Panama, March 27, 2018. For the fifth consecutive year, Morgan & Morgan has received the “Leading Lights” recognition in Latin America for the Pro Bono program that the firm executes with the invaluable support of its team of lawyers.
This distinction was granted by the British publication Latin Lawyer, who together with the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice conducted an annual survey with regards to institutionalization of the practice, high standards in this area and active participation of the lawyers. Only 3 Panamanian firms managed to achieve this recognition, sharing honors with others of very high caliber across the region.
“Since we institutionalized the Pro Bono program in 2011, we have allocated more than 6,500 hours of free legal service to projects and programs for the welfare of Panamanian society. An average of 55 lawyers from Morgan & Morgan actively participate, who have donated not only their knowledge but also their free time making available their experience in drafting bills, providing advice through Legal Education Workshops and offering legal services to different NGOs”, said Camila De Vengoechea, coordinator of the program within the firm.
With this achievement, Morgan & Morgan reconfirms its commitment to promote access to justice through programs that allow us to build a society with greater equity and social justice.
More on the Pro Bono program
In 2011, Morgan & Morgan became the first Panamanian company to sign the Pro Bono Declaration for the Americas, committing to work a plural number of pro bono hours per year. The declaration is an initiative promoted by The Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice, based in New York, United States.
Among the bills of social nature that the firm has supported are the following: the Law on Volunteering in the Republic of Panama, the Law that creates the Food Bank of Panama and the Law that creates the Central Blood Bank (Hemocentro Nacional). Morgan & Morgan also participated in the creation of the Panama Chamber of Recycling.
By means of the Executive Decree No. 114, as of April 4th, 2018, foreigners of nationalities that require a visa to enter the Republic of Panama may enter with a Schengen Visa or current European Union Residence.
- By means of the Executive Decree No. 114 of April 4th, 2018, any foreigner who requires a visa to enter the national territory, holding a Schengen Visa or valid residence in the European Union, may enter Panama, as a tourist, without an entry visa.
- The Schengen Visa must: (i) be granted for multiple entries and exits; (ii) be used at least once to enter the territory of the granting State; and (iii) have a validity of at least one (1) year.
- The Executive Decree became effective as of April 4th, 2018.
Aspects to be considered:
- This Decree complements the list of exceptions for foreigners that require an authorized or stamped visa, who by holding a Schengen Visa or visas issued by the United States of America, Canada, Australia or the United Kingdom, won’t need to apply for entry visas to the Republic of Panama.
By means of this Decree, the Schengen Visa is reincluded, after being eliminated by Executive Decree No. 591 of December 28, 2016, published in the Official Gazette as of January 2017.
By means of the Executive Decree No. 113 of April 4th, 2018, the Republic of India is included within the countries that require Stamped Visa issued by Panamanian Consulate, to enter the national territory.
- This Executive Decree only applies to nationals of the Republic of India.
- Officials from the National Immigration Authority and the National Security Council will be appointed at the Panamanian Consulates in India to verify the immigration requirements and the security backgrounds of each applicant.
- The cost of the Stamped Visa may not exceed Fifty Dollars (US$50.00).
- Stamped Visas can be granted for multiple entries and exits, and up to three (3) years, according to the verification criteria of the designated officials.
- This Decree will become effective as of June 1st, 2018.
Aspects to be considered:
Nationals of the Republic of India:
- Will not require a Tourist Visa (authorized) nor Certification to file residence (VTR) before the National Immigration Authority, which will considerably reduce the requirements and time to obtain immigration processes in Panama.
Holding a Visa duly issued by the United States of America, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom or a Schengen Visa, (i) granted for multiple entries and exits; (ii) that has been used at least once to enter the territory of the granting State; and (iii) with a validity of at least one (1) year, may enter the national territory without the requirement of a Stamped Visa (Executive Decree No. 591 of December 28th, 2016 and Executive Decree No. 114 of April 4th, 2018).
