Latest updates

Debt recovery made faster, cheaper and more efficient? EAPOs and their implementation in Austria
Graf & Pitkowitz
  • Banking
  • Austria
  • February 24 2017

New almost EU-wide rules recently entered into force to support businesses in the recovery of debt from debtors in other EU countries. The regulation established a new procedure for creditors by providing common rules regarding jurisdiction and the procedure and conditions for freezing funds held by debtors in bank accounts located in the European Union. Austria has amended its Enforcement Code in order to provide the necessary framework for the procedures set out in the EU regulation.

Exchange of information with Austria
Andreas Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Corporate Tax
  • Cyprus
  • February 24 2017

The Tax Department recently issued guidance relating to the exchange of information with Austria under the EU Directive on the Mandatory Exchange of Information (2014/107/EC). As of January 1 2016, Cyprus must provide information on payments that fall within the scope of the directive made to Austrian residents in the same way that it does for payments made to residents of other EU member states.

IRS launches issue-based corporate compliance campaigns
Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered
  • Corporate Tax
  • USA
  • February 24 2017

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently launched its first wave of compliance campaigns. They cover a broad range of topics, including Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act partnerships, micro-captive insurance transactions, transfer pricing and repatriation of foreign earnings. This new issue-focused approach means that businesses dealing with any of the identified issues face increased IRS audit risk and should work with their legal advisers to prepare for IRS challenges to their positions.

Tax Authority clarifies new CFC rules
Studio Legale Tributario Biscozzi Nobili
  • Corporate Tax
  • Italy
  • February 24 2017

The Tax Authority recently issued Circular Letter 35/E, which clarifies Italy's controlled foreign companies (CFC) regime in light of recent changes under Budget Laws 190/2014 and 208/2015 and Decree-Law 147/2015. The black-list criteria provided for CFC purposes have been significantly revised and, if a CFC is deemed to exist, material clarifications have been provided with regard to the taxation of dividends paid which are – in principle – fully taxable in the hands of the Italian receiving company.

Immigration Rules: changes to English language requirement
Magrath LLP
  • Immigration
  • United Kingdom
  • February 24 2017

The Home Office recently introduced two changes to the English language requirement, applicable across the Immigration Rules. The requirements will affect those applying for entry clearance under the points-based system, as well as those who are in the United Kingdom (or will enter the United Kingdom) as a spouse or partner of a British national or settled person who extend their stay on or after May 1 2017.

Competition Council: 2016 at a glance
Moravčević Vojnović and Partners in cooperation with Schoenherr
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • February 23 2017

The Competition Council's main activities in 2016 included issuing opinions and conducting proceedings pursuant to requests filed by undertakings or ex officio. A total of 50% of the cases filed were processed in 2016, while the remaining cases have been carried over to 2017. The council's total income from administrative fees in 2016 was KM234,574 (approximately €115,000), while collected fines reached KM624,492 (approximately €610,000).

Merger control filing requirements for leasing agreements
CMS
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Germany
  • February 23 2017

The Federal Cartel Office (FCO) recently issued a decision on a merger control notification from Lufthansa and Air Berlin regarding a wet lease. The agreement is part of Air Berlin's restructuring process. The case underlines the fact that the FCO's application of the concept of 'control' differs from the European Commission's view and raises further questions relating to German merger control.

Ontario court recognises arbitral award and confirms narrow scope of public policy defence
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • Canada
  • February 23 2017

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice recently issued another decision in the ongoing saga on the enforcement of arbitral awards against the Kyrgyz Republic by various arbitral creditors. Consistent with the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law Model Law and previous case law, the decision confirms that only the most egregious circumstances will warrant a refusal to recognise an arbitral award for public policy reasons.

Legislation on medical error
Rato, Ling, Lei & Cortés Advogados
  • Offshore Services
  • Macau
  • February 23 2017

After its initial introduction to the Macau Legislative Assembly in 2013, the Regime Jurídico do Erro Médico (RJEM) will soon enter into force. The driving forces behind the RJEM's enactment include a lack of knowledge about the occurrence of medical error and the consistency of the liability rules and competent courts. The RJEM is a sensible reaction to the problems and injustice caused by medical error and how it is handled. Hopefully its effectiveness can be proven with experience.

FECC will focus on priority sectors in 2017
SAI Consultores SC
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Mexico
  • February 23 2017

The Federal Economic Competition Commission recently issued its Annual Work Programme. The programme's initiatives largely focus on sectors of strategic importance to Mexico's economic and social interests and should encourage economic agents participating in these sectors to avoid monopolistic practices that may harm, impede or restrict competition.

