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Blockchain and cryptocurrency regulation 2020
Carey Olsen Bermuda
  • Banking
  • Bermuda
  • 21 February 2020

The current government was elected in 2017, having undertaken to create new economic pillars in Bermuda, identify new opportunities for economic diversification and seek local and overseas investment to develop new local industry and thereby create jobs in Bermuda. Since its election, the government has enthusiastically embraced the fintech sector and the potential that it offers and has repeatedly expressed its intention for Bermuda to be a significant centre for this industry.

Cryptocurrency treated as property in freezing order
Allen & Overy LLP
  • Banking
  • United Kingdom
  • 21 February 2020

The High Court recently granted a freezing order over £1.5 million worth of bitcoin and ethereum cryptocurrency against a trading platform and its directors in only the second known example of the court treating cryptocurrency as property. This decision will provide further reassurance of the English courts' willingness to deal with cryptocurrency as property.

Calculating share of Russian immovable property for corporate income tax purposes
Gorodissky & Partners
  • Corporate Tax
  • Russia
  • 21 February 2020

At the end of 2019, the Federal Tax Service issued clarifications on calculating the share of Russian immovable property in the indirect sale of such property for corporate income tax purposes. The clarifications are especially relevant as the Russian tax authorities' powers have grown following the signing and ratification of a number of international agreements on the exchange of tax information in recent years.

FinSA/FinIA: proposed follow-up regulation by FINMA
Meyerlustenberger Lachenal
  • Banking
  • Switzerland
  • 21 February 2020

The new Financial Services Act and Financial Institutions Act came into force on 1 January 2020 together with the implementing ordinances. These laws oblige the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) to pass a number of implementing provisions pertaining to selected, mainly technical issues. As a result, FINMA has created a new, streamlined Financial Institutions Ordinance and introduced amendments to several current FINMA ordinances and circulars.

Insufficiently stamped agreements: can parties still seek interim relief in support of India-seated arbitrations?
Khaitan & Co
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • India
  • 20 February 2020

The Supreme Court recently held that the courts cannot appoint an arbitrator on the basis of an arbitration clause if the agreement containing such clause is insufficiently stamped. The court concluded that such an arbitration clause does not exist in law. In so doing, the court expressly overruled a prior decision of the Bombay High Court to the extent that it dealt with the powers of the courts under Section 11 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act.

Blockchain and cryptocurrency regulation 2020
Carey Olsen Bermuda
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Bermuda
  • 20 February 2020

The current government was elected in 2017, having undertaken to create new economic pillars in Bermuda, identify new opportunities for economic diversification and seek local and overseas investment to develop new local industry and thereby create jobs in Bermuda. Since its election, the government has enthusiastically embraced the fintech sector and the potential that it offers and has repeatedly expressed its intention for Bermuda to be a significant centre for this industry.

Partial annulment of award based on ultra petita grounds
Tavernier Tschanz
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • Switzerland
  • 20 February 2020

A recent case addressed the partial annulment of an award which granted damages where the prayer for relief sought only a declaration (ultra petita). In addition to confirming the well-established line of decisions on penalty and substantive public order, this decision is among the few annulments, albeit partial, of an international award by the Supreme Court.

Macau responds to regulatory trends with new Cybersecurity Law
Rato, Ling, Lei & Cortés Advogados
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Macau
  • 20 February 2020

In June 2019 the Legislative Assembly of the Macau Special Administrative Region (SAR) enacted the Cybersecurity Law. Prior to this, no legislation covered cybersecurity issues in the Macau SAR. As such, this new law reflects the region's efforts to respond to the latest regulatory trends regarding privacy and security and establish a legal regime for such matters. The main purpose of the law is to protect the networks, systems and data of critical infrastructure operators of the Macau SAR.

Preparing US tax and information returns: Forms 3520 and 3520-A
Kozusko Harris Duncan
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • USA
  • 20 February 2020

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is ramping up compliance initiatives targeting failures to file US tax and information returns. US tax attorneys and accountants are increasingly seeing IRS notifications and penalty assessments. As the new year begins, family advisers and trust officers should review succession planning structures to determine whether any entity or individual has a 15 April US reporting requirement.

International arbitration: key legislative developments
Courtenay Coye LLP
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Belize
  • 20 February 2020

Arbitration in Belize is governed by the Arbitration Act. As the act was last amended in 1980, it has become somewhat outdated. However, these amendments assisted in Belize's assimilation of a modern arbitration enforcement regime by incorporating the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards 1958 into domestic law. In 2017 legislation was enacted that has directly affected the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards in Belize and abroad.

