Funds specialist Sophie Reguengo promoted to partner at Ogier

Funds specialist Sophie Reguengo has been promoted to partner in Ogier’s leading Jersey investment fund team.

Sophie joins Niamh Lalor and Emily Haithwaite as partners leading the Jersey investment funds team, making Ogier’s the first all-women led investment funds legal team in the Island.

Sophie is a highly experienced investment funds and regulatory lawyer with over 15 years’ industry experience. She is recognised as a “Rising Star” by IFLR1000 and a “Next Generation Lawyer” by Legal 500.

She acts for a wide range of real estate and private equity managers and is an active member of Ogier’s fund finance team. As partner, Sophie will play a central role in Ogier’s funds and regulatory offering.

Sophie is a founding member of Lean In Jersey, and is an advocate for women and equality in the workplace.

Niamh Lalor said: “We are delighted to welcome Sophie to the partnership. Sophie has built an excellent reputation in the industry, renowned for her technical ability and outstanding client services.

“We are committed to developing talent at Ogier and since joining last year, Sophie has been a truly exceptional member of the team. Her promotion is thoroughly well-deserved and I look forward to working with Sophie in her new capacity as partner.”

Oil spill on Northeast Brazil beaches reach 9 States

For over one month now (44 days), an unprecedented extensive area along the shoreline of Brazil’s Northeast Region has been hit by an oily substance in the form of lumps of black tar, which origin remains unknown.

Substantial oil slicks were first spotted since at least 30 August 2019, but it was only weeks later they realised that the pollution was widespread and gradually reached the entire shoreline along the northeastern coast of the South Atlantic Ocean, heading south.

According to the federal environmental agency IBAMA, more than 70 municipalities in the nine Northeastern states – Alagoas, Bahia, Ceará, Maranhão, Paraiba, Pernambuco, Piaui, Rio Grande do Norte and Sergipe – have been reached by the oil spill in the course of recent weeks. The affected area spans over 1,370 nautical miles across sandy beaches, mangroves, reefs, and rocky coasts and varied fauna and flora, extending from Cururupu in the state of Maranhão to Arempebe in Bahia soon to reach the metropolitan area of Salvador, Northeast’s largest city, and beyond.

To date, more than 130 tonnes of oil waste has been collected on the many affected beaches, while oil-soaked sea turtles are being washed on the shores of the north-eastern coast, many of them already dead. Fish contamination and mortality and even dolphin are also being reported.

Petrobras stated that representative samples of the substance were tested, and it was concluded that the product that currently pollutes the pristine north-eastern beaches is crude oil, neither produced nor imported by Brazil.

A study by the Institute of Geosciences of the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA), in partnership with the Federal University of Sergipe (UFS), points out that the oil is of Venezuelan origin.

According to the Brazilian environment minister Ricardo Salles, based on an alleged match between the samples tested and Venezuelan crude, it is likely that the product in question actually came from Venezuela, possibly carried on a vessel sailing near the Brazilian coast that accidentally or otherwise discharged it.

Official investigations Brazilian Navy’s Directorate of Ports and Coasts (DPC) has opened an administrative enquiry to determine the source of the oil spill. The procedure includes analysis of maritime traffic data, information collected by naval ships and aircrafts passing or patrolling the area.

Navy’s Integrated Maritime Safety Centre (CISMAR) is investigating maritime traffic in the region, comprising an area of about 36,000 square nautical miles in Brazil’s exclusive economic zone, with an emphasis on oil tankers. In just one month, CISMAR identified 140 tankers, some of which are being notified by the maritime authority to provide information.

The maritime authority – DPC – is also assisting the environmental agencies in the pollution response and conducting sea and air patrols; however, so far, no trace of oil has been found in the open sea, only in the coastal area near the beaches.

In accordance with the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage (CLC/1969) and the International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Cooperation (OPRC/1990), both signed by Brazil, the fines for oil pollution can reach R$ 50 million, without prejudice to other administrative and criminal sanctions and the polluter’s strict responsibility to fully repair environmental damage.

Year by year the shipping industry has been adopting good practices which consequently results in a substantial reduction of oil spill incidents. The industry is adopting measures aimed at the reduction of the environmental impact, such as IMO 2020.

The truth is that maritime transport is a matrix with less environmental impact than road transport that is so largely used in Brazil. Obviously it is necessary to investigate and identify the polluting source.

