Covington Team

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FAA Drone Rules Take Effect; Commercial Use of Drones Permitted with Certain Conditions

Welcome to the Drone Age. The Federal Aviation Administration’s (“FAA”) long-awaited rule on the commercial use of small unmanned aircraft systems (“UAS” or “drones”) took effect Monday, August 29, 2016, providing a comprehensive and generally applicable set of rules for anyone wishing to operate a small drone for commercial purposes. This does not mean you … Continue Reading

Cartel Damages Claims in Germany

Cartel damages claims are increasingly spreading in Europe. In this rapidly evolving field of law, Germany has emerged to become the second most popular jurisdiction after the UK. It is too early to say whether this might be affected by the Brexit vote.  Yet since the EU’s directive on cartel damages claims (Directive 2014/104/EU) has … Continue Reading

As Europe divides, Africa unites with common African Union e-passport

In 2015, African Union (AU) Commissioner for Political Affairs, Dr. Aisha Abdullahi, indicated that a plan was underway to implement a single African passport. After recent announcements that the AU passport would be unveiled at the AU Summit in Kigali this month, the long-awaited continental e-passport has finally been revealed. The first recipients of the … Continue Reading

Nigeria floats the naira

On May 25th, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, made the long-awaited announcement that the country would no longer peg the naira at N197 to the dollar. This change went into effect on Monday, which was the first time in recent history that the naira’s value was determined by market … Continue Reading

This Week in Congress — May 23, 2016

Congress is in for a very busy week before each chamber takes a one-week break for Memorial Day recess. The week is likely to showcase both instances in which Congress has been able to come together and enact important legislation and those in which contentious partisan and ideological cleavages are on display. The Senate returns … Continue Reading

This Week in Congress — May 16, 2016

Members have two more weeks of legislative business before the scheduled Memorial Day break with much work to be done before then. The Senate returns to work on Monday and resumes its consideration of appropriations bills, although it will start the week by voting on a judicial nomination. Having finished the Energy & Water bill … Continue Reading

No Holidays for African Currencies

As the currency crisis plaguing Sub-Saharan Africa in 2015 continued through the recent holidays, Nigerians have learned that they can have their naira, but they can’t spend it too. Nigerians saw several restrictions on foreign exchange (“forex”) put in place, limiting what they could do with their naira. Triggered by the dive in oil prices … Continue Reading

AfDB President Launches “New Deal on Energy in Africa”

New African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina chose last week’s World Economic Forum at Davos for the official launch of the Bank’s New Deal on Energy for Africa, along with a Transformative Partnership for Energy in Africa (TPEA).  While a candidate for the AfDB president position a year ago, Adesina placed energy at the top … Continue Reading

EU’s Highest Court Invalidates Safe Harbor with Immediate Effect

Yesterday, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the “CJEU”) invalidated the European Commission’s Decision on the EU-U.S. Safe Harbor arrangement (Commission Decision 2000/520 – see here). The Court responded to pre-judicial questions put forward by the Irish High Court in the so-called Schrems case. More specifically, the High Court had enquired, in particular, … Continue Reading

From the AGOA Forum in Gabon to the WTO Ministerial in Nairobi

For years, many observers treated Africa’s plans for regional integration with a healthy dose of skepticism. Though the skepticism remains, what has changed is the wide-spread acknowledgement and elevated importance of regional economic integration to grow Africa’s economies, create jobs for its rapidly growing youth population, and improve lives. Last month’s AGOA Forum, hosted by … Continue Reading

EU – US Umbrella Agreement about to be concluded: towards a transatlantic approach to data protection?

According to the European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Věra Jourová, the EU and the US have finalized the EU-US Umbrella Agreement (for the press release, see here; a reportedly near-final draft of the agreement can be read here). This is a remarkable breakthrough after the first calls for such an agreement back in … Continue Reading

EU – US Umbrella Agreement about to be concluded: towards a transatlantic approach to data protection?

According to the European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Věra Jourová, the EU and the US have finalized the EU-US Umbrella Agreement (for the press release, see here). This is a remarkable breakthrough after the first calls for such an agreement back in March 2009, when the European Parliament called for an “EU … Continue Reading

OPINION: Bipartisan Trade Secrets Legislation Is Back

Bipartisan, bicameral legislation is back. Acting to secure the valuable trade secrets of America’s most innovative and creative companies, a bipartisan group in both the Senate and the House introduced legislation on July 29 that will create a federal civil remedy for trade secret misappropriation. Trade secrets are increasingly important to companies in all industry … Continue Reading

The last act of the Greek crisis negotiations?

The latest chapter of the Greek crisis, which started with the electoral victory of the left wing Syriza party in January 2015, is reaching its close. The final deadline for reaching an agreement in principle to negotiate a new bailout has been set for Sunday, 12 July by the European Council. This last chance given … Continue Reading

EU Policy Update—July

1.  Digital Single Market Policy Almost two years after the European Commission presented its proposal on a telecoms single market (Connected Continent), on 30 June, the three EU institutions finalized negotiations on two important issues: roaming charges and net neutrality. All other elements of the package will be discussed as part of the new Digital … Continue Reading

MAT Tax Controversy Highlights Foreign Investment Challenges Faced by the Modi Administration

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi began his tenure at the helm of one of the world’s fastest growing economies, he made it a priority to attract foreign investors to continue India’s economic growth.  However, just one year after assuming office, Prime Minister Modi and his administration must confront the concerns of foreign investors, following the … Continue Reading

As We Were Saying, Tax Reform is Dead

Back in our January post, “Tax Reform is Dead!  Long Live Tax Reform!” we predicted that the President’s approach to tax reform as outlined in his State of the Union speech was so fundamentally incompatible with the approach of congressional Republicans that comprehensive tax reform legislation was highly unlikely to make meaningful headway during this … Continue Reading

This Week in Congress — June 1, 2015

After a brief one-week recess for Memorial Day, both chambers are back in town with a full agenda.  The Senate returns to work on Sunday, May 31.  Prior to breaking for Memorial Day, the Senate failed to bring to the Floor for consideration legislation to extend the surveillance authorities that are expiring on June 1.  … Continue Reading

Reporting Requirement for U.S. Direct Investment Abroad

May 29 marks the first deadline for the 2014 Benchmark Survey of U.S. Direct Investment Abroad (BE-10 survey).  The BE-10 survey is conducted by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (“BEA”) under the authority of the International Investment and Trade in Services Survey Act.  Through this survey and other surveys, BEA collects … Continue Reading

Revamping India’s Bankruptcy Laws: A Way Out of India’s Bad Debt Problem

Despite recent improvements in India’s economic stability, the hangover from India’s credit fueled boom isn’t over yet.  Estimates of the percentage of bank loans that are “impaired” — where repayment of the loan is classified as doubtful — run as high as 9%.  Following the global financial crisis in 2008 and 2009, India joined countries … Continue Reading

NTIA Seeks Comment on Drone Privacy; Markey and Welch Introduce Drone Privacy Bill

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration today requested public comment on privacy issues related to the use of drones, or unmanned aircraft systems (“UAS”).  The request came a day after two members of Congress introduced a bill that would impose significant privacy restrictions on drone operators. The NTIA request is a result of a Feb. … Continue Reading