White & Case Advises Copeba on Its Acquisition of Ned Stevens

Global law firm White & Case LLP has advised Cobepa SA, a leading Belgium-based independent private equity investor, on its acquisition of Ned Stevens, one of the leading gutter cleaning and home maintenance service providers in the United States, from AVALT.

Ned Stevens, which operates in 15 states and services more than 140,000 customers, provides gutter cleaning and other exterior residential services such as dryer vent cleaning, power washing, and window cleaning. The new investment will provide Ned Stevens with significant resources to continue its rapid growth.

The White & Case team was led by M&A partners Thierry Bosly (Brussels), Luke Laumann (New York) and Morgan Hollins (Houston), and included M&A partners Arnaud Cagi-Nicolau and Thomas Glauden (both in Luxembourg), associates Ty Akkoyun, Cristen Callan, Shirley Zhang (all in New York), Yasin Khan (Houston), Olivier Poinsignon and Morgane Bieber (both in Luxembourg); Antitrust partner Rebecca Farrington (Washington, DC) and associates Naari Ha (Washington, DC) and Cassandra Calderon (New York); White Collar/Investigations partner Eric Grannon (Washington, DC); Employment, Compensation & Benefits partner Tal Marnin (New York), counsel Aaron Feuer (New York) and associate Tyrone Crawford (Washington, DC); Real Estate partner Steven Lutt and associate Christian Berger (both in New York); Environmental & Climate Change partner Seth Kerschner (New York); Technology Transactions partner Arlene Arin Hahn and associates Jarrah Al-Buainain and Andie Reyes (all in New York); Data, Privacy & Cybersecurity partner F. Paul Pittman (Washington, DC) and associate Shira Shamir (New York); Tax partners David Dreier (New York) and Christophe Goossens (Luxembourg) and associate Grayson Weeks (New York); Foreign Direct Investment partners Farhad Jalinous and Karalyn Mildorf, and associate Tim Sensenig (all in Washington, DC); Debt Finance partner Justin Wagstaff, and associates Shana White and Arthur Nahas (all in New York); and Derivatives partner Ian Cuillerier (New York). Law clerks Elizabeth Mitreski and Thomas Boulger assisted on the matter.

When to Hire a Legal Marketing Consultant for Your Firm

Marketing your law firm is a critical part of running a successful business. The legal marketing landscape is highly saturated, competitive, and constantly changing. So it can be difficult for law firms to keep up with the latest market trends and employ effective marketing strategies to stay competitive. A legal marketing consultant can provide your firm with the guidance you need to create and implement an effective marketing strategy to enhance your online visibility, grow your leads, and increase your marketing return on investment.

The Importance of Legal Marketing to Stay Competitive

You need to find a way to differentiate your firm from your competitors because, right now, potential clients have many options. Legal marketing must be strategic, targeted, and tailored to the firm’s target clients’ needs. With the right legal marketing strategy, firms can build a strong reputation, generate new business, and position themselves as leaders in their field.

What is Legal Marketing?

Legal marketing aims to educate and empower the public about legal issues and promote legal services. Legal marketing is a broad term that encompasses various activities, including social media, advertising, content marketing, and search engine optimization (SEO).

Law firms will run Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns, advertise on social media, or promote their business listing on directories like FindLaw or Avvo. They may focus on improving their website’s SEO to attract more leads from online searches. Firms can use social media platforms like Meta (f.k.a, Facebook), Twitter, and LinkedIn to share news and updates about their practice and engage with their followers.

There are many different marketing channels that firms can use to promote their legal services, but the most common channels include the following:

  • Social Media: Connect with potential and existing clients, and build your network.
  • Advertising: Reach a large number of people quickly through paid advertising online.
  • Content Marketing: Attract new clients, build awareness, and showcase your thought leadership via blog posts, articles, and eBooks.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Local SEO is a process that helps firms rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).
  • Email Marketing: Nurture potential and old clients by emailing helpful information.

Why is Marketing Your Law Firm Important?

