London-based law firm Herbert Smith Freehills in China tie-up

London practice is sixth international group to be licensed in Shanghai initiative

London-based law firm Herbert Smith Freehills will affiliate its Chinese business with a local company in a new test for integrating foreign legal services with domestic law practice in China. The tie-up comes after nearly a decade of experimentation by foreign groups seeking to boost their presence in China by partnering local companies. Several affiliations, such as that of China’s King & Wood and Australia’s Mallesons, or global firm Dentons and China’s Dacheng, have formed some of the world’s largest practices but have yielded mixed results. Chinese regulation does not allow full integration of foreign and domestic legal teams. Foreigners are barred from practising Chinese law, as are Chinese nationals who work for foreign law firms.  Instead, some foreign companies, such as King & Wood Mallesons, have established so-called Swiss verein structures, where firms combine under a single brand but maintain separate finances. Others, such as HSF and Ashurst, have received formal licences to set up joint operations under a pilot programme in Shanghai. HSF will become the sixth global law firm to gain approval from Shanghai’s Bureau of Justice to integrate with a Chinese practice, allowing it and its Chinese partner, Kewei, to rebrand the China business as Herbert Smith Freehills Kewei.

The two firms will be able to work closely on individual deals and share the fees from such projects. HSF said the integration with Kewei would focus on cross-border mergers and acquisitions, banking and finance and financial services regulation. Kewei, which has 20 partners and lawyers, was launched in 1995 in Shanghai. HSF, which posted profits of £306m for the year ending in April, has more than 300 lawyers in the region. “When clients come to see us, we [HSF and Kewei] are now under one umbrella and we are both responsible for them,” said May Tai, HSF’s Greater China managing partner, noting that both firms’ reputations will now be formally linked. Such joint operations are still in a pilot phase and do not have full recognition as legal entities. HSF follows firms such as Baker McKenzie, Linklaters and Hogan Lovells to link up with Chinese practices under the Shanghai initiative. King & Wood and Mallesons in 2011 became the first test in which a Chinese firm merged with a large western one. In 2015, Dentons merged with Dacheng, one of China’s biggest practices, to form what was then the largest global law firm by attorney headcount.

Firms are fighting for a share of China’s cross-border legal work, which has grown rapidly over the past decade as Chinese companies invest more overseas. But integration has had a mixed record as global groups, often drawing on more than a century of history, mix with Chinese practices with just a few decades of experience, according to several lawyers with experience in such tie-ups. People close to the partnerships said that integration in overlapping jurisdictions often led to clashes, with firms continuing to compete internally despite attempts to integrate practice. “In some cases, the foreign firm ends up attracting lots of business for the Chinese firm but not the other way around,” said one Beijing-based lawyer familiar with the partnerships.

Emma Watson

Harry Potter star Emma Watson launches legal advice helpline

Free service includes guidance on NDAs and settlement agreements

A free helpline backed by British actor and activist Emma Watson will offer free legal advice to women in England and Wales who have experienced sexual harassment at work.

The expert guidance is supplied by legal charity Rights of Women, whose female volunteers and employment lawyers will offer callers guidance on what behaviour constitutes sexual harassment, how to bring a claim at an employment tribunal, as well advice on settlement and non-disclosure agreements (NDAs).

Kickstarted from donations from members of the public, including Watson, the specialist service enjoys backing from Time’s Up UK Justice and Equality Fund, and is managed by Rosa, the UK Fund for Women and Girls. It stands as the UK’s only free legal helpline for women facing sexual harassment in the workplace.

The new dedicated telephone line follows findings by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), a federation of trade unions in England and Wales, that as many as one in two women experienced sexual harassment at work.

“While sexual harassment is one of the most common forms of violence against women, it has remained a hidden issue with many women believing it was an inevitable part of their jobs or that it would jeopardise their careers to assert their legal rights,” explained Seyi Newell, a senior legal officer at Rights of Women.

By plugging the gap in workplace protection, it is hoped that women will be empowered to hold their harassers and employer to account. Harry Potter star Watson said:

Understanding what your rights are, how you can assert them, and the choices you have if you’ve experienced harassment, is such a vital part of creating safe workplaces for everyone, and this advice line is such a huge development in ensuring that all women are supported, wherever we work.

