Legal Updates

Legal Updates for Mar - 2018

Recent Legal Developments in Vietnam

This update sets out the recent legal developments in Vietnam, such as updates on foreign-invested companies, fire and explosion insurance, food safety and foreign trade management. 

30 Mar 2018 | Vietnam

Technology, Media and Telecommunications Update in Vietnam

As the second quarter of 2018 has begun, we are very excited to share with you the significant legal developments in technology, media and telecommunications ("TMT") sector during the second quarter of the year.

This quarterly update aims to highlight the significant TMT-related legal developments in the ASEAN region, as well as in the key economies across the world. Written as a series of short, easy to digest summaries, we hope this update will help keep you informed about important events in the past year, and set you thinking about the potential opportunities as well as the legal issues in the area of technology in 2018.

30 Mar 2018 | Vietnam

Intellectual Property Case Updates - Malaysia

This issue of Intellectual Property Case Updates provides case notes on two recent Malaysian cases on intellectual property.

In Tan Kim Hock Product Centre Sdn Bhd & Anor v Tan Kim Hock Tong Seng Food Industry Sdn Bhd, the Federal Court ruled that a trade description order ("TDO") premised on trade mark infringement may be applied for and granted on an ex parte basis.

In Spind Malaysia Sdn Bhd v Justrade Marketing Sdn Bhd & Anor, the Federal Court reaffirmed the applicability of the Windsurfing test in deciding inventiveness of an invention.

29 Mar 2018 | Malaysia

Technology, Media and Telecommunications Update in Vietnam

As the second quarter of 2018 has begun, we are very excited to share with you the significant legal developments in technology, media and telecommunications ("TMT") sector during the second quarter of the year.

This quarterly update aims to highlight the significant TMT-related legal developments in the ASEAN region, as well as in the key economies across the world. Written as a series of short, easy to digest summaries, we hope this update will help keep you informed about important events in the past year, and set you thinking about the potential opportunities as well as the legal issues in the area of technology in 2018.

29 Mar 2018 | Vietnam

Can a Joint Tenant’s Interest be Subject to Seizure and Sale?
A Writ of Seizure and Sale assists in the enforcement of a judgment or order by allowing for the judgment debtor's property to be seized and sold off. In Peter Low LLC v Higgins, Danial Patrick [2018] SGHC 59, the Singapore High Court considered whether a Writ of Seizure and Sale is applicable where the property in question is an interest as joint tenant in an immovable property.
28 Mar 2018 | Singapore

Dispute Resolution in an International Context
In Hilton International Manage (Maldives) Pvt Ltd v Sun Travels & Tours Pvt Ltd [2018] SGHC 56, the Singapore High Court had to balance between the competing regimes of domestic litigation, arbitration, and proceedings in foreign jurisdictions. The Plaintiff successfully applied for a permanent injunction restraining the Defendant from taking any steps in reliance on a foreign judgment, which had been obtained in conflict with an earlier arbitral award. The Plaintiff was represented by Paul Tan, Alessa Pang and David Isidore Tan from Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP.
20 Mar 2018 | Singapore

Trade Developments in Southeast Asia - 2017 and Beyond
Significant developments have taken place on the trade front in Southeast Asia from 2017 to date. Notably, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei are part of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, which was just signed on 8 March 2018. 2017 also saw an increase in the number of new anti-dumping and safeguards investigations and duties imposed worldwide, including by, and against ASEAN members. On the regulation of trade, new legislation and other instruments have been introduced in various countries. This Update provides an overview of the noteworthy regional developments in 2017.
15 Mar 2018 | Singapore

Recent Legal Developments in Vietnam

This update sets out the recent legal developments in Vietnam, such as updates on foreign-invested companies, fire and explosion insurance, food safety and foreign trade management.

