Latest updates

Amendments to Payment Services Act
Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu
  • Banking
  • Japan
  • 26 April 2019

Cabinet recently submitted a bill to the 198th session of the Diet to amend, among other acts, the Payment Services Act (PSA). The PSA amendments aim to strengthen the regulation of virtual currency exchange service providers. Among other things, the changes concern crypto asset custody, the advertisement and solicitation of crypto assets and crypto asset margin transactions.

Another win for the youth: proposed extension of employment tax incentive
Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr
  • Corporate Tax
  • South Africa
  • 26 April 2019

The historically high level of unemployment among South Africa's youth has led to the introduction of various tax incentives and benefits which aim to encourage the employment and training of such persons. Among these is the employment tax incentive scheme. A review of the scheme has demonstrated positive outcomes, including a significant increase in the employment growth rate and the number of employees in firms that have claimed the employment tax incentive.

Section 301 update: trade war continues, but end may be in sight
Arent Fox LLP
  • International Trade
  • USA
  • 26 April 2019

Following a meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, President Trump announced plans for an "epic" trade deal with China. However, to date, Trump has declined to set a date for a signing summit with President Xi Jinping to hammer out a final trade agreement, for which the Section 301 tariffs have emerged as a sticking point. China has demanded that the tariffs be removed as part of any final deal, while the White House hopes to use the tariffs as leverage to ensure compliance.

No more second chances: Court of Appeal guidance on strike out
Harneys
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • British Virgin Islands
  • 25 April 2019

The Court of Appeal recently clarified the procedural considerations required following the strike out of an action pursuant to Civil Procedure Rule 26.3. All three of the appellants' procedural grounds of appeal were rejected by the court, which held that (among other things) a judge must give a party which has a defective pleading an opportunity to put right any defect.

CCI issues third-ever leniency decision
Vaish Associates Advocates
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • India
  • 25 April 2019

In its third-ever leniency decision, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) granted a penalty reduction to four of the six leniency applicants. The allegations in the case concerned bid rigging in five tenders floated by the Pune Municipal Corporation in 2014 for the establishment of solid waste processing plants. The CCI found that all six of the opposing parties had participated in bid rigging or collusive bidding in contravention of the Competition Act.

Supreme Court of Cassation rejects appeal of arbitral award for alleged violation of substantive rules
Mariconda e Associati Studio Legale
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • Italy
  • 25 April 2019

The Supreme Court of Cassation recently addressed a supply contract between two parties that contained a ritual arbitration clause. Pursuant to the clause, an arbitration proceeding had been commenced, which had resulted in the defendant being ordered to pay damages. The defendant had subsequently appealed the arbitral decision for alleged violation of the procedural rules, despite the fact that appeals for the violation of substantive rules are precluded by legislation and case law.

New rules for companies incorporated under offshore regime
Rato, Ling, Lei & Cortés Advogados
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Macau
  • 25 April 2019

Since 1 November 1999, hundreds of companies have been incorporated under Macau's offshore regime. However, following the Legislative Assembly's recent approval of Law 15/2018, the offshore regime and its associated companies' days are numbered. Until 1 January 2021, some economic activities relating to foreign markets will continue to benefit from the offshore regime, including those performed exclusively by non-resident institutions authorised to operate in Macau.

Equal treatment of parties
Allen & Overy Bratislava sro
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • Slovakia
  • 25 April 2019

Section 17 of the Arbitration Act requires the equal treatment of parties in arbitration proceedings. Over the past year, the extent of this procedural safeguard has been tested before numerous Slovak courts, including the Supreme Court, the Bratislava Regional Court and the Banska Bystrica Regional Court. Notably, the courts seem to have avoided an extensive interpretation of Section 17 when reviewing awards.

Salary continuation for incapacitated employees
Rihm Rechtsanwälte
  • Employment & Benefits
  • Switzerland
  • 24 April 2019

The basic rule 'no wages without work' dictates that employees who perform no work, including those deemed incapable of working, should not receive wages. However, Swiss employment law provides for exceptions in some circumstances. This article addresses the circumstances in which employers must continue to pay employees who are unable to work, how long employers must continue to pay such employees and the circumstances in which employers may request medical certificates.

Final regulations addressing public release of clinical information now in force
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Healthcare & Life Sciences
  • Canada
  • 24 April 2019

The final Regulations Amending the Food and Drug Regulations and Regulations Amending the Medical Devices Regulations recently came into force. Their objective is to provide public access to clinical information submitted to Health Canada for drugs for human use and medical device applications. As a result of the regulations, Health Canada published (among other things) a guidance document to help explain aspects of the new regulations, such as the procedures to prepare information for release.

