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GDPR Implementation, Portugal is still waiting…

Portugal has not yet approved a local law implementing the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). On March 2018, the Portuguese Council of Ministers presented a bill to the Portuguese Parliament. The new law was supposed to come into force on the same application date of the GDPR, 25 May 2018. A year later, we are still waiting for the bill to be voted. During the last year, the Portuguese GDPR bill was criticized by many, including the Portuguese supervisory authority, the Data Protection Authority (Comissão Nacional de Proteção de Dados - CNPD), which had no say on the drafting of the [...]

The Portuguese Distribution Grid: update

An update on the Portuguese energy market and its challenges. Background The low voltage grid is the part of the grid that leads directly to the consumption locations. In Portuguese mainland the low voltage grid stretches across 108.938 km above ground and 33.389 km underground. It also includes 67.063 transmitters. The role of the Operators of the Distribution Grid (“Operators”) consists in managing the network (delivering the necessary power to the requested places) by developing and maintaining the existing infrastructures. In the last decades Energias de Portugal, S.A. (“EDP”) has dominated the Portuguese medium and low voltage grids. There are currently [...]

Swiss corporate tax reform May 2019

Changes at federal and cantonal level (Geneva). Corporate taxation in Switzerland becomes more attractive. The Swiss population accepted 'The Federal Act on Tax Reform' on May 19th 2019. This vote sends a clear signal of cooperation to the European Union and the international community. Switzerland has been on the grey list of the European Union since December 2017. This list includes States that have promised cooperation and improvement with regard to tax practices that are no longer accepted by the European Union. In particular, Switzerland agreed to abolish special tax regimes applying to holding companies and companies which had no trading [...]

AI: revolution, evolution or just contribution?

As Artificial Intelligence becomes less of a futuristic prediction and more of a realistic companion, one question keeps cropping up: Will the legal profession be taken over by machines? With opinions on the subject ranging from alarmist to utter denial, a more realistic approach is finding the balance between embracing what Artificial Intelligence (AI) has to offer without jumping the gun, according to António Macedo de Vitorino. “I believe my generation is not in any danger, we’re talking about future-generation problems that are well beyond our current horizon.” With every step we take, he explains, the landscape of course increases. But [...]

The power of data: realising its true strategic value

Collecting, reviewing and then acting up on it – what data actually means for businesses The hot topic of data protection hit a high note in 2018 with countries and companies scrabbling to ensure proper implementation of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). As EU and international businesses struggled to ensure they were in compliance, one big question emerged: how many businesses realised the power of what it was they were actually protecting? “For you to be able to realise the power of data,” says Cláudia Fernandes Martins, “you need to first realize what data actually means”. Businesses know that [...]

Brexit: a classic example of how not to structure a demerger

Comparing Brexit to a corporate demerger highlights failings at both UK and EU level, and the consequences of delivering what the people ‘want’ rather than what they actually ‘need’. The first rule of a demerger is you do not enter into one without a demerger plan. This is your baseline and starting point. But it should also be the end point if no plan is submitted to the shareholders. If you compare Brexit to a corporate demerger, one of the major distinctions is how everything has been clouded by politics. The UK Government put their ‘demerger’ from the EU to a [...]

The miracle of Portugal – a tale to remember

Portugal’s success story is being used as an example across Europe for hitting the sweet spot between economic growth and social justice. Radical changes adopted since 2015 have seen Portugal hit its lowest unemployment rate since 2002, dropping from 17% in 2013 to 6.3% in 2019. The International Labour Organisation (ILO), in its report - Decent Work in Portugal 2008-18: From Crisis to Recovery - recently exemplified Portugal’s success case, stating that Portugal stands as a solid example of successful and swift economic and labour market recovery. Why is this so significant? “Because it sets a precedent across Europe for what [...]

Policing the internet: aligning the internet with the real world

MV Conversations with António de Macedo Vitorino The Internet is open to anyone with a mobile phone hiding behind an Internet ‘identity’, and this is where the real work is for Governments and Regulators to step in to protect our communities. Recent and past atrocities have thrust the Internet and social media into the spotlight. From cyberbullying, slander and trolling to live streaming terror, the worldwide web is becoming ever more entangled. While there is legislation in place to punish those held accountable, one of the main problems facing our Governments is the anonymity of those actually responsible, says António Macedo [...]

New bank, old problems

How the government almost got it right with novo banco. MVConversations with António de Macedo Vitorino By failing to fix a crucial piece of the puzzle, has the success of Novo Banco been undermined by an inability to draw a line under the BES legacy? The € 4.9 billion bailout of Banco Espírito Santo (BES) by a special bank Resolution Fund in 2014 saw one of Portugal’s largest listed banks split into Novo Banco, the ‘good’ bank, and a ‘bad bank’ of toxic assets. This split, however, is turning out to be more of a ‘break’ than a clear-cut divorce, and [...]

The pinto paradox: where are today’s legal and ethical lines?

Blackmail, extortion, corruption, extradition and football – it’s what media dreams are made of. But do the ends justify the means? MVConversations with António de Macedo Vitorino Football leaks – the largest data leak to date revealing some of the sport’s best kept secrets – has prompted a media firestorm in Portugal. One man’s fight for transparency in the world of football, uncovering widespread wrongdoing at some of Europe’s biggest Clubs and by world class players, is being done at the expense of everybody’s right to privacy. While what Rui Pinto exposed is clearly a Pandora’s box of criminal conduct prompting [...]