cooke is joining the Digital Infrastructure Advisors panel discussion hosted by The DCA (Data Centre Alliance)’s Steve Hone. The 30 minute ‘Connecting the Digital Dots’ session starts at 12.25 in the Edge & Future Strategies Theatre and will explore how investors and customers can overcome current security, legal and sustainability challenges. Other panel members, all members of the DIAL advisory board, are Stephen Whatling, CEO Keysource, Stephen Lorimer Technical Director Keysource and
Jim Hart CEO Business Critical Solutions (BCS).

Stephen Whatling, will outline how newly launched DIAL, as a multi-disciplinary advisory team, can support clients. The discussion will finish with a Q&A.

DIAL is specialist group with CEO Mike West, providing a range of advisory services to corporates, investment funds, and owners and operators in the data centre market and the wider digital infrastructure arena. Current projects include private and public facilities, colocation and hyperscale developments across the globe.

To find out more about the Digital Infrastructure Advisors, please contact Ed Cooke.

Working in the Indian Data Centre Market

In 2020, the Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology announced its draft Data Centre Policy, designed to make the country more attractive for domestic and foreign investment into the data centre sector. In this article, Ed Cooke, Founder at Conexus Law, shares some of his experiences of working on Indian projects including some of the key differences in design and construction contracts.

The vision

The government’s vision is to make India a global data hub, primarily by promoting the data centre sector to give it infrastructure status and creating a benign regulatory environment. Plans also include establishing Data Centre Economic Zones with high-quality power and connectivity infrastructure, water and other utilities, and creating financial incentives, particularly for the use of Indian-manufactured equipment and hardware. In fact, certain state governments, such as the states of Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh, have already announced state-wide policies to encourage data centre development.

Over the past few years, a number of global data centre operators have announced investment partnerships focused on the Indian market. These include the recently announced joint venture between Digital Realty and Brookfield Infrastructure Partners, Yondr’s venture with Singaporean Everstone Group, AdaniConneX (a JV of EdgeConneX and Adani Group), and announcements of hyperscale data centre developments by the likes of CapitaLand, Hiranandani, NTT, and STT GDC. In fact, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore and Delhi are already well advanced as important locations to serve the increasing Digital Transformation among the Indian domestic market and the global communications market. Mumbai, in particular, has been the premier choice for hyperscale developments due to its infrastructure availability and proximate subsea landing stations.

Understanding the differences

At Conexus Law, we have recently been working for US and European based clients on the construction of hyperscale size data centre projects in India. As commercial and legal advisors specialising in technology infrastructure, one of our regular tasks is to help clients enter new markets.

This includes helping them to understand the legal, commercial and cultural differences compared to operating in their ‘home’ environment. We always work with local partners and it is a part of our work that we really love doing.

The Indian legal system is fashioned on English common law, but overlayed with Indian legislation and regulatory laws. Indian court judgments set precedent and so it is important to understand both the legislative and common law context in which you are working.

In our experience, most data centre construction contracts in India are either based on a bespoke form of contract or a FIDIC standard form (usually a Yellow Book). There are also other inevitable regional differences.

Areas to focus on

As an example, labour and the supply chain are a huge and complex area in India and we often get involved in advising clients on their approach to procurement, and to monitoring second and third tier suppliers. Performance security, bonds and third-party guarantees/letters of credit are extensively used on large construction projects in India and we play a role in monitoring these. Also structuring payments against milestones – in particular protections around advance payments – are, in our experience, common in India.

The quality and workmanship – and in particular compliance with local and international codes and standards – is an area of real focus and aligns with detailed staged and integrated commissioning processes. There are also a number of compulsory insurances required in India alongside those which would normally be expected by an international client.

Cultural considerations

When we are negotiating in a different country or culture, we work hard to understand how the approach of our negotiating partner might differ from your own. It is always risky to try to characterise a whole nation or culture by a set of rules and so there needs to be a lot of ‘finding your way’ with the relevant individuals. However, we find cultural frameworks such as the well-known Geert Hofstede index, can be useful as a starting point. For example, through that, we learn that Indian culture scores highly in relation to its appreciation of hierarchy. It is therefore important to establish early on where the individuals we are negotiating with fit and ensure that either negotiations on specific points are conducted at the right level. An alternative is to provide enough justification for our stance to enable the individual to take the decision back to his or her superiors and make a convincing argument. It is quite easy to cause offence by not respecting the hierarchical structure (perhaps by seeking to jump a level in order to get faster resolution of an issue). To the western negotiator who is often time pressured, negotiating can feel like a very slow process but it is important to temper frustrations for the long-term goal. Also remember, as with many Asian cultures, that the term ‘yes’ is often used to indicate understanding of the point being made, not agreement to it. In our experience, this can cause clients great difficulty when they report that an issue has been closed out, only to find it has not been.

