Latest updates

Supreme Court upholds first-instance decision on fraudulent transfer of shares
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Litigation
  • Cyprus
  • 15 October 2019

​The Supreme Court recently confirmed a first-instance decision which had annulled a transfer of shares by a debtor to his son. The Supreme Court found that the debtor had acted fraudulently to prevent his creditor from executing a court judgment which had been issued in the creditor's favour. The Supreme Court also found that the issuance of a decree on the sale of shares as a means of enforcing the decision against the debtor was possible.

Tax incentives for start-ups
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Corporate Tax
  • Cyprus
  • 27 September 2019

Innovation and entrepreneurship are heavily sought after by countries looking to ameliorate and modernise their economies. Cyprus is no different in this respect and has prioritised creating a vibrant landscape which addresses the needs of start-ups and their investors. The defining features of the Cypriot system are its IP box regime, notional interest deduction, alternative investment funds and various tax incentives which can be coupled with research and development and innovation.

Recent changes to inheritance and succession law
A G Paphitis & Co
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Cyprus
  • 19 September 2019

Cyprus has a complicated system of forced heirship in which a portion of a deceased's estate must be effectively passed to surviving family members according to a set system of inheritance. This forced heirship regime means that even if a deceased writes a will leaving a certain portion of their estate as gift to their spouse, their wishes will be deemed invalid if there are natural children who are entitled to a fixed minimum percentage of the estate.

District court reaffirms narrow scope of public policy argument against recognition of arbitral awards
George Z Georgiou & Associates LLC
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • Cyprus
  • 05 September 2019

In a recent Limassol District Court case, the applicants applied for the recognition and enforcement of a London Court of International Arbitration award, which the respondents argued was contrary to Cypriot public policy pursuant to the New York Convention. This case serves as a useful reminder that the courts will rarely resort to public policy grounds to refuse the recognition of an arbitral award unless presented with cogent evidence.

Brexit's potential impact on shipping in Cyprus
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Shipping & Transport
  • Cyprus
  • 21 August 2019

In an effort to minimise disruption to the shipping industry deriving from Brexit, the Shipping Deputy Ministry has undertaken a number of contingency measures. However, the ministry has emphasised that affected parties must also make their own preparations for the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union and that where new authorisations, licences or certificates will be required post-Brexit, each party will be responsible for applying in good time.

Supreme Court rejects appeal against detention order in sexual assault case
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Litigation
  • Cyprus
  • 20 August 2019

The Supreme Court recently rejected an appeal against a detention order issued by the Larnaca Permanent Assize Court in a sexual assault case. The appellant claimed that the evidence placed before the first-instance court had speculated on his guilt and the risk of him absconding. However, the Supreme Court found that the accused's detention until trial was at the discretion of the first-instance court and that, based on the circumstances of the case, the court had exercised this power correctly.

Court examines validity of lawyer's sworn affidavit provided on behalf of clients as part of interim application
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Litigation
  • Cyprus
  • 13 August 2019

The Larnaca District Court recently issued a decision on the validity of a sworn affidavit provided by a lawyer on behalf of his clients in the context of an interim application. Drawing on relevant case law, the court found that lawyers who are or will be witnesses in the relevant case or who represent clients in the relevant case cannot provide sworn affidavits as part of the court proceedings. As a result, the court rejected the claimant's objection for being invalid.

Objectivity versus practicality: adding a third party to an action
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Litigation
  • Cyprus
  • 06 August 2019

A recent Supreme Court decision examined a first-instance court's interpretation of the Civil Procedure Rules and, in particular, who can be added as a third party to a process pending before the courts. The decision established that the courts should look only at the conditions imposed by the Civil Procedure Rules on a prima facie basis and not the merits of the claim.

Supreme Court rejects administrative recourse challenging compulsory acquisition notice
George Z Georgiou & Associates LLC
  • Real Estate
  • Cyprus
  • 02 August 2019

The Supreme Court recently rejected a first-instance rejection of a property owner's request for the return of land that had been compulsorily acquired by the state in 1977. The applicant claimed that the land was not being used for one of the acquisition's original purposes. However, the court found that as the applicant had taken no measures against the initial acquisition, he could not call it into question after 35 years by relying on the broadness of the stated purposes.

Interim injunctions: submission of recognisance by lawyer on client's behalf
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Litigation
  • Cyprus
  • 30 July 2019

In a recent first-instance judgment, the Supreme Court of Cyprus examined the meaning of 'recognisance' under the Civil Procedure Law. The judgment indicates that the court has a tendency to follow both a more liberal approach reflecting the needs of modern commercial transactions and a teleological interpretation by focusing on the purpose of legislation instead of the ordinary meaning of the words.

