UK: ESMA's 2019 Supervisory Convergence Work Programme And Its Supervisory Priorities – What Does It Mean For Market Participants?

Last Updated: 5 March 2019
Article by Michael Huertas

On February 6, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published1 its 2019 Supervisory Convergence Work Programme (SCWP). Five top priorities were identified, building up on ESMA's work in 2018 and most of them hardly come as a surprise. Ensuring supervisory convergence in the context of the UK's withdrawal from the EU, which started as a new task in 2018, is amongst the top priorities in 2019, and fostering supervisory convergence in the field of financial innovation builds up on the "new" 2018 task of monitoring developments in financial innovation through an analysis of emerging and existing instruments. The continuing themes focus on the consistent application of MiFID II/ MiFIR and ensuring adequate investor protection in the cross-border provision of services context. Other somewhat continuous priority includes making the use of data more consistent by clarifying existing and developing new reporting methodologies.

On February 19, ESMA published its 2019 Supervision Work Programme2 (SWP). It focuses on the supervision of Trade Repositories (TRs), Credit Rating Agencies (CRAs) and the monitoring of third-country market infrastructures such as third-country central clearing counterparties (TC-CCPs) and third-country Central Securities Depositories (TC-CSDs). Currently, ESMA directly supervises eight TRs and 27 CRAs as well as carrying responsibility for four certified CRAs and 32 TC-CCPs. In 2019, ESMA is also expected to implement its new direct supervisory mandate under the Securities Financing Transactions Regulation (SFTR), which aims to increase the transparency of securities financing transactions. Furthermore, 2019 is the year when the Securitization Regulation (SecReg) becomes applicable, and ESMA anticipates preparatory work for the assessment of applications for the registration of securitization repositories.
This Client Alert provides an overview of ESMA's 2019 priorities set in both the SCWP and SWP and the thematic areas and cross-cutting activities involved. This Client Alert should be read in conjunction with the Navigating 2019 supervisory outlook publication3 as it adds to the non-exhaustive outline of supervisory priorities of various EU institutions and European Supervisory Authorities (ESA) for Banking Union Supervised Institutions and other regulated market participants.

Factors influencing ESMA's agenda

ESMA's supervisory agenda is influenced by three main factors—the regulatory environment, the market environment and the priorities for supervision set at national level. Brexit is a big recurring theme in ESMA's Work Programme especially given that many UK CRAs and TRs have expressed their desire to continue to provide their services in the EU-27 after Brexit. In order to do so, many have applied to register a new legal entity in the EU-27 and have notified ESMA of material changes as ESMA insists that any EU-27 registered TRs and CRAs should comply with the minimum substance requirements and outsourcing conditions.

As part of the regulatory environment plan, ESMA is focusing on following the projects within the CMU Action Plan4 and the legislative proposals regarding the facilitation of cross-border distribution of Undertakings for Collective Investments in Transferable Securities (UCITS) and Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs). Other plans of the Commission, which have earned their place on ESMA's shortlist, include the Action Plan on Sustainable Finance5 and the FinTech Action Plan.6 These aim to strengthen the transparency of companies and the regulation of crowdfunding service providers currently in the legislative process. The latter builds on ESMA's convergence work and may lead to new developments through introducing EU level authorization and establishing a public register of crowdfunding service providers. The relevant regulatory challenges identified focus on the UK's decision to leave the EU as it presents challenges on many levels including for ESMA and National Competent Authorities (NCAs) in addition to those faced by financial firms, investors and consumers. The Prospectus Regulation7 which enters into force on July 21, 2019 will play an important role in supervisory convergence as it aims to align the requirements for NCAs on prospectus scrutiny and approval.

Aside from the challenges faced by market players in 2018 in terms of political risks, trade tensions and general tightening of financial conditions, the overarching themes identified include FinTech which continues to drive innovation and has also become the object of regulatory attention. Additionally, ESMA's analysis on retaining investment products such as UCITS and AIF shows heterogeneity of costs across the EU for UCITS, an indicator of the differing national disclosure requirements.

Despite ESMA having invited NCAs to "non-prioritize" certain actions in the derivatives compliance space as the full implementation of EMIR reforms, known as EMIR 2.1 and 2.2 change how certain aspects of EMIR operate and thus how market counterparties trade with one another as well as operationalize compliance. ESMA still expects that NCAs, regardless of the "non-prioritization" request, which has made absent the use of the now much awaited future EU supervisory tool of formal "No Action Relief Letters," which are being finalized as part of the EU's Brexit Emergency Legislation, focus on EMIR compliance overall. Compliance with MiFID II concerning trading venues as well as implementation of the key requirements for MiFID II/MiFIR on product governance, information on risk and rules of conduct of business as well as suitability assessment is also high on the agenda. The supervision of investment funds and issuers also remains a priority, as well as the area of cyber/IT security and the development of IT systems and tools.

