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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 Cruyplants Eloy Wagemans & Partners

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EUROPEAN PATENT PROTECTION - ARE INNOVATING COMPANIES IN DANGER?

March 2009 - Intellectual Property. Legal Developments by Cruyplants Eloy Wagemans & Partners .

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In an economy based on knowledge and innovation, the exclusive ownership of a technology is of a major importance. Invention patents are typically a good way to give value to an innovation (a product, the use of a product, or a process) but they also generate unhealthy interest from competitors. It is therefore not surprising that invention patents are the heart of an increasing number of litigations with major financial implications.

INTERNATIONAL CHARITIES AND NON-PROFIT COMPANIES

March 2009 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Cruyplants Eloy Wagemans & Partners .

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The importance of Brussels as the location of the headquarters of many international organizations, including most notably the EU and NATO, has meant that many charitable and nonprofit organizations have set-up here. The activities carried out include political and other lobbying, grant and subsidy applications and aid and contract work.

NEW “BUSINESS CONTINUITY ACT”

March 2009 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Cruyplants Eloy Wagemans & Partners .

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Parliament has adopted a new Act, the “Business Continuity Act” to replace the existing act on “General Arrangements” (Gerechtelijk Akkoord/Concordat Judiciaire). General Arrangements used to be the Belgian equivalent of Chapter 11 in the U.S., and similar concepts in most other jurisdictions, aiming at the temporary protection of companies from their creditors to allow them to restructure and obtain a new lease of life. General Arrangements, introduced in 1946 and modernised in 1997 have never been a big hit. In 2006 91 have been registered compared to 7692 bankruptcies. They are often considered as the waiting room for straightforward bankruptcy.

INTERNATIONAL TRANSFERS OF EMPLOYEES

March 2009 - Employment. Legal Developments by Cruyplants Eloy Wagemans & Partners .

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The transfer of an employee to go to work in another country than the home base will inevitably complicate the relations between the parties. Indeed the transfer will involve not only very practical but also legal questions, most notably in relation to the applicable law and the applicable social security system.

CHANGES TO COMPANIES ACT EASE THE RULES FOR CONTRIBUTIONS

March 2009 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Cruyplants Eloy Wagemans & Partners .

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The Belgian Royal Decree of October 8, 2008 has introduced several changes to the Companies Act that will make it easier for shareholders to make contributions in kind or sell assets to their companies or for companies to acquire and hold their own shares or to provide financial assistance to purchasers of their shares. The changes relate to the most common types of company: NV/SA, BVBA/SPRL and CVBA/SCRL. They are the implementation in Belgian law of EU Directive 2006/86/EC amending the Second Company Law Directive and they became effective as of January, 1, 2009.

INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION IN BELGIUM

November 2008 - Litigation & Dispute Resolution. Legal Developments by Cruyplants Eloy Wagemans & Partners .

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Belgium is a well-known centre for international arbitration. Apart from an excellent stock of well-known international arbitrators the country has a long tradition in arbitration. The Belgian Centre for Mediation and Arbitration (CEPANI/CEPINA) was founded 35 years ago and has become one of Europe’s leading arbitration organizations.

MEDIATION AS A SOLUTION FOR FOREIGN COMPANIES IN BELGIUM

November 2008 - Litigation & Dispute Resolution. Legal Developments by Cruyplants Eloy Wagemans & Partners .

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It is a sad but true fact of business life that foreign companies doing business in or with Belgium, just like elsewhere in the world, will sooner or later be involved in disputes with their Belgian counterparty. These disputes cover a broad spectrum of difficulties, ranging from disputes about the delivery of products or services to difficulties arising in the case of joint venture, shareholder, distribution, agency or other relationships.

SALES CONDITIONS AND CHOICE OF JURISDICTION WITHIN THE EU

November 2008 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Cruyplants Eloy Wagemans & Partners .

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A recent decision by the Commercial Court of Hasselt tackled the issue of choice of jurisdiction clauses contained in the sales conditions of invoices in an international sale of moveable goods within the territory of the European Union

CREATING A BRANCH IN BELGIUM

November 2008 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Cruyplants Eloy Wagemans & Partners .

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Foreign companies wishing to establish a presence in Belgium have the choice between setting up a local subsidiary or a branch office. Where it is desirable to ring fence the assets and liabilities involved in the business in Belgium a local company will be the preferred option but where this is not the case setting-up a branch may be the right choice.

New Rules on recovering Legal Costs in Litigation

January 2008 - Litigation & Dispute Resolution. Legal Developments by Cruyplants Eloy Wagemans & Partners .

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The Belgian government has adopted new regulations which are expected to fundamentally change the rules on the recovery of legal costs in litigation before the Belgian courts. To date, the courts have had the power to award costs but only on the basis of a very antiquated scale which bore no relation to the actual costs paid by parties to their lawyers. Under the new rules, which will apply as of 1 January 2008, at the request of any party, the court will have the power to award costs on the basis of a new scale which allows for the award of much more realistic amounts.

Liability of Company Directors for Non-Payment of Company Taxes

January 2008 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Cruyplants Eloy Wagemans & Partners .

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In Belgium companies and other entities are obliged to withhold at source and pay over to the Tax Administration income taxes on the salaries paid to their employees. With effect from 28 July 2006 new rules have been introduced which provide, in certain circumstances, for a personal liability of the directors of the company in the event that that the company fails to satisfy this obligation. The first line liability lies with the director or manager in charge of the day to day operations of the company but other directors may also be liable if they can be shown to have been negligent or co-negligent.