The Cayman Islands and the John Grisham Effect: Yes, Everything Changed

by Isabel Freitas Peres April 29 2010, 01:24
In May 2009 American President Barack Obama spoke of how an address in the Cayman Islands housed 12,000 companies. Alluding to the possibility of illegal activity, he noted that this location was either the biggest building in the world or “the largest tax scam in the world.” [1] This image of Offshore Financial Centers (OFCs) as havens for wrongdoing is generally held throughout the world.

Recent data indicates that the Cayman Islands holds over 670 billion American Dollars in banking assets from international investors[2]. Because of such statistics, these small islands are considered a global villain, a haven for illegal capital. According to the OECD Harmful Tax Competition: An Emerging Global Issue (1998 Tax Report) jurisdictions that (a) imposes no or only nominal taxes, (b) lacks policy of effective exchange information, (c) lacks transparency and (d) has no requirement of “substantial activity” is identified as a tax haven[3].

A Background Information Brief released by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) in March 2010 acknowledged the implementation of the Cayman’s actions towards transparency and information exchange. Despite this report’s recognition of the Caymans, it touched upon only a few of the measures that have been taken by the Cayman Islands in the last few years. These improvements in the Cayman’s internal structure and the regulatory actions taken by the Cayman Islands have enhanced the islands’ status within the international community. The Cayman’s pejorative title as a “tax haven” is, therefore, incorrect.



First, this article will examine the true atmosphere of the Cayman Islands, and how this British territory and the 5th largest banking center in the world is cooperating with the OECD and other jurisdictions by partaking in several Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs). Second, this article also aims to defend the valuable and important role of international policy distinctions among nations as a pursuit of effectiveness in the financial system worldwide [More]

Why Lawyers Should Know More About Antitrust Regulations

by Isabel Freitas Peres November 30 2009, 02:06
Antitrust law is usually understood as applying to companies and their products. The incentives for assuring competition among companies have not limited the function of antitrust law. Antitrust law has developed its application to beyond those players in the market. Now, lawyers and bar associations also have to watch out for antitrust regulation. The American Bar Association has been under pressure to lighten up several of its rules in order to allow multidisciplinary firms to evolve.[1]



The application of antitrust law to lawyers will be discussed in this article. Part I discusses if the definition of “trade” applies to professional services for the purpose of antitrust regulation. Is the discussion of regulation related to horizontal agreements or legislation? If it is legislation (for example, laws establishing bar associations), it is out of the scope of antitrust law. Part II brings the European and also an economic approach to this matter giving more light to the discussion of what are the consequences of the direct application of antitrust law to lawyers. Part III recommends that lawyers should not be exempt from antitrust regulation. The formation of collusion and price fixing exists among this profession as well as in other areas and should be regulated. However, the existence of an exam to evaluate the quality of lawyers is not an anticompetitive behavior limiting entrance on the market, but it is a correction of the market that should exist to inform prospective clients. Part IV provides concluding thoughts on the regulation of attorneys [More]

From the 2016 Olympics Games to Antitrust Law: Brazil Steps Towards Globalization

by Isabel Freitas Peres October 12 2009, 08:12
I. Introduction



Rio de Janeiro will be the first Olympic location in the history of South America. This is the result of Brazil gaining status internationally and integrating to the global market. Apart from sports, globalization has had a great impact on the business transactions and also in the rules enacted in Brazil. An increasing number of international merger companies and nations had switched a red light on the antitrust law regime for merger control that coexists in the many jurisdictions.[1] The different views of antitrust law in each country are important to determine the approach and practical implications of the review systems application.[2] In the merger context, there are significant burdens in international business operations when companies are required to comply with a diversity of procedural requirements in domestic regimes regulations. Over sixty nations have merger notification requirements. Transactional costs are elevated when the merging parties have to report and produce detailed information for each jurisdiction to assess the transaction.[3]



This article discusses the challenges and benefits of the harmonization of merger reviews procedures among different countries. Part II identifies the importance of the suggested modifications in the Brazilian antitrust law while seeking the internationalization of the merger review process. Part III describes the likely coming new rules for the Brazilian antitrust organization. Part IV concludes by pointing out the increased convergence to the procedures in effect by the Unites States antitrust authorities. [More]

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