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Duane Morris bolsters international trade capabilities

Geoffrey M. Goodale has joined Duane Morris LLP as a partner in the firm’s Corporate Practice Group in the Washington, D.C., office. The addition of Goodale enhances the firm’s international trade capabilities. Prior to joining Duane Morris, Goodale was a partner at FisherBroyles, LLP.

“Geoff is a key addition to our Corporate Practice Group,” said Matthew A. Taylor, CEO and Chairman of Duane Morris. “His extensive experience in the significant and always-evolving area of international trade is a crucial advantage for our global clients.”

“Geoff’s practice brings a key component of strength to our clients as they run their businesses in an increasingly interconnected world,” said Brian P. Kerwin, chair of the firm’s Corporate Practice Group. “His experience will be invaluable to our clients as they navigate the intricacies of a global supply chain.”

“We’re excited to have Geoff join us in Washington, D.C.,” said Patrick D. McPherson, managing partner of the Duane Morris Washington, D.C., office. “He will be a great addition to our office and the firm.”

For over 17 years, Goodale has assisted U.S. and non-U.S. entities of all sizes and in many industries in achieving their international business objectives in cost-effective ways. His practice focuses on export controls, economic sanctions, import compliance, trade litigation, international intellectual property rights protection, foreign direct investment, cybersecurity, anti-corruption, and government contracting matters.

Goodale counsels companies on a wide range of issues relating to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) enforced by the U.S. Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), and the economic sanctions laws and regulations administered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). Additionally, he conducts internal investigations and audits to assess compliance in these areas.

Goodale also advises clients on all aspects of compliance with U.S. import laws and regulations, including those relating to determining the proper classification, valuation and country of origin of merchandise. He regularly represents clients in matters involving U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), including assisting clients in preparing for and undergoing CBP audits. He also assists clients in developing duty-savings strategies through the effective use of duty drawback, foreign trade zones and subzones, preferential duty programs, and free trade agreements, including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Dominican Republic Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR).

Goodale’s experience also includes representing both U.S. and non-U.S. companies in all manner of anti-dumping duty and countervailing duty cases before the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), including investigations, administrative reviews, scope ruling requests and anti-circumvention proceedings, as well as in appeals of certain DOC and ITC decisions to the U.S. Court of International Trade and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. He also has represented complainants and respondents in trade-related intellectual property rights cases filed with the ITC under Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, and appeals of certain such decisions to the CAFC.

Additionally, Goodale possesses extensive experience in advising clients on international mergers and acquisitions. With respect to acquisitions by foreign entities of U.S. companies, this experience includes, among other things: taking actions necessary to clear proposed deals through the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS); filing required submissions with DDTC and/or BIS when export-controlled products and technologies are involved; and structuring transactions so as to mitigate foreign ownership, control or influence (FOCI) in a way that is acceptable to the Defense Security Service (DSS) in order for the U.S. company to maintain its Facility Security Clearance (FCL).

Goodale also provides compliance counseling to government contractors on a wide range of matters covered by the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS). In addition, he provides counseling to clients relating to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and conducts internal investigations to ensure that clients comply with the requirements of the FCPA and other anti-bribery laws, such as the UK Bribery Act.

A long-standing and active member of the American Bar Association (ABA), Goodale currently serves as co-chair of the ABA Section of International Law’s National Security Committee and vice-chair of the ABA Intellectual Property Law Section’s Business and Trade Division. He also currently is the chair of the Virginia State Bar’s International Practice Section and co-chair of the D.C. Bar’s International Trade Committee.

Goodale is a graduate of the George Washington University Law School (J.D., 2001), where he was a Dean’s Fellow and a notes editor for the American Intellectual Property Law Association Quarterly Journal. Prior to obtaining his J.D., Goodale obtained a M.A. in Government and a B.A. in Russian Studies and Government (with honors) from the College of William and Mary.

About Duane Morris

Duane Morris LLP provides innovative solutions to today’s multifaceted legal and business challenges through the collegial and collaborative culture of its more than 800 attorneys in offices across the United States and internationally. The firm represents a broad array of clients, spanning all major practices and industries.

Specialised banking license in Lithuania by Yuliya Barabash

Lithuania and mainly its capital Vilnius became a new flagship of European banking services centres. Favourable regulatory and tax environment, excellent infrastructure, fast Internet, cheap office space and the ability to select high-quality budget personnel make Vilnius attractive for both large international banking institutions and FinTech startups.

