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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 shehab.khurshid@legalease.co.uk

 

Legal Developments Worldwide

Articles contributed by Norton Rose Fulbright

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China Drug Registration Regulation - Public consultation on amendment closes - March 2014

January 2015 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Norton Rose Fulbright.

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In February 2014, the China Food and Drug Administration (“CFDA”) invited second-round comments from the public regarding proposed amendments to the China Drug Registration Regulations (“DRR”). One of the proposed amendments touches upon patent protection for drugs in China.

Revised NDRC Measures for Approval and Filing of Outbound Investment Projects - April 2014

January 2015 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Norton Rose Fulbright.

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The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) released a new set of Management Measures for Approval and Filing of Outbound Investment Projects (境外投资项目核准和备案管理办法) (New Measures) on 8 April 2014. The New Measures take effect on 8 May 2014 and will replace the Interim Management Measures for Approval of Outbound Investment Projects (境外投资项目核准暂行管理办法) (Original Measures) which have been in force since 9 October 2004.

Insurance Update - CIRC Issues Insurance M&A Measures: What are the impacts and applications?

January 2015 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Norton Rose Fulbright.

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On 21 March 2014, CIRC issued the Administrative Measures on the Acquisition and Merger of Insurance Companies (the Insurance M&A Measures) which will take effect from 1 June 2014. The Insurance M&A Measures apply to M&A activities whereby an insurance company is the target for a merger or acquisition. The target insurance company could be either a domestic or a foreign invested insurer. However, the Insurance M&A Measures will not apply to any equity investment by insurance companies in non-insurance companies in China or in overseas insurance companies.

China issues new rules to regulate medical devices - May 2014

January 2015 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Norton Rose Fulbright.

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The Regulations on Supervision and Administration of Medical Devices (in Chinese《医疗器械监督管理条例》, State Council Order No. 650) (the Medical Device Regulations) were amended by China's State Council on 31 March 2014 and will come into effect on 1 June 2014. This is the first amendment in more than a decade since the Medical Device Regulations were first promulgated in 2000, even though the amendment was initiated eight years ago in 2006. The 2014 amendment unveils reforms on the regulatory regime for medical devices market in China from various aspects.

Hong Kong: The evolving role of independent non-executive directors - May 2014

January 2015 - Litigation & Dispute Resolution. Legal Developments by Norton Rose Fulbright.

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 In a recent speech given by Mr. Carlson Tong, Chairman of the Securities and Futures Commission, Mr. Tong pointed out that companies can improve corporate governance by attaching higher importance to the role of their board of directors as an internal gatekeeper. Mr. Tong said that this can be done more easily by having effective independent non-executive directors (INEDs) on the board.

Walking a fine line in China:Distinguishing between legitimate commercial deals and commercial bribe

January 2015 - Litigation & Dispute Resolution. Legal Developments by Norton Rose Fulbright.

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China in the 21st century exemplifies an atmosphere of great opportunity and intense competition. Against this backdrop, it has become increasingly common for businesses to adopt a variety of practices in order to make their products and services competitive. Such practices may include paying middle-men to promote sales and giving incentives to buyers directly. However, whilst revenue spikes are undoubtedly welcome, businesses should bear in mind the potential backlash arising out of these commercial arrangements. The risk that such arrangements may not comply with anti-bribery and corruption laws and therefore cause business significant damage in the long term should not be underestimated.

Competition law developments in East Asia - May 2014

January 2015 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Norton Rose Fulbright.

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Hong Kong prepares for enforcement

Authorities in Hong Kong have taken further steps in their deliberate approach to enforcing the Competition Ordinance. A little over a year after it was appointed, the Competition Commission released a report in which it provides a brief introduction to the Ordinance as well as a roadmap leading to its full entry into force. The report also explains how the Commission will prioritise its enforcement activities, and identifies the guidelines, policies and compliance tools which it plans to release before the Ordinance is enforced. Currently only some of the institutional provisions of the Ordinance are effective, allowing the Commission and the Competition Tribunal to prepare for enforcement.

