Europe

Slovakia – 80 Percent Tax on Emission Allowances

Potential repeal of the European Emission Allowance Trading Scheme in practice

The consequences of the economic crisis currently dominate European politics. Most member states approve different measures to consolidate their public finances. In Slovakia, an increase of income to the state budget is also expected, among other things, by a new tax on emission allowances.

The tax on emission allowances has been introduced in Slovakia, entering into force on January 1, 2011. Under the new legislation greenhouse gas emission allowances allocated free of charge according to the National Allocation Plan approved for the trading period 2008 to 2012, are taxed at a high rate of 80 percent. The new tax on emission allowances has led to much professional debate regarding its compliance with the Slovak Constitution, binding international treaties and EU law. In the near future the Slovak Constitutional Court will hear these issues.

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Modernization of the States and of the Administration – Mr. Joao Tiago Silveira

During our 2011 23rd Annual Meeting, we were fortunate to welcome the Secretary of State for Presidency of the Council of Ministers, Mr. Joao Tiago Silveira, as our speaker.  His topic, “Modernization of the States and of the Administration,” covered the Portuguese government’s efforts to streamline their services by putting them online and making them more efficient.

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Enforcement against state-owned art abroad

The Czech government is urgently trying to repatriate its art lent to overseas institutions, to avoid it being seized to enforce a $500m Czech judgment, obtained against the Czech state by a commercial organisation. See Artinfo: http://bit.ly/jQskNk
Art has already been seized from a gallery in Vienna, and Paris seems likely to follow.  Could it happen in London?

Within the EU, it is relatively easy to get a court of one member state to recognise and enforce a judgment of another member state.  As the Czech Republic is in the EU, it is not surprising that the defendant is concentrating on Czech assets in other EU states.  The Czech government is arguing that the judgment is not yet “final” and, if that is right, it should not be enforceable at all, but some member states are more willing than others to allow “protective measures”, that is the freezing or restraining of assets pending the outcome of proceedings.  That is what has happened in Austria, but the English court would be far less willing to do that.

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Bribery Act 2010 – after a long wait, are you ready?

On 1 July 2011, the much anticipated Bribery Act 2010 (the Act) will come into force. The Act will impact on all commercial organisations, to a greater or lesser degree, and so, if you haven’t already turned your mind to what it means for your organisation, now is the time.

A detailed explanation of the main offences under the new Act can be found in our legal update at: www.fladgate.com/BriberyAct2010.

Three of the key offences under the Act will by now be familiar to most people and are largely restatements of existing law:

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It’s Here! The ILN Launches its New Site – ILNToday

Today’s the big day! The International Lawyers Network is unveiling our new content-driven website at https://www.ilntoday.com. We gave our member firms a sneak peek at last week’s 23rd Annual Conference, and this week we’re revealing it to you!

The redesigned site embodies the latest technology to best serve the growing needs of ILN members and their clients, and provides a variety of benefits, including:

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B&F newsletter, spring 2011

FINANCIAL COLLATERAL ARRANGEMENTS IN THE BALTIC STATES

A financial collateral arrangement provides effective security to the creditor with minimal cost since it may be included in a master agreement or general terms and conditions without certification, registration, perfection or other assigned costs. The enforcement of financial collateral arrangements constitutes a significant advantage of this type of agreements over pledges and is in fact viewed as a major characteristic distinguishing it from agreements on pledge of cash collateral without a title transfer. The aim of a financial collateral arrangement is established in the preamble of Directive 2002/47/EC which provides that Member States should ensure the inapplicability of certain provisions of insolvency law to financial collateral arrangements. It follows that the protection of financial collateral arrangements in case of insolvency (bankruptcy and restructuring) is essential in this directive and the Member States should secure their enforceability. The right of the beneficiary of financial collateral to unilaterally realise the financial collateral in insolvency proceedings does not cease from the start of insolvency. Another difference in comparison with other creditors (including the creditor of an agreement on pledge of cash collateral) is the possibility to set off the monetary claim against the bankrupt undertaking.

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B&F newsletter spring 2011

Hannes VallikiviInese HazenfusaVilius BernatonisRokas Bukauskas

FINANCIAL COLLATERAL ARRANGEMENTS IN THE BALTIC STATES

A financial collateral arrangement provides effective security to the creditor with minimal cost since it may be included in a master agreement or general terms and conditions without certification, registration, perfection or other assigned costs. The enforcement of financial collateral arrangements constitutes a significant advantage of this type of agreements over pledges and is in fact viewed as a major characteristic distinguishing it from agreements on pledge of cash collateral without a title transfer. The aim of a financial collateral arrangement is established in the preamble of Directive 2002/47/EC which provides that Member States should ensure the inapplicability of certain provisions of insolvency law to financial collateral arrangements. It follows that the protection of financial collateral arrangements in case of insolvency (bankruptcy and restructuring) is essential in this directive and the Member States should secure their enforceability. The right of the beneficiary of financial collateral to unilaterally realise the financial collateral in insolvency proceedings does not cease from the start of insolvency. Another difference in comparison with other creditors (including the creditor of an agreement on pledge of cash collateral) is the possibility to set off the monetary claim against the bankrupt undertaking.

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LinkedIn Best Practices

I’m just back from our 2011 23rd Annual Meeting in Lisbon, and I’ll have lots to share with you over the next week or so.  But what’s fresh in my mind this morning is our session on LinkedIn from Saturday morning – I’d like to share some best practices for LinkedIn, which can be particularly useful when you’re just returning from any conference:

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The ILN’s 23rd Annual Meeting is Underway!

We’re here in Portugal, and the ILN’s 23rd Annual Meeting is underway – we had a wonderful welcome reception and dinner last night and a very informative business session this morning.  Here’s a few photos for your viewing pleasure from the meeting!

Our Chairman and Executive Director chat before the meeting starts

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TARK GRUNTE SUTKIENE organises M&A Student Camp 2011 in Riga

Since 2008 TARK GRUNTE SUTKIENE together with the largest Nordic law firms organise student camps in the Baltic and Nordic countries for young lawyers on topical issues related to mergers and acquisitions (M&A). This year the annual Student Camp took place in Riga, and it was dedicated to company valuation theory and practice.

The workshop was led by Hele Hammer, Associate Professor of Finance at Estonian Business School and Chief Executive Officer of Telema, and Aare Tammemäe, a senior partner and Head of Corporate Finance of investment banking company Redgate Capital, as well as Risto Vahimets, a partner and Head of the Baltic M&A practice group of TARK GRUNTE SUTKIENE.

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