Latest updates

Wills, probate and inheritance
Allgemeines Treuunternehmen (ATU)
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Liechtenstein
  • 18 July 2019

This article addresses the rules and procedures governing wills, probate and inheritance in Liechtenstein. For example, a distinction is made between testate and intestate succession. The rules on intestate succession apply when a person dies without leaving a will, whereas testate succession is determined based on a will to which Liechtenstein applies the right to a compulsory portion.

Compliance issues
Allgemeines Treuunternehmen (ATU)
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Liechtenstein
  • 11 July 2019

There are various compliance issues in Liechtenstein with regard to private client wealth management. In this context, the government recently introduced specific anti-avoidance provisions to the Tax Act regarding the tax exemption on dividends and capital gains and implemented the Fourth EU Anti-money Laundering Directive and EU Regulation 2015/847 on the transfer of funds.

Private trusts, foundations and charities
Allgemeines Treuunternehmen (ATU)
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Liechtenstein
  • 04 July 2019

This article addresses the rules and procedures governing the establishment and maintenance of private trusts, foundations and charities in Liechtenstein. For example, as there is no prohibition on accumulating income and no rule against perpetuity, the most important types of trust are discretionary trusts and fixed-interest trusts. In addition, foundations can be used for purely private-benefit or common-benefit purposes, or a combination thereof.

Recent developments and tax considerations for private clients
Allgemeines Treuunternehmen (ATU)
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Liechtenstein
  • 27 June 2019

This article addresses notable recent developments regarding the provision of private client services in Liechtenstein, including regulatory changes and case law. Of note is the abolition of the distinction between offshore and onshore companies by the introduction of a uniform corporate income tax rate of 12.5%, which, among other things, made Liechtenstein companies more attractive internationally.

Validity of arbitration clauses between entrepreneurs and consumers
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • Liechtenstein
  • 12 February 2015

Article 634 of the Civil Procedure Law provides that arbitration clauses between an entrepreneur and a consumer are valid only if they refer to existing disputes. The wording of this provision has caused significant debate, as it seems to apply to arbitration clauses between companies and their shareholders. The government now plans to amend the provision to clarify that it applies only to contracts between entrepreneurs and natural persons.

Witness statements in arbitration proceedings
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • Liechtenstein
  • 20 November 2014

Witness statements are important pieces of evidence in arbitration proceedings in Liechtenstein. However, there are differences compared to witness statements in court proceedings. Witnesses who are resident in Liechtenstein are obliged to appear before a court if summoned to do so, while in arbitration proceedings witnesses may choose whether to appear and testify.

Applicability of arbitration clauses to supervisory proceedings
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • Liechtenstein
  • 21 August 2014

The government has announced that it intends to propose a change in law which would allow for the resolution of supervisory proceedings under the Company Law, the Trust Law and the Foundation Law through arbitration, with the exception of specific procedures over which the court is competent and procedures commenced ex officio or by application of the Public Registry or Public Prosecutor's Office.

Possibility to set aside arbitration award by filing respective court claim
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • Liechtenstein
  • 22 May 2014

One of the main advantages of arbitration is that the arbitration award is final and cannot be appealed. Therefore, arbitration can be expected to take less time than a state court proceeding containing two or three instances. However, arbitration law in most states allows for the possibility to file an application with the competent state court to lift an arbitration award and declare it null and void for certain specific reasons.

Supreme Court resolves issues over arbitration award language
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • Liechtenstein
  • 20 February 2014

The Supreme Court has ruled that only persons who have been registered as officially acknowledged interpreters for Liechtenstein court and administrative proceedings can certify a translation according to Article IV(2) of the New York Convention to render a foreign arbitration award enforceable in Liechtenstein. If such translation has not been filed, the court must give the applicant reasonable time to do so.

