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Practice Industry: Corporate & Business, Financial Services
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Haynes and Boone | December 2005

Academics and commentators in general have always been interested in the study of the enforcement process in regulatory agencies. In the last years, with the rise of the regulatory state[1] and thus the increased number of regulatory agencies, the number of studies has only increased. There is an important amount of literature on the subject and an increasing number of theories and models to explain regulatory enforcement ...

A&L Goodbody LLP | December 2005

The Government has recently announced changes to the proposed regime of confirmation by directors of compliance by a company with its obligations. This note explains the background to the announcement and comments on the new proposals. Background - 2003 Act From the time that the Companies (Auditing and Accounting) Act, 2003 was first published there was considerable and widespread concern voiced about the proposed regime for Directors’ Compliance Statements ...

A&L Goodbody LLP | December 2005

“We consider that the Competition Act, 2002 captures the bulk of the anti-competitive practices which the Groceries Order was originally designed to prevent. However, we consider it desirable to significantly strengthen the Act in some respects and particularly to specially prohibit resale price maintenance, unfair discrimination and “hello money”. Such provisions will, henceforth, be enforced by the Competition Authority ...

A&L Goodbody LLP | December 2005

On Wednesday 21 December, Ms Justice Laffoy issued her long-awaited judgment in Fyffes’ multi-million euro insider dealing action against Jim Flavin and his company Development Capital Corporation plc (DCC) and two of its subsidiaries. The decision follows 87 days of evidence, which closed in July 2005. Ms Justice Laffoy ruled that the defendants were not in possession of price sensitive information at the time they sold their shares in Fyffes and as such, no civil liability to Fyffes arose ...

Scottish Enterprise has a number of schemes to make it easier for small to medium-sized businesses to access growth funding, such as a loan, equity finance - where the investors take shares in your company - or a combination of the two ...

A&L Goodbody LLP | January 2006

The new Irish Commercial Court is living up to expectations by providing a fast and effective means of resolving commercial disputes. A&L Goodbody recently secured for a full hearing within two days of a case being accepted by the Court. The matter involved an arbitrator's referral of a point of law. The speed as well as the terms of decision were crucial in protecting the client's interest ...

Scottish Enterprise has a number of schemes to make it easier for small to medium-sized businesses to access growth funding, such as a loan, equity finance - where the investors take shares in your company - or a combination of the two ...

Gas Natural’s high profile courting of Endesa has had a choppy ride on the roller coaster ship of public takeovers. Not only is the desired companion resisting the marriage, but also is she summoning the high waves of competition law in her defence. Not much of the public debate of the competition law aspects is focussed on the merits of perhaps one of the last industry transforming mergers in the Spanish energy markets ...

On 13 December 2005, the European Court of Justice ("ECJ") found Marks and Spencer plc ("M&S") could claim group tax relief from UK tax authorities in relation to the losses incurred by its former European subsidiaries that had ceased trading in Belgium, France and Germany in 2001. M&S argued that just as UK resident companies in a group may set off their profits and losses among themselves, so the same should be possible for the losses of foreign subsidiaries ...

Lavery Lawyers | January 2006

Some important changes to the Act respecting the legal publicity of sole proprietorships, partnerships and legal persons (the “Act”) took place effective January 1st, 2006.The Act generally applies to all legal persons, partnerships and individuals carrying on an activity in the Province of Québec and requires those entities to register with the Enterprise registrar ...

As it is considered as of general interest, we would like to mention that on December 30, 2005, the Federal Official Gazette published an executive order amending Article 117 and Article 118 of the Financial Institutions Law ...

Deacons | February 2006

China presents enormous opportunities for the wealth management industry. Since the opening up of China’s banking and other financial industries to foreign investments, foreign banks, securities companies, insurers and fund management companies have sought to establish presence in this market through the setting up of representative offices, branches, foreign direct investments and joint venture companies ...

Deacons | February 2006

November and December 2005 saw the Hong Kong real estate investment trust (“REIT”) market burst into life, with the listing of three REITs on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong – The Link REIT (Hong Kong retail and car parks), Prosperity REIT (Hong Kong commercial) and GZI REIT (office buildings in Guangdong, PRC) ...

