The ALFA International-International Law Practice Group welcomes you to the Autumn 2011 edition of the Global Law Newsletter, a periodic electronic newsletter focusing on a wide array of international legal issues and containing articles designed with ALFA International clients and colleagues in mind.
Edward T. Hayes, Leake & Andersson, LLP, New Orleans, Louisiana - firstname.lastname@example.org
David Cibrian, Strasburger & Price, Dallas, Texas - email@example.com
ALFA International Law Practice Group News
2011 ALFA International - International Law Practice Group Seminar
PROTECTING YOUR BUSINESS ASSETS AT HOME AND ABROAD 2011 ANNUAL CLIENT SEMINAR
Protecting your business and its assets domestically and internationally is the foundation of commercial success today. As the opportunities for doing business abroad abound, sometimes in the most unexpected of places, it is vital to have a clear strategy as to how to operate across borders while retaining the value and integrity of your tangible and intangible assets. The programme, to be opened by His Excellency Jeffrey L. Bleich, US Ambassador to Australia, provides expert analysis by leading legal and business authorities from Australia and all over the world on numerous important topics. Please review the event brochure HERE.
11/9/2011 - 11/11/2011
ALFA International European Meeting 20111: Athens, Greece, June 2011
The ILPG, European Regional Group hosted its annual meeting in Athens, Greece from June 16 – 19, 2011. The meeting was hosted by our Greece member firm Mourgelas & Associates. The ILPG wishes to thank its wonderful and generous hosts Gregory Mourgelas, Antonis Mourgelas and Vicky Topalidou for their hospitality. In addition to serving as excellent tour guides and sources of historical information, the Mourgelas firm treated our members to a once in a lifetime view of the Acropolis at dusk from the Mourgelas office roof. After enjoying the view, our European members bunkered down for a full day of meetings aimed at strengthening intra-European regional business development and establishing a firm leadership structure. We are pleased to report that Ignacio Lopez-Balcells from our Barcelona firm will serve as Chair of the European Regional Group and Eva Knipschild from our Amsterdam firm will serve as our Vice-Chair. Ignacio and Eva will be ably assisted by several other group leaders. The entire ILPG looks forward to working with our European Regional Group as they create and nurture business development initiatives.
(Please note that each article title is a link to the full article)
Contact: Raymond Lim, (Raymond_Lim@tresscox.com.au) TRESSCOX Lawyers, Sydney, Australia
Australia is a nation of migrants. Relative to our population size (of just over 20 million people), Australia has one of the largest diasporas in the world, with some 1 million Australians, or 5 per cent of our population, currently living outside our national borders.
International migration has increased markedly as a result of the rise of the global labour market, more affordable international transport and sophisticated communication technologies. As such, it is not uncommon to have clients who accumulate assets in multiple countries in their lifetime. This creates a special challenge for estate planners as we need to understand the interactions between the legal systems of different jurisdictions.
Contact: Marta Rodrigues (firstname.lastname@example.org), L.O. Baptista Advogados Associados, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Arbitration: Recent survey shows continuous growth of arbitration in Latin America
A survey conducted by the Institute of Transnational Arbitration showed that the use of arbitration as a method of dispute resolution has been growing in Latin America. The survey also revealed an increase in the number of arbitration chambers and multi-party arbitrations involving public entities in Latin America.
The survey highlighted that such growth was driven by the legislative and political changes that occurred in the late 90’s. Alongside the enactment of national laws – which rendered legal certainty to arbitration – there was an increase in the general perception that Latin American courts have become more arbitration-friendly.
Contact:Marta Rodrigues (email@example.com), L.O. Baptista Advogados Associados, Sao Paulo, Brazil
International Trade: Brazilian trade defense on a new path Brazilian President Dilma Roussef has been facing increasing pressure from the domestic industry to curb the entry of foreign products into the country. According to the World Trade Organization (WTO), Brazilian imports (of goods in general) leaped from US$ 20 billion in 2000 to US$ 191 billion in 2010, a 380% rise.
