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Trent Jackson joins Leaders in Law as the exclusive Accounting Services member in Taiwan

Leaders in Law, the leading platform in its field, is delighted to welcome Trent Jackson as our exclusively recommended & endorsed Accounting Services expert in Taiwan. Trent’s office is located in Taipei City.

Trent currently works as a Manager of the international service desk at Grant Thornton Taiwan, helping international clients in need of bookkeeping, tax, advisory, payroll, corporate secretarial, audit, and other services. He previously graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in Chinese, and is fluent in Mandarin. Currently living in Taiwan and planning to stay there permanently. His professional interests include international business, accounting, translation, language acquisition, photography, and writing.

If you require any assistance in this area, please use the contact details provided in Trent’s profile below or contact us at info@leaders-in-law.com & we will put you in touch.

Serafin U. Salvador Jr joins Leaders in Law as the exclusive Tax Planning Law member in the Philippines

Leaders in Law, the leading platform in its field, is delighted to welcome Serafin Salvador as our exclusively recommended & endorsed Tax Planning Law expert in the Philippines. Serafin’s office is located in Makati City.

After heading the Tax Division of the largest professional services firm in the Philippines, Serafin U. Salvador, Jr. propelled SLB to be one of the leading commercial law firms in the country. Currently with the world’s largest independent tax organization providing quality integrated tax advice worldwide, SLB can be considered as one of the highlights of Mr. Salvador’s illustrious career in taxation.

Mr. Salvador’s invaluable knowledge of taxation has provided local and international clients with advice instrumental to firmly establishing their businesses in their respective industries. His expert insight has helped small to medium-sized enterprises and multinational corporations to effectively deal with complex issues and rapid changes in a highly competitive global market.

If you require any assistance in this area, please use the contact details provided in Serafin’s profile below or contact us at info@leaders-in-law.com & we will put you in touch.

Dr. Kurt Moosmann joins Leaders in Law as the exclusive Estate Planning Law member in Switzerland

Leaders in Law, the leading platform in its field, is delighted to welcome Dr. iur. Kurt Moosmann as our exclusively recommended & endorsed Estate Planning Law expert in Switzerland. Kurt’s office is located in Zurich.

Dr. Kurt Moosmann is an highly sought expert with more than 25 years of experience in advising business owning families, family offices and entrepreneurs across the globe.  Before establishing Moosmann Advisors in 2014, he had co-founded and successfully assumed the role as Chairman of Dara Capital, a Multi-Family Office with offices in Zurich and New York.  From 2014 – 2021 he presided over the Advisory Board of FODIS LLC, Pittsburgh, which serves global family owned business enterprises and family offices with significant direct investment holdings in US operating family businesses.  Formerly Dr. Moosmann was Member of the Executive Committee of Quilvest Switzerland, where he had founded and managed their Wealth Advisory Department. Before joining Quilvest, he had chaired Deutsche Bank’s Global Wealth Planning Division from 1998-2004, and earlier on had worked for Coutts & Co.

The native Swiss-Canadian holds a Doctorate of Law from the University of Zurich. His thesis, comparing the Anglo-Saxon and Liechtenstein trust structures, with special consideration of beneficiaries’ interests, was published in 1999. He also holds an MBA in International Wealth Management from Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business (USA) and regularly lectures on topics related to Cross-Border Estate and Tax Planning, and on generational transition and governance matters within Family Business Enterprises.

If you require any assistance in this area, please use the contact details provided in Kurts’s profile below or contact us at info@leaders-in-law.com & we will put you in touch.

Singapore jostles with London for top arbitration spot

Singapore now rivals London as the most popular seat for international arbitration, with Hong Kong coming a close second, a global survey has found.

A study by international firm White & Case, in partnership with Queen Mary University of London, has revealed that the popularity of Asian arbitral hubs has grown significantly in the past five years. Asked to select their preferred seats, 54% of respondents chose London and Singapore – the latter making the top spot for the first time. Meanwhile, half of the 1,200 respondents picked Hong Kong.

In 2015, Singapore garnered just 19% of the votes, while Hong Kong was picked by 22% of arbitration users.