Changes ahoy! New Maritime Code enacted
Kegels & Co
  • Shipping & Transport
  • Belgium
  • 24 April 2019

The Chamber of Representatives recently enacted the new Maritime Code, which will replace – to a large extent, but not completely – numerous provisions in several existing codes. The new code is over 470 pages long and consequently cannot be explained in a few lines; however, this article highlights some of the major changes that will be introduced in relation to existing legislation.

Light goods + heavy pallets x 8.33 special drawing rights?
Arnecke Sibeth Dabelstein
  • Shipping & Transport
  • Germany
  • 24 April 2019

How should the weight of a shipment containing damaged goods but usable pallets be calculated, considering that this would form the basis for liability? According to a recent Federal Court of Justice decision, if the pallets are still usable, only the net weight of the goods counts. The court held that it is necessary to look closely at what has been damaged, as the fate of some items is not necessarily the fate of others.

Who's liable for damage caused by employees?
Castegnaro
  • Employment & Benefits
  • Luxembourg
  • 24 April 2019

The Labour Code establishes a dual responsibility in employment relationships – namely, employers are liable for risks generated by their company's activity and employees are liable for damage caused by their wilful acts or gross negligence. In principle, for the courts to hold an employee responsible for wilful misconduct or gross negligence, the employer must prove not only the damage incurred, but also that this is attributable to the employee's wilful act or gross negligence, as interpreted by the courts.

Takeover Panel: roundup of recent panel statements
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
  • Corporate Finance/M&A
  • United Kingdom
  • 24 April 2019

The Takeover Panel recently published a revised version of the Takeover Code to reflect amendments relating to the response statement to its October 2018 consultation on asset valuations and the Financial Conduct Authority's announcement that it will phase out the United Kingdom Listing Authority name. In addition, the panel recently published a rule-making instrument concerning the response statement to its consultation on the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union.

The art of war: keeping and attracting talent in disrupted labour markets
  • Employment & Benefits
  • International
  • 24 April 2019

There are several steps that employers can take to mitigate the risk of their employees leaving to join a competitor. Many employers already offer incentive-based remuneration packages which aim to align their longer-term interests with those of their employees. While such long-term incentive plans, together with a clear communication strategy, can assist with retention, employers should actively consider additional measures.

NIMASA introduces new compliance strategy for cabotage
Akabogu & Associates
  • Shipping & Transport
  • Nigeria
  • 24 April 2019

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) recently issued a marine notice to further the Cabotage Act's objectives and to ensure strict compliance. It is expected that this notice would, among other things, ensure greater compliance with the cabotage regime and drive wider indigenous participation in offshore marine operations. However, as the NIMASA has not introduced a fine or other punishment for non-compliance, full compliance with the notice cannot be guaranteed.

When are mandatory arbitration clauses unenforceable?
Fasken
  • Employment & Benefits
  • Canada
  • 24 April 2019

A recent Ontario-based decision creates uncertainty for many Canadian and international employers operating in Canada that include mandatory arbitration clauses in employment or independent contractor agreements, because each province has a similar rule against contracting out of employment standards legislation. If the clauses could be interpreted as limiting the right to file a complaint with the Ministry of Labour or another employment standards regulator, they should be reviewed and revised by the company's lawyers.

Supreme Court to decide availability of punitive damages for seafarer's unseaworthiness claim
Wilson Elser
  • Shipping & Transport
  • USA
  • 24 April 2019

The Supreme Court will soon decide whether a Jones Act seafarer can recover punitive damages in a personal injury suit based on a vessel's unseaworthiness. The court recently heard oral arguments in The Dutra Group v Batterton, which has teed up the issue that will resolve a split among the circuit courts and provide clarity on the availability of punitive damages for seafarers in general maritime law causes of action. It is unclear how the court will rule on this long-contested issue.

Bunker supply and VAT
Venetucci & Asociados
  • Shipping & Transport
  • Argentina
  • 24 April 2019

The question of whether foreign-flagged ships involved in international trade are subject to value added tax (VAT) when supplying bunkers in Argentina is frequently posed. If a vessel is supplied bunkers in one Argentine port and subsequently calls to another Argentine port before proceeding overseas, this is generally considered to be cabotage and is therefore subject to VAT.

Supreme Court rules on whether special allowances constitute basic wages for purposes of PF contributions
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co
  • Employment & Benefits
  • India
  • 24 April 2019

The Supreme Court recently examined whether certain components of an employee's overall salary are subject to provident fund (PF) contributions. As the Supreme Court has clarified that special allowances paid to employees must be included in the calculation of PF contributions, employers should review and analyse their current salary structures to determine any increase in PF liabilities.

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