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Beyond Champagne - European traditional foods in the face of TTIP part 1

23 April 2016
I wrote the following piece at the request of an US lawyer in an attempt to explain the concerns of some European farmers and food manufacturers to the proposed trans Atlantic trade treaty   The TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations have raised concerns amongst some food and drink producers in Europe as to the extent it will undermine the current European labelling regime that is intended to protect products associated with particular geographical regions. The current r...
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EU US agree replacement for Safe Harbour data transfer scheme

08 February 2016
There had been mounting concerns about the extent to which use of the Safe Harbour scheme for transfers of EU personal data to the US was really sufficient for compliance with EU data protection rules for some time before the European Court finally declared the scheme non compliant so negotiations were already underway for its replacement before the judgement came through.  Nonetheless the judgement was a spur to accelerate those discussions and only a few days late the outline of a new scheme...
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Modernisation of the Execution and Delivery of documents in Scotland

14 January 2016
It has been possible to execute documents in counterpart which has simplified the completion of multiparty deals.  The same legislation also provides that it is acceptable to deliver documents electronically ie you are permitted to scan and email a document that has been signed and witnessed in pen and ink The rules on electronic signatures have also been clarified.  While the courts have been obliged by regulations based on EU law to accept electronic signatures for some time and more rece...
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#GoDo and beyond - "entrepreneurial" vs. "academic" mindset?

21 December 2015
Dominik Czaplicki from the Jagiellonian University in Krakow spent a few months with us this summer learning about how young companies are supported in the UK with a particular emphasis on the business/ academic interface.  He spent some time with a variety of different businesses.  Here are some of his reflections:   Being a Polish researcher in life science I’ve been recently exposed to an array of Scottish entrepreneurs and companies, most of which quite followed the “go do” approa...
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St Andrews Clinics for Children Christmas Newsletter

05 December 2015
Many of our clients and friends have joined us in supporting St Andrew's Clinics work amongst the children of Africa so I thought you would like to see the latest newsletter.  So often we think of university spin outs as being high tech companies but this is also a "spinout " from Glasgow University and more than 20 years later is going from strength to strength providing more than 100,000 treatments a year - a real success story - you can read more about it below:     Newsletter – Chris...
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Are you transferring data to the US or using US based servers?

02 November 2015
 Many companies transfer personal data to the US either deliberately to access services or as part of a corporate group’s arrangements but many others do so incidentally through the use of US based servers, commonly as a result of using third party CRM, payroll or web-shop software.  As the US does not have the same level of data protection as we enjoy in the EU some provisions must be put in place to ensure that where the personal data of EU citizens is transferred to the US it is handled w...
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Are your Distribution Agreements Enforceable?

06 August 2015
We have been seeing a number of problems with distribution agreements of late generally falling into one of three categories: a) the contract was unsuitable for the country of distribution, b) the choice of dispute resolution clause was inappropriate for the parties or c) circumstances had changed and the contract no longer covered actual practice. Typically problems arise when a single contract template is used for every country where the goods are to be distributed.  Firstly there may be iss...
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Trade Secrets - current and future protection

16 July 2015
A trade secret is a piece of knowledge that gives you a competitive advantage over others in the field.  It must not be widely known, the owner must have taken deliberate steps to keep it confidential (including restrictions internally to those who need to know) and it must have value because it is a secret.  Trade secrets can be things like formulae and recipes ( the classic example being the formulae for soft drinks like Coca Cola and Irn Bru ) , industrial processes and methodologies but mi...
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Healthcare for Children in Africa

11 July 2015
Many of you will know that I serve on the board of St Andrews Clinics for Children which provides much needed health care for children in sub- Saharan Africa.  I thought you might be interested in our latest newsletter, so here it is.  You will see that there are details of a dinner in London and a cocktail party in Edinburgh, if you are interested in either please do get in touch with me and of course if you would like to support this terrific work I would love to hear from you  ...
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A Week in My Shoes

07 June 2015
Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce run a fun blog whereby members describe a week of activity with a bit of a shoe twist.  It's amazing the sheer variety some people cram into a week.  This was my contribution for election week. Monday – bank holiday interrupted to pop into Entrepreneurial Spark business incubator to see a couple of companies I’m mentoring – still no need to dress up, jeans and trainers will do – not many people in so able to get away with just seeing those who had...
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