Monday, August 15, 2016
The International Law Section Gazette
Section News
Conference Naming Contest - DEADLINE TODAY
The ILS's annual international litigation, arbitration, and business transactions conference needs a NEW name and we need your help!! In the past, the conference has been referred to as ILAC (Int'l Litigation and Arbitration Conference) and ILAT (Int'l Litigation, Arbitration and Business Transactions Conference), among other names.  

We are looking for new ideas and short, memorable words that creatively identify our Section's flagship event.  As such, the ILS Annual Conference Name Contest has begun!  Over the next few weeks we will be accepting naming ideas at the following email - Please include "ILS Conference Name Contest" in the subject line of your email. The winning idea and its author will be announced at our Section's Retreat in September.  If your idea is selected as the winning name, you will receive a prize at the retreat.   TODAY is the last day to submit your ideas, so get to work, put on your thinking caps and send us your ideas!  
International Law Board Certification Applications for Lawyers

Initial Applicants: The  filing period for initial applications opens July 1, 2016 and applications must be postmarked by August 31, 2016

Applications for initial board certification and recertification are available on the  International Law Certification website .
Call for Speakers: Give an ILSTalk!

Inspired by Ted Talks, one feature of this year's Section Retreat in Boca Raton will be our members' own ILSTalks.  ILSTalks are short presentations, no longer than 8 to 16 minutes, designed to entertain, inform, and educate you on the latest topics in international law, society, and leadership. You will learn something new about the markets and communities in which we operate, gain a new perspective on issues you and your clients face, and be inspired to improve the way you work and communicate.

We already have several scheduled presenters on exciting and diverse topics, and if you have a topic that you would like to feature we would love to hear from you.

Please contact  Al Lindsay ( with a short synopsis of your proposed ILSTalk.
Member News

ILS Member, Ricardo Cata, Presents at the DRC Conference

Ricardo Cata, mediator with Upchurch, Watson, White & Max, and Chair of the ILS' Mediation Committee, will be speaking today at the Dispute Resolution Center's ('DRC") Conference in Orlando, FL, at the  JW Marriott Grande Lakes hotel,  on:  "Diversity in Mediation: Domestic and International Challenges" .  Click  here to  read a short summary of Ricardo's presentation .

Upcoming Events
August 24, 2014
The Steering Committee of the International Law Section Annual Conference 
(name TBD) will hold its second meeting at Astigarraga Davis, 1001 Brickell Bay Drive, 9th Floor, Miami, FL 33131, at 6:30 PM. RSVP to Robert Becerra at

August 30, 2016
The Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a panel discussion regarding Brexit. The event is scheduled for Tuesday, August 30, 2016, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. The event will be held at the Coral Gables Art Cinema, which is located at 260 Aragon Avenue. For more information and to register for this event, visit the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce's website.

September 9, 2016
The Quebec Bar (Barreau de Quebec) will hold its annual meeting (Reentrée) on September 9, 2016 in Quebec City. The program will be offered in French and includes conferences, the Reentrée Judiciaire and dinner at the Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec. Click here to download the full program of the event.

September 30 - October 2, 2016
ILS Retreat: Celebrating the Past and Leading into the Future.   Join us for another exciting International Law Section retreat at the Boca Raton Resort & Club The theme of this year's retreat will be celebrating our past as we lead the world into the future of international law.  We are encouraging all Section members to join us for  a fun and inspirational weekend In addition to an exciting program featuring both alumni and future leaders, and an exciting keynote speaker, we are making sure to build in plenty of time for socializing with friends and family at this world-class resort. Don't wait, submit your registration form today!

October 27-29, 2016
The Caribbean Academy for Law and Court Administration (CALCA), in partnership with Jamaica's General Legal Council and the St. Maarten Bar Association, will hold CALCA's 4th Biennial Conference on Law under the theme "Law at the Cross-Roads: Reappraising the Role of Common Law and Civil Law Practitioners in Transnational Development", from October 27 to October 29 in St. Marteen. You can learn more about the conference by visiting the conference website

From Our Members


Call for Short Articles: Share your Knowledge!

The ILS Gazette is accepting submissions for short articles or updates on current issues in international law. The articles should be shorter than 1000 words and will be in included in the "From Our Members" section of the Gazette. If you would like to share your piece with fellow ILS Members, please direct your submissions to Fabio Giallanza (

Pre-Immigration Tax and Estate Planning: Strategic Application of Protective Check-the-Box Elections 

By: William H. Newton, III*

            Pre-immigration tax and estate planning for a foreign person must necessarily take into consideration assets owned outside of the United States.  Such assets may include ownership interests in entities formed in foreign jurisdictions which are eligible to exercise the check-the-box election for U.S. taxation (the "Election"), e.g., B.V.I.  corporations, Panamanian limitadas, Swiss GmbHs, etc.