The most recent measure taken by the foreign trade secretariat (SECEX) to restrict imports was to impose a non-automatic licensing requirement whenever an antidumping investigation is started. The aim of this measure is simple - to monitor the flow of imports of the relevant goods and prevent importers from trying to circumvent the measure by purchasing the relevant products in advance. Prior to the new measure, licensing was
Contact: Marta Rodrigues firstname.lastname@example.org, L. O. Baptista Advogados Associados, Sao Paulo, Brazil
A heavier burden on Brazilian exports to Europe is predicted to start in 2014. Brazil was placed among middle income level countries three years ago by the World Bank. Thus, according to the rules of the European Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), Brazilian exports will no longer benefit from preferential duties beginning in 2014.
CANADA, EL SALVADOR & UNITED STATES:
Contact: Edward T. Hayes (email@example.com), Leake & Andersson, LLP, New Orleans, LA
A groundbreaking investment dispute has been brought by a Canadian gold mining company against El Salvador regarding El Salvador’s refusal to issue mining concessions. The International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in Washington, DC is managing the arbitration. This is the first dispute brought under the Investor-State provisions of the DR-CAFTA and it raises several critical issues that could have long-range implications for the integrity of the free trade agreement. Some of the key issues include: (1) whether a Canadian company may invoke the protections of a free trade agreement that its government is not a party to; (2) whether an American subsidiary of a Canadian company has standing to invoke the investor-state protections of DR-CAFTA, especially under the facts of the dispute where the Canadian claimant moved to the United States shortly before the dispute was launched in an apparent forum shopping move; and (3) to what extent does the free trade agreement allow the sovereign nation of El Salvador to regulate its environment and natural resources, and protect the human, animal and plant population from cyanide-based mining operations.
Contact: Arturo Alessandri Cohn (Arturo@alessandri.cl), Alessandri & Compañía, Los Condes Santiago, Chile
The fight against piracy is a titanic task that is to a large extent the responsibility of individual countries and their authorities. It is also a major challenge for the producers and owners of well-known brands. In this globalised world, where the exchange of products and information have lowered the boundaries between countries and contributed to improve almost to perfection, the imitations of legitimate products, clients need to be proactive and develop a fluent relationship with the different actors involved in IP law enforcement.
Contact: Gregory Sy, (firstname.lastname@example.org), Grandall Law Firm, Beijing , China
Effective March 3 of this year, China has formalized a national security review system applicable to Mergers & Acquisitions in sectors affecting the country’s national security, where a foreign investor acquires either a majority or otherwise controlling interest/influence in the target company. With a newly devised framework, implementing details and procedures are yet to be clarified, however, this article seeks to alert readers/potential investors to the necessity of filing for transactions falling within the new framework, as well as detail potential review timeframes which must be accounted for in deal timetables.
Contact: Viki Topalidou, email@example.com, G.Mourgelas & Associates Law Firm, Athens Greece
It is no longer a secret that there is an abundance of oil and gas in the Greek territory, particularly in the Aegean sea and areas off Crete. As a result, the Minister of Energy recently adopted a new legislative framework that aims to provide incentives to oil and gas exploration and exploitation. The main feature of the new law is that it reduces corporate tax to 20%. The law also envisages the creation of a State Hydrocarbons Company which is set to manage the entitlements of the Greek State in the exploration and exploitation of oil and gas deposits. It is estimated that the newly-established company will be operational very soon and will undertake several international tenders within the next year and a half in areas where the data show significant deposits. Besides these tenders, a significant aspect of the new law is that it allows investors to apply for exploration licenses in advance of a tender, thus extending an open invitation policy which is certainly attractive for those companies that are cognizant of the area or are keen to put off other competition.
Contact: Rajarshi Chakrabarti, (firstname.lastname@example.org), Kochhar & Co., Mumbai- Maharashtra, India
As a major player in today’s world economy and an IT hub, India needs more than ever before a comprehensive strategy for protection of privacy, sensitive personal data and its use. While the introduction of Rules [2011 (“Rules”) which were brought into effect on April 11, 2011], is clearly laudable, the legal regime has a long way to go before adequate standards are in place for privacy and data security. It seems that the Government is sensitive enough to this issue and the Right to Privacy Bill 2011 is currently under consideration. Corporations and the legal fraternity are, therefore, looking forward to emerging issues on privacy laws in India with much anticipation.
