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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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Corporate governance is relevant to both private and public companies. Nevertheless, this chapter will focus on corporate governance rules, applicable to public limited companies listed on the Cyprus Stock Exchange (“CSE”).
The amended Immovable Property (Tenure, Registration and Valuation) Law of 2014 (L.110(I)/2014) puts into effect the new General Valuation of Land at prices as at 1.1.13. The new valuations were conducted in four stages by the department of Land and Surveys based on the natural and legal characteristics of the property in compliance with the provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding and they will replace the Valuations so far as at 1.1.1980.
The Cyprus government has put in place a number of programmes entitling owners of property in Cyprus who are third country nationals and their families to obtain permanent residence permits on an accelerated basis provided they satisfy certain criteria.
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.
The IMF (International Monetary Fund) approved last Friday the disbursement of around 280 Million Euros to Cyprus. The IMF praised Cyprus for the economic recovery of the island and for implementing agreed reforms. The Deputy Managing Director of the IMF David Lipton said that Cyprus continues to produce positive results and that economic and fiscal outcomes have been better than expected. Public finances exceeded targets and growth turned positive in the first quarter of 2015.
Danos & Associates has recently established a new office in Kiev, Ukraine. We are proud of our cooperation with Lex-Liga law firm. Lex-Liga is one of the leading law firms in Ukraine. The firm offers full services in all areas of law and is based in Kiev. Lex-Liga's lawyers and staff are highly experienced and professional.
Patrikios Pavlou & Associates LLC participates in the Euroadvocaten Meeting, Milan, 23-24 April 2015Once again, Patrikios Pavlou & Associates was present at the Euroadvocaten meeting in Milan, Italy, which took place on 23 and 24 April 2015 at the Grand Hotel et de Milan.
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.