In today’s increasingly competitive legal marketplace, having a well-planned marketing strategy is essential for law firms of all sizes. By creating a solid brand and raising visibility, legal marketing can help firms to attract new clients and build name recognition. Legal marketing can also support overall profitability by generating leads and assisting firms in maximizing their investment return. In short, legal marketing plays a vital role in the success of any law firm.

What is a Legal Marketing Consultant?

A marketing consultant helps law firms develop and implement marketing strategies. This can involve developing law firm marketing efforts to create branding materials. In addition, these consultants often have a deep understanding of the legal industry and can provide valuable insights into how to appeal to potential clients. As a result, they can play an essential role in helping law firms grow their business.

How a Marketing Consultant Can Support Your Law Firm

A legal marketing consultant can be a valuable asset to any law firm by providing marketing support without adding additional staff and attracting new clients by increasing visibility for the firm. As a result, a marketer can play an essential role in supporting and improving the operation of a law firm.

From your law firm’s website design and management, and search engine optimization, to social media marketing — a legal marketing consultant can support your firm in building a reputable brand. By outsourcing some of the non-legal work, a law firm can focus on its core competencies and improve its overall productivity.

Legal marketing consultants can work with you to identify your target market, assess your competition, and develop a plan to reach and engage your target audience. They can also guide branding, website development, social media, and other marketing initiatives. In addition, the consultant can help you track and measure your marketing efforts to ensure that they are effective and produce positive results.

Does My Law Firm Need a Marketing Consultant?

If you’re not actively working on your firm’s marketing efforts and tracking the progress, then you may need a legal marketing consultant to set your firm on the right track. Marketing is wasted spend if you don’t track your marketing efforts.

One key indicator you need to bring in a marketing expert is if your firm has experienced a decline in new client intakes. If your firm struggles to generate new leads, you must quickly identify the root cause of your decline in new clients and devise a plan to turn things around.

Another sign that your firm may need help is if you’ve noticed a lack of online visibility. Maybe your website isn’t driving as many leads, or your advertising campaign doesn’t seem to be working. A marketing advisor can audit the law firm’s website and identify areas where it can be improved. They will also be able to develop an effective digital marketing strategy to help increase your online visibility.

How to Tell When You Need a Marketing Consultant

Law firms face a unique set of challenges when it comes to marketing. They must be able to differentiate their law firm brand from competitors and reach prospective clients while adhering to strict ethical guidelines.

Consider your current marketing efforts. If you are not seeing results or meeting your growth goal, it may be time to bring in some outside help. How saturated is your local market? If they are actively marketing their services and winning new business, you’ll likely need to do the same to stay competitive. Working with a marketing advisor can be an excellent way to take your law firm to the next level without hiring more staff or stretching bandwidth. You can keep your costs down while gaining more business.

How to Hire a Marketing Consultant

By reviewing past marketing data, creating a needs assessment, and carefully selecting a marketing consultant, law firms can set themselves up for success. With the right consultant in place, firms can see a significant return on their investment.

Review Past Marketing Spend and ROI

Before making decisions about your marketing budget, review your past marketing spend and ROI for trends and patterns. This will give you a good sense of what has worked well in the past and where you might need to make some adjustments.

If you’re not analyzing your efforts against your business development goals, you won’t know if you’re on track to meet them. Adjustments may need to be made to ensure success. The analysis will reveal the most successful channels, allowing you to allocate spending more effectively in the future. Failing to analyze your campaign could mean wasting time and money on channels that aren’t producing results.

Conducting a Needs Assessment

After reviewing the data, you should create a needs assessment to determine your law firm’s needs. A needs assessment is a systematic process for determining unmet needs and developing plans to address them. This assessment should consider the firm’s current marketing efforts, desired outcomes, and marketing budget. Needs assessments are vital for service providers, as they help ensure that resources are allocated to benefit those who need them the most.

Where Can I Find a Good Law Firm Marketing Consultant?

Law firms should consider experience, creativity, and availability when vetting potential consultants. Finding someone who is a good fit for the firm’s culture and shares the same values is also important. Search for legal marketing consultants online, check with the legal marketing association, or ask colleagues for recommendations.

Once you have a few options, you can conduct free consultations with different agencies or consultants to see their recommendations, pricing, and how they partner with clients.

