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Abu Dhabi Global Market to Offer Foundation Vehicle

Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the international financial center and free zone located on Al Maryah Island in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi, yesterday opened a public consultation on the ADGM’s proposed foundation regime (Consultation Paper No. 3 of 2017 and proposed Foundations Regulations 2017). The development is significant and positive, as the ADGM foundation, as proposed, would be the first-of-its kind in the UAE and particularly helpful for family businesses, philanthropy and wealth management in the UAE and the Middle East more broadly. The foundation model proposed is based on the civil law foundation, as it is an incorporated entity (with independent legal personality) with characteristics analogous to some features of the common law trust.
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Money Laundering and Lawyers’ Obligations After the Panama Papers

As Co-Chair of the Middle East Committee of the American Bar Association Section of International Law, MassPoint's Hdeel Abdelhady organized and will moderate a program on lawyers' obligations to detect and report illicit client activity, in particular money laundering. Lawyers in the EU, for example, have been required for years to perform client due diligence and file suspicious activity reports (SARs) in accordance EU anti-money laundering directives. U.S. lawyers have no parallel obligations; however, U.S. lawyers are prohibited by rules of professional conduct from knowingly allowing their services to be used for unlawful purposes. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has described the inapplicability to U.S. lawyers of customer due diligence (CDD) and SAR filing requirements as a weak spot in the U.S. anti-money laundering framework. Members of Congress have introduced legislation to apply such obligations to U.S. lawyers, and to require U.S. lawyers to collect and share with law enforcement authorities beneficial ownership information where lawyers directly form companies, trusts, and certain other entities for clients.
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Identifying UAE “Foreign Officials” for Anti-Corruption Compliance Purposes

Companies and other organizations doing business in the UAE or with enterprises owned in part by a UAE Government party at any level (e.g., the federal/union government or a government of one of the country's constituent emirates (e.g., Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Ras al Khaimah), or entities owned in part by any of them, should be aware that under UAE law, the definition of "public official" (i.e., a government official) includes employees and directors of enterprises in which a UAE Government party holds less than a majority ownership stake and does not, formally or effectively, exercise control.
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IRAN AFTER PARTIAL SANCTIONS RELIEF AND U.S. ELECTIONS

MassPoint PLLC, with the American Bar Association Section of International Law and Bryan Cave LLP, are sponsoring a program entitled "Iran After Partial Sanctions Relief and U.S. Elections: Legal, Risk, and Practical Issues for Business." Hdeel Abdelhady, who wrote and organized the program, will serve as moderator.
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State Enforcement of OFAC Sanctions Against Banks

Beyond case recitations and optics, the enforcement of OFAC-administered sanctions by a state agency—even against banks by a banking regulator operating in a dual banking system—raises fundamental constitutional and other legal questions. Chief among them is the overarching question of whether U.S. states have authority to directly or effectively enforce OFAC-administered sanctions, particularly independently and prior to enforcement by competent federal authorities—namely OFAC. This question and some of the legal issues and policy and practical considerations appertaining to it are discussed in detail in a forthcoming publication. This document provides a summary preview of some of the key legal issues discussed in that publication. Additional summary previews may be provided separately.
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Non-Dollar Trade May Stem Extraterritorial Reach of U.S. Law

The United States is singularly positioned (and willing) to leverage its economic and financial strength to enforce its laws and policies globally. American economic and financial heft facilitates the extraterritorial reach of U.S. law. Global transactions that are denominated in U.S. dollars and processed through the U.S. financial system “touch” the United States, come within its jurisdiction and create a jurisdictional nexus to foreign parties, property and events associated with those transactions.The rise of the renminbi and non-dollar trade and finance channels such as One Belt One Road, the BRICs Bank, and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank could curtail the global, extraterritorial reach of U.S. law.
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Cross Compliance for Financial Institutions: Anti-Corruption – Anti-Money Laundering Nexus

Enforcement authorities in the US and Asia reportedly are investigating financial institutions for potentially corrupt employment and business relationships with family members of government officials. The investigations underscore policy links between anti-corruption and anti-money laundering regimes where dealings with Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) are involved. This article, published by Hdeel Abdelhady in Butterworths Journal of Banking and Financial Law, briefly discusses the pending investigations and the anti-corruption-AML policy nexus, and suggests, with respect to PEPs and more generally, that financial institutions facilitate fluidity in their compliance programs to allow for the sharing of information and adaptation of compliance protocols across (sometimes impermeable) internal functional and disciplinary lines.
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