Legal Insights 
 

The Future of Virtual Reality

Virtual reality ("VR") has been hailed as the next big thing before, but following Facebook’s $2 billion purchase of start-up Oculus, known for its Oculus Rift VR headset, industry analysts’ predictions that thirty million headsets per year are expected to ship by 2020 seem rather more grounded in (non-virtual) reality.

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The Landscape of Popular Retail Apps

Certain retail apps prove hugely successful while others are found wanting in terms of ease of use and an intuitive user interface. Evidence suggests that, at least amongst millennials, apps are downloaded predominantly because the corresponding mobile website is not as easy to use as the app.

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The Changing Role of the Retail Salesperson

It’s news to precisely no one that the competition faced by physical stores from online retailers is intensifying. To retain their share of shoppers, bricks and mortar businesses must necessarily evolve. The role of the salesperson will sit squarely at the epicentre of this brave new world – or it won’t. 

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The Evolution of Retail

Using enthusiastic floor staff to woo them and exciting displays to wow them is at the heart of retailing to customers. Online shopping, on the other hand, owes much of its popularity to sheer convenience: we order products from the sofa, pay for them with a card or PayPal, then simply wait for a knock on the door. 

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Managing the Try In-store, Buy Online Phenomenon

By now retailers are well aware that shoppers try on items in-store with a view to buying them later online. Similarly popular is the concept of showrooming whereby customers browse the shop but use their smartphones to find cheaper substitutes elsewhere.

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The Rise of Innovation Partnerships

When US retail giant Target announced last year that it was partnering up with a well-known start-up accelerator, it was making a claim for embracing technology – not merely as an add-on but as the way forward. 

 

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Customer-Centricity: Buzzword or Real Basis for Improving Retailers' Fortunes?

Customer-centricity involves placing the customer at the centre of the business and building company practices and messaging around that entirely customer-focused centre. 

 

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How is Big Data Changing Retail?

Big data can seem like a slippery term, but research out of the McKinsey Global Institute has cited its rather concrete potential to increase retailers’ operating margins by 60 per cent. 

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The Risks of Underperforming Retail Technology

Given an increasingly tech-savvy consumer base, retailers are necessarily leveraging the latest technology both in-store and online.

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The Push and Pull Between Data and Privacy

The promise of big data carries with it levels of personalisation and problem-solving that were not envisioned by the general populace even a few short decades ago. 

 

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Drones that Deliver

As we become accustomed to ever-higher levels of convenience, major retailers including Amazon and, more recently, Argos, are offering next-day and same-day delivery. The demand is there, however, for even faster delivery. Enter the drones.

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What’s Next in Retail Technology?

 

In 2014, a full forty per cent of consumers in PwC’s annual consumer survey declared that they purchase goods from a physical store once a week. 

 

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The Evolution of Contactless Payments

 

The remarkable growth in the volume and value of contactless payments across the European Union is the most obvious evidence of an evolving payments ecosystem. 

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Where are Virtual Currencies Headed?

In the face of their increasing prevalence, virtual currencies have taken centre stage in debates about transparency and financial inclusion. Bitcoin, as the best-known example, has inspired the launch of many imitators. 

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Beacons and Privacy

 

In a retail context, beacons are essentially Bluetooth transmitters that communicate with an authorised app when the device housing that app is within the vicinity. The technology uses electronic sensors in airports, stadiums and especially in retail environments to analyse consumer behaviour and enhance the customer experience.

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The Emergence of Beacon Technology

 

When a shopper arrives at their location – a store, a mall foyer, a commercial square – beacons use Bluetooth technology to alert an app or website on the shopper’s smartphone. Businesses deploy beacons to interact with customers by transmitting useful information about products and offers.

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Integrating Online and Offline Retail

Flying somewhat in the face of conventional wisdom that an online presence is the be-all and end-all, evidence points to the market expecting not only some form of offline presence from retailers but a smooth integration of the consumer’s online and offline experiences to boot. 

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A Primer on Omni-Channel Marketing

Omni-channel marketing, or simply omni-channel, refers to a holistic or integrated approach to companies’ engagement with their customers. When done right, the customer’s experience is consistent whether shopping on a desktop computer, tablet, smartphone or on the high street. 

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The Shopping Seasons

Even while maintaining the spirit of the season, it’s impossible to ignore the sheer amount of footfall on the high street as shoppers find something appropriate to put a bow on. Savvy retailers know that Christmas represents merely one of the calendar’s opportunities for outsized sales. Let’s take a quick look at the others.

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Technology and Compliance in Retail

 

Questions of compliance must be addressed without losing sight of sustainable, profitable and scalable business practices. To meet even higher modern standards of compliance, retailers are turning to technology to ensure they are on top of stock management, health and safety, and the supply chain.