Rise of the private healthcare sector - July 2014

January 2015 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Norton Rose Fulbright.

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As of 2013, China had 9,800 private hospitals, representing almost half of the total number of hospitals in the country1. However, private hospitals still severely lag behind their public peers due to low utilisation, talent shortages and incomplete social insurance coverage. As part of China's ongoing healthcare reform initiatives, the Chinese government has set a goal to increase the share of patients treated by private hospitals to 20% by the end of 20152.

The recent official launch of Shanghai International Medical Center (SIMC) (the first international private hospital jointly funded by private capital and government capital) will, it is hoped, mark a new chapter in China's hospital reform efforts.

Walking a Tightrope in Singapore - July 2014

January 2015 - Crime. Legal Developments by Norton Rose Fulbright.

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The world has no borders and distance is negligible for the technologically savvy criminal. Individuals with illicit funds to launder or terrorist activities to finance can, with the latest technology, transfer high volumes of money around the globe almost instantaneously and seek to conceal the origin or the destination of the funds.

Singapore, though it boasts one of the lowest crime rates in the world (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Report on International Statistics on Crime and Justice (2010)), is not immune to inherent cross-border money laundering and terrorist financing (ML/TF) risks. Ranked by the International Monetary Fund as one of the 25 systemically important financial centres in the world, Singapore's openness as an international financial centre and transport hub with a high volume of transactions and wide international reach exposes it to inherent ML/TF risks, the bulk of which originate overseas. Singapore's reputable financial infrastructure could ironically be targeted as a transit point or safe haven for illicit funds.

Indonesia banking bill: proposed restrictions on foreign investment - July 2014

January 2015 - Finance. Legal Developments by Norton Rose Fulbright.

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Indonesia's House of Representatives is currently considering a new draft banking bill (the Banking Bill) which, if passed into law in its current form, will:

  1. prohibit foreign banks from operating in Indonesia through branch offices; and
  2. cap foreign ownership of an Indonesian bank at 40 per cent of the total issued share capital of that bank.

Arbitration in Mauritius: Supreme Court gives confidence to foreign investors - August 2014

January 2015 - Litigation & Dispute Resolution. Legal Developments by Norton Rose Fulbright.

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This article was originally published in the HK45 / HKIAC Newsletter, 3rd Edition, April-June 2014

The island of Mauritius is located in the southwestern part of the Indian Ocean and southeast of the African continent. In recent years, Mauritius has increased its profile in the arbitration scene, not least with the hosting of international arbitration conferences like the upcoming one in December this year under the auspices of the ICC, LCIA, Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), UNCITRAL and ICCA. Mauritius will also be the venue of the 2016 ICCA Congress. Apart from such conferences, the first judgment of the "designated judges" (constituted under Section 42 of the Mauritius International Arbitration Act) of the Supreme Court of Mauritius in Cruz City 1 Mauritius Holdings v Unitech Limited and Anor [2014] SCJ 100 (Cruz City 1 Mauritius Holdings) concerning the enforcement of two LCIA arbitral awards under the New York Convention has decidedly put Mauritius on the world map of favourable arbitral seats. In this case, the Supreme Court, comprising the Honourable Justices S. Peeroo (delivering the judgment of the Court), A. Caunhye and N. Devat. took a very robust approach on the enforcement of foreign awards in Mauritius, setting the tone for a pro-arbitration judicial attitude in Mauritius.

The Hong Kong Competition Ordinance - September 2014

January 2015 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Norton Rose Fulbright.

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The Hong Kong Competition Ordinance was enacted by the Legislative Council in June 2012. You can download our briefing here.

The Ordinance introduces a cross-sector competition law regime in Hong Kong. The main features of the Ordinance are as follows:

Mobile payments: Change in your pocket with new opportunities - October 2014

January 2015 - TMT ( Technology, Media & Telecoms). Legal Developments by Norton Rose Fulbright.

