ArabianIndustry.com article by Fatima De La Cerna

Autonomous transportation systems may no longer be the stuff of science fiction, but there’s still a large amount of work, regulation-wise, that needs to be done before they can replace conventional vehicles on the road.


“A start has been made towards laying the foundation of a regulatory framework in many countries around the world, but there are still considerable challenges that must be overcome by lawmakers and regulators alike in developing a comprehensive and unified approach to govern what we anticipate will be a strong sector in the near future,” said Claude-Étienne Armingaud, a Paris-based partner at K&L Gates, who spoke via video link during a press conference held on 7 March, in Dubai.

Read the full article here.

ArabianIndustry.com article by Fatima De La Cerna

Autonomous transportation systems may no longer be the stuff of science fiction, but there’s still a large amount of work, regulation-wise, that needs to be done before they can replace conventional vehicles on the road.


“A start has been made towards laying the foundation of a regulatory framework in many countries around the world, but there are still considerable challenges that must be overcome by lawmakers and regulators alike in developing a comprehensive and unified approach to govern what we anticipate will be a strong sector in the near future,” said Claude-Étienne Armingaud, a Paris-based partner at K&L Gates, who spoke via video link during a press conference held on 7 March, in Dubai.

Read the full article here.

Despite the lack of announcement by UK Government to give notification to the EU under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty of its decision to withdraw from the Union, France is already making its move to move into the steps of the former Fintech capital of Europe. On January 25-26, 2017, more than 1,500 people attended the second edition of the Paris FinTech Forum, encompassing more than 28 countries and 130 companies, from global players to startups.

The irony of the event location, set in the historical venue of the former Paris Stock Exchange building, was not lost to the Bank of France Governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau who wondered “Who would have imagined just a few years ago that a central banker would be speaking at a forum on innovation?” before recognizing that “For banks and insurers, the digital revolution is upsetting the traditional model for client relations” and “there are difficult choices ahead.

In addition to Fintech – both in their classic understanding of technological innovation applied to the finance industry to more disruptive models, the Forum also gave the opportunity to demonstrate the blossoming RegTech scene. RegTech encompasses all added-value solutions which make it easier for banking services to ensure compliance with applicable regulation, be it for the KYC or AML purposes. Blockchain based solutions also departed from their original Bitcoin association to showcase a broad range of innovative services, from identity control to supply-chain management.

While investments, both in terms of number of operations and invested amounts, have been slightly decreasing in 2016, the Paris Fintech Forum was a proud statement that the market was maturing into products ready to hit the market on a large-scale basis.

The Paris Fintech Forum showcased the strong interest of the French current Government in blockchain technology (see NewsBTC article here), in the wake of the uncertainty surrounding the consequences of the Brexit announcement (see Business Mirror article here). However, France itself will be facing a general election next April and uncertainty may also prevail until then on the continent.

First publication: K&L Gates Fintech Law Watch

On November 10, 2016, the French Government issued a decree against the financing of terrorism which contains various measures addressing anonymous electronic money [source in French]. This new regulatory measure applies to electronic money issuers as well as their distributors, credit institutions, finance companies, consumers, and to any person who physically transfers money from a certain amount.
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On 3 October 2016, during a conference organized by the French Comity of Car Manufacturers (“CCFA”) during the Paris Motor Show, Mrs. Sophie Nerbonne, the Compliance Director of the French Data Protection Authority (“Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés” or “CNIL”), hosted a press conference in the ongoing fact-gathering for the CNIL’s “compliance package on connected vehicles” (link – in French) on the basis of the Act no. 78-17 dated 6 January 1978, relating to information technology, data files and civil liberties.

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K&L Gates ranked “Highly Recommended” with E. Drouard & Claude-Etienne Armingaud by Leaders League.

Source: No longer publicly available

K&L Gates is ranked in the Industry focus: IT, telecoms and the internet ranking as Band 3

Headed by E. Drouard, K&L Gates LLP’s six-lawyer team assists major companies with digital transformation, outsourcing matters and IT systems integration. It also advises on cutting-edge data protection matters. Altarea-Cogedim Group and Voyages-SNCF.com are clients, as are a number of luxury goods manufacturers and advertising groups. Senior associate Claude-Etienne Armingaud is another name to note.”

Source: Legal 500 EMEA

On March 24, the French National Assembly hosted a day-long conference on “Blockchain: Disruption and Opportunities.

This event aimed at raising awareness of the French elected representatives and corporate executives on blockchain issues and potential uses for the digital transformation of society as a whole.

The closing statement provided by Emmanuel Macron, the French Minister of Economy, Industry and Digital Economy, was subsequently echoed by his announcement on March 29 of the upcoming adaptation of the French finance regulatory framework in order to progressively allow the introduction of the technology.

This adaptation should first open up to experimentation on the mini-bond market, to be expanded to other tools.

Mr. Macron stated that he was “aware of the importance of the disruptive potential of the blockchain” while the regulatory framework was limited by the current French and European regulations, which prevented the use of the blockchain “in real-life situations, i.e. with real clients and not exclusively in closed beta test scenario within a given financial institution.

It was also announced that a ministerial ordinance had just been submitted for review to the French Administrative Supreme Court (“Conseil d’État”) to allow for such experimentation in the coming weeks.

First published on K&L Gates FinTech Law Blog.

While the Obama administration just announced that the financing of the autonomous car would be one of its last projects during the Detroit Auto Show, the research services from the European Parliament also published a prospective note on a similar topic.

The two projects share a same ambition: reduce the death toll on the roads as well as energy consumption. (more…)