Author Archive: Brian Sanchez

Moscow Selecting Law Firm for Lawsuit Over Diplomatic Property Seizure by US

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia is currently deciding on what US law firm will represent Moscow’s interests in court while fighting a case concerning the seizure of Russian diplomatic property in the United States, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Wednesday.

“We are currently dealing with this issue, one of the United States’ large law firms will probably be recruited for these purposes,” Ryabkov said, adding that the entirety of the information about what happened would be transmitted to the chosen firm.

Ryabkov indicated that Moscow was looking for a knowledgeable firm possessing a profound understanding of the US judicial system, legislation, law enforcement practices and precedents that had existed and still existed in this field. Russia hopes that whichever firm is selected will manage to ensure an effective defense of Moscow’s position and a desired outcome in the case, according to the deputy foreign minister.

On Tuesday, Ryabkov said that Moscow would file a lawsuit against the closure of its diplomatic property in the United States within the coming weeks following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s order last week.

On September 2, the United States shut down Russia’s Consulate General in San Francisco and trade missions in New York City and in Washington, DC. US officials said the move came in response to Moscow’s decision in late July to reduce the number of US diplomatic staff in Russia to 455 people, the same number of diplomatic personnel Russia has in the United States.

After Russian diplomats left the diplomatic compounds, US security agents conducted searches inside the buildings. The Russian Foreign Ministry said that the United States’ actions constituted a violation of international law, including the Vienna convention on diplomatic and consular relations.

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Law enforcement agencies outline procedure for Bills games

Law enforcement officials and the Buffalo Bills recently revealed security procedures for the upcoming football season.

Since 2013, the Erie County Sheriff’s Office has been the lead law enforcement agency for New Era Field and the Buffalo Bills. More than two years ago, the Sheriff’s Office increased the number of visible, quick-response patrols in and around the stadium as a response to global events. Those enhancements remain today, with added roles and increased measures.

The Erie County Sheriff’s Office, the Buffalo Bills, local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, and the National Football League continually review and implement effective techniques to combat possible threats, according to a release from the Sheriff’s Office. Fans will continue to see uniformed SWAT team operators, law enforcement canine units, and other specialized sheriff’s personnel on game days, as well as other agency personnel, the release said.

The Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with the Orchard Park Police Department, the New York State Police, and the Buffalo office of the FBI, prepare for every event at New Era Stadium to ensure guests can focus on the game or event and enjoy the daylong experience, according to the release.

“The Western New York region enjoys a very unique partnership between all levels of law enforcement. Our collaboration and efforts provide excellent security, and we are proud to be part of this group, which allows Bills fans to have a great visit to New Era Field,” said Sheriff Tim Howard. “I know some people are still uncomfortable seeing my SWAT operators and a large police presence, but I won’t apologize for being well-prepared for the citizens of Erie County and the Bills’ fans.”

The Bills still employ private security firms, and there will be undercover security teams roaming the parking lots and inside the stadium assisting with the proactive identification and resolution of potential fan behavior or safety-related issues, the release said.

All fans should be prepared to remove their cellphones, cameras and glasses cases before they get to the front of the line to enter the stadium. Fans do not need to remove their keys, wallets or loose change. Fans are still encouraged to arrive at the gates at least one hour before kickoff, and gates open 90 minutes before kickoff.

The release said the Sheriff’s Office will maintain its commitment to increased patrols in the New Era Field parking lots and traffic posts surrounding the stadium.

Deputies assigned to the Bills parking lots will encourage fans to tailgate responsibly and follow the rules, which include no glass bottles and no binge drinking. Fans can grill food, play catch and have fun cheering on their hometown team, but the sheriff and the Bills ask fans to do so responsibly. Those individuals who are irresponsible or reckless in the parking lots or the stadium are subject to ejection, summons or arrest, the release said.

Howard said if an individual or a group can’t respect their fellow fans and ignore the Fan Code of Conduct, his deputies will take appropriate measures to allow others to enjoy the game.

