Briefings

Banking and finance

Nigeria’s power sector weathers the bankability storm

By Nicholas Okafor, Adeola Sunmola and Martins Inyang Credit enhancement tools, a programme involving the World Bank Group and foreign exchange reforms are intended to boost Nigeria’s electricity supply industry…

Push Payment Fraud: Update Spring 2018

On 7 November 2017, the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) issued a consultation paper in relation to ‘authorised push payments’ [1], which considered how financial institutions deal with push payment fraud, as well as how customers are compensated once a fraud has taken place.  (The paper referred to all ‘payment service providers’, who enable the transfer of […]

Embracing change: a critical element to Guernsey’s success

Guernsey has continued to be an exceptionally successful jurisdiction with a high standard of living, enviable quality of life and buoyant economy throughout the vast majority of the last four decades… …That outward facing posture led to Guernsey introducing a comprehensive regulatory framework for all investment activities and investment funds as far back as 1987, […]

Was 2017 another difficult year for Kazakhstan?

In this article, Shaimerden Chikanayev outlines some of the key legal developments and challenges faced by the Islamic finance market in Kazakhstan in 2017 and provides an overview of some of the major factors that will shape the Islamic finance industry’s growth and trends in Kazakhstan in 2018…

Company and commercial

Ontario court upholds choice by Alberta guarantors

By Olivia Lifman In a recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, the Court addressed whether or not it could assume jurisdiction over two guarantors in Alberta who had signed guarantees in favour of an Ontario lender company…

Indigenous banking: A new niche

By Kelly Campagnola As First Nations continue to settle outstanding grievances with the federal government, and enter into lucrative revenue sharing agreements, the fast­emerging niche of Indigenous or Aboriginal banking has become an incredibly competitive segment of business for Canadian financial institutions…

The Audiovisual Media Services Directive – a ‘potential loophole’

By Paul Herbert In the recent case of Peugeot Deutschland GmbH v Deutsche Umwelthilfe, the European Court of Justice gave a preliminary ruling concerning the interpretation and scope of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (2010/13/EU) (“the Directive”). This decision exposes a potentially significant loophole in the Directive, namely the exclusion of self­-promotional channels on You­ […]

Competition and EU

Control over antitrust compliance in Russia – a risk-oriented approach

On 1 March 2018 the Government of the Russian Federation by its decision No. 213 approved the criteria on the basis of which activities of legal entities and individual entrepreneurs are assigned with certain categories of risk for the purpose of state control over compliance with antitrust laws, and established three risk categories, respectively: average, […]

Why the FAPL TV rights decline was natural and inevitable

By Stephen Hornsby To justify this headline claim, it is necessary to go back a bit. Prior to the creation of FAPL, football’s domestic prime events were not televised much – mainly because clubs wanted to maintain live high attendance levels and feared that live broadcasting of matches would reduce ticket sales. There was a weekly domestic league highlights package (Match […]

Slovenia: Food supply chain – changes to the menu

Following an examination by the Competition Protection Agency regarding unfair trading practices in the food supply chain (for further information please see “Unfair trading practices in food supply chain examined”), the government drafted a proposal to amend and supplement the Agriculture Act. The proposal contained some major changes to the food supply sector. Parliament accepted […]

Proposal to ban unfair trading practices in the food supply chain

On 12 April 2018, the European Commission published its proposal for a Directive on unfair trading practices (UTP) in business-to-business relationships in the food supply chain. The aim of the proposal is to reduce the occurrence of UTPs in the food supply chain by introducing a minimum common standard of protection across the EU…

Corporate

Cayman Islands: Deadline looming to register as a non-profit organisation

By Robert Lindley and Bernadette Carey As noted in our previous alert, the Non-Profit Organisations Law, 2017 (the “Law”) came into force on 1 August 2017. From that date, companies or bodies of persons meeting the definition of a “non-profit organisation” (“NPO”) under the Law had 12 months to formally register as such with the […]

Landlord wins as CVA term not a penalty

By Kate McCall and Aaron Harlow Following the liquidation of BHS Ltd, the High Court was asked to consider whether a landlord could claim full rent as an administration expense following termination of the Company Voluntary Arrangement…

Personal data protection in Russia 2018

What are the principal laws on data protection? The Constitution of the Russian Federation establishes the right to privacy, including privacy of correspondence and telephone and other communications, for every individual (Art. 23) and prohibits the collection, storage, use and dissemination of the information on an individual’s private life without his/her consent…

Checking the Russian counterparty before the transaction

In Russia, on the participant of legal relations is entrusted serious risks associated with the manifestation of due diligence and prudence, which are often a condition for the subsequent protection of rights before state bodies and courts, including in disputing transactions. When is the collection of actual information on the counterparty necessary?