15 Mar 2018 | Vietnam

AHP Supports Pivotal Transactions for Sustainability

On 1 March 2018, Indonesia became the first country ever to issue a green sukuk bond. Assegaf Hamzah & Partners (“AHP”) advised the Government of Indonesia on the transaction, drawing on the firm's extensive expertise in this field. Partner Ahmad Fikri Assegaf advised the Ministry of Finance in 2008 on the drafting of Indonesia's first Islamic bond legislation, and AHP's expert team has built a stellar reputation for its role in advising the Government on sukuk issuance.

This landmark sukuk came directly after AHP advised the borrowers, PT Royal Lestari Utama, in relation to a pioneering corporate sustainability bond. Valued at US$95 million, the corporate green bond issuance (23 February 2018) was the first of its kind in Asia.

14 Mar 2018 | Indonesia

Bank Indonesia Introduces FinTech 'sandbox' to Support Innovation

Indonesia's Central Bank, Bank Indonesia ("BI"), recently issued new rules governing the financial technology ("FinTech") sector to support innovation while maintaining customer protection and financial stability. The new regime introduces a regulatory sandbox that allows FinTech start-ups to test new products under controlled BI supervision.

Against the backdrop of a rapidly evolving FinTech landscape, BI recently updated its regulations governing the sector. The regulation's primary development is the introduction of a regulatory 'sandbox', a controlled program to test innovative FinTech services under the supervision of BI ("sandbox"). This update discusses the key implications of BI's latest regulations, and highlights specific details of the Financial Services Authority’s ("OJK") rules concerning Peer-to-Peer lending service providers ("P2P Providers").

14 Mar 2018 | Indonesia

Repeal of U.S. Net Neutrality and What it Could Mean for South-East Asia

On 14 December 2017, the United States Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") voted to repeal the net neutrality regulations set in place during the Obama administration in 2015 ("2015 Regulations").

Net neutrality generally refers to network providers treating all sources of Internet content equally as well as consumers’ rights to access content and services on the Internet on a non-discriminatory basis. Generally, this means that Internet Service Providers ("ISPs") should not be allowed to block legal content of a consumer’s choice, throttle legal internet traffic to slower speeds or sell “fast lane” services to content providers who can pay more than others. Effectively, net neutrality seemingly creates a more level playing field for businesses.

This Update provides a summary of the changes to the United States’ position on net neutrality, followed by our comments on the potential impact of the FCC decision to the net neutrality policies in certain parts of South-East Asia.

14 Mar 2018 | Malaysia

e-Lelong and Construction Adjudication in the Rules of Court

The Malaysian Courts' Rules Committee has just issued the Rules of Court (Amendment) 2018 amending the Rules of Court 2012 (the "Amended Rules"), which contains the rules governing High Court and Subordinate Courts proceedings in Malaysia.

The highlight of the Amended Rules concerns mainly 2 areas: (i) the new web-based platform for Court auctions known as e-Lelong; and (ii) the procedures in respect of applications to set aside, stay and enforce adjudication decisions in respect of the Construction Industry Payment and Adjudication Act 2012.

13 Mar 2018 | Malaysia

Security of Payment Act – Separate Contract, Separate Claim?
Under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act, an employer can withhold payment on a payment claim based on an asserted claim or set-off against the contractor. However, what if the contract from which the payment claim arises and the contract from which the set-off arises are separate agreements? This was the question before the Singapore Court of Appeal in Civil Tech Pte Ltd v Hua Rong Engineering Pte Ltd [2018] SGCA 12.
13 Mar 2018 | Singapore

TPP Takes on Renewed Life as CPTPP – A New Opportunity
The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership ("CPTPP"), a regional Free Trade Agreement that is a successor to the Trans-Pacific Partnership ("TPP") which stalled after the withdrawal of the US, was signed on 8 March 2018 by all 11 original TPP members except the US, and incorporates most of the provisions of the TPP. The CPTPP presents a new opportunity for companies to boost trade and increase investments across the trans-pacific region. This update highlights the key differences between the CPTPP and the TPP, and also discusses the trade benefits under the CPTPP.
12 Mar 2018 | Singapore