As the partnership between the Bills and Sheriff’s Office continues, so does the decrease in stadium arrests and ejections, the release said. In 2017, the average number was fewer than three per game, and the number of ejections reportedly continues to decrease.

The Sheriff’s Office and the Bills jointly support the Designated Driver Program and encourage everyone to be responsible and designate someone in the group to be the designated driver.

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Recognized Among Top Firms in Latin America for Fourth Straight Year

(Washington, D.C.) – The Legal 500, in its 2017 edition of The Legal 500 Latin America, has ranked Akin Gump among the world’s top firms for its work in Projects and Energy in Latin America for the fourth consecutive year.

In its profile of the firm, The Legal 500 notes that Akin Gump ‘brings a refreshing approach to legal work’ and is ‘very constructive and creative throughout the process.’ It also spotlights the firm’s representation of Canadian Solar its $400 million development of a 190MW Brazilian solar farm-one of the country’s largest-ever solar projects.

Additionally, the guide recommends Akin Gump global project finance partner Dino Barajas and oil and gas partners Doug Glass and Steve Otillar.

Founded in 1945, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a leading international law firm with more than 900 attorneys in offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

# # #

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP published this content on 12 September 2017 and is solely responsible for the information contained herein.
Distributed by Public, unedited and unaltered, on 13 September 2017 20:18:08 UTC.

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County Board of Commissioners files lawsuit against drug firms, others

Purdue Pharma, Endo Health Solutions, former pharmacists and dozens of defendants in drug-dealing cases are all named as defendants in a lawsuit filed by the Scott County Board of Commissioners on Monday, September 11.

The action requests damages for all of the dollars Scott County has had to spend expanding its jail capacity, finding new facilities for its Health Department and other expenses caused by the illegal use of opioids in the county.

The county is targeting manufacturers of such opioids as Oxycontin, Percocet, oxycodone and hydrocodone. The suit claims manufacturers began a marketing scheme in the 1990s “…to persuade doctors and patients that opioids can and should be used for chronic pain…” Thus was created a larger group of patients “…much more likely to become addicted and suffer other adverse effects from long-term use of opioids.”

Such manufacturers, the lawsuit continued, “…downplayed the serious risk of addiction, promoted the concept of ‘pseudoaddiction,’ exaggerated the effectiveness of screening tools in preventing addiction, claimed that opioid dependence and withdrawal are easily managed, denied the risks of higher opioid dosages and exaggerated the effectiveness of… opioid formulations to prevent abuse and addiction.”

Cited in the over 200 pages of the lawsuit is the statement that Scott County “…is at the forefront of this (opioid) crisis… By 2012, 106 prescriptions for opioids were written for every 100 people in (Indiana).” A total of 33,000 in the United States are said to have died from overdoses in 2016. One in 15 people who take opioids illicitly will try heroin within ten years, the suit stated.

An estimated 2.6% of Americans have injected drugs, compared with 12% of Austin (residents), one source is quoted as stating.

Scott County still remains Indiana’s lowest-ranked county for health outcomes, it also pointed out.

The 2015 HIV/Hepatitis C outbreak in Austin is also mentioned as an alleged result of illicit opioid use. Prescription opioid use “…has not displaced heroin but rather triggered a resurgence in its use…” the lawsuit claimed.

The document stated that plaintiffs are seeking “…damages for the amounts paid in connection with the results of opioid abuse, including but not limited to county law enforcement, EMS, addiction treatment costs and the like.”

Additionally, Scott County is seeking a declaration that manufacturers have “…violated Indiana law, an order requiring manufacturer defendants to cease their unlawful promotion of opioids and correct their misrepresentations and an order requiring…..defendants to abate the public nuisance they have created and knew their actions would create.”

Punitive damages, trebled damages and attorneys’ fees and court costs are also requested as are monies to cover… “additional demands for public services…including costs for addiction treatment and the treatment of babies born addicted to opioids.” The lawsuit continued, requesting “…damages and equitable relief…on behalf of all Scott County citizens who or which have sustained damages or losses as a result of opioid abuse.”

