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The International Law Section Gazette
Section News
2019 Conference on International Law in Panama

The Florida Bar International Law Section is inviting all ILS members to join its Conference on International Law that will take place in Panama City, Panama, on May 31, 2019, hosted by Morgan & Morgan.  Stay tuned for more details!

Great Success for the ILS Conference on Defending Human Rights

From left to right: ILS Chair Carlos F. Osorio, ILS Treasurer James M. Meyer, Prof. Lisa Iglesias, Richard A.C. Alton, and ILS Immediate Past Chair Arnoldo B. Lacayo.

The Conference on Defending Human Rights presented by the Florida Bar International Law Section Standing Committee on Public International Law, Human Rights and Global Justice was a success!  Interested parties partook in several intriguing panel discussions covering topics on not only Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, but also human rights issues facing our entire global community.  Of special note were the several Keynote speakers, including Rosa Maria Paya of Cuba Decide, Dr. Felicia Knaul, Director of the University of Miami Institute for Advanced Studies of the Americas, Retired Ambassador John Feeley, Photojournalist Ana Maria Arevalo Gosen, and Felix Maradiaga, the Nicaraguan Opposition Leader.   It was an amazing Conference and one which the Committee hopes shall serve as a launching pad for further initiatives facing these regions and human rights in general.

The Committee would like to extend a special thank to The Florida Bar, the International Law Section, the University of Miami School of Law Inter-American Law Review, the University of Miami Latin American Studies, and the members of the Steering Committee, namely the Committee Head Prof. Lisa Iglesias, the ILS Chair Carlos F. Osorio, the ILS Treasurer James M. Meyer, and Richard A.C. Alton. Finally, the Committee extends its gratitude to all the panelists, speaker, volunteers, and the promotional team at the Gazette. 
Join the International Law Section 

If you are reading the Gazette, chances are that you are a practitioner or a student with an interest in International Law, one of the most wide-ranging, exciting and challenging legal specialties. Everyone in our field knows how crucial it is to stay on top of diverse and evolving national legal regimes, and at the same time, the difficulty of keeping meticulously up-to-date on developments around the world.

The International Law Section (ILS) of The Florida Bar is here to help you, the practitioner, navigate both the everyday and big-picture challenges of our field. Our Section is your forum to share knowledge and best practices, and to meet and mingle with peers in professional collaborations that can only enhance your grasp of the specialty and your standing among clients and peers.

Let ILS membership assist you in developing a thriving international practice through peer network development that includes important shared learnings and reciprocal referrals of clients and casework.

If your practice transcends borders, join us in making this the authoritative, go-to forum for Florida and the gateway to the region for anyone practicing International Law. Our Section is open to lawyers from other states and countries, full-time faculty at U.S. law schools, and full-time U.S. law students, all of whom may participate as associate members.

International Law Quarterly - Call for Articles

The editorial board of the International Law Quarterly is now requesting articles and proposals for the  Spring 2019 ILQ to be released before (and highlighted at) The Florida Bar annual convention in June.  Although proposals will be considered on any relevant international topic, the Spring ILQ will focus on  "International Cross-Border Investing."  We hope to have articles on a variety of topics, such as tax implications of cross-border investments, ICSID issues and recent cases, energy/infrastructure projects, pre-immigration tax planning, Brexit impact in UK and EU, investment in Cuba, and much more.  But we need your help to make this edition of the ILQ a success.
Drafts will be due from authors by early April 2019.  Please send your article proposals to Ana Barton ( and Laura Reich ( as soon as possible. 
International Law Section - Call for Member News

The Executive Board of the International Law Section calls for all Members to share news about their professional achievements, endeavors, and successes to be published in the Gazette and on the International Law Section website. 

To share your professional achievements with the ILS Network, please submit all relevant information to Davide Macelloni, Editor of the ILS Gazette.

