Latest updates

Second shoe drops on US chem-bio sanctions on Russia: did anyone hear it?
Arent Fox LLP
  • International Trade
  • USA
  • 16 August 2019

The US State Department recently announced the issuance of another round of sanctions on the Russian government in relation to the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act 1991, which will come into effect on 19 August 2019. While this second round of sanctions is unlikely to affect most US companies, it may affect US banks, but only with respect to transactions involving non-ruble bonds and funds from the Russian sovereign issued after 26 August 2019.

New statute amends Bankruptcy Act
HPP Attorneys Ltd
  • Insolvency & Restructuring
  • Finland
  • 16 August 2019

The Bankruptcy Act has been amended by a statute which came into force on 1 July 2019. The amendments aim to simplify and accelerate bankruptcy proceedings. This article focuses on amendments that affect the position of creditors located outside Finland, such as those concerning the lodgement of claims, dates of creditors' meetings and the bankruptcy and restructuring proceedings case management system.

EU directive on administrative cooperation in field of taxation amended
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Corporate Tax
  • European Union
  • 16 August 2019

The European Union has added further impetus to its objective of providing greater transparency with regard to harmful tax practices through an amendment to EU Directive 2011/16/EU. The directive has introduced the mandatory reporting of cross-border arrangements that are indicative of potentially aggressive tax planning. The relevant disclosure requirements must be followed by intermediaries and, in some instances, taxpayers.

Nuptial agreements and wealth protection
Forsters LLP
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • United Kingdom
  • 15 August 2019

Divorce can pose a significant risk to a family's or an individual's wealth. However, a nuptial agreement can reduce or mitigate such risk. A common perception of nuptial agreements is that they are designed to limit the extent of one party's financial claims. While they can be used in this way, their greater utility in this context is their ability to reduce uncertainty and therefore risk.

Acquisitions of minority shareholdings under UK merger control regime
Gowling WLG
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • United Kingdom
  • 15 August 2019

The Competition and Markets Authority can open an investigation and impose initial enforcement orders where it has reasonable grounds to suspect that two or more enterprises have ceased to be distinct. This includes circumstances in which an acquirer purchases only a minority shareholding in the target because, under the UK merger control regime, two or more enterprises cease to be distinct where they are brought under common ownership or common control.

Important decision concerning confirmation of actions by improperly appointed trustees
Carey Olsen Bermuda
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Bermuda
  • 15 August 2019

Bermuda's chief justice recently handed down an important decision dealing with the power of the court to intervene in the administration of a trust to approve actions of improperly appointed trustees. This case is important because it confirms the court's inherent jurisdiction, on the appointment of trustees, to grant them leave to administer the trust on the basis that they were properly appointed on a prior date.

By cash or card? HCA releases findings of sector inquiry into bank card acceptance market
Schoenherr
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Hungary
  • 15 August 2019

In 2017 the Hungarian Competition Authority (HCA) initiated a sector inquiry into the bank card acceptance market. Although the market was found to be competitive and functioning in accordance with the relevant regulations, the HCA has made a number of recommendations to both the legislature and market players in order to stimulate further growth.

Competition authority initiates wide-reaching reform of merger reporting regulations
Tadmor Levy & Co
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Israel
  • 15 August 2019

The Israel Competition Authority recently published a draft amendment to the Antitrust Regulations (Registry, Publication and Reporting of Transactions) for public consultation. The draft includes significant and far-reaching changes regarding the scope of the transactions that will require merger approval by the competition commissioner, as well as the extent of the disclosure that will be required when filing merger notifications.

Court allows simultaneous proceedings against directors for alleged antitrust violation
Vaish Associates Advocates
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • India
  • 15 August 2019

In December 2018 the division bench of the Delhi High Court reconfirmed an earlier decision and held that simultaneous inquiries could be undertaken into Monsanto and its directors and officers for their alleged violation of the Competition Act 2002. The court also clarified that under Section 27 of the act, penalties could be imposed on the individuals in question based on their Monsanto-derived income.

Federal Administrative Court rules on abuse of dominant position
Lenz & Staehelin
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Switzerland
  • 15 August 2019

The Federal Administrative Court recently upheld a Sfr7 million fine issued by the Swiss Competition Commission in 2010 against SIX Group regarding the processing of credit and debit card payments. This long-awaited decision dealt with numerous legal questions of relevance to dominance cases; however, it is not yet final, as an appeal is pending before the Federal Supreme Court.

