Legal Updates

Trustees and the Common Reporting Standard (CRS)

As if FATCA wasn’t enough, UK trustees will have to get to grips with two new reporting regimes next year – the CRS and the European Directive on Administrative Cooperation, or DAC.  The DAC is how the OECD’s Common Reporting Standard (CRS) will be implemented by the EU. 

There are many similarities between the approach and the terms used in the FATCA and the CRS/DAC reporting regimes.  However, they are quite different in the sense that the purpose of FATCA is to help the IRS identify US persons with interests in accounts outside the US – the flow of information is into the US only.  The scope of the CRS/DAC is multilateral and involves reciprocal exchange of information between jurisdictions.  The CRS/DAC are designed to enable accounts held in any of the jurisdictions that have opted into the CRS (of which there are now over 95) by an individual or entity resident in one or more of these jurisdictions to be identified and information about it and the account holder reported.  The intention is that information about a UK account held by a person resident in a CRS jurisdiction will be reportable to HMRC for onward transmission to the jurisdiction of residency and vice versa.  As a result, many UK trusts that are classed as Financial Institutions (FIs) under FATCA, and have not had to submit a report to HMRC yet because of a lack of US persons, will now have to do so annually. 

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Four PR and legal strategies and tactics to battle online defamation

With the ever-expanding role of social media and the Internet, negative reviews can spread virtually unchecked. Some negative reviews are limited to statements of opinion, which generally are legally protected. However, companies and individuals increasingly are subject to attacks that include false statements constituting online defamation. The best strategies for combating online defamation involve both savvy legal and PR counsel, working in tandem, to provide effective relief.

The legal avenues for addressing defamatory comments and obtaining their removal from websites can be difficult to navigate. Generally speaking, the Communications Decency Act of 1996 protects websites where reviews may appear, including Google, Facebook, Twitter, Glassdoor, and Yelp, from liability for content posted by their users. This significant limitation of liability on the “publishers” of the defamation creates little incentive — and, arguably, a disincentive — for these entities to self-police their sites. Because of this, many sites require a court order or judgment before removing allegedly defamatory comments.

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OSHA’s Electronic Recordkeeping Rule: New Pitfalls for Employers

Our colleague Valerie Butera, a Member of the Firm at Epstein Becker Green, has a post on the OSHA Law Update blog that will be of interest to many of our readers in the technology industry: “OSHA’s New Electronic Recordkeeping Rule Creates a Number of New Pitfalls for Employers.”

Following is an excerpt:

On May 12, 2016, OSHA published significant amendments to its recordkeeping rule, requiring many employers to submit work-related injury and illness information to the agency electronically.  The amendments also include provisions designed to prevent employers from retaliating against employees for reporting injuries and illnesses at work.  The information employers provide will be “scrubbed” of personally identifiable information and published on OSHA’s website in a searchable format. …

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OSHA’s Electronic Recordkeeping Rule: New Pitfalls for Employers

Our colleague Valerie Butera, a Member of the Firm at Epstein Becker Green, has a post on the OSHA Law Update blog that will be of interest to many of our readers in the financial services industry: “OSHA’s New Electronic Recordkeeping Rule Creates a Number of New Pitfalls for Employers.”

Following is an excerpt:

On May 12, 2016, OSHA published significant amendments to its recordkeeping rule, requiring many employers to submit work-related injury and illness information to the agency electronically.  The amendments also include provisions designed to prevent employers from retaliating against employees for reporting injuries and illnesses at work.  The information employers provide will be “scrubbed” of personally identifiable information and published on OSHA’s website in a searchable format. …

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The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 – a brief snapshot

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (“Code”) has been passed by the Lok Sabha on May 5, 2016 and Rajya Sabha on May 11, 2016, and shall come into force, once, it receives the Presidential assent. The Code, seeks to consolidate and amend the existing laws on bankruptcy and insolvency matters and creates a unified legal framework for resolution of insolvency/bankruptcy issues in a time bound manner. 

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Health Care Providers May Soon See a Twofold Increase in False Claims Act Penalties

In fiscal year 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) recovered more than $3.5 billion from False Claims Act (“FCA”) cases. A staggering $1.9 billion of that amount was recovered from health care providers who were alleged to have provided unnecessary care, paid kickbacks or overcharged federal health care programs.  While this amount may seem high, the drastic increases in FCA penalties expected this summer have the potential to skyrocket FCA recoveries in coming years. DOJ has not yet released the increased penalty amounts that would apply to FCA cases involving companies in the health care and life sciences industries, but penalty increases released this month by another agency, the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board (“Railroad Board),[1] seem to be a good indication of what providers can expect.

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NLRB May Make It Harder for Employees to Decertify Unions

Our colleague Steven M. Swirsky, a Member of the Firm at Epstein Becker Green, has a post on the Management Memo blog that will be of interest to many of our readers in the technology industry: “NLRB Looks to Make It Harder for Employees to Decertify Unions.”

Following is an excerpt:

National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) General Counsel Richard F. Griffin, Jr., has announced in a newly issued Memorandum Regional Directors in the agency’s offices across the country that he is seeking a change in law that would make it much more difficult for employees who no longer wish to be represented by a union to do so.  Under long standing case law, an employer has had the right to unilaterally withdraw recognition from a union when there is objective evidence that a majority of the employees in a bargaining unit no longer want the union to represent them. …

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Trade Union Reforms Become Law

The Trade Union Bill, introduced by the UK Government in 2015, has received Royal Assent and is now the Trade Union Act.

The Bill was introduced after the Government announced a series of reforms last year that it said aimed to ensure strikes would only be able to go ahead as a result of a clear and positive democratic mandate from union members. Under the Trade Union Act, industrial action will only be able to take place when there has been a ballot turnout of at least 50%.

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Ultimate beneficiary is entitled to challenge GM resolutions

Оn March 31, 2016 the Judicial board on economic disputes of the Russian Supreme Court issued its high-profile Ruling in case No.A40-104595/20141. The said Ruling affirmed the right of an ultimate beneficiary to challenge the shareholders’ general meeting resolutions. Previously, this right was given only to the Company’s shareholders; other interested parties were not authorized to claim2.

In case No. A40-104595/2014 Mr. Moskalev M.V. demanded to invalidate the resolution of the extraordinary general meeting of JCS “Aspect Finance” sharehol

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Estop and Think Before Relying on Future Estate Interests

Proprietary estoppel is a legal doctrine that protects parties who detrimentally rely on assurances made by others about their property.  The doctrine is intended to prevent parties from profiting by misleading others.

While the former English interpretation of proprietary estoppel was stringent and specific, recent Canadian decisions have crafted more liberal criteria for applying the doctrine.  However, the recent decision of Cowper-Smith v Morgan, 2016 BCCA 200 [Cowper-Smith] might signal a return to a more-stringent application of proprietary estoppel.

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