Latest updates

Tax Court rules that Visa's services are subject to GST/HST
Thorsteinssons LLP
  • Corporate Tax
  • Canada
  • July 20 2018

The Tax Court of Canada has released a landmark decision on the goods and services tax/harmonised sales tax status of certain commonplace transaction processing services – namely, Visa's payment platform offered to financial institutions. The court held that the supply of services made by Visa to the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce fell outside the definition of a 'financial service' under the Excise Tax Act and therefore did not qualify as an exempt supply.

What can banks expect from the new president?
Hogan Lovells BSTL SC
  • Banking
  • Mexico
  • July 20 2018

Andrés Manuel López Obrador was elected president on 1 July 2018 and will take office on 1 December 2018. Not only did López Obrador obtain more than 50% of the votes (approximately 30 million), his party and coalition also won an absolute majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. This is the first time in 20 years that a president will govern with this level of power. But what will this mean for the banking sector?

How to acquire real estate in Mexico: alternate investment vehicles
Santamarina y Steta
  • Real Estate
  • Mexico
  • July 20 2018

Acquiring real estate in Mexico can be cumbersome and time consuming, particularly for foreign investors. The Constitution forbids foreign individuals and entities from holding direct ownership of land or waters in the geographic area known as the 'restricted zone'. However, Mexican law allows foreign individuals and entities to use a foreign trust to acquire beneficial interests in real estate that is located in the restricted zone where it is intended to be used for residential or commercial purposes.

EAPOs: new pro-creditor enforcement mechanism under Luxembourg law
NautaDutilh
  • Banking
  • Luxembourg
  • July 20 2018

EU Regulation 655/2014, which established a European Account Preservation Order (EAPO) procedure, aims to facilitate the collection of claims in civil and commercial matters by introducing a uniform EU procedure for identifying and freezing funds held in a debtor's bank accounts in another member state. This increased transparency is a particularly new development for Luxembourg, which recently introduced a straightforward EAPO enforcement procedure that is in line with its existing enforcement measures.

Implementing BEPS Actions 8 to 10
Studio Legale Tributario Biscozzi Nobili
  • Corporate Tax
  • Italy
  • July 20 2018

The new principles introduced by Actions 8 to 10 of the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting project have been reflected in Italy through Decree-Law 50/2017's amendments to Article 110(7) of the Income Tax Code. The new article includes a specific reference to the arm's-length principle and provides for implementing provisions to be issued by the Ministry of Finance to align with international best practices.

Beneficiary's repayment obligation following bank guarantee by consumer securing third-party debt
Graf & Pitkowitz Rechtsanwälte GmbH
  • Banking
  • Austria
  • July 20 2018

The Supreme Court recently extended the scope of the sections of the Consumer Protection Act that protect consumers that accede to a third party's obligation without any economic interest of their own. Although the Supreme Court returned the case to the first-instance court, the guidelines drawn up in this decision will apply to any type of collateral provided in similar situations for the account of a consumer.

Statutory limitations of claims periods excluded from public order
Kubas Kos Gałkowski
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • Poland
  • July 19 2018

The Supreme Court recently held that the autonomous position of arbitration courts as an alternative to state courts means that the judicial review of an arbitral award by an arbitral tribunal cannot be considered the equivalent of appellate review by a court. The control over arbitration exercised by common courts is primarily aimed at eliminating abuses of arbitration, including violations against the public order; however, provisions regarding the statutes of limitations of claims are excluded from this category.

Security for costs – a foreign affair
Harney Westwood & Riegels
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Cayman Islands
  • July 19 2018

During the early stages of litigation, a well-advised defendant will consider how to enforce a Cayman Islands court costs order in the foreign jurisdiction where the claimant's assets are located, and whether it should seek security from the claimant for the costs of doing so. The Court of Appeal has recently considered whether a foreign claimant should give security limited to the costs of enforcing an order in the foreign jurisdiction only or for the (much greater) amount of defending the appeal.

New draft Dutch model BIT: significant changes ahead for investors
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • Netherlands
  • July 19 2018

A consultation process on the new draft Dutch model bilateral investment treaty (BIT) recently ended. The government is expected to publish the finalised text of the new model BIT later in 2018. The new model will serve as the basis for renegotiation of the 79 BITs that the Netherlands has with states outside the European Union. Among other things, it proposes significant changes to the conduct of arbitral proceedings.

Effects of 'ostrich approach' on right to challenge enforcement of foreign arbitral awards
Norburg & Scherp Advokatbyrå
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • Sweden
  • July 19 2018

The Supreme Court recently rendered a decision concerning an application for enforcement of a foreign arbitral award. The decision clarifies whether a party that is passive in arbitral proceedings forfeits its right to invoke circumstances which were known to the party in the arbitral proceedings as grounds for non-enforcement of a foreign arbitral award. Before this decision, it had been unclear whether such a passivity rule existed in relation to enforcement.