Employment

Artificial intelligence in the workplace: Employment law perspective

By Darran Brennan As with any change to workplaces, employment law will follow. Employment lawyers and the Irish legislature need to consider how current employment law in Ireland may need to adapt to harness the full potential of AI for Irish businesses and, also, to protect employees. William Fry will investigate these issues in a series […]

British Columbia: Employment Standards Amendment Act 2018

By Jonathan J. Lam On April 12, 2018, Bill 6, Employment Standards Amendment Act 2018 passed third reading in the BC Legislature and will come into force on royal assent. The bill contains amendments to the BC Employment Standards Act (“ESA”), including the introduction of new and extended statutorily­protected leaves of absence. This bulletin will provide […]

Netherlands: Term of validity 30%-ruling reduced from eight to five years

The Dutch government intends to reduce the term of validity of the 30%-ruling from eight to five years as from 1 January 2019. The proposal applies to both new and existing situations. It was accepted by the Cabinet on a proposal from the State Secretary of Finance. Acceptance of the proposal by the Dutch Parliament […]

Ireland: Reinstatement awarded following summary dismissal

In a recent decision of the Workplace Relations Commission, a bank has been ordered to re­instate a dismissed employee where it was found that the bank had insufficient grounds to uphold the allegations for which the complainant was summarily dismissed…

Energy and environment

New code on subsoil and subsoil use for mining companies

On 27 December 2017, Kazakhstan adopted a new Code on Subsoil and Subsoil Use for mining companies (the “Code”) to come into force six months after its official publication. The Code will replace the current Law on Subsoil and Subsoil Use dated 24 June 2010 save for a limited number of provisions applicable to those […]

There’s no place like home until the neighbour interferes

My home is my castle. Unfortunately, the Austrian Supreme Court (“OGH”) doesn’t think so. The Austrian Civil Code (ABGB) entitles property owners to prohibit all emissions that exceed the local norm and have a substantial effect on the customary use of their property. Here are some rulings that the OGH has made since 2011…

Oil rig

Regulations on decommissioning of oil and gas facilities

Presidential Decree 91/18 of 10 April 2018 (“PD 91/18”) enacted the regulations on abandonment and decommissioning of upstream oil and gas facilities located in Angola. Below you will find an overview of PD 91/18…

Beijing, China - December 7, 2015: Asian girl protects herself against air pollution by wearing mouth mask with air filter. A incidental people on the background.

China – New measures reform pollutants discharge permit system

By Wenhong Xu and Hui Yang On January 10 2018 the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) issued the Administrative Measures for Pollutants Discharge Permits (for Trial Implementation) (MEP Order 48), which took effect on the same date. The measures develop and refine the Interim Provisions on the Management of Pollution Permits (Huan Shui Ti [2016] 186), which the […]

Funds

Incentives for investors in Russia

On 16 March 2018, the Government of the Russian Federation adopted several decisions on the establishment of 19 new territories for priority socio-economic development (TPSED) in the following regions of Russia…

Luxembourg: Modernisation of the limited partnership regime

The limited partnership legislation in Luxembourg has been modernised by the Luxembourg law dated 10 July 2013 (the Law) in ways that assist the establishment of vehicles suitable for structuring liquid or illiquid funds and unregulated and regulated funds. The Law also transposed Directive 2011/61/EU on Alternative Investment Fund Managers (the AIFMD) into Luxembourg domestic law. […]

Pensions Legal Update: New regulations from 6 April 2018

By Suzanne Burrell and Alexandra Ventham  A number of regulatory changes relating to pension schemes came into force on 6 April 2018. These changes include regulations covering the following: Bulk transfers of money purchase benefits without consent; Safeguarded flexible benefits, risk warnings and appropriate independent advice; Chair’s Governance Statement and disclosure of costs and charges; […]

Insolvency and restructuring

No jurisdiction for covenant not to sue claim after foreign proceedings

Mr Justice Butcher has upheld a challenge by Vakifbank, a Turkish bank, to the English Court’s jurisdiction to try a claim brought by BTA, a Kazakh bank, and its affiliate. The background was that BTA had given Vakifbank a guarantee, governed by Turkish law, of a debt. By the time Vakifbank called on the guarantee, […]

