Legal Updates

Attorneys and gifts

The Public Guardian’s new ‘Practice Note PN7: giving gifts’ is a must-read for any attorney appointed under an Enduring or Lasting Power of Attorney, or deputy, faced with the thorny issue of whether they can use the incapable donor’s funds in a transaction which is not for value – such as a payment by way of gift or to meet a person’s needs.

An attorney’s ability to make gifts is severely limited by the Mental Capacity Act 2005. An attorney must not make a gift from the donor’s funds unless it is made on a customary occasion for making gifts within families or among friends (Christmas, weddings etc).  It must be made only to someone related or connected to the person or to a charity that the donor would have supported, and be of a reasonable value in all the circumstances and given the size of the person’s estate.  Acting outside these constraints can land the attorney in varying degrees of hot water.

Read More

Read full article

Protecting Trade Secrets When Traveling Abroad with Electronic Devices

Our colleague Daniel R. Levy, at Epstein Becker Green, has a post on the Trade Secrets & Employee Mobility blog that will be of interest to our readers: “It’s a Brave New World: Protecting Trade Secrets When Traveling Abroad with Electronic Devices.

Read full article

Living in Splendid Isolation: Ten Lessons Learned Enforcing an Ontario Judgment in Mexico

Introduction

This article presents a cautionary tale for any person who wishes to take legal proceedings against an individual or company resident in Mexico.

More than 25 years ago, the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Morguard Investments Ltd. v. De Savoye[1], represented a sea change in the way Canadian courts recognized and enforced foreign judgments.  The “foreign” aspect of Morguard involved British Columbia plaintiffs seeking to enforce an Alberta judgment.  Writing for the court, Justice La Forest rejected the centuries’ old principles regarding recognizing and enforcing foreign judgments which were anchored in the concept of territoriality.  He held that modern states like Canada should no longer live in “splendid isolation” from the rest of the world and should give effect to judgments made in other countries.  In arriving at its conclusion, the court relied heavily upon the concept of comity which had been adopted by the Supreme Court of the United States.  It held that comity would “impel sovereigns to mutual intercourse”. 

Read full article

Restrictive covenants; do they mean I can’t redevelop my property?

Developers often identify land that looks good for development on the face of it, only to discover that there are restrictive covenants preventing the land from being developed or used in the way they would like. This can be incredibly frustrating; especially where the restrictive covenants are historic and the interests they seek to protect appear to be of limited modern relevance.

In this article I will explore what a developer can do when confronted by such a restrictive covenant. I have used “beneficiary” to describe the party with the benefit of the restrictive covenant and “you” to describe the developer.

Read More

Read full article

A tale of Two Right Feet: indemnity costs for baby business

The tale of Two Right Feet Limited reminds us of the importance of investigating and considering the merits of a claim prior to commencing proceedings, and the dangers of forging ahead with speculative litigation.

In July 2017 a judgment of the High Court of Justice in Two Right Feet Limited (In Liquidation) v National Westminster Bank Plc, Royal Bank of Scotland Plc, KPMG LLP[1] ordered Two Right Feet Limited, an insolvent online baby products business (previously featured on BBC’s Watchdog), to pay indemnity costs of the three defendants.

Read More

Read full article

08 Feb ASEAN Today – Regional Legal and Business News – January 2018

Inaugural ASEAN Cooling Summit
The first ASEAN Cooling Summit was held in Bangkok this month and leaders from business, government, and academia met to discuss sustainable cooling solutions for Southeast Asia. Experts say that demand for air-conditioning in emerging economies, including ASEAN, could cause a 64% increase in household energy use and produce 23 million tons of carbon emissions by 2040. Current air conditioning technology also relies on climate damaging refrigerants. The summit explored sustainable development for cooling and identified solutions to increase the adoption of energy-efficient technology, remove financial barriers, and raise awareness of the critical need for climate-friendly cooling systems.

Read More

Read full article

20 new multinational companies established their regional headquarters in Panama in 2017

The Minister of Commerce and Industries, Augusto Arosemena Moreno, announced that the establishment of headquarters of multinational companies (SEM – as per its Spanish acronym) continued with extremely good results, closing 2017 with 20 new multinational companies with regional headquarters in Panama, for a total of 146 companies adding an investment of US$1,000 million dollars and 6,000 jobs.

Arosemena highlighted that the United States continues to be the country with the largest number of companies with regional headquarters in Panama, among which he mentioned large companies such as Boeing, McKinsey & Company Inc. and VISA – that were registered this past year.  High profile companies were also registered, such as Panalpina World Transport, Hankook Tire Co., and Shanghai Gorgeous Investment Development Co., among others.

Read More

Read full article

Organizational Changes at the NLRB – Employment Law This Week

Featured on Employment Law This Week: Organizational Changes at the NLRB

General Counsel Peter Robb could be signaling a shift at the NLRB – Robb has  reportedly suggested structural changes that could establish a new layer of management between the General Counsel and the field. These reports come as the NLRB seeks to adjust to cuts to its budget and a decline in case filings. If implemented, the changes could remove authority from the Regional Directors and shift more decision-making to the GC. Sources report that some changes are likely before the new budget year next October.

Read full article

Talking Tax – Issue 106

Case law

Transfer of interest in land-owning partnership not liable for stamp duty

In Commissioner of State Revenue v Danvest Pty Ltd & Anor [2017] VSCA 382, the Victorian Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed the Commissioner of State Revenue’s (Commissioner) appeal and held that the sale and purchase of a partner’s interest in a land-owning partnership was not a “transfer of dutiable property” under section 7(1)(a) of the Duties Act 2000 (Duties Act) on the basis that it is not an interest in an estate in fee simple in the land owned by the partnership.

Read full article

Letter from U.S. Senators Applies Additional Pressure to DEA to Promulgate “Special Registration” Rules Under the Ryan Haight Act

The calls for utilizing telemedicine in battling the opioid crises in the U.S. are growing louder. On January 30, 2018, Senators Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), sent a letter to Robert W. Patterson, the Acting Administrator of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), urging the agency to promulgate regulations that would allow healthcare providers to prescribe medication-assisted treatments via telemedicine for persons with opioid dependence disorder.

Read full article