How much do I need to know about the laws of jurisdictions other than my own? Enough – for a start anyway – to enable me to ask the right questions. Or, to put it another way, as much as an assiduous speaker can shoe-horn into a 40-minute talk – one we have come to call “A Fresh Look …”. The title was first used at the 1999 meeting in Interlaken, where Charles Haccius took A Fresh Look at Ireland and Randi Bach Poulsen at Scandinavia. Later that year, in Hong Kong, David Chong looked freshly at Singapore and Frederik van Tuyll at Malaysia.
We returned to the topic in 2005, when Erich Baier addressed the Cap Ferrat workshop on Austria. But it was not until five years ago that the Fresh Look established itself as a regular topic, beginning with Francis Hoogewerf’s Look at Luxembourg and the Look at Guernsey by Nigel Goodeve-Docker and Michael Betley in Monte-Carlo in 2007. Then came Looks at Netherlands by Leo Neve and Hungary by Gabor Szabo (Vienna 2007), at Malta by Chris Curmi (Barcelona 2008), at Iceland by Vala Valtysdottir (London 2008), at India by Roy Rohatgi (Monte-Carlo 2009), at Belgium by Werner Heyvaert (Geneva 2010), at the EU “Hub” Countries by Francis Hoogewerf (Venice 2010), at the Isle of Man by Miles Benham (Amsterdam 2010), at Monte-Carlo by Derek Smith (Montreux 2011) and at Austria by Erich Baier (Luxembourg 2011).
When the day comes that one feels a need to know more about a jurisdiction than one does, a read of the relevant Summary may be a good start. This may point to a read of the relevant part of the corresponding transcript in the Journal and perhaps to consult the text of some statute or tax treaty in the Portfolio of Laws. This is not to forget the more specialised studies of aspects of various jurisdictions – the EU aspect (Gibraltar in Madrid 2012), the investment fund aspect (Luxembourg 2011), the cosmetic aspect (Cannes 2012). As for discovering more, well, the website has a search engine, and the Green Book has contact details of members, listed according to their special subjects …