Regions

Cyprus Double Tax Treaty developments

The double tax treaties (the “DTTs”) which Cyprus has concluded with Ethiopia, Iran and Jersey have recently entered into force and, as per the provisions of the relevant DTTs, will become effective as from 1 January 2018.

In brief:

1. The DTT between Cyprus and Ethiopia provides for 5% withholding tax on dividends, interest and royalties.

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Shutts Lawyers Sue Angola for $52M of Unpaid Electric Bills

Shutts & Bowen attorneys filed a $52 million lawsuit against the African nation of Angola on behalf of its client, LS Energia, claiming years of underpayment for operating two of its power plants.

The two Angolan facilities provided electricity to more than 2 million people in the Portuguese-speaking nation. Angola is the largest oil exporter and producer in sub-Saharan Africa, which caused the country to face hardships when oil prices dropped.

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More signs that credit unions will continue to buy small banks

An Atlanta-based credit union’s move this month to buy a community bank would mark a first-of-its-kind acquisition in Georgia. But a leading M&A adviser who worked on that deal says increasingly more credit unions are looking to acquire banks, and he expects more such deals to be announced in Georgia and nationally this year and next. Georgia’s Own CU agreed to acquire Fayetteville, Ga.-based State Bank of Georgia, which has about $95 million in assets and which gives the buyer, with its nearly $2.3 billion in assets, added scale, a stronger presence in suburban Atlanta, and proven lending talent — the seller said all of its staff will join Georgia’s Own. A purchase price was not made public.

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Stradling Shareholder Mark Skaist Named to OCBJ’s OC 500

Orange County Business Journal’s second annual OC 500 book included Stradling’s Corporate Shareholder Mark Skaist in the service category. The book includes 500 of Orange County’s most influential business and civic leaders in nearly every industry sector.

“I am honored to be included in this prestigious list with many business and civil leaders whom I admire,” says Skaist, who is co-chair of the firm’s corporate and securities practice.

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Separating the titles of land and buildings – what is the point?

Under a less-known rule of the new Civil Code it’s now possible for a property owner to separate the titles to a plot of land and the buildings built on it, and to manage or commercially exploit these as separate properties. Businesses are taking a cautious approach to making use of this opportunity in practice: although splitting titles can make property development or borrowing more flexible, for the time being legal uncertainties are preventing it from becoming more widespread.

The old Civil Code set out, as a fundamental principle, that the owner of the land has the right to own the building built on the land, and there were only limited cases in which it permitted a person other than the land’s owner to obtain stand-alone title to the building, thus enabling the land and the buildings on it to be separately sold or encumbered.

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Transformation Sweeping Advertising and Marketing: Data

As mentioned, I gave a presentation on the key trends and legal developments sweeping the advertising and marketing ecosystem at last week’s 39th Association of National Advertisers/Brand Activation Association Marketing Law Conference, “Breakthrough: Legal Strategies for Dynamic Businesses.” Today I will share with you the second installment of this series…

The question of who has access to consumer data and device information – and how it gets used – is one that we all need to worry about.  But when it comes to brands, how can they create compelling content to convince a consumer to stay connected and share their data?

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WINNERS: BEST TALENT DEVELOPMENT & WORKPLACE WELLNESS

We were delighted that HOMS Solicitors and staff were recognised and honoured by winning the Limerick Chamber Regional Business Awards 2017 Best Employer: Talent Development & Workplace Wellness Award category at the awards ceremony on 17th November at the Strand Hotel, Limerick.

We would like to congratulate and thank all of our staff who have worked so hard on our wellness and talent development initiatives which has resulted in this win.

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Davis Malm Adds Alicia R. Selman to its Growing Real Estate Practice

Davis Malm announces that Alicia R. Selman has joined the firm as an associate. Ms. Selman practices in the Real Estate and Environmental area. She assists in a range of real estate transactions and litigation matters for individuals and commercial clients, including lenders, developers, title insurance companies, and condominiums. Prior to joining Davis Malm, Ms. Selman interned with the Hon. Howard P. Speicher at the Massachusetts Land Court, as well as with the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, the Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, and two private practice law firms.

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Further updates to the 457 Visa

Further updates have been announced by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) on 18 November 2017 which we have summarised here.

Regional Boundaries update

Perth is longer classified as a regional area for the purposes of a Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) Subclass 187 visa which means employers within this area no longer have access to this program. This will not apply retrospectively.

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NEW RBI NORMS ON PREPAID PAYMENT INSTRUMENTS

The Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”) has issued various guidelines from time to time on issuance and operations of Prepaid Payment Instruments (“PPIs”) in India. PPIs are defined as payment instruments that facilitate purchase of goods and services, including financial services, remittance facilities, etc., against the value stored on such instruments, and can be classified under three types viz. (i) Closed System PPIs, (ii) Semi-closed System PPIs, and (iii) Open System PPIs.

In view of the numerous technological innovations, progress in fintech and the use of PPIs growing at an exponential rate, RBI with the aim to foster innovation and competition, safety, security, and customer protection, has issued a fresh set of directions relating to issuance and operations of PPIs on October 11, 2017, in the form of RBI (Issuance and Operation of Prepaid Payment Instruments) Directions, 2017 (“Master Directions”). These Master Directions are applicable to PPI Issuers, System Providers, and System Participants, and are effective immediately. Existing authorised PPI issuers have, however, been allowed till December 31, 2017 to comply with the revised requirements (except where otherwise specified in the Directions).

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