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- The Legal 500 United Kingdom Awards 2014
- The Legal 500 United States Awards 2014 - In-house winners
- The Legal 500 United States Awards 2014 - Law firm winners
- The Legal 500 Latin America Awards (coming soon)
- The Legal 500 Germany Awards (coming soon)
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Legal market overview
The Estonian M&A market picked up in the third quarter of 2013, with one trend being large multinational corporations selling off parts of their local businesses. Apart from East Capital’s acquisition of 51% of Starman the capital markets are still very quiet. The energy sector, especially in the renewables space, is increasingly busy, which is partly due to the electricity market being opened to competition in 2013. A continuous growth area is the IT and technology sector, where the Estonian start-up and venture capital community is thriving, attracting foreign buyers and investors. The real estate market is slowly recovering as major infrastructure construction projects are being tackled due to EU funding and public procurement initiatives by municipalities.
There has been some movement in the market: boutiques such as Rask have been formed by lawyers leaving major Baltic firms and the Big Four are also setting up their own law firms. Another such firm, Law Office Nordeus, became part of a pan-Baltic firm and rebranded as Fort.
Magnusson Advokatbyrå took on six attorneys from Concordia Attorneys at Law in November 2013 and Glikman & Partnerid merged with Alvin Rödl & Partner Law Office in January 2013, establishing Glikman Alvin & Partners, one of the largest law firms in Estonia.
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On 31st December 2010 amendments to the Law Obligations Act (hereinafter LOA) came into force in Estonia, introducing the regulation allowing claiming punitive and preventive damages. Though the new regulation allows exemplary damages to be awarded only in the event of non-proprietary damages, it nevertheless constitutes a general paradigm shift, allowing for a much broader protection of personal rights.
Until the adoption of Reorganisation Act Estonian legislation did not provide efficient regulation for companies which were in temporary financial difficulties, but could be “rescued” via certain turn-around proceedings to overcome the economically difficult period.
New Advertising Act has entered into force from 1st of November 2008. The main reason for drafting the new Act was the current situation in the advertising market – the legal regulation of the Advertising Act passed in 1997 needed to be modernized. Requirements for advertising goods and services, which are likely to cause controversy in the society, have been specified. Additional restrictions have been provided for advertising of alcohol products and financial services, while exemptions have been added to the advertising regulation of tobacco products and gambling. The efficiency of surveillance has been improved and additional measures have been taken. Consistency with the EU law is important in order to avoid discrimination of foreign manufacturers and service providers. Drafting a new act was expedient, whereas extensive amendments were to be made to the current legal regulation of advertising.
The Civil Chamber of the Estonian Supreme Court has thoroughly handled the topics of division of joint property, repeated some earlier principles and given the clear instruction in the proceeding of division of the joint property of spouses in the question of assessment of the value of the company.
The Estonian Supreme Court handled the taxation of the earnings of the physical persons through the application of the rule of economic interpretation (Taxation Act § 84) in its decision of 6 November 2008. In this case the Supreme Court gave the instructions which circumstances are important for establishing the existence of the objective of tax evasion. This is a significant decision in the cases of transfer of securities, where the tax authority has found that the substance and form of the transaction are not in compliance and in no doubt will have its impact to assessing the tax consequences of corporate restructurings.
On September 25, 2014, the VEGAS LEX law firm, the VEB Innovations Fund and the Innovation and R&D Directors Club (IR&D club), organized a roundtable conference, Corporation - Startup: Reaching for Mutually Beneficial Cooperation . The event was supported by Russian Venture Company.
On September 18, 2014, the Federal Road Agency (Rosavrodor) Board met in Sochi before the Sochi-2014 International Investment Forum. The VEGAS LEX experts attended the meeting.
On 12 September 2014, AstapovLawyers has held a Compliance Workshop for employees of Energoatom, a national nuclear energy generating company.
AstapovLawyers has successfully represented Delta Bank, one of the major Ukrainian banks, in a USD 71 million dispute against a Ukrainian tycoon, an owner of a significant agricultural group of companies in Ukraine.
Kyiv, 23 September 2014 - Ivan Lishchyna , Counsel, has taken part in the conference and students seminar "The relationship between alternative dispute resolution and ordinary courts: New trends in the Ukraine, Germany, Poland and other countries" organized in terms of collaboration with Institute for Eastern European Law, Munich. The event took place in the Institute of Legislation of the Verchovna Rada of Ukraine on September 8 - 10, 2014.
This briefing is intended to provide a general overview of some of the issues to be considered by trustees of Guernsey trusts and their advisers when foreign couples connected with the trust divorce.
In January 2014 - July 2014 Zavadetskyi Advocates advised and represented a Canadian citizen who had been imprisoned in Ukraine for serious crime and criminal investigation against whom raised many questions as to its integrity and impartiality. Along with their client, Zavadetskyi Advocates also advised a US charitable institution that provides social services internationally to people in crisis situations. The client has been released from the sentence several years before time and was able to leave Ukraine.
As one of the leading global jurisdictions for structuring foreign direct investment (FDI), Luxembourg has developed a sophisticated framework to enable the financing of such investments.
Azmi & Associates recently advised Felda Global Ventures Holdings Berhad (‘FGVH') in a corporate transaction via its subsidiary, Felda Global Ventures Downstream Sdn. Bhd. (‘FGVD') in a joint venture agreement involving two other parties namely M2 Capital Sdn Bhd. (‘M2 Capital') and Benefuel International Holdings S.A.R.L. (‘Benefuel') which is a subsidiary of Benefuel US, through which an SPV will be incorporated to acquire a biodiesel plant. The JV company has agreed to acquire a biodiesel plant ("Plant") located at Gebeng, in the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia from Mission Biofuels Sdn. Bhd. (‘MBSB') for a USD twenty two million and five hundred thousand (USD 22,500,000.00) (‘Plant Acquisition') under a Plant Purchase Agreement. The shareholding of FGVD, M2 Capital and Benefuel in the JV Company shall be 60% for FGVD, 20% for M2 Capital and 20% for Benefuel. The estimated project cost for the proposed joint venture including the Plant Acquisition, licensing costs, purchase of catalyst, refurbishment and retrofit shall be USD forty seven million and five hundred thousand (USD 47,500,000.00). The nature of business of the JV Company shall be manufacturing and producing biodiesel using the retrofitted Plant and other ancillary activities.