In the wake of the global #MeToo movement, which has seen women come forward with their stories of sexual harassment and sexual abuse, Watson regards this service as a step in the right direction. She continues:

“It finally feels like people are realising the scale of the problem, and I’m certainly hopeful that with global standards such as the recent International Labour Organisation treaty on harassment at work, we’ll start to see a new climate of prevention and accountability on this issue domestically.”

A rise in the number of sexual misconduct cases across the legal profession has resulted in an increased workload for the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), according to a recent report.

The regulator has also recently faced mounting pressure from MPs to clampdown on the ‘cover-up culture’, which sees lawyers draft up questionable NDAs to prevent alleged victims of sexual assault or harassment from speaking out.

How A Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help You

If you have been charged with a crime, whether a misdemeanor or a felony, it is very important that you work with a criminal defense attorney throughout the entire process.

Whether or not you think that the situation is serious, there may be a lot more at risk than is immediately apparent, and you could find yourself looking back on this case years from now wishing that you had taken some different steps. Criminal law is complicated, which is why it is so important that you take this process seriously and work with an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney in Fort Worth.

Many criminal defense attorneys offer free initial consultations with potential clients so that they can ask a variety of questions about their situation and learn about the most appropriate steps that they should be taking to move forward with as much success as possible.

HELP NAVIGATING THE CRIMINAL LAW SYSTEM

The criminal law system in the United States is complicated and confusing, especially for individuals who do not have a comprehensive understanding of the situation that they are involved in, and the possible consequences of a guilty finding or plea agreement. If you are at a court hearing working with a prosecutor, they will make an initial offer for the individual to accept a guilty finding, or may make an initial offer for a plea deal. While this may seem like the proper decision given the circumstances and the individual may want to get the process finished with, it could come back to cause a major issue.

NEGOTIATING ACCEPTABLE OUTCOMES

You may have noticed that there is a theme here, and it all comes down to working towards the most acceptable outcome for your situation. Every step that your attorney takes will be with the intention to get you the lightest possible sentence, the most minimum penalties available for your charges, and how you can mitigate the impact that these charges have on your life. When you are working on your own and attempting to represent yourself, courts and prosecutors will take advantage of your inexperience and you will find yourself walking away with steep penalties without much clarity on how it even happened.

PROFESSIONAL ADVICE FOR YOUR SPECIFIC CASE

When you hire an attorney to represent your case, they are working directly on your behalf in order to help you with your case. This means that any action you think about taking outside of the case that you are unsure of how it will impact your proceedings, then you will be able to consult with them. If you are wondering how your case will impact your ability to apply for jobs, renew a drivers license, apply for housing, or anything else that is unclear at the time, you will be able to contact your attorney and get a specific answer about the exact situation that you are in. While this may not seem like a big deal right off the bat, you will find that their advice and counsel throughout your case is absolutely irreplaceable because of how simple it will make each of these otherwise complicated questions seem.

CONFIDENCE IN YOUR CASE

The most important thing that you will get from working with a criminal defense attorney is confidence. You will be able to get straight answers from them about your entire situation and will be able to plan accordingly for your future given their history of experience and their understanding of how they expect your case to go. 

No deal Brexit disastrous for aspiring lawyers, Law Society warn

Disruptive departure could damage UK’s ability to attract and retain world’s top legal talent

A no deal Brexit will be disastrous for those seeking to enter the legal profession, a new report produced by the Law Society has warned.

The professional body, which represents 140,000 practising solicitors in England and Wales, has raised fresh concerns over the impact “Brexit disruption” will have on law graduates and junior lawyers’ moving around Europe.

According to the Law Society’s UK-EU future partnership and legal services report, published this morning, a no deal Brexit could also damage the UK’s ability to attract and retain the world’s top legal talent. It said:

“This has an impact on the attractiveness of qualifying in England and Wales. Their rights to provide services under their home title, to establish and practise in Europe and to requalify in host state law will all become more complex under an FTA [free trade agreement] or in case of a no-deal Brexit.”

The report added: “The prospective candidates from the EU may no longer be attracted to studying in the UK and getting an English and Welsh qualification since they cannot use it in their home country to the same degree as under the current regime.”