Upcoming CLE Events

The Florida Bar International Law Section is proud to offer the following CLE events, which will be held in webinar form. The CLE webinars will include a wide variety of topics, including Key changes in EU General Data Protection, FIFA Transfer Rules and the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and the New Landscape of Data Protection and Privacy in Brazil. All past programs have a link to register for on demand and downloadable podcasts for the next 18 months. To get further information or to sign up click on the webinar links below:

From our Members
Standard Chartered to Pay $1.1 Billion for Violations of Economic Sanctions

By Richard Montes De Oca* and Priscila Bandeira**

On April 9, 2019, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that a British bank, Standard  Chartered (SCB), admitted to illegally processing transactions in violation of economic sanctions and related  regulations. SCB agreed to pay a total of $1.1 billion in fines to the U.S. and British authorities, which included  settlements with the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the Board of  Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the Federal Reserve), the New York State Department of Financial  Services (DFS), and the United Kingdom's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The authorities said that SCB processed 9,500 financial transactions worth $240 million through U.S. financial  institutions from countries barred from participating in the U.S. financial system, including Cuba, Iran, Sudan  and Syria. The transactions originated from London and Dubai, and were sent to SCB's offices in New York  between 2007 and 2011.

This is not the first time SCB is penalized for violating economic sanctions. In 2012, the bank paid $330 million  for carrying out unlawful transactions for Iran from 2001 through 2007. However, the DOJ has recognized that,  since 2013, SCB has remediated the violations through a "comprehensive enhancement of its U.S. economic  sanctions compliance program and significant improvements to its financial crime compliance program." 

The Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benckowski, of the Justice Department's Criminal Division, said that  "when a global bank processes transactions through the U.S. financial system, its compliance program must  be up to the task of detecting and preventing sanctions violations-and when it is not, banks have an obligation  to identify, report, and remediate any shortcomings. The Justice Department is committed to protecting our  U.S. financial system and will continue to hold financial institutions and individuals to account when they  violate U.S. sanctions laws."

It is critical for financial institutions and other companies subject to sanctions regulations, to continuously  assess and update their Compliance Programs to mitigate regulatory risks, prevent violations, and avoid serious  fines.

*Richard Montes De Oca is Managing Partner at MDO Partners, a boutique law firm that focuses on Corporate, International, and Real Estate Law, as well as Global Compliance and Business Ethics.

**Priscila Bandeira is a Global Compliance and Corporate Law Associate Counsel at MDO Partners, where she assists clients with corporate governance documentation, corporate formation, and international transactions. A graduate of the J.D./L.LM. Joint Program at the University of Miami, Ms. Bandeira is also registered with the Brazilian Bar.

Uber Discloses FCPA Investigation in IPO Documents

By Richard Montes De Oca* and Priscila Bandeira**

On April 11, 2019, Uber Technologies, Inc. (Uber) disclosed, in an SEC filing, an investigation by the U.S.  Department of Justice (DOJ) on possible Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations related to Uber's  activities in Asia, including the countries of Indonesia, Malaysia, China, and India.
Uber made such disclosures in its first SEC filing, in connection with the company's initial public offering (IPO)  as follows:

We received requests from the DOJ in May 2017 and August 2017 with respect to an investigation into allegations of small payments to police in Indonesia and other potential improper payments in other countries in which we operate or have operated, including in Malaysia, China, and India. The investigation is ongoing, and we are cooperating with the DOJ in this investigation. If we are determined to have violated the FCPA or similar laws, we may be subject to criminal sanctions and other liabilities, which would adversely affect our business, financial condition, and operating results.
According to news reports from 2017, the payments made by Uber in Indonesia are "small" payments related  to the operation of the company's drivers in areas where commercial carriers were not allowed. In Malaysia,  on the other hand, the press reported that in 2017, Uber was facing investigations over a corporate donation  to the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Center, a government-backed accelerator for entrepreneurs,  because legislation favorable to Uber was passed by the Malaysian government shortly after. However, the DOJ has  not yet commented or published a press release on the investigation in connection with Uber's disclosure.
Furthermore, the investigation on FCPA violations was not the only legal issue Uber disclosed. The company also mentioned  other compliance risks and lawsuits involving unfair competition, trade secrets theft, and claims relating to  employment status of its drivers.
With the DOJ and SEC's aggressive enforcements efforts and record-setting fines, MDO Partners encourages  companies to establish strong Anti-Corruption Compliance Programs to mitigate the risks of FCPA violations.  Indeed, recent reports reflect that nearly 500 enforcement actions were initiated and $4 billion in fines levied by  the DOJ and SEC in 2018, boosted in large part by foreign corruption cases.