Characteristics of an Excellent Legal Marketing Consultant

When searching for a legal marketing consultant, law firms should consider working with someone who is niched and specializes in legal services. This will ensure that the consultant understands the unique challenges and opportunities of marketing a law firm.

The consultant should also be aware of the latest trends in legal marketing and be able to provide tailored advice to all of your practice areas.

Law firms should avoid working with consultants who also work with their competitors. This could lead to conflicts of interest, and the consultant may not be able to provide unbiased advice.

A flexible contract should be a key consideration, as it will allow you to adapt your marketing strategy as needed. This flexibility is crucial in the ever-changing world of digital marketing. A flexible contract will give you peace of mind knowing that you can make changes as your business evolves.

One of the most important is the ability to use your website rather than a proprietary platform. Be wary of marketers who want you to migrate your website to a proprietary platform, and ask questions about what happens to your website when/if you cancel your contract.

A good marketing consultant will deeply understand SEO and how to maximize your law firm’s website. They will be able to work with your website to create a unique online presence that will set you apart from your competitors.

Nina Lee authored this article.

Probate & Fiduciary Litigation Newsletter – October 2022

Power of Attorney Did Not Provide Authority to Create a Trust on Behalf of the Elder Who Granted the Power of Attorney

Barbetti v. Stempniewicz, 490 Mass. 98 (Sup. Jud. Ct. June 28, 2022)

Does a power of attorney (“POA”), notwithstanding a broad delegation of authority to its holder, provide authority to the holder to create a trust to hold the assets of the elderly relative who granted the POA? In Barbetti v. Stempniewicz, 490 Mass. 98 (Sup. Jud. Ct. June 28, 2022), the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court answered that question in the negative, setting a precedent important for those drafting or using POAs as part of elder planning.

In 2013, when Lubov Stempniewicz (“Lubov”) was 91 years old, she executed a POA delegating broad powers of financial management to her son Edward. Lubov was not represented by an attorney in connection with her execution of the POA. In 2017, Edward created a trust (the “Lubov Trust”), providing for Lubov’s financial support during her lifetime but, upon her death, disposing of the assets in the trust in a manner favorable to Edward and his two children, but unfavorable to Lubov’s other two grandchildren, Regan and Ryan. After Lubov died in 2018, Regan and Ryan brought proceedings in Superior Court challenging (among other things) Edward’s authority under the POA to create the Lubov Trust. The Superior Court granted summary judgment declaring the Lubov Trust to be invalid.

The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, finding the Lubov Trust to be void ab initio because Edward lacked the authority under the POA to create the trust. Noting that “[t]his court never has determined whether the power of a settlor to create a trust is delegable, either at common law or under the Massachusetts Uniform Trust Code (MUTC),” the court performed a detailed review of the law and concluded that the MUTC itself does not authorize creation of a trust pursuant to a POA. While noting that some other states’ laws do expressly authorize this, the court found that “our review of the statutes and case law of other States reveals an underlying principle: where the power to create a trust is delegable, either pursuant to a statute or judicial opinion, it is only so where there is an express grant of the power to create a trust in the power of attorney” (emphasis in original). Finding no such express grant in the Lubov POA, the court affirmed the finding that the Lubov Trust was void because Edward lacked authority to create it.

The court stopped short of creating a bright-line rule for future cases, however; and deferred to the Legislature for a rule on the delegability of authority to create a trust. “[W]hile we acknowledge the critical importance of powers of attorney in the area of elder life planning, we likewise acknowledge that, given the broad powers they may confer on an agent, they may be used as tools of abuse against the very people they are intended to assist. …Therefore, we conclude that, at this time, the more prudent path is to allow the Legislature the opportunity to decide whether and how to allow delegation of the power to create a trust.”

Takeaway: At this time, the prudent approach appears to be for the holder of a POA to avoid creating a trust lest it been deemed void as in Barbetti. However, if this is to be done, the POA should expressly grant the power to create a trust on behalf of the grantor.

