Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Ukrainian missile tests near Crimea – details and map revealed

Test launches of new Ukrainian anti-aircraft missiles over Black Sea led to confrontation with Russia

Today, on Nov. 30, the Ukrainian Air Forces announced the continuation of preparations for tomorrow's "test flights of anti-aircraft missiles of average range, which will take place in the south of Ukraine". The crews of combat and transport aircrafts, air defence units and radio troops, signal corps and unmanned aircrafts will be engaged in the drills.

Trump’s Healthcare Machinations Work Against His Base

By  LXBN | November 30, 2016

There was a saying during the election that Donald Trump’s supporters were taking him seriously and not literally, while his detractors took him literally and not seriously. As the president-elect, many are starting to worry that neither camp got it right.

Президент подписал Закон по устранению административных барьеров для экспорта услуг

Президент Петр Порошенко подписал Закон «О внесении изменений в некоторые законодательные акты Украины относительно устранения административных барьеров для экспорта услуг».

Глава государства назвал принятый Закон очень важной инициативой, реализация которой стала возможной благодаря совместным усилиям Национального совета реформ, Правительства и профильных министерств, Верховной Рады, общественности, бизнес-среды и Президента.
«Переходим от электронных закупок в электронный заключения контрактов. Наконец это произошло», - добавил Президент.
Документ минимизирует административные барьеры при процедуре заключения внешнеэкономических контрактов, зачислении валютной выручки, а также бухгалтерского учета и финансовой отчетности.

Ukrainian President signed the law on elimination of administrative barriers to export of services

President Petro Poroshenko signed Law “On Amendments to Several Legislative Acts of Ukraine on the Elimination of Administrative Barriers to Export of Services”.

The Head of State called the adopted law a very important initiative, the implementation of which has become possible due to the joint efforts of the National Council of Reforms, Government, subject ministries, Parliament, society, business environment and President.
“We are switching from e-procurement to e-contracts. This has finally happened,” the President added.
The document minimizes administrative barriers in the course of the conclusion of foreign economic contracts, currency earnings accounting and financial reporting.

Oleksandr Turchynov: Despite Russian threats, we will carry out missile tests and training in accordance with the approved plans and schedules

Russia moved to a new stage of provoking the escalation of military aggression against our country. In such a way Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov commented on the statement by the Russian Federation about the readiness of its armed forces to strike military targets in the sovereign territory of Ukraine.

"The threats to use weapons against Ukraine are an attempt to move the hybrid war, waged by Russia against our country over the last three years, to an active phase", - he said, adding that along with the threats to use weapons, the Russian Federation is deploying new divisions directly near the Ukrainian border.

Blockchain Pros Debate 'Looming Challenges' for Smart Contracts

Just because a repetitive job could be replaced with self-executing code on a blockchain, doesn't mean it should be.

A group of Wall Street insiders and blockchain innovators took to the stage yesterday at the New York Law School in Manhattan to sort through when a smart contract is a bad idea, when it's a good idea and what stands in the way of widespread proliferation of the technology.

Corporate Governance Reform: Green Paper (PDF)

One of Britain’s biggest assets in competing in the global economy is our deserved reputation for being a dependable and confident place in which to do business.

Our legal system, our framework of company law and our standards of corporate governance have long been admired around the world.

During the last few years there have been a number of proposals – including from organisations representing business – to update our corporate governance framework.

This Green Paper seeks views on three areas where we want to consider options for updating our corporate governance framework:

Путин, Крым и «мешок картошки»

Специально для Крым.Реалии

Часто из уст российских адептов Мифа про «КрымНаш» можно услышать следующее суждение. «Ну хорошо, – говорят они, – не важно, передали ли Крым в 1954 году Украине законно или незаконно, не будем спорить. Но вы же не будете отрицать, что передача осуществлялась в рамках одного государства – Советского Союза? А раз вы вышли из состава СССР, не пора ли вернуть то, что получено в советское время?». В последние годы дополнительным «аргументом» в этом споре стал украинский закон о декоммунизации. Хитро прищурившись, «крымнашисты» спрашивают: «Раз советский режим признан преступным, то почему бы вам не исправить последствия всех его деяний: вернуть Крым России, а Львов – Польше? И раз уж сносите памятники Ленину, может, и советские заводы с домами снесете?». Что ж, рассмотрим и этот миф, последний в ряду «исторических» – о 1991 годе и «мешке картошки».