In conclusion, investment in digital infrastructure is happening at scale in India and there is a vast amount of further potential in this market. In fact, investment in the Indian data centre market is expected to reach US$8 billion by 2026. There are inevitable challenges in meeting the demand of a very tech-enabled population and business sector quickly enough, with reliable infrastructure to overcome historic under-investment in the region, such as quality construction and availability of highly qualified labour. We are proud to be part of it.

How to Ensure Stadiums are Built on Time

Ian Timlin, head of sport at Conexus Law explains how to make best use of the law to ensure your stadium is built on time, on budget, on spec and generating revenue.

If the mantra “Plan, plan and plan again and build in extra contingency” ever applied, it is in relation to the construction of stadiums.

As Bath Rugby Club are finding out in the Court of Appeal (hearing 5 Oct 2021), you need to start with the basics and establish whether you can legally do all that you want at the site. Bath Rugby Limited (“BRL”) hold a long lease of an area in the centre of Bath used for playing rugby and football, known as “the Rec” and are planning to develop that area. However, the beneficiaries of restrictive covenants in respect of the Rec obtained a High Court ruling in September 2020 preventing BRL’s proposed development. Hence their time consuming and costly visit to the Court of Appeal in late 2021.

In tandem with the above, whilst proper site surveys, scoping of works and funding and budgeting, consideration of any likely backlash to the development, getting all stakeholders on-board, getting the legal agreements in place in good time, having a realistic project programme and contingency on many fronts are required, we explore below other matters that are in our experience are unique to getting your stadium built on-time, on-budget, with satisfactory quality and so it generates revenue.

  • Normal expectations for competitive tendering do not apply. For example, you go out to 6 main contractors for competitive build costs. In our experience, for certain specialised packages of the build (eg seating) all 6 potential main contractors come back with seating prices from the same or say two seating sub-contractors because of the limited supply pool. So how do you get competitive and transparent pricing? You need transparency in the tender process to understand what makes up the pricing of the proposed main contractors’ packages. You may even need to obtain and pass on the results of your own investigations for bespoke packages to proposed main contractors, or adopt a procurement approach which is more akin to management contracting.
  • Very large bespoke packages only available from limited suppliers often need a long lead time depending on other stadia being constructed in your region/continent at any given time. The procurement of the seating package is paramount and must be given early consideration and priority as should complex M&E elements.
  • You must absolutely adhere to the requirements of the sports’ governing body for the stadium’s proposed use/s especially regarding the playing surface and arena configuration requirements or player’s facilities (eg the construction materials and measurements of a running track or dimensions of a football pitch and dressing rooms and hospitality).
  • The views of stakeholders (eg athletes, local residents, governing bodies, disability groups, emergency services, health and safety, hospitality, fans, tv and media, match day or event operations, non-match day revenue generation, future maintenance operations) must be canvassed early to decide what of their views and requirements can or need to be incorporated in the proposed development.
  • In respect of stakeholders, do not underestimate the impact of television, media and smart technology on your stadium. Facilities must be appropriate and future proofed to accommodate television, media and smart technology (eg smart turnstiles and hospitality and food and beverage offerings equipment and offerings) with more than adequate data connectivity.
  • The traditional legal tool to try and get any construction project delivered on time is liquidated damages – a pre-agreed daily/weekly amount to be paid to the employer by the contractor for late completion of the construction project. However, in our experience on a mission critical stadium construction project (eg the London Stadium for the 2012 Olympics), no amount of accrued daily/weekly liquidated damages (however large) is going to compensate for the stadium not being ready for its planned event. The reputational damage to the employer, governing body and contractor plus the costs of moving an event to another stadium does not bear thinking about (eg moving TV, media, officials, competitors, training grounds and accommodation to an alternative existing venue). So creative thinking needs to be brought to bear to this issue. For example, you may not engage the cheapest main contractor on price but the one with the largest reputation to protect and who demonstrates in the tender process the serious steps that it will take to protect its business reputation whatever.
  • Consequently, stadium construction must be subject to the tightest of regular programme management, an understanding of what is on the critical path at all times, accurate, truthful and honest information flows from the contractor to the employer and its professional consultants and vice versa, quick and straightforward dispute escalation and resolution processes. The project culture must be open and collaborative in actions as well as words and be backed up with adequate legal drafting in contractual documents if any party decides to deviate from that path. All team members should understand schedules and deadlines before construction begins.

The state of the art Tottenham Hotspur Stadium which opened late in April 2019 at a reported cost of circa £1billion (seating capacity of 62,850), being a multi-purpose stadium featuring the world’s first dividing retractable football pitch, which reveals a synthetic turf field underneath for NFL games in London, concerts and other events which includes smart tech such as the revolutionary bottom of the beer glass filling in the longest bar in Europe (65 metres), shows how far stadium have progressed and the trials and tribulations faced in their construction.

