3rd September 2019
One of ISLP’s key focus areas is how developing countries can maximise revenue generation from their natural resources; tax treaties can have a significant impact on what can be realised so it is essential that they are entered into after careful consideration. ISLP-UK has been working alongside, and providing pro bono assistance to, long term partner the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals and Sustainable Development (IGF). IGF supports more than 60 member nations in their commitments to leverage mining for sustainable development. The current project is a joint project whereby ISLP and IGF are preparing a practice paper which will provide developing governments with knowledge, tools and evidence to support good governance decision making regarding tax treaties and their impact on developing country mining sectors.
One of the stages of this research was carried out by Herbert Smith Freehills’ (HSF) Belfast office summer interns that are all law students. Gabrielle Beran, ISLP’s Program Officer for Tax Reform and Anti-Bribery and Corruption, worked with our newest volunteers over 8 weeks – she is pictured here (back row, third from right) – meeting the team alongside HSF Associate, Pro Bono Andrew Barton to explain the project and meet the Belfast team which was led by Clive Hunter and Catherine Muir. The interns spent over 400 hours researching and analyzing information on foreign direct investment, tax treaties and their effects on investment across a range of developing, resource-rich countries.
Their work will join two other pieces of ISLP research and analysis for the practice paper: from Kirkland and Ellis, where partner David Irvine and his team conducted extensive research into innovative provisions in tax treaties worldwide; and from Professor Stephen Shay of Ropes and Gray and Dr Zach Pouga of Gide who have analysed the effect of concession agreements on varying the terms of tax treaties for investors.
The results will be presented by Gabrielle Beran and our IGF client lead, Alexandra Readhead, at the Technical Advisory Panel of the IGF Annual General Meeting in Geneva in October 2019 before representatives from 74 governments.