Regulation of cannabis use in food and cosmetics
Hogan Lovells
  • Product Regulation & Liability
  • Italy
  • 15 August 2019

The cultivation and industrial use of hemp in Italy has a long tradition and recent changes to the law have led to a revival in this regard. While a law enacted in 2016 promotes hemp cultivation as a means to preserve biodiversity and reduce the environmental impact of agriculture, hemp-derived products for human consumption are still subject to restrictions. A recent Supreme Court judgment has had the last word on the legality of cannabis.

New developments in competition authority's decision-making practice: whistleblowers and appointed guardians
Schoenherr
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Czech Republic
  • 15 August 2019

The Office for the Protection of Competition recently found two companies guilty of bid rigging in a public tender. While similar bid-rigging cases occur quite frequently and generally fall within the office's purview, this case is unique because, for the first time, the office was informed about the anti-competitive behaviour by a whistleblower and appointed a guardian for one of the parties involved.

Amazon slightly changes course
Preslmayr Attorneys at Law
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Austria
  • 15 August 2019

Amazon has offered to change its terms and conditions following a series of Federal Competition Authority (FCA) investigations regarding business practices on the 'Amazon.de' marketplace. The FCA conducted an extensive market survey in which approximately 400 of the top-selling Austrian marketplace traders on 'Amazon.de' were interviewed in writing and via telephone. The survey results showed that Amazon had market power for a representative selection of larger Austrian marketplace traders.

OFAC issues Iran-Related Civil Aviation Industry Advisory
Cozen O'Connor
  • Aviation
  • USA
  • 14 August 2019

The US Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) recently issued its Iran-Related Civil Aviation Industry Advisory. The advisory seeks to inform the civil aviation industry of potential exposure to US enforcement actions and economic sanctions for engaging in or supporting unauthorised exports to Iran or designated Iranian airlines. While no new restrictions have been announced, the advisory's publication could signal that the OFAC is taking a greater interest in the Iranian aviation sector.

What is considered a cancelled flight under the Aviation Services Law?
Levitan, Sharon & Co
  • Aviation
  • Israel
  • 14 August 2019

The Small Claims Court recently rejected two passengers' claim that their flight should be considered a cancelled flight under the Aviation Services Law. The case examined whether an airline should pay compensation for a missed connecting flight when passengers book two flights from the same company with a short connection time.

Civil court declares nullity of 16 inter-company unions
Porzio Rios Garcia
  • Employment & Benefits
  • Chile
  • 14 August 2019

The 24th Civil Court of Santiago recently found that 16 inter-company unions had been created with the sole purpose of granting union privileges to their leaders and ordered the unions to be removed from the Labour Authority's register. The ruling is of great relevance as it is the first time that a civil court has dissolved a union for illicit activity contrary to the spirit of the law that regulates labour organisations.

Supreme Court upholds air traffic controller conviction
Proton Legal LLC
  • Aviation
  • Switzerland
  • 14 August 2019

The Supreme Court recently dismissed an appeal against the conviction of an air traffic controller for negligent disruption of public transport. In so doing, the court established a new precedent that allows for criminal prosecution and conviction for operational incidents that result in neither injury nor damage. As this decision makes it difficult for aviation professionals to treat their mistakes as learning opportunities, it is a major step backwards for aviation safety.

KCOM takeover – Takeover Code default auction process
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
  • Corporate Finance/M&A
  • United Kingdom
  • 14 August 2019

Since June 2019, Universities Superannuation Scheme and Macquarie have been engaged in a competitive takeover battle for KCOM (a telecoms company). As was the case for the recent Sky takeover, it proceeded to an auction. However, instead of the parties agreeing to their own set of rules for the auction, the Takeover Panel's default auction rules were used, making it the first time that they have been used for a UK takeover.

Extended leave and holiday pay: is differentiating between protected employees discriminatory?
Fasken
  • Employment & Benefits
  • Canada
  • 14 August 2019

A recent arbitration decision reminds employers that distinctions between different classes of protected employee may be discriminatory. As such, employers should review their policies and agreements in light of this decision to ensure that differential treatment is not applied to employees in different protected classes on leave, as this may provide a basis for a successful discrimination claim.

Federal Court of Appeal requires PMPRB to redetermine whether patent pertains to Galderma's Differin
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Healthcare & Life Sciences
  • Canada
  • 14 August 2019

The Federal Court of Appeal recently granted the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board's (PMPRB's) appeal and returned to the board the matter of whether the invention of the patent at hand pertained to Galderma's Differin. The court addressed several issues, including whether the PMPRB had acted unreasonably in limiting its review of the patent to selected portions.

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