Deacons | February 2006

In 2006, the SFC plans to conduct another investigation into licensed investment advisers. This follows a report issued in February 2005, in which the SFC noted industry practices that posed “serious regulatory concerns”. It is timely, then, for investment advisers to review their adherence to the standards of conduct expected of them by the SFC. We set out below some of the practices that investment advisers should adopt to ensure regulatory compliance ...

Deacons | February 2006

The China Securities Regulatory Commission (“CSRC”) and State Administration of Foreign Exchange (“SAFE”) have, in recent months, issued consultation drafts of proposed amendments to the two major regulations governing Qualified Foreign Institutional Investors (“QFIIs”): and . According to the draft regulations, certain amendments are to be implemented. Under the existing regulations, QFIIs are subject to relatively long investment lock-up periods ...

In April last year, companies were given greater flexibility in protecting their directors against certain liabilities as a result of changes to the law. The changes recognised increasing concern over directors' exposure to liability arising from legal proceedings brought by third parties. The Companies Actprohibits a company from exempting directors in respect of liability if negligent, in default or in breach of duty or trust ...

A&L Goodbody LLP | March 2006

On St Patrick’s Day the Irish Revenue Commissioners issued a communication, through CREST, in relation to CFDs. In the communication the Revenue said they believe the underlying hedging transaction behind a CFD, where the broker acquires Irish shares, may not fall within the relevant stamp duty exemptions that the brokers are claiming. If the Revenue are correct the broker has a 1% stamp duty liability on this hedging transaction ...

On March 15, 2006, the German Federal Cartel Office published a new Leniency Program, which replaces the previous Notice 68 of 2000. With this Program, the FCO offers cartel participants wishing to leave a cartel and cooperate with the FCO immunity from or reduction of fines. A summary of the new Program can be found at: http://www.worldservicesgroup.com/files/groups/1494_0330023908 ...

There are three possible courses of action in this situation. These are: Derivative action A derivative action is brought under common law by a member on behalf of a company in respect of a wrong done to that company. Remedies awarded are for the benefit of the company. Derivative actions are an option where the company itself could sue and there has been a fraud on the minority, illegality or a failure to approve a matter by the members passing an appropriate resolution ...

Deacons | April 2006

Under the Rules Governing Offshore Funds of August 2005, private placement of offshore funds may only be offered to: a) banks, bills companies, securities companies, trust companies, insurance companies, financial holding companies or other legal entities or organisation approved by the Taiwan Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC); b) not more than 35 “private investors” ...

Deacons | April 2006

The Law Reform Commission (Commission) published a report on 25 October 2005 recommending proposals to reform the doctrine of privity of contract in Hong Kong. The aim of the reform is to allow a person who is not a party to a contract to enforce the contract if that was the intent of the contracting parties. Under the existing doctrine of privity of contract, a person cannot acquire and enforce rights under a contract to which he is not a party ...

Deacons | April 2006

The State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) issued the Notice on Relevant Issues in the Foreign Exchange Control over Financing and Round Trip Investment through Special Purpose Companies by Residents Inside China on 21 October 2005 ...

Deacons | April 2006

Investors, investment managers and others with direct or attributed interests of 5% or more of any Hong Kong listed company are subject to Hong Kong’s substantial shareholder disclosure regime. Inadvertent breaches of the regime are common, largely because of its complexity and investors’ misapprehensions of the requirements. A review of enforcement actions over the last year indicates an increasingly aggressive approach by the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) ...

Deacons | April 2006

An exemption from “acting in concert” is available under the Hong Kong Codes on Takeovers and Mergers and Share Repurchases (Takeovers Code) to entities within a large financial group which manage investment accounts on a discretionary basis and which maintain acceptable levels of segregation regarding confidential information through Chinese Walls ...

Deacons | April 2006

The UK's Financial Services Authority (FSA) has issued a Feedback Statement on its discussion paper DP05/4 "Hedge funds: A discussion of risk and regulatory engagement" and has urged firms to focus on the risks posed by side letters "which will remain an area of supervisory focus". Side letters have become a common feature for institutional investors investing in hedge funds with the result that such investors receive preferential treatment and more information than other investors ...

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