Advice needed as corporate insolvencies expected to rise

The anticipated rise in UK and European corporate insolvencies over the next two years should be prompting both borrowers and lenders to take early advice where they have concerns about businesses’ solvency outlook, says Ogier offshore restructuring specialist Simon Felton…

Switzerland: Subordination at the interface of finance and insolvency law

By Daniel Hayek and Chantal Joris There are different forms and treatments of subordination agreements in Swiss insolvency. This article is inspired by the authors’ experience representing the security agent of $1.75 billion bond issue of a Swiss-based oil refinery group…

Austria: Responsibility to investigate – an update on avoidance risks

Following the opening of insolvency proceedings, the insolvency receiver typically tries to enlarge the insolvency estate by asserting voidance claims. Legal acts that occurred within certain suspect periods prior to the opening of insolvency proceedings might be declared void. Creditors may mitigate certain avoidance risks by investigating the debtor’s financial situation when conducting legal transactions…

Insurance

Arbitrator qualifications: Does an insurance barrister have ‘experience of insurance’

By Samantha Holland, Michael Darowski and Christopher Richards In Allianz Insurance Plc & Anor v Tonicstar Ltd [2018] EWCA Civ 434, the Court of Appeal decided that an arbitration clause which provided that the arbitrators must have “not less than ten years’ experience of insurance” did not preclude an insurance QC from sitting as arbitrator. In doing […]

Switzerland: Finma’s new rules on outsourcing for banks and insurance companies

By Rashid Bahar and Martin Peyer On 5 December 2017, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA published its new circular 2018/3 Outsourcing – Banks and Insurance Companies. In contrast to the current rules, the new circular not only covers banks and securities dealers but is also applicable to insurance companies…

Central Bank outlines expectations for Irish insurance intermediaries on Brexit

The Central Bank of Ireland has published a special edition of its Intermediary Times newsletter containing important information relevant to Irish insurance intermediaries in relation to service continuity post-Brexit (the “Newsletter”). The Central Bank reminds Irish insurance intermediaries passporting into the United Kingdom (UK) to take the necessary steps: to prevent conducting insurance mediation activities […]

Switzerland: Aftermath of the Achmea ruling – Which way forward?

By Michael Feit and Chloé Terrapon The judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) in the case Slovak Republic v Achmea B.V. (C-284/16) has caused a major earthquake in the arbitration community. The judgment has been eagerly awaited, and since its rendering on 6 March 2018, its exact impact on intra-EU investment […]

Intellectual Property

Ireland: Mining big data

By Colette Brady As discussed in our previous article here the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation has put forward the Copyright and Other Intellectual Property Law Provisions Bill 2018 (the “Bill”) which seeks to make a number of amendments to the Irish Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000 (the “Copyright Act”). One of the […]

9.5 million roubles to be paid for an infringement of Heineken’s trademark

On 1 March 2018, the Commission of the Federal Antimonopoly Service of the Russian Federation Office (FAS Commission) for St Petersburg issued an order in respect to Afanasy Private Brewery LLC to stop violation of Article 14.6.1 of Federal Law No. 135-FZ, dated 26 July 2006 ‘On Competition Protection’, in particular, the illegal use of […]

Canada: Trademark trolls and all-class applications

By R. Nelson Godfrey In the intellectual property context, the term “troll” is commonly used to refer to a (generally non­ practising) person or entity who registers an exclusive right and then demands payment and threatens litigation against persons who infringe upon the registered intellectual property right. Trademark trolls (also referred to as “trademark squatters” or […]

Irish Patents Office: In GAA we trust

By Colette Brady A recent decision of the Irish Patents Office has highlighted the importance of ensuring that the correct proprietor of the trade mark is named on the Register. In Savanagh Securities Limited t/a T­Rex Clothing (the “Applicant) v Cumann Lúthchleas Gael (the “Proprietor”) the Applicant sought to invalidate the GAA word mark (the […]

Litigation

The right to be forgotten: What we know now

By Jane Ashford-Thom There are still significant uncertainties as to the scope of the right to be forgotten. One of these uncertainties was whether it applies to historic convictions, particularly where they are deemed ‘spent’ under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. The position has been clarified in the widely publicised case of ‘NT1’ and ‘NT2’ […]

Finance litigation: latest cases and issues in April 2018

By Ian Weatherall, Turon Miah and Jane Bates Gowling WLG’s finance litigation experts consider consent orders in the context of a regulated activity, when a discharged bankrupt is still liable for bankruptcy debts and whether a deed of assignment pre or post­dated a winding up petition…