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Food Companies Provide Hearty Sustenance for M&A

 

Global M&A activity has increased by over a third in the last twelve months, with the early part of 2015 seeing a dramatic boom in transactions. Of particular note, in the UK more than £20 billion worth of food and drink deals took place last year, according to figures from Catalyst Corporate Finance (CCF).

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Multi-Tiered Dispute Resolution Clauses: Clarity Required for Good Faith Negotiation

Multi-tiered dispute resolution clauses outline the steps that parties must take before initiating arbitration, or Court proceedings. The clauses stipulate that the parties attempt to reach a settlement through means other than commencing proceedings, most commonly beginning with negotiation. 

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Is Online Dispute Resolution The Way Forward For Cross Border Disputes?

 

The added layer of complexity inherent in cross border disputes is a concern for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Even the smallest businesses now have access to global markets though their internet connections but the difficulty and expense of resolving problems with overseas customers or suppliers can be ruinous.

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Time To AIM High Or Low?

 

AIM was launched in 1995 as a subset of the London Stock Exchange to offer a market place for smaller emerging companies to raise capital. Compared to the Main Market, AIM demands fewer regulatory obligations to companies wishing to raise finance. 

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The Rise Of The Smart Machines

 

The rise of the smart machines may have a Terminator-esque ring to it but the definition of smart machines is rather wider than that image might lead one to believe.  Smart machines or self-learning machines are fundamentally machines which deal with highly complex data and uncertainty but still manage to form and test hypotheses, drawing probabilistic conclusions. 

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Mediation: Dispute Resolution For Solution Driven Businesses

Mediation is one of the main forms of Alternate Dispute Resolution and is becoming increasingly popular among commercial parties. The Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution’s 2014 Mediation Audit estimated that mediation grew by about 9 per cent in the previous 12 months. 

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Current Trends In International Arbitration And Dispute Resolution

 

The sharp growth in cross-border economic activity continues to dominate trends in international arbitration. Principally, the increase of multi-jurisdictional transactions has triggered an increase in the number of disputes.

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Cross-Border IPOs: Review And Outlook

 

Recent trends in globalisation have seen companies increasingly looking to international markets to obtain capital. Although the financial crisis dampened enthusiasm, 2014 saw strong resurgence for cross-border issues. 

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The Politics Of M&A

 

Internal politics usually have an important influence on mergers and acquisitions (M&A) but general elections mean Westminster politics quickly rises up the agenda too. The particular uncertainties of this general election have had a major impact on business activities as the focus has shifted heavily onto the campaigning of political parties.

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Innovation And Efficiency Is At The Heart Of London’s Arbitration Culture

 

Arbitration is an increasingly popular method of dispute resolution and London is at the centre of the industry. The increasing popularity of resolving disputes through arbitration, particularly between businesses, is due to the fact that arbitration has advantages in terms of confidentiality.

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TMT: A Powerhouse Of IP Innovation

The technology, media and tele communications sector has been one of the most prolific creators of intellectual property in recent decades. Innovations in electronic devices, software products and media platforms are completely transforming the way we live our lives. 

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Why Is London A Global Capital For International Arbitration?

London’s reputation as a world financial capital has remained steadfast throughout the financial downturn. Complementing its image as powerhouse of finance is its equally strong reputation as an international legal hub.

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Managing a cross-border transaction deal team

The logistical difficulty of efficiently co-ordinating an extended financial, legal and commercial team across jurisdictions, involving a lead corporate finance adviser, lawyers, accountants, pension advisers, environmental consultants and others is a major challenge of a cross border transactions.

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Supreme Court decision highlights the need to consider financial settlements when separating or divorcing

Deciding to end a relationship is hard. Deciding to end a marriage is even harder. It may have taken you a long time to make the move. Having decided to divorce, you will want things to be sorted out and to separate your lives with the minimum of pain and expense. 

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Private Companies: Are You Considering Corporate Border Crossing?

Cross border corporate transactions are frequently hot news in the business press but the ones that catch the lion’s share of headlines are typically those carried out by listed multinational companies. 

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Recent Trends In Cross-Border M&A

Recent trends in cross-border mergers and acquisitions have revealed a renewed confidence in boardrooms, as 2014’s global M&A boom spreads to Europe and Asia. This is part of a larger post-2008 trend which has seen the share of international mergers increase dramatically.

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Crowdsourcing in Retail

 

Best known among crowdsourcing platforms is the mighty Wikipedia, the number 7 Alexa ranked encyclopaedia, butcrowdfunding, ultimately a subset of crowdsourcing that involves garnering money from participants, has been tapped by platforms like Seedrs and Crowdcube to give life to thousands of ideas.

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