Defendants in a lawsuit have 20 days to respond with their own filings or to request additional time to file answers to the allegations presented.

Lawsuits filed represent only one side of acclaim or claims.


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Tech mergers may need examination outside normal competition law – LSE professor

Mergers by data-rich tech firms may need to be examined in a fresh way, outside of normal competition and privacy law structures, because of the vast amounts power personal data gives them, a law professor at the London School of Economics has said.

In a talk entitled Recasting Private Power: Tech Giants as Digital Utilities, Prof Orla Lynskey spoke about the strategic position of content and service providers such as Facebook and Google, noting they had a monopoly, or quasi-monopoly, over information flows.

Prof Lynskey suggested EU anti-trust regulators had also not examined crucial aspects of Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp in 2014, because they had not looked at the personal data aspect of the businesses.

She told the event at the at the ADAPT Centre for Digital Content Technology at Trinity College Dublin that the huge volumes of personal data processed by such companies could allow them to profile individuals, giving them a “God’s eye view” using personal data.

There also seemed to be a growing policy concern about the “data power” of such tech companies.

Exploring the question of whether this power warranted some of specific regulatory intervention above and beyond existing regulatory regimes, Prof Lynskey suggested that treating data-driven agreements and mergers in a different way, might prevent the “artificial accumulation” of large databases.

One example of where this could have happened was the Facebook and WhatsApp merger which was cleared by both the Federal Trade Commission in the US and the European Commission, she said.

The merger had been cleared on a similar basis to those involving Google’s acquisition of various home devices, which was that Facebook and WhatsApp were not direct competitors in any particular market.

Prof Lynskey said this ignored “some very critical points”.

“They failed to examine why up to 50 per cent of WhatsApp users did in fact have a Facebook account and yet preferred to use WhatsApp over Facebook Messenger,” she said.

“You could at least surmise that part of the reason why some people preferred WhatsApp over Facebook Messenger was privacy related.”

“That factor was not considered.”

“Was WhatsApp here a maverick that offered individuals a privacy-protecting alternative to Facebook? They didn’t consider why Facebook wanted this transaction to go through in the first place.”

In May, the European Commission’s anti-trust regulators fined Facebook €110 million for negligently or recklessly misleading it in relation to the merger.

“The EU commissioner should, perhaps have been asking, if the plan was not to merge these datasets, Facebook wanted to acquire WhatsApp – what was the commercial impetus for the transaction,” Prof Lynskey said.

She said that in the case of a media merger, the impact it might have on freedom of expression was examined.

She asked whether it might be possible to have a similar, non-competition and non-economic assessment of the impact of such mergers on data protection and privacy and whether the aggregation of datasets might give rise to particular concerns.

“I think that’s one practical starting point that’s a little less severe than treating tech giants like digital utilities,” she said.

Prof Lynskey suggested another factor in such mergers had been “perhaps rather weak data enforcement to date, where we have this disconnect between the law on the books and the way in which it’s applied in practice”.

Prof Lynskey has been an assistant professor in the law department at the London School of Economics since September 2012. She teaches and conducts research in the areas of data protection, technology regulation, digital rights and EU law.

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UPDATE 1-EU set to demand Internet firms act faster to remove illegal content

* EU wants step up in efforts against illegal online content

* Does not rule out further legislation

* Offers guidance on how such content can be removed quickly
(Adds company comments)

By Julia Fioretti

BRUSSELS, Sept 13 (Reuters) – Companies including Google
, Facebook and Twitter could face
European Union laws forcing them to be more proactive in
removing illegal content if they do not do more to police what
is available on the Internet.

The European Union executive outlined in draft guidelines
reviewed by Reuters how Internet firms should step up efforts
with measures such as establishing trusted flaggers and taking
voluntary measures to detect and remove illegal content.

Proliferating illegal content, whether because it infringes
copyright or incites terrorism, has sparked heated debate in
Europe between those who want online platforms to do more to
tackle it and those who fear it could impinge on free speech.

The companies have significantly stepped up efforts to
tackle the problem of late, agreeing to an EU code of conduct to
remove hate speech within 24 hours and forming a global working
group to combine their efforts remove terrorist content from
their platforms.

