End of Year Review
End of Year Review
December 2015 VOLUME ELEVEN ISSUE FIVE
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HOW TO BUILD A STRONG STRATEGIC NETWORK
Ten Year Anniversary Issue
December 2015 Corporate INTL
End of Year Review
December 2015 Corporate INTL
Ten Year Anniversary Issue
End of Year Review
CONTENTS EDITOR’S TALK In this month’s cover story William Buist, founder of xTEN Club, examines successful networking – namely, the ability to forge mutually beneficial, integrated alliances with the right partners. This is especially vital for SMEs, where one-on-one relationships and personal contacts continue to drive the bulk of word-ofmouth business. For some SMEs, it is also important to go beyond industry contacts and focus on regional partnerships. Mr Buist explains exactly how networking with a plan in place is essential to making a positive first impression, connecting with the right cross-industry experts, and mastering the post-event follow-up. Elsewhere in the edition, our expansive End of Year Review examines those prestigious firms that have consistently led in their respective arenas during the past 12 months. The feature is
internationally focused, and laid out in regional sections for your easy reference. This month also marks ten years of Corporate INTL. Over the
How to Build a Strong Strategic Network
past decade the brand has diversified, producing the online Find
William Buist, founder of xTEN Club, examines successful networking – namely, the ability to forge mutually beneficial, integrated alliances with the right partners.
an Expert directory, the annual Dealmaker’s Handbook, and the Global Awards and Legal Awards – all of which set a high benchmark for profiling the talented firms, advisers and global networks we are proud to work alongside. Long may it continue!
Best wishes for the festive season & a Happy New Year, Phil Grainger, Editor
Others News & Views
End of Year Review
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disclaimer Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the contents of Corporate INTL. However the publishers cannot accept responsibility for any errors and subsequent claims made by any third parties. The magazine contains predictions for the future of various companies and sectors. However, no forward statement should be construed as profit forecast.
Corporate INTL examines the key developments and the leading firms of the last 12 months, laid out in regional sections for your easy reference.
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CorporateINTL December 2015 Corporate INTL
News & Views
NEWS & VIEWS Africa Will Have One Billion Mobile Broadband Subscriptions by 2020 The number of mobile broadband connections in Africa will reach one billion in 2020, up from 147 million at the end of 2014, according to new forecasts by Ovum. The rapid growth of mobile broadband in Africa over the next few years will be driven by factors such as the ongoing rollout of 3G W-CDMA and 4G LTE networks on the continent and the increasing affordability of smartphones and other data devices. As a result, mobile broadband will account for an increasingly substantial share of the overall mobile market in Africa. Mobile broadband accounted for just 17% of the 884 million total mobile subscriptions in Africa at end-2014, but mobile broadband is forecast to account for 76% of the total of 1.32 billion mobile subscriptions in Africa at end-2020. The number of total mobile subscriptions in Africa is expected to cross the one billion mark during 2016. Africa’s fixed-broadband market is also set to grow strongly, albeit from a low base, as operators on the continent step up their deployments of wireless
and fibre networks for home and business broadband. The number of FTTH/B subscriptions in Africa will rise from about 166,000 at end-2014 to 1.2 million at end-2020, forecasts Ovum. “Although the pace of growth in overall connection numbers in Africa has slowed and the regional industry is facing some headwinds from rising competition and weaker economic conditions, there are substantial growth opportunities on the continent in data connectivity as well as in digital services that are based on those data connections,” said Matthew Reed, Practice Leader for Middle East & Africa at Ovum. As African operators look to develop digital services, the Digital Media Opportunity Index: Sub-Saharan Africa, a new research tool published by Ovum, reveals that South Africa has the most favourable market among the 20 countries surveyed for digital media content such as apps, digital music, digital publishing, OTT video, and video gaming.
B2C E-Commerce in Central Asia and Caucasus has Untapped Potential A new report by the secondary market research specialist yStats.com, ‘Central Asia and Caucasus B2C E-Commerce Market 2015’, reveals that the potential for online retail development for countries in this region remains untapped. As B2C E-Commerce is in early stages of development in Central Asia and Caucasus, foreign E-Commerce platforms attract more traffic from these countries than local retailers and marketplaces. However, as local offerings and infrastructure improve, B2C E-Commerce sales in Central Asia and Caucasus are expected to grow rapidly. B2C E-Commerce is only starting to evolve in the Central Asia and Caucasus region. Internet penetration is below 50% in the majority of its countries, with the exception of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, and access to financial services reaches over half of the population in Kazakhstan only. However, as the report by yStats.com shows, as infrastructure improves and
Internet penetration increases, B2C E-Commerce in the countries of Central Asia and Caucasus could grow as well. Kazakhstan is a regional leader in B2C E-Commerce, though there, too, online retail has much room for growth. B2C E-Commerce accounted for below 2% of total retail sales in Kazakhstan last year, but online retail is predicted to maintain high double-digit growth rates. Online shoppers in Kazakhstan are motivated to engage in E-Commerce as a result of wide product selection, convenience and low prices, as yStats.com’s report shows. Cross-border B2C E-Commerce is a significant trend, as foreign online shops account for the largest share of online sales. Of the top five online retailers by sales in 2014, three were based in foreign countries. However, as local offering is improving, online retailers from Kazakhstan, such as Arena S and Chocofamily Holding, increase their share.
How Reverse Mentorship can Benefit your Business With age and experience comes wisdom, but all too often in the business world, hubris can come along for the ride too. Subconsciously survivorship and confirmation biases are at work; good decisions are reinforced, and poor ones fall out of the memory – which distorts their real importance. So, can these experienced executives learn something from millennials? According to William Buist, founder of xTEN Club, the answer is: Yes. And the way to achieve this is through reverse mentoring. Reverse mentoring flips the traditional mentor-protégé model on its head as younger professionals ‘mentor’ their older colleagues. By injecting fresh ideas and a new perspective, reverse mentoring counteracts the inaccurate assumptions, inane biases and business blind spots that come from being in an industry, or a role, for too long. First popularised by former GE CEO Jack Welch, reverse mentoring acknowledges everyone within an organisation has something to bring to the table. By pairing a younger, less-experienced professional with an older executive, reverse mentoring helps young professionals gain confidence and strengthen their leadership skills while helping older executives stay up-to-date on the latest business technologies and strengthen a business’ competitive edge. Reverse mentorship is also beneficial for fostering positive attitudes and managing generational diversity. There are clear differences in how employees from each generation work and reverse mentoring reduces these generational 4
December 2015 Corporate INTL
tensions by allowing discussion and the sharing of insights in a nonconfrontational setting. As an added bonus, executives can better identify, evaluate and cultivate new talent. Key benefits include: • Reducing intra-generational tensions • Encouraging frank discussion on current issues • Driving workplace innovation • Getting up-to-date on new technologies • Enhancing leadership, conflict management and coaching skills Successful reverse mentoring programmes are founded on a mutual willingness to set aside preconceptions and start fresh. The goal for both mentor and protégé is to push one another outside their comfort zones in order to try new ways of working, thinking and being. William Buist is a business strategist, speaker and founder of xTEN Club, an annual programme of strategic activities for small, exclusive groups of business owners. See www.williambuist.com
News & Views
FCA Enforcement Outlook The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is now more than two years into its tenure, having taken the baton from the Financial Services Authority (FSA) in April 2013. There is a perhaps more intrusive approach to supervision and enforcement, which is evident from the increasing level of fines, and the elevation of regulation and enforcement to the top of the agenda for regulated businesses.
The challenge for the regulator is in finding the right balance. In a speech by Tracey McDermott in October 2015, she noted that: “...the intensity and volume of regulatory activity over recent years is not sustainable – for regulators or for the industry…We are often told that boards are now spending the majority of their time on regulatory matters. This cannot be in anyone’s interests. If that continues indefinitely we will crowd out the creativity, innovation and competition which should present the opportunities for growth in the future.”
When Martin Wheatley (until recently, CEO of the FCA) was first appointed to his position in 2013, he was quoted as saying that the new approach of the FCA would be to “shoot first, ask questions later”. This raised eyebrows at the time, and set the scene for the intense enforcement activity which followed. There does seem to be a shift in the dynamics, with Martin Wheatley leaving the FCA, and Tracey McDermott appointed as acting Chief Executive.
She added that the regulator should be “at the centre of the action without being the centre of attention.” The new Director of Enforcement will have a point to prove, and enough to work with in terms of a revamped framework with significant changes in the enforcement regime still to come through.
MBA Remains Resilient as Graduates Reap $2.6 Million Reward Research released by QS Quacquarelli Symonds finds that an MBA qualification, on average, provides recompense of US $2.6 million over a 20-year period. The figures, released in QS’ MBA Return on Investment report, are yet further validation of the tangible, positive returns an MBA provides. Further, employment rates and salaries for MBA graduates remain much higher than those from other master’s programmes. The average graduate salary for North American MBA graduates stands at $91,445: more than $31,000 higher than the average salary for other master’s graduates. Similarly, 85% of MBA graduates find themselves employed within three months of graduation. As numerous alternatives to a full-time MBA manifest themselves, the findings indicate that a full-time MBA still provides unrivalled potential for individual prosperity and employability.
The findings rely on four primary metrics: the return on investment after 10 years, the return on investment after 20 years, the period required to pay back the initial investment, and the salary uplift post-graduation. After ten years, an MBA graduate from North America can expect to have returned $0.51 million on their investment, easily accounting for the average North American programme fees of $73,071. The average MBA graduate can also expect a 75% salary uplift post-graduation, with average salaries rising to $91,445 from $52,779 pre-graduation. “This is a very healthy picture, and one that should leave recent MBA students and graduates, as well as prospective students, feeling very optimistic about their future,” concludes the report.
Number of New Silicon Roundabout Start-ups Falls by a Third The number of start-ups setting up in the Silicon Roundabout area has fallen by more than a third in the last year from 15,620 to 10,280 as companies are priced out of the area by rising rents, reveals research by UHY Hacker Young, the national accountancy group. UHY Hacker Young explains that new business creation dropped for the second year in a row for the Silicon Roundabout area. It is one of the main locations for digital and technology companies in the UK, but rising rents and a lack of available office space are forcing firms to set up in cheaper neighbourhoods nearby. Despite the fall, the Silicon Roundabout area, covered by the EC1V postcode, is still the UK’s number one location for new business generation. It saw more than double the number of companies launched as in Canary Wharf, one of London’s key business hubs and covered by the E14 postcode (3,670).
The City Road area, to the north of Silicon Roundabout and covered by the N1 postcode, saw the fastest increase in the number of new businesses out of the UK’s top five locations for start-ups. It saw a 479% increase in the number of new companies, from 1,450 to 8,400 in the last year. However, Silicon Roundabout is still at the forefront of national business creation, and it is still the epicentre of the UK’s technology industry, attracting both start-ups and larger firms to the area, such as Cisco and Amazon. Mr Jones adds: “Most of the new businesses will be smaller one-man bands such as individual programmers or media consultants, who are attracted to the area by the opportunities to collaborate with their neighbours. Silicon Roundabout has almost become a victim of its own success. By attracting larger firms into the area, rents increase, available space decreases, and the smaller start-ups that were initially attracted to the area are forced out into neighbouring areas.”
Colin Jones, Partner at UHY Hacker Young, commented: “Rising rents in the Silicon Roundabout area are causing many start-ups to choose other neighbouring areas of central London, such as City Road, as their first base.”
Online Retail Grows in BRIC Markets Hamburg-based secondary market research organization yStats.com has published a new report about B2C E-Commerce market in the four top emerging countries, Brazil, Russia, India and China. The ‘BRIC B2C E-Commerce Markets 2014’ report reveals that the four markets have been a focus of online retail growth and an attractive target for investors in B2C E-Commerce. China is the largest of the BRIC countries in terms of market size and is ranked as the world’s top market in B2C E-Commerce potential. The most populous country worldwide, China’s potential for further growth of online retail comes from the growing Internet and online shopper penetration, as well as increasing consumption per shopper. The distinguishing characteristics of Chinese shoppers include mobile affiliation, popularity of price comparison websites and the use of social networks and product reviews. Russia ranks second of the BRIC countries by the size of the online retail market and leads the four markets in terms of spending per shopper and
Internet penetration. In 2013, it was the fourth largest B2C E-Commerce market in Europe and the largest in Eastern Europe. yStats.com forecasts that B2C E-Commerce sales will near EUR 30 billion in 2018. Brazil is the eleventh largest B2C E-Commerce market worldwide and the unquestioned leader in its region. Among the important characteristics of this booming online retail market are the high share of the clothing segment, the influence of social media in purchase consideration and the importance shoppers give to a free delivery option. In India, the smallest B2C E-Commerce market of the BRIC countries in terms of sales, the large population and growing Internet connectivity contribute to optimism for online retail take-off. M-Commerce prospects are particularly bright, due to mobile being the most popular type of Internet connection. December 2015 Corporate INTL
How to Build a Strong Strategic Network
HOW TO BUILD A STRONG STRATEGIC NETWORK How strong is your network? What return do you get for your networking effort?
December 2015 Corporate INTL
How to Build a Strong Strategic Network Successful networking is about your ability to forge mutually beneficial, integrated alliances with the right partners. This is especially true for SMEs, where one-on-one relationships and personal contacts continue to drive the bulk of word-of-mouth business. For some SMEs, it is also important to go beyond industry contacts and focus on regional partnerships. By way of example, tech firms in the UK’s West Midlands, where analysts are expecting strong growth well into 2016, will want to build stronger cross-industry relationships with partners locally to fuel their expansion. According to William Buist, founder of xTEN Club, networking with a plan in place is essential to making a positive first impression, connecting with the right cross-industry experts, and mastering the post-event follow-up. Here is Mr Buist’s advice on what to do before, during and after your next networking event:
Attend the right events When it comes to high-priced industry conferences, do a bit of advance work. Talk to participants from previous years. Ask whether they feel the conference was worth the time and financial investment. How many new contacts did they make, and how beneficial have these proven to be over the last year? For local events, such as networking lunches and happy hours, aim for a balanced mix of industry-specialised events and those for the greater business community. SMEs need to balance industry contacts with a strong, diverse geographic network for maximum exposure and relationship building.
Practise your proposition Master a one or two-line proposition in advance that summarises who you are, your past experience, and what you currently do (or would like to do) as it relates to potential contacts you’ll meet at the event. Remember you don’t ‘help’ people but ‘work’ with them (because work with implies a fee). It’s good to have something the clients will want (money, time, happiness) and something they want to avoid (efforts, mistakes, pain) embedded in what you say. For example: “I work with family businesses to unlock sustainable profits and avoid costly mistakes.” Practise responses for other typical icebreaker questions: “What brings you to this event?”; “How is business?” Ask questions, listen, and be willing to move on if it’s the right thing to do.
Identify your networking opportunities in advance While there’s value in meeting a wide variety of people at an event, too many brief contacts can mean you fail to make a memorable impression on anyone. Instead, identify who you want to meet in advance and make it your mission to speak with these people.
Ask great questions The better you get at asking questions, the better you’ll get at making connections between the people you’re speaking with and other contacts already in your network. Consider why the person you’re speaking with should care about you, your business, and this conversation. By asking great questions, you may even learn something surprising or unexpected (like a new business challenge or need) and can tailor your conversation accordingly. Aim to walk away from every conversation having allowed the other person to speak more than you did. They feel great about the interaction, and you’ll gain valuable insight into what they do, who they know, and how they could best work with you in future business endeavours. One question that can support building a larger network is: “Knowing what you know about me now, who else should I meet?”
Master the follow-up At the event, jot down a few notes about your conversation on the back of your contact’s business card. Within 48 hours, follow up with a short, personalised email referencing one or more of these points. If you can make an introduction for them do so, and follow up on “You mentioned I should meet […], could you make an introduction for me?”
Finally, don’t let your newly forged relationship get stuck online. It’s tempting to think once you’ve connected with someone on LinkedIn your work is done, but it’s just beginning! A person-to-person meeting is key to nurturing a new connection. Personal discussion can lead to faster, more productive dialogue than online correspondence, especially if you’re trying to close a new business deal.
William Buist, xTEN Club Mr Buist is a business strategist, speaker, and founder of the exclusive xTEN Club – an annual programme of strategic activities for small, exclusive groups of business owners. xTEN helps accelerate growth, harness opportunity, build your business and develop ideas. He is also author of two books: ‘At Your Fingertips’ and ‘The Little Book of Mentoring’. A chartered insurer with 23 years’ experience, Mr Buist was Head of Business Risk Management & Chief Underwriter for Lloyds TSB Insurance. He developed techniques and methods for getting the best out of people and helping them to deliver exceptional results. Built on real-world practical challenges, such as the merger of Lloyds with TSB, and critical projects with the policy-makers for the industry, its regulators and government, his techniques have been proven time and time again and are supported by numerous case studies and war stories. He developed a reputation for taking an innovative view of risk that both reduced costs and harnessed opportunity. Leadership by example and ‘management by walking about’ nurtured good relationships with people at all levels, and gave him an instinctive knowledge of what was going on. The end result enabled him to support and encourage his teams to achieve unprecedented results – often exceeding expectations, including their own. A seasoned expert on collaboration, teams and effective business models, he is known today for making a dramatic business impact, both for owners and executives. His often intuitive approach helps them uncover invaluable insights about who they are and what they do, in the process enabling them to transform their businesses quickly and sustainably. The pinnacle of this is the xTEN Club which incorporates a lifetime of business and corporate experience. An annual programme of strategic activities for small, confidential, exclusive groups of business owners and directors, xTEN facilitates empowering sessions that develop ideas, harness opportunities, accelerates growth and builds profit. Mr Buist’s work creates clarity of vision, powerful strategy, and effective implementation capability that delivers phenomenal results. He is also an accomplished speaker who connects with his audiences so that his knowledge is transferred effectively and insightfully – some would say incitefully! He will excite and entertain highly intelligent audiences who expect both to challenge and to be challenged. His speeches are often described as inspiring, thought-provoking and informative, leaving people feeling energised, empowered and eager to take action. In his inimitable fun and provocatively playful style, he tells terrible tales of what can happen when things go seriously wrong and how the worst situations often provide the best learning for the most profound transformations. Meanwhile, xTEN works with remarkable businesses to unlock sustainable profits and avoid costly mistakes. Beyond that, membership of the xTEN Club provides an exceptional strategic programme for business owners and directors. Monthly meetings are designed to catalyse change and share experience to accelerate success. Allied to a secret forum and focused strategy this programme is not for the faint-hearted. Do you qualify for membership?
Contact: Tel: +44 (0)1291 622598 / (0)7880 794127 membership@xTENClub.com See: www.xTENClub.com & www.williambuist.com December 2015 Corporate INTL
End of Year Review
Europe The European Union comprises 27 nations with a total population of around 500 million, and accounts for around 30% of the value of global GDP. Internationally, the EU aims to strengthen Europe’s trade position, as well as its political and economic status. After slowing to 2.4% in 2014 from 3.7% in 2013, regional growth weakened further in early 2015. This reflected spillovers from the oil price decline and geopolitical tensions, which more than offset the benefits from the moderate recovery in the euro area. In the eastern part of the region (Eastern Europe, South Caucasus, and Central Asia), growth slowed sharply to 1.5% in 2014 (one-fifth of the average in 2000–10), reflecting recessions in the Russian Federation and Ukraine, and downturns in oil-exporting economies. In contrast, growth accelerated modestly in the western part of the region, supported by tailwinds from the recovering euro area. Growth in Russia continued to slide in 2015 (a 1.9% contraction 2015Q1), following a modest 0.6% expansion in 2014. This reflected the impact of sharply lower oil prices (oil accounts for 54% of Russia’s exports) and the adverse impact of sanctions amid an ongoing trend growth slowdown related to structural bottlenecks. A plunge in export revenues, a sharp devaluation of the ruble, and trade restrictions on food imports in Russia lifted inflation into double-digits. The contraction of real incomes and purchasing power weighed on consumer spending, which had been the single largest contributor to growth since 2012. Investment also shrank on falling business confidence, tightened financing conditions, and restricted access to international capital markets as a result of sanctions. Decisive policy actions and resources from the Reserve Fund have cushioned the contraction in Russia in 2015 (World Bank 2015), but resulted in significantly eroded buffers. Key stabilisation policy measures included the switch to the free-float on November 10, 2014, a policy rate hike in December 2014, which helped to bolster confidence in currency markets, and the swift bank recapitalisation programme in December 2014. Trade and current account balances improved, helped by the weaker ruble, related decline in imports and expansion of exports, despite a 34% decline in the nominal value of oil exports. Beginning in February, the ruble and asset prices recovered some of their earlier losses, monthly inflation eased, and interest rate spreads declined to their October 2014 levels. The fiscal deficit is projected to increase to 3.5% of GDP in 2015, from 1.3% in 2014, even though proposed amendments to the 2015 federal budget imply some consolidation of expenditures, and could severely deplete the Reserve Fund (currently equal to 4.7% of GDP).
