Jurisdictional Competition in a Developing Economy: Law and Policy Issues of the Offshore Structure Use in Russia

by Maria Kuzmina November 30 2009, 01:47
Someone might view the economic crisis times as the best period to broaden one’s business horizons and invest into a new market. The fast growing markets such as China, Brazil, India and to some extent Russia are waiting for new investors. Russia, having more than 140 million inhabitants, i.e. potential consumers, and abundant natural resources remains mostly neglected by investors in many business fields. For decades Russian market was viewed as not a place for those faint-of-heart. Now the growth of political stability and positive developments in legislation make the investment less risky and more attractive. Nevertheless, the still existing differences between local and internationally recognized legislative frameworks and court practices make investors wonder if there is any possibility to opt out of the Russian legal rules.
This article will explore the reasons behind Russian corporate norms that explain the inflexibility of current legislation and court practice and discuss views on future development of the corporate law system of the country. Part II introduces an overview of the policy issues behind the corporate law created specifically for Russia as a developing economy. Part III analyzes the legislation and its drawbacks, provides advice for investors who for various reasons want to opt out of Russian law. Part IV discusses the reasons for the government amending the corporate law, gives a forecast of future developments and provides a general conclusion. [More]

The Lisbon Treaty: Implications for the United States

by Helena Varnavas November 3 2009, 01:31
The Lisbon Treaty is expected to be ratified by the end of 2009 and go into effect January 1, 2010. If the Treaty is ratified as expected, it is sure to affect the United States’ place on the global stage by strengthening Europe’s economic and political weight. The Obama administration is enthusiastic about this European integration effort, but many U.S. experts fear that a more unified EU could complicate efforts for European support in U.S. initiatives. This article discusses the current European Union government, how the EU government will change if the Treaty is ratified and the potential implications for the United States.


Free Trade versus Protectionism: A Taxing Debate

by Yuejiao Hou October 12 2009, 09:40
President Obama’s September 11th decision to restrict imports of Chinese tires has sparked a taxing debate both domestically and abroad. On top of the preexisting four percent tariff on all tire imports, the president determined to impose additional duties of 35-30-25 percent ad valorem tapered down over three years, specifically upon certain passenger vehicle and light truck tires from China. [1] China responded within days by raising a World Trade Organization ("WTO") challenge to the safeguard, alleging that Obama’s actions are inconsistent with existing international laws. [2] Meanwhile, the proclamation has incited both criticism and praise from a variety of domestic and foreign interests. This article will assess the legality, consequences, and judiciousness of implementing such a tariff and conclude with a word on the free trade versus protectionism debate. [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]

Intellectual Property Rights: The Last Barrier to International Free Trade

by Lu Sun October 10 2009, 23:56
A discussion about intellectual property rights being the last remaining barrier to international free trade. Intellectual patent rights in Eastern and Western worlds are discussed and analyzed as a possible problem to why intellectual property rights are still such a big issue. Lastly, a solution is offered to overcome these differences. [More]

Looking East: The Road to Recovery

by John Lee September 21 2009, 16:10
I. Introduction

The current global recession has experts around the world searching for a solution in a place never looked to before. For the first time, Asian economies are leading the way out of a global economic slump. While the United States and Europe have pioneered past recoveries from world recessions, recovery seems to have already begun in Asia with China at the forefront. Massive government stimulus and expansionary fiscal policies have spurred growth in Asia with other strong economic indicators seemingly providing a foundation to a full-fledged recovery. Despite a drop in exports, Asian economies have offset the decline in this major source of revenue by slashing interest rates, keeping savings levels high, increasing infrastructure demand and harnessing the potential for expansion in domestic consumer demand. Many Asian nations are net creditors [1], with significant current account surpluses supplied by capital inflows over recent years. Asia now has a comparatively high ability to lend and borrow, as opposed to most Western nations which are running high trade and fiscal deficits. [2] However, the long-term sustainability of this potential recovery is questionable due to the huge amount of government-backed investment and generous policy measures that cannot continue indefinitely. In order for these Asian economies, in particular China, to return to normalized growth, private investment needs to increase as well as domestic consumption. No longer can the world wait for the Western consumer to jumpstart the global economy. Increasing Asian domestic consumption is a necessary driver for getting the world out of this current recession. [More]


by Juan P. Moreno September 20 2009, 13:36

Inspired by the close interaction of law and economics, common law scholars have applied an economic perspective to bear legal problems in the last decades. This scholastic effort has produced interesting results in the United States where the sophistication of the courts and its judges allow a pragmatic application of economic theories to actual controversies.

Economists analyze legal rules in terms of efficiency. Reallocating resources in a society is considered efficient only if that reallocation makes someone better without making some others worse off. Economic theory has been broadly applied in the United States, particularly in the area of contract law. At the heart of its application lies the efficient breach hypothesis, a milestone of contract law and the law and economics movement. Simply put, the hypothesis suggests that promisors should be permitted, if not encouraged, to breach a contract whenever the net gains resulting from said breach exceed the net gains of performance. Parties are therefore encouraged to complete the projects they consider efficient while abandoning any other contractual project that results inefficient or wasteful. [More]

Investing in China through a Hong Kong, SAR entity - Tax considerations for riding the next wave

by Maria Alejandra Maldonado-Adrian March 1 2009, 15:20

I. Introduction.

It is well known that the big movement of capital in the next decade is going to be to Eastern Asia, the People's Republic of China (PRC) and India being the two most preferred targets due to the size of their consumer martkets. This article will only focus on the PRC. As it will be further explained, although foreign capitals may be invested in the PRC directly, from a taxation view point it is recommendable to do so through a Hong Kong, SAR entity. Thus, the Hong Kong tax system is lower and simpler than the Chinese mainland's one, therefore, could be more beneficial for foreign investors. Hong Kong became a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the PRC on July 1, 1997. It has a high degree of autonomy, except in the areas of defense and foreign policy, and retains its own currency, laws, and border controls. [More]

Ticketmaster's Legal Woes

by Yoo Jin Jung February 13 2009, 14:37
I. Introduction

For many, Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc. (Ticketmaster) is the first place that people look when they want tickets to an event. It is the largest and most well-known broker of event tickets in the industry. Ticketmaster sells tickets for more than 80% of the major arenas and stadiums in the U.S.[1] However, it has come recently been hit with a $500 million lawsuit in Toronto, Canada, after fans complained that Ticketmaster was deliberately directing customers into its subsidiary site, TicketsNow in violation of anti-scalping laws.[2] Not only is Ticketmaster now facing this class-action lawsuit, but it also is in danger of being hit with charges by the Canadian as well as the U.S. government.[3] Compounded with the recent backlash against its new merger with LiveNation, Ticketmaster is currently facing a host of legal problems.[4] [More]

Tamed Tigers: Sovereign Wealth Funds as Passive Investors

by Patrick Schuette November 3 2008, 00:26
I. Introduction

The purpose of this article is to analyze the current role of sovereign wealth funds in a corporate governance scheme. Sovereign wealth funds, which have become increasingly important institutional investors in the United States, have found their activities in equities markets in the United States increasingly constrained due to stringent regulations. While these sovereign wealth funds raise important policy considerations for lawmakers, these regulations hinder sovereign wealth funds in their role as investors. Despite the power the sovereign wealth funds could hold in American companies, these funds have effectively become “tamed tigers.” Despite their enormous power, they simply cannot exercise it. Thus, this article will examine whether having sovereign wealth funds in a “tamed tiger” capacity should continue or whether regulations should encourage more activity from sovereign wealth funds. [More]

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