ESMA's Supervisory Convergence Priorities

  • Ensuring supervisory convergence in the context of the UK's decision to withdraw from the EU – aside from the discussion around the relocation of UK-based entities to the EU27, ESMA is invested in the prospect of further convergence on topics such as back-branching, minimal presence requirements in the EU. A peer review conducted at the end of 2019 will aim to look into NCAs' handling of relocation requests.
  • Making data and its use more robust and consistent by developing and further clarifying reporting methodologies and providing guidance to ensure complete and high-quality data – a newly created Data Standing Committee will be in charge.
  • Driving forward consistency in the application of MiFID II/MiFIR and getting to a common understanding on arising supervisory challenges – ESMA will update its guidelines on "suitability", "product governance" and "compliance function" and look further into periodic auction trading systems, the provision of market data by trading venues and approved publication arrangements.
  • Safeguarding the free movement of services in the EU through adequate investor protection in the context of cross-border provision of services – the key here is the focus on facilitating exchange of information among home NCAs and host NCAs on cross-border activities.
  • Fostering supervisory convergence in the field of financial innovation – ESMA aims to provide a forum for NCAs to share their views on the regulation and supervision of ICOs and crypto assets. ESMA is also committed to map the authorizing and licensing approaches for FinTech business models in the member states to further cooperation across national hubs and regulatory sandboxes.
  • Additionally, the enhanced supervision of CCPs continues to be relevant.

ESMA will also continue contributing to the Joint Committee of the ESAs especially on the implementation of PRIIPs, work on the PRIIPs review (level 2) and the implementation of the Securitization Regulation.8

Thematic activities and cross-cutting activities set in the SCWP

ESMA's thematic activities revolve around a few key areas aligned with its supervisory priorities. Activities in the Intermediaries and Investor Protection area and Secondary Markets both revolve around the importance of the consistent implementation of the new MiFID II/MiFIR framework, including challenges in their implementation. A growing emphasis on sustainability at EU level and convergence work in the context of the UK's withdrawal are also highlighted. Pre-trade transparency waivers in equity instruments granted by NCAs under MiFIR will be reviewed to assess compliance with the new MiFID II framework. The key areas of focus in the Investment Management and Market Integrity activities are on fostering common supervisory approaches under the UCITS and AIFMD frameworks and the context of the Market Abuse Regulation (MAR), the Short Selling Regulation (SSR) and the consistent implementation of the Benchmarks Regulation (BMR) respectively.

ESMA also aims to continue contributing to supervisory convergence regarding the MMFR by issuing guidelines on money market fund (MMF) managers' reporting obligations and MMF stress testing. The possible links between MAR and crypto assets, ICOs or other non-financial instruments are highlighted as well. ESMA's Q&A remain important in the context of its Post-trading activity, alongside the convergence in the CCP area, and also in terms of corporate finance in light of the new Prospectus Regulation. Finally, on the corporate reporting front, attention will be paid to issuers related to the enforcement of IFRS 9 "Financial Instruments" and IFRS 15 "Revenue from Contracts with Customers." Updating the existing ESMA Guidelines on Enforcement of Financial Information is also foreseen.

Many of the cross cutting activities focus on EMIR and MiFID II/ MiFIR, especially in terms of data reporting, enhancing the performance of IT support systems and enhancing the quality of data reported. Aside from these, financial innovation remains key with FinTech, RegTech and distributed ledger technology alongside peer reviews and the ever-present impact of the UK's withdrawal from the EU.

ESMA's SWP priorities and impacts for specific market participants

ESMA when looking at the SWP as it applies to specific market participants assesses risks both on industry and firm level and does not use a one-size-fits-all approach, allowing it to adjust to the size, complexity or urgency of the case and entity. The overarching 2019 themes focus on supervisory activities in response to external factors, namely Brexit, the entry into force of the SFTR and the SecReg, as mentioned above.