December 2015 Corporate INTL
In Kazakhstan, growth declined to 4.3% in 2014, half of the average rate in 2000-10, and continued to ease in 2015, despite fiscal stimulus mostly financed from the country’s oil fund. This reflects the combination of falling oil prices (crude petroleum oil accounts for about 70% of exports), recession in Russia (exports to Russia accounted for around 7% of exports in 2010–14), declining confidence and lower capital inflows. Unlike Russia, Kazakhstan relied heavily on foreign exchange reserves to defend the exchange rate peg after a 19% devaluation implemented in February 2014. This was done to mitigate depreciation-induced inflation, and to buffer corporate and household balance sheets with large liabilities denominated in US dollars. Despite weaker domestic demand and slower import growth, the current account surplus has narrowed, as a result of the sharp drop in commodity exports. Fiscal balances have deteriorated significantly. A 3% deficit is projected in 2015, largely reflecting lower revenues from oil exports (World Bank 2015). Spreads eased from December 2014 peaks, but as of April 2015 are higher than in Russia. In Azerbaijan, growth decelerated to 2.8% in 2014, reflecting low oil prices, interruptions in oil sector output, and a sharp deceleration of non-oil GDP growth due to declining public investment. Both current account and fiscal surpluses declined sharply. The current account surplus is projected to decline to 3.9% of GDP in 2015, from 14.1% in 2014, despite a 34% devaluation of the manat in February 2015. In Ukraine, output contracted by 6.8% in 2014, reflecting a deep decline in the conflict-affected East and a moderate recession in the rest of the country. Exports fell sharply, as exports to Russia (one-quarter of exports in 2010–14) dropped by one-third. Despite a drawdown of official reserves to 1.6 months of imports (January 2015), the exchange rate of the hryvnia against the US dollar tripled between end-December 2013 and end-February 2015. Depreciation and administered price increases contributed to an increase in inflation to 60.9% in April 2015. Banks have come under considerable stress, facing worsening asset quality (with nonperforming loans exceeding 30% of total loans), weakening profitability and large deposit withdrawals amounting to one-quarter of deposits (12% of GDP) since January 2014. Following the ceasefire agreement signed in February, the IMF approved a four-year support programme for Ukraine in March 2015.
End of Year Review
Austria – Aviation Law Kubes Passeyrer Attorney at Law is a partnership of two licensed Austrian attorneys offering both tax and legal consultancy as a one-stop solution. Established in 2006, the firm provides legal assistance to a diverse group of public and private clients throughout the region and around the world. Due to its interdisciplinary formation, the team disposes of in-depth knowledge that goes beyond the mere legal expertise for the benefit of its clients.
Work experience: Since 2006 Kubes Passeyrer Attorneys at Law 2004-2005 Law Firm Kunz Schima Wallentin Attorneys at Law 2001-2004 Law Firm Jarolim|Singer|Specht Attorneys at Law 2000-2001 Austrian Airlines Washington DC 1995-2000 Austrian Airlines Österreichische Luftverkehrs AG
The lawyers’ aim is to offer practical solutions and provide simplicity and convenience to all clients. They believe in the expertise to handle the most sophisticated legal issues, including the judgement to recognise when a matter is straightforward and should be handled in a simple and practical manner. Most importantly, its clients’ best interest is always paramount, and Kubes Passeyrer’s lawyers understand the importance of reliability, accessibility, efficiency and prompt responsiveness.
Education: 2006 / 2007 Conflict Management and Mediation; crisis intervention and dispute resolution (Marshall B. Rosenberg) 2001 University of Vienna (Doktor iuris) Thesis: “The Liability of Airlines pursuant to the 1999 Montreal Convention”
Since 2001, Dr David Kubes has worked for major airlines and is specialised in aviation law. Kubes Passeyrer Attorney at Law’s long-lasting clients include national as well as international Airlines with a focus on the Austrian market. The firm’s specialisation within the airline business comprises:
• Aircraft financing • Sale and lease back transactions • Aircraft registration and deregistration • Structuring and establishing of aircraft operation • Set up of air operator certificates • Airline liability issues Dr David Kubes Attorney at law
Universität of Vienna (Mag. iuris.)
Languages: German, English, Spanish, French
Kubes Passeyrer Attorney at Law David Kubes Partner
Tel: +43.1.526 5000
Austria – Corporate Law oehner petsche pollak is a multiple award-winning boutique law firm focused on transactions, commercial disputes and white collar crime. A team of well-known experts unites extensive experience in the legal industry, strategy and business consulting as well as the public court and prosecution system. The firm is client-orientated at all times, and is dedicated to personal advice and individual solutions – legally and economically. Outside the box oehner petsche pollak offers comprehensive legal and strategic advice far beyond legal textbook knowledge. The firm’s partners are well-known experts in their fields, drawing upon many years’ experience in the employ of leading international law and consulting firms as well as a public prosecutor in the Austrian court system. Based on their strong background in business and strategy consulting, they think outside the box and bring together all know-how necessary to secure the most effective solution for each client’s cause. Personal dedication Servicing their clients’ best interest is the top priority at oehner petsche pollak. The firm places a strong emphasis on personal commitment, highest efficiency and tailormade solutions. By focusing on their clients’ specific needs and requirements, the firm’s experts ensure that each cause is handled in the most efficient and beneficial way.
investments as well as general corporate law issues. Partner Christian Oehner noted: “As corporate specialists, we support our clients in all business related challenges including commercial disputes and white collar crime. “In commercial disputes we offer more than 15 years of experience especially in corporate and transaction related disputes, in particular corporate and D&O liability along with post-M&A conflicts. Another focus lies on contractual disputes including the infringement and enforcement of contractual rights such as warranties. Our team is also highly accomplished in product liability and IP related matters as well as in distribution and unfair competition law. “In addition, oehner petsche pollak is a well known white collar crime expert. In fact, we were just recently awarded the Corporate INTL Legal Award 2015 as White Collar Crime Law Firm of the Year in Austria. Among others, we cover corruption, business fraud, embezzlement, insolvency fraud, accounting crimes, industrial espionage, criminal D&O liability, and whistleblowing solutions.”
Trusted adviser For many reasons oehner petsche pollak is already a trusted adviser to many corporate and individual clients all over the world. The firm’s specialists are true entrepreneurs and speak their clients’ language. In addition, they know the public court and prosecution system inside out and provide clear recommendations based on a realistic projection of the associated risks. Expert services oehner petsche pollak renders expert advice on transactions, commercial disputes and white collar crime. The firm’s corporate and M&A services range from classical or distressed M&A and joint ventures to company reorganisations and restructurings, start-up advice and angel investments, strategic and financial
Dr Christian Oehner Partner Tel: +43 1 33 60 179 email@example.com www.oehner.com
December 2015 Corporate INTL
End of Year Review
Belgium – Tax and Accountancy Comptafid Benelux NV is a Belgian company established in Brussels since 1978 and Antwerp since 1995. The company is mainly active in accountancy and tax advice (national and international). Additionally to its own services, Comptafid Benelux guides its clients to the different specialists on the Belgian market such as notary firms, law firms, insurance brokers, real estate and financial specialists, marketing and publicity firms, etc. Comptafid Benelux NV services Belgian clients and, at the same time, focuses on foreign clients for their Belgian as well as international transactions. Located in the capital of Europe, Comptafid Benelux NV is committed to produce high quality work on a personal basis, delivered and aimed at practical solutions. With its international experience, Comptafid Benelux NV emphasises the knowledge of languages and is sensitive to different legal cultures. Languages such as English, French, Dutch and German are commonly spoken in the company. Transparent hourly billing and low overheads lead to a competitive pricing, which the client finds reflected by a specific overview of services provided and costs incurred. Since 1985 Comptafid Benelux NV extended its activities to Switzerland. In 1996 a new company was created and named Comptafid (Schweiz) Ag together with the takeover of a bookkeeping office specialised in domicile companies. A full range of accountancy, financial planning, corporate trust and legal services are also available. Its clients range from listed multinationals to sole traders. To increase the service to its clients, Comptafid Benelux NV is part of a European Network of independent consultants named T.T.N. (Transnational Taxation Network), having both legal and accountancy professionals. The common denominator is an expertise in taxation and a wish to provide a personal service. Corporate and tax The corporate and tax team handles corporate matters such as the incorporation of companies, the set-up of subsidiaries or branches of Belgian and foreign companies, the drafting of shareholders’ agreements, the transfer of shares and the overall governance of corporate structures. Mergers and acquisitions work is coordinated by the corporate and tax team, in collaboration with other teams for specific issues. The services of tax advice and litigation concern international and domestic aspects of company tax, income tax and VAT. The company represents different foreign clients as legal tax representative to the different Belgian tax authorities. 10
December 2015 Corporate INTL
Bookkeeping and Audit The bookkeeping team handles the bookkeeping for companies and individuals on its own computer system or on the computer system of the client. The team handles interim reporting in several languages, arranged in accordance with Belgian or other country-specific requirements. Annual balance sheets are provided and published within legal Belgian law obligations. The audit team handles all audit missions in Belgium for Belgian clients as well as foreign clients for Belgian purposes. Consolidation Within our economy, the importance of group activities grows continuously. Only the consolidation of individual accounts of those companies that make up the group will allow the discovery of creditworthiness, liquidity, and profitability for the whole group. This is the reason why the legislator imposed the drafting of consolidated annual accounts. In this field, Comptafid Benelux SA has all the required skills at its disposal operations according to legal standards as well as the company’s internal standards. Financial This team analyses the financial aspects of the company, organises the guidelines and helps the general management in its financial development. Files are prepared for leasing, rent, loan, introduction to banks or other financial institutes. Therefore, financial structures and analyses are provided.
Intellectual Property In matters concerning the protection of creation and creativity (copyright, trademarks, patents, models and designs, fair trade practices), the Intellectual Property practice group gives advice, consults in negotiations and enforces the interests of clients. The team handles the protection and licensing of technology, computer software, multimedia and the new challenges of the Internet. Major clients also include companies in the world of media, entertainment, sports, television, motion pictures, the music industry, design and advertising. Social Comptafid Benelux NV has setup a partnership with different social entities in order to get a precise salary calculation and to be able to answer to all social matters. Litigation The litigation team works closely with the other teams. Its work also includes recovery of debts, interim measures, injunctions, seizure procedures and measures against counterfeiting. Special attention is given by the external law firm to international aspects such as competence of courts and execution of judgements.
The team conducts the financial planning and control, financial management accountancy such as cost/profit analyses, cost-price product and decision techniques. It deals with financial analyses on holding structures and takeovers, restructure, etc. Special missions Based on Belgian law, special accountancy missions must be provided for companies, such as reporting on assets and liabilities in case of liquidation of the company. Comptafid Benelux NV ‘s partners dispose of the several legal authorisations to fulfil these requirements. Commercial transactions The commercial law team with national and international business transactions such as distribution, agency, licensing, franchising, sale and purchase, transport, real estate and construction. Insurance law, competition law and insolvency law are also part of the commercial practice.
Yves Lecot General Manager Tel: +32 2412 0332 firstname.lastname@example.org www. comptafid.be
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Belgium – Tax Planning Belgium: A High Taxing Country Offering Many Tax Planning Opportunities Of all OECD member countries, Belgium is the country that taxes income from employment at the highest level (OECD Economic Surveys, Belgium, 2015). With a general VAT rate of 21%, comparably high inheritance taxes ranging between 3% to 27% and real estate transfer tax of 10% in the Flemish and 12.5% in the Brussels and Walloon region, indirect taxes are equally high. The OECD report quoted above therefore recommends the Belgian decision makers to introduce a substantial “tax shift” whereby tax on labour would be lowered substantially to the detriment of tax on wealth and possibly on capital gains on privately held assets. Despite all these factors, Belgium continues to offer very interesting tax planning opportunities both domestically as internationally for both individual taxpayers as for corporates. The following offers a birds-eye overview of the interesting tax features that Belgium has to offer and their opportunities for domestic and international tax planning. Absence of net wealth tax Belgium is one of the few countries in western Europe that does not levy a net wealth tax on individuals. There are, however, some types of taxes that are akin to a net wealth tax, but they do not qualify as such since they do not constitute a generally applicable annual tax on the net wealth of individuals or corporations. The absence of any real net wealth tax has made Belgium very popular for high net worth individuals, particularly those residing in the Netherlands, France, the United Kingdom and even Switzerland who want to escape the net wealth tax in their own country by taking up residency in Belgium. Absence of capital gains tax for individuals In Belgium, as a matter of principle, gains realised by individuals on the disposal of assets are not subject to income tax unless these gains arise in the carrying on of a trade. This rule is of particular interest for individual shareholders of Belgian or foreign corporations who realise a capital gain on the disposal of their shares either by way of an outright sale, a share-for-share contribution or any other form of realisation or recognition of capital gains. This also explains why Belgium is a popular jurisdiction for high net worth individuals originating from neighbouring countries where such capital gains are very often subject to either flat or progressive personal income tax rates. The current political debate on the need for a tax shift towards income and gains from investments may obviously result in some changes in this area. There is however no political consensus yet as to how capital gains for individual shareholders ought to be taxed. The tendency however is towards a rather limited introduction of an individual capital gains tax on shares, i.e. only on capital gains that result from “speculative” transactions (long and short term), which is likely to leave the long term investor and owner of family enterprises untouched. This would not be a complete novelty in the Belgian tax system, since even under current legislation, capital gains resulting from “speculative” intent are already taxable.
Absence of CFC-type legislation Belgium tax law does not contain a CFC (Controlled Foreign Company) type of legislation similar or comparable to the CFC legislation in countries such as the United States, France, Germany, the United Kingdom or Japan. Efforts are being made however to introduce a so-called “look through” tax that could be applicable to all passive type of income earned through either offshore companies controlled by Belgian residents or through foreign trusts and private foundations of which a Belgian taxpayer is either the settlor or a beneficiary. International competitive holding regime All Belgian companies are eligible for the benefits of the Belgian “participation exemption” for qualifying dividends (95% deduction from taxable income) and capital gains ion qualifying shares (full exemption). The main features of the Belgian participation exemption system that make Belgium an attractive location for holding companies in comparison with other jurisdictions such as the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Cyprus and Switzerland are highlighted below: • Multiple tax planning opportunities in combination with the benefits of the Notional Interest Deduction (NID). The NID is a fictitious interest deduction calculated on the basis of the risk-bearing adjusted net equity of (any) Belgian company. Qualifying participations in other companies are excluded from the basis, but in combination with Belgian operating companies and other type of investments, tax planning is widely available.
In addition to these benefits which have been introduced already during the early 90ies, Belgium has started to conclude since the last decade OECD-type comprehensive tax treaties with countries that traditionally have always been viewed as tax-haven jurisdictions, such as the United Arab Emirates (including Dubai) and Hong Kong. As a result of these treaties, the Belgian Revenue Authorities have accepted that dividends from companies established in these countries qualify for the participation exemption (dividends and capital gains alike), even though in a number of cases no corporate income tax has been paid at the level of the subsidiary. This “approach” compares very favourable to the Luxembourg regime for example where both under domestic as under treaty law it seems very doubtful that the Luxembourg participation applies in comparable instances (UAE countries and Hong Kong, Singapore companies with only non-taxed offshore income). On the basis of a number of recent rulings from the ruling commission relating to the so-called “Tunisian export companies”, it can also be inferred that the Revenue Authorities seem to accept that the subject to tax condition must be met at the time of distribution of the income so that low taxed retained earnings from previous accounting years could be distributed and be eligible for the Belgian participation exemption once the tax status of the distributing company is no longer “tainted”.
• The Belgian “holding regime” is a generally applicable system with no “privileged regime for “ring fenced” companies and therefore it is considered as being “not harmful” by the 2006 OECD’s report on harmful tax practices. • Full exemption of capital gains on qualifying shares, subject to certain thresholds which are more favourable that in many other countries such as the GD of Luxembourg. As from tax year 2014 large companies are subject however subject to a “fairness tax” (FT) on their distributed dividends at a rate of 5.15%. • Exemption of withholding tax on outbound dividends under the sole condition that the foreign parent company holds at least 10% of the equity of the holding company during a period of at least 12 months and is established in a country with which Belgium has concluded a DTA containing an exchange of information clause. • Liberal debt-to-equity rules and the possibility to leverage the acquisition of shares through a Belgian holding.
Patrick Vanhaute Founding Partner Tel: +32(0)3 293 88 46 email@example.com www.advanhaute.be
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Cyprus – Intellectual Property Nairy Merheje is the founder of Der Arakelian-Merheje LLC. The firm was established in 1997 to provide legal and tax planning services to a wide portfolio of international clients. Its staff combines more than 25 years’ experience in the fields of corporate, commercial, estate planning, employment law and international tax planning. According to Ms Merheje, the key factors contributing to the development of Cyprus as an international business base for holding companies remain: • It’s strategic geographic location; • A favorable tax package with one of the lowest corporate tax rates in Europe; • A well-developed double tax treaty network; • Legal system and legislation based on English Law; and • The existence of an efficient, high-level professional services sector. The Constitution of Cyprus and international treaties ratified by Cyprus safeguard basic rights of both legal entities and individuals. Cyprus has two revenue raising measures , one being income tax and the other the defense levy. The flat income tax rate on annual net profit is 12.5% applicable to Cyprus resident both companies and individuals, on their worldwide income, which includes: • Business income • Rental income • Dividends, interest and royalties • Goodwill • Employment income, pensions and director’s fees However, several important exceptions apply to this rule which very briefly are: • Profits from the activities of a permanent establishment outside Cyprus are exempt. • Gains from trading in shares and securities generally are exempt from income tax for corporations. • Dividends paid into a Cyprus holding company are exempt from income tax, and no withholding tax is payable when dividends are paid by a Cyprus holding company to its nonresident shareholders. • A unilateral tax credit is allowed in Cyprus for taxes withheld or paid in other countries where there is no bilateral agreement or Double Tax Treaty in force.
A Tax Efficient EU Intellectual Property (IP) Box Certain types of income are subject to favorable tax treatments including the tax treatment of income from intellectual property the main features of which are: • Royalties granted for the use of intellectual property rights outside Cyprus are not subject to withholding tax. • Royalties granted for the use of intellectual property rights outside Cyprus to a Cyprus-resident company are not subject to withholding tax, and corporate income tax is applied only on the profit margin left in the Cyprus company at an effective rate of 2.5% on net income. This is covered by the new legislation for the taxation of income from intangible property, which was introduced in 2012, the so called “IP Box” regime, which is applicable as from 1 January 2012 and applies to the following types of income whereby a significant deemed deduction on IPs Revenues is granted to the owner of the intangible: • profits from the use of the intangible (e.g. royalties) • penalties for the improper use of the intangible • profits on the disposal of the intangible. The above however, will only be applicable for companies which entered into the scheme up until end 2016.
Nairy Merheje Advocate Tel: + 357 22313339 Fax: +357 22313346 firstname.lastname@example.org www.nmerhejelaw.com
UK – Commercial Law Quentin qualified as a solicitor in 1981 and has subsequently spent his entire career in top quality City of London law firms. As the founder of Bargate Murray, he heads the firm’s superyacht group as well as its Litigation and Dispute Resolution practice, handling all kinds of dispute from debt collections to multi-million dollar matters. Quentin is an expert in yacht contract work and other commercial contract work. He is able to bring his considerable depth and breadth of experience to bear on matters to help resolve problems and settle complex contracts quickly and cost effectively. Quentin was a partner for over 14 years in Simmons & Simmons, one of London’s premier law firms, where he was Head of the International Trade and Shipping Group and a member of the Litigation Department and Arbitration Groups, handling complex matters for clients based around the world. He also developed specialised skills in superyacht / megayacht contracts and disputes as well as commercial shipping and trade. In 2004, Quentin fulfilled a lifetime ambition when he set up his own law firm, Quentin Bargate & Co. In 2006, he was joined by his old friend and former colleague, Andrew Murray, and the firm changed its name to Bargate Murray. The firm has since enjoyed rapid expansion and has earned an enviable reputation among certain niche markets. Quentin is an advocate for alternative dispute resolution (ADR), but also deals with cases in court when required and occasionally sits as an arbitrator.
