Attorney General announces fines to prevent spread of COVID-19

The UAE Attorney General has issued resolution No. (38) of 2020 following Cabinet Decision No. 17 of 2020 regarding the implementation of regulations for spreading communicable diseases. The resolution covers 15 penalties, ranging from AED 500 to AED 50,000, which aim to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus in the UAE.

The Attorney General has clarified that the fine for not wearing medical masks in closed places can only be imposed on patients suffering from chronic diseases and on people who are suffering from symptoms of flu and cold and fail to maintain social distancing while among other people.

The following are the violations and associated fines as issued under the Attorney General’s resolution:

  • Fine for not complying with instructions of home quarantine and/or not following the guidelines under the Home Quarantine Guide– AED 50,000
  • Fine for patients who refuse mandatory hospitalisation or fail to take the prescribed medicines despite being alerted – AED 50,000
  • Fine for violating administrative closure of public places like shopping centres, malls, outdoor markets, gyms, public swimming pools, cinemas, clubs, parks and restaurants – AED 50,000 (Additionally, there is a fine of AED 500 for people caught visiting these public places)
  • Fine for organising social gatherings, meetings and public celebrations – AED 10,000 (Additionally, there is a fine of AED 5,000 for people attending the social gatherings and events)
  • Fine for not conducting a medical test upon request – AED 5,000
  • Fine for violating precautionary measures set by the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention by people coming from nations affected by communicable diseases – AED 2,000
  • Fine for failure to observe health measures regarding regulation of roads, markets and other public places exempted from temporary closure – AED 3,000
  • Fine for failure to dispose of clothes, luggage or any temporary structures proved to be contaminated, which can’t be disinfected by the standard established methods – AED 3,000
  • Fine for unnecessary visits to hospitals and other health facilities – AED 1,000
  • Fine for exceeding the maximum number of allowed persons in a car (i.e. more than 3 persons in car) – AED 1,000
  • Fine for not wearing medical masks indoors and failure to maintain social distancing by persons suffering from chronic disease or having symptoms of flu and cold – AED 1,000
  • Fine for leaving home unnecessarily and without reason, except for important work or a genuine reason (purchase of essentials, medicines, etc.) – AED 2,000
  • Fine for violating provisions of the law when burying or transporting the body of a person who died from a communicable disease – AED 3,000
  • Fine for drivers failing to maintain hygiene and following sterilisation procedures in public transportation – AED 5,000
  • Fine for failure to take precautionary measures, failure for the crew of ships from the captain or shipping agent, as the case may be – AED 10,000

The National Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Federal Prosecution has been entrusted with the task of implementation of the resolution and may seek assistance from local and public authorities as required.

The penalties shall be doubled in amount for repeat violators and if the violator commits a third offence, he will be referred to the National Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Federal Prosecution for appropriate action. Further, the violator must also bear the costs of any repairs for damages occurring due to the violation.

The resolution is a part of the government’s measures to combat the spread of coronavirus and to protect the health of citizens and residents of the UAE by curbing unnecessary gathering and outings.

Dentons adds Insurance Regulatory duo in Los Angeles

Dentons, the world’s largest law firm, today announces that Robert P. Barbarowicz and Kathleen M. McCain have joined the Insurance Regulatory practice. Focused on complex insurance transactions and regulatory disputes, the pair will be resident in the Firm’s Los Angeles office.

Both highly experienced in regulatory proceedings and transactions, the pair bring a balance of Barbarowicz’s transactional experience in complex transactions involving insurance companies and agencies and McCain’s perspective from litigating insurance disputes at the trial and appellate levels.

“We’re delighted to welcome Bob and Kathleen to our world class insurance practice,” said Keith Moskowitz, co-chair of Dentons’ US Insurance practice. “Our insurance clients will benefit from their wealth of experience and their transactional and litigation experience serving the industry.”

Barbarowicz has more than 30 years’ experience in the insurance industry with a particular focus on large and complicated insurance transactions, purchase transactions, redomestications, securing regulatory approvals for complex transactions in many states, force-placed insurance, rate regulation and rate filings. His experience includes representing property and casualty, life and title insurance companies. Prior to entering private practice he held leadership roles at several large insurance companies, including Balboa Insurance Group and the Ahmanson Insurance Companies. In addition to counseling insurance clients Barbarowicz advises clients on corporate finance transactions including substantial capital extraction. He holds both a JD and a BA from Pennsylvania State University.

