Welcome you to the December edition of AI magazine, which features the latest happenings in the world of corporate finance, including legal and IP issues, M&A, support services & tech, personnel, accounting and also investment.

Heading up this edition is a special roundtable feature by Hawksford, which delves into the evolution of company incorporation providers. Four financial service experts give us their expert perspective on what they are experiencing in Asia, the Caribbean and Jersey in terms of how company incorporation has evolved.

2016 has been a fairly positive year in terms of M&A investment, albeit slightly quieter than its record-breaking predecessor according to the Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk. They also reveal that both the volume and value of deals signed off in Q4 have yet to reach the levels generated in the opening three quarters of the year. However, it is still possible for figures to surpass these levels before 2016 draws to a close.

In legal news, the UK government has confirmed it is proceeding with preparations to ratify the Unified Patent Court Agreement. This is part of the process needed to realise the Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court (UPCA). Under the new regime – businesses will be able to protect and enforce their patent rights across Europe in a more streamlined way – with a single patent and through a single patent court.

I hope you enjoy reading the wide selection of news, comments and features that this edition of AI magazine offers.

Jonathan Miles, Editor