ESMA will look at policies, procedures and processes documents that evidence a sound and compliant culture of sufficiently staffed and independent governance, risk and control (compliance, legal and audit) functions in respective market participants it supervises. ESMA will also look as to whether its supervisory expectations are met with sufficient consideration of fallbacks (including business continuity planning) as well as testing the cyber-resilience and IT security of the relevant firm. More specifically this translates into the following supervisory priorities for 2019 for each category:

TR supervision

The UK's withdrawal from the single market means UK-based TRs will have to transfer their trades to TRs based in the EU-27, and ESMA is closely monitoring that TRs implement the Guidelines on Portability before Brexit – this may be a challenge for some. The preparation for the SFTR and SecReg also affect TRs as new standards for reporting and processing technologies are implemented. Overarching themes include:

  • Data quality and access by authorities, with a particular focus on the Data Quality Action Plan, which includes TRACE-SFTP assessments – following the TRACE introduction in 2016, ESMA has performed three such assessments. Additionally, in terms of portability, to ensure that trades, which are to be ported from one TR to another, are in line with the revised RTS/ITS reporting requirements, reporting counterparties will need to upgrade these to meet the revised RTS/ITS reporting requirements
  • IT process and system reliability
  • Business continuity planning
  • Information security function

Future ESMA TR-related supervisory expectations include:

  • ESMA expects some of the currently registered TRs under EMIR to apply for an extension of registration for SFTR, and such applications will be a key supervisory priority in 2019.
  • ESMA expects some of the currently registered TRs under EMIR to apply for an extension of registration for SecReg, and such applications will be a key supervisory priority in 2019, in the absence of ESMA having finalized regulatory technical standards permitting securitization repository applications.

CRA supervision

ESMA registered four new CRAs in 2018, and after releasing its supervision Guidelines in 2017, it provided a supplement to these updated Guidelines on Endorsement in July 2018, which sets out the general principles used by ESMA for assessing whether an alternative internal requirement, to which a third country CRA has established and adheres to, can be considered "as stringent as" the requirement set out in the CRA Regulation. These Guidelines took effect from January 1, 2019. International cooperation of the supervision of the three largest CRAs has also been enhanced. ESMA has also obtained bilateral interactions with supervisors from third countries on smaller, globally operating, CRAs.

ESMA notes that firms that: (i) are legal persons established in the EU; and (ii) issue, on a professional basis, credit ratings (as defined by the CRA Regulation), which are disclosed publicly or distributed by subscription, should apply to ESMA for registration."

CRAs have to meet the CRA Regulation Requirements to ensure they support high-quality credit analysis. As such, they are encouraged to use reliable information; continuously monitor all credit rating factors; minimize conflicts of interest and ensure that analytical functions are staffed with sufficient and expert resources. ESMA expects therefore that an appropriate level of transparency with regard to the process should also be maintained.

Key points of consideration include:

  • Portfolio risk - ESMA monitors large positive or negative shifts in credit ratings at asset class and individual firm level. From a supervisory perspective, ESMA's risk assessment tends to focus on specific movements in credit ratings and large changes in credit rating distributions. The Validation Guidelines set out ESMA's expectations on the use of quantitative and qualitative measures in validating rating methodologies and establish minimum standards in a significant area of the CRA Regulation where ESMA has seen significant divergences in market practices.
  • Quality of the rating process – ESMA conducted an investigation which found that CRA's procedures are not always aligned with regulatory requirements and as such potential conflict of interest situations could be created. Thus, CRAs are expected to design internal control measures to prevent overreliance on limited sources of information or on key personnel to identify potential conflicts of interest with shareholders.
  • Cybersecurity – CRAs are required to notify ESMA of any material changes to the initial conditions of their registration. ESMA thoroughly assesses these notifications to ensure that the CRA still meets the conditions under which it was registered. In 2018, ESMA has assessed a wide variety of notifications, including the transfer of credit rating business from a CRA into a new legal entity, the acquisition of an EU CRA by non-EU CRAs, changes in outsourcing agreements, and various notifications related to Brexit. To be registered as a CRA in the EU, a firm needs to demonstrate that it fulfils the necessary organizational requirements and that it provides adequate safeguards, in particular with regard to governance, conflicts of interest, internal controls, rating process and rating methodologies, business activities and disclosures.

Common areas of supervision in 2019 across TRs and CRAs

Aside from Brexit, other ESMA workstreams that are common to CRAs and TRs include a follow-up on a thematic report on fees as well as a review of the effectiveness of the supervised firms' internal control systems, and the use of new technologies. ESMA aims to tailor its actions to the specificities of the different industries. On Brexit specifically, it will assess whether CRAs and TRs are taking measures to "ensure that the post Brexit set-up in the EU-27 is as strong as the pre-Brexit set-up in the EU-28 (e.g. transfers of personnel or new hires to strengthen the presence of staff in the EU-27.)" This leaves a large amount of supervisory discretion to ESMA, which is increasingly finding its voice, notably in its Supervisory Principles on Relocations (SPoRs)9 as well as the Guidelines on Portability and further communication provided by ESMA to TRs.

