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Second only to Panama as the region’s fastest growing economy, the Dominican Republic enjoyed a GDP growth rate of 7% in 2015, with a projected growth of 5.2% in 2016. This has encouraged, and is augmented by, the continuing flow of foreign investment – which is particularly high in the Republic given the ailing economies of Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and Venezuela. Foreign investment is most visible in the banking, hospitality, leisure and retail sectors; unsurprisingly, the country’s service sector accounts for around 60% of GDP. Moreover, the fall in hydrocarbons prices that has so hampered other economies in the region has been a boon for the Dominican Republic, a net importer of oil and gas.

With a buoyant market, transactions involving fintech are increasingly in vogue, and public and private sector alike are engaging in more debt issues.

The declining reputation of the Republic’s judicial system – thanks to an inefficient, overloaded court system, and the involvement of several judges in corruption scandals – has helped foster a marked increase in arbitration, in addition to which constitutional and criminal litigation are both becoming increasingly prominent. In the intellectual property space, patents are more and more visible, particularly in light of a government plan to promote innovation with the support of the country’s universities. Data privacy continues to grow, while clients are increasingly protective of their trade marks. This is hardly surprising, given the quantity of counterfeit goods entering the country, although the Republic’s trade mark association has been moving to tighten up regulations on such goods.

Trust laws and tax incentives, and the resulting foreign investment, have also helped foster a blossoming real estate market, with construction burgeoning in the public and private sectors; in 2015, the government built more schools and children’s centres than in any other year in the Republic’s history. In the retail sector, malls have been springing up across the country and, on the residential and hospitality front, second or holiday homes have also been proliferating.

The legal market is dominated by full-service firms such as Headrick Rizik Alvarez & Fernández; Castillo y Castillo; Guzmán Ariza; Jiménez Cruz Peña; OMG; Pellerano & Herrera; and Russin, Vecchi & Heredia Bonetti. The only international firm in the Republic is Squire Patton Boggs, although DMK Abogados | Central Law is the local outpost of Central American network Central Law. Arguably the key movement in the sector occurred as we go to press, with key IP figures Jaime Ángeles and Wallis Pons leaving their firms, Ángeles & Lugo Lovatón and Biaggi & Messina Abogados respectively, to establish new IP boutique Angeles Pons, while, at the same time, Ángeles’ former partner Zaida Lugo Lovaton moved in the opposite direction to become senior partner at Biaggi’s re-branded IP arm, Biaggi & Messina – Lugo IP.

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  • New requirement for all issuers operating on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange

    On 10 August 2017 the Luxembourg Stock Exchange announced that all domestic and foreign issuers operating on the regulated market (Bourse de Luxembourg) or on the multilateral trading facility (Euro MTF) of the Luxembourg Stock Exchange must provide their legal entity identifier (“LEI ”) codes to the Luxembourg Stock Exchange before 15 September 2017.
  • Luxembourg law on the exploration and use of space resources entered into force

    The Luxembourg law on the exploration and use of space resources of 20 July 2017 entered into force on 2 August 2017 and placed Luxembourg among the most innovative space-oriented nations in the world.
  • VAT in the GCC – Q&A updates from the UAE Ministry of Finance

    On 9 July the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ministry of Finance (MOF) published an update of the Value Added Tax (VAT) FAQ section of its website.
  • PRIIPs KID: The final pieces of the puzzle

    The pieces of the puzzle are finally falling into place. The long-awaited level 3 and 4 measures have been published earlier this week, half a year before the PRIIPs KID becomes compulsory.
  • MiFID II: Further guidance on product governance requirements

    Amongst the numerous topics covered by the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MiFID II), the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has decided to provide further guidance on the requirements regarding product governance through its guidelines dated 2 June 2017 which focus on the target market assessment by manufacturers and distributors of financial products.     
  • Arendt & Medernach is again the “Luxembourg Tax Firm of the Year”

    The partners of Arendt & Medernach are pleased to announce that their firm has been awarded once again the prestigious “Luxembourg Tax Firm of the Year” title during the International Tax Review’s European Tax Awards ceremony held at the Savoy Hotel in London on 18 May.
  • Signature of the Multilateral instrument – reservations made by Luxembourg

    On 7 June 2017, the official ceremony for the signing of the multilateral instrument (“MLI”) took place bringing to a close a process initiated last year when a consensus was reached on the wording of the MLI on 24 November 2016 (see also our newsflash dated 2 December 2016, available on our website www.arendt.com section Publications/Newsflash).
  • Arendt & Medernach: Luxembourg Law Firm of the Year

    Luxembourg, May 2017 – Arendt & Medernach is proud to have been named “Luxembourg Law firm of the year” both by Chambers & Partners and IFLR (International Financial Law Review). The prestigious trophies were both received in April in London at the respective ceremonies of the Chambers Europe Awards 2017 and the IFLR European Awards 2017.
  • First VAT EU case law on the cost-sharing VAT exemption

    The question of the scope of the cost-sharing VAT exemption, also referred to in the Council Directive 2006/112/EC of 28 November 2006 as amended ("EU VAT Directive") as “Independent Groups of Persons” or “IGPs”, is currently being debated at the Court of Justice of the EU (“CJEU”) in several cases. Last Thursday marked the first milestone regarding this specific VAT exemption since the CJEU released its judgment in the case Commission v Luxembourg (C-274/15).
  • An Introduction to Corporate Guarantee

    In the UAE, the risk management activities inherent in running a corporate or investment banking business remain of crucial importance, not least because of the strong local characteristic of “name lending”, by which is meant lending or providing other banking facilities to family or other private businesses, primarily on the strength of the “name” or “names” of the proprietors standing behind the business, rather than on the strength of the asset quality and underlying credit of the particular business. Of course, in practice, there is commercial overlap between the proprietors and the companies which they own, but the credit analyses can break down where poor banking practices and procedures result in poorly constructed legal documentation and gaps in guarantee and security support documents.

Press Releases worldwide

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