Merely Adding Caregiver to Bank Accounts Held Insufficient to Establish Donative Intent of Decedent

Petition of Fischer, 76 Misc.3d 1208(A) (Sur. Queens September 1, 2022)

Was it sufficient to show donative intent of a decedent to show that she had added her caregiver as a party to the decedent’s bank accounts? In Petition of Fischer, 76 Misc.3d 1208(A) (Sur. Queens September 1, 2022), the Surrogate’s Court in Queens County, New York, answered that question in the negative, and ordered funds withdrawn from the accounts by the caregiver to be returned to the decedent’s estate.

Respondent was the caregiver for the decedent, “an elderly woman, wholly reliant upon the respondent for her activities of daily living, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.” Two years before decedent’s death, respondent brought decedent to the local branch of her bank for the purpose of “adding” respondent to decedent’s bank accounts. When the local branch declined to do this, respondent brought decedent to another branch of the bank, which complied with the request. Once “added” to the account, respondent transferred $246,681 to a new joint account at a different bank. At decedent’s death, there was $273,115 in that joint account, which respondent transferred to herself after decedent passed away.

The executor filed a petition requesting, among other things, an order that those funds be transferred to decedent’s estate. Respondent testified to decedent’s intent that “adding” respondent to the accounts was a gift for respondent’s devoted service as caregiver to decedent.  The court found this insufficient, noting that a caregiver in respondent’s position was in a “confidential relationship” with the decedent: “The relationship often serves as a double-edged sword in these scenarios. On the one hand, providing a plausible basis as to why the donor, grateful for assistance, would bestow her largess on her caregiver. On the other hand, reflecting a donor, weakened by the rigors of time, rendered peculiarly susceptible to manipulation and overreaching by the person upon whom she has come to desperately rely.” This relationship, the court found, created burdens to show not only that the transaction was “free from undue influence” but “the fairness and voluntariness of the transaction.” The court found respondent failed to meet these burdens, relying “solely o[n] self-serving claims concerning decedent’s wishes,” and ordered respondent to return the $273,115 to decedent’s estate.

TakeawayFischer is certainly a real-life cautionary tale suggesting that those with loved ones who depend on full-time caregivers be alert to any possibility that the caregiver is taking financial advantage of the elderly care recipient. Conversely, in a circumstance where the elderly person being cared for really does wish to make gifts, thought should be given to making some form of record of the giver’s capacity and donative intent.

A Reminder as to the Potential Importance of Signature Cards for Joint Accounts

Matter of Estate of Manchester, 172 N.Y.S.3d 918 (Sur. Erie Aug. 18, 2022)

Estate litigation sometimes brings up the question of whether funds in a joint bank account, following the death of one party to the account, are property of the estate or belong to the surviving party to the account. Under New York Banking Law § 675, where deposits are made in joint form, that is, so as to be “paid or delivered to either of [the account parties], or the survivor of them,” the making of deposits in that form “shall, in the absence of fraud or undue influence, be prima facie evidence … of the intention of both depositors” to create a joint tenancy and “to vest title … in such survivor.” The burden of proof in refuting such prima facie evidence “is upon the party or parties challenging the title of the survivor.” A pair of recent New York cases involving joint bank accounts illustrates the potential importance of bank signature cards in proof of joint tenancy.

In Matter of Estate of Manchester, 172 N.Y.S.3d 918 (Sur. Erie Aug. 18, 2022), the decedent’s wife and his daughter from a prior marriage disputed whether the wife “was a joint owner [of a joint bank account] with the right of survivorship, or whether her name had been placed on the account solely for convenience (which, if so, would make the account an asset of the estate).” The court noted Banking Law § 675 and reviewed the account signature card, which contained language providing for a right of survivorship. The court stated: “When an account has been established in accordance with the statute, and the “survivorship” language appears on the account’s signature card, a presumption arises that the parties intended to create a joint tenancy with rights of survivorship” (emphasis in original). Finding that the daughter had failed to rebut that presumption, the court ruled for the wife.

