Legal Updates

Double tax treaty between Russian Federation and Hong Kong was ratified

Federal law dated 03.07.2016 No. 234-FZ ratified  the Treaty between the Governments of the Russian Federation and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China “On the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income” (hereinafter – the “Treaty”).

The Treaty is based on the OECD Model Convention on avoidance of double taxation with respect to taxes on income and capital. The Treaty is a tax agreement which distributes income taxation rights between the two jurisdictions and assists investors in better estimation of potential tax obligations arising when conducting business operations.

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Peterka Partners – Newsletter July 2016

CZECH REPUBLIC

Register of Contracts As from 1 July 2016, contracts with public institutions must be published in a central register kept by the Ministry of the Interior. The failure to publish the relevant contracts will be sanctioned as from 1 July 2017, and this for contracts concluded from 1 July 2017 on.

Registration of beneficial owners

Amendment to the Act on Public Registers is passing through the legislative process. If enacted, companies registered in the Czech Republic will be required to disclose, within one year, their ultimate beneficial owner.

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Supreme Court Agrees to Review D.C. Circuit’s Decision That Former NLRB Acting General Counsel Served in Violation of Federal Law

Supreme Court Agrees to Review D.C. Circuit’s Decision That Former NLRB Acting General Counsel Served in Violation of Federal Law

On June 20, 2016, the United States Supreme Court granted a request by the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or the “Board”) to review a decision from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, which found that the Board’s former Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon served in violation of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 3345, et seq. (“FVRA”) when he remained in that position after President Barack Obama nominated him to permanently fill the General Counsel role.

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Ban on Sharapova

One of the most shocking news during the recent times for sports fans and legal fraternity, around the globe, has been Maria Sharapova’s admittance towards using the banned endurance-enhancing drug known as ‘Meldonium’ [added to the World Anti-Doping Agency (“WADA”) Prohibited List with effect from January 1, 2016]. The Independent Tribunal (“Tribunal”) appointed by the International Tennis Federation (“ITF”) [constituted under the rules of the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme 2016 (“TADP”)], has imposed a ban on Sharapova for a period of 2 years for committing an anti-doping rule violation under article 2.1 of the TADP, vide its decision dated June 6, 2016.

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Both “installation” and “storage” of software in computer memory may infringe copyright

On June 8, 2016 the Economic Disputes Judicial Board of the Russian Supreme Court published its Ruling in case No. А20-2391/20131.

Under the merits of the case, in 2013 Microsoft Corp. filed a lawsuit against Elsi-Trek LLC seeking to compensate for the infringement of the software illegally installed on the defendant’s computers. The software had allegedly possessed certain “counterfeit” characteristics (f.e., absence of the authenticity certificate, differences between activation keys, etc).

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Beskyttelse af dine varemærker og designs i EU – og i UK

Som følge af den britiske ”Brexit” afstemning har den seneste tid budt på megen usikkerhed for de europæiske markeder. Det er en usikkerhed, vi må forvente i nogen grad varer ved, indtil Storbritannien officielt melder ud, hvilken betydning ”OUT”-resultatet får – og givet også derefter.

Briterne er en tæt samhandelspartner med Danmark og mange danske selskaber, og landets forhold til EU har stor betydning for, hvordan danske selskaber skal indrette deres forretning med de britiske virksomheder. Dette gælder ikke mindst i forhold til beskyttelse af de immaterielle rettigheder; varemærker og designs.

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Brexit: What next for minimum alcohol pricing?

On 24 June the United Kingdom woke up to an unprecedented political hangover following the referendum decision to leave the European Union – a result that poses intriguing questions as to the future of the Scottish Government’s flagship minimum pricing policy.

The Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Act 2012 provides for an alcohol floor price using the formula: MUP (minimum unit price) x strength (ABV) x volume in litres x 100. At the currently proposed MUP of 50p, a bottle of wine with an ABV of 13% would cost no less than £4.88. For a bottle of spirits, (70% ABV), the floor price would be £14.00, representing a significant hike for own-label products and pushing the cost towards that of premium spirits.

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Roles and Responsibilities of a Director Under Companies Act, 2013 – Pitfalls and Safeguards

1. Duties and Responsibilities of Directors.

1.1. The erstwhile Companies Act, 1956 (‘CA 1956’) contained no statement
of statutory duties of directors, and acts of directors were usually
reviewed in the context of their powers in terms of section 291 of the CA
1956 (which dealt with general powers of the board) and other applicable
laws, and their established roles under common law as laid down in several
judicial precedents1.

1.2. The Companies Act, 2013 (‘CA 2013’) for the first time has laid down
the duties of directors in unequivocal terms in section 166. In summary, the
general duties of directors under the CA 2013 are as follows:
* to act in accordance with the articles of the company, in other
words, to act within powers; 

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Brexit exits – don’t get caught out by the IHT deemed domiciled rules

Brexit uncertainties may be giving fresh impetus to many UK resident non-UK domiciliaries who are thinking about their residency plans.  However, for res non-doms, it’s important not to lose sight of another key tax change now on the horizon – the change in the Inheritance Tax (IHT) deemed domiciled rules.

A person is deemed domiciled for IHT purposes if he has been resident in the UK for not less than 17 out of the last 20 tax years, ending with the tax year in question.  Even a day’s residence in a tax year will cause that tax year to count as a UK residency year.  That’s why a little over 15 calendar years of continued residence can be enough to cause a person to be deemed domiciled, if he takes up residence in the UK right at the end of a UK tax year.  Being deemed domiciled for IHT purposes means that all of a person’s estate (broadly that means his directly held assets wherever situated in the world) are subject to 40% IHT on death.  This is regardless of his actual domicile.  Planning can be undertaken to shelter assets from exposure to IHT before a non-dom becomes deemed domiciled but it is easy to miss the deadline. 

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Paid Sick Leave is Coming to Chicago

E. Jason Tremblay

E. Jason Tremblay

On June 22, 2016, the Chicago City Council passed the Chicago Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Ordinance (the Ordinance). Provided the Ordinance is signed into law by Mayor Rahm Emanuel (which is expected), the Ordinance will take effect on July 1, 2017. As discussed more fully below, the Ordinance will allow Chicago employees to accrue up to 40 hours of paid sick leave every 12 months.

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