Latest updates

New Jersey reconsiders financial transaction tax
McDermott Will & Emery
  • Corporate Tax
  • USA
  • 25 September 2020

A troubling New Jersey financial transaction tax proposal, which appeared to be gaining popularity over the past few months, has reportedly been left out of the 2021 budget deal that Governor Phil Murphy recently struck with legislative leaders. The decision to drop the transaction tax from the deal came days after the Wall Street Journal reported that prominent stock exchanges with data centres in New Jersey were prepared to exit the state if the tax plan was adopted.

Supreme Administrative Court repeals merger clearance for Sopharma Trading/Pharmastore
Schoenherr
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Bulgaria
  • 24 September 2020

The Supreme Administrative Court, acting as the second and final instance, recently repealed the Commission for the Protection of Competition's (CPC's) clearance for the acquisition of Pharmastore OOD by Sopharma Trading AD. In its decision, the Supreme Administrative Court ruled that the CPC had failed to analyse the de facto vertical links between Sopharma and CHS.

Primacy of family settlements upheld
Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • India
  • 24 September 2020

Family settlements and the documents relating thereto have been the subject of litigation for various reasons. One such litigious issue is whether the documents pertaining to family settlements must be registered under the Registration Act. In a recent case, the Supreme Court held that a memorandum of family settlement, which merely records the terms of a family settlement already acted on by the concerned parties, need not be registered.

UOKiK will investigate fruit market over potential price fixing
Schoenherr
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Poland
  • 24 September 2020

The National Council of Agricultural Chambers recently asked the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) to look into potential competition rule breaches in the soft fruit market, especially regarding the sale of gooseberries. According to gooseberry growers, the buying price of gooseberries is too low compared with the potential price of further sale. The UOKiK is set to investigate Poland's soft fruit market over suspected price fixing.

Arbitrating disputes in pharmaceutical, life sciences and healthcare sector during COVID-19 pandemic
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • International
  • 24 September 2020

COVID-19 is putting tremendous strain on the life sciences and healthcare sector. Disputes may be more disruptive than usual during this time, not least because they put further pressure on often already limited financial and managerial resources. Therefore, many parties are seeking alternative ways to avoid disputes. However, some disputes are inevitable and a number are likely to be resolved through international arbitration.

E-cigarette distributor fined for resale price maintenance
Schoenherr
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Czech Republic
  • 24 September 2020

In a first-instance decision, the Office for the Protection of Competition has fined RITCHY EU sro Kc6.7 million (€270,000) for resale price maintenance practices. According to the decision, RITCHY EU, a distributor of e-cigarettes and refills, violated the Act on the Protection of Competition between 6 September 2017 and 31 March 2019 by imposing on its customers minimum resale prices for the goods concerned.

Guernsey injunctions in aid of foreign proceedings
Ogier
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Guernsey
  • 24 September 2020

Where a potential judgment debtor in onshore proceedings threatens to dissipate its assets, the plaintiff may face a pyrrhic victory with no assets against which to enforce its judgment. Where the defendant is a Guernsey company or has assets in Guernsey, the Royal Court has statutory jurisdiction to grant an injunction in aid of those foreign proceedings, including freezing injunctions to prevent defendants dealing with the relevant assets in Guernsey.

Competitive edge in merger control and FDI: everything you need to know to stay ahead
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • International
  • 24 September 2020

As the world emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, increased M&A activity is likely until at least the end of 2020. The pandemic has changed the landscape of M&A, antitrust and foreign direct investment reviews globally in many key areas, including with regard to so-called 'killer acquisitions', failing firm arguments, distressed transactions and gun jumping.

Jersey expert funds
Ogier
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Jersey
  • 24 September 2020

Jersey expert funds were introduced to enhance Jersey's attractiveness as a jurisdiction for the establishment of funds aimed at institutional and high-net-worth investors. Expert funds can be established within a matter of days on the basis of a self-certification approach without any formal regulatory review of the fund or its promoter. There are currently more than 400 authorised expert funds.

Cayman injunctions in aid of foreign proceedings
Ogier
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Cayman Islands
  • 24 September 2020

Where a potential judgment debtor in onshore proceedings threatens to dissipate its assets, the plaintiff may face a pyrrhic victory with no assets against which to enforce its judgment. Where the defendant is a Cayman company or has assets in the Cayman Islands, the Cayman court has statutory jurisdiction to grant a freezing injunction in aid of those foreign proceedings, which can extend to the worldwide assets of the defendant.