Conversely, in Petition of Fischer, 76 Misc.3d 1208(A) (Sur. Queens September 1, 2022) (discussed elsewhere in this month’s newsletter for other points of interest), in considering whether a caregiver for an elderly decedent who was “added” to a joint account might have rights of survivorship, the court stated: “Interestingly enough, neither petitioner nor respondent [the caregiver] submitted copies of the signature cards for the [joint bank] accounts. Accordingly, the presumption [under Banking Law § 675] cannot be applied.” This was one factor, among others, that led the court to rule against the caregiver.

Takeaway: In the event of a possible dispute as to the right of survivorship as to an account styled as a joint account, it can be important to obtain and review the bank account signature cards to see if they contain language providing for a right of survivorship. Failure to do so may result in losing the advantage of the presumption under Banking Law § 675.

Article By

Sarah Eberspacher
Charles R. Jacob III
Molly Quinn
Marshall D. Senterfitt
Mark E. Swirbalus
Goulston & Storrs
Publications

Ince to Divest Gibraltar Business, Germany and Singapore Arms Up for Restructure

In its latest attempt to stave off financial turmoil, Ince Gordon Dadds has agreed to sell its Gibraltar business to two employees for £700,000.

The firm has conditionally agreed to sell Ince Gibraltar Limited and Ince Consultancy Gibraltar to Peter Howitt, director of Ince Gibraltar, and Heather Adamson, head of fiduciary for Ince Gibraltar. The pair have already paid £300,000 upfront as a deposit, with the rest to follow in four equal quarterly payments, providing the sale is finalised.

According to the firm, Ince Gibraltar provided clients with ‘legal, fund administration and consultancy services with a focus on e-gaming, fintech and cryptocurrency’. In the most recent audited accounts for the Gibraltar arm, the year ending 31 March 2021, the business generated £1.7m in revenue and roughly £300,000 in profits.

Unaudited results for the year ending 31 March 2022 suggest modest growth, with turnover standing at £1.9m.

Donnie Brown, Ince Gordon Dadds’ newly-installed chief executive, said: ‘This proposed disposal is another step in focusing the group around its core legal business in the UK/EMEA and Asia. I look forward to working with the Gibraltar team to achieve a swift and orderly handover.’

Brown was appointed chief executive in July, replacing predecessor Adrian Biles, who guided Gordon Dadds through its float and buyout of Ince in 2018. In a September statement, Ince said Biles had been ‘removed as a director of the company with immediate effect, as a result of circumstances which may give rise to a conflict of interest between Adrian Biles and the company’.

Later that month, Ince announced it had settled claims with both Adrian Biles and former finance head John Biles. As per the settlement, all parties waived their claims against one another, and the duo paid £670,000 to the firm, while Ince paid £690,000 to both ‘relating to claims for loss of office, rent and other expenses’. It was announced that a further £15,000 would be paid to both ‘for loss of office and their interests in shares in the company’.

The Gibraltar news swiftly follows last week’s announcement that Ince was mulling an ‘accounting consolidation’ of parts of its Germany and Singapore businesses. In Germany, the firm said: ‘A plan is being developed to restructure our European business to align more specifically to our core legal business.’

In Singapore, Ince conceded that trading conditions have been ‘difficult’, in part due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As such, the firm said its former relationship firm in the region, Incisive Law LLC, which was merged into Ince in May 2020, ‘may also be deconsolidated in the group’s accounts as a result of having clarified its local regulatory position.’

Following a muted set of financial results earlier this year, Ince has been in financial distress. In August, the firm managed to raise £9.5m through selling shares in order to stave off what the firm termed ‘financial difficulties’.

Source: Tom.baker@legalease.co.uk

DLA Piper represents Centroid in its strategic investment in Concert Golf

DLA Piper represented Centroid Investment Partners (Centroid) in its strategic investment in Concert Golf Partners (Concert Golf), a boutique owner-operator of premier private golf and country clubs across the US.

Centroid, a Seoul-based private equity firm and the owner of TaylorMade Golf Company, joins Clearlake Capital Group, L.P. and management in the investment in Concert Golf. Clearlake Capital originally invested in Concert Golf in April 2022.

“It is always a pleasure to work with Centroid, and this transaction was a great opportunity to combine our deep industry knowledge and experience to support Centroid’s expansion efforts,” said Adam Ghander, the DLA Piper partner who led the deal team. “We look forward to continue supporting Centroid in its future growth.”