Moreover, in 2018, the Central Bank of Lithuania won the Central Banking FinTech RegTech Global Awards for its comprehensive approach to regulating the provision of financial services, namely in creating a favourable environment for the development of financial technologies and openness for financial service providers. Are there any other arguments for choosing this jurisdiction for the Fintech project?

In this article we will talk about a unique offer – a specialised banking license in Lithuania with reduced requirements for authorised capital – what is it about? How to get such a banking license? What functionality does this type of license cover?

What is a specialised bank?

Specialised banking license is a concept introduced in Lithuanian legislation from January 1, 2017 as a type of universal banking license. The main difference of this type of license is the requirement for the size of the authorised capital. The standard size of the authorised capital for the European Bank is 5 million Euros, while the Specialised banking license in Lithuania is issued for a company with the authorised company only 1 million Euros. It significantly simplifies the creation of your bank, isn’t it?

Functional authority

The terms of reference that this license gives its owners are very extensive – a company with a specialised banking license has the right to provide the following services: receiving deposits and other repayable funds; lending (including mortgage lending); financial leasing; payment services; issuance and management of travellers checks, bank checks and other means of payment; providing financial guarantees; financial inter-mediation (agent activity); money management; credit rating services; safe rental; currency exchange (cash); issue of electronic money.

The only functional difference between a specialised and a universal banking license is the presence of restrictions on providing investment services, management of investment and pension funds, and other similar activities. However, in practice for these purposes an alternative company is registered with the subsequent receipt of a permit for investment activity and asset management of third parties.

Conditions for obtaining a banking license

The times for obtaining a specialised banking license in Lithuania is another incredible advantage of this type of service. With such broad powers, a company licensing takes from 6 to 12 months after providing all of the necessary documentation. Capital requirement, as mentioned above, is only 1 million Euros.

Also, to obtain such a banking license, you will need to confirm the economic presence of your company in Lithuania: you need a real local office, the minimum number of bank management staff must be 10 people, but at least one of them must be a resident of Lithuania and speak Lithuanian.

Brexit and Lithuanian specialised banking license

Brexit made adjustments even to the functioning of well-known FinTech startups – the “certification” of companies’ activities became an issue. What does it mean?

International financial companies licensed in the UK are looking for the possibility of licensing their services in one of the EEA countries to provide services to residents of the entire zone. For these purposes a specialised bank in Lithuania is suitable like no other – a wide range of powers, comfortable licensing terms, minimal authorised capital. Who would you think in the forefront received a specialised banking license, rather than the famous financial institution Revolut? It’s worth to consider.

Our team is happy to offer you not only a full package of services for obtaining a specialised banking license in Lithuania, but also assistance in opening corporate and segregated accounts, obtaining membership in SEPA and SWIFT, connecting to Visa/Mastercard, as well as other legal support issues of your project. Get an advice on establishing your Specialised bank in Lithuania today. SBSB International Law Company – your business, our concerns.

UK and China trade relations championed by investment minister visit

International Trade Minister Graham Stuart MP travels to China today, to bolster the trade relationship between the UK and China post-Brexit.

Beginning his visit in the Chinese capital Beijing, the Minister will meet with key representatives in the Chinese government in the Ministry of Commerce and officials at the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), to promote the UK-China economic relationship and champion British business in the region.

While in China, he will meet with dozens of potential investors, hosting roundtables with Chinese life sciences, education, infrastructure and financial services businesses, to promote the strengths of the UK as an investment destination and encourage stronger trade ties between the two countries.

The visit will see Minister Stuart lead a 200-strong delegation of UK business leaders representing sectors such as tech, manufacturing, transport and education to the Smart China Expo in Chongqing , where he will champion the UK’s global leadership in smart technology, and attend the UK’s flagship pavilion at the Horticulture Expo in Beijing, where the UK is showcasing its leadership in clean energy and sustainable development.

The 10-day visit comes as trade and investment with China reaches record levels, bilateral trade between the 2 countries has more than doubled over the past 10 years, with the latest statistics showing trade has succeeded the £70bn mark for the first time during the last financial year.

Over the last decade, China has been the 3rd biggest contributor to the overall increase in British exports, beaten only by Germany and the USA.