Corporate Services • Setting up businesses • Superyacht and marine finance • The sale and purchase of companies, businesses and assets, especially marine assets • Partnerships, limited partnerships and ‘LLPs’ • Venture capital transactions (including finance), agreements between shareholders, subscribers for shares and other investors • Joint ventures • Terms and conditions of business • Corporate governance and management, relationship of shareholders, directors and officers with the company and each other • Regulatory issues
Cases managed by Quentin include: • Consolidated Contractors (Oil and Gas) Company SAL (acting by Mr. Lee Manning as receiver) v Canadian Nexen Petroleum Yemen & Others  EWHC 837 (QB). Cross border receivership litigation involving Yemeni, Lebanese and English law (among others), concerning the unprecedented attempt by an English court-appointed receiver to gain control of foreign assets located in the Middle East. The case eventually settled. • Gamit Ltd v Saudi Arabian Airlines Corp & Anor  EWHC 989. Successfully defending the maintenance division of a jet engine manufacturer in a dispute over title to replacement jet engine parts.
• Madoff Securities International Ltd (In liquidation) v Raven & Ors  EWHC 3147. Defending a director allegedly involved in a global Ponzi scheme in litigation brought by the liquidator of an English Company.
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Tel: +44 (0)207 375 1393
End of Year Review
Capita Financial Group For Fund Managers who just want to manage their funds
Fund Administration can be draining on both your time and resources With more than 35 years’ industry experience, Capita Financial Group provides fund managers with fast and cost-effective third-party administration services; so you can free up your day to focus on growing your funds and business. We operate internationally with services that can be tailored to meet your requirements. To ﬁnd out more about how you could beneﬁt from working with Capita Financial Group please contact: David.Wahnon@capitaﬁnancial.com or visit www.capitaﬁnancial.com for further information. Capita Financial Administrators (Gibraltar) Limited, Blake House, 19C Town Range, Gibraltar. Telephone: +350 200 43339, Fax: +350 200 49450, Website: www.capitaﬁnancial.com Licensed by the Financial Services Commission to carry on ﬁnancial services business as Collective Investment Scheme Administrators under Licence number FSC00771B. Members of the Gibraltar Association of Compliance Ofﬁcers (GACO) and the Gibraltar Association of Stockbrokers and Investment Managers (GASIM). Registered ofﬁce as above. Registered in Gibraltar No. 89284. Part of The Capita Group Plc, 71 Victoria Street, Westminster, London SW1H 0XA. December 2015 Corporate INTL
End of Year Review
France – International Tax Maryse Naudin: Maryse Naudin began her career in the tax department of one of the major international accounting firms, where she was specifically in charge of the real estate practice and the South East Asia corporate clientele, prior to co-founding Tirard, Naudin in 1989 with JeanMarc Tirard. She now has more than 30 years’ experience in advising and defending a varied clientele, from multinational corporations to high net worth individuals, in relation to cross-border tax issues. She has a particular expertise in advising foreign investors acquiring French assets (in particular real estate property), as well as advising French clients with foreign interests. Ms Naudin also has a wealth of expertise in matters relating to European taxation, and in particular to tax litigation with respect to community freedoms. She is a frequent speaker at seminars dealing with international tax planning in the context of various matters, such as European Holdings or structuring investments in French real estate.
Tirard, Naudin has been involved in numerous tax litigations in particular concerning European community freedoms and fundamental law principles, and the firm’s lawyers have an excellent knowledge of all stages and aspects of the French tax procedure. Many of Tirard, Naudin’s clients are referred by leading law and accounting firms and other professional worldwide organisations and the firm acts regularly as “lawyer’s lawyers”, providing specialist support for other firms and their clients. Among many articles and books, Jean-Marc Tirard has published “La Fiscalité des Sociétés dans l’UE” (8th edition 2010) translated in English as “Corporate Taxation in EU Countries” (Longmans). He is the former chairman of the Tax Commission of the French Committee of the International Chamber of Commerce and co-chairman of the International Tax Committee of the same organisation.
Tirard, Naudin: Tirard, Naudin is a highly reputed boutique law firm co-founded in 1989 by Jean-Marc Tirard and Maryse Naudin, which specialises in international tax, tax representation and litigation in all aspects of French taxation with a particular emphasis on international tax issues. Ouri Belmin manages the firm’s team in Paris. The firm’s client base includes corporate clients, who come both for its special expertise in negotiating with the French tax authorities and for its experience of structuring international transactions. It also acts for high net worth private clients and their families who need help in resolving complex tax and inheritance issues. It also has considerable expertise in property tax issues and the creation of efficient structures for non-resident investors.
Maryse Naudin Partner
Tel: +33 (0)1 53 57 36 00
Germany – Chemical Patents Law Schiweck Weinzierl Koch is a dynamic, relatively young yet highly experienced team with a strong technical background across the chemical, pharmaceutical and life science sector.
corporation. Its client base consists of a mix of clients from academic institutions, small and medium enterprises as well as multinational corporations.
The firm is particularly experienced in antibody inventions and inventions relating to artificial binding molecules with antibody-like properties. These technologies have become the driver in pharmaceutical development, including (cancer) immunotherapy and diagnostic applications. The firm has an additional focus on opposition and appeal proceedings before the EPO, and on freedom-tooperate and due diligence work.
Also in 2015 Schiweck Weinzierl Koch assisted a number of clients in securing investments from strategic investors, or in being acquired by multi-national companies that were looking to boost their product pipeline. One of these deals included the acquisition of one of the firm’s clients by a NASDAQ listed company for over $US 200 million, another major deal was the acquisition of another client by a US pharmaceutical company for $US21 million.
Partner Wolfram Schiweck noted: “In 2014, we also added medical devices to our technical expertise – to meet the demand of our clients and we continued to grow in this area in 2015.” He added: “What separates us from our peers is that we aim to have as much direct contact with our clients, and to engage them in discussion to work as a team and to get the best possible result for them. In addition, we are a multicultural team with, for example, English, Chinese (Mandarin), Polish, and German native speakers, and thus have the ability to overcome potential communication barriers.” According to Mr Schiweck, common legal issues that Schiweck Weinzierl Koch encounters include those related to building strong IP position for its clients’ key technology, especially antibody inventions / artificial binding molecules with antibody-like properties. “But yes, we have the expertise to develop such strong IP positions,” noted Mr Schiweck. “Also, conducting due diligence and freedom-to-operate work to assist our clients in securing business deals is quite common.” Today, the firm’s clients are highly focused on research and innovation, whether it is an academic institution, a start-up company or a multinational 14
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Looking to the future, Mr Schiweck noted: “We will be further expanding, and taking on new attorneys to complement our expertise with their technical background – and, ideally, multilingual background.”
Wolfram Schiweck Partner
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Germany – Inheritance & Estate Planning Law Probate Law and Inheritance Law in Germany Since its establishment, DR. HOSSER Rechtsanwalt has provided legal counselling in the fields of national or international inheritance law and company law to its clients at a large law firm level. The law firm’s logo is a clear commitment to its fields of specialisation – inheritance and company law. The founder, Marcus Hosser, is German attorney, certified inheritance lawyer, certified tax lawyer and trust and estate practitioner. He personally counsels small and medium-sized companies, private clients and entrepreneurs in matters of succession and assets as well as about the respective tax implication. Hosser has a wealth of practical experience with consulting companies of all sizes and individuals from several countries, including HNI. He is experienced with national and international estate planning, inheritance law, administration of estates and estate litigation. He has expert knowledge in national and international estate planning and international inheritance law, German probate law included. Besides its specialisation on international inheritance law counselling, DR. HOSSER Rechtsanwalt is also very strong in the field of German company law. The most outstanding advantages for clients of DR. HOSSER Rechtsanwalt are the abilities to counsel about national and international inheritance law by taking the connected tax implications into consideration. International probate matters with connections to Germany often require a German inheritance tax counselling, which Marcus Hosser can provide. The law firm can represent its clients in extra court negotiations and before German courts. Further, clients can expect to have their case handled personally and on expert level by Mr Hosser himself. Besides his full membership in the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP Ltd.), Mr Hosser is member of the German Association for Inheritance
Law and Succession (DVEV e. V), and of the working group, Inheritance Law of the German Federal Bar Association. He has published a number of articles in legal journals, including in the World Commerce Review-magazine about International Estate Planning-issues (e. g. “The Return on Investment in International Succession Planning”), in English. In the field of inheritance law, DR. HOSSER Rechtsanwalt offers the full range of services, from national and international estate planning over probate proceedings to estate litigation before German courts. The firm’s legal services embrace: (international) last wills and testaments, international inheritance counselling (cross-border estates), German probate proceedings, estate administration, company succession, international gift tax and inheritance tax law, German company law and foundation law, including charitable foundations, as well as asset protection.
Dr Marcus A Hosser, TEP Owner / Attorney at Law Certified Inheritance Lawyer and Certified Tax Lawyer Tel: +49 69 97 461 222 email@example.com www.dr-hosser.de
Germany – Patent Law Robert Klinski is the managing partner of PATENTSHIP, a patent firm specialised in prosecuting and litigating national and international intellectual property rights in the fields of electrical engineering and information technology, physics, mechanics and chemistry. The firm is located in Munich – close to the German Patent and Trademark Office, the European Patent Office as well as the German Federal Patent Court. Another branch of the firm is located in Aschaffenburg, from where clients from the entire Rhein-Main-Area are serviced directly and on-site. PATENTSHIP’s team supports leading technology companies, universities and startups in Germany and worldwide. The firm has a profound patent prosecution experience in Germany, EU, the US, China and Japan. Its team members have comprehensive scientific and industrial backgrounds, enabling the efficient prosecution and litigation of most demanding technologies. PATENTSHIP further has a strong patent litigation experience resulting from national and international patent litigations, including US proceedings, which have been successfully handled by the firm for years. PATENTSHIP’s further services include IP monetisation, IP valuation, technology transfer and start-up incubation services.
designs, trademark and patent searches, expert analysis, litigation, licence matters, the law of employees’ inventions, portfolio and intellectual property right strategies. Dr Klinski studied electrical engineering and telecommunications at the Technical University Hamburg-Harburg and received his doctorate with honours from the Munich Technical University in the field of mobile communication technologies. He also worked as a researcher with the Fraunhofer Institute in Munich, where he designed wired and wireless communication systems. He has extensive experience in patent prosecution and litigation in particular in the area of telecommunication systems and communication networks. Dr Klinski has been successfully representing a globally operating network operator in a number of initiated infringement lawsuits initiated by NPEs and corresponding nullity proceedings in the field of DSL technologies. He further successfully defended a telecommunications enterprise in a German part of international infringement proceedings in the field of wireless communication networks.
“We strive to offer our clients the best possible service – at affordable prices,” said Dr Klinski. “We believe that this can be accomplished only through a close cooperation with our clients. Understanding our clients’ technology and needs is the key for us to provide goal-orientated services in all fields of IP. “While the focus of our work is the prosecution of patents and other protective rights, including utility models, trademarks and designs in Europe and throughout the world, a close cooperation with attorneys at law specialised in IP allows us also to offer qualified services in nullity and infringement proceedings. Moreover, a wide network of associate patent firms throughout the world enables us to implement multinational IP strategies for our clients.” PATENTSHIP provides worldwide full cover service for intellectual property matters such as German, European, Asian and US patents, German and foreign utility models, applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), national, international and community trademarks, national and international design models and topographic
Dr Robert Klinski
Tel: +49-(0)89-75969869-0 firstname.lastname@example.org www.patentship.eu
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Greece – Patent / Trademark Law Over the past six years, Greece has been experiencing a serious economic turmoil. It appears that the economic crisis, which inter alia resulted in significant public sector cuts, has been one of the main reasons that led to an observed increase in counterfeiting and a respective decrease in related law enforcement activities. On the other hand, resent legislative developments in Greece, concerning trademarks, reflect the intention of the country to update and modernise its legislative framework within a coordinated effort to overcome recession. Apart from harmonising the related legislation with IP Enforcement Directive 2004/48 and CTM procedures, Greece has initiated the Hellenic Trademark, which is currently in function as far as dairy products and alcohol are concerned. The launch of a new system for the electronic filing of Trademarks has also been an effort towards this direction. The main sectors where IP rights protection is a prime objective in Greece are pharmaceutical industry, electronics, software, fashion, food and beverages. The long established and continuous presence of global brands in the Greek market render the protection of IP rights, as well as addressing any infringement thereof, to a point of paramount importance in a very competitive and challenging environment. Having in mind the above reality, it is our firm’s belief that it is absolutely necessary that IP right owners primarily build a preventing strategy, involving efficient monitoring systems. For example, establishing a Customs Watch System, which, through a simple procedure enables IP right holders and / or their representatives to receive notification by the Central Customs Directorate when suspected infringing goods are intercepted, is one of the most effective ways in this respect. Being conscious of the current extremely demanding environment, our firm provides its local and overseas clients with tailored advice, developed and implemented effective anti-counterfeiting strategies and, based on its excellent network of investigators and other experts, ensures that such programmes really work. While our team of lawyers strategically and effectively litigates such cases
through trial, they are very experienced in devising and establishing policies leading to both successful and cost-effective outcomes, short of litigation. Our practice has been over the years specialising and advising extensively in all aspects of IP law, including portfolio management of patents, trademarks, domain names, designs and SPCs. Our teams of specialists also provide services related to in depth consultancy. Indeed, they possess not only significant experience and expertise, but they are also flexible and able to adapt in the most efficient manner to new demands that arise in both traditional, as well as all modern IP sectors. Our office also undertakes all contentious and non contentious legal work in these areas, as well as in copyright, anti-trust, anti-piracy/ anti-counterfeiting/ customs procedures, Internet law, franchising & contract law, commercial law, trade regulation, competition law, consumer protection & advertising law and ADRP procedures.
Dr Helen Papaconstantinou Head Partner
Tel: +30 (210) 3626624- 3625757 -3612389 – 3622724 email@example.com
Greece – Tax DINAMIKI EPE was founded in 1990. As of May this year, the firm has completed 25 years of continuous and successful operation. It is comprised of tax consultants specialised in international tax law. From the start of its operation, DINAMIKI has set – through the relevant treaties for avoidance of double taxation, which have been conducted between Greece and a further 47 countries – the goal to support foreign customers in tax-related issues and their investment plans. According to Spyridon Michopoulos, partner and managing director, Greece’s complex tax environment requires the use of specialised consultants. Fluent in English and German, the DINAMIKI team offers a bespoke service spanning the gamut of financial services: from the consulting level during the investment in the local market, during the phase of implementation and setting the operation; to the completion of an operation cycle. Mr Michopoulos noted: “DINAMIKI offers a comprehensive package of bookkeeping, tax and labour law-related services by cooperating with professionals of each area, and lawyers of all specialisations.”
The country is located at the crossroad of three continents, and the port of Piraeus has increased its ability to accommodate container transport ships, meaning new investments are expected, while privatisation of the rail network will increase opportunities for goods transfer to the centre of the European market. Mr Michopoulos concluded: “The Greek economy is under pressure to be transformed, to become more efficient and less bureaucratic. The institutions have to operate with more transparency – with a greater effort to hit tax evasion, which deprives capital from the state. A more ‘European’ framework is perhaps the answer. “DINAMIKI helps its customers to understand the tax environment; it observes bookkeeping best-practice; it helps its clients make correct decisions regarding the tax consequences of their business activities in order to protect him from hidden charges.”
The Greek economy has been in a state of unparalleled crisis. Mr Michopoulos explained that innovative structural reforms are required. These include: changes in the public sector of the country and its organisation; increasing employees’ productivity; structural changes in the insurance and finance sector; and privatisations to minimise the public sector. He said: “The political parties of the country have been ill-equipped to address these matters. As a result, the economy has shrunk by some 25%, and they do not have any vision for a better future.” Despite unfavourable conditions, there is room for cautious investment, states Mr Michopoulos. “There are well-trained personnel unemployed. The real estate market, while instable, now invites investment opportunities for the savvy investor. Despite the crisis the average income is still high compared to that of neighbouring countries. Meanwhile, Greece has signed a series of conventions to avoid double taxation, which offers security to the foreign investor.” 16
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Partner / Managing Director Tel: +30 210 612 4663
End of Year Review
Italy – Financial Transactions Studio Legale Bonora e Associati is an independent law firm, established in 2000 and currently comprising four partners and 12 associates. The firm belongs to the Italian legal network LibraJus (www.libajus.eu), comprising some 45 lawyers and four offices in Milan, Genoa, Rome and Perouse and offering full-range legal services. Bonora e Associati mainly specialises in banking and finance, asset management, corporate law, M&A, as well as in public services and utilities and energy law. The firm also regularly deals with issues of labour law and protection of personal data. Its practice areas include litigation, arbitration and ADR. In particular, the firm assists multi-national groups, corporations and financial institutions in the negotiation and arrangement of complex corporate and financial transactions, such as M&A, transfers of businesses, restructuring and winding-up of companies, joint ventures, credit facilities, syndicated loans and pool financing, inter-company loans, subordinated and hybrid loans, cash pooling and debt restructuring. The firm also cover all the regulatory aspects relating, among others, to: • Licensing, conduct of business and winding-up of regulated entities, such as banks, insurance companies, financial and payment institutions, investment firms and asset management companies; • Transfer of shareholdings in those institutions; • Transfer of financial businesses and portfolios; • Establishment of Italian branches of foreign institutions. Bonora e Associati’s mission is to offer to its clients top-quality and highly specialised legal services and assistance with the emphasis on personal, fiduciary and long-lasting relationship, problem-solving business-oriented approach, flexibility, punctuality, competitive rates and fully-transparent fee reporting.
Several lawyers from the firm regularly collaborate with various Italian universities and research centres and take part in research projects, seminars and publications. They bring such academic experience into their practice and are regularly requested by clients to set up and deliver training programs for their executives and staff. Bonora e Associati also actively collaborate with the European Society for Banking and Financial Law (www.aedbf.eu), bringing together banking and corporate legal counsels, practitioners, judges, academics, public officials and economists specialising in the legal aspects of banking, financial and capital market sector. Mr Claudio Bonora, one of the founding partners of the firm, is Honorary President of the European Society. Bonora e Associati law firm has been successful in the Industry Choice category Financial Transactions Law Firm of the Year in Italy in the framework of the 2013 and 2015 International Global Law Experts Awards. In addition, the firm has been awarded the title of Financial Transactions Law Firm of the Year in Italy in the 2014 Corporate INTL Magazine Global Awards, organised by Corporate INTL Magazine.
In addition, the membership in the LibraJus network enables Bonora e Associati to form teams of professionals covering various specialties, to effectively meet the needs of individual clients that may arise from time to time.
Strong and well-established links with firms based in almost every European jurisdiction, in America and in Turkey allow Bonora e Associati to efficiently and effectively deal with complex cross-border transactions and disputes.
Tel: +39.02.76013210 www.librajus.eu
Malta – Fund Administration Valletta Fund Services (VFS) is the fund administration arm of the Bank of Valletta Group, Malta’s leading financial institution. The company currently provides a full suite of fund administration services to over 125 funds for a total Assets Under Administration in excess of €3.4 billion, commanding around 25% of the market of the market. VFS’s extensive client base varies widely in terms of both fund sizes and fund strategies as followed by the fund managers based in many of the EU countries, Switzerland and Turkey. Joseph Camilleri, Head of VFS’ Business Development Division, stated that VFS is in “good company”, having no less than 26 other fund administrators in Malta providing fund administration services. “VFS’s physiognomy however differs from the rest, being the only one that forms part of a banking group, through which the breath of services provided covers too custody and depositary services, FXs, brokerage and opening of bank accounts amongst others,” he commented. “VFS has also been at the forefront on the island in ensuring that additional services required by funds and fund managers arising out of the spate of new regulations, can be fully catered for by the company, thanks to a pro-active stance in understanding the implications of the directives, investing in state-of-theart infrastructure and on-going training to its workforce. This has ensured full compliance of our customer base to the new regulations as soon as they went live, and concurrently created additional revenue streams to the company.” Malta has often been dubbed as “the new kid on the block” given its relatively recent entry into the funds’ scene, at least if compared with other EU domiciles. Mr Camilleri noted that over these past 20 years, new realities have been developing in the funds industry. “The genesis of the sector was exclusively based on retail funds, similar to the UCITS concept. (Malta at the time was not an EU member state). The players back then were the local banks who took a position in the market by structuring own funds for distribution through own branch networks to own clients,” Mr Camilleri explained.
