Jurisdiction: European Union

EU: EIOPA publishes second Half-Yearly Financial Stability Report for 2013; comprehensive stress tests on the way

On 12 December 2013, the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) published its second Half-Year Financial Stability Report for 2013 (available here). The risk environment described in the second Half-Year report is broadly the same as the environment described in the first Half-Year report, published in July.

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Validus Launches a Challenge to the IRS’ Cascading Federal Excise Tax Ruling

On 25 January 2013, Validus Reinsurance Ltd (Validus), a reinsurer domiciled in Bermuda, filed a suit in the District Court of the District of Columbia against the United States of America for the repayment of taxes which they allege were wrongly demanded by the IRS. The tax was assessed under the Federal Excise Tax (FET) regime, which (among other things) imposes a 1% tax on premiums under contracts of reinsurance with foreign reinsurers covering risks in the US (s4371 of the Internal Revenue Code). 

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Australian Court Rules Agencies Should be Held Accountable for Inaccurate Credit Ratings

In the Australian case of Bathurst Regional Council v Local Government Financial Services Pty Ltd (No 5) [2012] FCA 1200, the Australian Federal Court held Standard & Poor’s (S&P) to be jointly liable with ABN Amro Bank NV and Local Government Financial Services for losses suffered by 13 local councils, who had invested in complex credit derivatives that had been rated ‘AAA’ (the highest possible rating) by S&P. 

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Europe: The Opinion of the Advocate General on applicability of choice of law clauses in the context of subrogated claims

In Refcomp SpA v Axa Corporate Solutions Assurance SA [Case C-543/10], the Advocate General of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU, previously known as the European Court of Justice) interpreted Article 23 of Council Regulation (EC) No. 44/2001 on jurisdiction (the Article) to mean that where the general terms of a sale of goods contract incorporated a clause conferring jurisdiction, that clause could only be relied upon against the original parties to the contract. 

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