In addition to Ghander (Boston), the DLA Piper team representing Centroid included partners Peter Alfano (New York), Michael Bedke (Miami) and Ryan Starr (Boston), as well as associates Michael Jamieson and Julie Steven (both in Boston) and Scott Luftig (New York).

With more than 125 US lawyers who provide strategic counsel to private equity funds and their industry-leading portfolio companies, DLA Piper’s Private Equity practice has the capacity, experience and relationships to help drive value across the investment life cycle by delivering responsive, efficient and integrated solutions around the world.

With more than 1,000 corporate lawyers globally, DLA Piper helps clients execute complex transactions seamlessly while supporting clients across all stages of development. DLA Piper’s global investment funds team provides a dynamic, integrated service to sponsors, fund managers and institutional investors, supported by the firm’s international tax and regulatory networks. The team advises clients on the full spectrum of private investment funds, all major investment strategies and all stages of a private investment fund’s life cycle.

French Tax Law – Taxation of Management Packages and Intermediary Companies

In its decision dated 28 January 2022 (Conseil d’Etat, 28 January 2022, n° 433965), the French Conseil d’Etat has confirmed the evaluation grid and taxation of “management packages” as identified in its decisions of 13 July 2021 (CE, 13 July 2021 n° 428506, n°435452 and n° 437498).

The decision’s significance rests, in particular, in the reclassification of the capital gains from the sale of securities held by the intermediary of a company as wages. This decision is the logical follow up to the Hemery decision of 27 June 2019 (CE, 27 June 2019 n° 420262) and the Paris Administrative Court ruling of 5 January 2022 (TA de Paris, 5 January 2022 n° 2009524).

In both cases, at the time of sale, the management package securities were held by a société civile (which paid corporation tax in one case and personal income tax in the other). The reclassification of the capital gains as wages had been rejected, as the court did not decide to exclude the société civile for abuse of right, as fictitious, or having been created with the sole aim of tax avoidance. The court could therefore not uphold that a fraction of the capital gains realised should be considered as wages for the taxpayer’s paid employment.

Until the Conseil d’Etat’s current decision, doubt remained as to the efficiency of the implementation of a procedure for abuse of right, as the interposition of an intermediary company does not automatically favourably modify a taxpayer’s situation.

In the present case, the court showed that the company, incorporated in Belgium , had no economic substance and had been interposed solely for tax purposes eventhough the bare ownership of the securities in the company had been gifted to the taxpayer’s children.

Therefore, the interposition of a company cannot guarantee for a taxpayer that the capital gains’ will not be reclassified as wages if the court implements a procedure for abuse of right.

Furthermore, as regards the tax scheme applied to the revenues, circumstantial evidence provided by the legal documentation such as a buyback guarantee, leaver provisions in shareholder agreements, rate of return achievements, and strong ties with employment status have allowed the Conseil d’Etat to consider that the proceeds from the disposal of securities should be reclassified as wages.

Finally, as was the case with last July’s decisions, the Conseil d’Etat did not consider capital risk as an element that allows avoidance of reclassification as wages.

Please also read our newsletter of 10 September 2021, which dealt with the evaluation grid for earnings from Management Packages:
France’s Conseil d’Etat has clarified the evaluation grid for earnings from “management package” mechanisms in the form of share purchase warrants or share subscription or purchase options

New Perimeter Announces Maha Jweied as Advisory Board Co-chair

New Perimeter, DLA Piper’s nonprofit affiliate, is pleased to announce that Maha Jweied has assumed the role of co-chair of its Advisory Board, alongside Mark Ellis, executive director of the International Bar Association. New Perimeter provides long-term pro bono legal assistance in under-served regions around the world, and its Advisory Board is comprised of justice experts and thought leaders from the public and private sectors who provide guidance on New Perimeter’s initiatives.

 Jweied, who was previously a member of the Advisory Board, directs a consultancy working with a number of nonprofit and multilateral organizations. She leverages insight gained after nearly 12 years in the executive branch of the US government.

