The VI International Congress of Euro Latam Lex, the international network of prestigious law firms commenced on February 6, in Washington DC, in the offices of Holland & Knight. The opening session did not disappoint but fulfilled the maximum of expectations with the first words of George Mencio, Partner at Holland & Knight LLP (USA) and host of the event, followed by Javier Cremades, President of Euro Latam Lex and of the World Jurist Association, and Chairman of Cremades & Calvo-Sotelo (Spain). They introduced both the Congress and the network. Importantly, the VI International Congress was the first that has been held out of Spain, which is the country where it was created.
The title of this Congress was “Challenges in Compliance as we Enter the New "Roaring Twenties", to reflect the different aspects we have learned from history, in different stages of transition, and that become relevant in the new transition to the digital world.
To the cast of speakers for this session was extended to Viviane Reding, Former Vice-President European Commission (Luxemburg), who emphasized the importance of bringing together lawyers from many parts of the world to understand the diversity, the differences and the complexity of legal principles. Finally, David Kovel, Partner at Kirby McInerney LLP (USA), and James Black II, Partner at Silverman Acampora LLP (USA), participated in the Session as Members of Euro Latam Lex in the US and thus, local co-organizers.
From left to right: Viviane Reding, Javier Cremades and George Mencio
I SESSION: “ANTI-CORRUPTION STATUTES AROUND THE WORLD”
The first session of the VI Euro Latam Lex International Congress was devoted to the topic “Anti-corruptions statutes around the world”. This topic was addressed from the perspective of four different lawyers working in four different countries. First, Wifredo A. Ferrer, Partner at Holland & Knight (USA), who acted also as the Moderator of the Session, presented the news in the anti-corruption regulation in the US, taking advantage of his expertise on regulatory matters, including allegations involving bribery and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), complex fraud, financial improprieties, securities law violations, healthcare fraud, false claims, cybercrime or government contract fraud. Then, Francisco Petros, Partner at FF Advogados (Brazil), is both a lawyer and an economist, and provided his large experience in Compliance, Corporate Law, Corporate Governance and Market Regulation and Capital Markets with a different perspective, more focused on the case of Latinamerica and specifically in Brazil.
Our third speaker of this session was Luigi Isolabella, Partner at Studio Isolabella (Italy). Luigi is an expert in criminal law and criminal liability in the health sector and has assisted numerous Italian and foreign listed and non-listed companies in criminal proceedings involving corporate, financial, banking, insurance, bankruptcy, tax, environmental, anti-accident offenses, as well as offenses against the public administration in Europe. Finally, our last speaker was Pedro Da Silva Neves, Founding partner of Neves Avocats (Switzerland), whose presentation denoted his knowledge in anti-corruption from his experience related to the time he worked for the Geneva Tax Authority.
From left to right: Pedro Da Silva Neves, Wifredo A. Ferrer, Francisco Petros and Luigi Isolabella.
II SESSION: “WHISTLEBLOWER LAW AND PRACTICE IN THE US AND BEYOND”
The secound session of the VI Euro Latam Lex International Congress was devoted to the topic “WHISTLEBLOWER LAW AND PRACTICE IN THE US AND BEYOND”
The panel discussed key whistleblower reward programs in the US: CFTC, SEC, IRS, and the False Claims Act, the expansion of similar programs in other jurisdictions like Canada and South Korea, and the potential for more whistleblower programs as implementation of the EU Directive on Whistleblowing takes off in 27 European Union Member States.
The speakers on this panel were attorneys David Kovel (managing Partner at Kirby McInerney), James Black II (Partner at SilvermanAcampora), Carolina Gonzalez (associate in Constantine Cannon's London office), Christina McGlosson (CFTC Associate Director in the Division of Enforcement).
Posted February 7, 2020
“Carolina stressed that whistleblowers – international whistleblowers, in particular – can report wrongdoing by multinational companies under both U.S. whistleblower reward programs and foreign whistleblower reward programs if certain conditions apply. When explaining why whistleblowing is good for companies, Carolina pointed out to recent research finding that companies promoting a culture of speaking up coupled with actual follow up receive fewer and lower amounts of government fines and lawsuits. In Carolina’s words, whistleblowers should be seen by companies as “assets and not liabilities.”
