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Legal market overview
Iceland’s economy is still shackled by currency controls and the weak krona, discouraging investment in the country and also limiting spending power. The Icelandic government has appointed specialist advisers and a consultancy to help in negotiations with its banks’ creditors. Reaching an agreement with these creditors is vital to lifting capital controls: if well managed, the process of lifting capital controls would reintegrate Iceland into the international lending markets and the legal services that would bring.
Nonetheless, there is now more liquidity in the market than before. Foreign banks have been actively offering funding to businesses with revenues in foreign currency, such as the fishing industry and the energy sector. Moreover, M&A activity appears to be picking up in Iceland. A number of Icelandic businesses were taken over by Icelandic banks and have since been the subject of initial public offerings or have been sold off. There is also considerable investment appetite as local investment funds – having been prohibited by the Icelandic capital controls from investing abroad – have been particularly active in the domestic market. The increasing number of tourists that visit Iceland each year has led to several new hotels being built, with more in the pipeline.
Firms in the spotlight
The firm was founded in 1998 by Baldvin Bjorn Haraldsson and Asgeir A Ragnarsson, and was the first law firm in Iceland to build its practice exclusively on servicing the business sector. This focus has allowed BBA’s lawyers to gain substantial experience and a level of expertise which is second to none in Iceland in, among other areas, corporate law, finance law and general business law.
Arnason Faktor was formed in 2006 when two leading intellectual property firms in Iceland, A&P Arnason and Faktor Patentbureau, merged. Faktor Patenbureau was founded in 1969 and has been extensively engaged in intellectual property protection in Iceland ever since. A&P Arnason traces its roots back to 1985 and has been a pioneer in the promotion of intellectual property protection in the Icelandic industry and business community. Arnason Faktor is the largest intellectual property consultancy firm in Iceland with 27 employees. It has offices in Reykjavik, Copenhagen and Munich.
Legal Business: country analysis
Breaking new ground – advisers hope shale revolution can restart CEE market
Weighed down by political unrest and slowing economies, energy and infra projects look like one area to be driving
the CEE economy. Can the shale revolution power up
Click here to read the feature.
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The discussion about the business shares of companies owned in the community property of spouses – regulated by the new Czech Civil Code and Business Corporations Act (both effective from 1 January 2014) – has recently come to a standstill over the question of the consequences of the absence of such a regulation, which was formerly included in the old Civil Code from 1964. This regulation distinguished between proprietary and management issues (corporate issues), which meant that if a married person acquired a business share it did not automatically result in membership in the company for their spouse. Read more
[South Korea] Supreme Court Decides on the Criteria for Distinguishing Worker Dispatch from SubcontrOn February 26, 2015, the Supreme Court rendered decisions regarding subcontracted workers. In particular, the Court provided specific factors to consider when determining whether a subcontracting arrangement will be deemed worker dispatch, which can potentially result in an illegal dispatch relationship and create a de facto employment relationship.
Author: Andrey Goltsblat, Managing Partner of Goltsblat BLP
The Philippines recently enacted Republic Act 10667 or the Philippine Competition Act which defines, prohibits and penalizes anti-competitive agreements, abuse of dominant position, and anti-competitive mergers and acquisitions.
With the emergence of Cyprus as a thriving international business centre and as the preferred place of establishment of many companies of foreign interests, Cyprus has seen a large increase in the use of arbitration as a commercial dispute resolution mechanism.
In commemoration of the firm’s 70th anniversary, SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan (SyCipLaw) produced a publication about the general guidelines in doing business in the Philippines.
The long-expected Law on conversion of usage right into ownership against compensation (" Conversion Act ") entered into force on 28 July 2015. Read more...
From January to April 2015, the Financial Services Commission (“FSC”) operated the Internet-Primary Bank Task Force (“TF”), which was a joint private and public sector effort. The TF reviewed related legislative bills and system reform plans regarding the introduction of the Internet-primary bank in Korea.
On January 1, 2015, the Act on the Registration and Evaluation of Chemicals (“K-REACH”) and the Chemicals Control Act (“CCA”) took effect. In this regard, the Ministry of Environment (“MOE”) plans to provide guidelines on the violations of K-REACH and CCA, and begin to enforce regulations against the violations in the near future.
How to build an investment fraud defence case that disproves prosecution allegations of dishonesty.
Sunrise announced today the launch of its initial public offering ("IPO") on the SIX Swiss Exchange with the publication of the offering and listing memorandum and the start of the bookbuilding process. Trading is expected to commence on 6 February 2015. With an offer size of CHF 1.6 billion, the Sunrise IPO constitutes the largest IPO on the SIX Swiss Exchange since 2006 and the first IPO in the Swiss telecommunications sector since 1998.
Niederer Kraft & Frey Ltd. (NKF) advised Bridgepoint in connection with the sale of Infront Sports & Media AG to Dalian Wanda Group Co. Ltd. The agreement was signed on 10 February 2015 and is subject to customary conditions.
Niederer Kraft & Frey advised Deutsche Bank and UBS as Joint Global Coordinators, the Joint Global Coordinators, Berenberg, and Morgan Stanley as Joint Bookrunners and Vontobel as Co-Lead Manager in connection with the successful Initial Public Offering and listing on the SIX Swiss Exchange of Sunrise, Switzerland's second largest telecom operator.
Niederer Kraft & Frey advised Knorr-Bremse AG, the world’s leading manufacturer of braking systems for rail and commercial vehicles, which is based in Munich and employs more than 24,000 people worldwide, in the acquisition of Selectron Systems AG, Lyss. Through this acquisition, Knorr-Bremse is expanding its portfolio to include components and solutions for the automation of rail vehicles. The acquisition successfully closed on 24 February 2015.
Niederer Kraft & Frey advised UBS AG and Credit Suisse AG, the Joint Bookrunners, and Zürcher Kantonalbank, the Co-Lead Manager, in connection with Implenia AG's ("Implenia") offering of CHF 175 million subordinated unsecured convertible bonds due 2022 convertible into shares of Implenia. The bonds will be listed on the SIX.
Schoenherr advised Rohrdorfer group on its acquisition of CEMEX's operations in Austria and Hungary for approx. EUR 160 mn. A sale and purchase agreement was signed on 11 August 2015. The closing of the transaction is expected during the fourth quarter of 2015 and is subject to the satisfaction of standard conditions for this type of transaction, including merger clearance. read more
The VEGAS LEX law firm has participated in a discussion of the Eurasian Economic Union pharmaceutical market regulation at a meeting of the nonprofit partnership Standards of Pharmaceutical Market.
Kim & Chang has been awarded ‘South Korea National Law Firm of the Year’ at Chambers Asia-Pacific Awards 2015 , organized by Chambers and Partners, an internationally renowned legal publication publishing a directory of the world’s leading law firms.
Kim & Chang was recognized as ‘Employer of Choice 2015’ in The ALB Employer of Choice Rankings, a feature article in the April issue of ALB Magazine.
Kim & Chang’s Committee for Social Contribution (“CSC”) recently entered into a MOU with Seongbuk-gu Government (a ward within the city of Seoul), formalizing a collaborative relationship that allows both Kim & Chang and the Seongbuk-gu Government to support the development of the education sector.