Individuals and assets covered by SOFAs between the United States and other countries include members of the United States Armed Forces and, in certain circumstances, private contractor personnel working on behalf of the United States government. In addition, SOFAs are often limited to behaviour when staff are “on duty.” However, since the SOFA is a peace agreement, they do not address the rules of war, the laws of armed conflict or the laws of the sea. In the event of armed conflict, the conditions of a SOFA become unavoidable. Because SOFAs can be complicated and difficult to navigate, this holland-Knight warning provides a list of the top 10 thoughts that entrepreneurs must follow when providing services abroad in a country covered by a SOFA. The full effect of SOFA will not be known for some time after it comes into force. Nevertheless, it is clear that this will significantly change the landscape of private contractors operating in Iraq. At the very least, this should, for the foreseeable future, create considerable legal and commercial challenges for private contractors operating in Iraq. Gibson Dunn – Crutcher has lawyers in his white-collar defense and government cabinet contracts with experience boots on the ground in Iraq to restore the Iraqi justice system. These lawyers collaborated with the Iraqi Ministry of Defence, participated in trials before the International Criminal Court and collaborated with Iraq`s police, lawyers and judges at the regional and local level. Yes and no. In general, military contractors will not pay foreign taxes on sites with SOFA agreements – but they are still responsible for U.S. taxes. Moreover, where a SOFA agreement prevents a military contractor from building foreign tax housing, it cannot be excluded from foreign income tax.
Although SOFA`s main objective is to establish a legal basis for the continuation of US military operations in Iraq beyond 31 December 2008, when the UN mandate ends, this agreement will have significant consequences for private contractors operating in Iraq. Since today, non-Iraqis, who work as private contractors in Iraq, are largely immune to Iraqi law. Under the new SOFA, which will come into effect on January 1, 2009, all contractors operating in Iraq, including those working for the United States, will lose this immunity. They will be subject to Iraqi criminal and civil law, as well as Iraqi judicial proceedings. The underlying source of authority for a SOFA is not always the same. SOFs can be based on previous contracts, convention agreements, executive agreements or even, in some cases, a lease agreement.