Уголовные производства против Януковича и «семьи» (инфографика)

В понедельник в Святошинском райсуде Киева с помощью видеоконференции состоялся допрос бывшего президента Украины Виктора Януковича. Как известно, допрашивали президента-беглеца не как обвиняемого, а как свидетеля по делу бывших сотрудников спецподразделения «Беркут». И хотя генпрокурор Юрий Луценко и зачитал ему подозрение в государственной измене, досудебное расследование преступлений Януковича продолжается.

A bad time to be cutting Britain’s corporate-tax rate

PHILIP HAMMOND, the chancellor, made a few tweaks in his Autumn Statement on November 23rd but otherwise stuck to the fiscal policy set by his predecessor, George Osborne. A central plank of this stance is to keep cutting corporation tax, which is levied on company profits. The government hopes that will persuade businesses to invest in Britain. It might, but on political grounds it still looks unwise.

Ukraine’s Political “Frenemies” Seek To Avoid 2005-Style Split

The two most important politicians in Ukraine are “fren​emies,” one of them said in an interview in Brussels this week—a delicate love-hate relationship on which the future of ...

Gerd Krambehr and Fata - Спогади про Майдан

Why We Keep Hiring Narcissistic CEOs

When discussing the future of leadership, most conversations focus on bright-side traits. For example, a common topic concerns the particular qualities that leaders ought to possess in order to be effective and how these may change based on the evolution of work, organizations, and society. Although such discussions are important, they tell only half of the story. The other half is understanding what leaders should not do, which begs the question of how the dark side of leadership will evolve (or devolve) in the future.

EU visa suspension mechanism to be considered in Jan

The European Parliament (EP) plans to consider a visa suspension mechanism in the first reading on January 18, 2017.

The official website of the EP has announced a preliminary date for consideration of a European Union visa suspension mechanism. It’s been scheduled for January 18, 2017.

As reported, the Committee of Permanent Representatives to the EU (Coreper) on behalf of the EU Council on Thursday reached an agreement on a position in the talks on the liberalization of visa regime for Ukraine. As noted in the issued EU communiqué, the Committee confirmed the European Commission’s proposal to provide a visa free regime for Ukrainian citizens when traveling to the EU for a period of stay up to 90 days during the 180 day period.

Chernobyl reactor entombed at last

A very short entry to firstly acknowledge a major piece of engineering, and secondly the symbolic entombment of a toxic Soviet legacy within a western funded and built sarcophagus – (Sarcastic readers are now pondering whether the Verkhovna Rada should be next perhaps?)

The full facts and figures can be found at the EBRD website, together with a video showing the final settling of the sarcophagus in place, outlining what a major feat of engineering the project has been.
Bravo to all concerned.  A truly significant achievement.

Austria receives request for Firtash extradition to Spain

Austrian authorities have received an extradition request regarding a Ukrainian businessman Dmytro Firtash to Spain, which had earlier put him on an international wanted list, Deutsche Welle reports citing a press secretary of the Vienna prosecutor’s office.

The request was sent through official channels and is now being assessed, according to Deutsche Welle. According to the procedure, if the prosecutor finds no circumstances that contradict the extradition of the suspect, the case will go to trial. In case of a positive court ruling, the Austrian Ministry of Justice will have a final say. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Investment Plan for Europe: evaluations give evidence to support its reinforcement

European Commission - Press release

Commission takes on board findings of three evaluations, in line with its proposal to reinforce and expand the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the core of the Investment Plan for Europe.

The Investment Plan for Europe has already proven useful in encouraging a sustainable increase in investment across Member States. Given the concrete results achieved since the Commission unveiled the Investment Plan two years ago, President Jean-Claude Juncker presented a proposal in his State of the Union address of 14 September to reinforce the EFSI to boost investment further.

Situation Update, east of Ukraine as of November 29, 2016

According to the press centre of the ‘anti-terror’ operation (ATO) HQ, the enemy has violated the ceasefire for 38 times over the past 24 hours.

The Russian occupational troops fired 120 and 82 mm mortars, grenade launchers, and BMP armament on Krasnohorivka, Shyrokyne, Starohnativka, Marjinka, and Talakivka. An enemy’s sniper targeted the Ukrainian gov’t positions near Novotroitske, Hnutove, and Marjinka.

EU and EBRD stepping up reform support in Ukraine

€8 million contribution to EBRD-managed Stabilisation and Sustainable Growth Multi-Donor Account

The European Union (EU) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) are stepping up their efforts to support the reform process in Ukraine with the EU contributing €8 million to the EBRD-managed Ukraine Stabilisation and Sustainable Growth Multi-Donor Account.

