While the credit crunch has grabbed all the headlines in the UK and US, the Benelux countries of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg have so far managed to avoid the worst of the financial crisis.

In the Netherlands the government is looking to tighten up the tax regime on high salaries and benefits for the top-earning executives. No doubt tax lawyers will get a rush of calls from worried clients about the extra 30 per cent tax on severance payments worth more than e500,000 (£404,400). Luckily, as DLA Piper Amsterdam tax partner Boris Emmerig explains in the first report, much of the new tax regime can be negated by forming a limited company to hold the client’s benefits.

The second report discusses how Luxembourg is also updating the rules for investment companies to bag external funds. Loyens & Loeff consultant Thibaut Partsch explains how the grand duchy is looking to capitalise on its reputation for careful regulation while the credit crunch grips other markets.