Counsel beware when submitting unspecified notices of arbitration
Graf & Pitkowitz Rechtsanwälte GmbH
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • Austria
  • July 19 2018

The Supreme Court recently considered whether a rather brief and general notice of arbitration in ad hoc proceedings containing a nomination had properly initiated the arbitration proceedings and was thus sufficient grounds to request the Supreme Court to appoint an arbitrator, following the respondents' refusal to nominate one. The decision is a soft reminder for counsel that sending out incomplete notices of arbitration or nomination requests can be a time-consuming and costly endeavour.

Jurisdictional objections based on arbitration agreements – an overview
Kolcuoğlu Demirkan Koçaklı Attorneys at Law
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • Turkey
  • July 19 2018

Under the International Arbitration Law, if a party initiates court proceedings to resolve a dispute which falls within the scope of an arbitration agreement, the counterparty can object to the court's jurisdiction based on said agreement. The submission of objections and the resolution of disputes concerning the validity of an arbitration agreement are subject to the Civil Procedure Law. If a court accepts such an objection, it will dismiss the lawsuit on procedural grounds.

NZCC releases updated cartel leniency policy guidelines
Russell McVeagh
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • New Zealand
  • July 19 2018

The New Zealand Commerce Commission (NZCC) recently published amended cartel leniency policy guidelines, updating its previous guidelines from 2011. While the changes are mostly cosmetic, the updated guidelines indicate a potential change in the NZCC's approach towards penalty discounts for second-in applicants that seek to fall within its cooperation regime.

Decision on excessive pricing in electricity sector repealed, but it's not over yet
Gorrissen Federspiel
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Denmark
  • July 19 2018

One of Denmark's biggest abuse of dominance cases is coming to an end following the High Court of Western Denmark's issuance of its final decision, which repealed the Competition Council's decision. However, the Competition and Consumer Authority has sought permission to appeal the case to the Supreme Court. The case shows the importance of economic analysis in abuse of dominance cases. Establishing excessive pricing requires extensive economic analysis and there seems to be a high bar for proof.

Serbian Competition Authority increases dawn raid activity
Schoenherr Attorneys at Law
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Serbia
  • July 19 2018

The Serbian Competition Authority has increased its dawn raid activity over the past year. Although conducting dawn raids has been a part of the authority's remit since 2009, no such raids were carried out until the end of 2015. To date, the authority has conducted dawn raids in approximately 10 of its proceedings. The majority of these raids were conducted to establish the existence of restrictive agreements.

Arbitration in commercial representation disputes: walking the line between tradition and modernism
Obeid Law Firm
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • Lebanon
  • July 19 2018

Due to its status as a commercial hub, Lebanon has its fair share of disputes arising from commercial representation agreements, particularly those concerning compensation for the termination of such agreements. However, while recourse to the court system is well established as the traditional method of settling this type of dispute, significant controversy remains regarding their submission to arbitration.

New regulations governing post-market oversight of opioids
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Healthcare & Life Sciences
  • Canada
  • July 18 2018

As part of a federal initiative to address the opioid crisis, the Regulations Amending the Food and Drug Regulations (Opioids) recently came into force, adding post-market oversight of prescription opioids. The minister of health can now impose terms and conditions on the market authorisation for listed opioids. The amendments also introduce a mandatory warning sticker and patient information handout for 'Class A' opioids (as set out in Part A of the List of Opioids).

Red Compartida: president launches major telecoms project
Hogan Lovells BSTL SC
  • Telecoms
  • Mexico
  • July 18 2018

The president recently launched the Red Compartida (or Shared Network), which is one of the most important projects being undertaken in the Mexican telecoms sector. The project involves a new mobile broadband network in the 700 MHz band, which will provide wholesale services under a public-private partnership structure between Altán Redes and the government. The project aims to provide mobile broadband coverage to 92.2% of the Mexican population by 2024.

Arbitration now permitted for employment disputes
Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr e Quiroga Advogados
  • Employment & Benefits
  • Brazil
  • July 18 2018

The recent labour and employment reform enacted in Brazil has introduced important changes to labour and employment relations. One of the principal changes is the introduction of arbitration for the resolution of employment disputes. Although the changing law requires a change of mindset, employers should take advantage of it and begin to consider the possibility of instituting arbitration for certain employment contracts.

PMPRB forming working group on guideline reform
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Healthcare & Life Sciences
  • Canada
  • July 18 2018

The Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB) recently announced that the next step in its guideline reform will be the inception of a multi-stakeholder working group intended to gather stakeholder input on key technical aspects of the new regime. The PMPRB anticipates concurrently releasing more specific guidance on how it foresees putting the anticipated regulatory changes into operation.

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