News

"We believe that personal development is a journey, not a destination, driven by each individual's own initiative. We are curious to learn, take time and initiative to do so and share out knowledge with others" - lecocqassociate Spirit

We therefore take pride in supporting our people in every way we can to achieve this goal, together. We invest from day one in our team members’ continuing professional development and encourage all associates to keep up-to-date with the latest regulatory news in finance, anti-money laundering, data protection and distributed ledger technologies.

WEBINAR: Marketing and doing foreign life insurance business in and from Switzerland
December 1, 2021

WEBINAR: Marketing and doing foreign life insurance business in and from Switzerland

The draft ISA faced its first barrier this year on 3 May 2021 where one of the two parliament chambers, the National Council, re-adapted the draft ISA by excluding provisions relating to a new ombudsman’s office. Dominique Lecocq and Lucile Hostettler will touch on what foreign insurance companies marketing in and from Switzerland will need to know in order to be compliant with latest FINMA practice, the current and the upcoming legislative changes.
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Switzerland: Updated Swiss position on the Swiss-USA Privacy Shield
October 1, 2021

Switzerland: Updated Swiss position on the Swiss-USA Privacy Shield

The Swiss-US Privacy Shield is a transatlantic agreement between Switzerland and the USA dating back to 2017. The purpose was to guarantee a system in which US-based companies could become certified that they comply with data protection requirements when transferring personal data from Switzerland to such US-based company, based on article 6 of the Federal Act on Data Protection (“FADP”).
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The Chinese turning point on Data Protection
August 25, 2021

The Chinese turning point on Data Protection

On 20 August 2021, the Standing Committee of the Chinese National People’s Congress approved the new Personal Information Protection Law. The law will take effect from 1 November 2021 and it is regarded as the first comprehensive law on data protection in China.
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Data Protection breaking news of August 2021
August 23, 2021

Data Protection breaking news of August 2021

August 2021 will be surely remembered for the havoc that has wreaked on data protection. Almost on the sly, we have learned that the e-commerce colossus Amazon had been fined for EUR 746M!
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Revised AML CFT guidelines issued by Central Bank of Ireland
July 8, 2021

Revised AML CFT guidelines issued by Central Bank of Ireland

Revised guidelines on Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (“AML/CFT”) was published by the Central Bank of Ireland on 23 June 2021. This was derived from the enactment of the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing)(Amendment) Act 2021, taken from the fifth AML Directive EU/2018/843 (“5MLD”) into Irish law.
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100 Percent foreign ownership of companies in Dubai
June 21, 2021

100 Percent foreign ownership of companies in Dubai

As of now, 59 investors have reaped the benefits of the new law without any additional fees, guarantees or capital requirements. Further guidance has been published by Dubai Economy concerning the full ownership for foreign investors whereby few provisions of the Federal Law No. (2) of 2015 were amended.
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Swiss Council of States collectively agrees to adopt L-QIFS
June 14, 2021

Swiss Council of States collectively agrees to adopt L-QIFS

The Swiss Council of States adopted the new legal provisions on the limited qualified investor fund ("L-QIF") with the intention to enhance Switzerland’s position as a location for funds and asset management.
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Who let the SCCS out?
June 13, 2021

Who let the SCCS out?

Finally, after many months, the European Commission has released the new set of the Standard Contractual Clauses (“SCCs”). The SCCs, if you have not heard of them, are a legal tool for allowing an international transfer of data to and from outside the “EEA+”
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Retrocession - Swiss Federal Court Confirmed Criminal Sanctions (Fraud and Mismanagement of Property)
May 15, 2021

Retrocession - Swiss Federal Court Confirmed Criminal Sanctions (Fraud and Mismanagement of Property)

Federal Court ruling dated 14 August 2018 and published on 14 May 2019, confirmed that the board of directors of a wealth management company has a duty to protect the rights of the company’s clients. Thus, withholding information owed to clients or providing misleading information or omitting to report in violation of the duty of good care and fidelity (section 398 para. 2 of the Swiss Code of Obligations) is deemed to trigger a criminal fraud (by omission).
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Much AI (regulation) about nothing?
May 5, 2021

Much AI (regulation) about nothing?

A proposal of the regulation laying down harmonised rules on artificial intelligence in the European Union is being discussed. The proposal has received strong criticism from privacy lawyers, for being either a burden (it is not easy to prove a link between an AI and psychological damage) or ineffective (large corporations may not be sufficiently deterred by the fines at stake), but at the same time has been criticised by companies for being too stringent.
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Breaking Data Breaches (Social Media Data Leaks in April 2021)
April 18, 2021

Breaking Data Breaches (Social Media Data Leaks in April 2021)

The beginning of 2021 was quite intense for cybersecurity teams. Facebook, LinkedIn and the new social network Clubhouse have suffered substantial data leaks: the total amount of violated accounts correspond approximately to 533 million users, 500 million and 1.3 million respectively.
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Eoseo Osipsio (welcome) South Korea to new data protection laws!
April 8, 2021

Eoseo Osipsio (welcome) South Korea to new data protection laws!

