Wednesday, December 23, 2015

When An Employee Discloses Confidential Information or Makes False Disparaging Remarks About An Employer

This article provides a brief summary as to the basis upon which an employer can terminate an employee’s service in the event the employee commits a breach of confidentiality or makes disparaging remarks about the employer.

In short, and perhaps unsurprisingly, an employer can fire an employee for disclosing confidential
information or for making disparaging remarks about the employer in public.

In a recent Omani Court case, an employer had been notified by a third party about one of its employees who was heard making disparaging remarks about the company in a public place. Moreover, the third party also stated that they had overheard the employee misuse confidential information.


Friday, December 18, 2015

Terminating An Employment Contract For Gross Misconduct: An Employer's Practical Guide

Whilst Omani Courts are generally inclined to be highly protective of employees, a recent Appeal Court decision has re-affirmed the long-recognized position that an employer can terminate the employment of an employee who has committed acts considered by the Omani Labor Law to be acts of gross misconduct without having to pay damages (indeed, the Omani Labor Law provides that in the specified cases the company need not provide notice or pay end-of-service gratuity either). An act of gross misconduct can include, for example, using a false identity, intoxication or assault at the workplace, or continued absenteeism.

Pursuant to Article 40(9) of Royal Decree 35/2003 (as amended) (the “Labour Law”), an Employer is authorized to dismiss an Employee without prior notice should that Employee “commit a major violation of his duty agreed upon in his employment contract.” The law does not define what constitutes a “major violation” and Omani Courts have interpreted the definition in a wide manner.


Monday, December 14, 2015

Importation Of Food Into Oman – What You Need To Know

In order to avoid potential problems in the clearance of your merchandise, understanding Omani customs laws is very important. This article sets out the rules and regulations that are relevant for an importer of food products.

Importation of food products into Oman is governed by the Uniform Customs Law (“UCL”) of the Arab Gulf Cooperation Council (“AGCC”) issued by Sultani Decree No. 67 of 2003.

Oman has signed a free trade agreement with the United States and, therefore, imports of nearly all U.S. products are duty-free, provided the products are for consumption in Oman. The UCL imposes a five percent ad valorem duty on almost all products imported from non-GCC countries. However, live animals, fresh fruits and vegetables, seafood, grains, flours, tea, sugar, spices and seeds for planting are exempt from customs duty. Tobacco, pork, and alcohol products are assessed at 100% customs duty.

When a shipment reaches Oman, the importer on record (i.e., the owner, purchaser, or licensed customs broker designated by the owner, purchaser, or consignee) will file entry documents for the goods with the Directorate General of Customs (“Directorate”). Documents that are required to be submitted to the Directorate include:


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

What Does The EU's Proposed "Investment Court System" Mean For The Rest Of The World?

On 12 November 2015, the European Commission transmitted its proposal for an Investment Court System (“ICS”) that would replace the investor-State dispute settlement (“ISDS”) mechanisms in its future trade and investment agreements, starting with the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (“TTIP”) agreement being negotiated with the United States. Although the ICS proposal may, for now, be a matter between the EU and US, it constitutes a major reform initiative that should be of interest to other States and their investors.

What is the European Commission Proposing?

The current ISDS system provides for foreign investors to submit disputes concerning the host States’ treatment of their investments for resolution by international arbitration tribunals. These tribunals are established on an ad hoc basis, typically with each side appointing one arbitrator and the presiding arbitrator appointed by agreement or by an independent institution, such as the International Court of Justice. The decisions of the tribunals are binding, and are generally subject to very limited and decentralized appellate review.


Friday, December 4, 2015

Welcome to Dominic Pilkington

We are pleased to announce that Dominic Pilkington has joined the Litigation Team as Counsel.

Mr. Pilkington has over 20 years’ experience in building and construction law, construction disputes, arbitration, mediation and adjudication. Further, prior to becoming a qualified lawyer, Mr. Pilkington was a qualified civil and structural engineer.

Mr. Pilkington has worked extensively in both Australia and Dubai, advising and assisting major developers, contractors, and energy and resources companies in relation to various major construction and infrastructure projects, particularly in relation to disputes that have arisen during the course of such projects.