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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


Legal Developments Worldwide

New PPP Law in Romania to jump-start the use of public-private partnership

January 2017 - Real Estate & Property. Legal Developments by Volciuc-Ionescu.

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The highly anticipated new Romanian law on public-private partnership ("New PPP Law") has been finally enacted and will enter into force on 25 December 2016. It replaces the former Law no. 178/2010 on public-private partnership, which due to significant legislative inconsistencies has failed to accommodate any public-private partnership ("PPP").

Non-resident beneficiaries of Spanish assets have the opportunity to apply for a tax refund

January 2017 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Giambrone Law Studio Legale Internationale.

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If you were a beneficiary of someone who left assets in Spain but you were not yourself a resident of Spain you may have paid a higher rate of inheritance tax and may be due a refund since a ruling in the European Court of Justice in September 2014 which decided that the difference applied between residents and non-residents with regard to the application of inheritance tax and gift tax was discriminatory.  The Spanish legislator has therefore been obliged to amend the inheritance tax law.  

Tax refunds are allowed for individuals who paid the higher rate of inheritance and gift tax which was payable by non-resident beneficiaries between 1 January 2011to 1 January 2015.

Competition Law Quarterly Update Q3/2016

January 2017 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Drew & Napier LLC .

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Competition Law Quarterly Update Q3/2016

16 Dec 2016

In this issue, the Competition & Regulatory Practice Group wraps up some of the major developments in the competition law world from the third quarter of 2016. 

The Group also outlines the key amendments to the Guidelines of the Competition Commission of Singapore, and highlight some of the potential implications for businesses.

To read the update, please click here.

Recent Developments and Legal Landscape on Procurement of Medicines from Abroad

January 2017 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by ELIG, Attorneys-at-Law .

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I - Introduction and Recent News on the Assignment of the Duties to Social Security Institution

In Turkey, import and sale of medicines are subject to licensing requirements of the Ministry of Health ("Ministry"). The principle is that medicines which are not licensed in Turkey cannot be put on the Turkish market. "Procurement of medicines from abroad" mechanism, on the other hand, brings an exception to this rule.

Missed a tax refund deadline? Don't lose hope

January 2017 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by LawAlliance Limited.

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Published:10 Jan 2017 at 04:00 /Newspaper section:Business


Missed a tax refund deadline? Dont lose hope

Every provision in every piece of legislation has its own reason for being, and any act that contradicts the spirit of the law, even if carried out by a government body, is generally disallowed if it deprives a person of his or her rights. This principle is also applied in considering the time limit for a taxpayer to claim a tax refund.

In general, Section 27 ter of the Revenue Code entitles the taxpayer to request a refund of taxes paid, or withholding tax that is withheld in excess of the required amount or without any tax liability, on condition that the refund application must be lodged within a period of "three years from the due date of the filing of the tax return".

In reality, a situation requiring a taxpayer to claim a refund could arise after the statutory deadline. This phenomenon raises a critical issue as to whether the normal three-year rule should still apply. Is the taxpayer being forced by law to give up the right to a refund?

A recent court case illustrates how this could play out. It involved an auction of land held by the Legal Execution Department, in which the winning bidder paid withholding tax on the purchase price when the ownership transfer was registered in 2004. The court later revoked the auction results, and a letter was issued in 2008 to the Land Department with an instruction to void the registration of the land transfer. Thus, the status of the parties to the transaction reverted and it was as if no transaction had ever taken place. As a result, the bidder had no liability to pay withholding tax either.

The Legal Execution Department refunded the purchase price of the land to the bidder, but not the withholding tax, and the bidder decided to seek a tax refund from the Revenue Department in 2009. Predictably, the department refused to make the refund, asserting that the three-year deadline from the due date of the withholding tax filing in 2004 must apply.

However, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the bidder, saying that "the three-year deadline under Section 27 ter did not apply to this case, as it was not a claim for a refund of excessive withholding tax, or a refund of tax being withheld without a liability to do so, as of the time the tax was withheld". Accordingly, it ordered the department to refund the withholding tax paid in 2004.