British Columbia: Electronic signatures – do not despair signature there

By Mike Todd A signature is not always required to enter into a binding agreement. But what if there is a specific requirement in law that an agreement entered into or obligation created electronically be signed to be effective? The broad definition of the term “electronic signature” in the Electronic Commerce Legislation is helpful in that […]

Alberta: Dealing with old PPSA registrations

By Chris Dennehy Due diligence searches conducted on current and prior names of a prospective borrower will often reveal the continued existence of PPSA registrations relating to secured loan arrangements that have long since been repaid in full but where the underlying registrations were never discharged. When contacted with a discharge request, the old secured creditor […]

Pharmaceuticals and healthcare

New EU legislation designed to reduce acrylamide in food

Whilst it is not possible to eliminate acrylamide completely from foods, it is possible to take steps to try and ensure that acrylamide levels are as low as reasonably possible. This is the reasoning behind the new Commission Regulation (EU) 2017/2158 which came into force this month. As from 11 April 2018, all food business […]

Food producers told to reduce calories in popular foods by 20%

Public Health England (PHE) is an executive agency of the Department of Health and its remit is to address health inequalities and promote health and well-being. One priority for 2018 is to “support people to make healthy choices” and it has resolved to deliver a programme of work which significantly reduces childhood obesity. Although its […]

Competition Appeal Tribunal refers GSK ‘pay for delay’ case to ECJ

The Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) recently gave judgment in the long-awaited appeals by GSK and five generic pharmaceutical companies (Generics (UK) Ltd, Xellia Pharmaceuticals ApS, Alpharma LLC, Actavis UK Ltd and Merck KGaA) against a decision by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to impose fines of almost £45m in total for alleged “pay for […]

Finding liability: Vaginal mesh and two litigation pathways

By Mamta Gupta The litigation of vaginal mesh is becoming more and more widespread. This may be as a result of increasing awareness of the complications that can arise post mesh which is borne out by the media storm in the past year, along with the high­profile presence of anti­mesh campaigners such as Sling the […]

Private Client

New Serbian law on foreigners adopted

In March 2018, the new Serbian Law on Foreigners was adopted, replacing the 2008 version of this law ­ in force until recently without any amendments. The new law will enter into force on 3 October 2018. While retaining the general concept of the previous law, the new legislation introduces certain novelties in terms of […]

Landlords and tenants: MEES regulations now in force

By Lynne Horay As you will have seen in both the legal and mainstream press, the requirement of a minimum energy efficient standard for premises (known as MEES) was introduced in 2015 as part of a range of measures to meet the UK government’s carbon reduction targets. As a result of this requirement, a landlord […]

Court’s approach to the sale of the family home on divorce

By Sarah Green The power of the court (or otherwise) to order that a property be sold on divorce during the course of proceedings has often been the subject of debate. The default approach has tended to be to wait until a final hearing, where it is clear that the court has power to make […]

Do our smart devices have the right to remain silent?

On 20 July 2017, a burglar sneaked into a family’s flat in Hungary, grabbed whatever valuables he could find, and disappeared without a trace. At least that’s what he thought. Unfortunately for the burglar, his crime was recorded by the family’s baby monitor. The family handed the video over to the police and the burglar […]

Public sector and local authority

Russia: Federal law sanctions against the US

On 16 April 2018, the Council of the State Duma approved for consideration the draft Federal Law ‘On the Measures (Countermeasures) in Response to Unfriendly Actions of the USA and (or) other Foreign States’ developed by a group of deputies…

Supply chain visibility in central government contracts

With effect from 1 May 2018, central government departments, their executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies must comply with new requirements regarding supply chain visibility in procuring contracts…

Angola: What is new in public procurement

Presidential Decree 88/18 came into force on 6 April and establishes the rules for the organization and operation of the Unidades de Contratação Pública [Public Procurement Units] (“UCP”). These Units will intervene at the stages of formation and management of projects and contracts executed by Entidades Públicas Contratantes [Public Contracting Entities] (“EPC”), i.e., public entities […]

High Court quashes unconditional planning permission over error

By Katherine Evans The High Court has quashed an unconditional and permanent planning permission which had been granted in December 2011 on the basis of an error by the local planning authority (LPA). The error, being the omission of conditions including a five-year time limit which had clearly been envisaged by the planning committee, did […]

Real Estate and Infrastructure

Competition body secures real estate agent director disqualifications

By Simon Barnes, Angela Gregson and Louisa Mottaz On Tuesday 10 April, the UK competition regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced that it secured the disqualification of two directors of the Abbott and Frost Estate Agents Ltd in Burnham­-on­-Sea for breaching competition law. The disqualification follows the investigation into anti­competitive agreements between six real […]

A constructive development for employers to construction contracts?