Existing EU legislation shields online platforms from
liability for the content that is posted on their websites,
limiting how far policymakers can force companies, who are not
required to actively monitor what goes online, to act.

“Online platforms need to significantly step up their
actions to address this problem,” the draft EU guidelines say.

“They need to be proactive in weeding out illegal content,
put effective notice-and-action procedures in place, and
establish well-functioning interfaces with third parties (such
as trusted flaggers) and give a particular priority to
notifications from national law enforcement authorities.”


The guidelines, expected to be published at the end of the
month, are non-binding but further legislation is not ruled out
by Spring 2018, depending on progress made by the companies.

However, a Commission source said any legislation would not
change the liability exemption for online platforms in EU law.

A spokesman for Twitter had no comment on the draft but
pointed to the company’s latest data on its efforts to tackle
abuse showing it was taking action on ten times the number of
abusive accounts every day compared to the same time last year.

Facebook and Google declined to comment.

The Commission wants the companies to develop “trusted
flaggers” – experienced bodies with expertise in identifying
illegal content – whose notifications would be given high
priority and could lead to the automatic removal of content.

It also encourages web companies to publish transparency
reports with detailed information on the number and type of
notices received and actions taken and says the Commission will
explore options to standardise such transparency reports.

The guidelines also contain safeguards against excessive
removal of content, such as giving its owners a right to contest
such a decision.

The Commission wants companies to hone technology used to
automatically detect illegal content so that the volume which
needs to be reviewed by a human before being deemed illegal can
be narrowed down.
(Reporting by Julia Fioretti; editing by Alexander Smith and
Toby Chopra)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2017. Click For Restrictions –

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Tens of thousands of hard-left trade unionists marched through French cities on Tuesday to protest against President Emmanuel Macron’s labour law reforms, although turnout appeared lower than at demonstrations in previous years.

Tens of thousands of hard-left trade unionists marched through French cities on Tuesday to protest against President Emmanuel Macron’s labour law reforms, although turnout appeared lower than at demonstrations in previous years.

Hitting back at Macron’s pledge to give no ground to “slackers”, some in Paris carried placards reading: “Slacker on Strike” while in Bordeaux demonstrators chanted: “Macron you’re screwed, the slackers are in the streets.”

The Paris prefecture said 24,000 protesters turned out in the capital, where riot police clashed with hooded youths in isolated skirmishes on the fringe of the march led by the Communist Party-linked CGT union.

That was under the 28,000 estimated by police during March 2016’s demonstration.

Labour unions have scuppered previous attempts to weaken France’s labour code, but this time there was comfort for Macron as two other unions, including the largest, the CFDT, declined to join the protests.

“We’ve been passing laws which take apart the labour code for 20 years. The answer (to unemployment) doesn’t lie in rolling it back further,” said Maxime Durand, a train driver on strike.

After weeks of negotiation, the government last month set out measures including a cap on payouts for dismissals judged unfair and greater freedom for companies to hire and fire.

The reform makes no direct reference to the 35-hour week, a totem of the labour code, though it hands firms more flexibility to set pay and working conditions. The government plans to adopt the new measures, being implemented by decree, on Sept. 22.

During a trip to Athens on Friday, Macron told the local French community: “I am fully determined and I won’t cede any ground, not to slackers, nor cynics, nor hardliners.”

He said the “slackers” comment was aimed at those who had failed to push through reforms in the past, although political opponents and some unions took it as an attack on the unemployed or on workers making the most of job protection.

“We will make Macron back down,” far-left firebrand Jean-Luc Melenchon, who has become Macron’s most vocal opponent in parliament, said on the sidelines of a protest in Marseille.

Cherished rights

French workers have long cherished the rights enshrined in the labour code, but companies complain it has deterred investment and job creation and stymied economic growth.

Unemployment has been above 9 percent for nearly a decade.

Macron’s reforms are being followed in Germany as a test of his resolve to reshape the euro zone’s second-biggest economy, a must if he is to win Berlin’s backing for broader reforms to the currency union.