This decision is in line with the fundamental rule of the Civil and Commercial Code (CCC), which requires the statute of limitations to begin "from the moment when the claim can be enforced". This means the moment when the taxpayer's right to claim a tax refund occurs, in this case the auction revocation order in 2008.

That seems to be a happy ending for the bidder, but a question remains as to what the time frame for the tax refund should be in this case.

In the absence of a time frame stipulated by the court for submitting the tax refund form, as the situation is not covered by any specific provision in the Revenue Code, the only guideline appears to be the general 10-year rule of the CCC.

In a similar case, the Department of Highways withheld tax from the price it paid to the Crown Property Bureau (CPB) for some land in 1993. Since the Bureau was not subject to corporate income tax liability, it requested a refund of withholding tax from the Revenue Department without submitting a proper tax refund form (Kor 10).

It was not until 2010, after the Revenue Department issued a letter confirming that the Bureau had no liability to pay tax, that the latter submitted Form Kor 10. The department refused to make a refund on the grounds that the form had been submitted after the expiry of the three-year rule under Section 27 ter.

The court recently ruled that, "since the CPB was not a taxable unit under the Revenue Code, and it had no liability to file tax return, Section 27 ter did not apply as the three-year deadline from the due date of the filing of tax return could never start". Thus, the court applied the general 10-year rule of the CCC instead.

You may be facing the situation of a tax refund claim for which the three-year deadline in the Revenue Code has already passed. But it could still fall under the 10-year rule of the CCC before you have to give up your right to claim. You should take a close look at where you stand, and not simply surrender your rights because someone in your local Revenue Department office says you have no case.

By Rachanee Prasongprasit and Professor Piphob Veraphong. They can be reached at

Student work limit to change on 1 January 2017 from 50 days to 475 hours per calendar year

January 2017 - Employment. Legal Developments by Claeys & Engels law firm.

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As from 1 January 2017, the maximum period in which students can be employed as contingent workers at the beneficial solidarity contribution will amount to 475 hours instead of 50 days per calendar year.

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Violation of a Constitutional Right on the Internet: Protecting the Right to Privacy

January 2017 - TMT ( Technology, Media & Telecoms). Legal Developments by ELIG, Attorneys-at-Law .

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The Turkish Constitutional Court recently decided that the right to privacy can be violated on the Internet.  The court's decision numbered 2014/16701 ("Decision") was delivered on October 13, 2016 and concerned a military officer's dismissal from the Turkish Armed Forces ("TAF"). The ground of the dismissal was that the officer's private life is not suitable for TAF's ethical code of conduct and this information was provided from the images which were broadcasted on the Internet.  The officer ("applicant") individually applied to the Turkish Constitutional Court claiming that the principle of proportionality was not considered in the dismissal and his right to privacy was violated since the evidence is obtained unlawfully.  

2016 brought some substantial changes in Austria's Criminal Law provisions - A Review

January 2017 - Crime. Legal Developments by Schönherr.

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In 2016, Austrian Criminal Law experienced some substantive legal developments in both, procedural and material aspects. The following overview reflects the most relevant developments in Austrian Criminal Law in 2016.

1. Material changes

1.1. Breach of trust

With effect from 1 January 2016, the offence "breach of trust" in sec 153 of the Austrian Criminal Code ("ACC") has been fundamentally revised. At first glance, sec 153 of the ACC is not a very complex provision. It states, quite simply, that whoever knowingly abuses the authority conferred to him or her shall be liable, if he or she intends to cause and eventually causes financial harm to his or her principal (eg the company). Thus, sec 153 ACC has three prerequisites: (i) an abuse of authority, (ii) financial harm and (iii) criminal intent. With the reform of sec 153 ACC the Austrian legislator finally addressed the concern that the scope of what constitutes an "abuse of authority" is not always easy to assess: read more

Banc de Binary shuts down its binary operations and announces that it will wind down its business

January 2017 - Corporate & Commercial . Legal Developments by Giambrone Law Studio Legale Internationale.

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Further to the recent announcement that our Binary Options litigation team had confirmed a new partnership with a global finance firm focused on litigation funding to finance the increasing number of litigation cases relating to the forex and binary option sectors, we have now received confirmation that Banc De Binary will be closing its operations worldwide.