Panama, July 29, 2020.
Morgan & Morgan is pleased to announce that, for the fifth consecutive year, the firm´s Private Wealth Law practice group earned top ranking (Band 1) in the 2020 Chambers Hight Net Worth Guide, a publication aimed at the international private wealth market and a key reference point of the world´s leading firms in terms of service excellence and reputation.
“This is a big player in the Panamanian market, capable of dealing with complex tax matters. They are excellent at resolving problems with a practical and effective approach.”, a market commentator says to Chambers.
Three of Morgan & Morgan partners were also distinguished with top rankings in the guide:
Roberto Lewis Morgan, head of the practice with a depth of expertise in wealth preservation and distribution matters, including private foundations and corporate vehicles. A client comments to Chambers that he “gets things moving within the firm” and is “receptive to clients.”
Raul Castro, partner and advisor to the Panamanian government regarding international tax matters, CRS and FATCA implementation. One market insider says to Chambers Castro “is absolutely outstanding,” explaining: “He is the go-to person when you have something complex in Panama or the BVI. He has a very practical approach towards client needs.”
Luis Manzanares, partner and with substantial experience in wealth preservation matters, including tax and succession planning advice on investment funds, trusts and private interest foundations. “A savvy lawyer with huge international experience,” says one client to Chambers.
Morgan & Morgan has a seasoned team of lawyers with vast experience in traditional wealth protection and management structures such as discretionary and non-discretionary trusts, private interest foundations and corporations. More than five years ago, the firm started a new practice led by a group of young lawyers with vast knowledge in modern structures tailored for HNW individuals and families.
More information on this recognition is available here.
Superintendence of Non-Financial Regulated Persons issues new regulations in relation to attorneys and accountants
Panama, 24 July 2020.
By means of Rule JD-01-2020, published in the Official Gazette No. 29076 of 24 July 2020, the Superintendence of Non-Financial Regulated Persons (SNFR) has established a set of rules and obligations imposed to attorneys and accountants whenever they incur in any of the regulated activities under Law 23 of 2015, which relates to prevention of money laundering, financing of arms of mass destruction and financing of terrorism.
Below, we summarize the relevant matters of this new regulation:
Access to Clients’ information
Art. 3 of Rule JD-01-2020 establishes that attorneys and accountants regulated by the SNFR incurring in any of the regulated activities, shall, at the requirement of SNFR, deliver a list of clients classified in qualitative and quantitative terms, based on risk parameters. With respect to clients that has terminated its commercial relation, shall be included in the list indicating an explanation of the cause of termination of the commercial relation.
During the supervision, all documents relating to the relation of each client (e.g. Contracts, agreements, etc.) shall be furnished, as well as the documentation related to the due diligence and control measures applied.
Due Diligence Measures
Art. 6 and 7 of Rule JD-01-2020 establishes the enhanced due diligence requirements applicable to natural or legal persons, that shall be requested by attorneys and accountants in the scenarios set forth under Law 23 of 2015, in which such measure is required in light of the high risk cases.
This new regulation also establishes a list of clients that may be subject to a simplified due diligence measures in virtue of the regulated activities exercised by attorneys and accountants, which is something that was not previously regulated.
Directors and Representatives
Attorneys and accountants shall, at requirement, disclose to the SNFR the identity of the persons designated or offered as nominees to its clients.
Rule JD-01-2020 derogated and left without effect Resolution JD-14-2015 and its amendments, that were the original regulation applicable to the regulated activities of attorneys and accountants.
For further information or advice on the matters described above please contact:
Senior Associate, Morgan & Morgan
With the enactment of Law No. 81 on Protection of Personal Data, the Republic of Panama aims to establish the principles, rights, obligations and procedures that regulate the protection of personal data, also considering their interrelation with private life and other rights and fundamental freedoms of citizens, by natural or legal persons, public or private law, lucrative or not, that process personal data in the terms provided in the Law.
