William Pinckney, chief executive of Amway India, the country’s biggest direct selling consumer goods business by sales, was arrested at company headquarters in Gurgaon near Delhi on Monday evening. The arrest, related to a complaint filed back in December, took him and the company by surprise.
Now Amway India has issued a statement on the episode, calling it an “interesting and curious sequence of events” and highlighting the difficulties of doing business in the country. Read more
By Kim Lane Scheppele of Princeton University
Hungary was once the precocious child of post-communist transition, garnering praise for its political and legal institutions. But ever since the Fidesz government of prime minister Viktor Orban came to power in 2010 with a two-thirds parliamentary majority, Hungary has been on a legislative rampage, unsettling the legal order and causing “regulatory uncertainty” through “abundant and unstable new regulation,” as the OECD delicately put it. Read more
Bolivia, often labelled as one of South America’s poorest countries, might pull a surprise in 2o13: the IMF expects this landlocked Andean country to grow by 6.7 per cent – its highest rate in ten years.
Despite the fierce anti-capitalist rhetoric and nationalisation policy of President Evo Morales (pictured), Bolivia’s gross domestic product has tripled to $27bn since he took office in January 2006, and economic growth has been chalking up an impressive 5 per cent average. As a consequence, the financial sector has also grown substantially. Any worries? Read more
The Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka, a country that still represses civil liberties, has prompted attacks on the attendees and the body itself.
To Roger Boyes in the Times, the association of 53 states – including many frontier markets – is a “country club for corrupt leaders“. The Economist has urged the group to push more for free trade and freedom – or die.
Which raises the question: how badly does the Commonwealth fare when it comes to human rights and civil liberties? Do the Commonwealth nations of Africa score much better than those outside the club? Read more
By Roman Khodykin of Berwin Leighton Paisner
Last week, following the announcement of president Vladimir Putin’s decision to liquidate the Supreme Arbitration Court and subordinate all commercial courts to another branch of the judiciary, about one in eight Supreme Arbitration Court judges and a number from other commercial courts immediately tendered their resignations in protest. Are they right to be so concerned about the impact of the reforms? Read more
A fast track Delhi court is expected to hand down sentences on Friday to four men convicted of December’s gang rape of a trainee physiotherapist. [update: the men have been sentenced to hang]
It is a chance for the court to redeem itself after a teenager who was the most brutal of the attackers was sentenced last month to just three years in juvenile detention, a decision that sparked public outrage. Read more
From Oleksandr Klymenko, Minister of Revenues and Duties of Ukraine
In response to the article Ukraine: will new tax law hit the oligarchs? published in the FT on July 10, 2013, I would like to clarify a few points about Ukraine’s new transfer pricing control legislation.
Amendments to the Law on Transfer Pricing adopted by the Parliament do not distort the original intent of the initiative; the “place of profit” for transnational corporations who have production facilities in Ukraine should correspond to the location of these facilities and product manufacture. Read more
By Marius Toime of Berwin Leighton Paisner
After months of anticipation, Rio Tinto was given the green light last week to begin exporting its first copper shipments from the giant Oyu Tolgoi mine. This colossal project is predicted to boost Mongolia’s GDP by a third in the coming years, giving it one of the highest per capita GDPs in the world.
Mongolia’s mining sector presents a tantalising set of opportunities, yet one that leaves a complex web of issues in its wake. Read more
Filial piety has been a central pillar of the Chinese moral code for centuries. But Chinese lawmakers and judges seem to believe ethic principles alone are not quite enough to ensure the country’s elderly are properly taken care of.
This week, a court in eastern China ruled that a woman surnamed Zhu had the duty not only to give financial support to her 77-year-old mother (pictured) but also to visit her at least once every two months. Read more
The US subsidiary of Ranbaxy Laboratories, India’s biggest pharmaceuticals group, has pleaded guilty to felony charges related to drug safety and will pay $500m in what the US Department of Justice called the largest such settlement to date with a generic drug manufacturer.
It lifts a cloud hanging over Ranbaxy for the past eight years. But it is still not clear when the company will be able to resume exports to the US from its two factories at the centre of the scandal, which have been at a virtual standstill since 2008. Read more
Thursday’s Kiobel v Royal Dutch Shell ruling by the US Supreme Court provides much-needed clarification about the scope of an obscure US law utilised by a growing number of claimants from emerging economies.
The Kiobel case alleged that Shell was complicit in human rights abuses committed in Nigeria in the late 1990s, when activists protesting against the oil industry were hanged by the government. The case was unusual in seeking redress in US courts for a case involving a non-US company and non-US claimants for a crime committed in a non-US jurisdiction. How is this possible? Read more
Chinese sportswear company Qiaodan has long been seen as a copycat for its use of a name and imagery connected to basketball legend Michael Jordan. But in the domain of trademark law, it is nothing if not original in an increasingly bitter fight with Jordan. Read more
By David Mitchell of BDO
Africa is experiencing rapid economic growth and infrastructure development. In addition to the huge investment programmes, there is a strong pipeline of M&A activity and an increasingly sophisticated and growing financial and professional services industry.
With a strong demand for more British and international lawyers to go and work in Africa to help facilitate this, the opportunity for lawyers and accountants at any stage in their careers, whether newly qualified or senior partners, has never been better. Read more
By curious coincidence, Russia is prosecuting a dead man on the 60th anniversary of Stalin’s death. Just days after the commemoration of the Soviet leader, the trial is due to start on of Sergei Magnitsky, the lawyer who died in a Moscow jail after accusing officials of fraud.
It perverts the law in a way which even the ruthless Georgian did not attempt. But Stalin would have appreciated the idea: like his show trials, it is a demonstration of power, not of justice. Many foreign investors will say this has nothing to do with them. They are wrong. It has. Read more
Anton Ivanov, SAC chairman. Photo: Bloomberg
By Jeffrey Sullivan and Simon Maynard of Allen&Overy
The Russian Supreme Arbitration Court (SAC) – Russia’s Supreme Court – has crystallised long-held doubts about the enforceability under Russian law of what are known as “optional arbitration clauses.”
Its ruling means that parties which have until now been required to bring any claims under a contract to international arbitration may have to go instead to the Russian courts. Companies with such contracts would do well to read the fine print again – and consider renegotiating deals to get rid of optional clauses. Read more
Allen & Overy has become the latest international law firm to boost its presence in Turkey - by establishing a tie-up with a Turkish firm.
A&O said on Friday it had signed an exclusive association with Gedik & Eraksoy in Istanbul to allow clients to access local law expertise in Turkey. Read more
By Andrew Cadman and Bridgett Majola
There has recently been a great deal of hype regarding the opportunity that Africa presents to foreign investors seeking high returns no longer available in more developed markets.
Part of the attraction is often based on the assumption that the regulatory environments of African countries are unsophisticated or non-existent meaning that deals are easier to implement from a regulatory perspective. Whilst it is true that there was a time when doing business in Africa was relatively easy from a regulatory perspective, this situation is rapidly changing, particularly in the area of competition law and, more specifically, merger control. Read more
Practising corporate law in an authoritarian, Communist state where rules and regulations change all the time, implementation is uneven and corruption is rife is no easy task. Especially when economic turbulence has restricted the flow of international deals, as it has in Vietnam.
But Allen & Overy, one of the world’s biggest law firms by global revenues, clearly likes a challenge. The firm confirmed this week that it will open offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City later this year as it seeks to capitalise on long-term growth in Vietnam and the wider region. Read more
The proposal by Hong Kong’s securities watchdog to create an explicit civil and criminal liability for investment bank sponsors of new listings should be welcomed.
Yet, even if the Securities and Futures Commission gets what it wants – and that is a big ‘if’, since the proposals require a change to Hong Kong’s legislation – sponsors have little to fear. Read more