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Articles contributed by Barrocas Sarmento Neves
Expressions such as the “sub-prime crisis” and “credit crunch” have become colloquial jargon in the last 6 months as we saw the collapse of a several leading financial institutions, others effecting significant capital increases to cover losses as speculation by economists that the worst is yet to come continues. Banks are becoming more risk averse and a growing number of companies are experiencing financial difficulties. The Bank of England recently said “The financial crisis has moved into a new and difficult phase. Across the world, confidence in financial markets is fragile”.
The main objective of Decree Law n.º 18/2008 of 29 January 2008 (Public Contracts Code “PCC”) was to transpose directives n.º 2004/17 and 2004/18 of the European Parliament and Council dated 31 March 2004 to the Portuguese legal framework. However, it went much further than that and represents a profound modification to the Portuguese Public Procurement Law (PPL).
The internationalisation of financial markets has grown considerably over the past decades, with increased cross-border capital flows, tighter links between financial markets, and a greater commercial presence of foreign financial entities around the world. As international capital markets became more integrated, company’s started enjoying not only a tremendous amount of flexibility in deciding which type of security to issue to raise funds, but also in which location to issue these securities. An element of this globalisation trend has been, consequently, the access to global equity markets through the issuing, listing or placement of shares outside a company´s domestic market.
Long-term concessions provide governments keen to deliver quality infrastructures with both public control and the private management of operations. The concession contract is critical as it defines the commercial and operational parameters of the project and regulates the parties’ rights and obligations.
It is common ground that, generally, an arbitration clause binds only the persons or companies who sign the agreement reflecting the fact that arbitration is consensual in nature and dependent upon the parties’ agreement. There are, however, in accordance with the rules or practices of certain arbitration institutions, such as the case of the ICC Rules, exceptions to this rule, for example, inter alia, where a non-signatory parent company is required to participate, either voluntarily, with agreement of the original parties or against its will, in an arbitration between the signatories to a contract, one of which was its subsidiary.