In April 2021 the European Commission and the Personal Information Protection Commission of South Korea concluded the last round of talks about the possibility of the European Union granting an adequate decision to South Korea and the outcome was positive.
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Data Protection considerations in your own car
April 1, 2021

Data Protection considerations in your own car

Recently, the topic has again been brought to light thanks to the driving-monitoring cameras incorporated in cars.These cameras play a relevant role in increasing safety: they monitor a driver and send a warning when he or she is not engaged. However, the technology is shifting from close-loop system to real-time analysis of data.
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From Cookies to Machine Learning
March 18, 2021

From Cookies to Machine Learning

Cookies are small pieces of text installed by a server into one’s machine. The server can also be different from that visited (so-called third party cookies) for example, like how advertisements work – one can be on a different website and yet receive advertisements from a website visited previously.
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Brexit and Data Protection: Towards the end?
March 7, 2021

Brexit and Data Protection: Towards the end?

The European Commission has recently released its draft for the UK adequacy decision. If adopted, the adequacy decision would allow the data flow to and from the United Kingdom to continue as normal.
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Cybersecurity Supervision Audit for Financial Service Providers in Switzerland
March 3, 2021

Cybersecurity Supervision Audit for Financial Service Providers in Switzerland

The Swiss Federal Council adopted a strategic approach for critical infrastructure protection on 8 December 2017 for the period covering 2018 to 2022. This resulted in an audit carried out at the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (“FINMA”) by the Swiss Federal Audit Office (“SFAO”) with a goal to reviewing the current state of financial services providers’ cybersecurity supervision.
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E-Privacy regulation draft approved by the European Council
February 18, 2021

E-Privacy regulation draft approved by the European Council

The regulation is part of the European data protection framework and it is a sectorial law for telecommunications. But it would be wrong to assume that it applies only to WhatsApp, Zoom or Skype.
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The New Data Protection Regulations in the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM)
February 16, 2021

The New Data Protection Regulations in the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM)

Abu Dhabi Global Market (“ADGM”) announced on 14 February 2021 that it has enacted the Data Protection Regulations 2021 (the “DPR 2021”), which will replace the current Data Protection Regulations 2015. The latter will be repealed, allowing for the DPR 2021 to come into force.
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The GDPR'S impact on Data Protection in the US
February 11, 2021

The GDPR'S impact on Data Protection in the US

This year the US data protection framework promises many twists. California has recently voted through Proposition 24, or California Privacy Rights Act, which shall enter into force in 2023 and it is one of the first acts in the United States of America to be substantially similar to GDPR (the California Consumer Privacy Act had a limited scope).
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The UAE announces amendments to Citizenship Law allowing certain specified individuals to obtain the citizenship
January 30, 2021

The UAE announces amendments to Citizenship Law allowing certain specified individuals to obtain the citizenship

A truly historic directive from the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, approved by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, announced the changes in the citizenship law which grants exceptional talents and their families the Emirati passport.
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The famous messaging app Whatsapp is changing its Privacy Policy
January 21, 2021

The famous messaging app Whatsapp is changing its Privacy Policy

The famous messaging app WhatsApp is changing its privacy policy, originally effective from 8 February 2021, but due to strong criticism the parent company (Facebook/Meta) decided to postpone the implementation until 15 May 2021. The new policy allows Facebook to share and integrate data across all its services (Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp and so on).
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Switzerland: the new Swiss Federal Act on Data Protection
January 20, 2021

Switzerland: the new Swiss Federal Act on Data Protection

The new Swiss Federal Act on Data Protection (“nFADP”) was adopted by the Parliament on 25 September 2020. The deadline for calling a referendum has now expired, unused, on 14 January 2021.
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UAE: ESR regime deadline
December 16, 2020

UAE: ESR regime deadline

The New Regulations clarify when the Notification and the Return are required to be filed; the Notification must be submitted within 6 months from the end of the financial year while the Return must be submitted within 12 months from the end of the financial year.
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UAE: Defamation in the UAE will cost you a fine of up to AED 1 million
November 15, 2020

UAE: Defamation in the UAE will cost you a fine of up to AED 1 million

Any activity in libel, slander, and defamation directed to any individual on all types of public media is considered a criminal offence in the United Arab Emirates.
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Switzerland: Swiss Parliament approves the revised Data Protection Act
October 5, 2020