Storage or transfer of personal data:
The storage or transfer of personal data of a confidential, sensitive or restricted nature, outside the territory of Panama, by the company responsible for the storage of data or custody thereof, will be allowed, provided that the company and/or country of residence have standards of protection comparable to those of the Law or if the entity that transfers the data makes sure to adopt all the necessary steps so that it is protected. The following cases are excepted from the aforementioned requirements: (1) when the owner has granted its consent for the transfer; (2)when the transfer is necessary for the execution or enforcement of a contract by the interested party; (3) in cases of bank or money or stock exchange transfers; and (4) in case of information whose transmission is required by law or in compliance with international treaties ratified by Panama.
It establishes the obligation to develop procedures, protocols and processes for the management and transfer of data that includes the appropriate security methods.
Consent of the owner of personal data:
It is established that the processing of personal data can only take place as permitted in this Law, or with the consent of the owner of the data.
Definition of sensitive data:
Sensitive data refers to the private sphere of its owner or whose misuse could give rise to discrimination or entail a serious risk for him/her– for example, of racial origin, religious beliefs, union affiliation, political opinions, data related to the health, life, preference or sexual orientation, genetic data or biometric data, among others aimed at uniquely identifying a natural person.
Sensitive data can not be transferred except: (i) by explicit consent of the owner; (ii) when necessary to safeguard the owner’s life; (iii) when it is necessary for the recognition, exercise or defense of a right in a judicial proceeding; and (iv) when it has a historical, statistical or scientific purpose.
Rights of Access, Rectification, Cancellation, Opposition and Portability:
The rights of owners of personal data to exercise over those responsible for database processing are: (i) Access (to obtain the data and know the purpose and origin for which they were collected), (ii) Rectification (to access and request correction, modification or update), (iii) Cancellation (to request deletion of data), (iv) Opposition (refusal to provide or revoke its consent) and (v) Portability (right to obtain a copy of all personal data in a structure matter in certain circumstances).
The database custodians that transfer personal data stored in a database to third parties must keep a record of them, which must be available to ANTAI, if requested to do so.
Personal Data Protection Council:
The Personal Data Protection Council is created, which has the following functions: to advise ANTAI in relation to the Law, recommend public policies, evaluate cases submitted for consultations and develop internal regulations and it is composed by:
- the Minister of the Ministry of Commerce and Industries;
- the General Administrator of the Authority for the Protection of Consumers and the Defense of Competition (ACODECO);
- the General Director of ANTAI;
- the Ombudsman, or its nominee;
- a representative of the National Council of Private Enterprises (CONEP);
- a representative of the National Bar Association;
- a representative of the Panama Banking Association;
- a representative of Electoral Tribunal; and
- a representative of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture.
The National Government Innovation Authority will have the right to address the council as a technical advisor.
Duty to compensate for pecuniary and/or moral damages caused by the unlawful handling of personal data.
National Authority for Transparency and Access to Information (“ANTAI”):
Right to appeal against ANTAI in case of claims to any database storage operator to resolve differences in the exercise of the aforementioned rights. The competent body for the fulfillment of the obligations of this Law is ANTAI except in the case of estities regulated by special laws, in which case the claimant must first submit its claim to the competent regulatory authority. The ANTAI, through the Directorate established to consider the matter, is granted the powers to impose sanctions. The decision of the Directorate in the ANTAI established to consider these proceedings may be challenged through a reconsideration appeal. A subsequent appeal may be filed with the Director General of ANTAI.
The sanctions may be between US$1,000 and US$10,000, depending on the severity and recurrence and may be a written warning, citation before the ANTAI, fine, closure of the database registration or suspension and disqualification of the storage activity and/or treatment of personal data. There are minor infractions (for example: not sending the information required by ANTAI), serious infractions (for example: processing data without the owner’s consent) and very serious infractions (for example: the collection of personal data in a malicious way).
This law will take effect two (2) years after its promulgation.