National Domestic Policy puts Freedom of Movement in Europe at Risk

The ability to travel within Europe without border controls is among the most visible advantages of the European unification process. Freedom of movement for persons has long since become an accomplishment for more than just the citizens of most EU states in continental Europe. Neutral Switzerland has also joined the so-called Schengen process. The EU Commission presented its first semi-annual report on the state of Schengen developments in May 2012. But current events threaten to bring back the barriers.

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Fighting Fraud in Emerging Economies – Challenges for Overseas Business Operations & Expatriates

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By Tetsuya Umehara, Plum Field Advisory

With globalization, regardless of the type of business you run, the management of overseas operations is becoming more and more strategically important, and some overseas subsidiaries are growing for many multinational corporations. This creates challenges for multinational corporations to maintain "sound" management when culture, rules, laws, and customs are different.

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Multiple Government Laws and Regulations Make Data Security Breach Recovery Efforts Complicated in the U.S.


By Jonathan M. Joseph, Christian & Barton, LLP

Security experts considered 2011 the "Year of the Breach" due to the sheer volume of data breaches experienced by governmental entities, large companies and small organizations. These breaches included external attacks, deceptive practices, accidental data loss from misplaced laptops or hard drives, and files posted to public sites. The reality is that a data breach may occur even in the best run organizations—and preparation is the best defense.

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Disclosure Obligations Highlighted by Two Birds

By Nigel Pearmain and Chris Le Quesne, Voisin

The recent judgment of the Royal Court in this case has provided further clarification on the disclosure obligations of former trustees owed to their successors. The Court noted that there appeared to be little authority on the law dealing with the duty of a retiring trustee to hand over documents and information to an incoming trustee and therefore took the opportunity to set out its views concerning the legal position.

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Voluntary Pledge to Increase the Quota of Women in Executive Positions Lacks Credibility

If the proportion of females holding positions on the supervisory and executive boards of the leading European companies continues to increase at the current tempo, a balances gender ratio could be achieved in 40 years time. In view of this finding, EU Justice Commissioner Viviane now doubts the success of voluntary self-regulation. Following the completion of the public consultation, which began on 3.5.2012, on the subject of the quota of females in management positions on 5.28.2012, it is to be expected that compulsory EU initiatives will be imposed on companies that are listed on the stock exchange.

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Proposed Further Development of European Company Law

The EU Commission is reviewing European company law. To this end it published a consultative paper on 20 February 2012 as a first step in order to obtain the positions of stakeholders via the internet. The consultation ends on 14 May 2012. Then the contributions will be analysed.

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A standardized European Convention on the Sale of Goods by no means sells itself

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On 11 October 2011 the European Commission decided on a proposal for an ordinance on a common European Convention on the Sale of Goods. The convention is set to further develop the single, standardized European market. At present, when it comes to cross-border trade between companies and overseas purchases by consumers, the 27 different national legal systems of the individual member states continue to apply in spite of the single market, which in practice represents a hindrance to both small-scale exporters and consumers.

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Uniform data protection law planned for the EU

The uniform data protection law planned by the EU Commission will create savings for businesses of 2.3 billion euro annually whilst ensuring the protection of citizens' data and strengthening consumer rights. In Brussels on January 25th 2012, Viviane Reding, vice-president of the EU Commission and Commissioner for Justice, put forward the Commission's proposal for a specific directive on the protection of personal data and a regulation setting out the general EU framework for data protection.

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Threats to Non-U.S. Companies from the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

By David Smyth, Brooks Pierce

Among the international business community, few law enforcement matters in recent years have attracted as much interest as the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act ("FCPA"). Enforcement of the FCPA – conducted by both the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") – has been intense and increasing over the last decade. As Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer said late last year, "FCPA enforcement is stronger than it's ever been – and getting stronger." And while the FCPA is a United States law, it poses great risks for non-United States companies and individuals; severe liability can follow from disregarding it.

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