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Legal market overview
The global crackdown on bank secrecy and tax evasion has had a positive impact on Luxembourg, which is now proving itself as a centre of financial transparency. Its stronghold on the investment funds industry remains tight as investors seek to move funds onshore for greater regulation, aided by the recent enactment of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD). The appealing tax environment is meanwhile attracting investors from BRIC countries; the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), Bank of China and most recently China Construction Bank have all chosen Luxembourg as their continental base.
Where clients go, law firms will follow. Hogan Lovells (Luxembourg) LLP is the latest new entrant, stepping into the market with two key partners from NautaDutilh, Jean-Michel Schmit and Pierre Reuter. Other notable lateral moves include Linklaters LLP’s former head of corporate Jean-Paul Spang to Kleyr | Grasso | Associes; Luther’s former head of funds Max Welbes joining MNKS; CMS’ former head of tax Diogo Duarte de Oliveira joining Stibbe; and Allen & Overy Luxembourg’s former head of IT Cyril Pierre-Beausse leaving to establish his own firm.
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Luxembourg's Financial Sector Supervisory Authority According has published Circular 14/591 on July 22, addressed to all open-ended UCITS funds governed by the grand duchy's legislation of December 17, 2010, regarding the protection of investors in the event of a material change to an open-ended undertaking for collective investment. The CSSF says that according to well-established supervisory practice, in the event of such a material change to investors' interests in an open-ended fund under the 2010 law, the regulator requires that they be given sufficient time to take an informed decision, and that if they do not wish to accept the proposed change, they should be able to redeem or convert their shares or units free of charges.
In response to the downing of the Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 in Donetsk and in view of the gravity of the overall situation, the Council of the European Union has adopted new restrictive measures targeting cooperation and exchanges with the Russian Federation. 2014.08.05_-_russian_sanctions_newsflash
Professionals of the financial sector have, in the past, regularly been confronted with search and seizure warrants in respect of electronic data in criminal matters where the professional's entire database has been seized for mining purposes. By a recent decision of the Luxembourg District Court, this questionable practice has now been challenged. 2014.07.14_-_search_and_seizure_warrants_in_criminal_matters
The Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF) has today published guidance on the notification to it by non-EU AIFMs of their intention to market their EU and non-EU AIFs to professional investors in Luxembourg pursuant to article 42 of the AIFM Directive (AIFMD). Such guidance is in line with the approach being taken in other EU jurisdictions and is a necessary step to ensure compliance with the law when the transition period ends on 22 July next. newsflash_-_the_cssf_publishes_the_article_42_aifmd_information_form
After the publication of the new CSSF Circular 14/587 on UCITS depositaries last week, it is now the European legislator's turn to adopt new rules on UCITS depositaries. Indeed, the Council of the European Union has formally approved today the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2009/65/EC on the coordination of laws, regulations and administrative provisions relating to UCITS as regards depositary functions, remuneration policies and sanctions (the UCITS V Directive). full_newsflash_-_the_ucits_v_directive_is_adopted
Our quarterly tax update is dedicated to the main changes which have occurred over the last 3 months with regard to Luxembourg and international tax law. tax_update_-_july_2014
Luxembourg's Financial Sector Supervisory Authority has published on July 18 the latest update to its Frequently Asked Questions document on the grand duchy's law of July 12, 2013 implementing the European Union's Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive and the European Commission's Level 2 regulation on implementation of the AIFMD.
Section 2 of CSSF Regulation No. 13-02 relating to the out-of-court resolution of complaints will enter into force on 1 July 2014, the other sections having already entered into force at the beginning of the year. complaint_handling_by_professionals_-_newsflash_-_27.06.2014
On 9 July 2014, the Luxembourg Parliament approved the bill of law on a sale and buy-back transaction of real estate assets to a wholly owned Special Purpose Vehicle ("SPV") by the Luxembourg State allowing the issuance of a Sukuk with a value of 200 million euros ($275 million). grand_duchy_of_luxembourg_issues_sukuk_-_newsflash_-_15.07.2014
In anticipation of the forthcoming directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2009/65/EC on the coordination of laws, regulations and administrative provisions relating to UCITS with respect to depositary functions, the CSSF has yesterday released a new circular aimed at clarifying the provisions applicable to Luxembourg credit institutions acting as depositary for UCITS (the "Circular"). Departing from a principle-based approach, the CSSF has enacted more prescriptive and detailed rules to govern UCITS depositary functions. the_new_circular_on_ucits_depositaries_has_been_released
Shortly after the signing of a USD 2.5 billion investment loan agreement, KGHM Polska Miedź announces the completion of another major financing project.
IKB Leasing GmbH (IKBL) has securitized a portfolio of lease receivables via German Mittelstand Equipment Financing SA (GMEF). The European Investment Bank (EIB) was one of the investors in the senior Class A Notes issued by GMEF.
Schoenherr, a leading law firm in Central and Eastern Europe, advised Laakman Holding Limited on the increase of their participation in the listed fund company C-QUADRAT Investment AG from 9.4 % to 18.4 %. read more...
Zavadetskyi Advocates advised a US private equity fund regarding USD 110 million divestiture from Ukrainian commercial real estate project.
Vienna, 28 July 2014. Fellner Wratzfeld & Partners (fwp) advises UniCredit Bank Austria AG on acquiring Immobilien Holding GmbH, which until now was wholly owned by Immobilien Privatstiftung.
AstapovLawyers International Law Group has provided corporate tax consulting and legal advisory to the joint stock oil company Bashneft, one of the Russia's largest integrated oil companies, due to its contemplated expansion into new market in the Southeast Europe.
On 6 June 2014, draft primary legislation to provide the Jersey Financial Services Commission with the power to impose civil financial penalties for material contraventions of the Codes of Practice and the AML/CFT Handbook was published.- Ogier
On 24 July 2014, Wild Bunch S.A. and the listed Senator AG announced their intention to merge into a European independent film distribution company. Wild Bunch is an important player in the field of international film sales and electronic distribution with a Europe-wide network in France, Italy, Germany and Spain. Senator AG is a German film productions and distribution company producing and distributing German and international movies since the 1970s.
Hengeler Mueller has successfully reached a temporary suspension of the prohibition order of the city of Hamburg against Uber, a provider for a smartphone-app for on-demand transportation services. Uber may thus continue providing its services in Hamburg until further notice.