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Technology

The digital revolution affects all sectors.

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 and insights

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News: 24 January 2024

Allen & Overy LLP advises J.P. Morgan on landmark fintech securitisation in the Middle East

Allen & Overy LLP (A&O) has advised J.P. Morgan, as arranger and senior lender, on the establishment of an up to USD 700 million receivables securitisation for Tabby, a leading shopping and financial…

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Purple and pink coded squares on black background

News: 01 December 2023

Allen & Overy advises Forevision Holdings Limited on its acquisition of a controlling stake in Block Bond Holdings, Inc.

Allen & Overy (“A&O”) has advised Forevision Holdings Limited, a subsidiary of Foresight Research Pte. Ltd. (“Foresight”), in connection with its acquisition of a controlling stake in Block Bond…

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A blue sky between skyscrapers

Publications: 19 October 2023

Slovak FDI regime: what does it mean for your M&A and banking deals?

The Slovak FDI regime applies from 1 March 2023. What are the first impressions? 

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Stock information on screen

Publications: 28 July 2022

Equity capital markets in 2022: Europe cools, the Middle East heats up. What next?

The equity capital markets have faced challenging conditions in H1 2022. European markets cooled, the Middle East boomed.

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Digital maturity

Two women sitting at a boardroom table, floor to table windows and sunlight coming in

Law is code. We speak both. Today, every company is a technology company. That includes us.

Fluent in tech, experts in law—Allen & Overy helps clients navigate the complex landscape of technology. Move beyond digital transformation to true digital maturity with a firm that’s backed by global experience and expertise.