As of April 1st, the travel permits for minors must be done only digitally.
- The interested party must access the website of the National Immigration Authority (migracion.gob.pa), then go to the section “Online Immigration” – option “Requests” and thus access to “Minors Permits”.
- Attach the following documents in PDF:
- Copy of Passport (Residents) or Panamanian cédula of the Minor (Panamanians); and,
- Copy of Passport (Residents) or Panamanian cédula of both parents (Panamanians).
- Once the online application is completed, the interested party must carry the printed authorization letter to any of the Notaries nationwide, where they will verify the data and register a digital copy of this process in the electronic platform.
- It is also recommended to carry the original documents to the Airport, since the National Immigration Authority may request them for verification.
- In the event that the two (2) parents travel with the child, they will only require their passports, Panamanian cédula of the minor (Panamanians) or Birth Certificate (Residents).
The Government of the Republic of Panama, through Executive Decree No. 40 of Tuesday, March 20, 2018, orders the closure of public and municipal offices, nationwide, on Thursday, March 29, 2018 (Holy Thursday) at twelve (12) noon on the occasion of Holy Week.
- Terms on administrative procedures are suspended on March 29.
- Banking institutions will be governed by their own parameters.
To whom does this not apply?
It does not apply to the following public offices: Institute of Aqueducts and Sewage Systems (IDAAN), health institutions (both Social Security Offices and the Ministry of Health), postal services, the Fire Department, National Civil Protection System, Transit and Land Transport Authority, Panama Metro, National Service of Migration and the Security Forces. The Panama Canal Authority is also excepted.
Offices of the Judicial Branch
By means of Agreement No. 166 of March 20, 2018, the Court of Justice has decreed the closing of Courts and other Offices of the Judicial Branch throughout the Republic of Panama on Thursday, March 29, 2018, with the consequent suspension of judicial terms during the aforementioned day. Courts will resume activities on Monday, April 2, 2018.
For the second consecutive year, Morgan & Morgan was recognized as a leading firm-Band #1 in the second edition of Chambers & Partners High Net Worth Guide – Private Wealth Law section, 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. The editorial also highlighted the work of MMG Trust (Panama) S.A., a company of the Morgan & Morgan Group that provides trust services.
“I really appreciate the fantastic support they offer in setting up structures for family planning. They’re very efficient, they’re knowledgeable and give the support that we have needed, and I really appreciate the sense of co-operation that they give to us”, a client says to Chambers.
Furthermore, partner Roberto Lewis received a special distinction as a “notable practitioner” with his experience focusing on wealth preservation and distribution matters including trust creation and administration, corporate vehicles and foundations.
This recognition sets a remarkably high precedent, and marks an internationally-recognised achievement of excellence in promoting professional ethics as well as the soundness business practices both locally and internationally.
The complete guide is available here.
Panama, March 15, 2018. Morgan & Morgan is pleased to announce the promotion of attorney Fernando Boyd to the partnership of the firm.
Fernando Boyd works in the Estate Planning and Corporate Services Department. Mr. Boyd concentrates his practice in business and corporate law, estate planning, private interest foundations, and company formation and management. He has over 15 years of background advising local and international corporations in complex matters such as group restructurings, asset protection and management and private equity investments. His client portfolio includes well-known private companies, banking and financial entities, offshore practitioners, family businesses and individual clients. Mr. Boyd holds a LL.B. in the School of Law of the Universidad Catolica Santa María La Antigua in Panama; and a Master of Laws from the School of Law of the Tulane University in U.S.A.
This promotion comes to strengthen the usual personalized and skilled services provided by Morgan & Morgan and reaffirms our position as Panama´s leading firm.
About Morgan & Morgan
Morgan & Morgan is a full service Panamanian law firm, regularly assisting local and foreign corporations from different industries, as well as recognized financial institutions, government agencies and individual clients. The firm is a member of the Morgan & Morgan Group, an extensive network of legal, fiduciary and financial services with operations in America, Asia and Europe.
