Use it or lose it: Government announces early closure of LDF

The UK Government has recently announced that the beneficial terms of the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility (LDF) will cease on 31 December 2015 (the facility had previously been due to run until April 2016). The LDF is a tax disclosure process through which individuals can bring their tax affairs up to date with HMRC on favourable terms and in particular benefit from reduced penalties and full immunity from criminal prosecution.

The LDF, and a number of other current disclosure opportunities, will instead be replaced by a new “last chance” disclosure facility that will run until mid-2017 but will offer much less favourable terms. It is anticipated that the penalties imposed will be higher and there will be no guarantee of immunity from criminal prosecution.

The UK Government has also recently announced its intention to increase compliance efforts in relation to undeclared foreign assets. The introduction of this new, less favourable facility will therefore coincide with an anticipated increase in HMRC’s investigation and compliance activity in the coming years.

HMRC’s future efforts to scrutinise the tax affairs of those with potential UK tax liabilities will be greatly assisted by the introduction of a raft of information exchange initiatives (primarily focusing on financial information and tax compliance) with other countries within Europe and throughout the world.

By September 2016 HMRC is due to receive the first tranche of information relating to accounts and structures from financial institutions in the British Crown Dependencies (Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man) and British Overseas Territories (Anguilla, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat and the Turks and Caicos Islands) via the intergovernmental agreements reached with these jurisdictions.

Read full article

Business Law: Small businesses now the target of large sanctions penalties

Business Law: Small businesses now the target of large sanctions penalties

The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) enforces the nation’s sanction laws—such as those that prohibit exports to sanctioned countries or transactions involving individuals, companies, and shipping vessels on sanctions lists. The OFAC enforcement stories that make the news are often those with record-setting fines against major international companies.

Read full article

Multistate Tax Update — August 20, 2015


In 1992, the Supreme Court decided Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, holding that states cannot require out-of-state retailers to collect sales taxes on products they ship into those jurisdictions, absent some minimal contact or physical presence there. As Internet shopping becomes more prevalent, this rule has become increasingly burdensome on states seeking revenue.

Read full article

Hvilke standardvilkår må fastsættes af en brancheforening?

Der kan være mange fordele ved i en brancheforening at udforme standardvilkår, som medlemmerne kan benytte i forbindelse med indgåelse af kontrakter og afgivelse af tilbud. Men sådanne standardvilkår må ikke angå væsentlige konkurrenceparametre – det ville være en overtrædelse af konkurrenceloven.

Read full article

CSA Wants More Information on Exempt Distribution Reports

By Bernard Pinsky, Q.C.

On August 13, 2015, the Canadian Securities Administrators (“CSA”) proposed a new form 45-106F1 (the “Proposed 45-106F1”), which would replace both the current form 45-106F1 required in all provinces and the form 45-106F6 currently required in British Columbia, both of which report on exempt distributions of securities.

Read full article

David Austin in Business in Vancouver

David Austin was featured in a Business in Vancouver article about the new realities of environmental reviews in BC. “The bigger problem is that, over the years, some environmental consultants have become more like advocates for their clients and less like the independent scientists they are supposed to be,” explains David.

Read full article

Student Athletes as Employees – Second Down: The Steelworkers and The NLRB

As we reported, earlier this week the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) decided that it would not exercise jurisdiction with respect to the representation petition filed by the College Athlete Players Association seeking to represent the scholarship members of the Northwestern University football team.  The Board did not answer the question of whether it considered the team members to be employees of the university and explained that for policy reasons it was not answering the critical questions at this time.  It did however make clear that it might well do so in the future and that it very well could find players on scholarship to be employees who have the right to negotiate with the university as their employer.

Read full article

Jason S. Novak to host an international debating competition

August 19, 2015 — On September 9, Jason S. Novak will be hosting the International Debate Championship, that will be held at the Quebec Court of Appeal in Montréal. Last year, Jason was the winner of that annual competition that gathers representatives from young lawyers’ associations from around the world.

Read full article

Coping With the New Definition of Exempt Employees: The Proposed New Salary Test May Not Benefit Currently Salaried Employees

Under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (and state wage hour laws) certain hourly paid employees must be paid time and one-half their regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a regular work week.

But certain employees (for example many general managers and lead managers) are exempt from this requirement if they satisfy three qualifications imposed by federal regulations:

  1. The employee must be paid a predetermined and fixed salary that is not subject to reduction because of variations in the quality or quantity of work performed;
  2. the amount of salary paid must be at least $455 per week; and
  3. the employee’s job duties must primarily involve executive, administrative, or professional duties as defined by the regulations (the “duties test”).
Read full article

Sixty One Shutts & Bowen Attorneys Listed in The Best Lawyers in America 2016

Sixty one Shutts & Bowen lawyers were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® for 2016.

Joining the Best Lawyers list for the first time this year are Joseph Englander in Trademark Law, and James F. Johnston and Julie Simas James in Real Estate Law. More…

Read full article