The CGT is France’s second-biggest union, though its influence has been waning. Its leader Philippe Martinez said Tuesday’s nationwide protests were the “first phase” and more would follow. He called Macron’s reference to “slackers” an insult to workers.

“The president should listen to the people, understand them, rather than cause divisions,” Martinez told France 2 television.

CGT workers from the rail, oil and power sectors heeded the strike call but by the afternoon there was no apparent impact on power and refining production, spokespeople for utility EDF and oil major Total said.

Just over 11 percent of the workforce at EDF, which operates France’s fleet of 48 nuclear reactors, took part in the strike, a spokeswoman for the state-owned utility said.

Unions divided

Macron landed in the French Caribbean on Tuesday to survey the devastation wrought by Hurricane Irma on the territory of Saint Martin.

Governments on the political left and right have been trying for decades to overhaul the 3,000-page labour code, but ended up watering down their plans in the face of street demonstrations.

Macron was economy minister in the Socialist government of president Francois Hollande, whose attempt at labour reform led to weeks of protests that at their peak brought 400,000 onto the streets, and stoked a rebellion within his own party.

Hollande was forced to dilute his proposals, but so far there are no signs of Macron feeling compelled to back down.

An opinion poll published on Sept. 1 indicated that voters have mixed views on the reform. Nearly six in 10 said they opposed Macron’s labour decrees overall. But when respondents looked at individual measures, most received majority support.

With economic growth accelerating, unemployment on a downward trend and the leading unions divided in their response to the reforms, it is not clear whether the protests will gain significant momentum.


Date created : 2017-09-12

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SHAREHOLDER ALERT: Pomerantz Law Firm Announces the Filing of a Class Action against Health Insurance Innovations, Inc. and Certain Officers – HIIQ

NEW YORK, Sept. 13, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Pomerantz LLP announces that a class action lawsuit has been filed against Health Insurance Innovations, Inc. (“Health Insurance Innovations” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ:HIIQ) and certain of its officers.   The class action, filed in United States District Court, Southern District of New York, and docketed under 17-cv-06962, is on behalf of a class consisting of investors who purchased or otherwise acquired Health Insurance Innovations securities, seeking to recover compensable damages caused by defendants’ violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

If you are a shareholder who purchased Health Insurance Innovations securities between August 2, 2017, and September 11, 2017, both dates inclusive, you have until November 10, 2017, to ask the Court to appoint you as Lead Plaintiff for the class.  A copy of the Complaint can be obtained at   To discuss this action, contact Robert S. Willoughby at or 888.476.6529 (or 888.4-POMLAW), toll-free, Ext. 9980. Those who inquire by e-mail are encouraged to include their mailing address, telephone number, and the number of shares purchased. 

[Click here to join this class action]

Health Insurance Innovations operates as a developer, distributor, and administrator of cloud-based individual health and family insurance plans, and supplemental products in the United States. The Company offers, inter alia, short-term medical plans, hospital indemnity plans, and supplemental insurance products. It designs and structures individual health and family insurance plans, and supplemental products on behalf of insurance carriers and discount benefit providers and market them to individuals through a network of distributors.

The Complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s business, operational and compliance policies. Specifically, Defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that:  (i) Health Insurance Innovations’ application for a key insurance license in its home state of Florida was rejected due to the state’s Office of Insurance Regulation’s (“OIR”) discovery of undisclosed legal actions against Health Insurance Innovations insiders; (ii) Health Insurance Innovations warned the OIR of the anticipated “domino effect” that the rejection was likely to cause, by which the Company would subsequently lose licenses in additional states; and (iii) as a result of the foregoing, Health Insurance Innovations’ public statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times. 

On September 11, 2017, the website published an article reporting on the OIR’s June 2017 rejection of Health Insurance Innovations’ application for a “key insurance license in [its] home state of Florida as [the OIR] uncovers undisclosed legal actions against HIIQ insiders” and that “HIIQ privately warns of disastrous ‘domino effect’ spreading to other states, causing additional loss of licenses.  HIIQ makes no disclosure to investors.