*Richard Montes De Oca is Managing Partner at MDO Partners, a boutique law firm that focuses on Corporate, International, and Real Estate Law, as well as Global Compliance and Business Ethics.

**Priscila Bandeira is a Global Compliance and Corporate Law Associate Counsel at MDO Partners, where she assists clients with corporate governance documentation, corporate formation, and international transactions. A graduate of the J.D./L.LM. Joint Program at the University of Miami, Ms. Bandeira is also registered with the Brazilian Bar.

Upcoming Events
April 28-30, 2019
The North American Branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators will hold its Accelerated Route to Fellowship Program in International Arbitration in Miami, Florida.

The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators ("CIArb") is offering joint three-day international arbitration training and qualification program, leading to CIArb's prestigious Fellow status. The three-day Accelerated Route to Fellowship program will take place at JAMS in Miami, FL, April 28-30, 2019.  The program designed for senior practitioners in the field of dispute resolution. Fellowship is the highest grade of CIArb membership and allows the use of the designation FCIArb. For additional information and conference program, click here

May 1, 2019
Please join the  World Trade Center Miami and the Miami-Dade Beacon Council  on May 1, 2019, to celebrate the  Miami World Trade Week  and the start of World Trade Month at the  Miami Airport and Convention Center, 711 NW 72nd Ave., Miami, Florida 33126 . The International Law Section's own Peter Quinter, Chair of the  International  Trade and Customs Law Group at GrayRobinson, P.A., will be moderating a panel titled "Insights and Reflections on Today's Trade Environment." Breakfast and networking starting at 7:30 a.m. TO REGISTER: CLICK HERE.

September 3-7, 2019
The 57th International Young Lawyers' Congress of the Association Internationale des Jeunes Avocats - International Association of Young Lawyers  will take place in Rome. The event will be an opportunity to network and learn with a focus on "Sustainability and the Law. Planet. People. Future." For more information or to register, please  refer to the event's website .

September 22-27, 2019
The International Bar Association invites all members to attend its 2019 annual conference, which will be held in Seoul, South Korea, a thriving metropolis that mixes the traditional with the modern - from skyscrapers, high-tech subways, K-pop culture and K-beauty to Buddhist temples, palaces and street markets and a history going back 5,000 years. For more information or to register, please refer to the event's website.

Winter 2019 ILQ
International Law Quarterly: Winter 2019

The new issue of the International Law Quarterly - Focus on International Human Rights is now available. Click on the image below to download.

Visit our Sponsors                                             
ILS thanks its sponsors 

In light of what we accomplished this past year, we hope you will continue to support the Section as a sponsor. In 2017-2018, various firms, companies and suppliers sponsored the Section. 

We look forward to another year of innovative programs where we can advance international law and further promote our sponsors. To learn more, read the Section's sponsorship package. You can also c ontact our Treasurer, James Meyer at  for more details.

  Become a Sponsor for the 2018-2019 Cycle
The ILS Gazette

Chair: Carlos F. Osorio
Immediate Past Chair: Arnoldo B. Lacayo
Chair-Elect:  Clarissa Rodriguez
Secretary:  Robert J. Becerra
Treasurer: James Meyer