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Spotlight News

UBS reaches Agreement with the IRS

In 2008, UBS resisted turning over the names of its clients to U.S. authorities, even after some executives were indicted and implicated in the offshore private banking business. Based on Swiss law, tax evasion is not a criminal offense unlike in the U.S. However, on February 19, 2009, UBS announced that it will settle the case. This move signals how close the bank came to being indicted for not cooperating with prosecutors. Indictment is a near-certain death knell for corporations. Please see Roger Groner’s views on this settlement in an interview aired by CNBC:


Tax Evasion in Germany

What will the future hold for Lichtenstein and Germany as pressure to impose stricter disclosure rules increases? Please hear Roger Groner's view on the tax scandal who was interviewed by CNBC:

Roger has counseled numerous boards and non-management directors on governance issues, investigations and litigation involving corporate officers and other crisis situations, including the board of a Liechtenstein bank who is subject to foreign regulatory pressure.


Ugly Break-Up:  Loss of Joint Custody?

Under Swiss law (Art. 298a Civil Code, "ZGB"), unmarried parents will be granted joint custody over their cild upon request. The Swiss Federal Court held that the joint custody may be undone upon request by either party and transferred to the mother again (Swiss Federal Court, June 27, 2006, 5C.34/2006).  This loss of joint custody requires (1) that the circumstances have drastically changed since it was granted and (2) that it is in the best interest of the child. Especially if the parents are not able to make common decisions concerning the child, the child custody will be transferred to one party again. In the concrete case, the mother had separated from the father. The parents could not agree how to compensate for cancelled visits by the father. They were fighting in presence of the child. The Federal Court held that under such circumstances the child must be under sole custody of the mother.


Revision of the Anti-Corruption Law

As of July 1, 2006, both active and passive bribery of employees of private companies is punishable under Swiss law.  Under the new Article 4a of the Federal Law on Unfair Competition both the person doing the bribery and the person accepting the bribe can be punished, regardless of whether the company is located or domiciled in Switzerland or abroad. Active bribery consists in promising, offering or granting any unwarranted, pecuniary or non-pecuniary advantage by means of which an act is brought about or influenced in violation of one's fiduciary duties.


Divorce: Full Compensation for the CEO-Shareholder-Spouse?