Arbitration law updated: implication for foundations
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • Liechtenstein
  • 19 December 2013

Since the Law on Arbitration Procedure came into force, there have been intense discussions among the legal community as to whether authorisation for the dismissal of board members is to be included within the scope of arbitration clauses. However, the Supreme Court recently ruled that the dismissal of foundation board members falls under the sole competence of the State Court, and is thus not arbitrable.

Strengthening Liechtenstein's appeal as arbitration venue
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • Liechtenstein
  • 17 October 2013

The Liechtenstein Chamber of Commerce and Industry's specific Rules of Arbitration aim to strengthen Liechtenstein's appeal as a venue for international arbitration. The rules deal with similar topics to those of, for example, the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris. They contain specific provisions for the determination of costs by an arbitral tribunal and govern confidentiality.

Using conciliation office to avoid going to court
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • Liechtenstein
  • 25 July 2013

The conciliation office for the financial services sector mainly deals with complaints from customers of Liechtenstein banks and asset management companies, aiming to solve their problems and arrange out-of-court settlement agreements. The office serves as a quick and cheap way to avoid costly lawsuits or arbitration proceedings whenever possible.

Liechtenstein's evolving arbitration regime
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • Liechtenstein
  • 16 May 2013

In recent years the arbitration regime has been revised in order to enhance Liechtenstein's attractiveness as a venue for arbitration. The arbitration law now reflects the provisions of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law Model Law, and the New York Convention has also been ratified.

Leave of absence during notice period
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Liechtenstein
  • 21 January 2010

'Release from work' means the voluntary release of an employee from his or her obligation to work until the end of the notice period, without loss of wage entitlement. The employee is released from the obligation to work, but not from secondary obligations such as the duty of loyalty and the restitution of certain goods.

Leave of absence during notice period
  • Employment & Benefits
  • Liechtenstein
  • 20 January 2010

'Release from work' means the voluntary release of an employee from his or her obligation to work until the end of the notice period, without loss of wage entitlement. The employee is released from the obligation to work, but not from secondary obligations such as the duty of loyalty and the restitution of certain goods.

Correct use of general terms and conditions
  • Company & Commercial
  • Liechtenstein
  • 21 December 2009

A contract may not validly be concluded based on general terms and conditions if these are included after the conclusion of a contract. In cases where each party wishes to conclude the contract based on its respective terms and conditions and such terms and conditions are contradictory, the contract will be validly concluded, excluding all such terms and conditions.

Correct use of general terms and conditions
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Liechtenstein
  • 17 December 2009

A contract may not validly be concluded based on general terms and conditions if these are included after the conclusion of a contract (eg, by applying a notation on the invoice or delivery note). In cases where each party wishes to conclude the contract based on its respective terms and conditions and such terms and conditions are contradictory, the contract will be validly concluded, excluding all such terms and conditions.

Court process and foreign-related proceedings
  • Litigation
  • Liechtenstein
  • 20 October 2009

Liechtenstein's civil procedure mainly reflects the Austrian Law of Civil Proceedings. However, not all of the latter's provisions have been adopted and several modifications reflect traditional Liechtenstein principles. Particular conditions apply to cases involving a connection with a foreign jurisdiction and to the enforcement of foreign decisions.

Court Process and Foreign-Related Proceedings
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Liechtenstein
  • 15 October 2009

Liechtenstein's civil procedure mainly reflects the Austrian Law on Civil Proceedings. However, not all of the latter's provisions have been adopted and several modifications reflect traditional Liechtenstein principles. Particular conditions apply to cases involving a connection with a foreign jurisdiction and to the enforcement of foreign decisions.

Government Proposes New Legal Framework on Gambling
  • Private Client & Offshore Services
  • Liechtenstein
  • 03 September 2009

The government intends to create an attractive legal framework for gambling in Liechtenstein. As there has previously been no gambling law in existence, the government hopes to establish Liechtenstein as an attractive place to set up gambling businesses. All adverse elements of the gambling industry shall be limited as far as possible. Money laundering will be a top priority when supervising gambling operators.