COVID-19 and “Electronic” Execution of English Law Documents

In light of the on-going Covid-19 pandemic, many organisations are implementing remote working policies and limiting access to offices in order to effect social distancing measures. Notwithstanding the changes to usual working practices, organisations continue to enter into binding contractual arrangements with their commercial counterparties. From a practical perspective, remote working policies mean that authorised signatories may no longer have the ability to execute English law governed documents in the usual way, which would be by attending physical signing meetings, or following “...

Tips for Trading Compliance During a Pandemic

As many workplaces shutter and transition to telecommuting in response to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), we are reminded that change always brings with it compliance risk. Even if your company has an emergency plan in place, assessing its effectiveness early and making adjustments as needed can avoid lapses in compliance. So what should compliance professionals at energy trading companies be thinking about right now? First, ensure compliance with existing policies . Most companies limit out-of-office trading and after-hours-trading and may prohibit it except under limited circumstances...

Unitization: Comments on 2020 AIPN Model International Unitization and Unit Operating Agreement

AIPN 2020 UUOA The Association of International Petroleum Negotiators ( AIPN ) has published the 2020 Model International Unitization and Unit Operating Agreement ( 2020 AIPN UUOA ) – an update to the AIPN’s 2006 model form Unitization and Unit Operating Agreement ( 2006 AIPN 2006 ). Bracewell looks at the key provisions in the AIPN 2020 UUOA, and the key differences between the 2020 AIPN UUOA and the 2006 AIPN UUOA. The AIPN’s Guidance Notes to the 2020 AIPN UUOA are a helpful resource when considering the 2020 AIPN UUOA. What is unitization? An oil or gas reservoir may straddle adjacent...

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act: Flight of Fancy or Enduring Change?

The Trump Administration has issued a proposed rule, 85 Fed. Reg. 5915 (February 3, 2020), that would codify its interpretation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), 16 U.S.C. 703 et seq., as applying only to the direct take of birds subject to the Act. For decades, the federal government interpreted the MBTA as criminalizing both the direct (intentional) and incidental (unintentional and incident to an otherwise lawful activity) take of birds, their nests, and eggs covered by the Act. Permission could be obtained for direct take, for example for hunting or for control of nuisance birds,...

The CFTC Proposes a New Approach to Federal Position Limits - Will This One Stick?

At its open meeting held on January 30, 2020, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission ("CFTC" or "the Commission") approved a proposed rulemaking to institute federal position limits in an effort to prevent excessive speculation, squeezes, and corners in both futures positions and "economically equivalent" swaps for certain specified commodities. The vote was 3-2 with all Republicans supporting and all Democrats opposing. The proposal approved on January 30 is the Commission’s latest effort to propose position limits as part of its implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act. The initial rules,...

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