McCain represents insurance companies and regulators in navigating rate regulations, policy review, insurance M&A, compliance, financial and market conduct examinations, litigation strategy, holding company matters, reinsurance, corporate governance, insolvency and asset recovery. Experienced across all lines of insurance including property and casualty, life, title insurance and surplus lines matters, she also uses her litigation background to offer clients unique perspective and insight. McCain is an Accredited Insurance Receiver for Legal and Reinsurance by the International Association of Insurance Receivers. She holds a JD from Valparaiso University Law School and a BA from Ohio Northern University.

Dubai Notary Public Services to be Provided Remotely

A recent circular from the Notary Public in Dubai confirmed that due to COVID-19 all Notary Public services, in all branches, would cease up till the 9th April 2020. Up until this date it has been confirmed that certain Notary Public services may be conducted remotely.

The following Notary Services can be conducted remotely:

  • i) Power of Attorney notarisation;
  • ii) Notarisation of legal notices;
  • iii) Acknowledgements;
  • iv) Notarisation of Local Service Agent Agreements;
  • v) Notarisation of Memorandums of Association and addendum’s thereto for civil companies.

All services relating to commercial companies’ memoranda and addenda have been transferred to Dubai Economy and are no longer dealt with by the Dubai Notary Public.

The remote working times for the Dubai Notary Public will be from 8am till 4pm from Sunday to Thursday.

The service requires a subscription to BOTIM and the Notary office will contact the attestor to the document through this video connection to establish identity and knowledge of the document which must be sent to the Dubai Notary Public’s dedicated email address in PDF format with an approved reference to the remote signing on the bottom of each page. The fees will be payable by credit card and the courier will deliver the document at a cost of AED21 to your address.

There is therefore no need to wait for 9th April 2020 before important notarisation’s are attended to and BSA is able to assist you in finalising the arrangements for notarial execution of your documents during this already stressful time.

Dentons announces US COVID-19 50-State Tracker

Dentons, the world’s largest law firm and the only global law firm operating in most of the countries where there is a significant outbreak of COVID-19, including in the US, today adds a COVID-19 50-State Tracker to a suite of client resources available publicly.

Dentons’ COVID-19 50-State Tracker provides an overview of key information for each US state and the District of Columbia, including reviews of state and local governmental orders, directives and financial assistance, official links, public restrictions, health and business directives, school closures and updates on courts and legislative sessions. Official links are provided where possible throughout the Index to ensure that the latest guidance and orders are available.

In addition to official links, the COVID-19 50-State Tracker will be updated regularly. Slated for future additions are information on remote online notarisation and eNotarisation, mortgage and rent payment relief and tele-medicine/tele-health. Those interested in regular COVID-19 updates can opt-in to an e-mail list.

Dentons, which has been a leader in advising and collaborating with the global legal and business communities, pledges to continue to share insights and best practices with clients and contacts around the world, and proactively support the business community as it navigates business challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Dentons has developed multiple resources throughout Q1 2020 and these are available to the public and global business community at large through its COVID-19 hub on the Firm’s website.

About Dentons

Dentons is the world’s largest law firm, delivering quality and value to clients around the globe. Dentons is a leader on the Acritas Global Elite Brand Index, a BTI Client Service 30 Award winner and recognised by prominent business and legal publications for its innovations in client service, including founding Nextlaw Enterprise, Dentons’ wholly owned subsidiary of innovation, advisory and technology operating units. Dentons’ polycentric approach, commitment to inclusion and diversity and world-class talent challenge the status quo to advance client interests in the communities in which we live and work.

Pinsent Masons announces 2020 partner promotions

Multinational law firm Pinsent Masons has announced 17 new partners in its 2020 promotion round as it promotes outside of traditional legal services for the first time.

Hayley Boxall has been made partner in Forensic Accounting Services while director of Client Solutions David Halliwell has also been promoted to partner as the firm strengthens its capabilities as a professional services business with law at its core.