Previously, she served as acting director of the US Department of Justice’s Office for Access to Justice, the primary office in the executive branch supporting indigent defense and civil legal aid for low-income and underserved communities. In that role, she also served as the executive director of the White House Legal Aid Interagency Roundtable. While with the DOJ, Jweied represented the US government as its indigent defense and legal aid expert in bilateral settings and multilateral meetings and negotiations at the United Nations, the Organization of American States, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the Open Government Partnership and the International Legal Aid Group.

“Maha’s deep experience in the area of access to justice has been an invaluable asset to New Perimeter since she joined the Advisory Board in 2019,” said Sara Andrews and Claire Donse, New Perimeter co-directors. “We are delighted that Maha’s significant contributions will be amplified in her new role as Advisory Board co-chair, and we look forward to working closely with her and to benefitting from her leadership.”

“I’m honored to serve in this role with Mark and join Sara, Claire and the dynamic group of board members to advance New Perimeter’s innovative model for tapping private sector talent and resources to support access to justice and the rule of law,” Jweied said. “It’s a special privilege for me personally to step into the co-chair position previously held by Mary McClymont – a true visionary and champion of the equal access to justice community in the United States and around the globe.”

New Benefits and Incentives for foreigners that qualify as Digital Nomads, Investors, Persons of Independent Means, and Pensioners in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica is in the eyes of those who have chosen a new lifestyle that combines work and tourism. These are the so-called Digital Nomads who are looking for new destinations from which they can work remotely and at the same time get to know new places, cultures, and even gastronomic options.

This new concept was born as a variation of teleworking, but much more flexible. It basically implies the possibility to work remotely from any other part of the world, while maintaining a work relationship with their foreign employer or working on their own for clients abroad.

Without doubt, Costa Rica offers multiple tourism advantages and incentives to ensure that a model such as this one will be attractive for these individuals. Hence, the Government of the Republic approved and published a new Law to attract Digital Nomads, offering a series of benefits during their stay in the national territory. Among these benefits, we can highlight the following:

  • Legal visa for a year, extendable for another year, for the digital nomad and his/her immediate family (spouse and underage children)
  • Possibility of opening bank accounts within the local banking system.
  • Validity of their driver’s license in the country.
  • Total exemption from the Tax on profits (income).
  • Exemption from taxes to import their basic personal work equipment.

Therefore, digital nomads are welcome in Costa Rica, and they are urged to consider our country as their temporary or definitive destination.

Additionally, those foreigners that wish to legally reside in Costa Rica are also welcome in our country. Recently, the Government of Costa Rica approved and published a new Law to attract those foreigners that qualify under any of the following immigration categories: investor, person of independent means, and/or pensioner. The new Law contemplates a series of incentives and tax benefits to make their residency in the country even more attractive. Among these benefits, we can highlight the following:

  • Temporary residency for a 2-year term, renewable, for the resident and his/her immediate family (spouse and underage children).
  • One-time exemption from import and nationalization taxes for their home furnishings.
  • Exemption from import and nationalization taxes for two land, air, and/or marine vehicles for personal and/or family use.
  • 20% exemption on transfer taxes for real estate properties acquired while the law is in force.
  • Decrease in the minimum investment capital amount necessary to qualify as an investing resident to US$150,000 dollars; this investment can be made in properties, securities, productive projects, and/or projects of a national interest.

Costa Rica is a magical destination that captivates all those who have the chance to get to know our beaches, oceans, mountains, volcanoes, rivers, savannahs, forests, cities, and most of all our people. At Oller Abogados we are at your disposal to help you become a digital nomad and/or legal resident in Costa Rica.

Jose Andrés Prado, Associate, Oller Abogados

jprado@ollerabogados.com

T: (506) 2257-1290

Connecticut’s Paid Family and Medical Leave Program’s Applications Are Now Open

In a press conference on December 1, 2021, Governor Ned Lamont, along with Connecticut Paid Leave Authority Chief Executive Officer Andrea Barton Reeves, announced that the Connecticut Paid Leave Authority is now accepting applications for Connecticut residents who want to participate in the state’s new paid family and medical leave program. Approved applicants will be eligible to receive benefits beginning January 1, 2022.

