ILN 23rd Annual Meeting

So far, we’ve re-capped Alishan Naqvee’s introduction to anti-corruption laws, and Stuart Gerson’s comments on the US’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.  Following Stuart’s presentation, the group heard from Charles Wander of Fladgate LLP, who spoke about the new UK Bribery Act.

Charles began by saying that he would give a brief overview of what’s coming on July 1, 2011 in the UK.  As he had mentioned during an earlier session, the firm has been doing some work on this with their clients, trying to understand what the issues might be.  As Stuart had said, this is going to be applied on a worldwide basis, so it will be applied to anyone with any kind of tenuous connection with the UK.  

The UK was not without anti-bribery legislation – through the end of June they would have a piece of legislation dating back to the 19th century. It was ultimately felt that this didn’t have sufficient teeth.  The UK was criticized in 1997 by the OECD when the incoming Labour administration discontinued an investigation into alleged bribery by British Aerospace, as part of the Al Yamamah contracts in Saudi Arabia.  This was heavily criticized as being a decision made for political reasons.Continue Reading Corporate Breakout Session – Anti-Corruption Laws – UK Bribery Act

During our  2011 Annual Meeting in Lisbon, we had specialty group breakout sessions – and lucky for you, our corporate session was recorded! The group had a roundtable discussion dedicated to the topic of "Anti-Corruption Laws and Navigating Client Businesses in Foreign Territories," which was moderated by Alishan Naqvee of LexCounsel Lawyers in India.

Alishan began with some slides to aid the discussion, saying that there is an organization in Japan called Control Risks, who conducted a survey of about 50 companies in Brazil, France, Germany, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, the UK and the US.  All of them said that corruption is a major cost for international business, and at the same time, an increasing number of companies in the world, while they are not absolutely aware of the anti-corruption laws in their jurisdictions, most of their business is governed by them, even when doing business in other jurisdictions.

However, corruption brings a very different dimension in cross-border investments, because the country from where the investee is investing and the country where the investment is being made may be governed by separate parameters and laws.  These could be domestic, but at the same time, there could be laws from the country where the investment is being made.Continue Reading Corporate Breakout Session – A Re-Cap

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.

Mr. Silveira began by welcoming the delegates to Portugal, and sharing his pleasure at speaking to the group about cutting red tape and the achievements that the Portuguese government has had. He said that they’re pushing forward a strong policy around cutting red tape, mainly by using two plans – the Simplex plan, a plan directly linked to reducing bureaucracy, and the Technological plan, which is a plan for using the internet and new technologies.

The government identified three clears goals for these two programs: 

  1. To eliminate and simplify the acts and procedures, mainly in registration offices. In Portugal, civil registration, company registration, industrial property trademarks and patents, land registration and car registration are dependent on the Ministry of Justice.  So one of the government’s goals is to simplify the procedures in this field.
     
  2. To de-materialize by using the internet and electronic procedures in the registration sector.  The government now uses e-filing, the internet and new technologies to achieve faster and more cost-effective registrations.
     
  3. To de-materialize judicial acts and procedures before the courts. This also incorporates the use of the internet and electronic solutions to allow lawyers and people to get more access to the courts, as well as reducing costs and saving time.

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