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Legal market overview
Foreign direct investment into Nigeria is still on the increase. As one of the world’s principal producers of crude oil and natural gas, its legal practitioners remain active in energy-related deals, with a growing number of mandates connected to downstream processes.
The country’s power and telecoms sectors are also developing, giving rise to a flow of regulatory and project finance work. On the contentious side, the use of arbitration continues to increase, with many Nigerian law firms now housing alternative dispute resolution (ADR) teams.
Although not on the ground, international firms regularly act in Nigerian deals, particularly in the energy sector. At Vinson & Elkins RLLP, London-based Alex Msimang’s recent experience includes advising Helios Natural Resources on the acquisition of a 29.4% shareholding in Eland Oil & Gas, an oil and gas company with an interest in a Niger Delta onshore oilfield. Stephenson Harwood’s Africa practice, in London, is led by Kamal Shah, who is experienced in cross-border arbitration.
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An online support service for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) which need to recruit skilled overseas workers has been extended until 28 February 2014. The pilot was launched by UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) in partnership with the Greater London Authority (GLA) and provides a step by step guide to sponsoring an overseas worker. This service is available via the GLA website.
Disputes in Romania are settled in court in the vast majority of cases, under procedures regulated mainly by the new Civil Procedure Code (CPC). The CPC entered into force on 15 February 2013, has carried out a systemic and extensive overhaul of the Romanian dispute resolution model. With a specific focus on acceleration of trial proceedings, the new regulation has reformed both the schedule and the content of proceedings taking place in various phases of the lawsuit, while attempting to clarify many of the controversies raised by interpretable provisions in the former regulation.
Elena Sokolovskaya, Head of Antimonopoly Regulation; Sergey Spasennov, Partner, Head of St. Petersburg office; Egor Lysenko, Head of Krasnoyarsk office, Pepeliaev Group The State Duma is preparing to consider in the second reading a draft law that will significantly amend Federal Law No. 57-FZ ‘On the procedure for making foreign investments in business entities of strategic importance to ensure national defence and state security'. The draft law was passed in the first reading in May 2013 and is scheduled to be considered further in April 2014. The goal of new amendments is to simplify even more the control mechanism, eliminate extra administrative barriers for foreign investors and to create favourabe investment climate. For the second reading of the draft law, the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (the ‘FAS') prepared a number of amendments that have not been approved yet by the Russian Government (these amendments are posted on the FAS's official web site ). Below are the main provisions of the draft law and amendments to it.
Andrey Tereschenko, Partner (Tax); Alexey Konevsky, Partner (Real Estate and Construction); Egor Lysenko, Head of Siberian office in Krasnoyarsk; Sergey Spasennov, Partner and Head of Saint Petersburg office Preparations have started for staging the World Winter Universiade 2019 in Krasnoyarsk. There are several issues that companies face when major international sport events are staged in Russia. On 14 January 2014, the Russian President signed Decree No. 16 ‘On preparing for the XXIX World Winter Universiade 2019 to be staged in Krasnoyarsk' (‘Universiade 2019'). This decree is a framework document addressed, first of all, to the Russian Government, which is charged with carrying out a set of organisational actions to prepare for Universiade 2019, as well as to executive authorities of constituent entities of the Russian Federation, which are recommended to participate in carrying them out. In particular, the Russian Government needs to: establish an organising committee; develop and carry out, in cooperation with the government of the Krasnoyarsk Region, measures aimed at preparing and staging Universiade 2019; determine the list of capital construction facilities belonging to the Russian state, which are required to prepare and stage Universiade 2019 with financial support from the federal budget; assist with covering in the state mass media how Universiade 2019 is being prepared and staged.
Since the beginning of the crisis, a heated debate is going on among politicians and scholars, inside and outside the country, on who's responsible and whether the austerity measures, adopted as a condition for the financial assistance by international lenders, has been successful, proportionate and fair.