Dismissal of application due to delay in implementing enforcement measures
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Litigation
  • Cyprus
  • 23 July 2019

The Supreme Court recently upheld a lower-court judgment to dismiss an application under the Civil Procedural Rules requesting enforcement measures 18-and-a-half years after an initial judgment had been handed down. However, the appeal was dismissed because the debt judgment's existence had not been established and because there had been such a long delay in applying for the adoption of the enforcement measures.

Tax benefits for foreign nationals
A G Paphitis & Co
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Cyprus
  • 18 July 2019

Cyprus offers a number of tax incentives to high-net-worth individuals. For example, foreign nationals who earn €100,000 per annum from employment in Cyprus are eligible for a 50% tax exemption on their income irrespective of the status of their tax residency or domicile. Further, Cyprus is party to more than 65 tax treaties, which allows it to charge zero or minimal withholding tax rates on incomes such as pensions, royalties, dividends and interest received from abroad.

Who has locus standi to bring derivative actions in Cyprus?
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Litigation
  • Cyprus
  • 16 July 2019

In order for a derivative action to be raised, there must be evidence of fraud and of wrongdoers controlling a company to the extent that the company cannot be made a plaintiff in a lawsuit. Recent case law has confirmed that when shares in a company are held on trust by a nominee shareholder, only they are entitled to raise an action on the company's behalf. In practice, this means that a company's beneficial owner has no locus standi to claim their rights.

Admissibility of digital evidence in court
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Litigation
  • Cyprus
  • 02 July 2019

The rapid development of technology and the use of digital devices have resulted in a significant transition from the creation of physical to digital data. Consequently, the role of digital forensics in fighting crime is becoming ever more important and it is critical for law firms and courts to develop a well-thought-out strategy for such investigations. This article aims to demystify this subject and define high-level criteria that can be used to identify the needs and admissibility of digital evidence in court.

Response to EU Anti-tax Avoidance Directive
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Corporate Tax
  • Cyprus
  • 14 June 2019

The House of Representatives recently approved legislation implementing the EU Anti-tax Avoidance Directive in Cyprus with the aim of improving the resilience of the internal market against cross-border tax avoidance practices. The new legislation has once again demonstrated the government's commitment to supporting international efforts to tackle tax avoidance practices.

New policy on registering vessels in Cyprus Register of Ships
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Shipping & Transport
  • Cyprus
  • 12 June 2019

The Deputy Ministry of Shipping recently updated its policy on the eligibility of ships to be registered under the Cyprus flag. The policy stipulates additional requirements beyond those set out in the Merchant Shipping Registration of Ships, Sales and Mortgages Law and should therefore be read in conjunction with the relevant legal provisions.

Court clarifies application of Article VI of New York Convention
George Z Georgiou & Associates LLC
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • Cyprus
  • 30 May 2019

In a recent Limassol District Court case, the applicants applied for the recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award issued by the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce. The case is one of the first examples of the judicial interpretation and application of Article VI of the New York Convention by the Cypriot courts and serves as a useful guide to the proper procedure to be followed by parties when invoking said article.

Court applies international collision regulations and considers subrogation
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Shipping & Transport
  • Cyprus
  • 22 May 2019

The admiralty jurisdiction of the Supreme Court recently ruled in a case concerning a marine accident which occurred when the bow of a sailing boat rammed the starboard side of a speedboat. It was highly disputed whether the sailing boat had been simultaneously using open sails and its engine. In reaching its conclusion, the court considered the evidence and the Rules of the Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.

Importance of certainty in agreements: can there be room for an agreement to agree?
Solsidus Law
  • Company & Commercial
  • Cyprus
  • 20 May 2019

The Contracts Law provides the legal framework for establishing legally valid and enforceable agreements in Cyprus. However, in real-life commercial situations, parties may not always achieve the certainty required to ensure that an agreement or contract term is valid and enforceable. The pressure associated with reaching an agreement often causes parties to defer important contract terms in order to close a deal at the expense of certainty and, ultimately, enforceability.

Supreme Court examines appeal against decision by Land Registry director
  • Real Estate
  • Cyprus
  • 17 May 2019

The Supreme Court recently issued its decision on the appeal of a district court interim decision concerning an application to present oral evidence as part of an application against a decision by the director of the Land Registry. The applicants had filed their application against the director's decision to grant a right of way to the respondent to the detriment of their immovable property.