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A number of international firms operate in Libya from their offices outside the country. King & Spalding LLP's Mehdi Haroun is based in Paris and handles various commercial and corporate matters, particularly in the field of oil and gas, telecoms and infrastructure. The practice assisted Total with its acquisition of Marathon Oil Libya. General Maritime National Transport Company is another notable client. At Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Dubai-based Pervez Akhtar is the regional managing partner for the Middle East and North Africa, and specialises in M&A and corporate transactions, advising regional and international financial investors, sovereign wealth funds and government investment vehicles.

Due to extreme political instability, the business environment in Libya remains challenging. The country has experienced a power vacuum since the ouster of Colonel Gaddafi in 2011. The UN-backed government installed in Tripoli in 2016 has little authority across the country and is confronted by two opposition governments and a host of militias, which still control sizeable portions of the eastern and coastal regions. The lack of a reliable institutional counterpart, an unclear legal framework and security concerns make foreign companies wary of investing in the country.

Libyan assets, however, are rich, especially in the oil sector, which makes up over 95% of export revenues and 60% of the GDP. Yet, the economy, which rebounded in 2012 after Gaddafi’s demise but crashed again following the Second Libyan Civil War, strives to recover. Besides political unrest, other challenges to foreign investment include the country's dependency on the oil industry, an inefficient administration that hinders the development of the private sector, lack of loans, state control of prices and exchanges, import restrictions, high unemployment, record levels of inflation and widespread corruption.

Nonetheless, the country’s huge natural resources continue to appeal to foreign companies, with security, healthcare and telecoms other fairly active sectors in an economy in need of diversification. Libya’s recent rehabilitation within the international community may give confidence to investors, which expect the internationally-recognised government to pursue liberalisation policies and favour private investment. In such a framework, several local legal firms are doing business from their offices in Tripoli, while a number of international firms work operate Libyan desks from abroad. Corporate, project development, regulatory and litigation are the main areas of activity.

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    Since a very long time, FIDIC (The International Federation of Consulting Engineers) is commonly used a standard for international construction and engineering contracts and is very frequently used in UAE. It mainly governs the construction works within the country and in GCC. 
  • CommuniquĂ© on Equity Crowdfunding Is Officially Published

    By way of background, in January 2019, the Capital Markets Board (“ CMB ”) had issued an announcement on its website on the Draft CommuniquĂ© on Equity Crowdfunding [1] . The CMB has now officially published the CommuniquĂ© on Crowdfunding No. III-35/A (“ CommuniquĂ© ”), on October 3, 2019. The CommuniquĂ© entered into force as of October 3, 2019.
  • Beneficial Ownership Concept new interpretation from the Russian federal tax service

    The recent interpretative letter issued by the Russian Federal Tax Services (“FTS”) on 08th August 2019, has provided further guidance as to the application of the Beneficial Ownership Concept, further to the letter initially provided on the 12th of April 2018 which adopted a strict approach of the concept. 
  • Cyprus and Netherlands Double Tax Treaty Update

    Cyprus has concluded the negotiations for the avoidance of double taxation with the Netherlands. The double tax treaty was agreed at technocratic level in Hague. It is expected to be signed by the end of 2019 or early in 2020.
  • Vacancy - Senior Corporate Lawyer

    The Senior Corporate Lawyer, who will be reporting to Partners, will be working with both the firm’s legal team as well as the financial services team. The successful candidate will be requested to show initiative, take on certain responsibilities within the firm, work in a multinational environment and will immediately be given the opportunity to further advance their career within the law firm.

    The judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on February 26, 2019, in the “Danish Beneficial Ownership Cases”, can be perceived as a landmark on the interpretation of the Beneficial Ownership concept under the Interest and Royalties Directive (IRD) and the Parent-Subsidiary Directive (PSD).
  • Court of Justice rules on source of income for Derivative Residence applications

    On 2 October 2019, the Court of Justice delivered its judgment in Bajratari v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Directive 2004/38/EC) Case C-93/18 which concerns Chen applications and the source of funds for self-sufficiency. 
  • End of the ‘centre of life test’ in Surinder Singh cases?

    In the recent case of  ZA (Reg 9. EEA Regs; abuse of rights) Afghanistan   [2019] UKUT 281 (IAC ), the Upper Tribunal found that there is no basis in EU law for the centre of life test, as set out in Regulation 9(3)(a) of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 (the “Regulations”). It further found that it is not to be applied when Judges assess  Surinder Singh  cases that appear before them.

    Italian rules on jointventures concerning public procurement and concession contracts are set out inlight of the European legal framework provided for in Directive 2014/23/EU and 2014/24/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council. The European rules aim to ensurethe best use of public money so that EU citizens benefit from strategicinvestments and services at fair prices. In this context, public procurementand concessions represent key instruments that need to be regulated and standardisedin order to ensure free movement of goods, freedom of establishment and freedomto provide services.
  • Terms of employment as a sole representative

    In this article we examine the working arrangements of sole representatives, looking at the terms and conditions of employment that the Home Office will expect a sole representative to have in order to qualify as a representative of an overseas business.  

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