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A "Wealth Tax" for South Africa?
ENSafrica, May 2017

 The Davis Tax Committee (“DTC”) issued a media statement on 25 April 2017, calling for written submissions on the introduction of a possible wealth tax in South Africa. This proposal comes two months after an increase in the top income tax bracket for individuals by 4% to 45%, resulting in an effective capital gains tax (“CGT”) rate for individuals of 18%. This should be seen on the back of the increase the CGT rate by nearly 5% from 13...

Practical M&A Guide
Wardynski & Partners, May 2017

An overview of mergers and acquisitions in Poland. The process, structure and parties to M&A deals, legal restrictions and tax aspects, discussed clearly and accessibly. What to bear in mind, and what details require special focus.   The M&A practice at Wardynski & Partners has prepared a guide to mergers and acquisitions in Poland. In less than 60 pages, we highlight the issues vital to the success of the deal...

Increase of Provisional Tax Estimates by SARS
ENSafrica, May 2017

  In terms of paragraph 19(1)(b) of the Fourth Schedule to the Income Tax Act, 5, 1962 (the "Fourth Schedule"¯), every company that is a provisional taxpayer shall, during every period within which provisional tax is or may be payable by it as provided in terms of the Fourth Schedule, submit to the Commissioner of the South African Revenue Service ("SARS", a return of an estimate of the total taxable income which will be derived by the company in respect of the year of assessment i

Risk Management
Hamilton Harrison & Mathews, May 2017

  With the ever increasing pace of business and life and the ever increasing pressure to generate profit and cut expense there is a risk of neglecting the procedures and practices which are essential to protecting our businesses and our selves from claims and losses. Most business transactions do not end up in disputes or litigation, but unfortunately some do - and we do not know at the outset of a transaction whether it is one of the few that will end up as a dispute...

Legitimate Business Objective Trumps Deemed Employment
ENSafrica, May 2017

A recent South African Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (“CCMA”) ruling has provided clarity on issues of deemed employment in circumstances where multiple contractors are used. The matter before the CCMA involved Shoprite, one of the largest food retailers in Africa. In order to provide its approximately 2,000 stores with stock in an efficient manner, Shoprite established seven distribution centres (“DCs”) in South Africa...

Puerto Rico Files for Bankruptcy: New York Judge to Hear Case
Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, May 2017

On May 3, 2017, the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico filed a voluntary petition for relief on behalf of Puerto Rico in federal court there.  The filing required the Chief Justice of the United States to designate a district court judge to conduct the case.  On May 5, Chief Justice Roberts appointed District Judge Laura Taylor Swain of the Southern District of New York...

Africa Tax in Brief
ENSafrica, May 2017

  BENIN: Public Procurement Holders to Benefit from a Tax Regime Derogating from Indirect Taxation The 2017 budget law introduced a derogatory tax regime from which certain public procurement holders may benefit by the Benin tax authorities, assuming indirect taxation. This includes customs duties, internal taxes on turnover (mainly value-added tax ("VAT"¯)) on prices and values of goods and supplies acquired or incorporated into the realisation of the contract...

GIG – The Shadow Economy That's Taking Over The World
TSMP Law Corporation, May 2017

The Gig Economy So you work in the CBD. Here’s your day: You book a Grab car to get to work; as you leave the apartment, the dog walker shows up to take your beagle for a run and a bath. You’re rushing a presentation for a new client and chow down a sandwich at your desk, brought to your office by foodpanda. The client, a tech entrepreneur who's started an online sales portal, calls to ask you to meet at Starbucks because he needs a chai macha latte...

A Costly Mistake for Failing to Protect an Employee Against Sexual Harassment
ENSafrica, May 2017

  The Labour Appeal Court ("LAC") judgment in Liberty Group Limited v MM is a reminder to employers to be vigilant when dealing with allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace and to ensure that managers are equipped to deal with reports of sexual harassment. A failure to do so can be a costly mistake, as the employer in this decision learnt...