On this news, Health Insurance Innovations’ share price fell $6.55, or 21.91%, to close at $23.35 on September 11, 2017.

The Pomerantz Firm, with offices in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Paris, is acknowledged as one of the premier firms in the areas of corporate, securities, and antitrust class litigation. Founded by the late Abraham L. Pomerantz, known as the dean of the class action bar, the Pomerantz Firm pioneered the field of securities class actions. Today, more than 80 years later, the Pomerantz Firm continues in the tradition he established, fighting for the rights of the victims of securities fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty, and corporate misconduct. The Firm has recovered numerous multimillion-dollar damages awards on behalf of class members. See

Robert S. Willoughby
Pomerantz LLP

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Chambliss Law Firm Earns Standout Ranking In National Litigation Outlook Report

Ranking nationally among leading law firms, Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel, P.C. has secured a prominent position in the seventh annual BTI Litigation Outlook 2018: Changes, Trends and Opportunities for Law Firms report. BTI, a nationally known legal consulting firm, recognized Chambliss for its client service in six areas of litigation – class actions, complex employment, everyday employment, product liability, complex commercial and everyday commercial.

“This designation is based on exceptional results for our clients achieved through effective and creative advocacy by our litigation team,” said Mike St. Charles, managing shareholder of Chambliss. “We partner with our clients to develop successful litigation strategies. This recognition is based on their feedback and is a great honor.”

Based on in-depth interviews with more than 350 leading legal decision makers at the world’s largest companies, the BTI Litigation Outlook 2018 provides a meticulous analysis of client spending goals, priorities, and needs, along with unbiased client feedback on more than 650 individual law firms. Conducted between Feb. 20 and July 3, 2017, data from this year’s interviews was combined with surveys taken over the past 18 years for a comprehensive look at the litigation market from the viewpoint of more than 4,800 corporate counsel clients. 

Along with this year’s recognition as a leading client choice in litigation, Chambliss has been previously named by BTI for its consistent all-star client service, outstanding client relationships and brand strength, among others. Conducting industry research for more than 25 years, BTI Consulting Group employs a research team of legal industry experts and analysts specializing in statistics, survey technique, and analytical methodologies.

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International law firms attend Qatar Financial Centre roundtable

(MENAFN – The Peninsula) The Peninsula

As part of its ongoing commitment to supporting international best practices in legal matters, the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC), one of the world’s leading and fastest growing financial centres, hosted a roundtable discussion with local and international law firms to discuss the proposed introduction of the new QFC Legal Services Code of Conduct.
The QFC Legal Services Code of Conduct focuses on ensuring that QFC licensed law firms and the lawyers they employ operate in accordance with a common set of standards and principles that seek to maintain the highest standards of excellence in legal practice.
Nasser Al Taweel, Chief Legal Officer at the QFC Authority commented on the QFC’s Legal Services Code of Conduct stating: ‘At the QFC, we take pride in ensuring that we implement and maintain a level of consistency in the competence and conduct of QFC law firms and lawyers. We are happy to say we received feedback from a wide variety of stakeholders that was very positive. The final version of the Code will be implemented soon and we are confident it will help provide a world-class legal regime in Qatar.
The QFC’s international award winning Legal department provides a comprehensive set of in-house legal services and is at the centre of the strategic development, enhancement and advocacy of the QFC’s legal environment. The QFC’s legal environment provides an internationally recognised platform for leading Qatari and international companies to expand in Qatar or overseas from the QFC. This in turn supports Qatar’s economic development and diversification efforts and contributes to knowledge and expertise sharing in Qatar and beyond.
QFC is an onshore business and financial centre, providing an excellent platform for firms to do business in Qatar and the region.
The QFC offers its own legal, regulatory, tax and business environment, which allows 100 percent foreign ownership, 100 percent repatriation of profits, and charges a competitive rate of 10% corporate tax on locally sourced profits.


International law firms attend Qatar Financial Centre roundtable
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