Welcome to Brodies’ weekly corporate news update which highlights selected legal and regulatory issues affecting the business community this week.

Community interest companies

A draft of The Community Interest Company (Amendment) Regulations 2014 has been published. Its purpose is to amend the Community Interest Company Regulations 2005 to remove the share dividend cap.

Competition Law: Banking and financial services

A Memorandum of Understanding between the Competition and Markets Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority draws together the full range of the organisations’ mutual understanding and cooperation, including annexes on cooperation in relation to competition issues, consumer protection, access to payment systems and exchanging information.

Competition Law: Block exemptions and state aid

This government guidance covers regional aid, research, development and innovation and the most commonly used sections of the revised General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER). Further guidance on the GBER and on other new state aid rules will be published later in 2014.

Competition Law: Agriculture, forestry, rural affairs – state aid

Commission Regulation (EU) No 702/2014 of 25 June 2014 declares certain categories of aid in the agricultural and forestry sectors and in rural areas to be compatible with the internal market in application of Articles 107 and 108 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It came into force on 1 July 2014.

Contract: court upholds a clause requiring “friendly discussions” before arbitration

An English court has held that a provision in a contract obliging the parties to enter into “friendly discussion” prior to arbitration was enforceable. This marks a departure from previous cases which had tended to regard such clauses as unenforceable for uncertainty.

Emirates Trading Agency Llc v Prime Mineral Exports Private Ltd [2014] EWHC 2104 (Comm)

Energy: Competition law and consumer protection

“Snapshots fail to give proper results”. In this Scotsman article, Will Morris of SSE gives his views on the referral of the energy market to the Competition and Markets Authority

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Paul Breen