Singapore's Deep Dive Into Disruption
TSMP Law Corporation, May 2017

Disruption. Possibly the most overused word in today's global lexicon, it refers to the upheaval that is created when a new business (these days, usually founded by a smart alec entrepreneur) uproots an established method of delivering a product or service. Think Spotify, a music-streaming business that has sounded the death knell of CDs. It has, as its most vocal opponent, pop star Taylor Swift, who felt that it did not adequately value her art...

Copyright News: Good and Bad
ENSafrica, May 2017

 Two recent developments, one positive and one negative, highlight some of the serious issues that face copyright. The positive development is that UK courts have again shown that they are prepared to deal decisively with difficult copyright issues posed by the electronic age...

Centre for Amicable Settlement of Disputes No Longer has Jurisdiction When a Bank is Party to Dispute
Afridi & Angell, May 2017

The Centre for Amicable Settlement of Disputes (the “Centre”) was established by Dubai Law No. 16 of 2009 and is entrusted with the task of attempting to mediate disputes, prior to such disputes being referred to court. The Centre is affiliated with the Dubai Courts and the mediators appointed in the Centre act under the supervision of a judge. If the parties reach a settlement, such a settlement must be recorded in writing, signed by the parties and attested by a judge...

Plain Packaging: The Negative Nature of Trade Mark Rights
ENSafrica, May 2017

Recent developments in the UK regarding plain-packaging requirements for cigarettes have again shone the spotlight on this contentious issue. A while back, we reported on developments in Australia, where the country’s Tobacco Plain Packaging Act, 2011 requires tobacco companies to sell their products in identical olive green packs, with graphic images reflecting the possible health consequences of smoking, and the brand name (sans logo) in very small script...

New Decree on Mortgaging Granted Lands in Dubai
Afridi & Angell, April 2017

  On 11 January 2017, Dubai Decree No. 31/2016 On Mortgaging Granted Lands in Dubai was issued (Decree). The Decree permits the holder of “granted land  to mortgage such land subject to certain conditions. It is expected that the Decree will stimulate growth in Dubai by enabling developers, who hold granted land, to obtain finance for their projects by mortgaging the granted land...

Labour Court Reaffirms That Strikes Over Issues Regulated By Collective Agreements Are Unprotected
ENSafrica, May 2017

On the morning of 26 April 2017, the usual rumble of South African Airways (“SAA”) flights taking to the skies was interrupted by a strike by cabin crew employees, organised by their trade union, the South African Cabin Crew Association (“SACCA”). Due to strict civil aviation regulations, the strike resulted in a significant number of flights being cancelled, which, in turn, caused massive inconvenience for passengers...

In the Eye of the Cyclone: EnerDry's Patent of Steam Drying Successfully Enforced
Heuking Kuhn Luer Wojtek, April 2017

  EnerDry holds numerous patents based on inventions by its founder and CEO Arne Sloth Jensen, including European Patent EP 1 070 223 B1. This patent relates to steam dryers with a specific type of cyclone, which substantially improves the capacity and efficiency of steam dryers...

A BrewDog's Breakfast
ENSafrica, May 2017

The recent storm in the UK about Scottish craft brewing company BrewDog’s decision to invoke its trade mark rights against much smaller rivals highlights the difficulties and negative repercussions that can arise when it comes to enforcing trade mark rights. BrewDog has been extraordinarily successful...

The Biologics Tango: Reading Tea Leaves on the Patent Dance and Pre-Marketing Notice Requirements
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2017

On Wednesday, April 26, 2017, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Sandoz Inc. v. Amgen Inc. et al., a landmark case that many hope will provide clarity and guidance for consumers and the pharmaceutical industry on the regulatory approval pathway for biosimilar drugs under the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009 (“BPCIA” or “Biosimilars Act”)...

Patents: What Does "Between" Mean?
ENSafrica, May 2017

It seems absurd that South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal (“SCA”) should be called on to decide what the word “between” means. But that’s exactly what happened in the recent patent case of Orica Mining Services v Elbroc Mining Products. In the process, the SCA very clearly opted for a purposive interpretation of patent claims. The two parties involved, Orica and Elbroc, supply goods to the mining industry...

