In Wake of Panama Papers Scandal Obama Calls for Stricter Bank Regulations, Tax Rules

In a news conference today President Obama addressed rules and proposed regulations announced Thursday intended to help the U.S. fight tax evasion and other crimes connected to anonymous offshore companies and accounts.  The announcements come after a month of intense review by the administration following the first release of the so-called Panama Papers, millions of documents stolen or leaked from Panamanian law firm Mossack, Fonseca.  The papers have revealed a who’s who of international politicians, business leaders, sports figures and celebrities involved with financial transactions accomplished through anonymous shell corporations.

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New Business Opportunities in Iran! But Who Will Be Your Banker? Non-U.S. Banks Hesitant to Process Lawful Iran Transactions…and for Good Reason

Highlights:

  • Sanctions relief presents new business opportunities with Iran
  • Most U.S. companies are still prohibited from Iran business, but the U.S. government is encouraging lawful business by non-U.S. companies
  • The line between permitted and prohibited financial transactions by non-U.S. banks is not clear
  • Careful advice of counsel is critical

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Hotels and Hospitality in Cuba: OFAC and Obama Paving the Way

With more flights, relaxing regulations, a historic presidential trip to Cuba, and news of hospitality services expanding into Cuba, the pathway into Cuba for hotels and hospitality companies seems smooth.  But businesses should look out for the potential hurdles and compliance risks.  Don’t fret – we can help you welcome your guests.

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The Day of North Korea Sanctions: the UN Imposes the Toughest North Korea Sanctions Yet While OFAC and State Designate More North Korean Entities

After weeks of negotiations and a Putin-backed delay, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2270 on March 2, 2016, imposing new sanctions against North Korea. According to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, the resolution imposes the strongest set of UN sanctions in over two decades. This article provides a summary of the new UN North Korea sanctions followed by an overview of the most recent developments in North Korea sanctions under US law.

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EU-US Privacy Shield: Brace Yourself . . . or Maybe Not

On February 29, 2016, the European Commission and United States released the terms of the much-anticipated renewed framework for the transfer, sharing, and processing of European individuals’ data to the United States. The framework replaces the “Safe Harbour” mechanism, which enabled U.S. to transfer data from the EU to the United States by self-certifying that their practices ensured an adequate level of protection for personal data under the EU Data Protection Directive. In October, the “Safe Harbour” framework was declared invalid by the European Court of Justice in the Schrems decision covered earlier in this blog. Continue Reading

EU-US Privacy Shield: Still Awaiting Certainty

Privacy activists across Europe raised their data protection banner following the announcement by EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Věra Jourová on Tuesday 2 February 2016 that a political agreement had been reached between the EU and the US on a new framework for handling transatlantic data flows. This does not bode well, especially because the exact content of the new agreement which will replace the “Safe Harbour” mechanism is still unknown. We will expand on the indications provided by the Commissioner on some of the negotiated protection mechanisms. More importantly, we will highlight the risks that over 4.000 companies, mainly US tech companies, still face and the measures they should put in place to ensure compliance with EU data protection rules. Continue Reading

US and EU Iran Sanctions Lifted: How to Proceed in the Aviation Sector?

On January 16, 2016, the United States and the EU lifted certain sanctions against Iran in compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreed among Iran, China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States. January 16, 2016 was the day on which the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) certified that Iran had met certain milestones set forth in the JCPOA toward dismantling the military aspects of its nuclear program. On the same day, the United States and the EU announced the lifting of sanctions consistent with the announcement of Implementation Day. Continue Reading

Airplanes, Pistachios, and a New Burger Joint in Tehran: What Changes for the United States Under Lighter Iran Sanctions

On January 16, 2016, two NFL playoff games and a historic revision of U.S. foreign policy took place. Many of us enjoyed the first two (did you see that last-second touchdown pass?!) but did not pay close attention as the United States lifted many of its secondary sanctions against Iran. Even those normally attentive to sanctions news had already heard (including by reading and excitedly discussing this blog) that things were not going to change that much for U.S. persons. Continue Reading

When Voluntary Self-Disclosure Isn’t so Voluntary: SEC Says Self-Disclose or Forfeit Non-Prosecution and Deferred Prosecution

You may have heard of the Yates Memorandum, which sets forth current Justice Department policy on corporate cooperation with criminal investigations. But the Securities and Exchange Commission has just announced another significant policy change, which hasn’t garnered the same attention: self-disclose or forfeit access to key favorable case dispositions. Continue Reading

Selling Aircraft to Iran: Are Clear Skies or Turbulence Ahead for Exporters

Introduction

The announcement of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) has caused enthusiasm in the aviation sector for the envisaged lifting of sanctions against Iran. Continue Reading

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