Latest updates

Changes to thin capitalisation rules for profit taxation purposes
Gorodissky & Partners
  • Corporate Tax
  • Russia
  • April 28 2017

Under certain conditions, a company may have a controlled indebtedness, for which the accounting of expenses for profit taxation purposes should be made according to the special rules regarding so-called 'thin capitalisation' stipulated in Article 269 of the Tax Code. Recent changes to the thin capitalisation rules aim to strengthen the barriers that prevent the outflow of capital abroad to the foreign companies of multinationals doing business in Russia.

Double tax agreement between Cyprus and Iran enters into force
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Corporate Tax
  • Cyprus
  • April 28 2017

The double tax agreement between Cyprus and Iran recently entered into force following completion of all of the requisite ratification procedures. Given Cyprus's geographical proximity to Iran, the Cyprus government hopes that the double tax agreement will help to establish Cyprus as the principal portal for investment between Iran and the European Union.

USCIS completes H-1B cap random selection process for 2017
Fakhoury Law Group PC
  • Immigration
  • USA
  • April 28 2017

US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced that it has received enough H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap of 65,000 visas for the fiscal year 2018. USCIS has also received more than the limit of 20,000 H-1B petitions filed under the advanced degree exemption, also known as the 'master's cap'. US businesses use the H-1B programme to employ foreign workers in occupations that require at least a bachelor's degree or equivalent.

Federal Council proposes revisions to boost fintech innovations
Meyerlustenberger Lachenal
  • Banking
  • Switzerland
  • April 28 2017

The Federal Council recently initiated a consultation procedure on new financial technology (fintech) regulations. The revised provisions ensure that barriers to market entry for fintech firms are reduced and that Switzerland's competitiveness as a financial centre is maintained. The consultation will end on May 8 2017. The proposed amendments to the Banking Act and the Banking Ordinance aim to ease the regulatory framework for innovative fintech companies, while taking into account potential risks.

Amended anti-money laundering and terrorist financing code gazetted
Harneys
  • Offshore Services
  • British Virgin Islands
  • April 27 2017

Schedule 2 of the Anti-money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Code of Practice 2008 sets out a list of jurisdictions with laws and regulations similar to those of the British Virgin Islands. The principal advantage of relying on Schedule 2 is that business coming from recognised jurisdictions will generally attract the application of reduced client due diligence measures.

Transitional period from 2008 Guernsey corporate law reform ends – what to do next
Ogier
  • Offshore Services
  • Guernsey
  • April 27 2017

When the Companies (Guernsey) Law was enacted, special temporary transitional rules were also enacted which allowed pre-existing Guernsey companies to retain their pre-2008 memorandum and articles and not comply with all of the provisions of the Companies (Guernsey) Law. Those transitional rules ended on December 31 2016. Accordingly, all Guernsey companies, whenever they were incorporated, must now comply with all of the Companies (Guernsey) Law.

Fighting bid rigging: Competition Authority's advocacy initiative in public procurement
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Portugal
  • April 27 2017

The Fighting Bid Rigging in Public Procurement campaign is a highlight of the Competition Authority's recent advocacy initiatives. The campaign is intended to raise awareness among the state bodies that regularly award public contracts of the most common issues concerning bid rigging in public procurement. It also advises on how to detect illegal practices in the context of public tenders and design tender programmes in a way that inhibits potential collusive tendering.

Unfair arbitration clause declared invalid
Kubas Kos Gałkowski
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • Poland
  • April 27 2017

Mass contracts are usually drafted favourably only for the stronger party in the contractual relationship. This particularly pertains to dispute resolution (eg, its method or place). The Supreme Court recently ruled strongly in favour of the weaker parties in a contract and found that an arbitration clause in the contract between a Polish franchisee and a Dutch franchisor that opted for New York as the place of arbitration was invalid, as it was grossly unfair to the Polish party.

Jersey private funds
Ogier
  • Offshore Services
  • Jersey
  • April 27 2017

With the release of the Jersey Private Funds (JPF) Guide, Jersey has introduced a welcome simplification of its funds regime by providing for a single JPF product. The JPF will replace the three existing fund products which cater to private funds in Jersey, namely Control of Borrowing (Jersey) Order only funds, private placement funds and very private funds.

OnDemand Competition and antitrust in the digital age
ELIG, Attorneys-at-Law
  • Turkey
  • April 27 2017

A significant number of consumers prefer to buy products and services online for practical reasons. In order to keep pace with these new market structures, the Competition Board must consider new market definitions for products and services involving digital markets. Moreover, the board must examine the specific dynamics of digital markets while assessing the competitive or anti-competitive effects of relevant cases.

