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Middle East - Africa

Dubai: MENA Dispute Resolution Soundbites – DIFC Courts’ ever-increasing jurisdictional scope

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The COVID-19 pandemic has not gone away and the prolonged business issues will continue to affect various market players in the short and long-term....

EMEA: MENA Dispute Resolution Soundbites – Episode 2: Recent court trends on arbitration proceedings

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The COVID-19 pandemic has not gone away and the prolonged business issues will continue to affect various market players in the short and long-term....

United Arab Emirates: The Federal Supreme Court rules for the first time in favor...

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The UAE Federal Supreme Court recently dismissed an appeal filed by the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) against taxes and administrative fines and penalties imposed by the FTA against a UAE company, a Dubai-based beverage distributor, in connection with excise taxes. Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla represented the company. The court also ordered that the FTA repay the full amount of the penalties to the company. This was considered to be the first time the Federal Supreme Court issued a judgment in favor of a taxpayer and removed all taxes and administrative penalties levied by the FTA.

South Africa: The South African revenue service joins the global rise of crypto-wars

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In terms of both market value and volume, South Africa is reported to be one of the top two markets for cryptocurrencies in Africa, alongside Nigeria. It was therefore only a matter of time before the South African Revenue Service joined the likes of the Internal Revenue Service in the United States and Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs in the United Kingdom in cracking down on cryptocurrency traders and establishing appropriate tax frameworks.

South Africa: New export tax on chrome ore intended to resurrect the ferrochrome industry

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South Africa recently approved a tax on exported chrome, with further details still to be announced. The ferrochrome ore industry has been severely threatened in recent years, mostly due to increases in electricity tariffs. Some industry stakeholders have suggested that a special electricity tariff would be a better way to support the ailing industry, others have stated that the challenges mean they would not be able to sustain themselves, even after tax relief. And others have welcomed the reprieve that an export tax would provide. As a result, key industry stakeholders have expressed interest in collectively undertaking research to explore a more viable and consolidated approach to support the industry, but there have been difficulties from a competition law perspective.

South Africa: Trust is good, but monitoring is better the legal implications of employee...

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The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated (and for some, cemented) the work from home trend. As a result, many employers are increasingly turning to employee monitoring technology to replace the physical employee oversight once enjoyed in the office. While employers have many legitimate reasons for monitoring employee activity, the decision to monitor employees is not without its legal and ethical complexities.

Dealmaking Slows Across Africa, but Post-pandemic Opportunities Look Interesting

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Deal making activity in sub-Saharan Africa dropped in terms of both volume and value in 2020, compared to 2019. As the continent readies itself...

US – CBP issued guidance on the UAE Sec. 232 aluminum quotas but then...

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On January 27, 2021, CBP issued CSMS #45967303 – United Arab Emirates Section 232 Aluminum Absolute Quota limits beginning February 3, 2021, to implement Presidential Proclamation...

US – Trump’s adjusted removal of 10% duty on UAE Aluminum imports and replacement...

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On January 25, 2021, the Federal Register published Proclamation 10139 of January 19 – Adjusting Imports of Aluminum Into the United States, which modified the terms of...

Africa: Key industry trends to emerge across the post-pandemic continent

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In brief Wildu du Plessis, Head of Africa for Baker McKenzie, quotes from a recent Baker McKenzie report - Unprecedented: Converging Crises - as he outlines the...
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