Legal Do’s And Don’ts For Car Accident Victims

Each and every year, around 6 million car accidents occur in the United States, leading to over 90 deaths per day and countless injuries too. The statistics make for terrifying reading, and the causes of these accidents can range from drunk-drivers to distracted driving, excessive speeding, and general negligence.

The pain and suffering caused by car accidents can be life-altering, with many people losing loved ones or dealing with serious physical and mental issues after being involved in a collision. This whole situation can be made even more stressful and traumatic when legal cases start to unfold and car accident victims worry about how they’re going to cover all of the associated costs.

Fortunately, attorneys are there to help, and there are plenty of lawyers and legal teams who have extensive experience in dealing with car accident claims, helping to provide at least some measure of justice to innocent victims of these incidents, as well as compensating them for the damages and distress they’ve endured. If you want your case to go smoothly after an accident, be sure to follow these key do’s and don’ts.

Do: Seek Medical Attention Immediately

One of the first things to do after an accident is to seek medical care. If you or anyone else in the vehicle feel that you’ve been injured, you need to get help immediately. Even if you’re only suffering from mild pain, like a slight ache in your neck or head, it could be a sign of something quite serious like whiplash, or it might get much worse if left untreated.

Head to a hospital and get yourself and any passengers checked over for injuries. This isn’t just sensible for your health and well-being, but also for any future legal cases that may occur, as opposing legal teams may try to argue against your case if you claim to have been injured in an accident but didn’t seek medical attention in the aftermath of the crash.

Don’t: Stress Out Or Wait Too Long

In the wake of an accident, it’s perfectly normal and natural for your mind to be a bit of a mess. Many people get stressed, scared, and anxious after an accident. They lose focus and don’t quite know what to do or say. As hard as it may be, try to keep your emotions under control.

Don’t panic or get angry in the wake of an accident, and try to focus on doing the important things like calling for help, contacting the cops, and getting medical care. Stay at the site of the accident until help arrives, don’t get into any kind of fights or arguments with the other driver, and don’t waste any time. Report, document, and contact an attorney right away, as every second that passes without legal aid could

Do: Document And Report Everything

As well as seeking medical attention in the wake of an accident, you should also make sure to document and report absolutely everything. It’s highly likely that you or someone else in the vehicle will have a cell phone, so use it to take some photos of the vehicle, the surrounding area of the incident, and any signs of injuries on your body too.

Report the accident to your insurance agent as soon as you can too, as well as contacting the police and sharing the full details of what happened. This is so important, as opposing legal teams may try to argue that the incident wasn’t too serious if you failed to report it to the police, or they may simply turn it into a case of your word against the other driver if you don’t have proper evidence and police reports to back up what you’re saying.

Don’t: Talk Too Much

You should absolutely report what happened after an accident to the police and your insurance provider, but you shouldn’t talk too much or answer too many questions before contacting an attorney. Once you’ve got an attorney on your side, you’ll be able to check with them and get advice on what you should or shouldn’t do.

You definitely shouldn’t sign anything or make any recorded statements in the wake of an accident, nor should you accept blame or admit to any kind of fault right away. Even if you feel that the accident was partly your fault, you may not be aware that the other driver was texting or under the influence at the time, so admitting guilt could harm your case.

Conclusion

Being in an accident can be quite a terrifying and life-altering experience, but you don’t have to suffer through it alone. Lawyers can help to advise you on the right course of action to take, as well as helping you file a successful case, so be sure to follow these do’s and don’ts if you ever find yourself involved in a collision.

ARTICLE BY:

Susan Melony
susan.melony@gmail.com

QWP’s M&A practice ranked in Asialaw Profiles 2021

QWP’s Mergers & Acquisitions practice was identified under “Other Notable Firms” for “Corporate and M&A” in Asialaw Profiles 2021. Director, Kenneth Leong, was also ranked as a “Notable Practitioner” under “Corporate and M&A”

For more information on the rankings, please click here: https://lnkd.in/fx2UXEN

Latham & Watkins advises Grail in Acquistion by Illumina 

Illumina, Inc. (NASDAQ: ILMN) and GRAIL, a healthcare company whose mission is focused on multi-cancer early detection, announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Illumina will acquire GRAIL for cash and stock consideration of $8 billion upon closing of the transaction. In addition, GRAIL stockholders will receive future payments representing a tiered single digit percentage of certain GRAIL-related revenues. The agreement has been approved by the Boards of Directors of Illumina and GRAIL.