Newsletter September 2019 Nina Boteva Law Office

The Electronic Communications Networks and Physical Infrastructure Act (ECNPI) was promulgated at the beginning of March 2018. This Law regulates public relations connected to the deployment, use, maintenance and development of electronic communications networks; providing access to and use of existing physical infrastructure; the rights and obligations of network operators, contractors, property owners, persons who manage or use real estate and tenants.

The ECNPI introduced the notion “Single Information Point (SIP)”, which is an electronic platform, integrating and systematizing information on the procedures and regulations governing the deployment and maintenance of infrastructure, including the authorities competent to issue acts in this field and their respective fees. There is guaranteed access to all available sample documents for obtaining permits and other infrastructure-related acts. This Act outlines the conditions for the completion and submission by electronic means of applications and documents necessary for the deployment and maintenance of electronic communications networks and physical infrastructure, as well as for receiving information on the progress of their review by the competent authorities.

The conditions for granting access to information contained in the SIP are governed by the Ordinance on data formats and the terms and conditions for submitting access to information in the Single Information Point (hereinafter Ordinance), which was published in the middle of September in the Bulgarian State Gazette. The purpose of the Ordinance is to regulate the order and manner of providing information from and to the SIP. The latter was created as a geographical information system, however it is necessary to establish specific technical rules that will make possible the effective implementation of Art. 4 of the ECNPI and will lead to the achievement of the objectives set out therein for efficient and easy access to information regarding physical infrastructure. This will create conditions for accelerated deployment of high-speed electronic communications networks, reduction of investment costs, provision of effective control, respectively, increasingly satisfying the needs of users of modern and diverse electronic communications services.

UAE Federal Tax Authority publishes new guide

Clarifications are used when there is a question about the VAT Law and how it will apply in a certain case. The main change with the new guide is the extension of the time limit required for receiving a Clarification upon submission of all relevant information and documents to the FTA, from 40 business days to 45 business days.

There is further an additional paragraph which explains that if a case is very complex, for e.g. the FTA may have to consider other legislation or contractual or factual information, then a further 45 business days may be required.

In essence, for complex cases, the FTA may require 90 business days from the date of the initial submission to determine a case.

Download the guide here

Why Register a Cyprus Company

An article by Mr. Michalis Economides, CEO | Advocate & Legal Consultant of the International Law Firm Chambersfield Economides Kranos

Business nowadays operates in an interconnected world, without any boundaries or limitations toprotect brands and companies from the merciless competition.

In our era, due totechnological breakthroughs, competition is thriving and multi-attacking companiesand brands from various channels of communication; therefore entrepreneurs findthemselves in the difficult position of searching and finding the mostfavorable path to follow, for the achievement of economies of scales.

Currently, manyentrepreneurs are in the process of searching various ways on how they can maximise their productivity and enhance their profitability by minimising theiroperational costs. One of the main scenarios they examine, due to its endless possibilities, is the reincorporation or re domiciliation of theirbusiness activities in favorable markets. Even though this practice is verycommon, entrepreneurs should cautiously consider their options, since this pathcan be very costly, multifaceted and time consuming.

Consequently, when entrepreneurs decide to pursue this course of action not only do they have toprepare their business plan but they also have to include the nature of activities and purposes of their company and simultaneously proceed with thepolitical, economical, social and technological environment analysis of the target market.

Additionally, they should examine important economical parameters of the targeted country such asthe taxation regime scheme, processing time of company formation or redomiciliation and the terms and conditions of the exchange regulations, as well as, the transaction flexibility, assets, personal information protection andrequirements for opening corporate bank accounts etc.

In summary, entrepreneurs should thoroughly assess the business law frame work under which their company will operate.

Even though various countries are renowned for their favorable tax regime scheme, Cyprus is considered to be one of the most reputable and strongest jurisdictions for many types of company formation, incorporation, trusts and investment offering oneof the lowest corporate tax rates in Europe.

Cyprus is a country island situated in the Eastern Mediterranean area, at the heart of three continents; Europe, Africa and Asia thus rendering it a favourable choice.

It is a full member ofthe European Community and completely aligned with the EU regulations. Itscurrency is Euro and the official language is Greek while English is spoken by almost everyone and Russian by a significant percentage of the population.