A significant judgment in Justice Coulson’s final case in the TCC before heading off to the Court of Appeal (Grove Developments Ltd v S&T (UK) Ltd [2018] EWHC 123 (TCC, [2018] All ER (D) 08 (Mar)) has allowed an employer to challenge, by way of further adjudication, the amount due to a contractor in respect […]

Construction: What does insolvency mean for your contract?

By Sue Ryan, Pippa Hill, Lindsay Hammond and Stephan Smoktunowicz In the second of our mini­series on insolvency in construction, we consider what you need to do when you find out that the party you are in contract with has become (or is about to become) insolvent. Who are you in contract with? Which specific entity? Does the […]

Technology, Media and Telecommunications

Why in-house counsel can now have market leading legal apps too

Research tells us that in-house counsel are less likely to be using market-leading legal applications than their peers in private firms. Here Tikit’s Lloyd Ellison explains why cloud computing can change that and sets out the significant benefits that legal software can bring to even the smallest in-house team…

The use of AI in law: How just is machine justice?

By Jelena Danilović Artificial intelligence is a burning topic in many sectors today and the legal industry is no exception. Recently, at the World Services Group’s annual employment law conference held in February, AI was heavily debated along with its’ impact not only on the legal profession, lawyers, clients, the way business is done, but also […]

Turkey: Can your salary be paid in Bitcoin?

Bitcoin can be briefly defined as a new virtual payment system. It provides an online payment opportunity for the purchase of goods and services. Transactions in Bitcoin can be made between users without the need of an intermediary, as the system that does not require a central pool or sole manager, making it the first […]

Tax

Luxembourg introduces VAT grouping regime

Take away: Bill of law: following existing VAT grouping regimes in other EU Member States, the Luxembourg Government has now proposed the adoption of a VAT grouping regime in Luxembourg. The relevant bill of law, still subject to discussions and voting in the Parliament, is expected to enter into force on 31 July 2018. Potential […]

At-a-glance guide to launching a fund in Jersey

Jersey as a funds domicile: • Is a centre of excellence for investment funds with a skilled workforce and a proportionate regulatory regime • Is outside the EU but enjoys access to EU investors via member states’ National Private Placement Regimes • Is tax neutral–it does not impose domestic tax on the investment fund or […]

Map, Luxembourg Province - Belgium, Benelux, Europe, Former Yugoslavia

Introduction of the Luxembourg VAT group regime

By Bruno Gasparotto and Claire Schmitt On 13 April 2018, the Luxembourg Government introduced the bill of law n°7278 before the Parliament. This bill will implement the VAT group into Luxembourg VAT law with effect from 31 July 2018…

A Swiss perspective on the taxation of initial coin offerings

By Marius Breier, Peter Hongler, and Maurus Winzap Recently, start-ups and even well-established companies have become increasingly interested in issuing coins or tokens as a new way to finance their business activities. In an initial coin offering (ICO), also called a token sale or token-generating event, the issuer raises funds from investors based on a […]

Transport (Including aviation and shipping)

Construction and project finance in Qatar

By Matthew Heaton Anyone who has travelled to Qatar over the last few years will have witnessed the huge infrastructure projects that have been completed or are under construction. From the new Hamad International Airport, the dramatic road upgrade programme, to the new metro rail system – transport in Qatar is being transformed… …From a […]

Aviation: An important catalyst for growth in Saudi Arabia

By Pedro Castro The Saudi 2030 Vision is based upon growing inward investment to stimulate and diversify the economy and transform the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia into a global hub connecting Asia, Europe and Africa… …Aviation will play an essential role in the diversification and expansion of the Saudi economy. If we look to other […]

Video: Luxembourg in space, one step ahead

Discover Luxembourg’s space adventure and the challenges the space industry will face in the ext decade. Arendt & Medernach, the leading law firm in Luxembourg, continuously supported the space and satellite industries and have developed the firm’s expertise and experience in these domains. We are now really looking forward to helping other businesses on their […]

Aviation sector update 2018

Includes updates from Angola, Cabo Verde, Congo, Gabon, Mozambique, Portugal, Sao Tome and Principe, and Timor-Leste…

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