Amazon versus marketplace merchants: FCO is investigating
Fieldfisher (Germany) LLP
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Germany
  • 24 September 2020

The Federal Cartel Office (FCO) is investigating whether Amazon influences pricing on the Amazon marketplace. According to the FCO, it received numerous complaints from merchants regarding Amazon's conduct. The investigation is one of a number of antitrust measures being undertaken in Germany with regard to powerful platforms (eg, Facebook and Booking.com). The German legislature has also become active and included special provisions for powerful platforms in the upcoming antitrust law.

Competition Board concludes preliminary investigation highlighting its approach to online sales
ELIG Gurkaynak Attorneys-at-Law
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Turkey
  • 24 September 2020

The Competition Board recently published its reasoned decision following a preliminary investigation based on allegations that two companies had violated Article 4 of Law 4054 on the Protection of Competition by determining dealers' resale prices, fixing discount rates and limiting the payment methods of their dealers.

Parliament passes amendment to Equal Pay Law for Male and Female Workers
Fischer Behar Chen Well Orion & Co
  • Employment & Immigration
  • Israel
  • 23 September 2020

Parliament recently passed the Equal Pay Law for Male and Female Workers (Amendment 6) (5780-2020), which aims to prevent discrimination based on sex with respect to salary and other work-related benefits. The law is based on the presumption that female and male workers employed at the same workplace should receive equal pay for the same work or for substantially similar work and provides another tool to remedy the gender pay gap.

Proposal to maintain increased unemployment benefit throughout 2020
Homble Olsby | Littler
  • Employment & Immigration
  • Norway
  • 23 September 2020

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the government has implemented several measures to secure jobs, boost the labour market and maintain stability for the workforce, including increasing the unemployment benefit. This temporary amendment originally applied until 31 October 2020. However, the government is set to propose a budget resolution before Parliament to extend the increased unemployment benefit to 31 December 2020.

Home office and mobile working
Mayer Brown
  • Employment & Immigration
  • Germany
  • 23 September 2020

In response to the health and safety risks resulting from a potential COVID-19 outbreak in the workplace, many employers moved to home office or mobile working arrangements earlier in 2020. For many companies, this has now proven to be a successful new way of working. This article describes the labour and employment law aspects of the implementation of home office and mobile working arrangements. It also includes a list of items that employers should consider when facilitating a remote work model.

Face coverings and the workplace
Lewis Silkin
  • Employment & Immigration
  • United Kingdom
  • 23 September 2020

What health and safety obligations do employers have towards employees and visitors with regard to face coverings in the workplace? How should they enforce wearing face coverings if people refuse? And how should they protect employees from abusive customers or visitors? This article discusses the current rules regarding face coverings at work and some of the practical issues that may arise for employers.

Court rejects preliminary attempt to enforce dockers' clause
AKD
  • Shipping & Transport
  • Netherlands
  • 23 September 2020

The effort to make lashing a cargo-handling activity rather than a crew activity is set out in the so-called 'dockers' clause', contained in collective agreements covering some 15,000 seagoing vessels worldwide. A recent decision by the Rotterdam Court rejected the claimants' request to immediately prohibit lashing by seafarers in advance of the results of main proceedings. The court also raised the possibility that the clause could prove to be against the principles of reasonableness and fairness, as well as anti-competitive.

Suspension of decision granting Baclocur market authorisation when decision is based on compromise rather than scientific knowledge
Altana
  • Healthcare & Life Sciences
  • France
  • 23 September 2020

Over the past two years, the French administrative courts have witnessed several proceedings concerning the use of Baclofen for alcohol-related disorders. The Baclofen saga highlights the difficulty for a health authority to make decisions lacking a purely scientific basis which aim, at least partially, to satisfy third parties.

Sickness benefit period extended for employees at higher risk of COVID-19
Norrbom Vinding
  • Employment & Immigration
  • Denmark
  • 23 September 2020

The government and parliamentary parties recently passed a bill to provide sickness benefits to employees who are at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19 or the relative of a person in the higher-risk group. The scheme originally applied to absences up to and including 31 August 2020, but the government and a majority in Parliament have now agreed to extend the scheme on the same terms up to and including 31 December 2020.

Freight forwarder liable for depriving cargo interest possibility to declare general average
WSCO Advokatpartnerselskab
  • Shipping & Transport
  • Denmark
  • 23 September 2020

A Danish court recently found a freight forwarder to be vicariously liable to a Danish company for fire damage caused to cargo carried by a subcontractor. The judgment suggests that a contracting carrier may incur liability where a general average situation is deemed to have occurred if it fails to provide information to its customer about the concrete circumstances that give rise to the general average situation, even when the contracting carrier holds no information about said circumstances.

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