Court of Appeal Upholds Setting Aside of Arbitral Award
In GD Midea Air Conditioning Equipment Co Ltd v Tornado Consumer Goods Ltd [2017] SGHC 193, the Singapore High Court allowed an application to set aside the key parts of an arbitral award – amounting to around US$9m – on jurisdictional and procedural grounds. On 1 March 2018, the Court of Appeal upheld the High Court's decision and its reasons, maintaining the setting aside order. The applicant/respondent was successfully represented at the High Court and the Court of Appeal by Paul Tan and Devathas Satianathan of Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP.
09 Mar 2018 | Singapore

Philippines Raises Thresholds for Compulsory M&A Notifications
The Philippine Competition Commission has raised the thresholds for required notifications of mergers and acquisitions. In a memorandum circular issued on 5 March 2018, the thresholds have been raised to 5 Billion Pesos for the Size of Person and 2 Billion Pesos for the Size of Transaction, up from 1 Billion Pesos each.
08 Mar 2018 | Singapore

More Companies are Fined by KPPU For Late Notification of Transactions

Although the Merger Control Regulations have been in place for eight years, it appears that some big companies are still unaware of their obligations to notify certain transactions to the Komisi Pengawas Persaingan Usaha ("KPPU"), the Indonesian competition commission. In February 2018, KPPU imposed fines on the following companies for their late notifications on their transactions:

  1. PT Plaza Indonesia Realty, Tbk. was fined IDR 1 billion (approximately USD 72 thousand) for its late notification on the acquisition of PT Citra Asri Property; and
  2. PT Nirvana Property was fined IDR 1 billion (approximately USD 72 thousand) for its late notification on the acquisition of PT Mutiara Mitra Bersama.

These fines bring the number of late notification fines since 2012 to 9. AHP believes the number of companies that are fined will continue to increase since KPPU is in the process of investigating other late notification cases.

07 Mar 2018 | Indonesia

Just Announced – 5 March: Employment Act to be Broadened to Cover More Employees
On 5 March 2018, the Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say announced in Parliament that key changes will be made to the Employment Act to cover more employees in Singapore with effect from 1 April 2019. This update provides a key overview of the amendments that will be made.
05 Mar 2018 | Singapore

Alternative Methods to Calculate Gross Turnover in the Tax Audit

The Minister of Finance ("MoF") has recently issued new guidelines for the calculation of gross turnover during a tax audit, under MoF Regulation No. 15/PMK.03/2018 ("Reg 15/2018") concerning Alternative Methods to Calculate Gross Turnover. This is an implementing regulation to Article 14 paragraph (5) of Law No. 7 of 1983, as last amended by Law No. 36 of 2008 regarding Income Tax.

Article 14 paragraph (5) of the Income Tax Law provides that when a taxpayer's real gross income and net income cannot be accurately calculated due to the taxpayer's failure to meet the legal obligations to keep these records ("pencatatan") or accounting books ("pembukuan"), or failure to present them to an auditor with supporting evidence, the auditors will calculate the net income ("penghasilan neto") using the Deemed Profit Norm, and the Gross Turnover ("peredaran bruto") on other bases to be set out under forthcoming Ministry of Finance Regulations. Reg 15/2018 introduces various other methods to calculate the taxpayer's gross turnover during a tax audit.

01 Mar 2018 | Indonesia

Release of Claims Against Third Parties in Schemes of Arrangement
Under a scheme of arrangement, a company in financial distress is able to propose a compromise or arrangement with its creditors, in which claims against the company may be given up. However, does the scope of a scheme of arrangement include the release of claims against third parties as well? This was one of the questions considered by the Singapore High Court in Re: Empire Capital Resources Pte Ltd [2018] SGHC 36.
01 Mar 2018 | Singapore