Latham & Watkins LLP represents GRAIL in the transaction with an M&A deal team led by Los Angeles partner Alex Voxman and associate Andrew Clark, with assistance from Century City partner David Zaheer, Los Angeles counsel Brian Duff, and associates Jason Kass, Eduard Grigoryan, Timothy Day, Tess Bloom, Natalie Robertson, and Briana Cornelius. Advice was also provided on capital markets matters by San Diego partner Cheston Larson, Bay Area partner Brian Cuneo, and San Diego counsel Christopher Geissinger; on tax matters by New York partner Lisa Watts, with associate Eric Kamerman; on employee benefits and compensation matters by Los Angeles partner Larry Seymour and Bay Area partner Julie Crisp, with associate Jordan David; on antitrust matters by Washington, D.C. partner Michael Egge and Washington, D.C. counsel Patrick English, with associate Barrett Tenbarge; on intellectual property matters by Bay Area partner Christopher Hazuka, with associate Robert Yeh; and on FDA regulatory matters by Washington, D.C. partner Elizabeth Richards.

Why Vietnam Has Become Appealing for US Businesses in Asia

  • Vietnam and the United States celebrated 25 years of diplomatic relations in July this year – a testament to improving bilateral and economic ties since the Vietnam War.
  • Vietnam has emerged as an ideal alternative manufacturing destination to China for US businesses, in part due to the US-China trade war and disrupted supply chains due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Vietnam Briefing discusses trends in the Vietnam-US relationship, growing economic ties, and how US businesses can leverage and benefit from moving their production to Vietnam.

Following four decades since the end of the Vietnam War, Vietnam’s relationship with the US has changed significantly.

After the Vietnam War in 1975, the US and Vietnam announced normal diplomatic relations on July 11, 1995. This year in July, the US and Vietnam commemorated 25 years of diplomatic relations – with the US congratulating Vietnam on its ASEAN chairmanship and reaffirming its support for Vietnam including peaceful resolution of disputes, rule of law, freedom of navigation, and unimpeded commerce among others.

Since formalizing diplomatic relations, the US and Vietnam have strengthened their relationship with bilateral trade increasing from US$450 million in 1994 to US$77 billion in 2019. The US had become Vietnam’s largest export market with Vietnam becoming the US’ quickest growing export market.

Vietnam launched major economic reforms known as ‘Doi Moi’ in 1986, prioritizing building a market economy and creating opportunities for private-sector competition. With a growing population, this presented a sizeable investment for international businesses. The US and Vietnam worked for several years negotiating a bilateral trade agreement, which came into force in 2001.

The deal helped lift several non-tariff barriers while lowering tariffs on a variety of goods on an average between three and 40 percent including on agricultural, animal products, and electronics. Vietnam was also granted the most favored nation (MFN) status, which was important to become a part of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Former US President Barack Obama pushed for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) – a free trade agreement (FTA) involving ASEAN countries as well as the US and Australia. Vietnam was seen to be one of the biggest beneficiaries of this FTA, gaining access to the US market. However, all this came to a halt in 2017, when current US President Trump, disbanded the deal, claiming it would undermine US businesses and jobs.

Nevertheless, Vietnam and 10 other countries went ahead without the US and signed the Comprehensive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) in March 2018. Despite the setback, bilateral trade between the US and Vietnam has grown and analysts expect the trade relationship between the two countries to continue thriving.

Positive relationship but not without its setbacks

Nevertheless, there are challenges. In 2019, Trump in an interview said that Vietnam was “almost the single worse abuser of everybody,” prompting concerns from investors that Vietnam’s favorable relationship with the US was over. Trump has also complained about the US trade imbalance with Vietnam. Vietnam’s trade surplus with the US had grown to US$600 million, according to a Bank of America Merrill Lynch study.

