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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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In view of the increasing gravity of the situation in Eastern Ukraine, the European Council has decided to reinforce the set of restrictive measures adopted on 30 and 31 July 2014 targeting cooperation and exchanges with the Russian Federation. 2014.09.18_luxembourg_newsflash
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
VEGAS LEX experts discuss Russian roads and PPP projects at the fifth international specialized exhiRoad 2014, the 5th international specialized exhibition and forum held in Moscow earlier this month and attended by VEGAS LEX, focused on effective development mechanisms for Russia's public road system and on legal aspects of public-private partnership projects
The VEGAS LEX law firm has held a seminar, Signing a Concession Agreement: an Insider's Insight , for the staff of Bank of Moscow legal department and business divisions.
Julia Tormagova, head of VEGAS LEX Commercial Group, will speak about trends in the law enforcement practice on the market for pharmaceuticals in 2014.
Popov & Partners Law Office was chosen by Ministry of Finance once again for consultant service of MPopov & Partners Law Office is finishing successfully and before the appointed time, its work on concluded in May 2013 contract with Ministry of Finance for conducting subsequent control of public procurements financed by Operational programme "Administrative capacity". As a result of the quality and effective implementation, in the beginning of September 2014, Ministry of Finance entrusted a second time team of the Law Office for implementing activity for subsequent control of public procurements financed by Operational programme "Administrative capacity", as choose Popov & Partners Law Office for executor of a public procurement. Term of the second contract concluded with Ministry of Finance is until the end October 2015. During its implementation, Popov & Partners Law Office will aim increasing transparency and efficiency in the field of implementation of projects, financed by European social fund, and will contribute for lawful utilizing of funds on Operational programme "Administrative capacity".
Goltsblat BLP , the Russian practice of the leading international law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) , is providing the Italian clothing brand TWIN-SET Simona Barbieri with legal support for its entry on to the Russian market, including setting up a joint venture and opening a number of own-brand stores across Russia.
Leading Hungarian law firm, Lakatos, Köves and Partners, has been advising Bayerische Landesbank ("BLB") on the sale of its Hungarian subsidiary MKB Bank Zrt. which closed on Monday 29 September 2014.
Kyiv, 17 October 2014 - AstapovLawyers has advised Lexmark International Technology S.A. (Switzerland) on legal matters pertaining to the signing of distribution agreement with a Ukrainian company. The advice included review and adjustments of the wholesaler contract, drafting arbitration clause and on Ukrainian law matters applicable to the contract.
Zavadetskyi Advocates provided for tax clearance of the transaction for cross-border transfer of the loan portfolio from the balance sheet of the Ukrainian bank to the balance sheet of the UK bank of a Greek banking group. As a result of this work an official tax clarification has been obtained that allowed favorable conditions for the transaction.
Kyiv, 11 August 2014 - Avellum Partners announced that it has acted as the Ukrainian legal counsel to Ferrexpo in connection with the following three export financing credits:
Kyiv, 2 September 2014 – Avellum Partners announced that it has acted as the Ukrainian legal counsel to Ferrexpo in connection with the acquisition of an electrified railway of over two kilometers long and a power line.