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Latest news

Greece: Revoked license of T-Bank (former ASPIS Bank)

The Greek authority supervising banks and financial institutions with its decision 25/1/17.12.2011 has revoked the operating license of T-BANK (former Aspis bank). The bank was placed under special liquidation procedure.

Amended double taxation agreement between Greece and Switzerland

The Swiss Federal Department of Finance (FDF) has announced that the Protocol of Amendment of November 4, 2010 (see our article below from Nov, 4, 2010) to the double taxation agreement (DTA) between Switzerland and Greece entered into force on January, 1, 2012.

According to the FDF, the protocol contains an OECD administrative assistance clause and will contribute to the further positive development of bilateral economic relations.

U.S. News and Best Lawyers honor our US partner law office Lieff Cabraser as the U.S.A. national "Law Firm of the Year"

Best lawyers

U.S. News Media Group and Best Lawyers have selected Lieff Cabraser as their national "Law Firm of the Year" for 2011-2012 in the category of Mass Torts Litigation/Class Actions - Plaintiffs.

U.S. News and Best Lawyers rank firms nationally in 75 different practice areas. The rankings are the result of extensive client feedback and incorporate 3.9 million evaluations from nearly 42.000 lawyers. For the first time, one law firm in each of the practice areas ranked nationally received the prestigious "Law Firm of the Year" recognition.

Introduction of capital gains tax as of 1st January 2012

After postponing the introduction of a Greek capital gains tax several times, this tax will now apply satrting from January, 1, 2012. Investors liable for income tax in Greece will be subject to the capital gain tax.

With regard to old positions, the sales tax of 0.2% continues to apply on all securities purchased prior to 1 January 2012. Securities purchased after December, 31, 2011 will not be taxable for foreign investors any longer. Greek investors, on the other hand, will have to pay capital gains tax on securities acquisitions taking place after December, 31, 2011.

Switzerland and Germany sign tax agreement

On September, 21, 2011 in Berlin, a tax agreement was signed by Germany's Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, and Switzerland's Finance Minister, Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf. The agreement will resolve the outstanding issues that have existed for decades between Germany and Switzerland concerning the taxation of German investors' investment income in Switzerland. The negotiations led to a fair outcome that ensures a balanced reconciliation of interests between the two countries, particularly from a tax equity viewpoint.

Switzerland and Germany initial tax agreement

Today in Bern, German and Swiss negotiators concluded the negotiations on outstanding tax issues and initialled a tax agreement. Under this agreement, persons resident in Germany can retrospectively tax their existing banking relationships in Switzerland either by making a one-off tax payment or by disclosing their accounts. Future investment income and capital gains of German bank clients in Switzerland will be subject to a final withholding tax, and the proceeds of this will be transferred to the German authorities by Switzerland. In addition, mutual market access for financial services will be improved. The agreement should be signed by both governments in the next few weeks and could enter into force at the start of 2013.

Further insurance companies' licenses revoked in Greek

On the 2nd of May 2011 the supervising regulating authority (Commission on Credit and Insurance issues of the Bank of Greece) has revoked the license of the “Eurostar Insurance Company” mainly active on vehicle insurances as this company could not satisfy the capital requirements set forth by the law. This comes only a month after the revocation of another insurance company (Europaiki Pronia) whose license has been suspended for the same reasons on March 31,2011.

“VDV Leben Insurance” license in Greece suspended. Legal action

The Hellenic supervising authorities have decided to permanently revoke the operating license of the insurance company “VDV LEBEN” on January, 5, 2011 (already suspended since last September). The company can no longer honor its commitments on the insurance contracts/financing tools it has concluded in house mortgages, health insurance and pension schemes.

Our Law firm wins case versus EFG-Eurobank on Lehman products

On its 8792/November, 17, 2010 ruling, the Athens Court of First instance ordered a conservative seizure (injunction) on all assets of the bank up to the requested amount for one of our clients who purchased Lehman structured products through that bank.

Switzerland and Greece sign revised double taxation agreement

Today in Bern, Federal Councillor Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf and the Greek Ambassador in Switzerland, John Mourikis, signed a revised double taxation agreement (DTA) in the area of taxes on income and capital. The DTA also contains provisions on the exchange of information which were negotiated in line with the parameters decided by the Federal Council and are in accordance with the OECD standard. The revised DTA will contribute to the further positive development of bilateral economic relations.