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Computer hardware

The fusion of mechanical and digital innovation is producing a new generation of superior products and services. New business models. New technologies. New competitive constellations. New industries. The digital revolution is in full swing. Technological developments are touching every aspect of life and business and are presenting enterprises with a range of utterly new challenges. Offering support to our clients in the face of this revolution is a key mission for us. Our Technology market segment group develops and bundles technology skills and all the related specialist legal knowledge.

Digitalisation and technology throw up new legal questions and complexes. Our lawyers analyse and appraise the complex interplay between corporate strategy, IT and law, offering practical solutions.

Legal challenges for which we offer support:

Intellectual property

Intellectual property

New communication standards relating to connectivity functions on products can lead to conflicts between producers and telecommunications companies due to industrial property rights, and such conflicts can even lead to legal actions for patent infringement. Another issue for producers is the development of innovative defensive patent strategies in order to ensure that external patents used in their products are secured in the long term. Moreover, in the past the brand portfolio was limited to existing fields of activity and will now have to be expanded in the face of digitalisation. 

For many companies, large volumes of datasets and the evaluation thereof form a key element of their business, whereas no protection is available for individual data as such. New IP legislation is being introduced with the aim of clarifying the issue of big data, in particular relating to ownership questions in the case of corporate cooperations. The same applies in respect of AI and CRM issues.

Criminal law and administrative offences (compliance)

Criminal law and administrative offences (compliance)

An increasing shift of responsibility in terms of criminal law and administrative offences to managers within companies is to be expected, since German criminal law applies exclusively to individuals. Offences resulting from gross negligence or a failure to act may be conceivable in future. A planned draft bill for the Corporate Sanctions Act (Verbandssanktionengesetz) also provides for heavy fines to be imposed in case of breaches. Compliance management systems represent essential preventive safeguarding measures.
Risks & liability under civil law

Risks & liability under civil law

Automated processes and the use of artificial intelligence are leading to increased monitoring duties and new liability risks which are increasingly shifting to higher corporate levels. Safeguarding against liability in case of cyber attacks from third parties involves particular duties in the field of risk management.
Corporate law & M&A

Corporate law & M&A

Digitalisation processes often require new organisation structures and competences. The formation of joint ventures and cooperations is also becoming increasingly popular and tailor-made legal solutions need to be developed in this context. In the case of M&A transactions, a broad range of relevant issues needs to be addressed. Transaction processes such as due diligence are increasingly being accompanied by legal tech solutions.
Antitrust law

Antitrust law

With the 10th Amendment to the German Act Against Restraints of Competition (Gesetz gegen Wettbewerbsbeschränkungen), special antitrust law was launched for digital platforms which focuses on the modernisation of market abuse controls. In order to meet the demands of fast-moving digital markets, a large number of new implementation possibilities and measures exist, such as accelerated antitrust proceedings or stricter controls for strong-selling digital platforms.
Employment law

Employment law

In the field of antitrust law, numerous different new technologies are already being deployed, such as chatbots, automated recruitment systems for evaluating applicant profiles, mental health systems or data management programmes with fully automated document preparation and updating. One basis for the use of such technologies in combination with highly sensitive personal data is, for instance, the works council's right of co-determination.
Tax law

Tax law

The digital economy is currently "under-taxed". Global adjustment of tax systems should in future lead to greater focus being placed on taxation according to value creation and prevention of tax-avoidance strategies. One of the main challenges in the field of digitalisation in particular is to determine the place where value was created. Assets such as brands, reputation and intellectual property rights, as well as software, make valuation extremely complicated. Companies will have to prepare for far-reaching changes in the taxation of digital services.

News & insights

Change of governance at Allen & Overy in Luxembourg

News: 19 OCTOBER 2020

Allen & Overy advises Adevinta ASA on the sale of its online classified businesses

Allen & Overy is advising Adevinta ASA (Adevinta) on the sale of its online classifieds businesses Avito in Morocco, Tayara in Tunisia and Fincaraíz in Colombia to Frontier Digital Ventures (FDV).

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A selection of credit cards

Publications: 07 OCTOBER 2020

Debt finance remains on tap for buyers of Covid-19-robust businesses

The Covid-19 pandemic may have changed the dynamics of debt markets, but financing remains readily available for companies in sectors that have proven resilient throughout the Covid-19 crisis.

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Fintech

Publications: 24 SEPTEMBER 2020

Fintech M&A: The future of dealmaking post Covid-19 coronavirus

After a run of high-value deals at the start of the year, fintech M&A has dramatically slowed. What will dealmaking look like in the future?

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Our Legal Tech Offering in Germany

Publications: 12 SEPTEMBER 2019

Our legal tech offering in Germany

Digineering the Law

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Digital transformation

Digital transformation, built on the IT cornerstones of cloud, mobile, social and big data is affecting all industries.

Our integrated, multidisciplinary teams are available to help clients smooth the path for digital projects.