In addition, Cyprus hasone of the lowest crime rates in the world. It has an excellent transportation structure and infrastructure that support the entire spectrum of business activities which take place on the island. It has a trustworthy and advanced private banking and medical system. Cypriot people are well mannered and are famous for their hospitality.

The Legal System of Cyprus is based on Common Law. Its economy operates based upon an open,market driven principle, with favorable tax regimes for the incorporation ofcompanies and investments. Moreover, Cyprus is characterised by a high percapita income and renowned as a European Union centre for foreign investments,offshore businesses and activities.

Also, it is important tonote that the Government authorities of Cyprus are promoting heavily theincorporation and foreign investments, as well as, allowing the purchase/ownership of property under favorable conditions.

Consequently, Cyprus Government authorities engage in non – stop negotiations for forming double taxation treaties with non European countries, in order for the Cypriot active companies to enjoy an important competitive advantage. Currently, Cyprus is an affiliate to more than 50 double taxation treaties based on the OECD including the EU, China, India, Kuwait, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, USA, Azerbaijan,Lebanon, UAE, Georgia and other important hub countries.

Furthermore, otherimportant advantages of Cyprus are the low corporation tax rate, the very shorttime frame for company registration, as well as, the low annual maintenancefees of corporations. Cyprus offers one of the lowest corporation tax rates inthe EU, which is 12.5%. The time frame for the registration of a new company is very short, approximately 7-9 days.

Hence, Cyprus allows theuse of nominee Directors, Secretary and Shareholders therefore there is noobligation of exposure of the Ultimate Beneficial Owner (UBO) in the publicCompany Registrar Record. Anonymity rights are fully safeguarded and there isno need for the owner to be present during the process of the incorporation oropening of a corporate bank account. Bank accounts can open between 2 – 5 working days with full online electronic banking and digital pass as well as adebit card.

Cyprus is considered tobe the most well-known EU country for offshore company formation and Trusts.The Cyprus International Trusts are exempted from income tax, capital gainstax, special contribution or any other taxes. Additionally, there is no estateduty or inheritance tax in Cyprus, there is flexibility for relocation, thereis no exchange control regulation and trusts can operate internationally withno disposal tax of securities. Thus, there are no withholding taxes ondividend payments, interest or royalties to non residents (subject toconditions).

In addition, the profits from the sale of shares in the stock exchange are tax free, whereas, the lossesof a company can be carried forward opposed to future profits for an indefinite period. Besides those very important advantages, Cyprus is also offering the Group relief option, whereby the loss of one company can be covered by theprofits of another since both of them are under the Cyprus residential taxscheme.

Moreover, CyprusPermanent Residence and Citizenship Schemes are considered to be one of the strongest in the world since they provide several significant benefits to theinvestors, as well as, an advantageous flexibility towards the investors thatare reside in non EU member states, which includes, their family members under18 years old as well.

To sum up, Cyprus tax law is characterised by its simplicity,straight forward approach and effectiveness. Subsequently, entrepreneurs should consider Cyprus as a favorable market for incorporation or re -domiciliation of their business activities, since their companies will enjoyinstantly, among other important advantages, low corporate taxation rates andannual maintenance corporation costs.

In addition,entrepreneurs will have the option of forming an offshore company or a trust soas to protect their assets, companies’ strategies and personal information byenjoying a very beneficial taxation regime with no exchange control regulationthat would limit international operation.

Justifiably, Cyprus isconsidered to be an EU Tax Heaven island country. Cyprus companies enjoy safety, stability and flexibility, as well as, overall low tax rates whilehaving the opportunity to trade not only in the EU but in other countries byenjoying the advantages of over 50 double taxation treaties.

Cyprus is globally an ideal investment and incorporation gateway, offering to theinvestors a market right of entry to more than 500 million EU citizens, the Middle East and China.

K&P Authors a Report on M&A Market Structure in Poland

The K&P Transaction Advisory and Analysis team has prepared a report on the structure of the M&A market in Poland. The report presents an in-depth analysis of current trends in the M&A market and phenomena affecting its structure in the first half of 2019.

The report presents the situation on the mergers and acquisitions market in terms of value and number of transactions across particular sectors, origin of the capital, supply side of the market, type of investors, blocks of shares purchased, as well as potential events that may impact the market.

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