Aspiring lawyers wouldn’t be the only ones left worse off from a no deal departure. According to the Law Society’s president, Simon Davis, a crash-out Brexit could cost Britain’s legal services sector an eyewatering £3.5 billion, nearly 10% higher than under an “orderly Brexit”.

The 2019 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

The UK stands as the EU’s largest exporter of legal services. According to Davis, the sector contributed £27 billion to the UK economy in 2018 and produced a trade surplus of £4.4 billion in 2017 — this largely the result of the UK’s access to European markets through directives. Davis continued:

“That is why we are urging the UK government to negotiate a future agreement that enables broader access for legal services so that English and Welsh solicitors can maintain their right to practise in the EU.”

Newly-installed Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged to negotiate a better exit agreement with the EU, but maintains the UK will leave on 31 October with or without a deal.

This isn’t the first time the Law Society has shared its bleak Brexit fears. Last year, Chancery Lane’s number crunchers predicted that a no deal scenario could cost the legal market up to £3 billion by 2025, with growth slumping to 1.1%.

Boris Johnson

Suspected Terrorists and illegal immigrants Deported

Taxpayers paid £57m to lawyers who successfully fought Government attempts to deport suspected terrorists and illegal immigrants

Two former justice ministers today urge Boris Johnson and the Government to rethink the practice to end such big pay-outs CREDIT: WPA POOL/GETTY IMAGES EUROPE

Taxpayers have had to foot a £57.5 million bill to pay off lawyers who successfully fought Home Office attempts to deport suspected terrorists, foreign criminals and illegal immigrants.

They have had to pay or settle the legal costs of lawyers who have often used European human rights laws to outflank the Home Office and win cases for their clients.

The 6,098 cases covering four years from 2014/15 to 2017/18 have involved foreign criminals, illegal immigrants and asylum seekers whom the Government unsuccessfully attempted to send back to their homelands, according to figures obtained under Freedom of Information laws.

It includes lawyers for hate preacher Abu Qatada who got £57,000 from the Home Office after they initially defeated its bid to send him back to Jordan to face terrorism charges. The Home Office paid their charges at a rate of £330 an hour.

Radical al-Aaida linked preacher, Abu Qatada

Radical al-Aaida linked preacher, Abu Qatada CREDIT: MOHAMMAD HANNON/AP

Two former justice ministers today urge Boris Johnson and the Government to rethink the practice to end such big pay-outs.

Mike Penning, a former policing and justice minister, said: “The Prime Minister needs to add this to his list of legislation that needs to be changed.

“If these people have been convicted and are not conducive to the public good, people won’t understand why we are paying out this money to lawyers abusing the legal system rather than spending it on the NHS.”

Oliver Heald, who was also a former Government law officer as solicitor general, said the Home Office should pay out where there was a serious mistake, but any awards should be “taxed on a reasonable basis so that it’s not possible to make a fortune out of these cases.

“They should be decided on a moderate basis rather than an expensive one. This is something the Ministry of Justice may wish to review.”

The £57.5 million for the 6,000 cases – equivalent to 30 every week for four years – excludes the additional £28.4 million that the Government had to pay for its own legal costs.

Oliver Heald

Oliver Heald, former Government law officer CREDIT: CHRIS MCANDREW / UK PARLIAMENT

The total of £86 million means the average case ends up costing the taxpayer more than £14,000 in legal fees.

Complex procedures around legal fees mean the Government can be forced to pay out extra payments on top of these to lawyers who successfully challenge legal rulings.

It is supposed to act as compensation to solicitors who may take on some cases where they lose and then end up potentially out of pocket with nobody to pay their costs.

But others believe the “No Win No Fee” culture has gone too far with lawyers able to get away with huge costs’ bills for winning cases against the state.

Other cases included lawyers for Kevin Kiarie, who fought deportation after being convicted of drug offences, who were paid expenses of £194,353. They won the case on the basis that having to appeal from abroad was a breach of his human rights under EU laws.

Human rights lawyers also won a court case claiming it was unfair to send migrants back to the EU country where they first arrived – and sent taxpayers a £600,000 bill for their work.

The lawyers, who charged £330-per-hour, represented an Iranian and three Eritreans who had smuggled their way into the UK after first claiming refugee status in Italy. Once in the UK, they lodged claims to stay here saying it would breach their human rights if they were sent back to Italy.

