Saturday, 16 April 2016

Comparative Company Law – 2nd edition – suggestions?

First edition published in 2013 (see Amazon and Hart websites). 

Now we’re planning a second edition. What shall we change? We have some plans, but we’d also be very happy to get comments and suggestions via email.

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Different uses of the term ‘letterbox companies’

The news reporting of the ‘Panama papers’ frequently mentions ‘letterbox companies’ (eg, see a simple Google news search). In recent academic research, the same term has also been used in a number of publications (see Google scholar search, starting 2010). But there is the potential of misunderstandings as there are at least two different types of letterbox companies, let’s call them:
  • Type A: companies that do business in one country, but are incorporated with only a ‘letterbox’ in another jurisdictions.
  • Type B: companies that are mere ‘special purpose entities’, ie those too merely have a ‘letterbox’ in the country of incorporation, but they only hold financial assets and are not involved in any business activity in any country.
The ‘Panama papers’ concerned the ‘type B letterbox companies’ and those may indeed be seen as potentially problematic as they may be used for purposes of tax evasion (or at least tax avoidance), money laundering etc – while ‘type A letterbox companies’ may potentially be seen as a legitimate choice of law. So, for a legal assessment – be it of relevant rules of conflict of laws or, in the EU, the freedom of establishment – it is crucial to be clear which type of letterbox companies an analysis aims to address.

Should I quit social media for good?

So I have said it. In the last couple of months, I have hardly been on Twitter, this blog has been rather dormant, and my Linkedin, Facebook etc accounts are merely passive anyway. So did I miss anything (or did anyone miss me)? In any case, it feels good to know that it can be done in order to spend more time with the variant of reality that is not related to social media.
   To answer the question, I’m not going to quit, but will only use it if I want to (which may state the obvious). So, for this blog this means that I’m not going to return the one-blog-post-per-week cycle that I had until half a year ago, but there may be a bit more activity than recently.