Left to Right: Christina McGlosson, David Kovel, Carolina Gonzalez and James Black II
Left to Right: Christina McGlosson, David Kovel, Carolina Gonzalez and James Black II
III SESSION: “PRIVACY ROUND TABLE. INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVE”
The third Session of the VI Euro Latam Lex International Congress was devoted to the hot topic of privacy, and had the title of “Privacy Round Table. International Perspective”. This session was thought to explore the recent evolution in the regulation on data protection from the perspective of both, Europe and America.
The first speaker was Viviane Reding, Former Vice-President of the European Commission, Former Member of the European Parliament (Luxembourg). Viviane Reding presented the principles of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) enforced in the European Union since May 2018. Her expertise was very valuable as she discussed her experience in dealing with different cases related to data protection derived from the action of international companies acting from Ireland for the European Union. The second speaker was Teodora Toma, Associate Attorney at Cremades & Calvo-Sotelo (Spain) and Deputy Director of Euro Latam Lex. Her presentation was focused on the way in which the different European countries are enforcing the new regulation in data protection. She provided a review of the main and largest fines that have been imposed by the authorities of the different European countries, and which are the most frequent infractions, so that international companies know where to focus their efforts in complying with the current regulation.
Isaiah Soval-Levine, Of Counsel, Tunca Law International Consulting Trade (Turkey) was our third speaker, who provided his view as an expert in data protection representing companies and clients in the European Union, US or Turkey. Finally, Steven M. Richman, Resident Member at Clark Hill (USA) was our speaker from the US. He is an expert in domestic and international commercial law, including mediation, litigation and arbitration, and appellate work, including distributorships, intellectual property, agency, art and photography law, professional responsibility and contracts. His view about data protection in the US supposed a perfect ending to the session providing a better understanding on the interacting ways of regulation on data protection for both American and European companies. James Black II, Partner at Silverman Acampora LLP (USA) was the Moderator of this Session.
IV SESSION: “ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING”
The fourth Session of the VI Euro Latam Lex International Congress was devoted to the interesting topic “Anti-Money Laundering”, so important with a growing degree of globalization and with a very intense interaction of companies from different countries and the great need of compliance with regulations declaring all activities to the authorities.
Andres Fernandez, Partner at Holland & Knight (USA) was the Moderator of this Session, and also the first speaker. His expertise in Financial Services and Banking Law were very valuable for the participants and his presentation was focused on compliance matters. Philip Rubens, Partner at Teacher Stern LLP (UK), was our second speaker. He is an expert in all topics related to financial law and regulation, such as crowd funding, peer to peer lending, overallotment, or corporate internal investigations. However, his speech was more focused on his great experience in cases related to money laundering in the UK.
Our third speaker in this Session was James C. Barnacle, Chief, Money Laundering Unit, FBI (USA). He provided a presentation quite oriented to the practicalities on the cases that are followed by the FBI, in the US, related to Money Laundering and Bank Fraud Investigations. Finally, Manuel Campos, Partner at Campos Galvan Abogados (Mexico) was our last speaker. He is an expert in foreign investment, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, regulatory issues and cross-border issues. His Latin American point of view completed the Session with a very international perspective.
V SESSION: “TRADE REGULATION. US TARIFF STRATEGIES AND BREXIT”
The fifth Session of the VI Euro Latam Lex International Congress had the title “Trade Regulation. US Tariffs Strategies and Brexit”. J. William Eshelman, Senior Counsel in the Government & Regulatory Affairs Practice Group at Clark Hill (USA) was the Moderator and the focus of the Session was the different comercial agreements that are currently in place and what is expected after the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union at the end of the last month of January.
Mark R. Ludwikowski, Member and leader of Clark Hill's International Trade Practice (USA) is a recognized expert in this field and has dealt with numerous cases related to U.S. trade regulatory compliance and policy, including trade remedies, international trade litigations, customs and export controls, as well as sanctions law. He provided the Amercian perspective of the impact of Brexit. Antonio Estella de Noriega, Jean Monnet Professor at Carlos III University (Spain), focused his presentation in the European perspective, and the impact that Brexit may produce in the European Union, and how the negotiations between the European Union and the UK are being developed. R. Kevin Williams, Member of Clark Hill’s Customs and International Trade Law Practice Group (USA) came back to the American angle of this issue, as an expert on import and export process including tariff classification and valuation merchandise. Finally, Alberto Ruiz Ojeda, Partner at Cremades & Calvo–Sotelo (Spain), expert in administrative law and regulated sectors and economist, presented a different insight, related to the expected impact in terms of economic growth of the different commercial agreements that might result of the current international framework.
VI SESSION: “CONSUMER PROTECTION”
The sixth Session on the VI Euro Latam Lex International Congress had the title “Consumer Protection”. The goal of this panel was to look at how regulations and markets should provide the right level of protection to consumers, and how they are doing that in different countries. This panel was moderated by Elisa Junqueira Figueiredo, Partner at FF Advogados (Brazil), who gave a very functional introduction to the panel and the participants.
Daniel Hume, Partner at Kirby McINerney LLP (USA) provided a very nice review of the different Acts and regulations that affect the protection of consumers in the US, from the Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914 to the Securities Act of 1933 or the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and to the modern Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 or The Consumer Protection Branch from the Department of Justice. Manuel García-Goñi, Professor of Applied Economics at Complutense University of Madrid (Spain) provided his perspective as an economist. He explained the role of regulation in trying to solve or reduce the negative impact for consumers of different market failures, such as, for instance, externalities or imperfect information. The intensity of market regulation, in general, should depend on the degree at which markets can reach or approximate the competitive equilibrium. Finally, Eric M. Proudfoot, FBI, Intellectual Property Rights Unit (USA) provided the vision of the FBI on consumer protection, and explained the different ways that individuals have to report information on criminal activity and suspected terrorist threats, or even how to report cyber crimes by filing a complaint with our Internet Crime Complaint Center FBI or with the National Intellectual Property Rights Center.
VII SESSION: “COMPLIANCE CHALLENGES IN THE ERA OF 5G”
The seventh and last Session of the VI Euro Latam Lex International Congress was entitled “Compliance Challenges in the Era of 5G”. The panel was moderated by Hachem Boulos, Manager at Boulos Law Office (Lebanon) and was thought with a strong interest in new technology law.
Maria Eugenia Gay, Dean, Illustrious Bar Association of Barcelona (Spain), started with a speech in which she related the use of technologies with the exercise of human rights. Jeffrey Wells, Director of Cybersecurity Consulting at Clark Hill's (USA) focused his presentation on the development of new technologies and the Era of 5G, looking at cyber security engagement, and how organizations should protect the privacy of employees around the world. Justin Krell, Partner at Silverman Acampora LLP (USA), offered his expertise in the field of Bankruptcy, Creditors’ Rights and Business Law, and focused his speech in the development of the Digital Era and the new way of doing Banking with 5G technology. Steven Shapiro, from the Office of the Director, FBI (USA), talked about the risks that new technologies may bring to our society and how to fight against them from his expertise in the fields of counterterrorism, counterintelligence, public corruption, or police corruption. Finally, Michael Rainone, CEO Proactive Technology Group Greenvale (USA), expert information Technology, including the design, implementation and support of both users and infrastructure, presented the opportunities of 5G.
VIII SESSION: “CLOSING SESSION”
In the closing session, James Black II, Partner at Silverman Acampora LLP (USA), Member of Euro Latam Lex and local co-organizer of the Congress, thanked Holland and Knight for being such wonderful hosts for the event, Javier Cremades, President of Euro Latam Lex; all the Euro Latam Lex team in Madrid represented by Teodora Toma in Washington DC, as Deputy Director, and all participants for their great contributions in the panels sharing their views.
As a final remark, Alberto Ruiz Ojeda, Partner at Cremades & Calvo-Sotelo Abogados, thanked the presence to all Members of Euro Latam Lex and participants in the Congress, and called us for the next edition of the congress, which will take place in February 2021 in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia. Save the date!
Looking forward to seeing you all in Cartagena de Indias in 2021.