Contributors to this article were Ian Timlin, head of sport, Ed Cooke, Conexus managing partner and Earle Brady, specialist construction and engineering lawyer. Legal advice in the sports sector includes acting as one of the principal construction lawyers working for the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games; and advising two Premiership football clubs over a period of 15 years on construction and engineering projects in and around their stadia and including two significant stadia extension projects.

For further legal advice in the sport sector, please contact Ian Timlin via his contact details below.

Ian Timlin
Main: +44 (0)20 7390 0280
Mobile: +44 (0)77 6742 7332
[email protected]

The Queen’s Speech May 2021 – Legal Update

This year’s Queen’s Speech contained several points that are relevant to our clients and the sectors we operate in. We have pulled together a list of the relevant legislative proposals, some of which were already known about, or carried over from the previous parliamentary session. We will continue to monitor the progress of these and provide timely updates.

ADVANCED RESEARCH AND INVENTION AGENCY BILL

This Bill is about developing the Life Sciences sector so it attracts people and business from across the world. This includes increasing public expenditure on research and development to £22 billion and creating an Advanced Research and Invention Agency which will be focused on funding high-risk, high-reward research and development.

PLANNING REFORM

Reforming planning laws and improving building safety were central to the Queen’s Speech. The change in planning laws to increase the number of new houses being built was announced proposals for areas which will be designated for growth, protection or regeneration, with developments in growth areas being harder for local opponents to block. The speech also made reference to the ongoing overhaul of the Building Regulations system in the UK with The Building Safety Bill still going through parliament.

PRODUCT SECURITY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE BILL

This is designed to ensure that smart consumer products, including smartphones and televisions, are more secure against cyber-attacks, protecting individual privacy and security. It also includes a commitment to the roll out of 5G mobile data coverage and gigabit-capable broadband to support better telecommunications coverage and connectivity.

TELECOMMUNICATIONS (SECURITY) BILL

This will give the Government new powers designed to ensure the long-term security and resilience of the UK’s telecoms networks and infrastructure and minimising the threat of high-risk vendors. It will also strengthen the security and oversight of technology used in telecoms networks including the electronic equipment and software used across the network which handle internet traffic and telephone calls.

ONLINE SAFETY BILL

The Online Safety Bill has been highly publicised and aims ‘to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online’, improving protections for users, especially children, whilst protecting freedom of expression, making companies responsible for their users’ safety online, and supporting a thriving and fast-growing digital sector. This will likely mean working with the industry to ensure there are clear legal definitions of what constitutes harmful online content, setting out the responsibilities that companies of different sizes have to observe and establishing clear codes of practice.

Conexus Law Launches New Service to Help Organisations Mitigate “Brexit Risk”

Conexus Law, the specialist provider of legal advice to businesses operating at the intersection of the built environment, technology and people, has launched a Brexit Contract Management and Audit Service. It is designed to help address the many unresolved issues following the Christmas Eve Agreement.

The new service will help organisations manage any potential contract risks and assess existing contractual arrangements that may require attention to ensure continuity of commercially viable relationships post BREXIT. It will include a full audit of all contracts including a review of standard terms and conditions (both signed and those under negotiation), and any bespoke contracts with both suppliers and customers, together with business contracts which touch every business area whether it be IT, purchasing, product, sales and marketing, office services, facilities maintenance, logistics or outsourcing.

In addition advice will be given as to whether a contract has a mechanism or opportunity to exit or re-negotiate its terms should this be necessary. While the service will focus on arrangements with EU suppliers or customers, it can include the full suite of contracts globally (including UK to UK contracts and UK to non-EU contracts).

Brexit will also impact trade between the UK and global markets and between the EU and global markets, with likely increased customs and duty requirements and costs. All of this will be taken into account when setting the scope of the contract audit.

Ed Cooke, Founder at Conexus Law, said: “Although The Christmas Eve Agreement gave some clarity, businesses continue to be faced with uncertainty. There are clear implications for many areas such as supply chains, imports and exports and employment that will affect the technology and datacentre sectors and our service will ensure full visibility of the commercial impact of Brexit on the business.”

HOW CAN CONEXUS LAW HELP?

Businesses and individuals will need legal advice to help them understand the risks they may face and the options that may be open to them.

We are available to assist in reviewing the laws in many jurisdictions across the world, and to review specific contracts. We are also available to provide practical, business-orientated advice on how to best protect yourself from the ongoing commercial effects of Brexit.

Contact

For further advice on mitigating Brexit risks, please contact Ed Cooke.

T: +44 (0)20 7390 0281
M: +44 (0)7535 123000
E: [email protected]