On 27th March, Crowell Moring published an article saying that OFAC had issued 2 updated advisories, as well as issued a series of new designations of Specially Designated Nationals (SDN), highlighting the sanctions-related risks for, and the focus on, the shipping community. Taken together, they provide important guidance for members of the shipping industry — including shipping companies, ship owners, insurance companies, and financial institutions with shipping practices, port operators, and others in the sector — on the scope of OFAC’s prohibitions, red flags for sanctions risks, as well as the types of compliance practices that OFAC expects – re Syria, Iran and North Korea.
Dentons on 28th March published an article which begins by giving a simple illustration of the concepts of semi-privatisation and privatisation; it then discusses common law duties and fiduciary duties of directors under the Companies Act 2008; and finally discusses the far-reaching ramifications for directors of a leading case with regard to deterring them from engaging in illicit outflow of capital activities. A recent report stated that Africa loses around $60 billion annually due to illicit financial outflows, and the report also established that most illicit financial outflows are facilitated through trade mispricing. As well as trade mispricing, illicit outflow comprises bulk cash movements and smuggling, among others, all of which are designed to move money out of Africa with the object of avoiding taxes. It concludes that, regardless of whether directors act in a semi-privatised or privatised entity they will face civil or even criminal liability if found guilty of participating in illicit outflow of capital activities. It also says that African countries that suffer most of the illicit financial outflows should consider adopting similar company law rules to the ones applicable in South Africa.
FIATA, the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations, through its Advisory Body Legal Matters (ABLM) has released its “Best Practice Guide on Prevention of Cybercrime” for FIATA members and the industry at large.
Herbert Smith Freehills has published its February 2019 edition of this publication which provides an overview of the Russian legal system and explains key legal issues for foreign investors to consider. It highlights recent developments that affect investment, including the effect of international sanctions, a “maturing” legal system, and a foreign investment review. It contains an introduction to the Russian civil legal system, restrictions on foreign investment, how to establish a legal presence, joint ventures etc. It also deals with a wide range of aspects and potential areas of concern, including shareholder rights and corporate governance, as well as financial services regulation, securities, real estate and investment from outside Russia.
A useful blog post from July 2017, apparently intended for the uninitiated, with a (very) brief overview of the history of blockchain with key takeaways that the author thought were important for investors to understand. He says that he glosses over some of the more technical aspects for clarity’s sake.
The Middle East Monitor on 29th March reported on a guilty verdict in the case of the Prince Abdul Muhsin bin Walid bin Abdul Muhsin bin Abdul Aziz for smuggling about 2 tonnes of Captagon drugs on his private jet while heading from Beirut to Saudi Arabia in 2015. He was sentenced to 6 years, and a $15,000 fine. 2 other Saudis and 3 Lebanese were also convicted.
For information on Captagon, see –
Captagon is one of several brand names for the drug compound fenethylline hydrochloride, and amphetamine.
On 25th March, Paul Hastings published a briefing which says that the legal impact of AI and automated systems is cross-border and cross-disciplinary. In-house counsel must be ready to support their companies’ product development, strategic acquisitions and partnerships, and data-sharing arrangements within uncertain legal frameworks and rapidly changing technologies. The briefing sets out to outline critical considerations within some of the key legal verticals: data privacy and cybersecurity; intellectual property and trade secrets; fintech and financial services; employment law; trade controls; and AI governance, safety, ethics, and related litigation risks. It includes a section on trade controls, saying that AI-related technology is growing more important in areas that are sensitive from a national security standpoint, including military applications, cybersecurity, drones and robotics, and critical infrastructure – AI capabilities developed for benign, consumer-facing uses may also have more sensitive applications. It comments on US moves to identify and establish heightened controls on the export, re-export, and transfer of so-called “emerging and foundational technologies, whereby significant elements of hardware, componentry, software/code, and documentation embodying or disclosing these technologies could become subject to stringent export licensing and other restrictions, including on transfers to China or Chinese nationals.