He stated that the international drive kicked off in 2000 with the introduction of the Professional Investor Fund regime. Since then, and markedly so post Malta’s accession to the EU, Malta saw an ever increasing number of PIFs setting up in Malta following a myriad of strategies, from the typical hedge funds and funds of hedge funds, Private Equity and Real Estate funds, algorithmic, high frequency trading, distressed debt and arbitrage funds, as well as funds investing in real assets. “Malta’s transposition to UCITS, and later of the AIFMD, saw growing numbers on both fronts of retail funds (many of which passported to various EU markets), as well as full scope Alternative Investment Funds following similar strategies as those mentioned above. “Thus, one could safely state that Malta’s fund industry is not particularly skewed towards one predominant fund type, but is a melting pot of an extensively wide variety of strategies, fund typologies marketed to investors likewise having varying risk profile appetites,” he concluded.
Head Business Development Division Tel: +356 2275 5599
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End of Year Review
Sweden – Gaming Law Hansen’s team has been present since the online gaming industry took off in the early years of 2000. We have been at the forefront of developments in Internet gaming industry for more than 10 years. Our team has vast industry experience across all aspects of the sector. Clients include multi-national businesses, owner-managed enterprises and technology start-ups. We provide advice across the full range of product and business offerings, including sports betting, poker, casinos and slots, social gaming, bingo, skill games, lotteries and prize draws.
• Partner and Head of EU- and Competition Law, Wistrand Advokatbyrå 2004-2010; • Senior Counsel and Head of EU- and Competition Law, DLA Nordic Advokatbyrå 2001-2004; • Tenure in European law, Faculty of Law, Stockholm University 1997-2001; • Visiting Professor, European University Institute, Florence Italy 1997-1998;
Our services in the betting and gaming sector include: M&A, regulatory advice, IP, technology and licensing, sponsorship agreements and other commercial agreements, litigation and competition law.
• Lawyer at the Court of Justice of the European Communities 1995-1996;
Co-founder Dr Ola Wiklund has been legal counsel for major online gaming operators for almost 10 years. His sector expertise ranges from commercial and regulatory to M&A. He also advisers private operators in the healthcare sector, and has acted as counsel in proceedings before the European Courts in Luxemburg; moreover, he has represented clients in the European Commission and the Swedish Competition Authority.
• Doctor of Laws (LL.D.) Stockholm University 1997.
He also acts for clients in a number of pending high-profile monopoly EC law suits (gaming, tax and alcohol) against the Swedish government. Meanwhile, he has acted for clients in two of the major infrastructural public procurements in Sweden; new communication system for the police, fire brigade (RAKEL) and traffic congestion charges for the City of Stockholm, as well as an arbitrator in telecom cases. Dr Wiklund has published several articles and books in his field of practice. Professional experience: • Co-founder, Hansen Advokatbyrå, 2013-present; • Partner and Head of EU- and Competition Law, Gernandt & Danielsson Advokatbyrå, 2010-2013;
• Appointed Associate Professor (docent), Stockholm University;
Ola Wiklund Co-founder
Tel: +46 706 888 18 09 firstname.lastname@example.org
Turkey – Patent Law SIMAJ is a firm of Turkish Patent and Trademark Attorneys, European Patent Attorneys and Attorneys at Law dealing with obtaining, and defending industrial and intellectual property rights. The firm’s origin traces back to the years of the establishment of Turkish Patent Institute in 1994. As one of the company’s managing partners Ozgur R. Yoruk has been an IP professional over decades. He is attentive to maintain the best quality service in IP rights to all customers around the world collaborating with his colleagues in the firm. Over the years, SIMAJ has gradually grown both in terms of the staff and the firm’s technical and legal capabilities. Today, the firm’s areas of practice in particular include drafting, filing, and prosecuting all kinds of IP applications as well as oppositions, invalidation and cancellation proceedings. In addition, they are also involved in litigation and unfair competition actions before the competent authorities. SIMAJ Patent & Trademark Attorneys are admitted to represent their clients before the Turkish Patent Institute, Turkish IP Courts, Civil, Criminal and Administrative Courts, Turkish Minister of Culture for copyright matters, Turkish Domain Name Authority, European Patent Office and WIPO. Serving a broad range of clients from large multinational companies to initial start-ups, SIMAJ is dedicated to providing individualised attention and care to all clients. Mr Yoruk said: “We believe that the competence of a firm lies on not only the personal capabilities of the staff but also their responsiveness to client queries for providing prompt, complete and continuous service.” In accordance with this sensitivity, the clients’ interests are safely guarded and the risks are avoided. He added: “In addition to protecting intellectual property rights, SIMAJ also offers strategic advice for the purpose of securing an increased competitive force for our clients and managing their IP portfolio.” 18
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To satisfy their clients’ needs in almost all technical fields, the firm employs a number of specialised experts and patent attorneys that have acquired technical expertise to serve their clients’ specific needs which include mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, chemistry, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, material science, and nanotechnology. Membership association and participation is substantial for the firm and therefore the managing partners of the firm are the members and regular participants of the international associations for intellectual property such as INTA, ECTA, EPI, MARQUES, LES, AIPPI, GRUR and AIPLA. Providing high quality legal services on a cost effective basis, SIMAJ have acquired substantial experience and esteemed reputation in the IP sector. Their IP practice covers Turkey as well as Northern Cyprus, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Georgia.
Tel: +90 312 426 58 00
Fax: +90 312 426 58 04 email@example.com; www.simaj.com.tr
Sector Panel End of Year Review
December 2015 Corporate INTL 19 End of Year 2013 / Jan 2014 Corporate INTL 23
End of Year Review
The Americas The US has the largest and most technologically developed economy in the world. Business firms in the US enjoy a greater degree of flexibility compared to businesses in other regions in terms of innovation and expansion. Amidst deteriorating terms of trade, challenging domestic business climates and widespread droughts, growth in Latin America and the Caribbean slowed to 0.9% in 2014 from 2.7% in 2013 – the slowest in 13 years apart from the Great Recession of 2009. There were marked differences among the sub-regions: almost no growth in South America contrasted with robust expansion in developing Central and North America and the Caribbean. This divergence partly reflected the more extensive trade exposure of Central and North America and the Caribbean to the United States, compared to the heavy reliance of South America on commodity exports. Prices of key commodities for the region (oil, soy beans, gold, copper, and maize) declined through the second half of 2014, and remained soft in the first half of 2015. Domestic demand growth weakened. An increase in net exports largely reflected weak imports, although a bumper soy harvest in Argentina, strong gas exports from Bolivia, and large gold shipments from the Dominican Republic were positive factors. In addition to the weakened terms of trade resulting from lower commodity prices, domestic macroeconomic challenges also contributed significantly to the slowdown in South America, as several large economies slowed down markedly or even contracted. In Argentina, modest growth was led by government consumption, while double-digit inflation rates weighed on private consumption, and weak soy bean prices dented export earnings. A sovereign rating downgrade dampened investor confidence. Despite the tourism receipts and capital investments associated with the FIFA World Cup, Brazil, the region’s largest economy, stagnated. Political uncertainty surrounding the presidential election, a corruption scandal, large fiscal deficits, China’s slowdown, accelerating inflation, monetary tightening and lower prices of key exports (iron ore and soy) all contributed to denting consumer and investor confidence. An extended drought led to further uncertainty surrounding water and electricity supplies. In República Bolivariana de Venezuela, where oil constitutes more than 90% of exports, and around half of government revenue, activity contracted yet again as a result of the oil price plunge. The challenging business climate includes rampant inflation; a disorderly currency market with an overvalued official rate and dearth of foreign exchange; and pervasive price controls, which have created widespread shortages of consumer items and
December 2015 Corporate INTL
intermediate goods. In contrast, growth in developing Central and North America accelerated to 2.4%. Led by Mexico, the sub-region saw stronger exports supported by US demand that continues to gather momentum. Record-high tourism and robust mining exports lifted the Dominican Republic and other Caribbean economies, where growth increased from 3.8 % in 2013 to 5.5% in 2014. Despite the drop in world energy and food prices, inflation remained high in some of the large economies of South America. Annual inflation reached about 65% in República Bolivariana de Venezuela in the second half of 2014. In Argentina, annual inflation was 15.8% as of April 2015. In Brazil, both headline and core inflation have risen as a result of several factors: depreciation of the real, increases in regulated prices, a tight labour market, and a prolonged drought that has led to a potential energy shortage as water at hydroelectric dams reaches low levels. A sharp depreciation also contributed to an increase in inflation in Colombia, where it has breached the central bank’s upper target limit. Core inflation rose in most countries (except in Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Paraguay). However, partly due to falling oil and food prices, headline inflation has declined across the region, especially in oil-importing countries. On average, compared to rates in 2014, headline inflation rates in developing Central and North America have fallen by a third, while those in the Caribbean have nearly halved. After a robust first half of 2014, overall gross capital flows to the region weakened after July. International bond issuance continues to dominate these inflows. In contrast, equity flows remain small, while bank lending has been volatile, especially in recent months. Despite the weakening in overall flows, international bond issuance by regional debtors still reached a new record in 2014, 10% above 2013 levels, as investors pursued yields, amid ample global liquidity. Governments, oil and gas firms, and financial institutions accounted for the majority of issues. A surge in sovereign issuance to cover 2015 budgets (Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru) outweighed the negative impact of Argentina’s credit rating downgrade to selective default in July. Issuance slowed in the fourth quarter and early 2015 on concerns surrounding a corruption scandal in Brazil, the first post-crisis interest rate increase in the US and the financial risks to Latin American borrowers from an appreciating US dollar (EIU, 2015).
End of Year Review
Argentina – Trade & Customs Law Maximiliano Krause has focused his practice on international trade and the department of International Trade Practice at Tanoira Cassagne Abogados is formed of professionals having a wide experience in matters connected to this field especially in the application of bilateral or multilateral international trade treaties both within the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR) and in regulations referred to the World Trade Organization (WTO) (international distribution agreements and international purchase of goods, among others). Within the WTO and the MERCOSUR, we have participated in different antidumping investigations, safeguards and benefits brought by the Argentine Republic against third party exports. Furthermore, we have advised different sectors of the domestic production. The increase of trade transactions, both inside and outside the MERCOSUR, has evidenced a strong growth in the demand of our clients connected to import and export matters, such as: • Amendments of extra zone external duties by the different MERCOSUR technical committees. • Implementation of technical barriers in the different markets –obstacles to free trade. • Import of used and new capital assets. Special regimes. • Registration of companies before the Industry Secretariat and the Foreign Trade Secretariat of the Argentine Republic in order to obtain permits for the import and export of products. • Obtaining of non-automatic import licenses, technical licenses, licenses of model configuration (LCM). • Technical procedures and permits before Industry Secretariat and National Institute of Industrial Technology (INTI). • Trade Balance. Particularly, we outline the advice provided since 2011 and as of today to several companies in the automotive sector in some of the most sensitive trade issues related to their core business import of vehicles and parts, government approvals, etc.
companies shall maintain their trade balance compensated in terms of imports and exports (and therefore, companies need to generate foreign currency in order to make payments abroad (mainly, debt to pay imports). In this context, and within the framework of the implementation of foreign trade transactions, the International Trade team actively collaborates in the preparation and implementation of the corresponding agreements, which enable companies to generate the inflow of foreign currency to the country that can be later re-used to cancel debts abroad. The International Trade Department also provides Integral advice on customs matters, including: • Import and export valuation of the merchandise. • Special Customs regimes: their application in a particular case (i.e. temporary admission). • How to perform international operations in the most beneficial way. • Legal advice related to operational steps in the Customs (i.e. registrations, proceedings to recover exportation benefits, etc.). • Special Proceedings: Repetition, Contest, Infringements.
Maximiliano Krause Partner
Tel: +(5411) 5272-5300
In fact, being the increase of domestic production and competitiveness of the automotive sector part of the Argentine national government policy, the involved
Brazil – Dispute Resolution Law Lautenschlager, Romeiro e Iwamizu Advogados’ first concern is to provide pre-litigation and preventive assistance to clients as to reduce liabilities through negotiations, agreements and deals. By working closely with clients and understanding each client’s goals, the firm is able to identify opportunities for strategic negotiation or techniques such as arbitration or mediation that might help the client achieve their goals. Whenever such a need arises, the firm is prepared to represent its clients in strategic litigation at any court level and in arbitration proceedings. The firm has been ranked as one of the top litigation mid-sized law firms in Brazil by several domestic and international directories. Managing partner Eduardo Romeiro noted: “In cases where the amicable solution is not achieved, our clients may rely on our highly skilled litigation team, whose members have broad expertise. Our litigators have a well-earned reputation for efficient and successful representation of the clients in commercial disputes, as well as matters involving insurance, cross-border transactions and others.” Throughout the years, the firm has successfully managed to achieve great results by bringing the full resources of the firm into the discussions, i.e., working closely with other firm’s practice areas. As result of the lawyers’ approach and dedication, the quality of its services have been recognised by several national and international entities and registries as one of the best options in the country. Mr Romeiro said: “Our firm represents domestic and foreign corporations from a wide variety of fields, but they all have in common the highly specialised and experienced management, and, thus, demand from our firm quick responses and deep knowledge of their businesses.” “The city of São Paulo is home to several Courts of Arbitration and Mediation that are usually linked to Chambers of Commerce,” added Mr Romeiro. “The two most common forms of ADR in Brazil are arbitration and mediation, whenever preliminary negotiation does not solve the matter. Although the Courts have been working towards developing a mediation sector in an attempt not only to allow the parties to resolve theirs disputes amicably, but also to avoid the increase of the Courts’ workload, arbitration is certainly
the form of ADR that has increasingly being chosen by companies in Brazil.” The growth of arbitration in Brazil is due to the possibility of having a technical analysis of the disputes that Courts of Law are usually unable to provide. In addition to that, arbitration offers a speedy solution for disputes. While arbitration proceedings may last between six and twenty four months, a complex case submitted to the Courts of Law may last up to five years until it reaches the Higher Courts. Mr Romeiro concluded: “In São Paulo, the State Court has been working to develop a more specialised sector of mediation, as to reduce the number of lawsuits filed yearly in Brazil. Currently, there are about 111 mediation centres and the numbers show that at least 43,832 lawsuits were avoided in 2013 alone as a result of these centres’ work. In addition to this, each year, the State Courts organise a ‘National Conciliation Week’ to encourage parties in ongoing lawsuits to register for a hearing and try to settle their case, avoiding additional expenses and appeals.”
Managing Partner; Head of Litigation Department Tel: +55 11 2126.4610 firstname.lastname@example.org
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End of Year Review
Brazil – Corporate Law DDSA’s full-service practice, which includes M&A and corporate, labour law, litigation (in court and arbitration), insolvency, environmental law, tax law, real estate, life science, antitrust and a specialised aviation practice, provides clients with broad assistance in any corporate transaction. Many of the firm’s lawyers are closely connected and have worked together for the past 20 years. This close connection allows them to provide clients with specialised advice on a tailor made and personal basis. João Claudio De Luca Junior noted: “Our firm is experienced in corporate and M&A and we have a deep knowledge of Brazil’s legal system affecting companies and foreign investments. In recent months we have been especially active in business formation, particularly for foreign clients that intend to have a local presence and do business in Brazil. In M&A, we have also been highly active in assisting foreign clients in the acquisition of Brazilian companies, also assisting companies in the Brazilian middle market in selling their assets and/or controlling ownwership to foreign and Brazilian investors, as well as corporate reorganisation.” Brazil has been ranked as one of the top ten economies worldwide by the International Monetary Fund, and has a population of approximately 205 million people and a huge consumer market comparable to Italy or France. According to Mr De Luca, this market attracts foreign companies intending to expand their global presence, even during critical periods for the economy. “Foreign companies have seen this critical moment for the Brazilian economy as an opportunity to either establish their local presence, or to buy local companies in favourable conditions, especially as strategic investments,” he said. Brazil’s legal system provides several bureaucratic hurdles. DDSA offers deep knowledge and expertise, and successfully helps clients to understand, demystify and overcome such hurdles. The Brazilian Central Bank’s regulation on financial transaction, especially involving foreign investors, is prohibitive. Complying with it may represent a challenge; however, recent cases studies demonstrate how the firm has helped clients navigate these waters and successfully pursue their interests. In one such case study, the firm assisted a foreign client in an international merger wherein a US company was consolidated into a Brazilian company. Guilherme Filardi explained that this project was noteworthy due to a lack of legal provision in Brazil for this type of transaction, with only a handful of precedents. This project demanded a deep knowledge in national and foreign corporate law, cross-border transactions and regulations in Brazil and abroad. 22
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Meanwhile, the economic crisis brought an increase of insolvency work for the firm. Mr Filardi offered: “Our insolvency team has seen a high increase in the amount of work and, together with our corporate practice, has assisted several companies in serious financial situations, including the legal coordination of and assistance in the most important and critical judicial recovery of Latin America. Therefore, reorganisation, sale and purchase of assets belonging to such companies are also a highly active field.” The firm has recently seen legislation passed that affects corporate law, such as the new Brazilian Civil Procedure Code and Brazil’s new anticorruption law. The first was passed earlier this year and will come into force early 2016. This new legislation may significantly impact litigation of corporate matters. What this means is that interference of the judiciary in corporate matters will increase and certain provisions of corporate documents – i.e. concerning dissolution of companies and removal of shareholders – may have to be reviewed and adapted.
new investors, officers and directors of companies. “Brazil has an important economy and presents a variety of interesting business opportunities. Our role is not to frighten or create obstacles to investment, but rather to promote it by informing, advising and orienting our clients on how to navigate Brazil’s complex legal system and overcome any obstacles that may obstruct serious investors, multinational enterprises and entrepreneurs.”
In addition, Brazil’s new legislation on anticorruption significantly changes the way companies involved in government official corruption are held liable for their acts, and provides for serious penalties. This new law closes significantly the gap between the Brazilian, US and UK anticorruption and antibribery laws. It is still not clear how Brazil’s new Civil Procedure Code will affect the way Bylaws and Shareholders’ Agreements are drafted, said Mr Filardi. “We will have to watch closely how Brazilian Courts will interpret new rules affecting corporate law; however, it is clear for us that this piece of legislation will gain greater importance than in the past.” Mr De Luca concluded: “New anticorruption laws have changed the way our due diligence process works, including how corporate documents are drafted for acquisition, sale and investment of companies. This part of our work was mainly influenced in the past by foreign anticorruption laws, especially the FCPA and the UK Anti-bribery Act. However, Brazil’s new legislation in the field calls attention to other aspects on how liability is imputed to
João Claudio De Luca Junior; Guilherme Filardi Founding Partners Tel: +55 11 3040 4040 email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org www.ddsa.com.br
End of Year Review
Brazil – Law Jose Romeu Amaral is the managing partner of J.R.Amaral Advogados and is responsible for the corporate/M&A area. He is a professor at Insper, where he teaches corporate law and legal aspects of corporate finance. He has a Master Degree in Corporate Law at Universidade de São Paulo, and an LLM at Northwestern University School of Law. He also has a Post-Degree in Corporate Law at Mackenzie and an MBA in Corporate Management at Unicamp. Before setting up J.R.Amaral Advogados, Mr Amaral was a partner at Bichara, Barata & Costa Advogados; general counsel at Sadia S.A.; executive legal manager at JBS S.A., and worked at Greenberg Traurig LLP (New York office). He is a member of the Brazilian Corporate Law Institute – IDSA, the International Bar Association, the Private Law Institute, the Brazilian Corporate Governance Institute, and is also a member of the editorial board and executive officer of the Brazilian Corporate Law and Securities Journal, published by Almedina. He has published the book “Legal Aspects of Debentures” and articles related to Corporate Law, M&A, Corporate Finance, and Securities. He has worked on several M&A deals, including local and cross-border transactions in many sectors such as: food; education; retail; textile (apparel clothing); construction; real estate; energy; environmental services; and transport.
Mr Amaral stated that the firm has differentiated its services by assisting its clients with a tailor-made and personalised approach. The firm’s partners and senior lawyers are regularly involved to deliver legal solutions that are cost-effective and add value to the clients’ business. “We understand that the knowledge of the business of our clients is a key factor to provide crafted services that are suitable to their needs,” he commented. “We distinguish ourselves also by having a consistent international experience, which comes from our participation in many cross-border transactions involving jurisdictions such as the USA, Canada, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Austria, Panama, Guyana, Chile, Uruguay and Argentina.”