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The mobile payments industry is developing rapidly. Increasingly integrated within the global economy, the ability to make mobile payments brings traditional players in the payments industry (such as financial institutions operating as merchant acquirers) together with retailers, mobile network operators (MNO) and other technology suppliers.

Hong Kong court judgment highlights pitfalls of virtual closings - October 2014

January 2015 - Finance. Legal Developments by Norton Rose Fulbright.

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A recent Hong Kong case reminded us of the importance of getting things right when executing documents in virtual closings, particularly in relation to deeds.

In the case of Penta Investment Advisers Ltd v Allied Weli Development Ltd (formerly known as Hennabun Capital Group Ltd) - [2014] HKCU 2365, the Hong Kong Court of First Instance had to determine whether a guarantee (the Guarantee) was properly executed by or on behalf of the guarantor and thus binding on it. Even though the Guarantee was upheld, the case highlights some of the arguments that can be raised which may delay an otherwise simple claim for the payment of money.

Banking regulation in China: Proposed deposit insurance system - December 2014

January 2015 - Finance. Legal Developments by Norton Rose Fulbright.

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On 30 November 2014, the State Council of China released a draft Deposit Insurance Regulation (the Draft), to establish a deposit insurance system in order to "protect interests of depositors, prevent and mitigate financial risks and maintain a stabilised financial system". The public are invited to submit comments on the Draft by 30 December 2014.

The Draft follows the recent move by the People' Bank of China (PBOC, the central bank) to further free interest rates by increasing the deposit-rate cap to 1.2 times the benchmark from 1.1 times. If introduced, the Draft will be a significant step forward for interest rate liberalisation, and as some commentaries in the banking industry have remarked, allow banks to fail.

Tackling bribery: China toughens criminal law - December 2014

January 2015 - Crime. Legal Developments by Norton Rose Fulbright.

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Following earlier reforms of the PRC's anti-corruption rules (for further information, please see our previous briefings published in January 2013 and March 2011), the National People's Congress (NPC) has recently published a proposed amendment to the PRC Criminal Law in draft form for public comments (the Draft). The Draft expands the reach of official bribery offences, gives more autonomy to judges to inflict severe punishments, and generally increases the level and type of punishments that can be imposed on individuals who commit bribery offences. It further demonstrates the government's determination to tackle corruption in China.

Compliance officers should be aware of these changes and should update their compliance policies and best practices correspondingly.

China banking restrictions relaxed: New rules further open banking sector to foreign investors

January 2015 - Finance. Legal Developments by Norton Rose Fulbright.

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The State Council of China recently released amendments to the Foreign Bank Administrative Regulations of China (the Amendments) with effect from 1 January 2015.

The Amendments have lifted various restrictions applicable to foreign-invested banks in respect of market entry to, and business operations (with regard to RMB business in particular) in, China as a significant move to further open up the banking sector to foreign investments.

A new reality: living with lower oil prices - January 2015

January 2015 - Projects, Energy & Natural Resources . Legal Developments by Norton Rose Fulbright.

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Following a prolonged period of high oil prices, the world must adjust to a ‘new normal'. Opinion as to where the average spot price will hover following the current volatility varies but the consensus is that oil prices will remain considerably lower than they were pre-June for the foreseeable future.

Where does this leave oil companies, many of whom modelled their new exploration and production (E&P) projects around oil prices of US$90-100 bbl? What are the wider ramifications of the lower oil prices - on the web of oil services companies, suppliers and related infrastructure - and how can oil companies mitigate the effect that lower oil prices may have on both themselves and those with whom they do business?

This briefing sets out some of the strategies and options that E&P companies (as opposed to petrochemical or refining companies, banks or oil service providers) might think about as the market adjusts to a new normal, and highlights some key issues to consider.