H-1B Visa Program Under Government Scrutiny
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2017

The current Presidential Administration has not exempted work visas from its immigration initiatives and focus. On April 18, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order designed to protect American jobs (“Hire American”) and products and goods manufactured in the United States (“Buy American”)...

Urban Development Zone Allowances Under The Income Tax Act
ENSafrica, May 2017

  In line with international models, South Africa has attempted to incentivize investment into the development and renewal of certain urban areas. One of these incentives is the accelerated tax depreciation allowance, introduced in 2003 by section 13quat of the Income Tax Act, 1962 and is commonly referred to as the Urban Development Zone ("UDZ") allowance...

Texas Supreme Court Clarifies Damages Recoverable for Violations of the Texas Insurance Code
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2017

The Texas Supreme Court recently held that policy benefits can constitute actual damages for violations of the Texas Insurance Code, clearing up confusion over the damages recoverable for statutory "bad-faith." The Problem Since 1998, Texas policyholders and insurers have faced uncertainty regarding the damages recoverable when an insurer engages in “unfair or deceptive acts or practices” as set forth in Chapter 541 of the Texas Insurance Code. Section 541...

South African Supreme Court of Appeal Sends Prescription Defence Packing
ENSafrica, May 2017

  Once legal proceedings relating to a debt have started, does the subsequent substitution of one of the parties affect the prescription period for the debt? This was the crux of the recent Supreme Court of Appeal ("SCA") case of Sentrachem Limited v Terreblanche. A substitution occurs when a party to legal proceedings is replaced by another party, with no effect on the cause of action...

Companies Law Compliance
Afridi & Angell, April 2017

The new Commercial Companies Law was enacted as Federal Law No. 2 of 2015. It gave existing companies until 1 July 2016 to achieve compliance with its terms. Article 374 provides that a further one-year extension could be granted by Resolution of the Cabinet, and such an extension was in fact granted. Article 374 also provides that a company that fails to achieve compliance shall be deemed dissolved...

And The Oscar Goes To ... The Trade Marks Office
ENSafrica, May 2017

  In 2014, a South African court convicted Paralympian Oscar Pistorius of culpable homicide (manslaughter), following the shooting of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, and he was given a custodial sentence of five years. The conviction was later replaced with one of murder and his sentence increased to six years imprisonment...

An Overview of The Employment and Labour Relations Court (Procedure) Rules, 2016.
Hamilton Harrison & Mathews, April 2017

“All the rules of procedure are handmaids of justice. The language employed by the draftsmen of processual law may be liberal or stringent, but the fact remains that the object of prescribing procedure is to advance the cause of justice” These are the words of Dr. Arijit Pasayat and Mukundakam Sharma, Judges of the Supreme Court of India, in Civil Appeal No...

IFLR: “Philippines: Acquiring Insurance Brokers”
SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan, April 2017

The April issue of the International Financial Law Review(IFLR) includes an international briefing article by SyCipLaw partner HiyasminH. Lapitan entitled “Philippines: Acquiring Insurance Brokers”. The article discusses the new requirement by the Philippine Insurance Commission(IC) for advance approval to acquire a stake in a Philippine corporation that is licensed as an insurance broker or reinsurance broker...

Antitrust Fine Imposed On Producers Of Cooking Oil In Serbia
Karanovic & Nikolic, April 2017

Competition authority imposes fines on ViktoriaOil and Vital, the leading producers of cooking oil in Serbia. The authority stated in its decision that the two companies entered into a joint production agreement that featured restrictive provisions. In particular, the authority claims that the provisions effected the exchange of information and joint production and sales in a way that led to increased prices to end consumers...

Africa Tax in Brief
ENSafrica, April 2017

ANGOLA: Budget Law, 2017 details publishedOn 10 February 2017, the provisions of Budget Law, 2017, enacted on 31 December 2016, were published. In terms of the Budget Law, 2017 the 10% withholding tax on technical services and management fees paid to non-residents for the provision of foreign technical assistance or management services (Contribuição Especial sobre as Operações Cambiais de Invisíveis Correntes), which was introduced by Law No...

