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U.S. Multinationals, Dual Citizens May Have Greater Magnitsky Sanctions Exposure

The Global Magnitsky Act defines a "foreign person" as "any citizen or national of a foreign state (including any such individual who is also a citizen or national of the United States), or any entity not organized solely under the laws of the United States or existing solely in the United States." Accordingly, under the Global Magnitsky Act, individuals who are dual (or more) nationals and companies that are organized under U.S. law(s) and foreign law(s) or exist (e.g., are present, authorized to conduct business) in the United States and one or more foreign jurisdictions, like “foreign persons” completely lacking U.S. status, are apparently subject to sanctions for committing or facilitating sanctionable corrupt acts and human rights abuses. Thus, these  "U.S. Persons," when regarded as "foreign persons" under the Global Magnitsky Act, have additional sanctions exposure that would not apply to, for example, individuals holding only U.S. citizenship or companies organized only under U.S. law(s) and existing only in the United States.
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Hdeel Abdelhady Spoke on Islamic Finance at Harvard Law

MassPoint’s Founder and Principal, Hdeel Abdelhady, will speak at a program on Islamic Finance at Harvard Law School. Ms. Abdelhady, who has acted as legal counsel to financial institutions, companies, and non-profit organizations on Islamic Finance, banking, and governance matters, teaches a course in Transactional Islamic Law at The George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C. The program, entitled “Islamic Finance: Principles and Strategies,” will take place on March 6, 2018 at the Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Program information is available via Harvard Law School.
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MassPoint Named “Corporate Law Firm of the Year” USA

MassPoint Legal and Strategy Advisory Earns Finance Monthly Global Award MassPoint Legal and Strategy Advisory PLLC (“MassPoint PLLC“), a boutique Washington. D.C. law and strategy firm, was named  2017 Finance Monthly’s Global Awards “Corporate Law Firm of the Year” for the…

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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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Panama Papers, Lawyers’ Professional Ethics and Due Diligence Obligations

In April 2016, a New York Times article posited this question: “Has the legal profession lost its moral compass?” Did the Times ask the right question? Are moral and professional obligations the same? Should they be? What is or should be the role of lawyers in detecting and reporting financial crime, particularly money laundering? This program will explore rules-based, ethical, and moral obligations of lawyers to detect and report illicit financial activity by clients. Among other topics, we will explore ABA Model Rule of Professional Conduct 1.2(d), which provides that a lawyer should “not counsel a client to engage, or assist a client in conduct that the lawyer knows is criminal or fraudulent.” In addition, we will examine whether and to what extent American lawyers, like covered financial institutions and some of their European lawyer counterparts, should be obligated to “know their clients” and report suspicious transactions, including from the perspective of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which recently recommended that the United States apply to lawyers, on a priority basis, “appropriate anti-money laundering/counter-terrorism financing obligations.”
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Hdeel Abdelhady Re-Appointed Liaison to UNCITRAL

Hdeel Abdelhady is Founder and Principal of MassPoint Legal and Strategy Advisory PLLC, a Washington, D.C. boutique law and strategy firm catering to U.S. and foreign parties on banking, compliance, and investment matters with a focus on emerging and developing markets. A member of the American bar Association (ABA) and a graduate of The George Washington University Law School, where she is a Professorial Lecturer in law, Ms. Abdelhady has held several leadership positions in the ABA Section of International Law.
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