European Union

On September 10, the Advocate General (AG) issued his opinion on a preliminary ruling to be rendered by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) regarding a lawsuit in Spain over the validity, under the European directive on unfair terms in consumer contracts (Directive 93/13), of a contractual clause referencing a local interest rate benchmark in floating rate residential mortgage loans. The press has regarded the opinion as unfavorable to the banks. If upheld by the CJEU, it could mark a turning point in the underlying lawsuits. A final negative outcome could provoke massive losses for a number of Spanish banks with the possibility to accelerate a wave of domestic and European bank mergers.
On Thursday, June 6, 2019, the European Commission decided to refer Spain to the Court of Justice of the European Union for “imposing disproportionate penalties on Spanish taxpayers for the failure to report assets held in other EU and EEA States (Modelo 720)”, according to a press release just published.
As a result of the transposition of Trademark Directive 2015/2436, both the Trademark Law as well as its implementing regulations have had to be amended accordingly. The reform of the implementing regulations, approved through Royal Decree 306/2019, of April 26, 2019 (published in the Official State Gazette last April 30), came into force on May 1, 2019.
Two crucial steps for orderly implementation of a new EURIBOR benchmark compliant with the European Benchmarks Regulation (BMR) have just taken place. One is the authorization of EURIBOR administrator EMMI, and the other, the recent publication of the official statement describing the methodology and other technical specifications for the benchmark. These milestones are very important, but there continue to be legal risks and everyone would be well advised to pay more attention than ever before to how things unfold in the coming months.
On May 20, 2019, the presidents of the European Parliament and the European Council signed the Directive  of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2013/36/EU as regards exempted entities, financial holding companies, mixed financial holding companies, remuneration, supervisory measures and powers and capital conservation measures (CRD V). The final version of CRD V is available here.
On May 2, 2019, Title III of the Helms-Burton Act came into force, governing the possibility for U.S. citizens affected by the expropriation of properties due to the Cuban revolutionary process to take legal action to claim compensation from the people who traffic in them. The U.S. International Claims Settlement Registry has identified some 6,000 potential claims. In this scenario, it is key to know the duties of information and relationship with the European Union that can be demanded of the addressees of such claims; as well as to plan in advance the reactive judicial measures that may be initiated in the EU to neutralize or mitigate the effects that these procedures may have for individuals and companies from the EU Member States.