Jose Romeu Garcia do Amaral Partner
Tel: +55 11 3263 0266
British Virgin Islands – Trust & Estates Law Effective Trust & Estates Law Services in BVI Founded in 2007, SimonetteLewis is a commercial law boutique at the cutting edge of international legal practice. Founding partners Hélène Anne Lewis and Garvin Simonette bring more than 40 years’ combined experience to their newly established cross border practice. With their very experienced team, SimonetteLewis possesses multi-level capability and a deep understanding of the interaction between Caribbean jurisdictions and world financial centres. The practice is committed to delivering highly responsive service to a broad range of clients in Europe and the Far East. Stella Mitchell-Voisin at Summit Trustees, Geneva, commented: “Hélène heads up a boutique, flexible and friendly firm who excel on BVI matters and offer exceptional service to clients, making her an excellent choice for BVI legal issues.” At the core of the firm’s practice is the Trusts and Probate Group. The group offers trust formation services to commercial and private clients. Services include: • Estate planning • Establishing trusts for commercial and investment purposes • Wills and Probate
Mrs Lewis has served as Secretary, First Vice President, and President of the BVI Bar Association and as Chairman of the BVI Branch of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioner (STEP). She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario Canada, and is a graduate of the University College at Buckingham. Mrs Lewis was called to the Bar at Gray’s Inn in 1983. She is also admitted to practice in Trinidad & Tobago and in St Kitts & Nevis. More recently she was unanimously elected to the Worldwide Chairmanship of STEP in November 2012 an d served in that capacity until November 2014. She is currently a Vice President of STEP, and Chairperson of the STEP Worldwide Branch Development Committee. “SimonetteLewis offers to the discerning client a unique combination of depth and international reach in complex, corporate and trust matters. Our strength lies in our ability to provide personalised counsel matched by a wealth of experience both onshore and off,” concluded Mrs Lewis.
To act on behalf of trustees, beneficiaries, SimonetteLewis offers 360-degree advice on the establishment of trusts. The firm also has a wealth of experience in trust related litigation and contentious trust and estates matters. “We rely on the advice and on prompt, personal and effective service offered by Mrs Lewis and her team. We are always pleased by their prompt efficient and cooperative attention,” added Dr Felix Bänninger, trust lawyer, Zurich, Switzerland. Mrs Lewis has wide experience in the regulation of offshore financial services, having practiced in Trinidad and Turks and Caicos Islands (where she often acted as Attorney General), and in the BVI since 1990. She is a highly regarded corporate and trust lawyer in the BVI as well as in the European and Far East legal communities which use the BVI as a jurisdiction of choice for trusts and incorporations.
Hélène Anne Lewis Managing Partner
Tel: +1 284-494-4367
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End of Year Review
Chile – Commercial Litigation Philippi, Prietocarrizosa & Uría is the first major Latin American firm resulting from the merger between the Chilean firm Philippi, Yrarrázaval, Pulido & Brunner and Colombian firm Prietocarrizosa, in what is the first union of two leading Latin American studies in their respective countries . The prestigious of Spain and Portugal, Uría Menéndez has been associated with the new study. Philippi, Prietocarrizosa & Uria is a firm with 13 practice areas and offices in Santiago (Chile), Bogota and Barranquilla (Colombia). Uría Menéndez brings to the partnership its network of offices in Spain, Portugal, Sao Paulo, New York, Beijing, London and Brussels. The firm seeks to respond efficiently to the new demands of professional services involving the growing economic relationship between the countries of the Pacific Alliance (Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru), added to the growing interest of companies from Europe, Asia and America in the Latin American region. Therefore, in the plans of the firm in the medium term it is deploying its presence in other markets such as Peru and Mexico. The Litigation and Arbitration area of Philippi, Prietocarrizosa & Uría has a group of lawyers specialised in providing comprehensive advice for solving disputes in civil and commercial matters, being within its clients national and international companies that develop their activities both the public and private sectors. Integrated area experts lawyers in civil law, corporate, litigation, arbitration and consumer protection, which, in addition to serving as academics from the most prestigious universities, have extensive professional experience in banking and related conflicts with the right financial, corporate, energy, natural resources and construction, among others. Francesco Campora Education • LLM, Columbia University 2011 • Undergraduate of Law with Highest Honor, Universidad de Chile 2006 Professional Experience • Associate, Philippi, Prietocarrizosa & Uría - 2015 • Lawyer, Philippi, Yrarrázaval, Pulido & Brunner 2012 - 2014 • Lawyer, Chadbourne & Parke LLP, New York 2011 - 2012 • Lawyer, Philippi, Yrarrázaval, Pulido & Brunner 2008 - 2010 • Lawyer, Carey y Cía. 2004 - 2007
Memberships • Chilean Bar Association, Chile • Columbia International Antitrust Law Association, Estados Unidos • Columbia International Arbitration Association, Estados Unidos • Columbia Alumni Association, Estados Unidos • ICC YAF, Francia • Club Español del Arbitraje - 40 • International Centre for Dispute Resolution Young & International • Young International Arbitration Group Academic Activities • Professor of Civil Law, Universidad de Chile 2007 • Assistant Professor of Civil Law, Universidad de Chile 2001 - 2007 • Member of the committee for the modernisation of the Civil Law tenure syllabus, Universidad de Chile 2006 • Member of the Committee of Plans and Syllabus in charged with evaluating and reforming the law school syllabus, Universidad de Chile 1999 - 2001
Francesco Campora Lawyer
Tel: +562 2429 3859
Colombia – Labour & Employment Law Juan Pablo Lopez Moreno is a general director and legal representative of LOPEZ & ASOCIADOS. PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES: General Director and Partner at LOPEZ & ASOCIADOS. Attorney-at-law and adviser in the fields of Labour Law and Social Security in Colombia, with exclusive emphasis in company representation and specialised advice on individual and collective labour law matters to companies of the food, financial, industrial, mining, commercial, telecommunications and services sectors. EDUCATION AND ACADEMIC BACKGROUND • Lawyer of the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (1993). • Labour and Social Security Law Specialist of the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (1994). • Director of the Labour Law Department of the Faculty of Legal Sciences of the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (2012). • Director in charge of the Labour Law Postgraduate Programme of the Faculty of Legal Sciences of the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (2014). • Director in charge of the Social Security Postgraduate Programme of the Faculty of Legal Sciences of the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (2014). TEACHING EXPERIENCE • Law Professor: Years: 2000- 2015 PONTIFICIA UNIVERSIDAD JAVERIANA – Faculty of Legal Sciences • Professor of the Labour Law: Years: 2007- 2010. Lugar: Bogota UNIVERSIDAD SERGIO ARBOLEDA – Faculty of Legal Sciences • Professor of the Labour Law: Years: 2007 - 2010. Place: Bogota UNIVERSIDAD CATOLICA DE COLOMBIA – Faculty of Legal Sciences INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVMENTS AND AWARDS: • Recognised by the British international publication CHAMBERS & PARTNERS, as a Band 1 lawyer, in Labour Law and Social Security in Colombia – Latin America. Years 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. • Recognised by the CORPORATE INTERNATIONAL GLOBAL AWARDS as the best labour lawyer in Colombia – Latin America. Year’s 2011 and 2012. • Lecturer in the NATIONAL CONGRESS OF LABOUR LAW AND SOCIAL SECURITY. “Labour Relations as an Instrument for Peace” in 2015.
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• Lecturer in the NATIONAL CONGRESS OF LABOUR LAW AND LABOUR RELATIONS in Argentina, year 2015. • Recognised by LEGAL 500 as one of the best labour lawyers in Latin America, in 2015. WORK TEAM ACHIEVMENTS AND AWARDS: • Recognition to the firm LOPEZ & ASOCIADOS SAS (firm of which he is the main partner and General Director) by the British international publication CHAMBERS & PARTNERS, as an excellent-level firm in Colombia – Latin America. Years 2013, 2014 and 2015. • Recognition to the firm LOPEZ & ASOCIADOS SAS (firm of which he is the main partner and General Director) with the GLOBAL LAW EXPERTS 2013 PRACTICE award in Colombia – Latin America. Year 2013. • Recognition to the firm LOPEZ & ASOCIADOS SAS (firm of which he is the main partner and General Director) with the LAWYER MONTHLY LEGAL AWARDS 2012 / WINNER in Colombia – Latin America. Year 2012. • Recognition to the firm LOPEZ & ASOCIADOS SAS (firm of which he is the main partner and General Director) by LEGAL 500 as one of the best teams of labour lawyers in Latin America in 2015.
Juan Pablo Lopez Moreno General Director Tel: +57 (571) 340-6944 email@example.com www.lopezasociados.net
End of Year Review
Dominican Republic – Condominium Law Guzmán Ariza is a national law and business consulting firm – the first and only one in the Dominican Republic. Founded in 1927, its seven offices are strategically located to serve clients in every major business and tourism centre in the Dominican Republic: the Santo Domingo metropolitan area, the northern part of the island –Sosua, Cabarete, Cabrera, Las Terrenas, Samana; and the southeast –Punta Cana, Bavaro, Miches, Macao and La Romana, including Casa de Campo and Bayahibe. The firm’s capabilities span all aspects of the real estate industry, including: • Due diligence • Purchase and sale of commercial and residential properties • Purchase and sale of developments and hotels • Financing • Condominiums and Homeowner Associations • Tax incentives for real estate developments • Land use regulation • Environmental feasibility • Rental / lease agreements • Brokerage arrangements • Timeshare projects • Condominiums and owners’ associations • Foreclosures and evictions • Real estate-related litigation • REITs • Title insurance • Boundaries, easements and rights of way • Mortgages • Liens • Construction contracts • Expropriation (eminent domain) • Property management Guzmán Ariza’s Real Estate Department is unsurpassed in its skill, experience and geographical reach. The Department works as a cohesive team with other disciplines, including tax, financing, environment, and litigation to ensure that all issues that could impact a transaction are properly and thoroughly addressed.
Managing partner, Fabio J. Guzmán Ariza, has published the only annotated version of the Dominican real estate statute: Ley 108-05 de registro inmobiliario, comentada, anotada y concordada con sus reglamentos. He is also the leading authority in the country in the field of condominium law, and has published the only annotated version of the Dominican condominium statute: Ley 5038 de 1958 sobre condominios, comentada, anotada y concordada con la ley 108-05 de registro inmobiliario,con su formulario. César Calderón serves as legal adviser to the most important real estate and condominium projects in Las Terrenas and Samaná, specifically the most visited hotels and the largest condominiums of the area. In addition, he represents the condominiums’ co-owners in the members of the condominium assembly, advises in the drafting, review and analysis of contracts, and has an active involvement in the initial designing stage of new projects. On the topic of legal complexities unique to the region, Mr Calderón noted: “The Condominium Law of the Dominican Republic, #5038, dates back to 1958 and needs to be updated according to the new regulations of the country. Guzmán Ariza provides unparalleled assistance in this regard, as our attorneys’ knowledge of the land court, and our experience in real estate and all phases of the condominium projects, allows us to deliver results in a cost-efficient manner.”
César Calderón Partner
Tel: +1 (809) 240-6484
Ecuador – Corporate Law Almeida Guzmán & Asociados is a law firm established in 1981, specialising in legal-corporate counselling and assessment. The firm’s professional practice includes the following fields: • Corporate, Commercial and Mercantile Law • Tax Law • Finance, Bank and Securities Law • Energy Legislation: Oil, Electricity and Alternative Energy • Economic Integration and Foreign Investment Legislation, International Trade • Labour and Immigration Law • Legislation on Consumer Rights, Antitrust and Competitiveness • Real Estate, Property, Construction and Public Works Legislation • Legislation on Government Contracts • Mining Law • Arbitration and Mediation Almeida Guzmán & Asociados also retains professionals in the fields of economics and accounting. The firm’s experience is comprised of consultation on legal, tax and economic undertakings, as well as project finance, mergers, split-offs, takeovers, acquisitions, and general business restructuring. The client base of the firm includes companies engaged in industry, commerce, tourism, real estate, pharmaceutical, agriculture, construction, oil, energy, telecommunication, services, banking, insurance, finance and securities. Almeida Guzman & Asociados’ vision is to be the leading law firm in Ecuadorian society, creating value for its customers and partners. Its mission is to provide personalised service to all customers proactively and effectively, with the participation of personnel to meet high academic and professional standards. The academic training and professional experience of those who make up Almeida Guzman & Asociados provides for a service offering with a truly global
focus. The company pays particular attention to legal and tax frameworks – applying a holistic approach in order to efficiently meet all relevant economic criteria. The firm also specialises in critical-conceptual analysis of cases and issues under consultation. Its advisory professionals develop and propose alternatives, framed in full compliance with the applicable legislation under consideration practical and workable solutions. The exercise of the profession is understood as responsibility towards customers. The firm’s basic premise of practice is its observance of ethical standards. It guarantees absolute confidentiality in handling the information accessed in the exercise of advice, while avoiding any conflict of interest regarding the services provided. All members of the firm are aware of their role as members of the community. All staff base their daily work on clear guidelines for corporate social responsibility, solidarity, tolerance as well as mutual respect.
Diego Almeida Guzmán Partner Tel: +593-2 298-1578 / 1579 Fax: +593-2 298-1584 firstname.lastname@example.org www.almeidaguzman.com
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PRIVATE & CORPORATE BANKING / WEALTH MANAGEMENT / TAILOREd sOLuTIONs
End of Year Review
sparkasse Bank Malta plc is authorised to conduct Banking business and to conduct Investment Services business by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA).
Innovative Services for Financial Intermediaries. Giving you the Power to Succeed.
If you want to succeed in business you’ve got to innovate. To assist you with this challenge, sparkasse Bank Malta now provides an extensive suite of tools to licensed advisors and financial intermediaries. These outsourcing services are designed to support & complement your current business, allowing you more time to think and advise. Along with Custody services, we offer a complete trading package including pre-trade simulations, on-line valuations and brokerage. We’ve integrated a fund trading platform giving you access to approximately 16,000 sub-funds from 250 different international fund managers. Call our support Team now on 2133 5705. Tel: +356 2133 5705 • Fax: +356 2133 5710 email@example.com • www.sparkasse-bank-malta.com December 2015 Corporate INTL
sparkasse Bank Malta plc 64 Regent House Bisazza street sliema sLM1641 – Malta
End of Year Review
Dutch Caribbean – Tax Law Emile Steevensz is a tax lawyer and partner with Steevensz|Beckers Tax Lawyers in Curaçao. Mr Steevensz studied tax law at the Academy of the Dutch Federation of tax advisers and belonged to the first group of students who started the accelerated LL.M tax program at the University of Leiden in June 1997. He completed this LL.M programme in May 1999, having combined his studies with his work in the tax practice of Deloitte. In 2001 he went to Curaçao for Deloitte and, in 2003, continued his career with the (former) Curaçao Loyens & Loeff. In 2009 he became managing director of Wesselman. As of April 1, 2011 he is tax partner of Steevensz|Beckers Tax Lawyers (originally named Certa Legal Tax Dutch Caribbean). Mr Steevensz is working the general tax practice with a focus on international tax structures and international tax planning involving the Netherlands (and other European countries), Curaçao, Aruba, St. Maarten, the Caribbean Netherlands (Bonaire, Eustatia, Saba) and Latin America, private equity structures, rulings, due diligence, aircraft lease, mergers and demergers, penshonado measures, Economic zone companies, international trading structures and asset protection. Emile also advices high net worth individuals and their tax structures.
Expertise Mr Steevensz added: “In our tax and civil integrated practice, we work together closely with civil lawyers and civil law notaries. This integrated approach allows us to approach and handle cases efficiently and from several different perspectives, since tax considerations are usually part of a larger picture. Our tax lawyers regularly liaise with our clients’ management. Our aim is to establish a long-term, close working relationship, since that will allow us to truly offer added value to our clients.”
He advises on tax aspects of the aforementioned areas together with his civil law colleagues in Curaçao. Moreover, he is contributor for the indirect tax paragraph for Curaçao, St Maarten and the Islands of the Netherlands Caribbean for Bloomberg/BNA.
Asset protection and estate planning Steevensz|Beckers Tax Lawyers advises and assists high net-worth individuals in establishing structures to arrange the transfer of wealth from one generation to the next as tax efficiently as possible. They also advise on how to set up anti-takeover mechanisms, including measures that make it difficult for third parties to obtain information on wealth. Steevensz|Beckers Tax Lawyers advises and assists in the set-up of family offices in the Dutch Caribbean. With the recent introduction of the 4th EU anti-money laundry directive, private owned businesses seek protection to preserve their anonymity. Steevensz|Beckers Tax Lawyers assists with its Dutch partners in finding and implementing suitable solutions.
STEEVENSZ|BECKERS Tax Lawyers Steevensz|Beckers Tax Lawyers provides independent, high-quality tax advice to local, Dutch, Latin American and other international clients in the Dutch Caribbean (Curaçao, Sint Maarten, Aruba and the BES Islands). Mr Steevensz noted: “We help our clients minimise risks and solve tax problems, and draw their attention to any opportunities that arise. We advise medium-sized and large companies, wealthy private individuals (usually business owners), listed companies and other organisations (including non-profit organisations and charities) on how to optimise their tax positions.” Further, the tax lawyers of Steevensz|Beckers Tax Lawyers have built-up a large network of tax colleagues in various countries. Mr Steevensz said: “We work closely together with them to assist our clients in establishing structures between the Netherlands, the Dutch Caribbean and the rest of the world. Steevensz|Beckers Tax Lawyers is a member of Tax & Labor, an alliance of law firms in Latin and Central America and the Caribbean, specialising in tax law and employment law.” Tax The tax lawyers Steevensz|Beckers Tax Lawyers have master’s degrees in Tax Law. They are entrepreneurs and have a large network of tax and corporate lawyers as well as non-legal advisers (such as accountants, transfer pricing specialist and valuators) in various countries. They are capable of understanding and thinking with you. Mr Steevensz commented that the firm’s tax lawyers have an outstanding relationship with the tax authorities in the Dutch Caribbean as well as in the Netherlands.
Reorganisations, acquisitions and successions Mr Steevensz said: “The main issues in reorganisations, acquisitions and successions are the tax aspects involved in internal reorganisations, mergers and acquisitions (including management participation plans), management buyouts and management buy-ins and due diligence. Steevensz|Beckers pays special attention to advising on and assisting in the transfer of private-owned (usually family owned) businesses to the next generation.” Dutch and Latin American desk The Dutch desk of Steevensz|Beckers Tax Lawyers advices foreign clients in the region who wish to invest in the Netherlands or use the Netherlands for their investments in Europe or other countries on Dutch tax aspects and the Dutch tax treaty network. Through Steevensz|Beckers’ Latin American desk, the firm assists Dutch companies who want to invest in Latin- and Central America.
Property investments in the Dutch Caribbean Steevensz|Beckers Tax Lawyers advises on the purchase of second homes as well as on large property projects. The firm pays special attention to the specific tax rules and possibilities on Curaçao and the Caribbean Netherlands. Fund structuring According to Mr Steevensz, Curaçao is an attractive business location for Funds. Curaçao offers variety of possibilities to create funds, ranging from closed held family funds to large funds. Curaçao has a modern regulatory framework, and the country’s fund administration is among the best in the world. The Dutch Caribbean Stock Exchange offers an attractive listing alternative for the stock exchanges in Europe. International trade structures Steevensz|Beckers offers advice and assistance in setting up cross-border trade and service structures, whereby beneficial use can be made of the economic area or international trade and services provisions and other tax advantages in the Dutch Caribbean. “Steevensz|Beckers Tax Lawyers does not only pay attention to corporate tax issues and transfer pricing but also pays close attention to VAT/Sales tax and custom duties”.
Emile G Steevensz Partner Tel: +599.9.736.05.06 firstname.lastname@example.org www.steevenszbeckers.com
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End of Year Review
Mexico – Accounting KSI México is a global network, member of KS International, an association of independent accountancy firms with over 100 offices; the firm operates in some 50 countries around the world to deal with your international business need. KSI México offers a personal service, focused on the growth and success of our clients. The firm provides an outstanding service quality, offering a complete solution for each client. The firm provides a wide range of business services to companies in a variety of industries, specialising in corporate finance advice, accounting, tax planning, consultation, and auditing services.
Qualities you will find in a KSI México firm include: • a real understanding of your business; • the partners are in tune with your needs and aspirations; • regular attention and support from accessible partners; • commercial realism in the advice you receive; • technically reliable responses to your enquiries. Additionally, KSI México firm attaches great importance to recruiting and training quality staff.
Moreover, KSI México belongs to the PCAOB (Public Company Accounting Oversight Board), as a corporation to oversee the audits of public companies in order to protect the interests of investors and further the public interest in the preparation of informative, accurate and independent audit reports. Its commitment is to help your business succeed by keeping up-to-date with your affairs and offering a high standard of both commercial and supportive advice. The Key to the firm’s approach is to build a close relationship between partner and client.