Turkey entered Syria to end al-Assad’s rule: President Erdoğan

The Turkish military launched its operations in Syria to end the rule of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Nov. 29.

AA photo

“In my estimation, nearly 1 million people have died in Syria. These deaths are still continuing without exception for children, women and men. Where is the United Nations? What is it doing? Is it in Iraq? No. We preached patience but could not endure in the end and had to enter Syria together with the Free Syrian Army [FSA],” Erdoğan said at the first Inter-Parliamentary Jerusalem Platform Symposium in Istanbul.

Hired Risk: Securing the Law Firm from Betrayed Employee Trust

, Legaltech News

Inside legal's employee monitoring failsafe and a look at how legal woke up to the prospect of insider threats.

Brandon Daniels, president of Clutch Group, in Washington, D.C. November 7, 2016.
Of the many factors driving the legal industry, none is perhaps more vital than trust. For any legal system to operate, clients must trust their attorneys to treat their data with the utmost confidentiality, and attorneys must trust in each other to uphold strict codes of ethics and integrity.

The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants & Regulators: A Federal Trade Commission Staff Report (November 2016)

Prenuptial Agreements for Family Business Owners

Family business owners, and their children who may come to own or participate in a family business, are well-advised to enter into a prenuptial agreement when contemplating marriage. One reason is that appreciation in the value of a business may be considered a marital asset if the appreciation occurs during the marriage. For example, in Ohio, the owner of a business worth $1 million at the date of marriage may owe his spouse $500,000 if the value of his interest in the business appreciates to $2 million during the marriage. This scenario applies even if the business interest would otherwise be a spouse’s separate property, having been an asset owned prior to the marriage. It also applies even if the other spouse is not involved in the business and makes no direct contribution to the increase in value. (It should be noted, however, that other states have different rules to consider for these issues.)
Are prenuptial agreements enforceable?

Legal Considerations for Selling Your Emerging Growth Company Part 4: The Term Sheet or Letter of Intent

Alexander J. Davie
If you have been following our series on the major legal steps involved in selling an emerging growth company, you know that we have already come a long way in negotiating an agreement with a financial adviser as well as entering into a non-disclosure agreement with your potential buyer. You probably would not have gotten this far in an actual deal without at least talking about the actual terms of the potential deal with the would-be buyer, but at this point it is finally time to get some of those terms on paper, even if that paper is less than legally binding and the terms remain subject to change based on the due diligence that will be conducted by the buyer. It is at this point that you and the buyer will work toward either a term sheet or letter of intent providing the preliminary framework for a potential sale of your business.

What is the Purpose of a Term Sheet and Letter of Intent?

Украина добилась больших успехов, но мы нуждаемся в наших союзниках

Павел Климкин
"За два года с момента Революции Достоинства Украина как государство добилась больших успехов, чем со времен провозглашения независимости в 1991 году", - пишет министр иностранных дел Украины Павел Климкин в статье для The New York Times. Он упоминает в этом ряду борьбу с коррупцией и целый ряд реформ с целью улучшить государственное управление. В следующем году ожидается рост экономики страны, утверждает Климкин.
"И мы достигли всего этого в сложнейших обстоятельствах: ведя инициированную Россией войну, которая унесла тысячи жизней, и в условиях, когда российская оккупация Крымского полуострова и Донбасского региона подрывает нашу экономику", - говорится в статье.
"То, чего мы добились за последние два года, было бы невозможно без тяжкого труда и жертв нашего народа и, что чрезвычайно важно, без твердой поддержки наших партнеров за рубежом. Сотрудничество и поддержка ЕС имеют очень важное значение, но Украина не находит лучшего друга и более преданного союзника, чем США", - пишет Климкин.

Peace talks on Ukraine end without agreement

By John Irish and Sabine Siebold | MINSK

Germany's Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (L) greets Ukraine's Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin as their Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov stands nearby during talks on the crisis in eastern Ukraine in Minsk, Belarus, November 29, 2016. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko

Four-way talks on ending a separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine finished without a breakthrough on Tuesday, with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier declaring that "lip service" statements were not enough to achieve lasting peace.

Britain wants ‘continuity’ in EU trade agreements

UK seeks to lessen blow of Brexit by retaining aspects of EU’s trade deals.

LONDON — The U.K. will try to soften the economic blow of Brexit by clinging on to as many EU trade agreements with non-EU countries as it can, a senior Whitehall official indicated.