Speaking ahead of his visit, the Minister for Investment Graham Stuart said:

China is a world-leading economy and the UK’s largest trading partner outside of Europe and North America, holding unparalleled opportunities for UK businesses.

Britain is committed to strengthening the UK-China trading relationship to ensure UK firms are poised to seize the opportunities the region offers as our trading relationship continues to blossom.

I hope my visit will be instrumental to winning investments into the UK , while opening up new opportunities for UK firms and fostering greater partnerships between our two great nations.

The Minister’s visit follows on from the UK-China 10th Economic and Financial Dialogue (EFD) which took place in London in June this year.

The EFD saw the former Chancellor, Philip Hammond, and Chinese Vice Premier, Hu Chunhua, launch the London-Shanghai Stock Connect UK, which allowed listed companies to sell their shares in China for the first time, alongside the announcement of £500 million worth of commercial deals and partnerships.

Minister Stuart’s visit is expected to secure a number of commercial deals and new partnerships between British and Chinese businesses.

Boris Johnson moves to mend relationship with UK business

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has moved to rebuild his relationship with the business community by hiring Sky executive Andrew Griffiths as part of his Number 10 team.

A source close to Griffiths said Johnson’s appointment of the Sky veteran – who most recently served as the broadcasting giant’s chief operating officer – was “a clear sign of intent” that the former mayor of London wants to build fresh links with the City and businesses across the UK.

Advisory Excellence understands that Griffiths, who joins the new government as Johnson’s top business adviser, first discussed the position with the incoming PM to weeks ago and felt that the new Tory leader “was the real deal.”

One source said Griffiths is “an operator, not a policy wonk” and he “will want to get things done.” Sources in Johnson’s camp have told Advisory Excellence that there will be a “beefing-up” of the Downing Street business team but it’s understood that Theresa May’s business adviser, Jimmy McLoughlin, will be staying on to assist with the transition.

Johnson ruptured his business-friendly reputation following the EU referendum when he was caught saying “f*** business” in reaction to corporate groups lobbying for a softer Brexit.

However, the relationship may already be thawing with most business groups giving a cautious welcome to the incoming resident of Number 10 yesterday.

TheCityUK congratulated Johnson on his convincing win but warned against a no-deal outcome with Brussels.“He becomes Prime Minister at a pivotal time in our country’s history.

He must now move swiftly to set out his plans for the road ahead. Ongoing Brexit uncertainty is depressing business activity, but the financial and related professional services industry remains very clear that a no-deal Brexit is still the worst of all outcomes,” it said..

The British Chamber of Commerce was also quick to send its regards, but again warned about the consequences of crashing out of the bloc. The message to Boris Johnson from business communities around the UK couldn’t be simpler: the time for campaigning is over — and we need you to get down to business.

Companies need to know, in concrete terms, what your government will do to avoid a messy, disorderly Brexit on 31 October – which would bring pain to communities across the UK and disruption to our trade around the world.

Business lobby group the CBI echoed other calls for a pro-business Brexit deal, but also on support for infrastructure projects to boost businesses across the country.

Johnson has previously voiced opposition two of the country’s most ambitious infrastructure projects: Heathrow airport expansion and the High Speed 2 (HS2) rail project.

An HS2 Ltd Spokesperson said: “We look forward to working with the new Prime Minister to ensure that HS2 will transform the British economy and is value for money for the taxpayer”.

Meanwhile, Heathrow boss John Holland-Kaye said the airport’s third runway, which Johnson opposed, will be “a critical part of any new prime minister’s agenda”.

“As we leave the EU we’re going to need to have the trading links that only Heathrow can bring and that is why we are cracking on with it.”

The pound dropped to $1.247, after the membership ballot result naming Johnson as leader was announced. As Michael Brown, senior analyst at Caxton FX explains, this was largely due to the fact that the likelihood of Johnson victory had already been priced in.

“With such an outcome having been largely expected, sterling’s immediate reaction has been muted as the news was already priced in,” he said. “However, focus will quickly switch to the next steps – namely, Cabinet appointments and the Brexit plan. The latter will be of more importance for markets, with sterling set to remain under pressure should Boris continue his ‘do or die’ Halloween Brexit stance.”

In the run-up to the announcement a number of businesses had been nervous about the prospect of a Johnson premiership, due to the former London mayor’s insistence that he would take the UK out of the EU with or without a deal by the 31 October.

No-deal vote boosts pound sterling

British Pound exchange rates remain under pressure with Brexit uncertainty continuing to loom large. However, against the US Dollar, Sterling found something of a reprieve yesterday after disappointing house building statistics were published across the Atlantic. With Theresa May now in her last week of office, concern over the potential for political chaos under her successor is likely to keep a lid on any upside for the Pound. The Australian Dollar also performed notably well overnight, gaining ground over Sterling (AUD/GBP) after Australian employment data suggested the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) may have done enough for now in terms of interest rate cuts.

The Pound has continued to climb against the Euro and US Dollar in Thursday’s trading session. MPs backed an amendment that could prevent Conservative Party frontrunner Boris Johnson from shutting down Parliament to pass a no-deal Brexit in October.

Moving into Friday morning’s trading, the Pound is in a relatively tight range, trending slightly lower against the US Dollar, Euro, and Australian Dollar. UK Public Finances data will be out later in the session, along with the University of Michigan US Consumer Sentiment stat.

Weak US Housing Data Offers Cable (GBP/USD) Some Temporary Respite

The Pound to US Dollar exchange rate (GBP/USD) found a little respite yesterday following the release of some significantly worse-than-expected US Building Permits data. Despite falling mortgage rates across the Atlantic, applications to build new houses fell for a second straight month to the lowest level in two years. Land and labour shortages are said to be behind the move, so this may prove sufficient deflect some concern away from the reading which has previously been seen as an indicator of recession. However, the news was sufficient to help drag Cable back from its test of two-year lows, at least for now.

UK Political Uncertainty Keeps Pound Exchange Rate in Check

Markets may have priced in Brexit uncertainty, but it seems as if the impending political chaos starting next week, once a new Conservative Party leader is announced and new Prime Minister appointed, may still need to be priced in. Parliament is, however, strengthening its resolve to ensure it cannot be suspended to allow a no-deal Brexit to be forced through. The House of Lords voted yesterday to provide further safeguards here and the bill will return to the House of Commons today for a second reading. The Pound to Euro exchange rate (GBP/EUR) remains close to six-week lows, but anything that points towards another general election being necessary in the Autumn has the scope to see further selling here.

Why Did it Move? Pound to Australian Dollar (GBP/AUD) Exchange Rate

The Pound to Australian Dollar exchange rate (GBP/AUD) fell last night despite a decidedly mixed employment report from Canberra. However, upward revisions to May’s data and solid growth in terms of full-time jobs appear to have been sufficient to convince markets that the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) doesn’t need to jump in with another rate cut just yet. Having traded as high as 1.7760 yesterday, the cross now sits almost a cent lower at 1.7670.

Small businesses struggling to expand due to Brexit uncertainty

More than seven in 10 firms in a survey by the Federation of Small Business (FSB) said they did not expect to raise capital spending in the next quarter, the highest figure in two years.

The FSB says the current standstill over Britain’s path to Brexit has left small firms “hamstrung” and struggling to expand, hire and increase productivity.

The FSB survey also suggests growing caution among lenders as signs stack up of a slowdown in the UK economy.

More than four in 10 of its member firms said new credit was “unaffordable,” the highest in more than four years.

Lending to consumers also increased at its smallest annual rate in more than five years in May, according to separate data from the Bank of England.

In the manufacturing sector, a key index of UK performance slid to a six-year low on Monday, as a survey highlighted sinking output and employment levels.

Mike Cherry, national chair of the FSB, said: “It’s impossible for small business owners to invest for the future when we don’t know what the future holds.

“Lifting productivity among the smaller firms that make-up 99% of our business community is a must. But until we have the political certainty that enables us to take risks and innovate, achieving that goal will remain elusive.”

He also took aim at Conservative leadership rivals Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, who have talked up their willingness to lead Britain out of the EU without a deal.

“We urgently need to see both prime ministerial candidates spell out their plans for supporting small firms and securing a pro-business Brexit – one that encompasses a comprehensive deal and a substantial transition period,” he said.

“Fast and loose talk about accepting a chaotic no-deal Brexit in four months’ time is not helpful.”

He said it was “understandable” lenders were more cautious, suggesting they were continuing to offer credit but were upping premiums to cover perceived increases in risk.