Settling vertical infringements – leniency application and full immunity
Schellenberg Wittmer
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Switzerland
  • February 23 2017

The Competition Commission recently issued a ruling in which an investigation into vertical infringements of competition law was the subject of an amicable settlement with the competition authority. Even though this is not a leading case with regard to the application of material law, it is a good opportunity to reflect on whether the application of leniency regimes to vertical cases is reasonable in general and whether full immunity could be justified in particular.

Competition Authority reviews most-favoured nation clauses in real estate e-commerce software contracts
Simmons & Simmons
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Belgium
  • February 23 2017

The Competition Authority recently closed its investigation into real estate website operator Immoweb's most-favoured nation clauses in its contracts with developers of e-commerce software used by real estate agencies. When informed of the authority's preliminary analysis, Immoweb offered to revoke the existing most-favoured nation clauses in its contracts and refrain from reintroducing them in any future contracts with software developers for five years.

COMPAT sets aside penalty imposed on Lupin and its office bearers
Vaish Associates Advocates
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • India
  • February 23 2017

The Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT) recently set aside a Competition Commission of India (CCI) order, quashing the Rs73 million fine imposed on Lupin Ltd and its two officials for allegedly entering into an anti-competitive agreement with the Karnataka Chemists and Druggists Association. In setting aside the CCI's order, COMPAT noted that the director general and the CCI had committed a jurisdictional error by finding that Lupin had violated the Competition Act.

Dissenting shareholder claims – video
Harneys
  • Offshore Services
  • Cayman Islands
  • February 23 2017

Mergers are a favoured method of takeover or restructuring in the Cayman Islands. The recent Grand Court decision in Integra – discussed in this video – provides much-needed guidance on what considerations should be taken into account in determining fair value, which is likely to provide comfort to parties seeking to explore the Cayman Islands merger framework.

First step in applying EU Passenger Liability Regulation to Italian domestic market
Dardani Studio Legale
  • Shipping & Transport
  • Italy
  • February 22 2017

As of January 1 2017, the EU Passenger Liability Regulation applies to Class A ships sailing Italian domestic voyages, as defined under the EU Directive on Safety Rules and Standards for Passenger Ships. Accordingly, such ships can limit their liability, pursuant to the Athens Convention relating to the Carriage of Passengers and their Luggage by Sea 1974, and must fulfil the relevant compulsory insurance duties.

Hamburg Rules may have no legal effect in Nigeria
Akabogu & Associates
  • Shipping & Transport
  • Nigeria
  • February 22 2017

On becoming a contracting state to the Hamburg Rules, any state party to the Hague Rules must notify the Belgian government of its denunciation of the latter. Nigeria failed to fulfil this requirement and, as a result, the invalidity of the Hague Rules in Nigeria has been questioned. Two unreported Federal High Court cases on this matter have recently come to light due to their controversial implications.

Regulatory and judicial round-up
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Healthcare & Life Sciences
  • Canada
  • February 22 2017

There have been a number of recent regulatory developments in the healthcare sector, including the Supreme Court's dismissal of Teva's application for leave to appeal the Federal Court of Appeal's venlafaxine decision. Further, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office recently revised the antibody sections of the Manual of Patent Office Practice, and the Canadian Institute for Health Information announced the release of its reports on Canada's health and prescribed drug spending.

Lessons for HR professionals following Quebec City shootings
Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP
  • Employment & Benefits
  • Canada
  • February 22 2017

The recent, apparently racially motivated, shootings in Quebec City have given pause for reflection and brought home the fact that Canadians are not immune from the same social ills that afflict other countries. An important consideration in a country as diverse as Canada is how to ensure that racial, ethnic and religious tension does not permeate its organisations. HR professionals, business managers and lawyers can all learn something from this tragedy.

FDA proposes regulatory framework for laboratory-developed tests
Sidley Austin LLP
  • Healthcare & Life Sciences
  • USA
  • February 22 2017

In an unusual move, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently published a discussion paper which proposes a new regulatory framework for laboratory-developed tests. The discussion paper describes a risk-based approach that differs significantly from the FDA's initial proposal in a draft guidance document issued in 2014 and reflects a lighter touch for most laboratory-developed tests.

Brazil designates Ireland as tax haven: impact on aircraft finance
Basch & Rameh
  • Aviation
  • Brazil
  • February 22 2017

In September 2016 the Brazilian Revenue Service unexpectedly promulgated a change in its treatment of Ireland, which had the potential to wreak havoc on the aircraft leasing sector for the entire country. After four weeks of considerable uncertainty, the changes – as they apply to commercial aircraft leases – were suspended. While the clarifications temporarily resolve the initial concerns regarding commercial aircraft leases, they provide no relief for other important sectors, such as the air taxi sector.

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