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Legal market overview
Venezuela continues to experience grave economic difficulties and these have only been exacerbated by the global drop in oil prices, adding to the fiscal pressure on the Maduro administration, which, holding to the socialist agenda of the Chavez period, has reacted with ever more state-interventionist policies. These, in turn, have led many foreign investors to avoid Venezuela or withdraw their investments. Foreign exchange controls make cross-border transactions difficult, and price controls affect almost every economic activity. The resulting shortages in food and other basic necessities have led to political protests and increasing black market activity, leading to even more pressure on the government.
The crisis is also affecting the legal market. Many law firms are following the example of commercial companies by downsizing. Finance and M&A practices in particular are suffering from a drop in transactional activity, and there is widespread pressure on fee rates. On the other hand, the crisis has also led to increased demand for legal services in areas such as public law, tax, labour, and dispute resolution, as clients seek advice on how to cope with increasingly demanding regulation and tax laws, as well as assistance with downsizing and layoffs and help with disputes, where cost-effective arbitration and mediation are particularly sought after.
The four leading full-service law firms remain Baker & McKenzie SC, D’Empaire Reyna Abogados, Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque and Norton Rose Fulbright; which achieve high rankings in almost every practice area. There has been relatively little movement in the market in terms of law firm mergers, spin-offs, and lateral partner hires. Notable exceptions are the merger of WDA legal, S.C. with tax boutique Fraga & Viloria, S.C.; the move of public law expert Alejandro Gallotti from Torres, Plaz & Araujo to Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque; and the move of arbitration expert Marcos Carrillo from Lloan & Asociados to Araquereyna. In light of such challenging economic conditions, it is unsurprising that few law firms are investing; to some degree the legal market is in a suspended mode and awaits better times.
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- Enforcement Decree to the Fair Retail Agency Transactions Act
New Zealand’s overseas investment regime has been in the media spotlight in recent times. While lobbying organisations and political parties closely scrutinise the decisions of the Overseas Investment Office ( OIO ), those in the investment community have raised concerns that the regime is overly burdensome and time consuming. Against this background, there have been a number of changes in process and regulation, with further changes in the pipeline, aimed at ensuring the regime is fit for purpose. This article provides a brief overview of the regime and then looks at some of the recent and impending developments.
One of the main advantages of arbitration vis-à-vis state court litigation, is that the parties are free to choose independent and highly specialised experts to decide their cases. Yet, if these experts negligently (or even deliberately) violate the duties that come with the acceptance of the appointment, the issue of liability arises. read more...
Nurlan Sholanov Partner, AEQUITAS Law Firm- AEQUITAS
This update discusses the recent case of Rals International Pte Ltd v Cassa di Risparmio di Parma e Piacenza SpA  SGCA 53 where the Singapore Court of Appeal upheld the decision of the High Court that the assignee’s claim based on a number of promissory notes did not fall within the scope of the arbitration agreement in the underlying Supply Agreement. The assignee of such notes was therefore free to litigate in the courts.
The Law regulating Financial Leasing and the activities of Financial Leasing Companies of 2016 (L.72 (I) / 2016) (the “Law”) came into force on April 28 th , 2016.
Cyprus courts have jurisdiction to issue interim orders relating to the worldwide freezing or tracing of assets, whether in the context of main proceedings or in aid of foreign litigation or arbitration proceedings.
An overview of the new insolvency regime
As of September 1st 2016, a newly established special department, dedicated solely to white collar crimes, has commenced its work within the Hungarian Metropolitan Public Prosecution Office (Fővárosi Főügyészség). read more...
The CJEU already had the chance to rule on the legitimacy (under copyright law) of hyperlinks to copyrighted works in the Svensson (C-466/12) and Bestwater (C-348/13) cases. In both cases the court came to the conclusion that hyperlinks to copyrighted works freely available on another website are not "communications to the public" (ie a "new public") and therefore do not require the consent of the right holders. read more...
Infringements of competition law or antitrust law can prove to be costly for businesses. That much is clear from the annual report for 2015 that was recently published by the Bundeskartellamt, Germany’s Federal Cartel Office.
VEGAS LEX Partner, Head of Energy practice Evgeniy Rodin has moderated a roundtable discussion on the payment discipline and ways to resolve conflicts in the housing and utilities sector, organized by the Kommersant Publishing House.
Family homes can only be passed on to one’s spouse or children free of tax if certain conditions are met. That was the verdict of the Finanzgericht (FG) München [Fiscal Court of Munich] in one of its recent rulings.
Employment law provides for the possibility of extraordinary dismissal without prior notice. However, this can only be effective if there is good cause justifying this course of action.
Germany’s federal government has settled on reforms to inheritance tax. Company heirs can continue to expect favourable tax treatment in the context of business succession.
In order to effectively issue ordinary notice of dismissal for reasons relating to conduct, it is often necessary for the employer to have previously issued a formal written warning.
Baker & Partners has been ranked in the top tier of Jersey legal firms for Dispute Resolution in the 2016 Legal 500 Index . This makes Baker & Partners the only bespoke litigation firm in Jersey operating in the top tier.
It is important to bear in mind when removing a managing director from his post for good cause that an employment relationship exists as well. These two legal relationships ought to be considered separately.
ETH Zurich was awarded the contract by the European Space Agency (ESA) for the ESA Business Incubation Centre Switzerland. The initiative was launched by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation. It supports selected young start-ups with a connection to space technologies.