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BLT: March 2014

The Importance of Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) When Investing in Emerging Markets

Feature Articles

The Importance of Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) When Investing in Emerging Markets

This article discusses what bilateral investment treaties (BITs) are, how investors can enforce claims under BITs, and why using a Dutch or Curaçao entity and the associated extensive BIT treaty network of the Netherlands and Curaçao may prove useful when investing in countries that are perceived to be politically unstable. This article will also briefly address BIT developments in the EU.

On February 26, 2014, the Supreme Court held that state-law fraud class actions brought against attorneys, insurance brokers, and others arising from Ponzi-scheme claims involving R. Allen Stanford could proceed. In Chadbourne & Parke LLP v. Troice, the Court held that such claims were not prevented by the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act (SLUSA). The Court’s decision narrows the extent of the preclusive effect of SLUSA on state-law fraud claims that bear some relationship to nationally traded securities.

On March 4, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in Lawson v. FMR LLC, No. 12-3, ruling that Section 806 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), which bans retaliation against whistleblowers, applies not only to employees of public companies but also to employees of contractors and subcontractors who carry out work for public companies, significantly expanding the coverage of SOX.

In Great Hill Equity Partners IV, LP v. SIG Growth Equity Fund I, LLLP, the Delaware Court of Chancery recently considered whether the attorney-client privilege over pre-merger communications between a target company and its counsel passes to the surviving corporation in a merger governed by Delaware law. The decision highlights the possibility that pre-merger communications made with the expectation that they would be privileged could wind up in the hands of an adverse party, and provides guidance on how to avoid this unintended consequence of a merger.

Most lawyers are ineffective in presenting expert testimony. Business lawyers are often too dependent on experts to decide what testimony to present or how to present the expert testimony. The purpose of this article is to help trial lawyers recognize that only the trial lawyer can decide the most effective use of expert testimony and to show the best way to present it.

George, an in-house lawyer employed by Acme Corporation, is licensed to practice law in New York. Fifteen years ago, George moved to Acme’s headquarters in Chicago, where he has worked ever since. He is not a member of the Illinois bar. Is George engaged in the unauthorized practice of law, and if so, what might be the consequences?

Maury B. Poscover, Past Chair of the Business Law Section, delivered the invocation at the February 10, 2014, session of the ABA House of Delegates during the Midyear Meeting in Chicago. Just prior to the invocation, the ABA played host to a naturalization ceremony for 24 new U.S. citizens.

Increasingly over the last few years, businesses and their lawyers have been grappling with the issue of businesses’ social responsibility and sustainability. Within that time period, numerous committees within the Business Law Section have undertaken initiatives and presented CLE programs aimed at keeping Section members at the heart of developments in this area of the law. This month's “Inside Business Law” highlights some of those efforts and introduces a new Corporate Social Responsibility Law Task Force, which has been formed to coordinate the Section's efforts.

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Question: On April 13, 2010, Maryland became the first state to recognize benefit corporations (or B-corps, as they are colloquially known) with the adoption of the Maryland Benefit Corporation Act (Maryland Corporations and Associations Article §§ 5-6C-01 through -08). The Maryland Benefit Corporation Act was sponsored by a member of the American Bar Association. Can you name him?

Please see Inside Business Law for the answer to this month’s Business Law Section Trivia Question.

The August issue of BLT will focus on an important issue in business law practice: diversity. Other feature articles focus on an array of topics: the Yates Memo, protecting your brand in a complicated Internet landscape, and immigration law compliance. This BLT issue contains much more business law content—don’t miss it!

Do you have a great idea for a BLT article? Would you like to see more of a featured column? Let us know how we can make Business Law Today the best resource for you and your clients. We welcome any suggestions. Please send us your feedback here.

Saratoga Institute on Equine, Racing and Gaming Law
August 9-10, 2016
Saratoga Springs, NY

Business Law Section Annual Meeting – Last chance to save $100. Register by July 22!
September 8-10, 2016
Boston, MA

Miscellaneous IT Related Legal News (MIRLN) 26 June - 23 July 2016 (v19.10)

BLT is a web-based publication drawing upon the best of the Section's resources, including featured articles and other information from around the Section. Stay informed on the latest business law practice news and information that will benefit you and your clients.