With drones and satellites being more commonly used in a
range of industries, businesses are looking to lawyers in Iberia to
help create an appropriate legal framework
Demand from clients in Spain and Portugal for advice on issues
relating to space law and drone use is growing as businesses
supplying the space and aeronautics industries – as well as
industries looking to utilise drones to further their commercial
interests – seek clarification and legal certainty.
The rapid development of such technology, such as drones and the
greater use of satellites – in addition to advancements in
driverless cars, for example – is severely testing lawyers in
Iberia as clients look to address concerns relating to aeronautical
security, airspace utilisation and personal privacy. In addition,
pressure on lawyers is mounting as there is an expectation that
they should be providing input into the development of new legal
frameworks that govern such areas.
However, the relevant expertise is in short supply, according to
Magda Cocco, a partner at Vieira de Almeida (VdA) in Lisbon.
"It's very difficult to find lawyers who are experts in
technology and international laws governing outer space, drone use
and driverless cars, for example, both in Portugal and other
countries, such as the UK, where many tech companies internalise
their legal teams and do not resort to using law firms," she
Some 30 Portuguese companies supply the space and aeronautics
industries, which are fast-growth sectors as the country's
Science and Technology Foundation's Space Office is exploring
the benefits of Portuguese participation in European Space Agency
"New legislation is coming in every day to regulate the use
of new technology, which is not the case for most other practice
areas in a law firm," Cocco says. "Technology requires
highly-specialised knowledge, and we charge higher fees to account
Right to intimacy
According to Albert Agustinoy, partner at Cuatrecasas
Gonçalves Pereira, concern regarding drones is related to
aeronautical security, airspace utilisation and personal privacy
derived from the use of images captured in-flight. "The fact
that drones can capture images that were previously impossible to
obtain raises concerns regarding the right to privacy,"
Agustinoy says. He adds that, with regard to driverless cars, in
addition to road safety, another huge challenge is personal data
protection, as the new generation of 'wired' vehicles can
'vacuum up' users' data, also causing privacy concerns.
Agustinoy also says that lawyers need to provide input in the
drawing up of laws to govern the use of such vehicles, given the
novelty and complexity of the legal framework. In particular,
Cuatrecasas receives a large number of enquiries from companies in
the audio-visual and advertising sectors regarding drone use, both
being industries that are increasingly reliant on such
Juan Muguerza, senior associate at Garrigues in Madrid, says
civil aviation will face an unprecedented challenge from drones in
the near future, which will lead to significant legal changes.
"To take advantage of their economic potential, drone
companies will require a clear, efficient and harmonised regulatory
framework providing adequate protection to citizens, but without
imposing unnecessary red tape that could stymie investment and
innovation," he says. However, the approval of a regulatory
framework requires arduous and complex work, and takes time,
requiring more extensive approval than perhaps some operators in
the sector would wish, he adds. "Spain is a good example of
that slowness, given that the existing 'temporary'
legislation introduced in 2014 is still in place," Muguerza
One of the main aims of new legislation would be to facilitate
drone flights in urban areas, which would have the effect of
accelerating the industry's development. Muguerza says clients
are keen to understand both EU rules and national regulations in
order to explore the opportunities drones can offer, from security,
disaster relief, border surveillance and agricultural uses, to
firefighting, toxic material handling and goods delivery.
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.
It is common practice for traders, usually when they are the sellers of the goods and the charterers of a vessel, to instruct the carrier to discharge cargoes without production of the original bills of lading and to agree to indemnify the carrier against the consequences of doing so.
The London Maritime Arbitrators Association (LMAA) has published a set of new terms, the LMAA Terms 2017, which are due to come into effect for appointments on or after 1 May 2017. They seek to improve the time and cost-efficiency of the LMAA, while maintaining its ‘light touch' approach.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).