De-carbonisation of the UK Construction Sector: Are We Ready for the Net-zero Age?

It’s probably too early to deliberate whether COP26 was a success, and if progress has been made since Paris. Glasgow will be remembered for the passionate speech from the Maldives representative, which reminded us (if ever we needed reminding) of the Armageddon-esque effects of climate change to the planet as a whole, and to small island nations in particular. The target remains to aim for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, and to keep global warming close to 1.5 degrees. Continue reading “De-carbonisation of the UK Construction Sector: Are We Ready for the Net-zero Age?”

“It’s art… but not as you know it!” – NFTs and Fraud – a new frontier?

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs – digital assets which are not traded on exchanges, but instead are tokens which represent the ownership of a digital file (for example, a photo or digital art)) have exploded onto the digital asset ‘scene’ over the last 18 months or so.  They are generally (but not always) built on the Ethereum blockchain.  NFTs are bought and sold using cryptocurrency, but not traded on exchanges. Instead, they are purchased through specialist third party auction sites or sold/transferred privately. The terms of the smart contract (which facilitates the purchase or sale of an NFT) will dictate the extent to which any rights are passed on to a user, or not, when an NFT is transferred.

The use cases continue to expand; NFTs are being used to enter private ‘communities,’ as part of blockchain games and in e-sports markets (amongst other things). The speed of mass NFT adoption has created significant opportunity (in the wake of the increase in value of NFTs, and also allowing content creators to monetise their services by tokenising art and music) but also exposed potential for the system to be exploited. For example, the holder of an NFT may be more likely to be targeted by phishing or social engineering campaigns. The purpose would be to ultimately gain access to their wallet (and by extension, achieve the ability to transfer the token out). In addition, a content creator might find that their work is being copied or re-sold and not have an obvious ‘target’ for the enforcement of their intellectual property rights.

Continue reading ““It’s art… but not as you know it!” – NFTs and Fraud – a new frontier?”

Earth, Wind and Fire- Energy and the Green Agenda. The New Industrial Revolution?

By Vijay Bange and Tanya Chadha

Globally, notable incidents of freak weather events giving rise to destruction and death have dominated the news. The increasing frequency of these erratic climate events has undoubtedly raised awareness of global warming and, on a political level, the need for states to move quicker towards green energy and the reduction of carbon emissions. Global warming is an inescapable issue that affects us all and which has forced governments to elevate this to the top of the agenda, filtering down to economic policies that will touch upon most industry sectors.

On 31 October 2021, representatives from over 200 countries are set to descend on the Scottish city of Glasgow for the  United Nations climate change conference; the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26).  During this global climate summit, world leaders are expected to talk all things climate change.  Commitments have already been made to aggressively tackle global warming and the reduction of carbon emissions.  Energy is therefore likely to be high on the agenda. Continue reading “Earth, Wind and Fire- Energy and the Green Agenda. The New Industrial Revolution?”

Duty to Protect- Public Consultation

By Vijay Bange

Last week marked 20 years of the horrific terror attacks on the Twin Towers in New York. 2017 saw the atrocious attacks at the Manchester Arena, and subsequently Fishmongers’ Hall in London, and sadly there were others. Global events may create yet further security uncertainty and risks from potential terror attacks.

In February this year James Brokenshire, the Security Minister, reiterated the government’s commitment to improving public security, and to action the findings and lessons learned from the ensuing inquiries. The Home Office has commenced a public consultation on the use of a ‘Protect Duty’. In short this will require businesses, public bodies and security firms to consider risks of a terrorist attack and to ensure proportionate and reasonable measures are taken to protect the public. Continue reading “Duty to Protect- Public Consultation”

Fraud and Cryptocurrency – recent developments

We are now starting to see a variety of cryptocurrency related frauds appearing before the English Court. Following the decision in AA v Persons Unknown [2019] EWHC 3556 (Comm) (where an insurer was granted a proprietary injunction as part of its strategy to recover a ransomware payment which had been negotiated and paid in Bitcoin) the English Court has dealt with several cases relating to cryptocurrency. Two of those cases are mentioned in this blog.

Firstly, it is noteworthy that disputes involving cryptoassets require specialist legal assistance. Not only do they require the deploying of specialist third party blockchain tracers, they are almost always multi-jurisdictional. This presents operational challenges which need to be developed and carefully considered as part of the asset recovery strategy. For example, the governing law and jurisdiction of the claim may be unclear, or alternatively interim and final orders may need to be recognised and enforced in other jurisdictions.

Continue reading “Fraud and Cryptocurrency – recent developments”

“And That’s Another Fine Mess You’ve Gotten Me Into:” Disputes in the Construction, Engineering and Energy Sectors

By Vijay Bange

The timeless catch phrase is of course from the famous comedy duo Oliver Hardy and Stan Laurel. Looking beyond the blame game is important. Problems will inevitably arise with complex large infrastructure projects. Understanding the underlying reasons and what the root causes are will perhaps aid in the process of reducing conflict. Continue reading ““And That’s Another Fine Mess You’ve Gotten Me Into:” Disputes in the Construction, Engineering and Energy Sectors”

Not all Collateral Warranties are Construction Contracts

By Matthew Friedlander and Tanya Chadha

The contractual matrix of commercial construction projects commonly includes collateral warranties.  Collateral warranties typically grant a contractual cause of action to third parties (such as tenants or end-users) with an interest in the project who may not otherwise have a contract in place with parties that are designing, constructing or providing professional advice on the project.   For the beneficiary, a collateral warranty can therefore be invaluable.

Recently, for example, collateral warranties have proven to be extremely useful for long leaseholders and tenants in private residential developments where cladding and fire safety issues have been discovered.  Where such a warranty exists, leaseholders (as the beneficiaries) have been able in some cases to rely upon collateral warranties as a means of recovering losses, or compelling the original contractors or designers to rectify those fire safety defects in circumstances where the leaseholder was not involved in the original construction of the development.

Continue reading “Not all Collateral Warranties are Construction Contracts”

Bank of England explores impact of climate change on the UK banking sector

On 8 June 2021, the BoE published the “Climate Biennial Exploratory Scenario: Financial risks from Climate Change” (CBES), identifying climate change as a financial risk with a view to exploring its impact on the banking and insurance sectors. In this post we take a look at the CBES and its implications for banks and borrowers.

To read the full text of this blog post by Duane Morris attorneys Drew Salvest, Natalie Stewart and Rebecca Green, please visit the Duane Morris ESG Blog.