Latest updates

New H-1B policies following USCIS memo on third-party placement requirements
Fakhoury Global Immigration
  • Immigration
  • USA
  • April 27 2018

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently released a policy memorandum detailing the document requirements for H-1B petitions involving third-party worksites. USCIS has acknowledged that third-party arrangements may be a legitimate and frequently used business model and outlined the documents required to use this model. If employers do not include the mentioned corroborating evidence, USCIS may deny the petition.

SARS issues new Guide to Understatement Penalties – a move towards greater certainty?
Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr
  • Corporate Tax
  • South Africa
  • April 27 2018

One of the key changes to the tax administration regime following the Tax Administration Act's promulgation in 2012 was the conversion from the so-called 'additional tax' regime to the understatement penalty regime. While this shift towards greater certainty has been welcomed, a key challenge remains as the new regime's criteria are open to differing interpretations. In this regard, the South African Revenue Service recently published its Guide to Understatement Penalties.

National taxpayer advocate reminds Congress of IRS deficiencies
McDermott Will & Emery
  • Corporate Tax
  • USA
  • April 27 2018

Taxpayer Advocate Nina E Olson recently testified before a congressional oversight committee regarding ongoing challenges to the administration of an efficient and effective tax system. Her testimony echoes many tax professionals' concerns that the tax system is not being implemented in the most effective and efficient manner. With the advent of tax reform and the government's struggle to implement its sweeping changes, it is hoped that many of these issues will be addressed.

Government ramps up enforcement of North Korean forced labour provisions
Arent Fox LLP
  • International Trade
  • USA
  • April 27 2018

Importers associated with industries where North Korean forced labour is known to be used must exert caution or be prepared to face the consequences. Failure to ensure that a company's supply chain is free from products resulting from North Korean forced labour will result in seizure and forfeiture of the prohibited merchandise, civil fines and possibly criminal prosecution.

Levy on added value of land resulting from planning measures
Pestalozzi Attorneys at Law Ltd
  • Real Estate
  • Switzerland
  • April 27 2018

Swiss legislation provides for adequate compensation for considerable advantages and disadvantages resulting from spatial planning measures. In particular, land that is newly allocated to a building zone substantially increases in value. Owners of such land will benefit from spatial planning activities without any contribution on their part. For reasons of fairness, these benefits are subject to a levy which is supposed to 'skim off' part of the added value.

Court directs suit involving non-parties to arbitration agreement to proceed ahead of arbitration proceedings
Shearn Delamore & Co
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • Malaysia
  • April 26 2018

The Court of Appeal recently considered the law governing a stay of proceedings in relation to non-parties to an arbitration agreement pending the outcome of arbitration proceedings. The court determined that the facts of the case supported the conclusion that the court proceedings involving the non-parties to the arbitration agreement should proceed ahead of the arbitration proceedings between the parties to the arbitration.

CCI dismisses allegations of anti-competitive conduct against Kerala film associations
Vaish Associates Advocates
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • India
  • April 26 2018

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has dismissed allegations of anti-competitive conduct under Sections 3 and 4 of the Competition Act against the Kerala Film Producers Association and the Film Distributors Association. The CCI found no sufficient material on record to suggest that the defendants had enforced a ban on the distribution of films to the claimant for exhibition in his theatres. Therefore, no violation of the act could be found to have occurred.

JFTC report on Big Data and its impact on future enforcement
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Japan
  • April 26 2018

In 2017 the Japan Fair Trade Commission Competition Policy Research Centre published a report on competition issues surrounding Big Data. While the report did not presume that an oligopoly of digitalised businesses constituted a problem, it recognised that rapid advances in machine learning and data accumulation could boost the power of existing dominant players exponentially and limit opportunities for new market entrants.

Dissenting shareholders: judicial management and e-discovery
Harneys
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Cayman Islands
  • April 26 2018

In a partial ruling in Xiaodu Life Technology, the Cayman Islands Grand Court ruled on the scope of the company's discovery and the use of keyword searches; whether the number of information requests should be limited; and the number and conduct of management meetings, including whether they should be open or without prejudice.

General Court confirms manufacturers' right to set up authorised repair networks
Baker McKenzie CVBA/SCRL
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • European Union
  • April 26 2018

The General Court has confirmed that suppliers may restrict aftermarket access to authorised repairers for their spare parts. Suppliers can refuse unauthorised repairers access, even if they are considered to have a dominant market position over those parts. The case clarifies that even if suppliers are considered to be a monopoly supplier of spare parts or consumables for their installed base of customers, they are still entitled to control how their parts or consumables are distributed.