The US in May 2018 imposed duties on Vietnamese steel products that originated in China. Earlier in December 2017, the US imposed duties on steel products specifically on Vietnam that originated from China as they evaded anti-dumping rules. Most recently, on August 25 this year, the US Treasury Department determined that Vietnam manipulated its currency in 2019, possibly opening the door to tariffs.

Apart from this, the US has pointed to other barriers to trade including inadequate intellectual property protections and food safety regulations, restrictions on the internet and digital economy, and other governance issues.

Security relationship adds stability to improving bilateral ties

In 2018, the USS Carl Vinson – a US Navy aircraft carrier – made a historic port of call in Vietnam. That same year, Vietnam also participated for the first time in the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) – a maritime military exercise hosted biennially by the US. The US lifted a ban on legal arms sales to Vietnam in 2016; both countries have been forging closer military ties and high-level military exchanges.

For Vietnam, this has been to oppose China’s assertive stance in the region, particularly in the South China Sea. Building upon this relationship, Hanoi was also picked for the of the US-North Korea summit in February 2019, further cementing Vietnam’s stature on the world stage.

Alexander Vuving, an expert on Asia security at the US Defense Department Institute said that “Vietnam holds a key to the regional balance of power”. If this view is shared by the US, it will continue to have a positive and budding relationship with Vietnam, particularly if Vietnam is seen as a counter to China.

It’s ‘advantage Vietnam’ while US-China trade dispute lingers

The trade dispute between the US and China has had a cascading effect on Vietnam. Vietnam’s exporters have seen an increasing demand for their products, especially garments and textiles. Vietnam has emerged as an alternative to China for investors benefitting from the China plus one strategy that involves investors shifting or expanding to other countries to increase market access.

It is important to note that this was already happening, but the trade war accelerated the process. Dustin DaughertyHead of North American Desk for Dezan Shira & Associates says, “Even prior to the start of the US-China trade war and more recently the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnam offered the most cost-competitive China alternative for general manufacturing in Asia.

Noted advantages such as a relatively efficient and stable governing structure, regulatory and some cultural familiarity for companies accustomed to doing business in China, highly competitive labor costs, business-friendly tax profile along with generous incentives, and proximity to pre-existing Asian supply chains all recommended Vietnam for foreign investors. These advantages have coupled with significant developments this year to further strengthen Vietnam’s competitive allure for FDI, especially for US business.”

Driven by rising labor costs, the need for diversification and the government’s focus shifting from labor-intensive sectors to high-tech industries, US firms operating in China have slowly shifted their manufacturing activities to Southeast Asia, especially Vietnam.

Vietnam US growing trade over the years

Due to its geographic proximity, lower wages, skilled labor, trade agreements, and regional connectivity, Vietnam has emerged as one of the most preferred alternatives for manufacturers. Major US firms such as Apple, Intel, Qualcomm, Universal Alloy Corporation (UAC), Nike, and Key Tronic EMS have already moved production lines to Vietnam due to costs associated with the trade war.

All these factors have helped increase trade between both countries since the normalization of diplomatic relations.

  • Vietnam exports to the US (2019): US$61.35 billion
  • Growth (compared to 2018): 29.1 percent
  • Share in total exports: 23.2 percent
  • Vietnam imports from the US: US$14.37 billion
  • Growth (compared to 2018): 12.7 percent
  • Share in total imports: 5.7 percent

Vietnam’s trade with the US grew at the fastest rate in 2019 at 23 percent compared to 2018.

Top exports to the US from Vietnam include:

  • Phones and spare parts;
  • Computers, electronic products, and components;
  • Garments and textiles;
  • Agricultural products; and
  • Footwear.

Vietnam US trade in 2019

COVID-19 and FDI: How has Vietnam fared?

Vietnam has garnered international praise for its swift and effective response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Vietnam fought the pandemic early, closed its border to foreigners, and imposed social isolation measures on April 1. It lifted these measures on April 22, reopening its economy for business. A recent outbreak in Da Nang showed that Vietnam is not shy and imposed a lockdown on the city to get a grip on additional cases.

Although the country is not immune to the global economic downturn, its prospects for recovery remain positive and are the brightest among Asian countries. This view was also shared by the financial service firm UBS in a research note. In the first half of the year, Vietnam recorded 1.81 GDP growth. Despite being modest, these rates are encouraging considering that Vietnam is one of few countries that achieved positive net growth during the pandemic.

Vietnam’s control of the pandemic and its continued growth has further cemented its position as a safe business environment compared to others. And US businesses have noticed. Apple has planned to shift significant production of its products including its AirPods to Vietnam.

US businesses seek alternative production locations

Even before the pandemic – furniture businesses such as US-based Lovesac and Wanek Furniture – affiliated to US supplier and retailer Ashley Home began moving production to Vietnam. US company Nike now makes most of its shoes in Vietnam while US tech giant Google plans to produce its Pixel smartphones from Vietnam instead of China.

Most recently, US chipmaker Intel, which has already invested US$1 billion in Vietnam is looking to increase its investment at Ho Chi Minh City’s Saigon Hi-Tech Park. Universal Alloy Corporation – a US-based global manufacturer of aircraft components for aircraft companies such as Boeing and Airbus, inaugurated its facility in Da Nang earlier this year.

All these factors make Vietnam a ‘trade war winner’ and an ideal place to do business and attract investment. Yet, Vietnam’s gains have not been contingent on deteriorating US-China ties alone. Vietnam’s skilled and low-cost labor force, infrastructure, stable government, safe environment, and free trade agreements are what US investors are looking for during this unpredictable time. This trend is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. And Vietnam is also well placed to capitalize on disrupted supply chains elsewhere due to the pandemic.

While the trade war and pandemic have created enough push factors to encourage manufacturing businesses to relocate, Vietnam’s great challenge now will be how to manage its growth sustainably.

Moreover, before sizing up Vietnam as a potential destination for relocation, US investors must do their due diligence and consider several factors, such as identifying a location, raw materials, sourcing partners, and supply chain logistics.

Baker McKenzie Named World’s Best Law Firm Brand

Leading global law firm Baker McKenzie has been named as the best law firm brand for the 10th consecutive year by Acritas’ Global Elite Law Firm Brand Index. The Firm once again ranked top for each of the measures that make up the Index – awareness, favorability, consideration for multi-jurisdictional deals and for multi-jurisdictional litigation. Baker McKenzie also once more widened its lead over its nearest competitor, receiving an overall score of 100, which is 57 points ahead of the firm ranked in second place

The ranking is based on interviews with 1,596 senior legal buyers across the world’s largest multinationals with revenues in excess of $1bn.

Milton Cheng, Global Chair of Baker McKenzie, said, “Market disruption is an accepted reality for business, as new competition and technologies drive the pace of change faster than ever before. Our clients want lawyers who are prepared to lead, differentiate and adapt in a constantly changing world.

“We are unquestionably the leading cross-border law firm that large, global clients trust for complex transactional and other matters involving multiple jurisdictions. That’s why we are top of mind across so many countries and areas of law. Topping this ranking for the tenth consecutive year underlines that.”

Lisa Hart Shepherd, vice president of Research and Advisory Services at Thomson Reuters, commented: “For firms, choosing an overarching focus and sticking with it is essential to developing a differentiated brand. Baker McKenzie has shown that commitment to a long-term strategy that is in line with evolving client needs will deliver financial success. This strategic focus on global reach makes for a clear purpose that its people can get behind and that its clients can easily understand.“

A decision regarding the interest clause in credit contracts

On 19th December 2019, the European Court of Justice gave a judgement for consumer protection concerning the interpretation of Directive 2008/48/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23rd April 2008 on credit agreements for consumers in the case C‑290/19 (RN vs. Home Credit Slovakia a.s.)

The main issue was whether Article 10(2)(g) of Directive 2008/48 must be interpreted as precluding, in a consumer credit agreement, the annual percentage of the total amount of credit from being expressed not as a single rate but as a range referring to a minimum and a maximum rate.
It should be noted that the indication of the annual percentage of the total amount of credit in the form of a range of two figures is not consistent with the wording of several provisions of Directive 2008/48, in particular Articles 3 and 19, nor with the general scheme of that directive. It follows from those provisions that the annual percentage of the total amount of credit must be expressed as a percentage, by reference to a precise figure.

Moreover, according to the Article 3(i) of Directive 2008/48, which defines the annual percentage of the total amount of credit as ‘the total cost of credit to the consumer, expressed as an annual percentage of the total amount of credit’, requires a precise percentage to be fixed.
It is apparent from Article 19(1) of Directive 2008/48, read in conjunction with Part I of Annex I to that directive, that the annual percentage of the total amount of credit is calculated in accordance with the mathematical formula set out in that annex and should reflect, to one decimal place, all existing or future commitments agreed by the creditor and the consumer. In addition, the second subparagraph of Article 19(5) states that the annual percentage of the total amount of credit must be calculated in a uniform manner.

In its judgment the European Court has considered that in case of annual percentage of the total amount of credit does not have a precise percentage the consumers’ right to information is broken. Considered from that perspective, the obligation to provide information set out in Article 10(2) of Directive 2008/48, under which the credit agreement is to specify in a clear and concise manner, the annual percentage of the total amount of credit, contributes to the attainment of the objective pursued by that directive.

The Court has pointed out that, for a consumer, the total cost of credit, presented in the form of an annual percentage of the total amount of credit calculated according to a single mathematical formula, is of critical importance. That rate enables the consumer to assess, from a financial point of view, the extent of the commitment associated with the conclusion of the credit agreement. It should be noted that, if it were permissible to provide in a credit agreement that the attainment can be expressed by reference not to a single rate but to a range referring to a minimum and a maximum rate, the criterion of clarity and conciseness laid down in Article 10(2) of Directive 2008/48 would not be met. That criterion is essential for the consumer to be able, as stated in recital 31 of that directive, to know his rights and obligations under the credit agreement. The use of such a range may not only make it more difficult to assess the total cost of credit but may also mislead the consumer as to the actual extent of his commitment.

Therefore, the conclusion of the court was that Article 10(2)(g) of Directive 2008/48/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2008 on credit agreements for consumers and repealing Council Directive 87/102/EEC, as amended by Commission Directive 2011/90/EU of 14 November 2011, must be interpreted as precluding, in a consumer credit agreement, the annual percentage rate of charge from being expressed not as a single rate but as a range referring to a minimum and a maximum rate.

Published by

Nicholas S. Hammond (Hammond-Partnership)

HONG KONG HK

UN express concerns over Hong Kong National Security Law

Seven UN human rights experts signed a letter to the Chinese government expressing concerns about whether China is complying with its international obligations for human rights standards. The letter, made public Friday, specifically questioned The Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, or the “National Security Law.”

As noted in the letter, sent September 1, the UN has expressed concerns regarding this law before and has exchanged several communications with Chinese officials about it. The UN members who wrote this letter also cited numerous obligations imposed by the UN requiring greater care in the passage of laws, such as by encouraging specific laws so as to “prevent ill-defined and/or overly broad laws which are open to arbitrary application and abuse and may lead to arbitrary deprivation of liberty.”

The National Security Law at issue was passed on July 1, and it went into force that same day. It specifies four categories of offenses that are said to endanger national security: “secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with a foreign country or with external elements.”

Terrorism is defined broadly as including damage to physical property “such as sabotage of transport facilities or public services.” A UN Special Rapporteur released a thematic report in 2019 stating that “[d]efinitions of terrorism that include damage to property, including public property … seriously affect the right to freedom of assembly … [and] can be used against individuals engaging in social movements where damage to property is unwittingly incurred.”

In light of these and other concerns expressed in the letter, the UN requested a response to their points, an explanation of how the law does not infringe on the rights that China is obligated to provide under international law, how the country will be enforcing the law to not infringe on such rights, and the positive measures and oversight of the exercising of this law.

A Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Hua Chunying commented on the UN letter during a press conference on Friday, stating “We urge [the UN] to earnestly respect the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, discard ignorance, prejudice and double standards, and stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China’s internal affairs.” Chunying also stated that the law is widely accepted in Hong Kong, despite the many ongoing protests against the law throughout the region.

White & Case Advises EIG on Investment in Solar PV Pipeline

Global law firm White & Case LLP has advised EIG Global Energy Partners (EIG), a US-based investor in the global energy and infrastructure sectors, on the commitment from EIG managed funds of €135 million for ib vogt GmbH’s global solar pv portfolio.

“White & Case is a leading adviser to the global energy industry, said White & Case partner Carina Radford, who led the Firm’s deal team. “Our cross-practice and cross-border deal team on this unique transaction showcased the experience and capabilities our clients rely on when pursuing their strategically important investments.”

ib vogt is a German-based, family-owned company that has developed a global pipeline of solar pv projects in excess of 16 GWp. The investment from EIG will support the realization of ib vogt’s projects in the coming years and contribute to meeting the strong growth in global demand for clean electricity.

The White & Case team that advised on the transaction included partners Carina Radford and Richard Jones (both London), Bodo Bender, Carola Glasauer, Roger Kiem, Andreas Lischka and Markus Burianski (all Frankfurt), Riaz Janjuah (Hamburg), Alessandro Nolet (Milan), Marius Griskonis (New York), Chad McCormick (Houston) and Daniel Hagan (Washington, DC), local partners Cristina Freudenberger and Sebastian Pitz (both Frankfurt), counsel Tallat Hussain (London) and Alexander Born (Frankfurt) and associates Zsofia Cassidy and Lowrie Robertson (both London), Thorsten Rohde (Frankfurt), Kyle Ezzedine and Ariel Oseasohn (both New York) and John Forbush (Washington, DC).

Sydney

K&L Gates Hires Sydney Finance Partner From Hogan Lovells

Global law firm K&L Gates continues to expand its finance practice with the appointment of Richard Hayes as a partner in the Sydney office. Hayes, who brings a dedicated focus on acquisition and funds financings and general corporate finance, joins K&L Gates from Hogan Lovells.

With admissions and extensive experience in Australia, England, and New York, Hayes represents many international organizations with their multi-jurisdictional financing arrangements. His lender clients include global investment banks, commercial banks, and debt funds while, on the borrower side, he supports private equity and other investment firms and corporations.

For over 25 years, Hayes has advised clients in relation to the financing of acquisitions, refinancings, restructurings, recapitalizations, and work-outs. With current market conditions having forced these latter practices to the fore, the ability to work with the practitioners at K&L Gates was pivotal in Hayes’ decision to join the firm.

“My practice is truly international and I look forward to leveraging the strength of K&L Gates’ global platform, including collaborating with the firm’s highly regarded restructuring and insolvency, tax, and corporate teams, to the benefit of my clients,” said Hayes.

Nick Nichola, K&L Gates’ Managing Partner, Australia, stated: “Richard’s appointment provides our finance practice with a broader service offering and significantly deeper coverage in relation to the financing of acquisitions and debt capital markets generally. Richard has a reputation for taking on tough and complex work. As our clients respond to the challenges of 2020, he is the ideal lawyer to assist them in achieving the best possible risk mitigation and in seizing the opportunities that are available in today’s market.”

The arrival of Hayes builds on other recent appointments in Australia since late 2019, including Melbourne corporate partner Harry Kingsley, Perth corporate partner James Clyne, and financial services partners Kane Barnett and Paul Faure in Sydney and Melbourne, respectively. K&L Gates’ corporate practice also has continued to expand across the firm’s global platform in recent months through the appointments of new partners in BostonFrankfurtHong Kong, and Paris, with the firm having welcomed a total of more than 25 new partners and of counsel during 2020.

Recent Interview with BW Legal World

Ms. Seema Jhingan, Partner of the Firm recently spoke with Ashima Ohri of BW Legal World in an exclusive interview to shed light on the New Education Policy 2020 announced by the Government of India to initiate the long overdue reforms in the Indian school and higher education sector; franchise-model businesses in India; the advent of legal technology and its impact; challenging matters including helping her client bring the very first resort time-sharing concept of holidaying to India; her journey in law and much more.

Read more here: https://bit.ly/2YEDbqQ