The Home Office said it took seriously its duty to spend public money effectively. Given the volume of cases, it was “unsurprising” it faced a number of legal challenges: “We have a good track record in defending Judicial Reviews of decisions but remain committed to learning where the Courts do not find in our favour.”

ACCN Leading the Way in Anti-Corruption Compliance in China

Duxes is pleased to announce that the 13th Anti-Corruption Compliance in China Summit 2019 (ACCN) will take place in Beijing from November 13-15. The event aims to meet companies’ demands by helping them control their overheads, understand the latest trends and developments, and establish anti-corruption compliance culture in their enterprises.

Due to advances in the legal system, Chinese law enforcement departments are attaching greater importance than ever to industries that have a high occurrence of commercial bribery. But what exactly is the current status of China’s anti-corruption policy? How can companies manage regulatory compliance? How can corruption be better investigated and prevented? And, does the FCPA compliance system for foreign-funded enterprises work in China? All of these questions will be answered and solved at ACCN.

For this year’s event, Duxes will invite leaders and managers from the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Serious Fraud Office and the State Administration for Market Regulation to interpret the latest developments in anti-corruption policies and regulations. Furthermore, speakers from leading foreign-funded enterprises and policy-making bodies will exchange and share their valuable opinions on anti-corruption practices and management.

Highlights:  

  1. Changes in how the Chinese government is investigating commercial bribery under the latest Anti-unfair Competition Law
  2. Interpretation of the latest development of the FCPA and the risks of Chinese enterprises participating in overseas M&A
  3. Interpretation of the latest policy on anti-commercial bribery in the pharmaceutical industry
  4. Gifts, entertainment and hospitality: best practices for companies operating in high-risk markets
  5. The impact of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on enterprise anti-bribery compliance
  6. Real-life lessons learned on how to restore, reset and remodel your compliance structure post-prosecution or settlement
  7. Risk-based change management strategies for overseeing 3rd party, vendor, supplier and partner relationships in high-risk markets

For further information, please contact:

Ms. Cindy CUI

Tel.: + 86 21 5258 8005 ext. 8253

Email: events@duxes.cn

Website: http://www.duxes-compliancerisk.com/accn

Kelly Hyman

Kelly Hyman’s Journey from Child Actress to Top Class Attorney

Standing at 5’9″ in flats or bare feet, with shoulder length long blonde hair and bluish green eyes, American attorney Kelly Hyman may come across as someone who is about to walk the red carpet more than someone you would meet in a courtroom

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After being discovered by Charlton Heston and landing the role of Loretta on “The Young and the Restless” – Attorney Kelly Hyman set her sights on becoming the next Eric Brokovich.

Standing at 5’9” in flats or bare feet, with shoulder length long blonde hair and bluish green eyes, American attorney Kelly Hyman may come across as someone who is about to walk the red carpet more than someone you would meet in a courtroom.  That’s probably because before she went on to receive accolades like receiving the AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale-Hubbell three years in a row (the highest possible rating for attorneys), and before being named one of the top 25 class action trial lawyers in her home state of Colorado, Kelly Hyman was enjoying a successful career as a child actor.

Born in Miami Beach, Florida and then raised by her single mother, first in Southern California, and later moving to New York City, Kelly Hyman is probably most known for her role as Loretta on the iconic daytime television program “The Young and The Restless” as well as lending her voice to the now infamous “Gimme a break” commercial for Kit Kat.  Her Hollywood looks and ability to navigate the screen continue to serve her now in her prominent legal career.  Leveraging her legal skills and her background as a performer, she now appears as a regular legal contributor and voice of reason on difficult and controversial topics like the nationally covered Jussie Smollett hate crime hoax case, voters’ rights, free speech and key concerns among today’s working women.

Interview:

You grew up in California and had a successful career as a child actor.  How did you get into acting, and what were some of your favorite projects?

My mother was a single mother who was struggling financially. She was however a tennis pro and was teaching Charleston Heston tennis lessons in southern California. My mom asked Mr. Heston if he could help get me an agent and he did. I started doing commercials at age 5.  One of my favorite projects that I worked on was a movie called “Doin’ Time on Planet Earth” with Adam West from Batman. I remember my first day on the set and Adam West was dressed up as a police officer and not knowing who he was, my mother, who was born in Australia,  approached him and said, officer, and he smiled and said yes, my mom then asked him for the location of where I needed to check in for my day on the set, and Adam, pointed to the direction where I needed to go and told her to keep walking straight and it will be on the left side. My mother smiled and stated, thank you officer, and he, playing the role of the police officer, smiled, and stated that it was his pleasure.  It was an experience I will always cherish and never forget. I always smile when I think about it.

