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Congress passes tax extenders – through the end of 2014: potential impact on tax reform

In the final act of the 113th Congress, the Senate passed and sent to President Barack Obama for his signature the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014, extending through the end of 2014 numerous familiar deduction and credit...more

US Announces Liberalization of Cuba Sanctions Policy

On December 17, 2014, President Obama announced the relaxation of certain aspects of the comprehensive trade embargo against Cuba that the United States has maintained since the early 1960s. As set forth by the White House,...more

A New Latitude: Charting a Course for Cuba

Today President Barack Obama made a stunning speech announcing steps the United States will take to reduce U.S. sanctions against Cuba. The announcement followed the release of two U.S. citizens held by the Cuban government....more

New Law Significantly Expands Legal Basis for US Sanctions Against Russia

On 16 December 2014, President Obama announced that he will sign the Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014 (hereinafter the “Act”) into law. As discussed in our update dated 12 December 2014, the Act represents a potentially...more

Top 10 Things to Know About President Obama’s Cuba-Related Announcement

While signalling a dramatic shift in the US-Cuba relationship, the President’s authority to lift sanctions is limited in several key respects. On December 17, 2014, President Obama announced that the United States will...more

Securities Regulation Legislation in the Coming 114th Congress

If the current 113th Congress is any measure, we can expect the coming 114th Congress to introduce and promote bills seeking, among other matters, to facilitate capital formation, to correct oversights in the original JOBS...more

U.S. Congress Passes Russia Sanctions Legislation

On Saturday, the U.S. Congress passed the Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014 (H.R. 5859), which, once signed by the president, will impose or authorize broad sanctions on Russia’s energy and defense sectors and increase...more

Administrative Changes Will Create Opportunities for Startups

As we recently reported, on November 20, 2014, the President announced a series of executive actions broadly covering immigration law. One such action relates to the implementation of a parole system for inventors,...more

Streamlined Regulation for Insurance Companies

The Insurance Capital Standards Clarification Act of 2014 has been presented to President Obama for signature. The bill will: Add language to Section 171 of Dodd-Frank to clarify that, in establishing minimum capital...more

More Small Bank Holding Companies to be Eligible for Regulatory Relief

A bill has been presented to President Obama for signature that will make more small bank holding companies eligible for regulatory relief. The bill directs the Federal Reserve to increase the qualifying asset threshold of...more

EU clarifies Russian sanctions

This alert follows our previous alerts on the Russia/Ukraine sanctions. On 5 December 2014, the European Commission published Regulation 1290/2014 (the Amending Regulation) with effect from 6 December 2014. This...more

If It’s December, It Must Finally Be Time for Congress to Do Something About TRIA

It looks like Congress is finally turning its attention to reauthorizing the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA). The statute will sunset on December 31st unless action is taken before then....more

US Clarifies Sanctions Provisions and US Senate Passes a Bill to Codify and Expand Sanctions

As noted in previous updates, the United States and European Union continue to impose sanctions against Ukrainian and Russian individuals and entities as a result of the turmoil in Ukraine. On 11 December 2014, the US Senate...more

OFAC Publishes Guidance Relating to Provision of Temporary Sanctions Relief (Iran)

On December 9, 2014, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), published in the Federal Register (Vol. 79, No. 236, pp. 73141–73143) previously issued guidance relating to the provision of...more

The Joint Plan of Action: A Recap of the Easing Of Sanctions Against Iran By The United States And European Union

On 24 November 2013, an agreement was reached between the E3+3 (also known as the P5+1, and which includes the United States, United Kingdom, Russia, China, France and Germany) and Iran....more

OFAC Settles with Independent Manufacturer for Alleged Violations of the Cuban Assets Control Regulations

Recently, OFAC settled with a Portland, Oregon based manufacturer for allegedly violating the Cuban Assets Control Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 515. The manufacturer agreed to pay $2,057,540 for the actions of its subsidiary,...more

Trade Associations Submit Letter to Congress regarding Cybersecurity Information Sharing

On December 3, the Merchant and Financial Associations Cybersecurity Partnership (“Partnership”) submitted a letter to Congress requesting its consideration of adopting cybersecurity information sharing legislation. ...more

2014 Extenders Clear the House

For many years now, Congress has contributed to tax uncertainty by extending certain favorable tax provisions on a year by year basis. Thus, for example, in 2014 these extenders have expired. Neither the IRS, who has to...more

Blog: CII And Pension Funds Make Their Voices Loud And Clear Over Fee-Shifting Bylaws

As noted in this Reuters post, the Council of Institutional Investors, along with a number of individual pension funds and other institutional investors, have chimed in on the debate currently roiling the Delaware bar over...more

House Approves Various Bills

Today the House of Representatives approved several bills including these two, which we have previously commented on...more

"Increased Scrutiny for Government Contracts Under New Maryland Pay-to-Play Law"

Amendments to Maryland's pay-to-play law taking effect January 1, 2015, will impose burdensome contract reporting requirements for many companies. Although Maryland has had a pay-to-play law on the books for years, these...more

EU Imposes Further Sanctions on Ukrainian Separatists

On 29 November 2014, the European Union (EU) published measures targeting additional individuals and organisations to be added to the scope of EU sanctions measures against Russia. These measures widen the EU sanctions in...more

EU adds separatist names to Ukraine-related asset freeze list

As per a recent request from the EU Council, the EU has extended its sanctions in relation to Ukraine by adding 13 persons and five organizations to the asset freeze list based on their involvement in recent elections in the...more

Year-end Uncertainty Highlights Need for Tax Reform

As we approach year-end, we again find ourselves in an all-too-familiar and unsettling situation — one in which we do not know the rules of the game we are about to play. Many popular tax planning opportunities, like the R&D...more

Blog: Republicans To SEC Chair: Delay Pay Ratio Rules. Is A Repeal Attempt In The Offing?

The WSJ reports that three Republican congressman — House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, and Reps. Scott Garrett and Bill Huizenga — have written to SEC Chair Mary Jo White urging that the SEC stop...more

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