            The effect may result in transformation of the classification of the entity for U.S. taxation such as from a corporation to a partnership or  even a disregarded entity.  This may be of significant importance on a subsequent change in the status of the individual owner from that of a nonresident alien to a U.S. resident.

Example: X, a nonresident alien of the U.S., anticipates moving to the U.S. in the near future and thereby becoming a resident for income taxation.  X is the sole owner of a B.V.I. corporation ("BVICo") which in turn owns foreign passive investment assets such as stocks and bonds.  As a result, absent exercise of the Election, on acquisition of residence status, BVICo will become a controlled foreign corporation ("CFC") with income as subsequently generated being imputed up and taxed to X as a dividend.  By contrast, with exercise of the Election, BVICo will become classified as disregarded entity with long-term capital gains treatment and potentially a substantially reduced rate of taxation then being available to X.

Analogous scenarios likewise exist, e.g., with respect to foreign business operations, foreign real property, utilization of foreign tax credits, etc.

            The result gives rise to the need to be proactive as an integral part of the pre-immigration tax and estate planning process and to exercise the Election in a context where appropriate to do so.  For exercise to be viable the classification of the foreign entity must in general be relevant, i.e., must affect the tax liability of a person for federal tax purposes.  Yet, consistent with the above example, prior to the acquisition of residence by X, relevance will not ordinarily exist.   Even so, with the acquisition of residence, relevance will then concurrently arise due to the CFC classification of BVICo with resulting negative attendant tax consequences.

            Treas. Reg. §301.7701-3(d)(1)(ii)(A) provides potential relief from this conundrum.  Specifically, this provision authorizes the protective election.  It does so by deeming relevance to exist, irrespective of whether actual relevance is otherwise present, but "... only on the date the entity classification election is effective".  Id.   In line therewith, the Election is treated as effective on such date but not then again until a later event occurs whereby actual relevance exists.  At that point no new election is treated as having been exercised, rather, the protective election is reactivated and confirmed consistent with the Election as initially submitted.  Even so, if the classification of the foreign eligible entity is not subsequently relevant for a period of sixty (60) consecutive months, then, the entity's classification reverts to that of one whose status has never been relevant.  The effect is to require the presence of actual relevance within the sixty (60) month period in order for the protective election to continue to be treated as viable.

            This result may be achieved through the insertion of actual relevance at a propitious point prior to the acquisition of residence in the United States.  The effect, as having been accomplished within the 60-month period, should accelerate and even pinpoint the date of actual relevance.  One approach would be the purchase by BVICo of a U.S. Treasury bill or note.  Because same results in the payment of portfolio interest, concurrently with the purchase actual relevance should then thereby exist with the protective election as originally exercised being reactivated and confirmed.  Notably, caution in this context is warranted as inappropriate use of the Election may result in unintended consequences.
            In conclusion, while multi-faceted, pre-immigration tax and estate planning may indeed be greatly facilitated through the assiduous utilization of the protective check-the-box election.

* Mr. Newton is author of the two volume treatise, International Income Tax and Estate Planning, published by Thomson-Reuters, a practicing attorney in Miami, Florida, an adjunct professor of law in the Masters of Tax Program at the University of Miami of Law for over 25 years, author of numerous articles regarding international tax and international estate planning, and a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Southern Methodist University

Spring 2016 ILQ
International Law Quarterly (ILQ)
The Spring 2016 ILQ focusing on Women and International Law is now available to view and download here.

If you are interested in submitting an article in the next ILQ or have questions, please contact Rafael Ribeiro:

Visit our Sponsors                                             
ILS thanks its sponsors for the 2015-2016 cycle
  • Aballi Milne Kalil, P.A.
  • Astigarraga Davis 
  • Centro de Arbitragem e Mediação-Câmara de Comércio Brasil-Canadá (CAM/CCBC)
  • Hogan Lovells
  • Lex International
  • White & Case
  • Akerman LLP
  • Bilzin Sumberg
  • Bryan Cave
  • Buckner, Shifrin, Etter, Dugan & Kohlman, P.A.
  • Fowler White Burnett
  • Jones Day 
  • Harper Meyer
  • Kobre & Kim LLP 
  • Tenzer PLLC

In light of what we accomplished this past year, we hope you will continue to support the Section as a sponsor. In 2015-2016, 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.  Contact Elizabeth Ortega at   for more details.

  Become a Sponsor  for the 2016-2017 Cycle
The ILS Gazette

Editor: Fabio Giallanza

Chair: Alvin F. Lindsay, III
Immediate Past Chair: Eduardo Palmer
Chair-Elect: Arnoldo B. Lacayo
Secretary: Carlos F. Osorio
Treasurer: Clarissa Rodriguez