Contact: Dan Gross (email@example.com), Amnon Dardik, (firstname.lastname@example.org) & Alejandro Skidelsky (email@example.com), Dardik, Gross & Co. Ramat Gan, Israel
Following the recent discoveries of 24 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in Israeli waters, many experts believe that there could be more gas and oil to be found beneath these deposits and in adjacent areas. Dardik Gross & Co law office sheds light on this topic through its experience in this field.
Contact: Maurits Bos, (firstname.lastname@example.org ) Kennedy Van der Laan, Netherlands
On 1 January 2012 we will see the introduction of the one-tier management model, which makes it possible to have executive and non-executive directors in one management body. This system, which is common in Anglo-American countries, can be used as an alternative to the Dutch common model of separate management supervised by supervisory directors. The government hopes that this change will make the Netherlands more attractive for international parties.
Contact: Joost Achterberg, (email@example.com) Kennedy Van der Laan, Netherlands
The Court of Appeal of Den Bosch has rendered a judgment in a dispute between Van Lanschot Bankiers N.V. (‘Van Lanschot’) and JEM Horeca (‘JEM’) concerning the termination of the banking relationship on the basis of integrity risks. In its considerations the Court of Appeal clarified the background and objective of (public-law) financial supervisory legislation and explains subtly how these regulations should be applied by banks in practice. Has the smoke concerning this topic finally been lifted with this judgment?
Contact: Alfred Meijboom (firstname.lastname@example.org) & Eva Knipschild (email@example.com) Kennedy Van der Laan, Netherlands
Ajax took legal action against a seller of a red/white hoody zip with three Andreas crosses and AMSTERDAM on it, inter alia on the basis of its red/white color trademarks. The color trademarks were declared invalid by the Court because they were not sufficiently clear. But in the end, Ajax still won the case. (For a full discussion of the case, click here). In the Corporate arena on 1 January 2012 we will see the introduction of the one-tier management model, which makes it possible to have executive and non-executive directors in one management body. This system, which is common in Anglo-American countries, can be used as an alternative to the Dutch common model of separate management supervised by supervisory directors. The government hopes that this change will make the Netherlands more attractive for international parties. A link to the article is here. Finally, in the Banking and Finance Industry, the Court of Appeal of Den Bosch has rendered a judgment in a dispute between Van Lanschot Bankiers N.V. (‘Van Lanschot’) and JEM Horeca (‘JEM’) concerning the termination of the banking relationship on the basis of integrity risks. In its considerations the Court of Appeal clarified the background and objective of (public-law) financial supervisory legislation and explains subtly how these regulations should be applied by banks in practice. Has the smoke concerning this topic finally been lifted with this judgment? Click here for a full discussion and analysis.
Contact: Rafael Escalera-Rodríguez firstname.lastname@example.org, Reichard & Escalera, Puerto Rico
Significant recent developments have occurred in Puerto Rico that define and underscore important areas of commercial law and arbitration. The Supreme Court of Puerto Rico recently invalidated a non-competition clause in a franchise agreement). A Puerto Rican court also recently clarified the Puerto Rico Sales Representative Act, commonly known as Law 21. This law regulates the principal-exclusive sales representative relationship in Puerto Rico. Finally, the International Center for Settlement of Investor Disputes recently asserted jurisdiction over an expropriation claim asserted by Cemex against the Bavarian Republic of Venezuela.
Contact: Selcuk Senguler, Senguler & Senguler, email@example.com Istanbul, Turkey
The current Turkish Commercial Code (the “TCC”) took effect in 1957 and has changed little in half a century. The years between 1957 and 2000 have of course witnessed many significant events such as the establishment of the EU, developments in information technology and e-commerce and globalization.
ABOUT ALFA INTERNATIONAL
ALFA International, the global legal network, (www.alfainternational.com) is an organization of independent law firms. ALFA International’s membership is comprised of 145 international law firms (85 U.S. based firms, 60 non U.S. based firms) employing over 9,000 lawyers and 10,000 other legal professionals. Member firms are located in nearly every U.S. state as well as in Canada, Mexico, across Europe, Latin America, South America and the Pacific Rim. ALFA International’s basic objective, accomplished through its member firms and their activities, is to improve the quality and efficiency of legal services and to provide those services to clients within a reasonable and value oriented cost formula across jurisdictions around the world.