The remaining 15 new partners are from the firm’s five core global sectors; Energy, Financial Services, Infrastructure, Real Estate and Advanced Manufacturing & Technology.

The promotions, which take effect on 1 May, bring the total number of partners to 474 with female representation across the partnership reaching approximately 28%. This year, almost half of those promoted are women signalling the firm’s continued progress towards a position where promotions demographics reflect the pool from which candidates are drawn.

Richard Foley, senior partner at Pinsent Masons, says: “We are incredibly proud of the talent, skill and dedication of all of our people. As we all take stock and adjust to the challenges we face prompted by COVID-19, it’s heartening to have some positive news that helps us look to the future. Those promoted strengthen our position as a leading sector-focused, multinational legal services provider and mark an important step in our transition to become a professional services business with law at its core.

“The firm’s commitment to provide its clients with innovative, solutions-based legal services is the touchstone of our business. Now, more than ever, developing talent that supports this is critical as our clients grapple with the challenges posed by coronavirus.”

Pinsent Masons was one of the first law firms to establish an in-house forensic accounting team, offering clients a multi-disciplinary approach to disputes, consultancy services and investigations.

As the partner leading Client Solutions, David Halliwell works with a wide range of professionals across the firm to help clients transform the way they deliver legal services to their businesses, both through the firm’s existing portfolio of process, resourcing and technology solutions and through collaboration to create new ones.

The full list of those promoted to partner is as follows:

  • Dawn Allen (Financial Services, UK)
  • Simone Alphonse (Energy, Infrastructure, Australia)
  • Catherine Bendeich (Energy, Infrastructure, Australia)
  • Hayley Boxall (Forensic and Accounting Services, UK)
  • Matthew Brewer (Financial Services, UK)
  • Andrew Brydon (AMT, Infrastructure, UK)
  • Oliver Crowley (Financial Services, UK)
  • David Halliwell (Client Solutions, UK)
  • Karah Howard (Energy, Infrastructure, Hong Kong)
  • Gemma Kaplan (Financial Services, UK)
  • David Lancaster (Advanced Manufacturing & Technology, UK)
  • Nick McDonald (Energy, Real Estate, UK)
  • Ann-Marie Salmacis (Real Estate, UK)
  • Michael Smith (Real Estate, UK)
  • David Stoppelmann (Energy, Germany)
  • Alasdair Weir (Energy, infrastructure, UK)
  • Kathryn Wynn (Financial Services, UK)

If you would like to find out more information about Pinsent Masons, please visit: https://www.pinsentmasons.com/

Eversheds Sutherland advises on Springland privatisation financing

Eversheds Sutherland Hong Kong advised DBS Bank on the acquisition financing in connection with the HK$4.5 billion privatisation of Springland International Holdings Limited (“Springland”).

Springland operates a number of department stores and supermarkets in Mainland China, in particular in the Greater Yangtze River Delta region. It has branches across nearly ten cities in Jiangsu and Anhui provinces. Springland listed on the Main Board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong in 2010 (HKSE: 1700).

The privatisation of Springland by the offeror, Octopus (China) Holdings Limited, was by way of a scheme of arrangement under section 86 of the Companies Law of the Cayman Islands. DBS Asia Capital Limited was the financial adviser to Octopus (China) Holdings Limited. The scheme became effective in February 2020.

Lead partner, Kingsley Ong, commented: “We were delighted to work with DBS on this notable transaction and to help Octopus (China) Holdings Limited in its successful acquisition and privatisation. Our team worked to a demanding timetable and the successful close is a credit to everyone’s hard work and dedication”.

Stephen Mok, Senior Partner and Head of Corporate, Asia, added: “We are very grateful for this opportunity to advise DBS on this transaction. There are many reasons why privatisations take place. Some controlling shareholders may want to restructure and recapitalise their business with a view to re-listing later on. Some investors may see privatisations as good opportunities to take over undervalued listed companies. The current state of the stock markets present a valuable opportunity to go down this route. I expect to see more activities in this area as the sentiment of the financial markets continues to be hampered by the current pandemic.”

The Hong Kong team was led by partner Kingsley Ong, with Of Counsel Sin Joh Chuang and Simon Barrell, Associates Polly Chiu and Toby Wai, and trainee Hinny Leung.