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Legal market overview
The Cypriot government implemented strict policies to stabilise the country’s troubled economy and particularly to rehabilitate the banking sector, but although lawyers report some signs of stabilisation the future remains uncertain, with scarce credit, high unemployment and non-performing loans still posing a problem.
Nonetheless, Cyprus remains an attractive destination for international tax structures thanks to its tax incentives and low levels of corporate tax. Furthermore, the discovery of gas deposits offshore represents a potential source of revenue for the country’s wounded economy and of optimism among beleaguered firms.
The legal market remains dominated by family-owned firms which depend largely on their connections with international firms. Andreas Neocleous & Co LLC maintains its leading position in the market and other important players include Chrysses Demetriades & Co Law Office, Dr K Chrysostomides & Co LLC and Antis Triantafyllides & Sons.
Firms in the spotlight
Anastasios Antoniou LLC
Anastasios Antoniou LLC, ranked as a top-tier Cyprus law firm by The Legal 500, is a boutique practice specialising in merger control and competition law, intellectual property, EU law, maritime law and dispute resolution. The firm has established itself for its commitment to legal clarity and is a Cyprus law firm of choice in its practice areas of expertise. In alignment with the constantly changing and increasingly competitive global environment, the firm has developed a focus towards the energy, aviation, pharmaceuticals, shipping, maritime security and telecommunications sectors...
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On 9 March 2015 Cyprus and Bahrain signed a new double taxation agreement. Like all of Cyprus’s recent DTAs it closely follows the 2010 OECD Model Tax Convention. Its main provisions are summarised below.
The Cyprus Department of Merchant Shipping (“DMS”) has issued a circular to all owners, operators and masters of Cyprus-flagged ships reminding of the increased levels of training that are required for the issue of certificates of competency under the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers of 1978 (“STCW 78”) with effect from 1 January 2017 as a consequence of the Manila Amendments to the Convention.
The Civil Registry Law, 141(I) of 2002 provides for non-Cypriots of full age and capacity to acquire citizenship by naturalisation. Applicants are generally required to have lived in Cyprus for seven years prior to submitting an application. However, in 2013 the Cyprus government introduced a fast-track procedure which allows qualifying persons to obtain Cypriot citizenship by naturalisation on an accelerated basis. Applicants must own a permanent residence in Cyprus with a value of €500,000 or more excluding VAT and have no criminal record and no asset freezing orders outstanding against them. Further details are as follows:
On 18 April the Cyprus parliament approved a new package of insolvency laws, aimed at streamlining and modernising the existing system and promoting a rescue culture. The new insolvency framework forms part of the economic adjustment programme agreed between the Cyprus government and international providers of financial support at the time of the 2013 banking crisis.
Cyprus has traditionally been a significant destination for the setting up of international business companies (IBCs) (that is to say companies with foreign interests). Read more...
Cyprus became an independent and sovereign republic on 16 August 1960. Before that it was a British colony and many features of the British have remained embedded in the judicial system and in other facets of the function of the Cyprus State.
Interim injunctions in Cyprus for the freezing of assets and disclosure of documents and informationThe availability of interim relief is often crucial in ensuring satisfaction of any final court judgment or arbitral award. An interim injunction can ensure that property is not alienated while a case is still pending. In other cases it can level the playing field if one party (or even non-party) is restricting access to information material to the case. The ability to apply for interim relief is a vital tool for any legal jurisdiction. Cyprus is no exception. Due to its popularity as a centre for company incorporation, its legal system must also cater for the large number of companies registered on the island. Its legal regime on injunctions must be an effective one.
A Community Trademark ( CTM ) is a trademark and/or a trademark application which has been filed via the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market OHIM in order to be granted protection and have effect in the whole of the European Union.
In Cyprus,patients enjoy various rights under the Safeguarding and Protection of Patients' Rights Act of 2004,which is in force since April 2005. This Act establishes the rights of patients regarding health care, as well as the control mechanism for securing these rights.
A security interest over shares in a Cypriot company under Cyprus law is normally established by a share pledge agreement entered into between the registered shareholder of the said shares (the “Pledgor”) and the person in whose favour the security interest is taken (the “Pledgee”). All matters related to Cyprus Share Pledges are regulated by the provisions of the Cyprus Companies Law, Cap. 113, and the Cyprus Contracts Law, Cap. 149.
Danos & Associates will participate as a sponsor at the China Offshore Summit in Shenzhen, China. The conference will take place May 27-28th at the Grand Hyatt. Our firm will be represented by our Managing Partner, Alexios Danos, and Thomas Cheung who is one of our representatives in Beijing.
Andreas Neocleous & Co LLC advised and assisted KKCG Group with its recent acquisition of an additioAndreas Neocleous & Co LLC advised and assisted KKCG Group with its recent acquisition of an additional 22.35% stake in the investment fund Emma Delta, which owns a 33% interest in the Greek lottery group OPAP. Following the completion of this transaction, KKCG will be the largest investor in Emma Delta, and will hold an effective stake of almost 14.8% in OPAP.
Patrikios Pavlou & Associates LLC achieves FIRST TIER recommendations in Cyprus by The Legal 500 Europe, Middle East and Africa 2015 guide in April 2015.
Patrikios Pavlou & Associates LLC co-sponsored the CFA first seminar of the year, 6th & 9th March 20The Cyprus Fiduciary Association organized two (2) full-day seminars on the Role and Liabilities of Directors which were co-sponsored by Patrikios Pavlou & Associates LLC. The seminars took place at Cleopatra Hotel in Nicosia on March, 6 and at St. Raphael Hotel in Limassol on March 9 and were hailed with great success.
Our firm has recently settled a case against a leading Forex company. Danos & Associates represented a trader of this company and succeeded to achieve an out of Court settlement which successfully addressed our client's complaint.
The firm proudly celebrated in November 2014 the launching of the much-anticipated expansion of their offices with a festive opening party. Read more...
Danos & Associates has recently obtained a Court Judgment against a foreign couple who are trespassing onto the land owned by a Greek Cypriot refugee in the occupied northern part of Cyprus. The Court ordered the defendants to demolish any buildings they have erected on the land, surrender the property to the claimant and pay damages for trespass and for the violation of the claimant's human right to property.
Danos & Associates has recently established a co-operation with a leading Chinese law firm based in Beijing and with offices at several other major Chinese cities. Our firm, with the assistance of our partners in Beijing, is organising and will make a presentation in Beijing to a Chinese audience about Citizenship by Investment in Cyprus.
It has been around one year and a half since the Eurogroup decisions to recapitalise Bank of Cyprus via a bail-in on 25 th of March 2013. Cyprus has worked hard since then to exit the financial crisis and to maintain its status and reputation as an international financial centre. Within October 2014, several positive developments which took place suggest that Cyprus is on a good path.
It has been around one year and a half since the Eurogroup decisions to recapitalise Bank of Cyprus via a bail-in on 25 th of March 2013. Cyprus has worked hard since then to exit the financial crisis and to maintain its status and reputation as an international financial centre. Within October 2014, several positive developments which took place suggest that Cyprus is on a good path. These positive developments include: