Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

Publishing firms

Press releases and law firm thought leadership

This page is dedicated to keeping readers informed of the latest news and thought leadership articles from law firms across the globe.

If your firm wishes to publish press releases or articles, please contact Shehab Khurshid on +44 (0) 207 396 5689 or shehab.khurshid@legalease.co.uk

 

Legal Developments Worldwide

New Legislation Reduces Maximum Weekly Working Hours in Korea

July 2018 - Employment . Legal Developments by Bae, Kim & Lee LLC.

More articles by this firm.

*For better understanding of this article with other graphics , we highly recommend you to visit our firm's website as below.
http://www.bkl.co.kr/upload/data/20180410/bkl-legalupdate-2018000410.html#.WsxBYIhuaHs

 

Nearly 4 years after they first began discussions to revise the law, the Korean National Assembly passed a bill on February 28, 2018 to amend the Labor Standards Act (“LSA”), to reduce the maximum working hours. The new law will reduce Korea’s maximum working hours (“Maximum Working Hours”) from 68 hours per week to 52, will make all public holidays mandatory paid days off, will reduce the number of special industries that are exempt from restrictions on Maximum Working Hours, and will provide much needed clarification on overtime premiums for weekend working hours. The law will become effective on July 1, 2018 and will apply to large companies before being rolled out in stages to smaller companies.

The main changes affected by the bill are summarized below. If you have any questions or would like further information on this topic, please feel free to contact us.

 

 

Supreme Court Renders Decision Calling for “Gender Sensitivity” in Sexual Harassment Cases

July 2018 - Employment . Legal Developments by Bae, Kim & Lee LLC.

More articles by this firm.

Amid the widespread attention that sexual harassment/violence in the workplace has received due to international movements such as the “Me Too” movement, the Supreme Court of Korea has recently rendered a significant decision on the need to reform the judicial system’s approach to sexual harassment cases.

Geographical Indications Of Origin In Serbia: Where The Past Fuels The Future

July 2018 - Intellectual Property. Legal Developments by Karanovic & Nikolic.

More articles by this firm.

This article was written by Dragomir Kojić, Partner ⃰, and Tamara Bubalo, Associate ⃰, and was originally published in Issue 5.2 of the CEE Legal Matters Magazine. To see the original article, please follow this link.

Geographical indication of origin, this very peculiar form of industrial property protection, has undergone a revival phase over the past few years, thus becoming more omnipresent not only within the circles of interest, but also amongst the Serbian public at large. Although, up to this day, there are only a few dozen geographical indications of origin registered before the Serbian Intellectual Property office, for a country of little over 7 million spread over 80.000 square kilometers of land, these numbers are remarkable and represent something to be proud of. Through goods and services offered thereunder, they are painting a picture of a different Serbia.

Generally used for the marking of natural, artisanal or industrially produced food, goods and produce, this legally coined term has come to reflect something much greater; the traditional and folkloric expressions of this country, its socio-cultural identity and its historical heritage. Through dozens of well curated picks of what each autochthone region has to offer as its best, once stemming from the ancient past only to be passed down to its modern day successors, these traditional expressions nowadays include, textiles, knits, cheeses, wines, and even health services.

The surge in interest surrounding geographical indications of origin is nowadays largely due to the country's policy of promoting and subsidizing small and medium sized enterprises which focus on craftsmanship, artisanal work and localized types of services which, in a way, help revive and ultimately preserve some of the traditional craft.

Geographical indications, similarly to trademarks, transmit certain messages, aiming at informing a potential consumer on the origins of a given product, and its specific properties only to be found in that unique place of origin. They are therefore very useful tools when it comes to highlighting those specific or unique properties of each and every product or service offered under its umbrella. This can for instance be reflected through a particular climate, manufacturing or a traditional approach to creating a product, all depending on the given region.

Thus impacting the perception of both domestic and international consumers and promoting the country at large has proven to be a large success. Valjevski Duvan Čvarci, Pirot Kilims, Sirogojno Knits, and Bermet sweet desert Wine, just to name a few, come to serve as excellent examples of products which, due to their (i) defined geographical area, (ii) specific, territorially defined manufacturing methods, and (iii) localized product quality, have become recognized tools of promotion not only in Serbia but also beyond its borders.

By solidifying its bases through a plethora of now internationally recognized goods, Serbia has very recently even gone a step further by registering its very first geographical indication for services offered in Zlatibor, a mountainous region in western Serbia known for its „Golden Pines".

Stepping out from theory into practice, Serbia has become the very first country to actually register a service under the category of geographical indication of origin, thus far only foreseen on paper by the local legislation.

The geographical indication of origin in question refers to the provision of health-tourism services provided exclusively in the Zlatibor region, and more particularly on the territory of the municipality of Čajetina. Registered under the indication Čigota, a mountain pass in Zlatibor, this specific service epitomizes a well-balanced mixture of natural and human factors such as, on the one hand, clean air with low humidity, specific light ion concentrations, an absence of allergens, and high pH levels in water, and on the other, a highly skilled medical and diagnostics staff.

Čigota is indeed that perfect example that allows us to shift our perception when it comes to geographical indications of origin, as it tears down the barriers of the traditional use of this legal tool and allows us to open up towards new possibilities stemming from more innovative concepts.

*Independent attorneys at law in cooperation with Karanović & Nikolić.

Striving Towards the Black Gold

July 2018 - Projects, Energy & Natural Resources. Legal Developments by Karanovic & Nikolic.

More articles by this firm.

This article was written by Petar Mitrović, Partner ⃰, and Nikolina Kažić, Associate ⃰, and was originally published in Issue 5.2 of the CEE Legal Matters Magazine To see the original article, please follow this

The first upscale exploration of oil and gas in Montenegro started in 1914, when King Nikola Petrović approved the National Assembly's decision for oil exploration around Lake Skadar. The first well in the area of Crmnica dates back to 1922 – although it produced nothing of significance.

In later researches of the Montenegrin offshore, the existence of geological structures with the potential for hiding hydrocarbon deposits was confirmed. During the 70s and 80s, several American firms set up wells in the Montenegrin undersea area and confirmed oil and gas findings. However, no significant work was done pursuant to this confirmation, mainly due to the political and social instability of this Balkan country.

In the years that followed, and especially following the dissolution of the state union of Serbia and Montenegro in 2006, oil and gas exploration and exploitation formed the center of the Government's energy policy, and Montenegro made a significant effort to develop the industry. The country has defined its energy policy until 2030, adopted the Energy Development Strategy until 2025, and signed the Declaration of Accession to the Energy Charter in late 2012. The main objective of the adopted energy policy is the creation of an adequate legislative, financial, and regulatory framework to encourage private sector involvement and investments. Research shows that the total oil core potential in two separate submarine zones in Montenegro amounts to 12.5 x 109 tons. According to existing data, potential oil reserves amount to approximately 7 billion barrels, while potential natural gas reserves amount to 425 billion square meters.

Montenegro aims to follow the achievements of other countries in the Adriatic Sea that have valorized their potential in this field with around 1,500 exploration wells. Italy is the clear champion, with around 1,400 drilling sites. Neighboring Croatia drilled around 140 exploration wells and currently has 18 gas production platforms in the northern Adriatic.

As a sign of progress and the decisiveness of Montenegro to use its existing potential, the first tender for oil and gas exploration and production was announced in late 2013. So far, the Montenegrin Government has signed concession agreements with two consortia: the Italian-Russian Eni/Novatek (which was granted concession rights over four offshore blocks, covering 1,228 square kilometers), and the Greek company Energean oil & gas (which was granted two offshore blocks with a surface area of 338 square kilometers in shallow waters).

In the light of normative regulation, Montenegro adopted the Law on Exploration and Production of Hydrocarbons, the Tax Law on Hydrocarbons, and regulations governing the method of calculating compensation payments for oil and gas production, construction of exploration and exploitation plants, development and production of hydrocarbons, drilling, and so on. Additionally, the Government has adopted the model of the Concession Contract for the Production of Hydrocarbons, which is divided into two phases: the Exploration phase and the Hydrocarbons production phase.

The exploration phase may last for a maximum of six years for onshore or seven years for offshore blocks. Upon the concessionaire's request, and only in cases specified by law, the exploration phase may be extended for up to two years. However, the hydrocarbons production phase begins from the day of the commencement of the first extraction of hydrocarbons from the reservoir and lasts until the expiry of the deadline envisaged by the production concession contract, or a maximum of up to 20 years. The production phase may, at a request from the concessionaire, be extended at most for half of the duration of the production phase period specified by the production concession contract; i.e., for a maximum of 10 years.

With the Tax Law on Hydrocarbons, Montenegro made a plan to acquire revenue from companies doing business in the industry involving taxes and reimbursements for produced oil and gas. The strategy for acquiring revenue is progressive – meaning that the companies that have the most profit will pay an increased (progressive) rate for the produced oil and gas. In the period during the production of oil and gas, oil companies are due to pay a tax of 54% on the profit acquired from the exploration and production of oil and related assets, as well as 9% on dividends (i.e., capital gains).

The next tender for the exploration of oil and gas in the Montenegrin undersea area should open during this year or in 2019, since the Montenegrin Government is striving to introduce as many concessionaires as possible to the Montenegrin off-shore territory.

 

Independent attorneys at law in cooperation with Karanović & Nikolić.

Montenegro To Publish A Tender For A 200 MW Solar Power Plant

July 2018 - Projects, Energy & Natural Resources. Legal Developments by Karanovic & Nikolic.

More articles by this firm.

The Montenegrin Government plans to publish a tender for the lease of state land for the purpose of constructing a solar power plant in the municipality of Ulcinj. According to the announcement, the tender envisages a total of 6,621,121 square meters of land for the planning, construction, exploitation, and maintenance of a solar power plant at Briska gora, in the very south of Montenegro.

The plant is intended to have a total installed capacity of more than 200 MW, and will be completed in two phases. Phase one needs to be completed within 18 months after the signing of the contract, and phase two within 24 months after the first stage.

Offers to lease the land and build the power plant can be submitted by investors with proven experience in building solar plants with an installed capacity of at least 100 MW, and that have reported gross incomes of more than EUR 100 million in the past three fiscal years.

According to the Ministry's press release, the selected project is expected to sell electricity to the local grid through a long-term PPA on market terms.

Local press reports indicate that the project may require a total investment of EUR 300 million, and two potential investors have already submitted letters of intent to the Montenegrin authorities.

This will be the first tender for a large scale renewables project in Montenegro since 2010 and the awarding of "concessions" for wind parks Krnovo and Mo žura.

Laying the Foundations: ZF Group Building a Factory in Serbia

July 2018 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Karanovic & Nikolic.

More articles by this firm.

The Karanović & Nikolić team, led by Senior Partner Marjan Poljak and Senior Associates ⃰ Ana Stanković and Ana Luković, advised ZF Friedrichshafen on the project of opening an electric vehicle parts factory in Pančevo, Serbia. The German company, a global leader specialising in the design, research and development, and manufacturing activities in the automotive industry, laid the foundations and began construction on 21 June 2018.

Karanović & Nikolić advised ZF in this greenfield investment on all local law aspects of this project. The team provided full support in a number of different areas, including corporate, real estate, employment etc.

The new 25.000 square metres factory, which is being built on a land parcel of 10.8 hectares, will produce parts for electric and hybrid-electric vehicles and will service premium automotive manufacturers. The project will be realized in two stages and will open more than 1,000 new jobs. The planned investment amounts to more than EUR 100 million.

ZF operates in 40 countries around the world and has a global workforce of over 146,000 employees. In 2017, it recorded sales of EUR 36.4 billion. The company invests more than six percent of its sales in research and development annually, in particular for the development of efficient and electric drivelines.

ZF group is committed to its Vision Zero – zero accidents and zero emissions being the end goal of all the company's activities.

 

* Independent attorneys at law in cooperation with Karanović & Nikolić.

A BRIEF COMPARATIVE STUDY OF THE CITIZENSHIP FOR INVESTMENT PROGRAMMES OFFERED BY MALTA AND CYPRUS.

July 2018 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Valletta Legal.

More articles by this firm.

Introduction

 In recent years many countries have initiated programmes allowing high net-worth individuals to acquire citizenship by means of investment. Certainly, one cannot deny that this process has been influenced by destabilization of certain regions, globalisation and migration for reasons of stability, prosperity and other personal reasons or financial reasons that such persons may have.

The desire to attract new investors and capital has for decades incentivised countries to conclude visa-free travelling arrangements and offer residence and citizenship programmes. Indeed, there is no doubt that citizenship by investment is one of the mechanisms that can be used for such purposes and whilst several countries have previously embarked on such programmes, Malta and Cyprus can nowadays be seen as two major players in this field. Other comparable programmes are offered by Antigua and Barbuda, The Republic of Austria, The Republic of Bulgaria, Grenada, St Kitts & Nevis, and The Dominican Republic.

Since both Malta and Cyprus are relatively similar in nature, being two islands in the sunny Mediterranean Sea, being predominantly English speaking, having similar Mediterranean cultures and offering similar lifestyle, the scope of this article has been restricted to the comparison of the relevant Maltese and Cypriot citizenship for investment programmes.

Harmonising the GDPR in Mauritius

July 2018 - TMT ( Technology, Media & Telecoms). Legal Developments by BLC Robert & Associates.

More articles by this firm.

Mauritius is the first country in the southern hemisphere to have recently revamped its data protection legal regime by repealing the previous Data Protection Act 2004 ("DPA 2004") and adopting a new law, namely the Data Protection Act 2017 ("DPA 2017") following the adoption of the General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) ("GDPR") in the European Union. 

Listing on the Emerging Companies Market of the Cyprus Stock Exchange

June 2018 - Finance. Legal Developments by Kinanis LLC.

More articles by this firm.

A.     INTRODUCTION

The Cyprus Stock Exchange provides to Cyprus and international companies a unique opportunity to list their shares or bonds on the Emerging Companies Market, a recognised eurozone unregulated exchange, which provides potential investors with an indication that the company is active and transparent, while the cost of listing is low comparing to the regulated market and other jurisdictions.

DORDA advises on the acquisition of Austrian office properties Denk Drei

June 2018 - Real Estate & Property. Legal Developments by Dorda.

More articles by this firm.

Stefan Artner, Partner and Head of the Real Estate Practice Group, and real estate attorney Klaus Pfeiffer of DORDA advised Austrian Real Estate Development GmbH (ARE, a subsidiary of Bundesimmobilien-Gesellschaft, the Austrian privatization agency) on the acquisition of the Denk Drei office properties from IC Development. The successful closing of the forward purchase transaction took place on April 30, 2018. The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price.