The Connecticut Paid Leave Authority expects 1,000 – 1,500 applications per day, and indicated the Connecticut Paid Leave Authority is prepared to handle that level of applications.

In its Human Resouces Toolkit, the Connecticut Leave Authority outlines the “process when a worker tells you they’re applying for CT paid leave.”

How Do Employees Apply for Leave?

The Connecticut Paid Leave Authority is partnering with the Connecticut Paid Leave Authority’s benefits administrator to oversee the administration of paid leave benefits claims. Employees may submit applications via the Connecticut Paid Leave Authority’s online portal, telephone, fax, mail, or email. Employees have 15 days from the initiation of a claim to provide all requested documentation and should, according to the state, know their approval status five days after completing the required paperwork.

Employees must notify their employers or their human resources departments at least 30 days prior to the start of leave for foreseen circumstances, and as soon as is practicable for unforeseen circumstances.

Employer’s Role in Application Process

As part of the paid leave application process, employees will need to ask their employers to complete an employment verification form. Employers must complete the employment verification form and return it to the Connecticut Paid Leave Authority’s benefits administrator within 10 days. Employers are also required to notify employees that they may be eligible for Connecticut paid leave benefits whenever they notify their employers of their intent to take leave.

If the Connecticut Paid Leave Authority denies an employee’s claim, the employer is not responsible for filing any documents on the employee’s behalf. Employees may file a request for reconsideration with the Connecticut Paid Leave Authority’s benefits administrator within 10 days of a denial.

Employers may require workers to use vacation days or paid time off before they receive Connecticut paid leave benefits; however, employers must allow employees to retain up to 2 weeks of paid time off while on Connecticut family and medical leave.

Payment

The state will make approved claim payments to employees two weeks in arrears either via a stored value card or by direct deposit. The Connecticut Paid Leave Authority will not issue paper checks.

Article by:
Nicole S. Mulé
Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.

Morgan Lewis makes up 40 partners

Morgan Lewis has elevated 40 lawyers to partner, the majority in the United States but also including lawyers in Europe, the Middle East and East Asia.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius has promoted 40 new partners, effective 1 October.

Philadelphia professionals Conor LarkinRachel LewisAdam Prince and Andrew Rocks in the corporate and business transactions practice have been promoted, as have Matthew Ziegler in the finance group, labour and employment lawyer Benjamin Jacobs and private client specialist Ellen Deringer in the same office.

Corporate and business transactions lawyers Leland Benton and Brian Soares, investment management advisers Brian Baltz and Ruoke Liu, and Eileen Ho of the structured transactions team are based in Washington, DC.

Brandon Tanguay of the corporate and business transactions group, finance lawyer Christopher Carter, labour and employment professional Keri Engelman and tax practitioner Meghan Mccarthy have taken a step up in Boston.

Chicago lawyers affected include Saghi Fattahian of the employee benefits and executive compensation practice and Matthew Russell on the labour and employment team, while the New York-based practitioners are Etienne Shanon and Ashley Hale in the corporate and business transactions and labour and employment groups, respectively.

Other members of the labour and employment practice to be elevated include Princeton-based Emily Desmedt and Silicon Valley lawyer Andrew Frederick. In the Los Angeles finance practice Keith Fujiu also became a partner.

In Europe, corporate practitioner Allison Soilihi and finance lawyer Nichola Foley in London were promoted, along with fellow finance adviser Alexey Chertov in Moscow, while Dubai-based Amanjit Fagura in the investment management practice, and corporate lawyer Kuinan Wei in Beijing, also took a step up.

Also affected were 12 contentious lawyers including US-based Julie SilvaBanee PachucaJared WilkersonZachary JohnsWilliam McEnroeMark FioreChristopher McAuliffeZachary HillGene ParkCorey Houmand and Ryan Lighty, along with Jitsuro Morishita in the Tokyo office.

In a statement, firm chair Jami McKeon highlighted the new partners’ “excellence, strength, resilience, and empathy”.

Other firms to announce mass promotions in October include Goodwin Procter which also elevated 40 lawyers to partner.