The growing length of M&A agreements: a response to new legal risks and market conditions?

Posted in M&A
Given the increasing size and complexity of M&A transactions, it is perhaps natural that M&A agreements would also increase in length and linguistic sophistication. In a new discussion paper, Professor John Coates of Harvard Law School examines the evidence for this hypothesis in the period from 1994 to 2014. He finds in that time frame the average M&A contract in his sample more than doubled in length and significantly increased in linguistic complexity.
Coates studies a sample of 564 public M&A agreements over the relevant time period. The sample is confined to all-cash deals over $100 Million USD in deal value, between US buyers and non-regulated US publicly held targets. He finds that these contracts grew from being on average 16,994 words in 1994 to 44,730 in 2014—an increase of 163%. He also finds that the average agreement increased in complexity from Flesch-Kincaid grade 20 (“post-graduate”) to grade 30 (“post-doctoral”).

The Legal Tightrope of Jill Stein’s Recount

By  LXBN | November 29, 2016
As homes across the country started pre-heating the ovens and prepping the feast for Thanksgiving, Jill Steinstarted gearing up—er, crowdfunding for a recount vote. Here’s where the law stands on that.
Recounts with the power to change outcomes aren’t unheard of, but they are rare. Until now the most infamous recount in recent memory was the 2000 presidential election between Gore and Bush. But in a (very) heated election year, there’s been more of a groundswell than ever to in some way invalidate the electoral college win of Donald Trump. Enter Jill Stein.

Joint Statement on the New Safe Confinement at the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant

European Commission - Statement
Brussels, 29 November 2016
On the occasion of theinstallation of the New Safe Confinement above Unit 4 of the Chornobyl nuclear power plant, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission, Federica Mogherini, the Vice-President for Energy Union, Maroš Šefčovič, the Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, the Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica and the Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañeteissued the following statement:
Today marks a major milestone on the long road of efforts undertaken by Ukraine and the international community to make the Chornobyl site environmentally safe again. It also reminds us - 30 years after the nuclear accident the consequences of which are still affecting the people of Ukraine, Belarus and neighbouring countries – that nuclear safety was and remains a very serious matter that deserves our continuous international attention and action to prevent any further disasters.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Fitch affirms PrivatBank and Bank Pivdennyi at 'CCC'

Fitch Ratings has affirmed PJSC CB PrivatBank's (Privat) and Bank Pivdennyi's (PB) Long-Term Foreign Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) at 'CCC', reads a posting on the rating agency's website.
"The IDRs are driven by the banks' respective standalone creditworthiness, as expressed by the 'ccc' Viability Ratings (VRs). The VRs reflect weak asset quality, limited additional loss absorption capacity and modest core profitability that makes the banks' credit profiles highly vulnerable to further recognition of asset impairment. The VRs also consider the banks' relatively stable regulatory capital levels compared to direct peers - given moderate additional provisioning requirements so far identified in the sector asset quality review - and funding profiles. The latter is due to reduced deposit volatility as the exchange rate stabilized somewhat since Q1, 2015," the report reads.

Shining or glaring?: Japan’s efforts to make it easier for women to work are faltering

Women’s participation in the workforce is high but their status is low

SHINZO ABE, Japan’s prime minister, is an unlikely champion of women’s empowerment. A lifelong conservative and the leader of a party that for decades battled feminism, Mr Abe has undergone a conversion, prompted by Japan’s alarming demography: the workforce is projected to shrink by about 25m people—well over a third—by 2060. Meanwhile, millions of university-educated women sit at home, their talents squandered, says Kathy Matsui of Goldman Sachs. “Japan has more to gain than most countries from raising female labour participation.”

The Future of IP: Three Legal Dilemmas Facing Virtual and Augmented Reality Platforms

, Legaltech News

From copyright licensing to fair use considerations and patent trolls, intellectual property technology may run into future legal challenges.

While recently launched virtual and augmented reality platforms like Oculus Rift or Pokémon Go are feats of modern innovation and engineering, these technologies are themselves not wholly unconnected to the world they seek to transform or supplement. And like every nascent and quickly developing technology, neither are they free of laws governing intellectual property (IP).

Canadian Sanctions Related to Ukraine (Amendments, November 28, 2016)

Sanctions related to Ukraine were enacted under the Special Economic Measures Act, in order to respond to violations of Ukraine’s constitution, sovereignty and territorial integrity.  On March 17, 2014, the Special Economic Measures (Ukraine) Regulations(“the Regulations”) came into force.
Amendments to the Ukraine Regulations were made on March 19, April 12, May 12, June 21, July 11, July 24, August 6, December 19, 2014, February 17, 2015, June 29, 2015, March 18, 2016, and November 28, 2016.

