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Consultation on EU dispute resolution

The European Commission has launched a public consultation to gather stakeholders’ views on possible options for multilateral reform of the way investment disputes are resolved, including the establishment of a Multilateral Investment Court.

The idea of multilaterally reforming investment dispute settlement first emerged in 2014 , when a number of stakeholders said the reform of investment dispute resolution would be best undertaken multilaterally rather than through bilateral reforms.

The Commission also put forward the idea in its 2015 Concept Paper on ‘Investment in TTIP – the path beyond’ and it has been largely supported by the European Parliament and member states.

For the EU, the permanent Multilateral Investment Court would replace the bilateral Investment Court Systems (ICS) thus far included in the EU trade agreements with Canada and Vietnam and that is being proposed in all ongoing EU negotiations. The Multilateral Investment Court would apply to all international investment agreements if the parties to those agreements agreed to resort to it.

The idea of multilateral reform of investment dispute resolution has gathered significant interest from third countries. The EU’s Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada and the draft Vietnam-EU free trade agreement contain a reference to setting up a permanent multilateral investment dispute settlement mechanism.

The shared interest on this project was also evidenced at the exploratory talks held at the technical level with third countries on December 13-14, 2016 in Geneva.

The consultation is open until March 15, 2017.

Hedge fund launches down

Hedge fund launches fell by over a third last year, according to financial website HFMWeek.

The article noted that there was an increase in redemptionsover the year, exacerbated by the higher barriers to entry driven by regulations introduced in recent years.

Data provided by Preqin showed that the number of global hedge fund launches dropped from 1,425 in 2015 to 1,006 for 2016 – a decrease of 42 per cent. In the meantime, 981 hedge funds were closed last year, compared with 958 the year before.

HFMWeek said that the closures included established names such as Perry Capital, Wingspun Investment Management, Blackstone’s Sefina Advisors and FoHF Aurora.

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