IAA publishes draft amendment to vertical arrangements block exemption
Tadmor & Co Yuval Levy & Co
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Israel
  • April 26 2018

The Israel Antitrust Authority recently published a draft amendment to the Vertical Block Exemption for public comment. The amendment aims to expand the substantive self-assessment of vertical arrangements and was published as a response to Supreme Court rulings which called for a more lenient approach to vertical arrangements and practitioner criticism of the current exemption. The amendment reflects a more general trend in Israeli antitrust law towards a substantive self-assessment regime.

Mere presence in 'zone of danger' insufficient to support claim for purely emotional injuries
Fowler Rodriguez
  • Shipping & Transport
  • USA
  • April 25 2018

The court recently assumed that passengers aboard a charter fishing vessel were within the 'zone of danger', but still dismissed their claims based on insufficient evidence of injury. According to the court, mere presence in the zone of danger, without more, is insufficient to support a claim for purely emotional injuries under the general maritime law. In short, if you want the court to believe that you have genuine, compensable, emotional injuries, see a medical professional.

Lack of night vision goggles insufficient for Labour Code conviction
Bersenas Jacobsen Chouest Thomson Blackburn LLP
  • Aviation
  • Canada
  • April 25 2018

In a recent Ontario Court of Justice case, Ornge air ambulance services were charged under the Labour Code following an air ambulance crash that killed two pilots and two paramedics on a night flight. The Crown argued that the accident would not have occurred had the pilots been able to see the ground using night vision goggles, and that it had been Ornge's duty to ensure their safety by providing this technology. However, Ornge held that it had complied with all of the legal and regulatory requirements.

Functional separation of Telmex leaves some sceptical
Hogan Lovells BSTL SC
  • Telecoms
  • Mexico
  • April 25 2018

The Federal Institute of Telecommunications recently approved the final programme for the functional separation of Mexico's fixed incumbent companies as a consequence of the asymmetric regulation imposed on the América Movil Group (AMX). However, AMX has informed the Mexican Stock Exchange that it will challenge the approval of the programme and there has been some scepticism as to the results and practical consequences of the separation.

Fat-burning injections – medical information from beauticians
Preslmayr Attorneys at Law
  • Healthcare & Life Sciences
  • Austria
  • April 25 2018

A client recently sued her beautician because of an unsuccessful fat-burning injection treatment. The first-instance court granted the plaintiff two-thirds of her claim, holding that the defendant had had the same obligation as a physician to provide medical information on the risks and complications. However, as the plaintiff had been aware of the defendant's inexperience, she was responsible for the contributory fault, which reduced her claim by one-third.

Top takeaways from DC Circuit's long-awaited TCPA decision
Manatt Phelps & Phillips LLP
  • Telecoms
  • USA
  • April 25 2018

The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit has released a hotly anticipated decision which will affect a wide range of industries, including financial services, retail and healthcare. The court set aside the Federal Communications Commission's overly expansive definition of 'automatic telephone dialling system' and its ruling on reassigned telephone numbers, but declined to set aside its rulings on revocation of consent and the scope of the exigent healthcare exemption applicable to wireless calls.

M&A, asset sales and spin-offs in pharmaceutical and medical device industries: what you need to know
Sanchez-DeVanny Eseverri SC
  • Healthcare & Life Sciences
  • Mexico
  • April 25 2018

Mexico is the second largest market for the pharmaceutical and medical device industries in Latin America. Thus, as mergers and acquisitions, asset sales, spin-offs and similar activities in the pharmaceutical, medical device and other health-related industries are often global or at least multinational, they often affect companies that operate in Mexico. Although there have been many unfortunate situations where such activities have been delayed or cancelled, this can be avoided.

Uncertainty of foreign employment status
Makarim & Taira S
  • Employment & Benefits
  • Indonesia
  • April 25 2018

The number of expatriate employees taking legal action against their employers for terminating their employment contracts, whether for economic reasons or for misconduct, has grown in recent years. Although most jurists maintain that expatriates cannot be permanent employees or receive the same severance entitlements as Indonesian permanent employees, this has not always been the case.

Court rules sharing confidential information is just cause for termination
Fasken
  • Employment & Benefits
  • Canada
  • April 25 2018

When privacy and confidentiality are important in a job, a manager's breach of confidence may provide just cause for termination, particularly when the employer's policy on confidentiality obligations is known to the employee. The British Columbia Supreme Court recently affirmed these principles and highlighted the value of a properly executed release if the employee later challenges an agreement made at the time of termination.

There's an app for that: rise of apps in employment relationships
Lander & Rogers
  • Employment & Benefits
  • Australia
  • April 25 2018

Employers should consider a number of legal issues when seeking to integrate apps with their existing systems. In some cases, it may be necessary to tailor apps to the business or to consider changes to instruments which govern the employment relationship. Employers should consider these issues and review existing industrial instruments and employment contracts for their compatibility with apps before implementing them in the workplace.

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