"); /* END OF MYMCART.COM SCRIPT */ "); /* END OF SCOOT SCRIPT */ "); /* END OF SCOOT SCRIPT */

Blog

 RSS Feed

  1.  

    France's economics minister announced a new law to block foreign corporate takeovers in the country yesterday. amid a growing row over the General Electric Alstom deal.

    The minister revealed powers for state approval of takeover deals, calling the policy a "choice of economic patriotism". But France may already have fallen foul of European law, as EU commissioner Michel Barnier warned the decision would be fully examined to make sure it does not amount to protectionism.

    The French plans are in contrast to the UK, where politicians have been investigating the proposed takeover of Astrazeneca by its US pharmaceuticals rival Pfizer - yet are unable to block the deal in such a blunt manner.

     

     

     

     

     

    #OwenLowry

    #LowryLLP

    #LowryLLPInternationalLawyers

    @lowryllp @Notaryengland@OwenLowry

    http://www.lowryllp.com

  2. The Gulf State of Qatar has come under pressure to drop rules tying migrant workers to a single employer amid an influx ahead of the football tournament. 

    Human rights campaigners have accused Qatar's current sponsorship system of being akin to modern day slavery. The draft law is part of a range of proposed labour reforms but there is no schedule for their implementation.

    Expatriates make up the bulk of the workforce in the country.

    More than 180 migrant workers died in Qatar last year and a significant number are believed to have suffered injuries as a result of unsafe working practices.

    There have also been complaints about the standard of accommodation many workerrs live in.

    The proposed changes were announced at a news conference in Doha on Wednesday. Officials said they hoped to introduce "a system based on employment contracts",  as part of a reform package.

    The reforms are also designed to end the longstanding requirement that foreign workers obtain their employer's consent before lkeaving the country. 

    This received global attention after a French - Algerian footballer was forced to stay in the country for nearly two years over a dispute with Qatari club El - Jaish over unpaid wages. 

    Human rights groups have long urged Qatar to scrap the sponsorship system, saying it leaves workers open to exploitation and abuse.

    In February, organisers  of the 2022 World Cup published plans to improve the rights of workers after FIFA,  the world football's governing body, pushed them to do so. The proposed changes fall short of the fundamental changes needed to address systemic abuses against migrant workers.

    Qatar is reported to be spending more than $200bn (£121bn) on a series of infrastructure projects.

     

     

     

     

     

    @LowryLLP

    @NotaryEngland

    @OwenLowry

    http://www.lowryllp.com

    http://www.notaryengland.co.uk 

  3. US State of North Dakota,  has appealed against the "Foetal Heartbeat" abortion ban, the strictest in the United States.  

    The State Attorney has said more than one judge should have the chance to review the law. 

    The law bans abortions after a "foetal Heartbeat" is detected, as early as six weeks into pregnancy. In April, a District Judge ruled the law was " invalid and unconstitutional".

    The United States Supreme Court has spoken and has unequivocally said that no State may deprive a woman of the choice to terminate her pregnancy at a point prior to viability.

    The US Supreme Court ruled in the landmark case of Roe v Wade, in 1973, that abortion must be legal until a foetus is viable, typically 22 - 24 weeks. 

    The legislature passed the law in hopes that a higher court could revisit the issue. It seems prudent that an appellate court should have an opportunity to consider the issue rather than have one judge overturn the judgement of the legislative assembly.

    The case will now be heard by the US 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. North Dakota's anti - abortion law was one of four such bills signed into law in 2013.

    The State's sole abortion clinic and the Centre for Reproductive Rights sued to overturn the law and a US District judge rule in April.  Some people fear the law is a blatant violation of the constitutional guarantees afforded to all women. 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    @LowryLLP

    @NotaryEngland

    @OwenLowry

    http://www.lowryllp.com

    http://www.notaryengland.co.uk

  4. In a Notorious case, the Arizona Court of Appeals, struck down  a company's  non - solicitation covenants and confirmed that the defendants in the case were entitled to recover their attorneys' fees. A company sued seven of its former employees for breaching their non-solicitation covenants when they joined a competitor.

    The non - solicitation covenants lasted for two years post - termination and prohibited employees from communicating with current employees and their employees in some forty other subsidiaries that had nothing to do with residential mortgage loans. 

    The Court of Appeals held that the covenants were unenforceable as a matter of Arizona or Michigan law. The two-year period was too wide because it exceeded the time the company needed to protect its business interests or its confidential information and training program. The restriction itself was too wide because it prohibited communication with current employees on subjects far beyond proprietary customer or company information.

    The Court went on to conclude that the ex-employees and the competitor company were both entitled to recover their attorneys' fees spent defending the litigation.

    @LowryLLP

    http://www.lowryllp.com

    http://www.notaryengland.co.uk

     

  5. The European Court of Justice ruled on 13th May 2014 that an individual could demand that " irrelevant or outdated" information be deleted from results.  Lawyers are of the opinion that it is one of the most sweeping internet censorship rulings that have been seen.

    To implement the judgement Google will need to be careful, otherewise Google will be held legally liable if it gets it wrong in some way.

    The Court ruled that Google must remove search results at the request of ordinary people in a test of the "right to be forgotten". 

    The case was brought by a Spanish man who complained that an auction notice of his repossessed  home on Google's search results infringed his privacy. Google said the ruling was "disappointing".  The ruling has provoked a flurry of reaction speculating on the wider implications of the Court's decision.

