Legal Updates

William F. Griffin, Jr. Featured in Strafford Webinar on Structuring Foreign Investment in U.S. Real Estate

On March 6, 2019, Davis Malm shareholder William F. Griffin, Jr. was featured in the Strafford webinar, “Structuring Foreign Investment in U.S. Real Estate: Entity Selection and Transaction Structures.” Mr. Griffin provided a thorough and practical guide to structuring strategies and tax considerations for foreign investors in U.S. real estate, outlined best practices for determining the purchasing entity, and reviewed tax planning opportunities in structuring the deal. Mr. Griffin was joined by co-presenter Richard S. LeVine, Special Counsel at Withersworldwide.

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Start whistle blown on new whistleblower legislation

Over a year since it was first introduced, the Treasury Laws Amendment (Enhancing Whistleblower Protections) Bill 2017 (whistleblower legislation) has passed the House of Representatives, incorporating amendments made by the Senate. The aim of the whistleblower legislation is to create a single, strengthened whistleblower protection regime covering the corporate, financial and tax sectors. It also aims to encourage ethical whistleblowing and discourage white collar crime.

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Google was fined for 50 million euros for violating the GDPR requirements

On January 21, 2019, the National Data Protection Commission (CNIL) of France fined Google LLC for 50 million euros for violating the requirements of the GDPR. This is the largest penalty imposed on the GDPR since its entry into force on May 25, 2018 so far.

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Director’s share trading scheme breaches fiduciary duties, but accessorial liability claims rejected

A recent Federal Court decision recognises the expansive reach of the statutory and fiduciary duties owed by company directors. However, the company’s unsuccessful attempt to hold third parties liable as accessories to its director’s breaches of statutory duties highlights the importance of properly pleading and proving that an alleged accessory has actual knowledge of all the essential facts constituting the director’s breaches.

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Smart derivative contracts – closer than you think?

Smart contracts, which are computer protocols intended to digitally facilitate, verify or enforce the negotiation or performance of a contract have the potential to radically change the way in which parties interact by allowing the safe performance of transactions without the need for a third party intermediary using blockchain technology.

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New York State Department of Labor Scraps Proposed “Call-In Pay” Regulations – For Now

On March 1, 2019, the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) announced that it is no longer pursuing predictive scheduling regulations (or “call-in pay”) that would have affected most employers in the state. For the time being, New York employers do not have to worry about pending statewide regulations regarding call-in pay. Keep in mind, however, that New York City employers are still subject to the Fair Workweek Law.

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Blockchain – what is it and how is it relevant?

What is blockchain?

Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT)

DLT is a decentralised ledger of transactions with identical copies maintained on multiple independent computer systems. This means the transaction ledger is maintained simultaneously across a network of unrelated computers or servers called “nodes”, like a spreadsheet that is duplicated thousands of times across a network of computers.

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OIG Evaluates Remote Patient Monitoring Arrangement

The Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) for the Department of Health and Human Services recently issued an Advisory Opinion that provides insight into how the agency evaluates arrangements that deal with the integration of technology, medicine, and patient monitoring under the federal Anti-Kickback Statute (“AKS”). In Advisory Opinion No. 19-02, OIG evaluated whether a pharmaceutical manufacturer could temporarily loan a limited-functionality smartphone to financially needy patients enrolled in federal health care programs. OIG concluded that the proposed arrangement could violate federal health care fraud laws but OIG would not impose civil monetary penalties or administrative sanctions in light of the purpose of the arrangement and certain safeguards in place. This Advisory Opinion related to the promotion of remote patient monitoring and is useful to telehealth providers and other pharmaceutical manufacturers to evaluate how OIG might analyze similar arrangements.

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‘Careless’ security guard reinstated after $58,000 theft

In a recent decision involving the cash-in-transit industry, the full bench of the Fair Work Commission upheld a decision to reinstate an armoured vehicle operator (AVO) after his successful unfair dismissal application.1

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Plant Breeder’s Rights in Australia: updated, amended and strengthened

Recent amendments to the PBR Act have strengthened PBR rights and have aligned aspects of PBR with other intellectual property laws in Australia.

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