New York's Cybersecurity Regulations for Financial Institutions & Health Care
Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, April 2017

Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP recently authored the mini-treatise, “New York’s Cybersecurity Regulation for Financial Institutions, A New Age of Cybersecurity Regulation: Raising the Bar and Demanding Leadership Accountability”...

Be Distinct
ENSafrica, April 2017

Persuading clients to adopt distinctive trade marks is no easy task...

SyCipLaw Tax Bulletin: Philippine BIR Rules on Proper Tax Treatment of Passed-on Gross Receipts Tax
SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan, April 2017

On June 13, 2016, the then Commissioner of Internal Revenue issued Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 62-2016 purporting to clarify the proper tax treatment of percentage tax or gross receipts tax (GRT) due on transactions covered by Sections 1211 and 1222 of the Tax Code which are shifted through contractual stipulations to borrowers/customers/clients(“passed-on” GRT)...

Can An Employer Be Forced to Take Disciplinary Action to Make the Workplace Safe?
ENSafrica, April 2017

An employer has the duty to provide employees with safe working conditions, as far as is reasonably practicable. This includes providing a reasonably safe workplace...

Differentiation of Offences for Anticompetitive Agreements
ALRUD Law Firm, April 2017

On April 17, 2017 the President of the Russian Federation signed a draft law setting a differentiation of penalties for conclusion of anticompetitive agreements. The draft law will come into force on April 28, 2017. The draft law provides different administrative fines for conclusion of different types of anticompetitive agreements depending on degree of social danger: as the social danger of the anticompetitive agreement decreases, the administrative penalty will be reduced...

Getting the Basics Right
ENSafrica, April 2017

The recent South African Supreme Court of Appeal (“SCA”) decision of Herbal Zone v Infitech Technologies doesn’t contain ground-breaking law. However, the SCA’s passing-off judgments are rare, so it is a case worth discussing. The lessons to be learnt from this decision are that it’s important to get the basics right – make sure that a trade mark is registered and ensure that there is a clear agreement between the trade mark owner and the distributor...

Updates and Highlights in the Mexican Energy Sector, March 2017
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2017

As part of the implementation of the Mexican Energy Reform of 2013, several new regulations and administrative guidelines affecting the hydrocarbons and power industries were issued during March 2017. These are of particular importance to oil and gas producers, power generators and others looking to invest or expand operations in Mexico’s dynamic energy sector. I. Hydrocarbons March 6, 2017.Ayín-Batsil Farmout...

Intellectual Property Tax and Exchange Control Reform – the Details Revealed
ENSafrica, April 2017

One of the main surprises in the 2017 South African Budget Review was the announcement of what appeared to be a real shift in policy in respect of the tax and exchange control treatment of certain intellectual property (“IP”) arrangements...

Haynes and Boone, LLP Labor and Employment Alert: Recent Business Insider Article Highlights Key Takeaways from New York Salary History Bill
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2017

A recent article from Business Insider featuring Haynes and Boone, LLP Labor and Employment Partner Jason Habinsky addresses key takeaways from the recently passed New York City bill that restricts employers from asking candidates about their salary history. Useful context includes: Employers should “promptly audit and review their documentation regarding the hiring process” to make sure hiring documentation does not request prohibited information...

Navigating Post-Arbitral Aaward Procedures in Tanzania
ENSafrica, April 2017

Post-arbitral award procedures in Tanzania are governed by a number of pieces of legislation, including the Arbitration Act, the Arbitration Rules, 1957 and the Civil Procedure Code (the “CPC”). The High Court of Tanzania is the only forum for the enforcement of arbitral awards. Below, we summarise the process for the filing, registration, enforcement and possible challenge to post-arbitral awards...

The Permissibility of Asking Witnesses Leading Questions in Polish Judicial and Arbitration Practice
Wardynski & Partners, April 2017

Whether witnesses can be asked leading questions is a vital issue for fair trials, but is treated inconsistently in Polish litigation practice. Inspiration can be sought from the rules that have worked for years in common-law jurisdictions. Polish litigators generally share the belief that a witness should never be asked a leading question—that is, a question that suggests to the witness what the “right” answer should be...