Due to the Royal Decree of 26 January 2014 CBA no. 108 concerning temporary employment and temporary work is now generally binding.
On 12 February 2014 the National Labour Council has given its unanimous advice on the harmonization of blue-collar and white-collar employees in the field of occupational pensions. Any distinction regarding future periods of employment should be eliminated by 1 January 2025 at the latest.
The English Family Division orders disclosure by beneficiaries of documents relating to private trustee proceedings to which they were convened. Read more...
The Jersey Royal Court has ruled that, where a newly incorporated private trust company (PTC) recently appointed as successor trustee seeks to bring claims for breach of trust against predecessors, it will not be able to benefit from the Jersey law doctrine of empêchement d'agir (which can stop the limitation clock from running in situations of practical impossibility) where it was not in existence at the time that the deadline for bringing claims had expired. Read more...
Merkur Bank, a private bank with its head office in Munich, has increased its additional tier 1 capital. As one of the first banks in Germany, the credit institution has issued additional tier 1 capital instruments in accordance with the new regulatory requirements of the Capital Requirements Regulation and the Capital Requirements Directive IV implementing Basel III. The capital instruments are structured as perpetual bonds that are convertible into common equity tier 1 (CET 1) capital if the CET 1 capital ratio falls below 5.125%. In a first step, Merkur Bank raised €4m of additional tier 1 capital through these bonds. In the course of the year, the bank expects to issue further €2.5m additional tier 1 bonds thereby increasing its tier 1 capital by €6.5m to a total of €52m.
Sayenko Kharenko successfully represented Italian company in the debt collection dispute over the equipment supply contract (the "Contract") with a total value of more than USD 3.5 million. According to the Contract, the processing line was supplied to the Ukrainian defendant in 2008.
Following our 50th Anniversary Celebration, our support to charitable organizations continues.
Alexey Konevsky, Partner "Real Estate and Construction" at Pepeliaev Group, was invited to speak at the international conference "A Growing Market. Modernisation. Medium-Sized Business". Dedicated to improving Russia's investment reputation in Germany, the conference was held in Berlin on 21 February 2014. The event was organised by the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce and the Russian-German Chamber of Commerce. Those present discussed Russia's economy and possibilities for economic cooperation between Russia and Germany, including opportunities for German businesses in Russia.
On 27 February 2014, Pepeliaev Group held, within the Krasnoyarsk Economic Forum, a panel dedicated to: "What the Krasnoyarsk Region should do to become an investment leader for Russian and global businesses." At the panel session, experts, representatives of business and state authorities exchanged opinions on how to improve the Region's position in the national ratings for investment climate and what tools should be implemented to support entrepreneurs.
The workshop held on 30 January in Warsaw was organised by Top Consulting S.A. and was addressed to directors and managers responsible for investor relations, employees of economic and legal departments, finance directors, representatives of companies listed on WSE and NewConnect, as well as other persons and organisations that are connected with the capital market.
On Friday 14 February, the 6th Warsaw International Arbitration Moot - a competition allied with Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot - was held at the University of Warsaw.
On February 10, 2014, the Senegalese parliament has adopted a new Public Private Partnership Act. The Act will replace 2004 BOT Act amended in 2009.
Côte d'Ivoire Parliament has adopted the new mining Code on its plenary session of 05 March 2014.
ARBITRADE successfully represented Ukrainian client in the course of SCC arbitration in a dispute related to high-profile case on purchase of the printing equipment. The case has been settled at the mature stage following intensive exchange of comments and hearing conducted in Stockholm in January 2014. The case has been complicated by jurisdictional objections, bifurcation, technical aspects of dispute related to the high-profile equipment, and numerous expert opinions on conformity of the equipment to the contract, on reduction of contractual prices etc. The settlement agreement reached is the most advantageous for the ARBITRADE's client under the circumstances. The case was handled by partner Yuliya Chernykh, C.Arb and Yarslava Sorokhtey, associate.