David Hernández Munguía Founding Partner
Tel: +52 55 5520 5353 /01 800 849 6614 email@example.com
California, US – Bankruptcy Law Richard H Golubow is a founding member and the managing shareholder of Winthrop Couchot Professional Corporation, a premier bankruptcy law firm established in 1995 and located in Newport Beach, California. Devoting his practice to the areas of financial restructuring, insolvency law, complex bankruptcy and business reorganisations, litigation, liquidations and acquisitions, Mr Golubow’s clients include debtors, creditors, creditor committees, bankruptcy trustees, assignees for the benefit of creditors, receivers and asset purchasers in a wide range of industries, including retail, manufacturing, distribution, importing, construction, entertainment, education, non-profit institutions, healthcare, hospitality, real estate, automotive, golf and country club, biotech, transportation, telecommunications and Internet businesses. He has achieved an ‘AV Preeminent’ (5 out of 5) Peer Rating, Martindale-Hubbell’s highest peer recognition, generated from evaluations by other members of the bar and the judiciary for legal ability and ethical standards. He is also rated “superb” (10 out of 10) by the leading independent attorney rating service, AVVO, and has been selected by his peers as a Super Lawyer, representing the top 5% of practising attorneys in Southern California. Mr Golubow is a member of the International Network of Boutique Law Firms (INBLF), an invitation only network of lawyers from single-discipline boutique law firms with the highest level of knowledge, experience, reputation and credentials comparable or superior to what can be found at the highest-ranking full-service law firms. Mr Golubow has lectured, written about, or been interviewed on varied insolvency related topics including: as a panellist, Bankruptcy in the Americas Roundtable, Financier Worldwide Magazine, September 2015; as a panellist, Bankruptcy & Restructuring Annual Review 2015, Financier Worldwide Magazine, June 2015; as an author, Use of the Common Interest Doctrine in Bankruptcy Cases, Corporate LiveWire Bankruptcy & Restructuring Expert Guide, March/April 2015; as a guest interviewed on Your Money Talks radio show, host Jerry Slusiewicz, a Bloomberg radio affiliated program, January 5, 2015 about corporate bankruptcy and financial restructuring; as a
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moderator, Comparative Analysis of Receiverships, Bankruptcies and Assignments for the Benefit of Creditors, California Receivers Forum Loyola VI Conference, January 23, 2015; as a panellist, Bankruptcy in the Americas Roundtable, Financier Worldwide Magazine, September 2014; as a guest interviewed on Commercial Real Estate Radio (creradio.com) about Commercial Real Estate Bankruptcy – What You Need to Know, on April 4, 2014 and Investing in Distressed Real Property in Bankruptcy, on February 13, 2014; as a panellist, ‘But I Thought We Were Safe: Are Priority Claims and Legacy Employee Liabilities at Risk in a 363 Sale?’ at the American Bankruptcy Institute’s 25th Annual Winter Leadership Conference in December 2013; and as a panellist, ‘War of the Roses, The Impact of Divorce Proceedings on Business and Personal Bankruptcy Cases’ at the California Bankruptcy Forum’s 25th Annual Insolvency Conference in May 2013. Prior to entering private practice, Mr Golubow served as judicial law clerk and judicial extern to the Honourable John J Wilson, United States Bankruptcy Judge in the Central District of California, Santa Ana Division.
Richard H Golubow Founding Member
Tel: +1 949 720 4135
End of Year Review
Illinois, US – Constitutional Law Great criminal defence requires not only legal knowledge but detective work, strategy, creativity and courtroom skills. Drawing on nearly 40 years’ worth of experience in criminal law, Jed Stone is known for achieving favourable and often remarkable results in complex cases. The shared mission at Stone & Associates is simple: to provide help to those who need justice. Having represented more than 135 individuals accused of first-degree murder, the firm is known as the ‘go-to’ defence firm in the Waukegan area and northern Illinois. “Yet we are accessible to anyone seeking powerful representation for misdemeanour or felony criminal charges,” said Mr Stone. “These run the full gamut from shoplifting or drug possession to white collar crimes or sex offenses.” He added: “While criminal defence is our bread-and-butter focus, we handle related matters such as criminal appeals, defence of professionals in disciplinary proceedings, lawsuits for police misconduct and assistance to fledgling medical marijuana enterprises.” As the firm’s founder, Mr Stone has practised in criminal law since 1976. He is known throughout the United States for his advocacy, and he has run criminal defence seminars for the National Criminal Defense College. He has taught criminal law locally at Northwestern University and Lake Forest College, and outside of Illinois at the New York State Defender Institute. He is a fellow of the American Board of Criminal Lawyers, a diplomate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy and a Chicago Bar Association Master Advocate. Listed in ‘Who’s Who in American Law’, he has been awarded the Abraham Lincoln Marovitz Public Interest Law Award and the NAACP Freedom and Justice Award. Mr Stone is a hands-on lawyer who visits clients in the county jail each afternoon as part of his ‘daily rounds’. His thorough and thoughtful approach to the client’s cause is one of the qualities that sets the firm apart from its peers, who at times gravitate to the quick plea or the path of least resistance. “We provide a
true defence,” said Mr Stone, “including going to trial to spare our clients and their families from the nightmare of a prison term.” In addition LaTonya Burton, whom Mr Stone endorses as ‘one of the best trial lawyers I know’, joined the firm in 2014 after 12 years as a public defender. Her well-honed skills enable the firm to provide a team approach to clients to give them the best possible defence. The legal team further includes Robin Billiter, a paralegal who formerly worked across the street in the Circuit Clerk’s Office. As necessary, the firm works to expand its team by enlisting top-notch investigators and forensic social workers. Last but not least, Yesenialy Garcia recently joined the team. As a native Spanish speaker, Ms Garcia is often the first point of contact for Latino clients who turn to Stone & Associates for help.
Jed Stone Partner
Tel: +1 847-693-4545
Illinois, US – Family Law Schaffer Family Law, Ltd. recognises that family law issues can be extremely difficult. Emotions often run high when it comes time to negotiate the terms of a divorce, custody, or child support agreement. The firm’s primary goal is to provide the compassionate advice and professional guidance you need to make sound decisions regarding your future.
need not be contentious. To that end, I always encourage negotiation and cooperation to help parties navigate their concerns and resolve their disputes. This type of approach often reduces the time and cost associated with litigation. Nonetheless, I am fully prepared to battle for your rights and interests should it become required.
For more than 30 years, attorney David Schaffer has represented clients in areas such as child custody, maintenance, property distribution, as well as international custody disputes. The firm’s goal is to provide clients with compassionate, yet professional legal representation in an effort to address their concerns and achieve their goals. Schaffer Family Law is committed to obtaining the solutions its clients need and deserve.
“When you come into our Naperville, Illinois, office, you will sit down to discuss your case, and I will take as much time as necessary to thoroughly assess your situation and determine what course of action would be most beneficial to you and your overall goals.”
Mr Schaffer noted: “When dealing with difficult family law issues, you and your family deserve a strong legal advocate to provide you with support and protection. At Schaffer Family Law, we offer professional representation and personal dedication to our clients and their cases.” Practising for more than 30 years, Mr Schaffer focuses on both domestic, and international family law matters. Throughout his career, he has developed effective strategies and is always striving to expand his legal knowledge in order to better serve the individuals and families he represents. He has continually been recognised by his peers as one of the top attorneys in his field. “When it comes to divorce, there are several elements to consider,” said Mr Schaffer. “Property division, tax consequences, child support, child custody, and maintenance are all issues that must he handled in a manner that is both efficient and effective. I firmly believe that the divorce process
Mr Schaffer is backed by his skilled paralegal. Together, they will work together to ensure you receive the dedicated representation you need and deserve.
David Schaffer Partner
Tel: +1 630-922-4500
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Illinois, US – IP Law James Conte of Husch Blackwell is a patent attorney and member of the Technology, Manufacturing & Transportation team. He concentrates on the clearance, registration and enforcement of patents, trademarks, trade dress and copyrights in the US and internationally, and has extensive experience in licensing intellectual property as well as negotiating agreements and non-compete agreements. Mr Conte’s industry experience encompasses: negotiation of joint venture agreements for US and foreign jurisdictions concerning marketing, development and distribution of industrial products; and preparation of patent and trademark applications for industrial machinery and parts, processes, controls, and chemical coatings. His experience as a litigator includes working on matters involving patent and trademark infringement and unfair competition, along with nullification actions and appeals in the US and abroad. He represents clients in federal and state courts and before the US Patent and Trademark Office. He relates his individual expertise specifically to the industries he serves, and applies it broadly to the various aspects of intellectual property law, including: patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets and unfair competition.
• Intellectual Property Litigation • Patents • Trademarks & Copyrights • Trade Secrets Admissions • Illinois, 1992 • California, 1992 • US Patent and Trademark Office, 2003 • US District Court, Northern District of Illinois, 1995 • US Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit, 2002 Education • Certification, Biotechnology, Roosevelt University, 2004 • JD, University of California-Los Angeles School of Law, 1992 • BS, Pre-med and Finance, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1987, with high honour
Meanwhile, his professional associations and memberships comprise: Intellectual Property Law Association-Chicago, Litigation Committee, Chair, 2013-2015. His awards and recognitions include Illinois Leading Lawyer, Intellectual Property Law, 2015. Mr Conte’s notable case work includes preparing, negotiating and completing joint venture agreements for US and foreign jurisdictions concerning marketing, development and distribution of industrial machinery, industrial parts, medical devices and chemical coatings. He has also drafted, prosecuted and obtained patent and trademark applications for US-based and foreignbased companies in the field of medical devices, chemical coatings and compositions, drugs, industrial machinery, controls, industrial parts, packaging and housewares. His litigation experience includes both enforcing and invalidating IP rights around the world. Practice Areas • Manufacturing • 3D Printing • Intellectual Property • Intellectual Property Counselling
Mr James Conte
Partner – Technology, Manufacturing & Transportation Tel: +1 312 450-5673 (direct)
New York, US – Banking and Finance Law Seward & Kissel’s Global Bank and Institutional Finance & Restructuring Practice Group (the “Group”) is at the forefront of the representation of banks and other financial institutions in connection with financing transactions and new product research and development. The Group also advises bank clients with respect to litigation, restructuring, insolvency and workouts relating to such financing transactions. The Group focuses primarily in the areas of structured finance, asset-backed and mortgagebacked securities transactions, domestic and international banking transactions, project finance, distressed debt trading, second lien financing, institutional finance and private placements. Kalyan Das, partner and head of the Group, noted: “We represent numerous domestic and international banks and other institutions in all types of domestic and cross-border financing transactions. Such transactions have involved structured financing, asset securitisation (involving asset-backed securities (ABS), commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) and residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS), commercial paper financing, equipment financing, secured and unsecured loan financing, senior and subordinate loan financing, second lien financing and distressed debt trading. “We have worked on various matters involving CLO/CBO transactions, CMBS/RMBS transactions (including enforcement actions, mortgage loan repurchases by originators/ sponsors and servicer breaches), domestic and cross-border securitisations (involving ABS, CMBS and RMBS transactions), distressed debt trading, sub-prime mortgage industry, and out-of-court restructurings relating to North America, Venezuela, Argentina, Ecuador, Mexico, Asia and Canada.”
goal of re-invigorating the ‘private label’ RMBS market, as well as other SFIG market initiatives.” The Group currently represents numerous financial institutions in connection with servicer breaches and repurchases of loans including litigation relating thereto, and is involved in commercial paper financing, equipment financing, secured and unsecured loan financing, senior and subordinate loan financing, and second lien financing. Today the Group represents banks in various capacities including administrative agents, trustees, servicers, and numerous bondholders in origination transactions and restructuring/workouts involving asset-backed and mortgage-backed transactions and corporate bankruptcies, and has worked on most of the major workouts to date including GMAC/ResCap, Energy Future Holdings Corp. (formerly known as TXU Corporation), MF Global Holdings Ltd., Caesars Entertainment Operating Company Inc., among others – including Asian and Latin American workouts, Venezuelan oil industry and corporate restructurings in North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America.
In the structured finance area, the depth of the Group’s securitisation experience and the breadth of its knowledge regarding a wide range of asset types enable it to provide clients with the assistance they require to successfully and efficiently structure and document complex transactions. The Group has helped to develop innovative approaches to securitisation originations and restructurings and assisted clients in developing new structures designed to comply with the various regulatory reforms and accounting changes adopted in response to the financial crisis.
Kalyan (“Kal”) Das Partner and Head of the Global Bank and Institutional Finance & Restructuring Practice Group at Seward & Kissel LLP
“We are at the forefront of trying to solve the issues facing CLOs with the recent adoption of new risk retention rules under Dodd Frank,” said Mr Das. “We are heavily involved in RMBS 3.0, an initiative of the Structured Finance Industry Group (SFIG), established with the primary
December 2015 Corporate INTL
Tel: +1 212-574-1391 www.sewkis.com
End of Year Review
Massachusetts, US – International Tax DLA Piper is one of the largest law firms in the world with 4,200 lawyers in 34 countries representing more than 140 of the top 250 Fortune 500 clients and nearly half of the FTSE 350 or their subsidiaries. Recognised as the International Law Firm of the Americas for five consecutive years (International Tax Review 2010-2014), it proposes an extensive range of legal services through six global practice groups: International Tax, Corporate & Finance, Litigation & Arbitration, Real Estate, Regulatory & Government Affairs, and Intellectual Property & Technology. The International Tax Practice at DLA Piper provides clients with best practices in terms of legal operating structure. To enhance the company value, by improving cash tax cost positions and managing the global tax rate, we offer these main areas of practice: International Tax Counsel: The International Tax group helps the legal, finance and tax departments of multinational companies manage their global tax rate and improve positions with respect to cash tax costs. The team works closely with its clients to understand current business objectives, with a thorough understanding of the organisation and working in collaboration with other advisers in developing appropriate international transactions and arrangements. Cross-border IP Transfers: Intellectual property and technology rights, such as registered patents, trademarks, and computer software, as well as knowhow, goodwill, employment, contracts and designs, often combine to represent a company’s most valuable assets. The global ownership, licensing, exploitation and development of such property and resources has significant tax consequences. Traditional rules of international taxation are increasingly difficult to apply in this context. DLA Piper’s international tax professionals are on the cutting edge of transactions in this arena, regularly helping clients address the multitude of tax issues relating to acquisition, transfer, licensing, and development, including withholding taxes, transfer pricing, valuations and cost-sharing. Supply Chain Conversion: DLA Piper’s international team has extensive experience in regional or global conversion of supply chain transactions, centralised management and product distribution arrangements, resulting in improved operating efficiency and tax savings. We regularly assist multinational companies to structure complex multi-country supply chain arrangements for products manufactured in Asia and Europe and sold throughout the world. We work with luxury brands, industrial products and equipment suppliers in structuring their internal transactions, distribution networks and intercompany arrangements. Transfer Pricing: DLA Piper’s international team assists clients to develop, implement, document and defend their intercompany arrangements and transactions which support their worldwide legal structures and international tax strategies. In conjunction with in-house economists, we prepare valuation and transfer pricing reports that identify and
document appropriate transaction pricing and fees pursuant to applicable tax laws for a wide range of intercompany transactions, including manufacturing, distribution, licensing, cost sharing and financing. Post-Acquisition Integration: After the “deal” closes, the work related to realising the benefits begins. There is often duplication of legal entities in various jurisdictions, inconsistent intercompany positions or inefficient holding company structures. DLA Piper provides coordinated advice to ensure that effective group structures are designed, executed and maintained, which may involve: • Reorganisation of entities within the group; • Centralisation of functions to maximise commercial efficiency; • Liquidation of surplus companies; • Insertion of internal debt; and • Effective utilisation of operating losses. International Tax Controversy: DLA Piper lawyers represent clients in disputes and refund claims concerning a variety of international transactions, including transfer pricing disputes and complex structuring issues. When defending clients in tax audits, DLA Piper focuses on aggressively striving to obtain desired results in contested matters. The firm’s experience includes strategies to minimise government assessments, managing tax audits, preparing IDR responses, communications with the government tax authorities, pursuit of rights of appeal, and where necessary, litigation.
Local Tax Capability: Clients benefit from having lawyers in over 30 countries who are individually well versed in their local legal, tax and business environments. International Tax Project Management: Clients receive coordinated advice across multiple jurisdictions along with a consolidated, consistent approach, and a holistic view of providing global solutions to complex international tax matters. Full-Service Support: DLA Piper has the ability to address the full range of legal issues relevant to complex international transactions. Michael Hardgrove Partner at DLA Piper, providing international consulting, structuring and intangible transaction services to numerous public and private companies with operations throughout the world. Before joining DLA Piper, Mr. Hardgrove was a partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) for more than 20 years, working in Brussels, San Jose/San Francisco and Seattle. He has been recognised in Chambers USA, Legal 500 and CorporateINTL for his work “improving tax efficiency for multinational companies”, and “leads a Boston international tax practice that enjoys a robust reputation for its work in corporate restructuring, both domestically and internationally”.
UNIQUE APPROACH: The DLA Piper international team draws upon the experience of colleagues in numerous areas of law, including intellectual property and technology, corporate and finance, real estate, employment and employee benefits. In addition, DLA Piper resources in regulatory and EU competition, public affairs and government affairs further strengthen the capabilities of its practitioners. And the collaboration of the international tax practice with those practice areas increases the value DLA Piper brings to solving complex global legal matters. Companies operating in global markets have many complex issues that require an international perspective combined with a thorough knowledge of country-specific practices. As a leading international services provider, DLA Piper faces these challenges through a combination of:
Michael Hardgrove Partner Tel: +1 617 406 6039 firstname.lastname@example.org www.dlapiper.com
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Asia & Oceania
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Asia & Oceania Asia is the largest continent in the world, located entirely in the eastern hemisphere, east of Europe and northeast of Africa. Oceania includes Australia, New Zealand and a host of island nations, stretching from Asia’s east coast to parts of the South Pacific in the western hemisphere. In Central Asia, regional growth is expected to decelerate to 1.8% in 2015’s final figures (not yet available) from an already weak 2.4% in 2014. Growth in the East Asia and Pacific (EAP) region slowed, as expected, by 0.2 percentage points to 6.9 % in 2014. Fiscal and macro-prudential policy tightening in the major regional economies, political problems in Thailand, monetary tightening and election-related uncertainty in Indonesia, as well as budget execution bottlenecks in the Philippines contributed to weaker economic activity. Investment continued to ease from the credit-fuelled high rates of the post-crisis years. The main offset to these negatives came from consumption, on the back of tight labour markets and accommodative monetary policies. Rising exports to recovering high-income countries, especially to the US, are providing additional support.
recovery and continued low financing cost. Softer commodity prices have affected commodity exporting countries like the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Indonesia. Risks to this outlook remain tilted to the downside. Policy makers, especially in economies with a high share of US dollardenominated debt, will find it increasingly challenging to balance the needs of supporting growth and preserving export competitiveness against maintaining financial stability amidst an appreciating US dollar and prospects of rising US interest rates. While low oil prices have reduced inflation, core inflation remained stable in the first quarter of 2015, reflecting robust private consumption and policy easing. China’s current account surplus remains at around 1.8% of GDP, helped by a sustained improvement in terms of trade. However, net capital inflows have reversed. Since the second quarter of 2014, portfolio and other capital outflows have increased sharply and were only partially offset by record high FDI inflows into the services sector.