According to the report, the increases enjoyed by Asian seats ‘may correlate with a relative reduction in the percentage of respondents who included traditionally dominant European seats, such as London, Paris and Geneva, in their answers.

‘London was selected by 64% of respondents in 2018, making it the most selected that year, but it dropped to 54% in this edition of the survey. Paris fell even further, from its second place showing in 2018, with 53% of respondents including it in their selections, to fourth place this year, as a seat of choice for 35% of respondents.’

The report also revealed a lack of enthusiasm for remote proceedings among arbitration users. While just 16% of respondents said they would ‘postpone the hearing until it could be held in person’, only 8% would actively prefer to hold substantive hearings remotely rather than in-person or using a mix of in-person and virtual formats.

The survey found a significant preference for international arbitration in conjunction with alternative dispute resolution (ADR) as opposed to on a stand-alone basis. This follows a trend over recent years.

 

The importance of the duty of care and distinguishing the natural risk factor from the human error

Sometimes the accident can be unpreventable. Whilst waiting for the light to turn green in traffic, another reckless driver can cause a rear-end collision. In a public place, the drafting debris in a hurricane can hit someone and cause major health conditions. In a medical centre, the doctors can contract coronavirus and sustain long-lasting and even permanent airway diseases. These are very uncommon scenarios. The incidents might be unpreventable. But the aftermath can be eased by taking reasonable care. This is the main reason why in numerous industries, the use of certain equipment or performing potentially harmful actions are prohibited. Prior to building a home, you should obtain a building permit after passing numerous inspections. This is because people other than you can suffer the consequences if the building collapses. Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the medical professionals have been in the highest risk group. According to the statistics, no other occupational group has contracted the disease more than the doctors. The risk can be inherent. But the business’s duty is to provide safety so that the inherent risk factor is to be minimised.

The duty of care and the human error factor

Although the inherent risk factor may be unpreventable, the human error factor can be totally eliminated. By following the compulsory standards, the individuals are to be contributing to public safety. In medical practices, providing services without falling below the standards might have more visible effects. Incorrectly diagnosing the patient’s condition by skipping obligatory procedures such as ignoring to evaluate the patient’s medical history deviates the whole treatment process. In this case, ignoring the standards is the main cause of the harm as the conclusions of a false treatment can be harsh and painful. On the other hand, a reasonable peer wouldn’t disregard the importance of these compulsory procedures. Therefore, the medical attendant at the duty is liable for the victim’s physical conditions for causing the accident whilst the conclusions were obvious.

In a workplace, risks can be inherent depending on the sector that the work is being done. After working for several years in mining, sand-blasting or public service sectors, the worker’s body might negatively respond to the inherently hazardous work conditions. The employer’s duty is to minimise the possibilities by equipping the workers with sufficient, up-to-date and protective equipment. On the other hand, even in the most comfortable business places, employees might be exposed to numerous risks due to the employer’s negligence. In a business plaza, the electrical equipment can be the cause of an accident. Elevators, escalators and much other electric-powered equipment requires regular maintenance. This equipment can fail after serving for some time. Employers are responsible for the structural safety of the establishment as well as interior safety. If an elevator falls whilst in use due to a reason other than the production defects, the employer may be liable for the accident.

The accidents in traffic are the most visible examples of human-related errors

Texting and driving is an obvious risk factor as whilst cruising above certain speeds, the vehicle’s capacity to respond to the driver’s commands decreases significantly. Noticing the stop sign lately has the potential to end up in a collision. As the risk is obvious, the driver’s duty is to hesitate to commit risky activities such as composing a text message, speeding and driving aggressively. Inevitable risks are still present in traffic. These can be defective motor vehicles, being involved in an accident due to another driver’s negligent actions or natural causes. The duty of care also enforces the driver’s to take sufficient care to minimise the impact of the accident that occurs from inevitable causes. By respecting the following distance, you may avoid a collision if the vehicle in front of you hits another vehicle. Or if the loaded cargo of a truck frees for any reason, you may have time to take action to avoid hitting.