Resolution of the Ministry of Labor establishes the requirements for the affiliation of foreigners in the Department of Labor Immigration
- Pursuant to Executive Decree No. 76 of December 26, 2017 and Resolution No. DM-064-2018 of February 8, 2018, published on February 20th in the Official Gazette, the Ministry of Labor will require the affiliation of foreigners in the Department of Labor Immigration.
- This affiliation will consist of (i) a scan of the fingerprints through a biometrics system; (ii) passport registration; and, (iii) a photograph.
- The following documents will be required:
- Original passport.
- Copy of Immigration Status.
- Original Immigration ID card.
- Power of Attorney and Work Permit Petition.
- According to a Statement of the Ministry of Labor, this affiliation will begin to apply as of March 6th.
To whom does it apply?
- Applicants of a work permit – first time or renewal. These applicants must personally assist to the Labor Immigration Department of the Ministry of Labor to carry out the affiliation, prior to filing their petition.
- Applicants of a work permit that is in process. These applicants must carry out the affiliation at the time the photograph of the work permit ID card is taken, for which they will have to carry their original valid passport.
Morgan & Morgan is pleased to announce the promotion of attorney Ricardo Arias to the partnership of the firm.
Ricardo Arias works in the Corporate Law Department of the firm. Mr. Arias holds over ten years of experience advising capital markets transactions. He has represented local and foreign lenders as well as local and foreign developer/borrowers in secured and unsecured financings and project financings. Mr. Arias has been advisor to foreign and local clients on securities placement in Panama and cross-border transactions. He also specializes on setting up investment companies, including Real Estate Investment Funds (REITs). Mr. Arias is also involved in pro bono activities at the firm serving as counsellor of the National Disability Secretariat (Senadis), an autonomous governmental entity that conducts the policies for the social inclusion of the disabled.
This promotion comes to strengthen the usual personalized and skilled services provided by Morgan & Morgan and reaffirms our position as Panama´s leading firm
Executive Decree no. 83 of Wednesday, December 27, 2017 has been issued to regulate the Law on Paternity Leave, No. 27 of May 23, 2017, applicable to employees of the private sector and public servants.
Maria Teresa Mendoza, expert in labor law and partner of Morgan & Morgan summarizes below the most relevant aspects of the new regulation:
License term and how it applies
- Paternity leave has a term of three (3) working days.
- Said three working days will be computed from the birth of the child, being at the discretion of the employee or public servant to choose using them at a later time.
- In those cases where the employee or public servant is on vacation, hospitalized or incapacitated when the child is born, he is obliged to notify the birth to his employer so, upon expiration of the condition stated, the three (3) working days are computed under the concept of paternity leave.
- For computation of this leave, working days are understood as follows:
- From Monday to Friday for the private sector and public entities.
- From Monday to Sunday for public companies or entities working 7 days a week, being understood as non-working day the day of weekly rest of the employee and the compensation day of the employee or public servant for having worked on a Sunday or day of rest.
- Holidays or national days of mourning stated in the Labor Code or decreed by the Executive Organ shall be deemed non-working days and computation of the paternity leave will start on the following working day.
- The employee or public servant will declare in his work contract or personal and dependents form, the name of his wife or partner.
- On returning to work, the employee and public servant shall deliver to his employer or institution where he works, the birth certificate issued by the National Bureau of the Civil Registry of the Electoral Court that certifies him as father of the child.
- When there is a difference between Collective Bargaining Agreements, Internal Labor Rules, collective agreements and paternity leave rights under the Law, the rule or condition most favorable to the employee will apply.
- Days granted as leave shall be construed as time effectively worked for computation of the salary, rights acquired and further labor benefits.
- Paternity leaves are granted only once a year.
- The paternity leave is one single period of three days even in case of multiple birth.