Meanwhile, growth in the South Asia region rose to 6.9% in 2014 and is expected to continue firming over the forecast period, led by a cyclical recovery in India and supported by a gradual strengthening of demand in high-income In China – where policy measures guided a gradual decline of growth to countries. The decline in global oil prices has been a major benefit for the 7.4% in 2014 – economic activity continued to slow in 2015, although policy region, driving improvements in fiscal and current accounts, enabling subsidy easing has moderated the deceleration. Investment remains constrained by reforms in some countries, and facilitating the easing of monetary policy. overcapacity in heavy industries, an ongoing decline in the housing sector, Macroeconomic adjustments in India since 2013 have reduced potential and regulatory tightening of non-traditional lending. Data on industrial prices, vulnerability to headwinds from the tightening of monetary policy in the US. imports (particularly of commodities), and lead indicators of manufacturing Risks to the outlook are balanced, and depend on the implementation of activity point to further weakness. The size of stimulus programmes to support structural reforms, including those that help to delink fiscal balance sheets activity has gradually declined. Policy support has become more cautious and from global energy prices. Political uncertainty, stressed bank balance sheets, increasingly implemented by conventional tools – monetary policy easing, and the ability to maintain fiscal discipline are some of the other key risks to through targeted cuts in required reserve ratios and in policy rates, and fiscal the region. support for infrastructure projects. Low fuel prices and stronger global demand provided a boost, offsetting some of the weakness in investment. The ongoing Aggregate growth in South Asia rose to 6.9% in 2014, its fastest pace in shift from industry to services (including private services) continues to support three years. Further momentum is expected in 2015 in line with the cyclical dynamic job creation and robust consumption growth. recovery in India, the largest regional economy. Revised GDP data for India shows a quicker rebound than initially estimated, with growth rising to 7.3% in Regional growth is expected to ease further to 6.7% in 2015’s final figures the completed fiscal year (FY2014–15, ending in March). The upward revisions and remain flat thereafter. This reflects a continued slowdown in China that – deriving mainly from improvements in data sources used to compute GDP is offset by a pick-up in the rest of the region. As a net hydrocarbon importer, alongside base-year revisions to better capture the changing structure of the region is expected to benefit from low fuel prices. In 2015, headwinds the economy – show strengthening manufacturing and strong growth in from tighter fiscal policy (Malaysia, Vietnam) and macro-prudential regulation government consumption offsetting weakness in external demand over the (China, Malaysia, and Thailand) are expected to be largely offset by gradual past year. recovery of investment and manufacturing exports associated with a global
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Australia – Dispute Resolution Law Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) has been developing rapidly in the commercial arena in Australia since the early 1990s. There has been broadbased advocacy for the increased use of mediation, arbitration and related processes to resolve disputes within and outside of the court system. New strategies in dispute resolution are necessary and the development of bespoke dispute resolution processes and systems for the resolution of disputes are becoming commonplace. Designed and tailored ADR services not only reduce the cost of dispute resolution but increase satisfaction with the processes and outcomes adopted by the participants. ADR has also become integrated into the practices and case management processes adopted by Australia courts and tribunals with a vast array of different ADR mechanisms providing more useful processes for parties in dispute. Emerging key issues in alternative dispute resolution in Australia include: the increase in mandatory referral by courts and tribunals to alternative dispute resolution processes and the ramifications of such referrals; the protection of confidentiality of the exchange of information which occurs during ADR processes, the ethical standards required of ADR practitioners; the immunity provided to practitioners; ensuring consistency of the quality of provision of ADR services provided; the extent that courts and tribunals engage in the provision of ADR services and the provision of ADR services in the broader context of the public interest. Ms Walker has been at the forefront of ADR in Australia for the last 21 years principally through facilitating mediated settlements of disputes in the processes of litigation or arbitration. During this period, as a member of an independent Bar, Ms Walker has arbitrated, mediated, provided expert appraisal and ombudsman services in respect to thousands of disputes referred by solicitors, industry and government bodies and corporations. Ms Walker is currently chair of the Law Council of Australia Expert Standing Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution, a member of the Supreme Court of New South Wales ADR Committee, a member of the International Mediation
Institute Standards Commission and International Mediation Institute Independent Standards Commission Quality Group amongst other bodies. Ms Walker has designed many dispute resolution systems including disputes arising from environmental disasters, a dispute resolution system for British Coal involving coal miners who had contracted dust related diseases from working in coal mines in the United Kingdom and recently designed and implemented a dispute resolution process for the Coal Mining Industry in NSW dealing with personal injury disputes. She has mediated over 3000 matters since 1990 in all areas of the law including commercial, insurance, banking, industrial, employment, environmental, development, local government, building and construction, intellectual property, defamation, professional negligence, personal injuries, aged care, fair trading, small business, franchising, partnership, corporations law, trade practices, leasing, property, equity, family provisions, aboriginal and heritage and multi-party and community disputes. Ms Walker has taught in many mediation and ADR courses at a general and advanced level. She has been a director of LEADR, The Australasian Disputes Centre and Counsel’s Chambers Limited and is currently a member of the New South Wales Bar Council.
Level Nine Wentworth Chambers – Mary Walker Mary Walker Barrister
Tel: +61 2 8815 9250
China – Cross Border Dispute Resolution Law In 1993, Duan&Duan Law Firm was one of the first firms to open its doors in Shanghai and in China. From its beginning, Duan&Duan has always been offering to selected PRC lawyers a unique opportunity to leave their mark on the legal community and to contribute to China’s flourishing economy and developing legal environment. Duan&Duan has grown to become a prestigious medium-sized PRC law firm, with an international profile and practising law in accordance with international standards, focusing on legal issues involving foreign businesses and PRC laws and regulations. Duan&Duan opened its first office in Shanghai after having successfully obtained the relevant governmental approvals, including the one from the Department of Justice and of the State Education Commission. The firm then opened its branch offices in Seattle (USA), Hong Kong, Beijing, Shenzhen, Kunming, Hefei, Dalian and Chengdu. Duan&Duan legal professionals all have extensive practical experience and expertise in their respective field of practice. The legal services provided by all the branches of Duan&Duan, in and outside the PRC, are supported by the firm’s strong global team. Its professionals constantly make effort to efficiently provide highquality services and creative solutions to contribute to their client’s success, using all the necessary modern communication tools and technologies. Its partners, lawyers, paralegals all graduated from prestigious and well-recognised universities. They not only have a strong baggage of knowledge and an excellent understanding of the Chinese legal system, but also have extensive practical experience within their respective field as well. After over 20 years spent on building up a strong reputation and its own reputable brand, training excellent attorneys, adapting to the constant changes shaping the Chinese legal framework and environment, striving to successfully advised its impressive bank of clients going from individuals to prestigious listed companies while passing along and sharing its passion for its work, Duan&Duan finally has an established network of offices and legal professionals having the necessary expertise to respond and go beyond their clients’ expectations. 34 December 2015 Corporate INTL
The firm believes in each of its clients’ potential and success, in working together with its clients to achieve their objectives, in offering a real expertise responding efficiently to its clients’ need and in continuing its expansion on the international scene to serve its clients better. This is how Duan&Duan built its unique reputable brand and gained its clients’ confidence. Oscar Chen, partner of the firm, has more than ten years’ experience in international arbitration and litigation area. He has represented many Chinese major state-owned enterprises and privately run business in commercial dispute cases in China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission, the Hong Kong International Arbitration Center, the International Court of Arbitration, the Singapore International Arbitration Centre, the US Federal Court or the Hong Kong High Court. He advises various Chinese companies for their overseas financing projects. He also advised many well-known foreign companies in their investment projects in China. He also represented many multinational US and UK companies in their IP legal business.
Oscar Chen Partner
Tel: +86 010-65330663
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India – Intellectual Property Law Protection of Trade Marks in Domain Names As more and more commercial enterprises have started trading and/or advertising their presence on the web, domain names have become even more valuable and similarly the potential for a domain name dispute is equally high. A Domain Name is a quite user-friendly form of an Internet Protocol (IP) address. Addresses to the Internet Web Servers are assigned and managed through the Domain Name System, the globally distributed internet database administered by ICANN. A domain name can also be registered as a trade mark if it satisfied the requirements of registration as stipulated under the Trade Marks Act, 1999 and the Trade Marks Rules, 2002. It is worth noting here that since a trade mark is protected by the local laws of each country, therefore a trademark may have multiple registrations in various countries throughout the world because of different reasons like they are associated with different products falling in different classes of registration or they belong to businesses in different jurisdictions etc. On the other hand since the internet allows for access without any geographical limitation, a domain name is potentially accessible irrespective of the geographical location of the consumers, hence the distinctive nature of the domain name providing global exclusivity is much sought after and can be registered only by one trader across the globe. Currently the domain names are available on a first come first served basis. Hon’ble High Court Delhi in the case of Yahoo Inc. vs. Akash Chopra 78 (1999) DLT 185 held that “a domain name serves the same functions as a trade mark and so is entitled to equal protection.” The decision was followed by a different bench of the High Court of Delhi in the case of Info Edge (I) Pvt Ltd Vs. Shailesh Gupta 98 (2002) DLT 499 wherein the Hon’ble Court held that “Both the domain names of the Plaintiff and of the Defendant, depicting the nature and type of business activity they carry on are identical or confusingly similar trade mark or service marks. It is also a possibility for an internet user while searching for the website of the Plaintiff to enter into the website of the Defendant through only a small mis-spelling of
the domain name and, in fact, such incident has occurred in the case of the Plaintiff itself vis-a-vis the Defendant in proof of which a document is also placed on record. Such diversion of traffic with the sole intention of ulterior gain in the similar business activity by a competitor, requires protection. A court discharging equitable justice should come in aid and for protection of the honest user as opposed to a dishonest user acting on bad faith.” The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India has also expressed its opinion that the domain name performs the same function as that of a trade mark and therefore should be given equal protection in the case of Satyam Infoway Ltd. Vs Sifynet Solutions Pvt. Ltd. AIR 2004 SC 3540. The said judgments have constantly been followed by various Courts in India in plethora of cases. The right holder can also initiate proceedings before the National Internet Exchange of India or NIXI which is the adjudicating authority in India for any domain name related dispute. The NIXI
a) T he domain name is identical and confusingly similar to the Complainant’s trademark b) T he Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the disputed domain name c) T he domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith Upon receipt of a complaint, the NIXI appoints an Arbitrator to adjudicate upon the complaint, who issues notice to the Respondent with a direction to file its reply to the complaint within a fixed period of time. Thereafter the Complainant is also given the opportunity of filing its rejoinder to the Response filed by the Respondent and the Arbitrator subsequently pronounces its order based on the pleadings of the parties and documents filed in support of the same. On the other hand, a complaint against the international Generic top level domain name (gTLDs) like .com, .org etc. is to be filed before the WIPO as per the Uniform Domain Name Disputes Resolution Policy (UDRP Policy).
is a Not-for-Profit Company incorporated under section 25 of the Indian Companies Act, 1956, with an objective of facilitating improved internet services in the country. Any dispute with respect to the domain name have .in cCLTD which is India’s top level domain name on the internet is to be submitted before the NIXI under the .IN Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (INDRP) which is the governing policy under which the domain name dispute are resolved in India. A domain name complaint for a domain name having India’s top level cCTLD extension is to be filed with the NIXI under the INDPR policy and the rules framed thereunder claiming infringement of a trade mark in any domain name by the right holder. The right holder is required to satisfy the following three requirements in order to file the complaint:
Mr Rahul Chaudhry Managing Partner Tel: +91 11 4350 0000 email@example.com www.lls.in
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India – M&A Law ARA LAW is one of the premier law firms in India in core areas of its practice. The firm distinguishes itself by being Focused, Accessible, Responsive and Adaptable. Managing partner Rajesh Begur noted: “Since 1996 when we started the practice, we have focused on core practice areas of the firm. We believe this has assisted in building the desired experience, knowledge and skill set for the team to deliver high-quality, consistent, cost-effective advice to our clients and create a niche for ourselves.” Consistent with ARA LAW’s reputation as leading M&A attorneys, the firm provides seamless advice to both domestic and international clients on full breadth of complex, high-value as well as comparatively smaller transactions. The M&A team is well versed with all legal aspects associated with both domestic and cross-border transactions and is well known to provide creative solutions on regulatory, tax and competition law concerns inherent in prevailing corporate transactions. The firm’s practice spans across all business segments with a special emphasis on telecommunications, banking, pharmaceuticals, media and technology. The firm advises on the full range of deal structures, encompassing: Mergers, De-mergers and Scheme of Arrangements According to Mr Begur, corporates today implement combinations for various synergetic reasons with the objective of cross-selling opportunities, economies of scale, information asymmetry, taxation and vertical integration. He further explained: “We advise our clients on regulatory and tax structuring of Mergers, De-mergers Scheme of Arrangement transactions in line with RBI guidelines, FDI regulations, Income Tax provisions, SEBI, DTAAs and the exchange controls regulations. In the early stages of the deal, while we assist our clients in highlighting significant Indian tax, regulatory and commercial issues/concerns that might affect a given structure, we also simultaneously work towards developing potential solutions to any conflict or problem keeping in mind the strategic objectives of the deal.” Business Acquisitions Business acquisitions in both volatile and recessionary market conditions have time and again proved to be an effective mode of inorganic growth. ARA LAW’s multi-
disciplinary approach and across the sector experience enables the firm to provide deal-specific advice and strategise effective corporate and/ or business acquisitions. Mr Begur said: “We are fully equipped with an experienced team to conduct extensive and probing diligence on target companies and provide objective and transaction specific reporting for clients to take informed business decisions. Going forward, we assist our clients in preparation, negotiations and execution of transaction documents such as term-sheet and agreements with shareholders, voting rights, non-compete, non-disclosure, escrow, stock swap and employment agreement.” Public & Private Takeovers Mr Begur concluded: “Our M&A team is also well versed with the Indian regulatory system and has the ability to provide pragmatic and effective processes and timelines for achieving private or public takeovers. We have assisted several of our domestic and offshore clients in successfully completing the takeover process and completing regulatory filings and dealing with management-public interactive working seamlessly with the company and merchant bankers.”
Tel: +91 99 20725106 firstname.lastname@example.org www.aralaw.com
India – Trademark Law Himanshu Kane, the managing partner of W.S. Kane & Co. heads the Intellectual Property Law and Dispute Resolution practices of the firm. Mr Kane has been practising as an advocate, trade mark and patent attorney since 1973 and as a solicitor since 1975. He appears as an arguing counsel in IP matters before various courts including District Courts, High Courts and the Supreme Court of India and also various tribunals including Intellectual Property Appellate Board, Copyright Board, Registrar of Trade Marks and Controller of Patents and Designs. He has conducted several important cases relating to intellectual property, some of which have been reported in various legal reports. Mr Kane was also deputed by the WIPO and Government of India to UK Patent office and EEC patent office at Vienna to undertake the study of Patent Information System. He was a member of Patent Information System’s advisory committee constituted by the Government of India. Mr Kane was a panellist at Bio 2006 Convention at Chicago, USA for the discussion on “Does US Patent Jurisprudence Force Outsourcing of Early Stage Drug Research to Non-US Locations?”. He was also examined as an expert witness on Indian patent law in a dispute initiated against a leading Indian software company in the District Court of Texas, US. Mr Kane is a member of the Anti-Counterfeiting 36
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Committee of APAA (India) and of the Executive Council of the Intellectual Property Law Practitioners Association and is regularly invited by public and private bodies to deliver lectures on various topics in intellectual property law. Mr Kane has been consistently included in the list of leading individuals in intellectual property in international publications such as Chambers and Partners Asia Pacific, Legal 500 Asia Pacific and World Trademark Review (WTR).
Tel: +91-22-66 14 14 14
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Japan – Corporate Law Kozo Yabe has practiced in the areas of international business transactions and intellectual property (litigation and prosecution) since 1991. He obtained an LLB (1985) from Chuo University, Tokyo and an LLM (1994) from the University of Illinois College of Law. Mr Yabe handles various intellectual property-related issues, including litigation and dispute resolution, unfair competition regulations, licensing contracts, distributor contracts, domain name advice, dispute resolution and customs import suspension. He combines legal advice and representation with a solid background in general business and corporate law to meet the various needs of international clients –in areas such as franchising, mergers and acquisitions, complex business transaction – based on leading brands and cutting-edge high-technology, e.g. advanced IT vendors & consulting, internet service, pharmaceutical science, alternative energy. Mr Yabe is recognised as a leading practitioner by international business and IP media, including Chambers & Partners, AsiaLaw, Managing Intellectual Property, World Trademark Review, Corporate INTL and AI magazine. Mr Yabe is a senior director of the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property Japan and a board
member of the Japan Trademark Association and the International Literary and Artistic Association Japan. He is also co-vice chair for the Asia-Pacific region of TerraLex – a worldwide network comprising more than 1,500 lawyers. He is an experienced speaker at various international business law and intellectual property law conferences in US, Europe, China and South Korea for past years. He is a long time adjunct faculty member of the University of Illinois College of Law for Japanese Business Law since 2000.
Kozo Yabe Partner
Japan – Litigation Abe Takanori founded Abe & Partners in 2003 after working at Birch, Stewart, Kolasch & Birch, LLP and Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP. His areas of specialisation include the fields of intellectual property, international business transactions and commercial law, general civil law and medical law. He is currently a guest professor of Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine and formerly a lecturer of The University of Tokyo Graduate School of Medicine and Faculty of Medicine. He is an arbitrator in Japan and sits on various positions in Japanese medical/pharmaceutical societies. Mr Takanori is active in diverse areas of international and corporate, with particular focus on intellectual property law and international commerce. His patent litigations to date cover the fields of pharmaceuticals, chemistry, electronics and machinery, which involve advanced technology such as biotechnology, semiconductors, etc, and which are cross-border matters. He has extensive experience in representing and advising multinational and domestic clients in pharmaceutical industry and IT industry, and is currently involved in an ongoing dispute between brand pharmaceutical companies and generic companies. He also has notable experience in trademark, copyright and unfair competition litigation. Recent domestic triumphs include: representing Novartis and winning a patent cancellation lawsuit against JPO; representing Nichia Corporation and winning a Trial for Patent Invalidation between Nichia and Everlight Electronics; representing Schwarzkopf Henkel, and resolving a patent infringement lawsuit between the aforementioned firm and Kao by
settlement; as well as representing a trade secret holder and resolving a trade secret infringement by settlement. Recent international achievements include assisting a Japanese corporation and resolving a US patent litigation, German patent litigation and Chinese trial for patent invalidation between a Japanese corporation and Taiwanese corporation. The firm also represents multinational manufacturer Tiger Corporation, and resolved a design patent infringement dispute between Tiger and its peer company, Alfi, by settlement. Further, Mr Takanori is a frequent speaker and author to various industrial media and forums. He is frequently interviewed by notable journals and magazines concerned with intellectual property law and business.
Abe Takanori Partner
Tel: +81-6-6949-1496 email@example.com
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Pakistan – Intellectual Property Law Establishment of IP Tribunals Originally all three intellectual property offices in Pakistan were under the control of three different ministries. In order to bring all the intellectual property offices under one roof, in 2005 the Intellectual Property Organization of Pakistan (IPO-P) was established under the supervision of the Cabinet Division of Pakistan. One of the purposes of IPO-P is to provide for an institutional arrangement in the state set-up for taking up exclusively and comprehensively all subjects and matters relating to intellectual property rights in an integrated manner and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. In line with the said policy the Government enacted the Intellectual Property Organization of Pakistan Act, 2012, which came into force with effect from 28th August, 2012, except for the provisions of Sections 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19, which were to come into force on such date as the Federal Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, appoint. Now, the Federal Government has moved one step forward and brought into effect the provisions of Sections 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19. Furthermore, in exercise of powers conferred under the Act in December, 2014 the Government has established three IP Tribunals one each in the provinces of Punjab and Sindh and one in Islamabad Capital. The Tribunals have both civil and criminal jurisdictions. As for its civil jurisdiction it shall have all the powers of a civil court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 and for criminal jurisdiction the Court of Sessions under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 respectively. In all matters about which the procedure has not been provided in the Act, follow the procedure laid down in the Codes. All proceedings before the Tribunal shall be deemed judicial proceedings within the meaning of Sections 193 and 228 of the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860 and no court other than a Tribunal shall have power to exercise any jurisdiction in any matter in which the jurisdiction is vested in Tribunal under the Act.
The Tribunal may, if it so requires, in technical aspects of intellectual property rights involved in any case, be assisted by an expert, who has experience and expertise in the matters of intellectual property rights. Any person aggrieved by the final judgement/order of the Tribunal may, within thirty days of the final judgement/order of the Tribunal, prefer an appeal in the High Court having territorial jurisdiction. According to a news item posted on the website of IPO-Pakistan dated October 1st, 2015, the Federal Government has appointed Muhammad Khalid Nawaz (District & Sessions Judge), Mr Shakil Ahmed Abbasi (Advocate) and Mr Nisar Baig (Judge Accountability Court-II) as presiding officers for the three Tribunals in Punjab, Sindh and Islamabad respectively. Consequently, all suits and proceedings, which are currently pending and instituted under the intellectual property laws in any court stands transferred to the respective Tribunal to proceed from the stage the same have reached prior to the transfer.
Imtiaz Ahmed Sheikh Advocate Bharucha & Co. Tel: +92 21 3537 9544 firstname.lastname@example.org www.bharuchaco.com
The Philippines – M&A Law DivinaLaw is illustrious for its holistic handling of mergers and acquisitions through the prevention of legal problems and cost-effective, strategic and innovative solutions to legal and implementation issues. The firm’s M&A experience may be considered among the most extensive in the country. It represents a broad range of high-net worth individuals, private and public corporations, both local and international. Its undisputed track record in providing strategic legal advice, formulating cost-effective structures and high quality innovative approaches involves: a. M&A planning, including documentation of the Plan and Articles of Merger, obtaining regulatory approvals and post-merger implementation; b. Initiation and thwarting of corporate take-overs, management buy-outs and asset/equity divestments; c. Corporate workouts, rehabilitation, restructuring and recapitalisation; d. Shareholder agreements, block sale and pooling arrangements; e. Joint ventures and asset acquisitions; f. Private and public equity offers and acquisitions; and g. Extensive legal and corporate due diligence.