How did you transition from acting to law?

I knew that I always wanted to go to law school, and one of my dear friends from college suggested that I apply.  I realized that I reached a point in my acting career where I wanted to take a break and go to law school.

What made you pursue consumer protection law? 

I have always wanted to make a difference in this world and help people. Protecting people and fighting for their rights enables me to help them, and therefore have a positive effect on their lives.  Having a positive impact on people is my biggest motivation.

You have been called “a Modern Day Erin Brokovich” by the media, how do you feel when you hear that?  Was she an inspiration to you?

It is great to hear that people consider me a modern-day Erin Brockovich, she is truly an inspirational female role model, and it is incredibly humbling to be compared to someone that has created the kind of legacy that she has. She has fought for and helped so many people and continues to help people and have a positive effect on people’s lives even to this day.

She is an inspiration to me because she wants to make a difference in people’s lives and truly help them. Justice works when people stand up for what they believe in.

What would you consider to be your most interesting case that you fought and won?

When I worked at a law firm in Florida, I worked on tobacco litigation and mass tort litigation where I represented people that were harmed by medical devices and drugs. These cases were interesting because I knew that my clients were harmed, and I wanted to help them. I represented women that had transvaginal mesh implanted and they had serious complications because of it. Knowing that I was helping undo a wrong and make a positive impact on these women’s lives is something that I will always truly cherish. Knowing that they received justice for their harm is something that I am most proud of in my legal career. Knowing that I was helping people and making a positive difference in their life is one of the things that I’m so thankful for every day. Knowing that I am helping people get justice for their harm.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Follow your dreams. You can achieve everything that you want. The only limitations that you have are the ones that you put on yourself. Be brave, be bold and be you.

Legal Aid

Legal aid ‘heroes’ honoured at special ceremony

Hundreds of legal aid lawyers gathered at a special ceremony in London last night to celebrate the unsung ‘heroes’ within their community.

The prestigious event, now in its 17th year, was founded by the Legal Aid Practitioners Group.

The evening began with special awards being presented to three people who the LAPG committee believe have made an exceptional contribution to legal aid and access to justice: Anselm Eldergill, a district judge in the Court of Protection, and barrister Rachel Francis and solicitor Oliver Carter, former co-chairs of the Young Legal Aid Lawyers group.

Eldergill told the ceremony that the justice budget had been cut by 40% since 2010, ‘not just decimated but decimated four times’.

He said: ‘It’s a depressing picture but would be even more depressing if it was not for your amazing efforts. I intend to return to practice next year and do my bit to rebuild the justice system that’s open to all citizens regardless of their means and social class.’

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Joanne Cecil with compère Anna Jones and presenter Helena Kennedy QC

Source: Robert Aberman

Garden Court Chambers’ Joanne Cecil, who won the legal aid barrister award, helped with crowdfunding efforts to provide every MP with a copy of legal blogger Secret Barrister’s book, Stories of the Law and How It’s Broken. Asked by host and Sky News presenter Anna Jones about whether the attitude in parliament has changed, Cecil said: ‘We have lots of nice words from the government but not a great deal of action yet – that’s really where the proof is.’

The social welfare law award went to solicitor William Ford of London firm Osbornes Law. Ford represented a vulnerable refugee and challenged a Hillingdon council housing policy, describing the three-year battle as one requiring endurance.

Solicitor Sally Thompson, who runs north London immigration practice Luqmani Thompson & Partners, praised her colleagues who she said ‘make me look good’ and talked about how proud she was of her team.

Duncan Lewis solicitor Raja Rajeswaran Uruthiravinayagan, who won the public law award, said he was surprised that he was shortlisted and joked: ‘I thought I got shortlisted because of my really long name.’ Ututhiravinayagan had to leave Sri Lanka due to the civil war when he was 13 and said that was the reason he specialised in human rights law.

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Paul Bowen QC

Source: Richard Gray

This year’s ‘outstanding achievement’ award went to Paul Bowen QC, a human rights barrister at Brick Court Chambers, who acted in the right to die and assisted suicide cases brought by Debbie Purdy and Tony Nicklinson.

Bowen began his speech by applauding the audience, who he described as legal aid ‘heroes’. He concluded his speech with four tips for young legal aid lawyers: ‘Question everything; fear no one; prepare, prepare, prepare; shut up and sit down when you’re ahead.’

The full list of winners

Legal aid newcomer: Una Morris, Garden Court Chambers

Children’s rights: Edward Taylor, Osbornes Law

Legal aid barrister: Joanne Cecil, Garden Court Chambers

Family (including mediation): Philip Wilkins, Hudgell & Partners

Social welfare law: William Ford, Osbornes Law

Legal aid practice management: Sally Thompson, Luqmani Thompson & Partners

Legal aid firm/Not-for-profit agency: Child Poverty Action Group

Access to justice through IT: FormShare, GT Stewart

Criminal defence: Lydia Dagostino, Kellys Solicitors

Public Law: Raja Rajeswaran Uruthiravinayagan, Duncan Lewis

Outstanding achievement: Paul Bowen QC

LAPG special awards: Anselm Eldergill, district judge; Rachel Francis, One Pump Court and former co-chair of Young Legal Aid Lawyers; Oliver Carter, Irwin Mitchell and former co-chair of Young Legal Aid Lawyers

By 11 July 2019

HRW condemns Bolivia dismissal of judges

Human Rights Watch (HRW) accused Bolivia on Monday of undermining judicial independence in the country by arbitrarily dismissing nearly 100 judges since 2017 and called for the Organization of American States (OAS) to address the issue.

The organization called for OAS to convene a meeting of its Permanent Council to address the ongoing changes to the Bolivian justice system that are weakening the rule of law, and to “remind Bolivian authorities that judicial independence, including guarantees protecting judges from arbitrary removal, is a key component of any rights-respecting democracy.”

HRW has accused Bolivia’s Magistrates Council, the body that appoints and dismisses judges, of arbitrarily dismissing dozens of permanent judges without cause or an opportunity to contest their dismissals.

According to HRW, President Evo Morales has taken a stance against judicial independence. HRW reports, in “October 2018, for example, he said that judicial independence was a ‘doctrine of North America,’ meaning the United States, and of ‘capitalism.’”

The current three-member council was elected by popular vote in December 2017. Voters chose from a list created by the Plurinational Assembly, the Bolivian legislature, where the Morales administration held a two-thirds majority. The list presented 10 candidates, six of whom had worked for the Morales administration at some point. Even though the mandate regulating the process set out requirements for the assembly to select candidates based on their experience as lawyers, lawmakers reserved substantial discretion to rank candidates based on interviews.

The dismissals were part of a broader justice reform, which started in 2016, led by a nine-member commission. The commission has sweeping powers, which include controlling the appointment of new judges and taking “other actions necessary” to reform the judiciary. Five of the commission’s members are either Morales supporters in the Assembly or government officials he appointed.

HRW also notes that Bolivia is a party to several treaties regarding human rights, “including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the American Convention on Human Rights, that require it to safeguard the independence and impartiality of its judiciary.” Additionally, the UN Human Rights Committee, which oversees compliance with the ICCPR, has advised governments that the right to an independent and impartial judiciary is an absolute right, not subject to any exceptions.

According to HRW, in a comment regarding the absolute right of an independent and impartial judiciary, the UN committee has taken the position that “the requirement of independence refers, in particular, to the procedure and qualifications for the appointment of judges, and guarantees relating to their security of tenure,” noting that “judges may be dismissed only on serious grounds of misconduct or incompetence, in accordance with fair procedures ensuring objectivity and impartiality set out in the constitution or the law.”

Conyers advises AXA on agreement to acquire XL Group

Conyers advises AXA in connection with an agreement to acquire 100% of Bermuda-based XL Group Ltd (NYSE: XL), a leading global property and casualty commercial lines insurer and reinsurer, for a total consideration of US$15.3 billion, to be fully paid in cash. Completion of the transaction, which was unanimously approved by the boards of AXA and XL Group, is subject to approval by XL Group shareholders and other customary closing conditions, including the receipt of required regulatory approvals, and is expected to take place during the second half of 2018.