TC-CCPs

Article 25 EMIR states that central counterparties established in third countries can provide clearing services to European clearing members once thy have been recognized by ESMA. Furthermore, the Capital Requirements Regulation (CRR) allows EU institutions and their third country subsidiaries to benefit from advantageous capital treatment with respect to cleared derivatives transaction when the CCP they are facing is also recognized by ESMA. According to ESMA this has led, as of December 31, 2018 for ca 50 TC-CCPs to apply for recognition by ESMA. Part of this is also reliant on the European Commission's assessment of the third-country's regime, and it is worth noting that how the Commission conducts those assessments is itself in a state of change.

To recap, the so-called "equivalence decisions" of the European Commission are implementing acts stipulating that the legal and supervisory arrangements of a third country ensure that the CCP in that country complies with requirements equivalent to those of EMIR. ESMA should also conclude cooperation arrangements with the relevant third-country authorities on top of that. ESMA thus has no direct supervision powers over TC-CCPs but has to monitor their activity as per the ESMA Regulation and to ensure financial stability in the EU. ESMA also assesses whether the classes of OTC derivatives cleared by recognized TC-CCPs should be subject to the clearing obligation as foreseen in EMIR. ESMA's supervisory mandate on TC-CCPs and CCPs generally is also in the process of changing.

In relation to Brexit, in 2019 ESMA will pursue the recognition process, and it has already communicated that it will recognize three UK CCPs that will become third country CCPs on Brexit day. This thus means that there will be a special focus on ensuring continued access for EU clearing members and clients in a No-Deal scenario. ESMA will also continue its information gathering tasks of mapping interlinkages and exposures of EU entities with the TC-CCP. ESMA has requested data covering six areas:

  • The EU products, currencies and trading venues serviced by the CCP
  • The EU clearing members' activity within the CCP in securities and derivatives (exchange traded and OTC)
  • The corresponding EU clearing members' exposures (default contribution, margin provision and power of assessment)
  • Liquidity resources provided by EU entities to the CCP
  • Interoperability arrangements between the CCP and EU CCPs
  • Qualitative information on important changes at the CCP.

TC-CSDs

ESMA recognizes TC-CSDs under CSDR, if they provide notary or central maintenance services in relation to financial instruments constituted under the law of a Member State or that set up a branch in a Member State. The Commission should have adopted an equivalence decision beforehand, but so far none have been published with the exception of that published in respect of the UK on December 19, 2018. Similar to TC-CCP, whilst ESMA does not have direct supervision powers over TC-CSDs, it has to monitor TC-CSD activity as stated in the ESMA Regulation and in the context of CSDR to ensure EU financial stability.

ESMA's SWP confirms that during 2019 it will pursue the recognition process for UK CSDs that will become TC-CSDs on Exit Day in a No-Deal scenario. ESMA will continue the negotiations and sign the corresponding memorandum of understanding and necessary supervisory instruments with the Bank of England, as the competent authority for UK CSDs. ESMA plans to monitor whether the recognized TC-CSD complies with the CSDR recognition criteria and with the equivalence conditions, if applicable, on an ongoing basis.

Outlook

While much of what ESMA is committing itself to do as part of its SCWP and SWP is of course welcome, past delivery timelines of what is already a full task list on the desks of ESMA have proven that market participants may want to consider timing and project delivery fallbacks so as to remain agile. As a number of the priorities discussed above have impacts on documented policies and procedures, but also possibly on documentation in place between market participants and/or their own counterparties, taking early action is recommendable as is having contingency plans, with staged (mutually agreed) fallbacks, to identify, mitigate and manage any adverse Brexit effects or any other operational continuity concerns.

Footnotes

1 See here

2 See here

3 Download the guide here

4 See here

5 See here

6 See here

7 See text in English here

8 See text in English here

9 See dedicated coverage from our Eurozone Hub on this available here

Dentons is the world's first polycentric global law firm. A top 20 firm on the Acritas 2015 Global Elite Brand Index, the Firm is committed to challenging the status quo in delivering consistent and uncompromising quality and value in new and inventive ways. Driven to provide clients a competitive edge, and connected to the communities where its clients want to do business, Dentons knows that understanding local cultures is crucial to successfully completing a deal, resolving a dispute or solving a business challenge. Now the world's largest law firm, Dentons' global team builds agile, tailored solutions to meet the local, national and global needs of private and public clients of any size in more than 125 locations serving 50-plus countries. www.dentons.com.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions