SingaporeArbitration

Ex Clifford Chance litigators set up disputes firm in Singapore

Harpreet Singh Nehal, former managing partner of Cavenagh Law, the Singapore Formal Law Alliance (FLA) firm of Clifford Chance, has co-founded a disputes-focused boutique in the city-state called Audent Chambers.

The other co-founder is Jordan Tan, who was previously a counsel at the same firm. The two lawyers will be joint managing partners of Audent.

The firm will have an advocates-only setup, working with solicitor firms.

Nehal, who helped to launch Cavenagh Law, focuses on banking and finance, oil and gas, and TMT sectors. Meanwhile, Tan has experience advising on a number of cases including a minority oppression claim concerning a company with assets above $100 million.

In an interview with Business Times, the lawyers said that they wanted the firm to be one that took on highly complex commercial matters as well as pro bono cases that raised important questions of law and public interest.

Montreal

White & Case Advises Hg on Investment in Medical Systems

Global law firm White & Case has advised Hg, the specialist private equity investor focused on software and service businesses, on its agreement for an investment in Intelerad Medical Systems, a leading global provider of medical imaging software and enterprise workflow solutions.

Founded in 1999, Intelerad specializes in diagnostic viewing, reporting and collaboration solutions for radiologists. Headquartered in Montreal, Intelerad serves more than 300 healthcare organizations around the world, including radiology groups, imaging centers, clinics and reading groups, and has a strong and growing presence in hospital imaging departments.

Healthcare technology is a core sector for Hg, and Intelerad represents the fifth healthcare technology investment in Hg’s current portfolio.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020, following satisfaction of customary regulatory approvals.

The White & Case team was led by partner Oliver Brahmst and included partners Frank Lupinacci, Sang Ji, Steven Lutt, Tal Marnin and Arlene Arin Hahn, and associates Adam Plotkin, Jordan Kobb, Brian Fetterolf, Daniel Kozin, Brandon Dubov, Arian Mossanenzadeh, Harry Hudesman, Neeraj Shah, Caroline Cima, Julianne Prisco and Mark Kim (all in New York); partners Rebecca Farrington and Farhad Jalinous, counsel Paul Pittman and Keith Schomig, and associates Ajita Shukla and Daniel Rosenthal (all in Washington, DC); partner Jarlath McGurran and associate Mahir Maini (London); and partners Nirangjan Nagarajah and Michelle Keen, counsel Andrea Reeves, and associate Tiffany Leach (all in Melbourne).

Congress Approves New Disaster-Area Tax Relief

A flurry of tax legislation passed at the end of 2019 as part of an omnibus spending package. You might have already heard about changes to the retirement plan rules and tax extenders that were part of this package.

However, there are some lesser-known changes that you might not know about. Specifically, the disaster-related provisions of the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act provide valuable relief to taxpayers affected by federally declared disasters that happened between January 1, 2018, and January 19, 2020.

Personal Casualty and Theft Losses

Prior to 2018, individual taxpayers that itemized their deductions could write off their unreimbursed casualty and theft losses to the extent that the losses exceeded 10% of adjusted gross income (AGI). In addition, the deductible amount had to be reduced by a “floor” of $100 for each casualty or theft event.

For example, Bill had $100,000 in AGI for 2017. He incurred a $25,000 loss to his home due to hurricane damage in 2017, and his insurance company paid him $10,000 for repairs. So, his unreimbursed loss was $15,000 ($25,000 – $10,000).

Bill itemized deductions on his 2017 tax return. How much was he able to deduct for unreimbursed hurricane damages? His deduction was subject to the 10%-of-AGI threshold of $10,000 (10% of $100,000). He also had to subtract $100 per loss. So, in 2017, Bill claimed a $4,900 itemized deduction for the loss ($15,000 – $10,000 – $100).

Important: A special election allows taxpayers to deduct a loss on a tax return for the preceding year. If you’ve already filed your return for the preceding year, you can file an amended return to make the election and claim the deduction in the earlier year. Decisions regarding this election should be based on an evaluation of 1) whether you need cash quickly, and 2) your overall tax situation in the casualty event year and the preceding year.

TCJA Changes

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) repealed the deduction for casualties and theft losses for 2018 through 2025 — except for losses suffered in federally declared disaster areas. The special election to speed up the tax relief available to taxpayers in disaster areas remains in effect after the TCJA.

New Relief for Victims

The Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act doesn’t restore pre-TCJA law for all casualty and theft losses. However, it does provide the following seven tax breaks to victims in federally declared disaster areas, generally for 2018 through January 19, 2020:

  1. 10%-of-AGI threshold. The new law eliminates the usual 10%-of-AGI threshold on deducting losses from federally declared disasters. It also raises the floor for qualified disaster losses from $100 to $500.
  2. Itemizing vs. taking the standard deduction. Under the new law, you don’t have to itemize deductions to claim a disaster-related loss. You can write off your loss even if you claim the standard deduction for the tax year in question.
  3. Charitable contribution limits. The new law temporarily suspends the tax return limits for charitable contributions associated with qualified disaster relief. For instance, monetary contributions are normally limited to 60% of AGI, but this limit doesn’t apply to qualified donations in a disaster area.
  4. Certain tax credits. A special rule allows taxpayers in designated disaster areas to refer to the preceding tax year for purposes of determining the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the Child Tax Credit (CTC).
  5. Early withdrawal penalty. Generally, distributions from qualified retirement plans, such as a 401(k) or Simplified Employee Pension (SEP), are hit with a 10% tax penalty in addition to regular tax liability if made before age 59½ — unless a special exception applies. The list of exceptions is lengthy. The new law now provides another exception for qualified disaster relief distributions, though qualified hurricane distributions can’t exceed $100,000.
  6. Cancelled home purchases. The new law permits re-contributions of retirement plan withdrawals for home purchases cancelled due to eligible disasters. It also provides flexibility for loans from retirement plans for qualified hurricane relief.
  7. Extended tax-filing deadlines. An individual with a principal place of residence within a federally designated disaster area, or any taxpayer with a principal place of business in such a disaster area, is granted an automatic 60-day extension for any tax filing. This provision acknowledges that victims probably have other concerns taking priority. The automatic filing extension applies to federal disaster areas declared after December 20, 2019, the new law’s date of enactment.

Special Break for Small Businesses

The new law also creates a special “employee retention credit” for 2018 and 2019. Essentially, a disaster-affected employer is entitled to a 40% tax credit for the first $6,000 of wages paid to an employee from a core disaster area. The maximum credit is $2,400 per worker.

The employee retention credit applies to wages paid regardless of whether services associated with those wages were actually performed. It’s treated as part of the general business credit.

For More Information

This article highlights the key tax breaks available to individuals and small businesses that have suffered losses in a federally declared disaster area. Other special rules may apply. If you’re hit with a disaster, consult with your tax advisor to maximize the benefits for your situation.

Repeal of”Church Parking Tax”

Starting in 2018, a provision of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) triggered unrelated business income tax (UBIT) on tax-exempt organizations like churches that provide employees with transportation and parking fringe benefits. Now that provision has been repealed under the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act.

The change is effective for amounts paid or incurred after 2017. So, churches and other not-for-profit entities that paid UBIT on applicable transportation benefits in 2018 and 2019 may be eligible for a refund. Contact your tax advisor for more information.

Still on Registration of Foreign Judgments in Nigeria

In Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/203/2019; Emmanuel Ekpenyong Esq. v. Attorney General and Minister of Justice of the Federation, the Federal High Court, Abuja Judicial Division by a Judgment dated 10th June 2019, held that the Plaintiff (“Emmanuel”) has not placed before the Court, evidence to show that the Defendant (“the Attorney General”) ought to be satisfied to promulgate an Order to bring Part I of the Foreign Judgment Reciprocal Enforcement Act, 1990 (“the 1990 Act”) into operation pursuant to Section 3 (1) of the 1990 Act which provides that;

“The Minister of Justice if he is satisfied that, in the event of the benefits conferred by this Part of this Act being extended to judgments given in superior courts for any foreign country, substantial reciprocity of treatment will be assured as respects the enforcement in that foreign country of judgments given in the superior courts in Nigeria, may by order, direct:

(a) That this Part of this Act shall extend to that foreign country; and
(b) That such courts of that foreign country as are specific in the order shall be deemed superior courts of that country for the purpose of this part of this Act..”

The Court further held that the phrase “the Minister of Justice if he is satisfied………..may by order direct…..” shows discretion on the part of the Attorney General. The Court found that though in some instances, the word “may” in a document may be interpreted to mean “shall”; the clear wordings of the 1990 Act suggests discretion on the part of the Attorney General on whether or not to promulgate the Order to bring Part I of the 1990 Act into operation.

By a Notice of Appeal dated 29th August 2019, Emmanuel appealed against the Judgment to the Court of Appeal, Abuja Judicial Division. Emmanuel contends that the provisions of Section 3 of the Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgment Ordinance, CAP. 175 1958 (“1958 the Ordinance”) and Section 9 of the United Kingdom’s Administration of Justice Act, 1920 codifies the substantial reciprocity treatment of Judgments of superior Courts of Nigeria on one hand and England, Ireland and the Court of Session in Scotland on the other hand. Section 9 of the 1990 Act codifies the substantial reciprocity treatment of Judgments of superior Courts in Nigeria and other commonwealth countries.

The legal standard of satisfaction required of the Attorney General by the phrase “The Minister of Justice if he is satisfied…” as used in Section 3 (1) of the 1990 Act ought not to be based on an indefinite, unhindered, incontestable and subjective discretion or prerogative of the Attorney General but ought to be based on a reasonable and objective premise of whether there are superior Courts of any foreign country with substantial reciprocity treatment of Judgments with Nigeria.

The common knowledge that superior Courts in England, Ireland, the Court of Session in Scotland and other commonwealth countries have substantial reciprocity treatment of Judgments with Nigerian superior Courts has fulfilled the objective legal standard for the Attorney General’s satisfaction and forms the legal basis upon which the Attorney General ought to have promulgated the Order to extend the application of Part I of the 1990 Act to the Judgments of superior Courts in England, Ireland, the Court of Session in Scotland and other commonwealth countries.

The failure of the Attorney General to promulgate the Order since 1990 when the Act was enacted has made Nigerian Courts to rely on the colonial and out dated 1958 Ordinance as well as its Rules of 1922 for registration of foreign judgments in Nigeria. This has made the process of registration of foreign Judgments in Nigeria to be uncertain and burdensome.

Emmanuel further contended that it is settled Nigerian law that “may” in a legal document may be construed as “shall” so that justice will not be a slave to grammar. Again, if interpreting “may” as used in a legal document as discretionary will result in serious general inconvenience to innocent persons of the public without furthering the object of the enactment; it shall be construed to be mandatory. Furthermore, the Court would interpret “may” as mandatory whenever it is used to impose a duty on a public functionary, the benefits which inures to a private citizen.

Since the failure of the Attorney General to promulgate the Order pursuant to Section 3 (1) of the Act to bring Part I of the Act into operation for the benefit of Nigerians has resulted in serious general inconvenience to innocent Nigerians, especially Emmanuel, without furthering the objectives of the Act, the justice of the case demands that the mischief rule of interpretation ought to be applied in the interpretation of “may” as used in the provision as “shall” so that justice will not be a slave to grammar.

Global trends in private M&A 2020

We have recently produced a client presentation on global trends in private M&A. Our findings draw on an in-depth analysis of more than 1,250 private M&A deals that A&O has advised on globally over the last eight years, looking at deal dynamics, execution risks and deal terms. This has given us exceptional insight into global and regional trends in market practice.

Global trends in private MA graphic

Key themes for 2019 include:

  • Megadeals and strategic domestic transactions dominate
  • Auction activity and competition starting to cool
  • Private equity waiting for price expectations to align
  • Regulatory landscape and economic uncertainty influence deal terms
  • W&I insurance gains traction outside of private equity exits
  • Shift in dynamics as buyers reclaim some lost ground
  • Marked differences in developed, emerging and frontier market M&A

Please speak to your usual Allen & Overy contact if you would like to schedule a briefing on these trends.

Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in India

Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in India – Inclusion of UAE as a Reciprocating Territory

The Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India vide its Notification dated January 17, 2020 (“Notification”) declared United Arab Emirates (“UAE”) a “reciprocating territory” for the purposes of enforcing foreign civil decrees in India. The declaration has been made by the Indian government in exercise of powers under Explanation 1 appended to Section 44A, Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (“CPC”). Pursuant to the Notification, decrees passed by the courts in UAE are now executable in India as if they were passed in India.

CPC lays down the procedure for enforcement of foreign judgments and decrees in India. A foreign judgment is a judgment of a foreign court and a foreign court means a court situated outside India and not established or continued by the authority of the Central Government. A foreign judgment needs to be conclusive for it to be enforceable in India. The test of conclusiveness of a foreign judgment is provided under Section 13 of CPC, which postulates that a foreign judgment shall be conclusive unless:

  1. It has not been pronounced by a court of competent jurisdiction;
  2. It has not been given on the merits of the case;
  3. It appears, on the face of the proceedings, to be founded on an incorrect view of international law or a refusal to recognize the law of India in cases in which such law is applicable;
  4. The proceedings in which the judgment was obtained are opposed to natural justice;
  5. It has been obtained by fraud;

f)    It sustains a claim founded on a breach of any law in force in India.

Broadly, a foreign judgment in India can be enforced in the following ways:

  1. Decrees passed by courts in reciprocating territories: Reciprocating territories enjoy the privilege of direct enforcement of a decree within the territory of India by filing execution proceedings of the decree before an Indian court. A reciprocating territory is any country or territory outside India which the Central Government may, by notification in the official gazette, declare to be a reciprocating territory and the superior courts with reference to any such territory, are the courts as may be specified in the notification notified by the Government. In accordance with the CPC, if a certified copy of the decree of any of the superior courts of any reciprocating territory is filed in a district court, the decree may be executed in India as if it has been passed by the district court. Such foreign judgment to be executable in India must be conclusive (i.e., should not be falling under any of the above stated six categories) and needs to comply with the laws of limitation of India. Also, the decree with reference to a superior court would be any decree or judgment of such court under which a sum of money is payable, not being a sum payable in respect of taxes or in respect of a fine or other penalties, but shall in no case include an arbitral award, even if such an award is enforceable as a decree or judgment.

Some of the countries that have been declared to be “reciprocating territories” are United Kingdom, Singapore, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Trinidad & Tobago, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, etc.

  1. Judgments passed by non-reciprocating territories: Such judgments can be enforced only by first preferring a lawsuit in an Indian court for a judgment based on the foreign judgment and second, filing for execution proceedings after obtaining the Indian decree. Section 14 of the CPC provides for presumption, albeit a rebuttable one, in favour of the foreign judgment being one passed by a court of competent jurisdiction. For the purposes of Indian courts, such foreign judgment is of evidentiary value only.

Considering that the decrees from reciprocating territories are directly enforceable in India, the inclusion of UAE as a “reciprocating territory” will be beneficial for a UAE decree-holder to enforce the decreed time and cost-efficiently in India. The courts in UAE which will be considered as the superior courts of UAE for the purposes of section 44A of CPC are the Federal Supreme Court; Federal, the First Instance and Appeals Courts in the Emirates of Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah; and local courts in Abu Dhabi Judicial Department, Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah Judicial Department, Abu Dhabi Global Markets and Dubai International Financial Center.

It further implies that Indian expatriates in UAE would no longer be able to seek safe haven in their home country if they have a decree against them in a civil case in the UAE. It would also be interesting to see how this development will impact the proceedings under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 were so far the National Company Law Tribunal (“NCLT”, in the matter of M/s Stanbic Bank Ghana Limited v. M/s Rajkumar Impex Private Limited CP/670/IB/2017), has held that NCLT has no jurisdiction to enforce foreign decree, however, there is no bar in it taking cognizance of the foreign decree. The Notification, however, will have no impact upon enforcement of arbitral awards passed by arbitral tribunals seated in UAE as the scope of Notification is strictly limited to decrees covered under section 44A of CPC.

M&A Nuggets: “M & A” – What Does It Mean?

These nuggets are all about “M & A” – most people identify M & A with mergers and acquisitions.  However, did you know that the acronym M & A has many other meanings, all of which can be related to mergers and acquisitions.  For example:

  • Monitoring & Assessment – every purchaser of a business should continuously monitor and assess its target during the acquisition process to determine whether any material changes, good or bad, have occurred
  • Measurement & Analysis – purchasers must measure many different aspects of the target, most importantly the key performance indicators in the target’s industry, and conduct a thorough analysis of those measurements
  • Management & Administration – purchasers must conduct a review of the target’s key personnel to determine who is necessary to the operation of the business post-closing, who is not, and whether there are any gaps in management that need to be filled

So, as a purchaser, make sure that you devote time and resources to the other “M & As” related to the acquisition process.

Happy Holidays and New Year.

If you have any questions about this or any other M&A issue, please contact Glenn Solomon at gsolomon@offitkurman.com or 443-738-1522.

ONC Corporate Disputes and Insolvency Quarterly

Dear Clients and Friends,

This special newsletter aims to regularly update practitioners on important and noteworthy cases in the areas of corporate disputes and insolvency in Hong Kong, the UK and other common law countries. In this issue, we have highlighted:

·         5 Corporate Insolvency Cases

·         3 Cross-border Insolvency Cases

·         2 Restructuring Cases

·         3 Corporate Disputes Cases

·         6 Bankruptcy Cases

Our selection of cases and our analysis of them may not be exhaustive. Your comments and suggestions are always most welcome. Please feel free to contact me at ludwig.ng@onc.hk

Best regards,

Ludwig Ng

Partner, Solicitor Advocate

ONC Lawyers

HEADLINES OF THIS ISSUE

Corporate Insolvency Cases

1.        A contributory (as opposed to a creditor) petitioning for the winding-up of a company should normally show a “tangible interest” in the assets of the company or a ‘need for investigation’, which entitles him to ask for the winding up of the company

Haw Par Pharmaceutical Holdings Pte. Ltd v Hua Han Health Industry Holdings Ltd [2019] 4 HKLRD 286

2.        Relevant factors that Court will take into account in giving retrospective sanction

Re Moulin Global Eyecare Trading Ltd (in liquidation) [2019] 4 HKLRD 643

3.        The requisite intention to gift must be proved to establish transaction at undervalue on the basis of gift

Ho Man Kit v Sure Lead Ltd [2019] HKCFI 2914

4.         Petitioner ordered to pay costs on a common fund basis for failing to explain why a winding-up order was sought in the petition

Wong Wai Tung v Lam Chun Fung and Another [2019] HKCFI 3034

5.         Once privileged, always privileged – legal advice attaching to the documents subsisted notwithstanding the dissolution of the company

Addlesee v Dentons Europe LLP [2019] EWCA Civ 1600

Cross-border Insolvency Cases

6.          Indonesian bankruptcy proceedings recognized in Singapore

Heince Tombak Simanjuntak and others v Paulus Tannos and others [2019] SGHC 216

7.         Limits of assistance – it is not open to the assisting court to appoint a different person as the foreign representative

Re Rooftop Group International Pte Ltd and another (Triumphant Gold Limited and another, non-parties) [2019] SGHC 280

8.         Hong Kong Court recognized and assisted Mainland liquidators for the first time

Re CEFC Shanghai International Group Limited [2020] HKCFI 167

Restructuring Cases

9.          English High Court held that a scheme of arrangement only affect the rights of the creditors of a scheme company in their capacity as creditors, not other rights they have, such as proprietary rights in property

Re Instant Cash Loans Limited [2019] EWHC 2795 (Ch)

10.      In considering whether a scheme of arrangement is propounded for a permissible purpose for the general benefit of the scheme creditors, the Court will take into account the rate of return to scheme creditors and the amount of the restructuring and liquidation expenses

Re Da Yu Financial Holdings Limited (formerly known as China Agrotech Holdings Ltd) (in liquidation) [2019] HKCFI 2531

Corporate Disputes Cases

11.      Assessing the value of his shares is a proper purpose for a shareholder to seek inspection of the company’s documents and accounts, particularly where a long-standing substantial shareholder is seeking to protect his economic interest as a shareholder

Selvaraj (Moorthy) v GMT Industrial Ltd [2019] 4 HKLRD 572

12.      Court of Appeal: those who alleged fraud should carry the burden of proof and the proper remedy for a forged transfer is to seek a rectification of the share register and the company is a necessary party to the claim

Ngan Pui Chi and Another v Bao Quan [2019] 4 HKLRD 135

13.      Singapore Court of Appeal: discount for lack of control would typically apply where the buyout of a minority shareholding was made pursuant to a consent order in the absence of any finding on the issue of minority oppression

Liew Kit Fah and others v Koh Keng Chew and others [2019] SGCA 78

Bankruptcy Cases

14.      An application for a non-commencement order under the Bankruptcy Ordinance (Cap 6) should be made inter-partes

Re Cai Sui Xin [2019] HKCFI 2547

15.      Bankruptcy petition dismissed as the creditor failed to do all that was reasonable for the purpose of bringing the statutory demand to the debtor’s attention and to cause personal service of the demand to be effected

Re Luo Xing Juan Angela [2019] HKCFI 2674

16.      To prove a debtor has carried on business in Hong Kong, it is not enough to show that a person is running his company’s business even though he is the sole beneficiary shareholder and in complete control. There must be some evidence of activities on the part of the debtor over and above those attributable to the company to show that the debtor has carried on business of his own

Re Chen Mei Huan also known as Liu Chen Mei Huan also known as Liu Mei Huan Chen [2019] HKCFI 3028

17.      Singapore High Court: an annulment of bankruptcy order is not conditional upon all debts being proven

Standard Chartered Bank, Singapore Branch v Chua Seng Kiat (Lim Peng Liang David Llewellyn, intervener) [2019] SGHC 240

18.      Court of Appeal warned against debtor’s opportunistic attempts to invoke the Lasmos approach in the future to stay winding-up/bankruptcy petition by invoking arbitration agreement

Sit Kwong Lam v Petrolimex Singapore Pte. Ltd [2019] HKCA 1220

19.      Trustees in Bankruptcy found not in breach of their duties to act with reasonable care and skill, as they had limited funding available to them at the timed

Lau Chun Ming v Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (A Firm) [2019] HKCFI 2722

Megren Al-Shaalan Joins White & Case as a Partner

Global law firm White & Case LLP has boosted its Saudi practice capabilities with the addition of Megren Al-Shaalan as a partner.

“White & Case has long had a strong Saudi practice, and Megren’s arrival significantly enhances our capabilities in the Kingdom,” said White & Case partner Doug Peel, Head of the Middle East. “Megren has been deeply involved in the design and delivery of Saudi Arabia’s 2030 Vision initiatives, which are key to the Kingdom’s future development and transformation. His knowledge and experience will be a major asset to the Firm as we continue our work in the Kingdom.”

Al-Shaalan arrives from the Saudi Royal Court, where he was a Senior Legal Advisor. He advised a number of government offices and entities on prominent projects including NEOM, the Red Sea Project and Qiddiya, helping structure their legal frameworks and establish their legal departments. Al-Shaalan also provided legal counsel on the establishment of a number of other government entities and projects. He has significant experience in public policy and a variety of areas of law, including regulatory, governance, corporate transactions, finance and litigation.

Oliver Brettle, a member of White & Case’s global Executive Committee, said: “Investment in our Saudi practice is part of our strategic growth ambitions and the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, is an important market for the Firm. The arrival of Megren, with his experience and strong reputation in Saudi Arabia, will not only add to our corporate capabilities in the Kingdom, but will support the further growth and development of our other key practices and industry groups there.”

White & Case practices in Saudi Arabia in cooperation with the Law Office of Megren M. Al-Shaalan.

Baker McKenzie Announces Record Global Revenues of $2.92 Billion

  • Revenues up 4.4% with growth in all regions

  • PPP up 3%

  • Major program to drive global digitization and optimal client service delivery

  • Leading the sector for our people through Diversity & Inclusion

Baker McKenzie, the leading global law firm, has announced record revenues for the fiscal year ended 30 June 2019 (FY19) of $2.92 billion. In terms of constant currency, Baker McKenzie’s revenues were up 4.4% compared to the previous year. In US dollar terms, the Firm’s reporting currency, this translates into growth of 1.2%, after the effect of adverse currency exchange.

Baker McKenzie remains the most geographically diverse global law firm and all of our regions recorded growth as follows: EMEA +5.2%, AP +2.1%, LA +9.0% and NA +4.0%

All of our key financial metrics improved over last year: revenue growth, net income, profit margin, Profits per Partner (PPP), Revenue per Partner and Profits per Lawyer. We are especially pleased to accomplish this amid a market with flat demand. PPP was up by 3% to $1.48 million in US dollars. Overall net income or profit rose by 2% to $1 billion. Over the last decade the Firm has grown by 40% in terms of revenue and 50% in terms of PPP, outperforming most of our competitors.

Among our standout markets, all with significant double-digit growth, include Bogota, Buenos Aires, London, Prague, Turkey and Warsaw.

Baker McKenzie Acting Chair Jaime Trujillo says, “Recording 4.4 percent growth in a market as challenging as this while maintaining our commitment to all of our offices and our full service offering is a good result. The investments the Firm continues to make in legal services, the centers of excellence we have opened in lower-cost locations, and more effective partnering with clients, supported by long-term investments in industry, practice and client programs have enabled us to show profitable growth.

“This is despite the distinct geopolitical head winds throughout the second half of the year, which prompted our clients to cancel or postpone projects. We are also one of the most geographically diverse professional services firms in the world, both one of our key strengths, and at times a challenge in markets impacted when the US dollar is so strong, as it was this past year.”