A tangled web – The Ukrainian MIC

There are many (in)famous Ukrainian politicians, “businessmen” and recognised organised criminals historically associated with gun running and the defence industry/MIC of Ukraine.
In entries past, the names of Semyon Mogilevich, Leonid Minin, Sergei Mikhailov, Leonid Wulf, Alexander Zhukov, Vadim Rabinovych, Leonid Lebedev, Mark Garber, Kuzma Medanich, Andrey Vazhnik, and Anatoliy Fedorenko, are to name but a few “headliners”.
Since those gun running 1990s/2000 decades have passed, in recent years the Ukrainian military and MIC have been forced to undergo radical changes and retooling – nothing spurs such action as a confined yet nevertheless hot war with Russia in the eastern regions.  Also, no longer do trains loaded with armaments sat on rail sidings at Odessa Port go without more than a few photographs and a questions by both public and media alike.

Creating a Stronger Financial System: New EU rules for the recovery and resolution of Central Counterparties

European Commission - Press release

Brussels, 28 November 2016
The European Commission has today proposed new rules to ensure that systemic market infrastructures in the financial system, known as Central Counterparties (CCPs), can be dealt with effectively when things go wrong.
A CCP acts as the intermediary to both sides of a transaction in a financial instrument, including bonds, equities, derivatives andcommodities (such as agricultural products, oil and natural gas). They are critical in helping to reduce risks and interconnections through the financial system. They help financial firms and end users such as corporates manage their business risks. The scale and importance of CCPs in Europe and globally has nearly doubled since the post-crisis G20 commitment to clear standardised over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives through CCPs. A large proportion of the EUR 500 trillion of derivatives contracts that are outstanding globally are cleared by 17 CCPs across Europe.

Ukraine to push ahead with International Criminal Court cases

Officials in Kyiv have vowed to continue pursuing cases against Russia in the International Criminal Court despite Moscow’s decision to end its cooperation with the Hague-based tribunal.
Ukraine will continue pressing its war crimes cases against Russia at the International Criminal Court in the Hague in 2017.

Few in the Ukrainian capital were surprised by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision on Nov. 16 to withdraw his country’s signature from the Rome Statute – the founding document that created the court – a day after its chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda branded Russia the main aggressor and an occupier in the Kremlin’s ongoing war against its southern neighbor.

Lutsenko reads out accusations of treason against Yanukovych

Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yuriy Lutsenko has read out official accusations of high treason that have been brought against former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

"Given the fact that Yanukovych is outside [the country], does not appear under subpoena and is actually hiding from Ukraine's law enforcement agencies, the charges are being announced in verbal form. But the notice of suspicion was sent one hour ago to all known addresses and the place of last residence of Viktor Yanukovych. After my speech it will be handed over to his lawyer. The above-mentioned notice of suspicion has been drafted by me as Prosecutor General of Ukraine," he said.

Statement on “Russia’s on-going aggression against Ukraine and illegal occupation of Crimea”

Statement on “Russia’s on-going aggression against Ukraine
and  illegal occupation of Crimea”
As delivered by the Delegation of Ukraine
to the 1120th meeting of the Permanent Council,
24 November 2016
Mr. Chairman, 
Last Monday Ukraine marked the Day of Dignity and Freedom, commemorating the third anniversary since the nationwide movement in support of the democratic values and against dictatorship started. It has been the resolute choice of Ukrainians to build a prosperous and rule of law based European state, where human rights and fundamental freedoms are fully respected.   

The Two Putin Problem


New French Anti-Corruption Law: Companies Doing Business in France Must Beware

On November 8, 2016, France modernized its anti-corruption enforcement regime and adopted the Law on Transparency, the Fight against Corruption and Modernization of Economic Life (known in France as “Sapin II,” named after Michel Sapin, the current minister of finance). Sapin II went into effect November 10, 2016.
Sapin II is France’s response to international criticism of its perceived hands-off attitude toward anti-corruption enforcement, which has caused the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and other law enforcement and regulatory agencies to seek $1 billion in fines against French companies Alcatel, Alstom, Technip, and Total. To revitalize French enforcement of French law over French companies, citizens, and non-French entities doing business in France, Sapin II institutes aggressive new preventive measures and strengthens and increases the government’s tools to fight corruption.
The main provisions of the law include: