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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.

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From left to right: Viviane Reding, Javier Cremades and George Mencio


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.

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From left to right: Pedro Da Silva Neves, Wifredo A. Ferrer, Francisco Petros and Luigi Isolabella.

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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.”

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Left to Right: Christina McGlosson, David Kovel, Carolina Gonzalez and James Black II

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Left to Right: Christina McGlosson, David Kovel, Carolina Gonzalez and James Black II



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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Funders from around the world have limitless finance available for cases with merit, though lawyers warn that sound funding agreements are needed to ensure clients retain strategic control

712920aThere has been an increase in the number of third-party funders from around the world that are looking to finance disputes in Spain and Portugal, with some specifically targeting insolvency cases valued at more than €1 billion. Indeed, lawyers indicate that there is a limitless amount of third-party funding available for cases in Iberia that investors deem to have merit.

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Adrian Hasler, the Prime Minister of Liechtenstein, is certain that blockchain technology will have an impact on a variety of areas and is preparing a new blockchain law to provide essential requirements in order to establish a regulatory base for blockchain businesses.

The blockchain law — so called Blockchain Act — was announced by Adrian Hasler at this year’s Finance Forum on March 21. According to Adrian Hasler, the new act is about integrating current business models in regulatory terms in order to give companies and their clients a legal base. The planned act is expected to be circulated for consultations this summer.

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Automation can help – not hinder – a sector which still needs the human touch

Did you hear the one about the affordable yet efficient human lawyer and its robot counterpart? One is complete myth and will never happen while the other might be just around the corner thanks to artificial intelligence (AI).

I couldn’t help myself. Everybody loves a silly lawyer joke but the joke may be on us because the lawyer or barrister is one of the professions least likely to be replaced by automation and it may also be one that will benefit most from AI and machine learning.

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How Does ‘The Right To Be Forgotten’ Exist Alongside An Immutable Ledger?

When the GDPR entered into force on May 25, 2018, mailboxes around the world were flooded with obligatory emails by various services informing their customers about the new “GDPR compliant privacy policies.” All of us have been a “victim” of this annoyance and we’re well aware that nobody reads the terms of service, but we assure you – this one actually matters.

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A new leak of documents from the offshore service provider at the centre of the Panama Papers scandal reveals the company could not identify the owners of up to three quarters of companies it administered.

Two months after becoming aware of the data breach, Mossack Fonseca was unable to identify the beneficial owners of more than 70% of 28,500 active companies in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) as well as 75% of companies in Panama, according to new documents seen by BBC Panorama.

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Since the advent, in 2008, of BitCoin—a completely peer-to-peer cash system free of third-party involvement—the interest in “blockchain” technology has increased. Blockchain protocol offers an alternative to the need for trusted third parties to prevent property fraud. However, it also requires the application of law other than property law to police blockchain activity. More particularly, contract and tort law are more applicable than property law to properly adjudicate blockchain property transactions.

GiannoniD 80 108ManzoniA 80x108The Supreme Court’s ruling in favour of 25 young plaintiffs seeking protection of their rights to life, health, food, and a healthy environment obliges the government to design an inter-generational pact to reduce deforestation and gas emissions. This highlights the connection between protection of the environment and intergenerational solidarity, as well as underlining personal and social responsibility for the impact of everyday behaviours on whole societies and on the environment, write Domenico Giannino (London Metropolitan University) and Antonio Manzoni (King’s College London).

We often read about the gradual devastation of the Amazon rainforest due to intensive exploitation and deforestation. However, the recent finding of the Colombian Supreme Court of Justice that the government is legally obliged to halt this trend and protect the area offers hope for radical change.

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The head of Brazil’s oil giant Petrobras, Pedro Parente, has resigned, following a nationwide strike by lorry drivers that caused huge disruption.

The strike against diesel prices, which ended this week, caused major shortages in the country.

Many of the protesters blamed Mr Parente for rising costs, after the company stopped subsidising fuel prices for its domestic consumers.

However, Petrobras gave no specific reason for the resignation.

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LONDON (Reuters) – Shares in lender CYBG rose as much as 3 percent on Monday after it announced a revised bid for rival Virgin Money (VM.L), increasing the likelihood of a deal that would create a new competitor to Britain’s biggest banks.

CYBG, owner of Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank, and Virgin Money, founded almost 25 years ago by British entrepreneur Richard Branson, would combine to create Britain’s sixth-largest bank by assets, albeit one still dwarfed by rivals such as Lloyds (LLOY.L) and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L).

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Apple and Russia are locked in a stand-off over the company’s App Store.

The Russian telecoms regulator Roskomnadzor has asked the US firm to remove the popular messenger app Telegram from the Russian version of the store.

Despite attempts by Russian authorities to block the app since mid-April, it remains in widespread use.

Roskomnadzor has given Apple a month to reply and it is unclear what will happen if it ignores the request.

Apple has previously complied with Chinese requests to remove VPN services from its App Store.

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It’s the latest attempt to cash in on gamers’ nostalgia – a throwback console that promises “100+” classic games built in, with new online play.

Pre-orders for the Atari VCS went into overdrive on Wednesday, with a campaign on crowdfunding site Indiegogo raising more than $2m (£1.5m).

That’s well in excess of the $100,000 the company was aiming for, and a remarkable endorsement of the long-lasting appeal of the Atari brand.

Now all the company has to do is deliver on its promises. That may not be straightforward, as attempts to build retro game consoles have had mixed results.

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Google is offering a new service, which it says could help British homeowners save money by switching to solar power.

The tech giant has released an online tool called Project Sunroof, in partnership with energy supplier Eon, that estimates savings using data from Google’s Earth and Maps apps.

It first launched in the US in 2015, where reviews suggested it was broadly accurate but gave some odd results.

Google is also working with German software firm Tetraeder on the project.

Project Sunroof uses machine learning to estimate how much solar potential a house has by examining the property’s features, such as its roof area and angle, and weather data, such as sun positioning.

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A £5bn contract to run Wales’ rail service for the next 15 years has been awarded to two European firms, who will run it jointly.

France’s Keolis and Spanish-owned Amey’s bid triumphed over a rival offer from Hong Kong’s MTR commuter railways.

It will also drive forward the south Wales Metro in Cardiff and the valleys.

The operators said while the changes would not happen overnight Wales’ railway “would be unrecognisable” in five years time.

KeolisAmey already runs Greater Manchester Metrolink and London’s Docklands Light Railway, among others.

But full details of its plans for Wales will not be revealed until next month.

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NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s antitrust regulator has approved the acquisition of U.S. seed major Monsanto Co (MON.N) by Bayer AG (BAYGn.DE), in a decision that moves the $62.5 billion deal a step closer to the finish line.

German conglomerate Bayer is preparing to close the takeover this quarter, giving it control of more than 25 percent of the world’s seed and pesticides market.

Both Bayer and Monsanto had subsidiaries in India, making it mandatory for them to receive clearance from the Competition Commission of India (CCI).

The acquisition had been approved “subject to compliance of certain modifications,” the CCI said on Twitter, without elaborating.

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ASUNCION (Reuters) – Paraguay has issued an open-ended suspension of arms and ammunition imports in a bid to fight illegal trafficking across the border into neighboring Brazil, the head of the National Directorate of War Material told Reuters on Tuesday.

During the suspension, the directorate will update computer programs it uses and improve coordination with Paraguayan and Brazilian law enforcement agencies, directorate chief Enrique Caballero said.

“We want to provide traceability,” he said. “The illicit market is our concern and we must increase efforts at stopping that.”

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‘Little Dragon’ can chat to customers, accept bank cards and check accounts. She joins a growing army of robot workers in China’s cities

Xiao Long, the latest employee at the Jiujiang Road branch of the China Construction Bank is never late for work. “Welcome to China Construction Bank,” she chirps to customers arriving at the Shanghai branch, flashing her white teeth. “What can I help you with today?”

Xiao Long, or “Little Dragon”, is not your typical employee – she’s a robot at China’s first fully automated, human-free bank branch.

As guardian of the bank, she talks to customers, takes bank cards and checks accounts (she comes complete with a PIN pad) and can answer basic questions. After a quick initial chat with Xiao Long, customers pass through electronic gates where their faces and ID cards are scanned. On future visits, facial recognition alone is enough to open the gates and call up customer information.

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The World Trade Organization (WTO) has ruled that the European Union (EU) failed to comply with requests to end subsidies for Airbus.

The US Trade Representative (USTR) said the ruling in the dispute opens the way for placing tariffs on EU goods.

The USTR argued that European countries had given $22bn in state aid to Airbus to help launch its A380 and A350 jets, causing losses to US rival Boeing.

The European Commission said most of the disputed support ended in 2011.

It said it had “only a few” remaining things to do to be compliant and pledged “swift action” on those fronts.

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With worldwide debt at $164tn, 190 countries will be included in database dating back to 1950s

With global debt currently at a record high, the International Monetary Fund is launching a database of public and private borrowing across 190 countries – virtually the entire world – dating back to the 1950s.

In April the fund said the global economy was more indebted than before the financial crisis and immediate action needed to be taken before the next downturn. It said worldwide debt now stood at $164tn, equal to 225% of global GDP and up from a previous record of 213% in 2009.

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Argentina is to start talks about a financing deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday amid reports it is seeking $30bn (£22bn).

Finance minister Nicolas Dujovne is due to fly to the IMF's Washington offices.

After recent turmoil that saw interest rates hit 40%, President Mauricio Macri said IMF aid would "strengthen growth" and help avoid crises of the past.

The talks come 17 years after Argentina defaulted on its debts and 12 years since it severed ties with IMF.

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France has condemned as "unacceptable" a US move to re-impose sanctions on companies trading with Iran.

The action from Washington followed President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of a landmark deal that sought to curb Iran's nuclear programme.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said European companies should not have to pay for the US decision.

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Theresa May has divided her top team of ministers into two working groups to hammer out their differences on Brexit.

The cabinet is split over how to manage customs arrangements with the EU.

Brexiteers such as Boris Johnson are against Mrs May's preferred option of a "customs partnership", which is backed by Remain-voting ministers.

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