Switzerland: Swiss Parliament approves the revised Data Protection Act

The Swiss Parliament approved the revised Data Protection Act. The major point of difference between the two chambers was the State Council's desire to include the notion of high-risk profiling in the Data Protection Act, which has been finally accepted by the National Council during the conciliation process.
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FinSA Update - Recent Authorisations Granted Under FinSA - FinIA
September 17, 2020

FinSA Update - Recent Authorisations Granted Under FinSA - FinIA

lecocqassociate is available to assist you regarding the above. Feel free to contact Dominique Lecocq (info@lecocqassociate.com) for any question.
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New Gold-Based Cryptocurrency Set to Launch in the UAE
September 16, 2020

New Gold-Based Cryptocurrency Set to Launch in the UAE

A new Sharia compliant, gold- backed cryptocurrency has been announced and is set to launch in the Middle East and offered to investors by this year. The Golden M Group will launch Coin M, a digital gold based coin by the end of 2019.
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First Registration Body For Client Advisers Authorised by FINMA
July 9, 2020

First Registration Body For Client Advisers Authorised by FINMA

FINMA has granted BX Swiss AG the first licence as registration body for client advisers, with effect from 20 July 2020. It is to be expected that further registration bodies will be authorised by FINMA. The registration bodies will maintain a register of advisers as defined by the Financial Services Act (“FINSA”). Client advisers of financial service providers must register with a registration body if they are not subject to supervision and provide their services in Switzerland.
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Deadlines Approaching - Swiss Financial Advisors, Be Ready!
June 26, 2020

Deadlines Approaching - Swiss Financial Advisors, Be Ready!

Financial advisors must comply with the following action list to be allowed to continue operating under the newly enacted Federal Act on Financial Services (“FINSA”) and Federal Act on Financial Institution (“FINIA”) and their respective ordinances on 1st January 2020...
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Deadlines Approaching - Swiss Financial Advisors, Be Ready!
June 26, 2020

Deadlines Approaching - Swiss Financial Advisors, Be Ready!

SWITZERLAND: DEADLINES APPROACHING – SWISS FINANCIAL ADVISORS, BE READY!
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Deadlines Approaching - Swiss Wealth Managers and Trustees, Be Ready!
June 26, 2020

Deadlines Approaching - Swiss Wealth Managers and Trustees, Be Ready!

Wealth managers and trustees in activity prior to 1st January 2020 must comply with the following action-list to benefit from the grandfathering safe harbour (which will allow them to continue operating) under the newly enacted Federal Act on Financial Services (“FINSA”) and the Federal Act on Financial Institution (“FINIA”) and their respective ordinances.
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Deadlines Approaching - FINMA Licensed Financial Institutions, Be Ready!
May 28, 2020

Deadlines Approaching - FINMA Licensed Financial Institutions, Be Ready!

DEADLINES APPROACHING – FINMA LICENSED FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS, BE READY!
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FINMA Has Opened its Survey and Authorisation Platform (EHP)
April 29, 2020

FINMA Has Opened its Survey and Authorisation Platform (EHP)

The authorisation process for portfolio managers and trustees following the entry into force of the Federal law on Swiss Federal Act on Financial Institutions (“FinIA”) on 1 January 2020 will be handled exclusively via FINMA’s new EHP survey and application platform
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Switzerland Becomes One of the Most Attractive Jurisdiction for Corporate Tax in Europe
December 27, 2019

Switzerland Becomes One of the Most Attractive Jurisdiction for Corporate Tax in Europe

Significant decrease in corporate tax from 24.2% to 13.99% in Geneva, Switzerland. On 19 May 2019 Swiss voters have accepted the Federal Act on Tax Reform and AHV Financing (social charges) (“FAAF”). At the same time, the canton of Geneva has amended its companies taxation act to implement the FAAF.
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One License for All Free Zones in Dubai?
June 3, 2019

One License for All Free Zones in Dubai?

The Dubai Free Zone Counsel (the “DFZ Council”) has tentatively agreed at their 12th meeting to permit companies operating in a Free Zone to operate in other Free Zones in Dubai without the need for multiple licenses and separate office spaces. This initiative, along with other initiatives such as the Foreign Investment Law (Federal Law no. 19 of 2018), which allows foreign shareholders to own up to 100% of the shares in companies within the mainland in certain economic sectors, can be seen as a way to encourage foreign investment into Dubai and invite more businesses to open in both the mainland and Free Zones.
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Swiss Federal Court Rules That The Trusted Relationship Between Wealth Manager and Clients Prevails Prohibition of Competition
February 27, 2019

Swiss Federal Court Rules That The Trusted Relationship Between Wealth Manager and Clients Prevails Prohibition of Competition

A prohibition of competition clause is binding for the employee only when the employment relationship allows the employee to have knowledge of the employer’s clientele and that such knowledge might cause the employer substantial harm (Section 340 para. 2 of the Swiss Code of Obligations).
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