What's new in revised draft of Anti-monopoly Law?
AnJie Law Firm
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • China
  • 20 February 2020

The State Administration for Market Regulation recently released a revised draft of the Anti-monopoly Law (AML) for public comment. In general, the revised draft follows the current AML's basic framework; however, it significantly enhances the legal liability of AML violators. This article highlights key changes proposed by the revised draft and discusses why these changes matter for business entities from a practical point of view.

International arbitration: key legislative developments
Courtenay Coye LLP
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • Belize
  • 20 February 2020

Arbitration in Belize is governed by the Arbitration Act. As the act was last amended in 1980, it has become somewhat outdated. However, these amendments assisted in Belize's assimilation of a modern arbitration enforcement regime by incorporating the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards 1958 into domestic law. In 2017 legislation was enacted that has directly affected the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards in Belize and abroad.

Federal Supreme Court examines margin squeeze under Swiss competition law
Lenz & Staehelin
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Switzerland
  • 20 February 2020

The Federal Supreme Court recently confirmed that Swisscom had abused its dominant position by charging abusive prices for wholesale broadband services between 2001 and 2007. Swisscom was found to have left its competitors no possibility to gain a sufficient profit margin between the wholesale prices charged by Swisscom and their retail prices (so-called 'margin squeeze'). This was the court's first judgment where it examined a margin squeeze under Swiss competition law.

Fifth Circuit confirms Dorion test for maritime contracts
Wilson Elser
  • Shipping & Transport
  • USA
  • 19 February 2020

The US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently confirmed the Dorion test for determining whether a contract is a maritime contract and extended the test to all mixed service contracts. Whether a contract is 'maritime' is a vital distinction for anyone operating in the maritime or offshore industries in the United States, as it can have far-reaching implications with respect to governing law, risk allocation and the enforceability of contractual indemnity provisions.

Common pitfalls in M&A deals and how to avoid them
Kayum & Demir
  • Corporate Finance/M&A
  • Turkey
  • 19 February 2020

This article examines some of the key considerations for buyers and sellers when entering into an M&A transaction and how best to navigate deal-related risks. For example, in Turkey, M&A deals are generally not subject to regulatory approval. However, depending on the turnovers of the buyer, seller and target, a proposed transaction may be subject to Competition Board approval. Further, M&A deals in some regulated sectors (eg, energy and telecoms) must be approved by the governmental authorities.

Employees' social rights: Employment of Women Law
Fischer Behar Chen Well Orion & Co
  • Employment & Benefits
  • Israel
  • 19 February 2020

The Employment of Women Law entitles both women and men to certain parental rights, including limitations on the fields of work available to pregnant women, limitations on women's night shifts, the protection of employment during pregnancy, maternity leave (for both women and men) and limitations on termination of employment.

Comfort animals are not service animals: DOT to narrow scope of service animal accommodations
Cozen O'Connor
  • Aviation
  • USA
  • 19 February 2020

The Department of Transportation (DOT) has proposed significant changes to its disability regulations relating to the transportation of service animals by air. The DOT's current regulations require that airlines allow passengers to travel with a wide range of animals in cabin on the basis that they are service animals or emotional support animals. This article sets out the DOT's most significant proposed changes.

Court's discretion trumps International Arbitration Act in admiralty case
Bowmans
  • Shipping & Transport
  • South Africa
  • 19 February 2020

In 2017 South Africa promulgated the International Arbitration Act (IAA) with a view to creating a viable arbitral forum on the African continent to resolve international disputes. Although the IAA is still in its infancy, the Supreme Court of Appeal recently delivered an important judgment which illustrates the tension created by the overlapping boundaries of the IAA and the High Court's well-established admiralty jurisdiction under the Admiralty Jurisdiction Regulation Act.

What is PM 905 and will it lead to another labour reform in Brazil?
CGM Advogados
  • Employment & Benefits
  • Brazil
  • 19 February 2020

Provisional Measure 905/2019 (PM 905) was recently published in the Official Gazette, creating a new type of employment agreement specifically designed to incentivise companies to offer individuals aged between 19 and 29 their first formal job in exchange for benefits relating mainly to payroll taxation. The final decision regarding PM 905 should happen after April 2020 but, in the meantime, companies should seek legal advice while implementing the proposed changes.

Digital health: proposal to amend Health Telematics Act
Preslmayr Attorneys at Law
  • Healthcare & Life Sciences
  • Austria
  • 19 February 2020

The Ministry of Health recently provided Parliament with a draft amendment to the Health Telematics Act for public consultation. The proposal aims to remedy a number of challenges relating to Austria's existing immunisation system through the introduction of electronic immunisation cards and a central register of vaccinations.

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