2017 brings improvements for works councils and older employees
Graf & Pitkowitz
  • Employment & Benefits
  • Austria
  • April 26 2017

Two recent amendments to the Labour Relations Act benefit the legal status of works councils and are geared towards increasing older employees' job prospects. In particular, the term of office for members of a works council has been extended from four to five years. Works council members' entitlement to educational leave has also been extended. Further, the special treatment of employees who start employment at age 50 or older has been abolished.

Tribunal dismisses Eli Lilly's NAFTA challenge on promise utility doctrine
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Healthcare & Life Sciences
  • Canada
  • April 26 2017

In 2016 Eli Lilly submitted claims to international arbitration under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) seeking damages from the government of Canada, asserting that the Canadian courts' application of the promise doctrine to Eli Lilly's Strattera (atomoxetine) and Zyprexa (olanzapine) patents contravened Canada's obligations under NAFTA. The tribunal recently issued its final award dismissing Eli Lilly's claims.

Supreme Court affirms validity of forum selection clause in multimodal bill of lading
Dardani Studio Legale
  • Shipping & Transport
  • Italy
  • April 26 2017

In an important decision, the Supreme Court recently established the validity of a forum selection clause contained in a multimodal bill of lading. The judgment is notable as it overturns the main trend in Italian case law on this subject. Before the issuance of the Supreme Court judgment, many lower courts had denied the validity of jurisdiction clauses contained in multimodal bills of lading.

Switzerland explores extended dismissal protection of older workers
Rihm Rechtsanwälte
  • Employment & Benefits
  • Switzerland
  • April 26 2017

The largest employee group in the Swiss labour market is workers over 50 years old. Trade unions, representatives of this age bracket and lawyers specialising in labour law are therefore demanding increased protection for older workers against age discrimination. Both employee and employer representatives have stated that the federal government's main argument against special protective regulations that fewer staff over 50 years old will be recruited is probably unjustified.

Obtaining evidence in cross-border civil proceedings
Smyth & Co in association with RPC
  • Litigation
  • Hong Kong
  • April 25 2017

For litigants involved in disputes concerning cross-border matters between Hong Kong and mainland China, the new Arrangement on Mutual Taking of Evidence in Civil and Commercial Matters between the Courts of the Mainland and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is a welcome development. It should speed up the process for Hong Kong parties seeking evidence in the mainland and provide more certainty in the scope of assistance available to them.

Franchisors: protecting trade secrets under Texas law
Gardere
  • Franchising
  • USA
  • April 25 2017

It is common for a franchisor to initiate litigation when a former franchisee uses the franchisor's confidential information or trade secrets or otherwise fails to return such information following the expiration or earlier termination of the franchise agreement. As one case makes clear, franchisors in Texas must pursue any tort claims relating to a franchisee's improper use of the franchisor's trade secrets or confidential information under the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act.

Defective service and culpable delay: a warning to claimants
RPC
  • Litigation
  • United Kingdom
  • April 25 2017

The Commercial Court was recently faced with an application by the defendants to strike out claims against them on the basis that the claimant had failed to serve claim forms that it had issued several years earlier. The claimant made a cross-application for alternative service or alternatively for service to be dispensed with under the Civil Procedure Rules. The court refused the cross-application and struck out the claim forms. The judgment contains a useful distillation of the principles relevant in this area.

First Supreme Court judgment on rent control courts' jurisdiction to issue summary judgments
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Litigation
  • Cyprus
  • April 25 2017

A recent Supreme Court judgment placed a limit on the application of the general Civil Procedure Rules in cases filed before a rent control court (RCC). In the case in question, tenants appealed against an RCC decision. In its judgment on the appeal, the Supreme Court stated that the right of a tenant to file an opposition is a right provided for by the law and that it is not within the RCCs' discretion to allow or disallow such a filing.

Court decides on issuance of certificate of inheritance for foreign-owned real estate
Gün + Partners
  • Litigation
  • Turkey
  • April 25 2017

If a foreign national who owns real estate in Turkey dies, his or her successors must have recourse to the Turkish courts and obtain a certificate of inheritance in order to complete the transfer of the real estate under their names before the land registry or be able to legally dispose of the property in any manner. A recent case illustrates that this issue can be overcome by the submission of specific documents issued by the competent authorities of foreign countries, testament or notary statements.

Restricted scope of judicial review for government procurement decisions restored by Court of Appeal
Wilson Harle
  • Litigation
  • New Zealand
  • April 25 2017

The Court of Appeal recently reversed, on appeal, a High Court judgment setting aside the Ministry of Health's decision to award problem gambling services contracts to parties other than the applicant, the Problem Gambling Foundation, a major incumbent provider. The decision is important because it significantly decreases the likelihood of unsuccessful bidders being able to use the government procurement rules to set aside procurement decisions.

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