Publication of B-BBEE Discussion Document
ENSafrica, April 2017

On 31 March 2017, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (“ICASA”) published Government Gazette no. 40759 for comment, a discussion document in relation to equity ownership by historically disadvantaged groups and application of the ICT Sector Code in terms of section 4(b) of the ICASA Act, 2000...

SyCipLaw Bulletin: Philippine Court of Appeals Denies Issuance of Environmental Protection Order Against Mining Company
SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan, April 2017

In a decision issued on March 8, 2017, the Philippine Court of Appeals (CA) denied the petition by NGO Ang Aroroy ay Alagaan, Inc. and certain individuals, for the issuance of a writ of kalikasan against Filminera Resources Corporation, and its directors and officers...

Sexual Harassment – Who Enforces the Rules?
ENSafrica, April 2017

South African law treats sexual harassment as a serious form of misconduct that infringes upon a person’s dignity and other fundamental rights. The seriousness with which it is viewed by the courts is illustrated by the Labour Appeal Court (“LAC”) decision in MEC for Education (North West Provincial Government) v Makubalo...

Brexit Begins
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2017

After 44 years as a member, the United Kingdom (UK) is now officially on the path to leave the European Union (EU). Article 50 On 29 March 2017, the UK triggered Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union by notifying the European Council of its intention to withdraw from the EU. This followed the referendum held in June 2016, where a majority of UK voters opted to leave the EU...

Amendments to South African IP Exchange Control Guidelines
ENSafrica, April 2017

In February, in an article on the 2017 South African budget review, we wrote that the government had proposed that companies and individuals no longer required approval from the South African Reserve Bank (“SARB”) for “standard intellectual property transactions” and that the “loop structure restriction for all intellectual property transactions” be lifted, provided that such transactions are arm's length and at a fair market price...

Are Trade Marks Fair Game for Use as Google AdWords?
Shoosmiths LLP, April 2017

This article looks at the rise of online advertising amongst brand owners and the impact on Google AdWords. Expenditure on internet advertising in the UK rose by over 15% in the second half of 2016 and is set to increase further this year. With the appetite for online and mobile advertising growing amongst brand owners, the role of Google AdWords appears to be increasing in significance...

Exchange Control Relaxations for Fund Managers?
ENSafrica, April 2017

In the 2017 South African Budget Review, specific statements were made from a tax and exchange control perspective in relation to fund managers. We briefly consider below whether these statements constitute a relaxation of the exchange control restrictions applicable to South African residents, and the taxes to be considered...

The Obligation to Tender For Non-Eligible Parts of a Construction Project
Heuking Kuhn Luer Wojtek, April 2017

The Oberlandesgericht Celle has recently adopted a decision that is likely to be of particular interest to hospitals which are not, in principle, public contracting authorities within the meaning of the law, but which are used by public authorities to pay more than 50 per cent for the construction of hospitals pursuant to Section 99, 4 of the GWB (decision of 29 November 2016, ref. 13 G 8/16). In the decided case, the client planned to modernize a hospital in three construction phases...

Mauritius to Strengthen Protection of IP Rights
ENSafrica, April 2017

There have been some encouraging developments following Mauritius’ announcement that it planned to strengthen the protection of intellectual property rights (“IPR”), amid global concerns. For example, much-awaited amendments to industrial property law, including incorporating international treaties, have been effected. As a result, the government’s vision of an efficient and equitable IP system may come to fruition this year...

The Danish Government's Growth Team for Life Science Presents 17 Recommendations
Plesner, March 2017

The Danish Government's Growth Team has just Presented its Recommendations for how to Strengthen Denmark's International Position within Life Science. This happened at a Press Conference with the Participation of the Chair of the Growth Team, Kåre Schultz and the Minister for Industry, Business and Financial Affairs, Brian Mikkelsen...

 

 

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