DivinaLaw assists clients throughout all stages of a project; providing legal advice and strategies that are practical and cost-efficient. The firm performs extensive due diligence and suggests constructive ways to adequately protect the interests of the client. Innovative approaches are employed to ensure that the clients’ desired results and objectives are attained without violating the requirements laid. The merger and acquisition team has the experience and expertise in acting as counsel for either the surviving or absorbed corporation in a merger. It has assisted clients in negotiating the terms of the merger, drafting the plan and articles of the merger, obtaining regulatory approvals, securing BIR rulings on tax-free exchanges as well as carrying out post-merger implementation. DivinaLaw also advises on a full range of deal structures from initiating and thwarting take-overs, leveraged and management buy-outs, proxy solicitations, tender offers and divestments; and is skilled in providing practical and commercial advice on how to deal with corporate rehabilitation and insolvency. It has been involved in major litigations representing the creditor or the financially distressed debtor. It has represented both 38
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creditors and borrowers in complex and simple loan and facility syndications. The firm provides holistic advise from inception to actual implementation as advice is not limited to legal aspect but also regulatory and taxation and avoidance of potential litigation. The firm’s affiliation with and membership in international legal associations, Lawyers Associated Worldwide and LegaLink, gives it access to cross-border information crucial to international M&As. Its experience in structuring foreign investments stems from its involvement in various transactions for different industries, e.g., power, financial, retail, steel, and realty. Last but not least, investment services include setting up offshore companies; the documentation of fixed rate corporate notes, fixed rate note sub-participations, and asset-backed securities, convertible bonds, trade finance facilities and debt assignments; international swaps and derivatives (schedule and transactions); and registration, incorporation and capitalisation of representative and branch offices. All these can be serviced by DivinaLaw because it has entrenched affiliation with international law firms worldwide, thus enhancing and casting broader net of legal advice and protection as impact of transaction outside Philippine jurisdiction are considered and taken into account.
Atty. Nilo T. Divina Managing Partner Tel: +632 822-0808
End of Year Review
Sri Lanka – Full Service Law Julius and Creasy is one of the oldest civil law firms in Sri Lanka. Founded in 1879, the firm has established itself on rich tradition and the highest professional principles. Julius and Creasy’s wealth of expertise and experience in a wide range of specialised fields of Law enables it to offer innovative legal and business solutions to a diverse, sophisticated and high profile clientele. The firm from its inception has been involved in intellectual property work. It is presently handling more than 30,000 files of which about 10,000 are current and intellectual property involves both contentious and noncontentious matters. Julius and Creasy files a large number of trademark applications for overseas clients being instructed by its associates in several countries including the UK, the European Union, the US, India, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Korea. In contentious matters Julius and Creasy represents clients both at the National Intellectual Property Office in opposition proceedings and in infringement proceedings before the courts. Infringement proceedings are instituted in the Commercial High Court and, where necessary, criminal proceedings are also instituted in the Magistrate’s Court. Although Julius and Creasy’s practice is primarily focused on trademarks, the firm has a substantial portfolio of patents as well. A large part of this portfolio is related to PCT applications filed in Sri Lanka. The firm also files design applications for overseas clients in Sri Lanka and for Sri Lankan clients overseas through its associates in various countries. It also advises Sri Lankan and overseas companies on copyright issues, including reviewing of copyright agreements, and advises publishers both in Sri Lanka and overseas.
Dr J M Swaminathan, holder of LL.B (Ceylon), LL.M, M.Phil Colombo, LL.D (Honoris Causa) and Mrs. Anomi Wanigasekera, holder of LL.M (Wales) and Diplomas in Intellectual Property Law, International Trade Law, Banking and Insurance Law of Institute of Advanced Legal Studies of the Incorporated Council of Legal Education, are in charge of the Intellectual Property Division of Julius and Creasy. Mrs Kanchana Senanayake, holder of LL.M (University of Colombo), Mrs Marie Fernando, holder of LL.B and LL.M with a Distinction (University of Colombo), Mrs Sandamali Kottachchi, holder of LL.B (Colombo) Diploma in Forensic Medicine & Science and Diploma in Computer System Design and Miss Kanishka Talagala, LL.B (Honours) (University of London), are professional associates in the firm’s Intellectual Property Division.
Dr J M Swaminathan Partner
Tel: +94 11 2422601
Fax: +94 11 24466 63, +94 11 2435 451
email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org www.juliusandcreasy.com
Local expertise. Continental reach. With expertise in numerous African jurisdictions including South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia and Mauritius.
Our directors have been listed as leading lawyers in their respective fields by Chambers Global 2010, PLC Which Lawyer? Yearbook
2010, IFLR: Guide to the World Leading Financial Firms, Who’s Who Legal 2010, and now Best Lawyers.
Competition Law Specialists | Litigation Attorneys | Regulatory Advice | Consumer Protection Advice
Switchboard: +27 (0) 11 666 7560 | Fax: +27 (0) 86 600 5529 | email@example.com | www.nortonsinc.com Address: 135 Daisy Street, Sandton, Johannesburg | P O Box 41162, Craighall, 2024, South Africa December 2015 Corporate INTL
End of Year Review
Africa & the Middle East
Africa & the Middle East Africa and the Middle East are both highly varied regions with countries at both extremes of the wealth spectrum. Huge differences exist between rapidly growing markets, serving a global customer base on the one hand and countries affected by war on the other. From one perspective, the region is hugely exciting in its potential for logistics growth. Dubai in particular has been spectacularly successful in its ability to restructure the global airfreight market around key hubs in the region. The Gulf in general is now a key player in air transport due to the smaller states investing so heavily in new aircraft and airports. To a lesser extent, this is true about sea freight as well. The port of Jebel Ali in Dubai is successful as a transhipment port. But also, a string of other sizeable ports have sprung up in the region that are not only attempting to grab part of the strong demand for hubs on the China-Europe route, but also traffic around the Indian Ocean and beyond. Yet, sea freight is being used in a revolutionary way beyond just transhipment. A number of developments in both North Africa and Saudi Arabia have attempted to grasp the opportunity that a container port offers to gain entry to global supply chains. Saudi Arabia is trying to build large developments on both the Red Sea and Gulf coasts that will utilise the country’s gas resources to develop energy intensive business such as down-stream chemical and plastics production or aluminium fabrication for automotive assembly. The reliance on ports also indicates that the region is lagging in terms of other aspects of logistics. Again the situation varies greatly between Dubai and other economies; the provision of logistics for consumer goods, for example in key markets such as Egypt, is meagre. Logistics property is rarely of size and capability required to support contemporary best practice while the road freight sector is also insufficiently developed. Recent Transport Intelligence analysis suggests that the demand for production-orientated logistics is likely to grow at an enormous rate – if for no other reason than present demand is low. Similarly, the latent demand for logistics in the retail sector is substantial, with market dysfunction preventing growth. Better roads and recognition by governments of the importance of logistics suggests that markets may open up to the possibility of a much deeper presence by global LSPs (logistics service providers) as well as the more sophisticated local players.
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What cannot be ignored is that oil and gas still dominates many of these economies. The direct impact of these resources has an enormous effect on the region’s logistics markets. The infrastructure is vast, as is the market for services such as shipping. It also has the indirect effect of driving demand for air services in many locations; it is also the force behind the development of the growth of the chemical sector in these economies. The effect is to skew logistics provision towards heavy industrial, capital intensive operations. GDP growth in Sub-Saharan Africa improved to an average of 4.6% in 2014, up from 4.2% in 2013, but weaker than the average of 6.4% during 2002–08, supported by infrastructure investment and consumer spending. Growth softened around the turn of the year owing to headwinds from the plunge in the price of oil. Sub-Saharan Africa’s oil exporters, which account for nearly half of the region’s GDP, are experiencing a major adverse shock. Their economies depend heavily on oil for revenues and foreign reserves. Between June 2014 and January 2015, oil prices declined by nearly 50%, more than the prices of other commodities, and have remained low despite the recent uptick. This has put substantial pressures on the fiscal and current account balances of oil exporters. The oil exporters in Sub-Saharan Africa are less resilient to the price shock than many other oil-exporting countries because of their much more limited policy buffers. In Nigeria, the Excess Crude Account, a sovereign wealth fund, totalled just $2.0 billion at the end of 2014. Gross international reserves fell 20% to $34.25 billion (6.0% of GDP), drawn down by the central bank in its attempt to support the naira. In March, Standard & Poor’s downgraded Nigeria’s credit rating from B+ to BB-. Several of the region’s oil exporters have started to adjust. In Angola, the oil price assumption in the 2015 budget was revised down to $40/bbl from the original assumption of $81/bbl. In Nigeria, it was reduced to US$53/bbl from the earlier forecast of $65/barrel. The corresponding downward revision in expected revenues induced plans to cut public spending. In Angola, Parliament approved a 25% reduction in spending from the original plan for 2015. The cuts cover public investment projects and current expenditures, including subsidies. In Nigeria, the 2015 federal government budget passed by the Senate indicates sharp reductions in capital expenditures. With the lower government spending, the non-oil economy in many of these countries is faltering, especially in the least diversified economies (Angola and Equatorial Guinea).
End of Year Review
Bahrain – Tax Tax Free Environment attract investors to Bahrain Bahrain regards foreign investment as key to its Economic Vision 2030 long-term plan for improving the competitiveness of its economy. Bahrain is committed to maintaining the region’s most liberal business environment, with zero taxation for private companies, few indirect taxes for private enterprises and individuals, and free repatriation of capital. Bahrain offers 100% foreign ownership of business assets and real estate in most sectors. Bahrain has competitive costs, easy access to the rest of the Middle East, and a wellestablished business infrastructure. Bahrain was the first country in the region to sign a bilateral trade agreement with the United States - the US-Bahrain Free Trade Agreement. Alatheer Audit and Consulting (“Alatheer”), founded by Mirza Almarzooq in 2008, is one of the leading firms presenting advisory and corporate support services to investors in Bahrain and Oman with a dynamic and proactive professional team. Mirza Almarzooq is a Certified Public Accountant, and board of director member of the Bahrain Accountants Association and the Gulf Countries Council Accountants and Auditing Organisation.
mixed with a wide range of experience gained from providing professional services to clients throughout the Gulf Region, Canada and South East Asia. The team also includes specialists who have been actively involved in advising on new business ventures, devising complex financial models, valuations, preparing feasibility studies and business plans, raising project finance, conducting financial due diligence and providing inward investment advice to international investors to the region. Alatheer is a member of Geneva Group International (“GGI”), a global network of independent, leading audit, management consulting, accounting, law and trust firms. Alatheer provides the following services to its clients in Bahrain & Oman: • Audit and Assurance • Business Advisory • Accounting and Bookkeeping • Corporate Support & Taxation
Mr Almarzooq is the founder and the managing partner of Alatheer and has more than 28 years of work experience leading several assignments to provide professional advice and assisting clients in matters related to business formation and commercial registration, preparation of articles and memorandums of association and other related official documents. In addition, Mr Almarzooq has extensive knowledge with regard to structures and types of entities to be formed, tax and other regulations applicable in Bahrain and the region.
Mirza Al Marzooq Founder and Managing Partner Mob: +973 39626280 / +968 97057133 Bahrain: Tel +973 17382877; Fax + 973 17382866 Oman: Tel: +968 24486385; Fax +968 24486204 firstname.lastname@example.org www.alatheer.com
Mr Almarzooq and his team have assisted a number of international clients in expanding and or relocating their business in Bahrain by: • Assisting and advising on business incorporation and registration • Providing pre-locating advice in relation and tax and regulatory matters • Providing HR and accounting function outsourcing The Alatheer team is comprised of dedicated partners, directors, managers and professional staff who have professional qualifications through recognised institutions. This is
Lebanon – Family Law The Lebanese constitution in its article nine stipulates that: “The freedom of conscience is absolute. With compliments to God, the State respects all confessions and guaranty and protects their free exercise on the condition of not interfering with Public policy. It guaranties also to all populations, to whatever rite they belong, the respect of their Personal statute and their religious interest 1” Michel Shiha said in an article published in the newspaper “Le Jour”, on July 30, 1947, while explaining the above mentioned article 9 of the Lebanese constitution: “that the personal statute system in Lebanon is a regime of federal community law… the diverse Lebanese communities constitutes between themselves a federal group having the same powers and same autonomy” 2 (matters of marriage, divorce, alimonies, child welfare etc…). It is widely recognised by Lebanese courts, even by the Lebanese Supreme Court, a secular court of the civil judiciary who has some limited competence in the matters of family law that “the Lebanese system of family law gives the priority to the religious system” 3.Special Religious courts that are not affiliated to the Judiciary system of the State are competent to solve the family disputes. The system of law operating in Lebanon in Family matters is complex and is based on a conflict between different religious laws. We don’t have in Lebanon one common state law in such matters but there are different religious laws and customs edited or applicable in front of the different religious courts. Lebanon is composed of 18 recognised religious families out of which the Israeli and four Islamic sects; all others are Christians. Each of the Christian sects has its own religious court called spiritual or ecclesiastical court that has jurisdiction to decide about the family matters of the families constituted under its authority, same for the Islamic communities. Each one has its own Court and applies special laws.
Religious authorities have the exclusivity in matter of hearing and organising marriages and marriage agreements. The role of the Lebanese secular officials is only to register the marriages. There is an exceptional competence of the state judiciary especially in matters where marriages are concluded abroad between Lebanese or between Lebanese and foreigners in the civil form (civil marriages). Basically each religious community has jurisdiction among its followers. This text was voted at the time of the French mandate in 1926 and is still valid until our days. France governed Lebanon between 1918 and 1946. During this period of mandate the French high commissioner had legislative powers. He had the power to promulgate decisions having the power of a law
As cited by Me Ibrahim Traboulsi, “The latest developments in matters of personal statutes in Lebanon and Egypt” in Colloques du Cedroma, Vol. I, 2004, p. 215.
C.cass., 5th Chamber, no 159, 4 Jul. 2006, Rihani vs Rassi, Al Adl 2007, II, p. 167.
Adib & Houalla Law Office Chawkat M Houalla DES, MCIArb, PHF Attorney at Law
Tel: +9613 613870
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End of Year Review
Middle East – Entertainment Law Walid Abou Farhat is a partner at Abou Farhat Law Offices in Lebanon. He has been connected for the past 10 years with various copyright and telecommunication deals. He has been involved in GSM business in Africa on behalf of Hits Telecom, and in Mobile TV deals with 3G3M, a Norwegian investment group. In 2003 Mr Abou Farhat actively participated in the creation of the first music publishing company in Lebanon, OMP. In 2007 he acted as senior adviser to O-Media of Egypt, and actively participated in discussions relating to a joint venture with Warner Group. He has legally assisted Melody Group, Rotana Audio-visual and other key media players in the Middle East and North Africa.
Further, Mr Abou Farhat has been retained as a lawyer and adviser for the past 15 years to many of the various Media players in the Middle East. These include:
He is retained by telecom Aggregators as ARPU+ (Egypt), Qanawat (United Arab Emirates), Digi Music (Lebanon) and Believe Digital SAS (France) & Anghami (Lebanon). He also acts on behalf of many authors’ right holders, artists and labels, such as Alam El Pham (Egypt) Arabica Music
• Legal adviser to ARPU in Egypt, an Orascom Telecom and legally supervised the ARPU/ Warner deal
He represents other important publishers in the music or literature fields, has been actively involved in workshops with the Copyright Unit at Arab League and WIPO, and has conducted several presentations related to collective management and copyright enforcement. He is also actively involved with SACEM, PRS and ADAMI to establish efficient collective management in the Arabic world.
• Legal adviser to Applimedia, leading aggregator in Iraq and the content factory YouTube multichannel in Lebanon
He has been appointed as Copyright Legal Expert before Federal Courts in Los Angeles – Fahmi V Jay-Z. Further practices of Abou Farhat Law Offices include negotiations between performers and sites, aggregator licensing deals, live events, digital artist management and sponsorship deals. The law offices have been involved in much litigation, as the Lebanese judicial system is very active and the Lebanese copyright law is very efficient. Abou Farhat Law Offices works in partnership with Kilani law firm in Jordan and Ali Habib law firm in the UAE. Partner Profile Mr Abou Farhat has been a partner at Abou Farhat Law offices in Beirut since 1995. He was licensed as lawyer by the Beirut Bar association, and works in Jordan in cooperation with Kilani Law Firm, and in the UAE in cooperation with Ali Habib Law Firm. He was awarded best Media Law Firm in Lebanon for 2011 and 2012 by Global Law Experts, and was appointed as Copyright Legal Adviser to HE Minister of culture in Lebanon as of 2014. 42 December 2015 Corporate INTL
• GSM business in Africa on behalf of Hits Telecom and Tell Cell Globe. • Mobile TV with 3G3M a Norwegian investment group
• Legal adviser to Qanawat, leading aggregator in UAE and Audience Media, YouTube multichannel in UAE
• Legal adviser to Believe SAS fort MENAS and Turkey, a leading worldwide aggregator • Copyright adviser to Anghami (leading music application in Middle East and African Countries) • Legal adviser for Middle East countries to SACEM (2004/2013) and PRS for Music (2014 onwards). Legal adviser to ADAMI (French society that collect equitable remuneration on behalf of Artists) for the Arab Region (2011/2014)
Moreover, Mr Abou Farhat been actively involved in workshops with the Copyright Unit at Arab League, ICMP, Ministry of Economy Lebanon and United Arab Emirates and WIPO, and has presented several publications especially in relation to collective management, digital distribution and other key issues. His publications include: • Challenges facing the Enforcement of Copyright Laws in the Arab World (Federation of Arab Lawyers seminars held at Jordan – October 2012) • Impact of Collective Management on UAE economy (workshop for directors of economic departments in UAE organised by Ministry of economy – May 2013) • Publishing Challenges in UAE (workshop organised by ICMP in Dubai – October 2012) • Importance of Music and movie productions on the Arab economies (regional seminar on Copyrights with regards to Music and movie – Arab League, Cairo April 2014).
• Adviser of the International Association of Publishers Association in Lebanon • Legal adviser to music composers (Lebanese and Egyptians) and Lyricists • Participated as of 2003 in the creation of the first music publisher to legitimate the adaptations between Egypt, Lebanon and Turkey – OMP • Adviser to O-Media (an Orascom affiliated) comprising music productions (E.W.E), TV broadcaster (ONTV) – 2004/2008 • Copyright adviser to Stars group of companies as of 2009 in Egypt, Lebanon and United Arab Emirates comprising the various labels: Alam El Phan, Mazzika (TV music Channel), Voice of Cairo, Voice of Lebanon, Digital Sound, Arab Audio • Copyright adviser to the Melody group of companies in Egypt and Lebanon comprising five TV stations (music and movies), aggregators and a YouTube multi-channel – 2005/2008.
Walid Abou Farhat Partner Tel: +961 139 0019 email@example.com www.aboufarhatlawoffices.com
End of Year Review
Ten Year Anniversary Issue
December 2015 Corporate INTL
End of Year Review
A D V O C AT E S & L E G A L C O N S U LTA N T S
Y O U R F U L L S E R V I C E I N T E R N AT I O N A L LAW FIRM IN CYPR US L P A N D C O O F F E R S L E G A L S E R V I C E S T O B U S I N E S S E S , I N D I V I D U A L S , P U B L I C O R G A N I Z AT I O N S A N D G O V E R N M E N T S . T H E F I R M H A S A S T R O N G L I T I G AT I O N T E A M , H A N D L I N G A L S O A L L F O R M S O F C O M M E R C I A L D I S P U T E R E S O L U T I O N A N D H A S C O N S I D E R A B L E E X P E R I E N C E I N A R B I T R AT I O N S . A N U M B E R O F P R O F E S S I O N A L C O N TA C T S I N N O R T H A M E R I C A , E U R O P E , M I D D L E E A S T A N D T H E FA R E A S T A R E AT T H E F I R M ’ S D I S P O S A L A N D W E A R E C O M M I T T E D T O P R O V I D I N G A R A N G E O F L E G A L S E R V I C E S T O O U R C L I E N T S W H O A R E A C T I V E I N I N T E R N AT I O N A L B U S I N E S S .
L . P A P A P H I L I P P O U & C O , 1 , C O S TA K I S P A N T E L I D E S S T R E E T, 3 R D F L O O R , 1 0 1 0 N I C O S I A , C Y P R U S PHONE: (+357) 22 67 41 41
FA X : ( + 3 5 7 ) 2 2 6 7 3 3 8 8
E - M A I L : I N F O @ PA PA P H I L I P P O U . E U
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Ten Year Anniversary Issue