    Supporters of the case are of the opinion that the presumption by internet companies and others, that they can use people's personal information in any way they see fit is wrong, and can only happen, because the legal framework in most states is still in the last century when it comes to property rights in personal information.

    The European Commission Vice President, Viviane Reding,said:

    " The ruling confirms the need to bring today's data protection rules from the "digital stone age" into today's modern computing world where data is no longer stored on "a server" or once launched online disappears in cyberspace, she wrote.This is exactly what the data protection reform is about - making sure those who do business in Europe, respect European laws and empowering citizens to take the necessay actions to manage their data".

     

    http://www.lowryllp.com

    @LowryLLP

  6. The Inter - American Development Bank (IDB) is of the opinion that investing money in countries such as Mexico, home of the world's most brutal and powerful drug cartels will not help.

    The regional lender, which has been working on crime prevention programmes in Latin America for 15 years and has been getting experts together in Mexico City this week, says you need to study the reality, fet the facts and based on that, work at the grassroots level with communities.

    Latin America and the Caribbean have a homicide rate that is four times the global average and Honduras leads the world's murder ranking. Crime and violence cost as much as 10.5 per cent of GDP in Honduras, and Latin American countries spend more on the consequences of crime than on stopping it from happening.

    This is a problem that has a thousand roots and can only be solved at a local level. 

     

    @LowryLLP

    http://www.lowryllp.com

    http://www.lowryllp.com

  7. Serial offenders, including paedophiles and violent persons, are walking free from Court with suspended sentences in the UK.

    Almost 12,000 criminals with ten or more previous convictions or cautions escaped jail last year after convictions of serious offences such as assault, theft and fraud.

    Three quarters of the criminals had more than 15 previous convictions. The Centre for Crime Prevention, which published the statistics, said last year probably saw the highest number of suspended sentences ever. 

    Suspended sentences were an easy option for judges under pressure from politicians to keep down the prison population.

    The figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, show there were 31,656 suspended terms handed down for serious crimes in 2012/13 - compared with just 2,126 ten years earlier.

     

     

     

    @LowryLLP

    http://www.lowryllp.com

    http://www.lowryllp.com

  8. The EU Financial Transaction Tax will hurt the prudent - not the reckless. 

    The important debate between the City of London and eleven EU governments on whether or not to introduce a tax on derivatives and shares continues. Both sides have scored victories, but now a more conciliatory tone is emerging, and this should be welcomed.

    With the European Court of Justice rejecting a pre - emptive challenge to this Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) by the UK government two weeks ago, now is the time to look at the proposal away from the spectre of the financial crisis - and to recognise its undelying flaws.

    The City of London Corporation published a report in February that showed the key failings of an FTT. It would cost UK households Euro 4.4 bn (£3.6bn) which is equivalent to 0.2 per cent of GDP - reducing the value of their saving. Previous research also found that the cost of UK government borrowing would rise by almost £4bn. All this is despite the fact that the UK will not be participating in the tax. The extraterritorial nature of the FTT is one of its key flaws. 

    The tax is also two years behind schedule, as even the eleven countries that have signed up to it in principle can't agree about more specific details on the tax's application.  The details that have been worked out have been negotiated largely in secret, despite the extraterritorial nature of the FTT, and they do not include key issues such as weather the tax should be based on where instruments are issued  (Stamp Duty) or on the country of origin of those trading the instrument. 

    Despite these difficulties ten countries have committed to introducing FTT by 2016.

    It is understandable, given the anger of the financial crisis, that a tax of this nature was sought in 2011. But now that the ecomnomy is recovering, it is time to take a more rational look at what can be done to prevent these events from ever happening again. Sensible steps like increased capital requirements for banks and insurers, more joined - up regulatory structures, and better board governance have all been implemented to ensure that Europe's taxpayers will not suffer the consequences of risk-taking behaviour by individuals. But the FTT will not tackle the individuals taking the risks, it will not tax the causes of that recklessness: it will only add an extra burden to individuals who have struggled to  save through the worst recession in living memory. 

    The governments pushing for this tax have already admitted that it is imperfect. 

     

    http://www.lowryllp.com

    @lowryllp

    http://www.lowryllp.com

  9. China's huge currency reserves could mount pressure on prices. The Chinese Premier has voiced concerns about the country's enormous foreign exchange holdings this weekend, worried  that they could drive up price inflation.

    During a trip to Kenya, Chinese media reported that the Premier was concerned that the country's reserves,  which are the largest in the world, could become "a big burden".

    The Chinese government has acquired $3.95 trillion ( £2.35 trillion ) in foreign currency holdings, attempting to alter the value of their own yuan selling more of it. 

    Some analyst believe this will drive up inflation, since it increases the amount of the currency circulating in the economy.

     

    @LowryLLP

    http://www.lowryllp.com

    http://www.lowryllp.com

     

  10. Online dating is the reason for divorce even if there is no physical contact between straying spouse and their "lover", a French Court has ruled.

    A judge decided a 43 year old woman from Aix-en-Provence was solely to blame for the break-up of her marriage to her husband, after she shared intimate photos with men she met on lonely hearts websites. It was " offensive behaviour", the judge ruled.

     

    @Lowryllp

     

    http://www.lowryllp.com/blog/

    http://www.lowryllp.com/blog/