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With tourism being one of the key revenue sources for Costa Rica’s economy, the country’s ecological diversity and dedication to wildlife protection has earned it a particularly strong reputation in ecotourism. The Republic further benefits from low unemployment rates, macroeconomic stability and free trade agreements with many countries, including the US, Canada and regional jurisdictions.

Even though the competitive M&A market has seen a continuous stream of high-value transactions in 2017, it experienced a temporary slowdown towards the turn of the year, as investors awaited the results of the country’s presidential elections. After neither of the candidates achieved an outright victory in the first round in February 2018, Carlos Alvarado was elected president, defeating Fabricio Alvarado in an April 2018 run-off; while the election largely revolved around social issues, the centre-left Carlos Alvarado is expected to pursue an open approach to foreign investment and international trade.

While Costa Rica‚Äôs GDP is growing steadily and its inflation rate has remained stable ‚Äďestimated 2.6% in 2017, a considerable fiscal deficit remains one of the country‚Äôs major concerns. The 2018 Budget Bill, sent to the Assembly in February by the Costa Rican government, proposes amendments to income tax legislation and the replacement of the current sales tax with a VAT. Hence, fiscal matters have moved into focus for companies and law firms alike. Another key development was the enactment of the new labour code in July 2017, which changed the procedure of labour-related claims in order to be more time and cost-effective. It also strengthened the protection of employees against discrimination and amended the collective bargaining law, which in turn resulted in a rise of labour-related claims brought against employers.

After Arias & Mu√Īoz‚Äô split in 2016, Costa Rica experienced yet another significant market change in early 2018, when regional heavyweight Pacheco Coto completed its formal integration into EY Law Central America. However, the transition also saw the departure of a number of partners to Batalla Abogados ‚Äď which had itself lost key members of its tax practice to regional player Consortium Legal in mid-2017. Other movements saw the local legal market gain a new player with the spin-off of GHP Abogados from young regional player Expertis (which has offices in jurisdictions across the region, including Guatemala, El Salvador and Panama), and which itself subsequently announced a tie-up with Spain‚Äôs ECIJA (which also has an office in Santiago de Chile), as of June 2018.

Among other key market players, BLP, Aguilar Castillo Love and Nassar Abogados all benefit from strong Central American networks; Sfera Legal, Facio & Ca√Īas and Z√ľrcher, Odio & Raven all feature strongly as key local players. Boutique practices also retain their traditional dominance in certain sectors; Z√ľrcher Lawyers is a go-to firm for all IP matters, for example, and BDS Asesores shines across the full array of labour and employment-related work.

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  • CYPRUS INVESTMENT PROGRAMME

    The Cyprus Investment Programme has been redesigned by the Cyprus Government in order to continue to attract high net worth individuals to settle and do business in Cyprus. The Key Changes will be applicable from the 15 th of May 2019 and include the following:
  • CYPRUS: Introduction of the General Healthcare System (GHS)

    Cyprus has introduced the General Healthcare System (GHS) that will cover its entire population. The GHS is a modern, patient-centric healthcare system with the aim of delivering equal and quality healthcare services to beneficiaries.
  • GRP Rainer Rechtsanw√§lte ‚Äď Experience dealing with claims relating to D&O insurance

    In recent times, public pressure has continued to mount on managers in cases involving claims arising from damage or loss. Governing bodies and executives can insure themselves against the risk of liability by taking out a D&O insurance policy.
  • Antitrust Law Aspects in Ukraine

    Ukraine, like other European countries, developing a market economy on their territory, has incorporated antitrust regulations and legal mechanisms in its legislation to regulate and support competition, as well as rules to ensure fair competition. An integral part of the competition control is the control exercised by the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine over M&A transactions both in Ukraine and abroad, which may also affect Ukrainian domestic markets.
  • The Predicted End of Fiat Currencies

    Billionaire and crypto investor Tim Draper envisages a radical overhaul in payment systems; predicting that cryptocurrencies will replace fiat currencies within the next five years.
  • Termination of Employment for Good and Sufficient Cause

    In the case of Joseph Saliba vs Imperial Hotel (Goldvest Company Limited), the facts of the case revolved around Mr Saliba who was employed in various positions within the Hotel Imperial in Sliema until such hotel was acquired by Goldvest Company.
  • Legal Consultants in Dubai: Discussing Legality of Verbal Contracts

    A verbal contract is valued as much as the paper it is written on. While discussing and preparing for an important case, I found myself thinking the legalities of verbal contracts and the misconception towards their unenforceability.
  • DUE DILIGENCE: Importance In Acquisition

    Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) can be as critical as it seems exciting for any entity's growth and development. If successful, it can assist both the companies to gain a significant share in the market and earn profits. If not successful, it can lead to a different story altogether. 
  • The Way Forward: Gender Neutrality and Gender Inclusion

    The principle of equality between men and women is a fundamental value constantly on the European Union‚Äôs agenda.¬† Ample EU institutes, programmes, and legislation provide for gender equality, and case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union (‚ÄėCJEU‚Äô) reaffirms the progress made in this respect. On a member state level, the enactment of gender neutral laws (particularly in the fields of inheritance law, marriage law, and employment law), may be considered as having reached its culmination in a number of EU member states, in the legal recognition of non-binary people. In turn, the European Parliament is now actively seeking to bring language evolution at par with gender inclusive legislation.
  • Abetting in Crime: Criminal accountability for parties involved

    NOT JUST A CRIMINAL ACT WILL MAKE YOU A CRIMINAL So, the plan is that "A will enter the apartment wearing women's abaya with a key provided by C, B will wait outside in the car, and once we complete the act, we will keep the money at D's place." The plan is simple, and everyone is aware of their role in the act.

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