Article by:

Arda Seyman

Withstand Lawyers Standing with you

Suite 107, Level 1, 18-20 Ross St, Parramatta NSW 2150 

www.withstandlawyers.com.au | gurcans@withstandlawyers.com.au

Mexican Labor Law Amendment Abolishes Outsourcing of Personnel

On April 23, 2021, an amendment to the Mexican Labor Law was published in the Official Gazette of the Federation. Below are the key points about the amendment and how they will affect employers that outsource or subcontract work.

GENERAL PROVISIONS

According to the amendment, employers are no longer permitted to subcontract or outsource personnel. The law covers any individual or legal entity providing employees to be supervised and managed by a third-party client and that determines the services and work to be rendered. The law includes carve outs and exceptions under certain circumstances.

  • Specialized Services
    • The amendment permits the subcontracting of specialized services that are not part of the core business in terms of the company’s corporate purpose and activity registered before the Tax Administration Service (or Servicio de Administración Tributaria (SAT). Services will be considered specialized provided that they are not part of the core business of the company that receives them—the so-called “operating entity.”)
  • Companies in the Same Corporate Group
    • The amendment allows companies within the same corporate group, i.e., the “former service entity,” to render services or activities.
  • Employment Agencies
    • According to the amendment, employment agencies or intermediaries, which were previously referred to as “outsourcing companies”) may participate only in recruitment, selection, and training of candidates. The amendment states that the company receiving the services must be the one that conducts hiring.
  • Profit-Sharing Cap
    • Because some companies have attempted to avoid tax liabilities, they have adopted the practice of creating distinct companies that employ their workers. These companies are currently required to distribute 10 percent of the company’s taxable profits (PTU) to employees. The new amendment establishes a cap on these profit-sharing obligations. As a result, a maximum limit of three months’ salary or the average of the amount received in the last three years—whichever is more favorable to the employee—is now in place.

KEY OBLIGATIONS

  • Companies Providing Subcontracting Services
    • Companies that provide subcontracting services are required under the amendment to take the following actions:
  1. Obtain the registration certificate before the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare or Secretaría del Trabajo y Previsión Social, (STPS). Among other obligations, the company must evidence that its tax and social security obligations are up to date. Companies are required to renew the certificate of registration every three years.
  2. Execute a contract for the provision of the specialized services.
  3. Submit a quarterly report to Mexico’s Social Security agency (Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social or IMSS ) and Mexico’s housing agency, Instituto del Fondo Nacional de la Vivienda para los Trabajadores or INFONAVIT on the specialized services contracts executed.
  4. Provide the contractor with a copy of the registration certificate before the STPS, tax receipts for payments of salaries, payment of withholding taxes and employer’s contributions and the value-added tax return, and a copy of the corresponding payment voucher.
  • Companies Contracting Specialized Services
    • Companies that provide specialized services are required under the amendment to take the following actions:
  1. Verify that specialized services are not part of company’s core business.
  2. Verify that the company providing the subcontracting services is registered before the STPS.
  3. Collect copies of:
    1. registration certificates before STPS;
    2. tax receipts for payments of salaries;
    3. receipts of payments of withholding taxes and payments of employer contributions; and
    4. value added tax returns and their corresponding payments.

CONSEQUENCES OF NONCOMPLIANCE

  • Labor
    • In the case of noncompliance, companies may be subject to fines of up to USD$222,000 and even incarceration of a company’s representatives.
  • Tax
    • Companies will not be able to credit or deduct taxes for subcontracting services, unless they fulfill the above requirements.
  • Criminal
    • Companies that do not comply with subcontracting obligations and attempt to deduct or credit taxes for the services of subcontracted personnel, or use simulation schemes for the provision of specialized services, will be subject to criminal liability for fraud.
    • Both the company that subcontracts and the one that employs subcontractors may be held jointly and severally liable for all labor, social security, and tax obligations, which they would have otherwise been obligated to pay.

Use of Trademarks in the U.S.

As North America brings its intellectual property laws in line with the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the way trademarks are handled in Mexico and Canada has recently changed. While Mexico now requires a business to use its mark to obtain a Mexican trademark registration, Canada no longer requires the use of a mark in order to obtain a Canadian trademark registration.

A business may spend significant resources attempting to use a trademark in the U.S., but ultimately fail to satisfy legal and technical requirements. Not only are such attempts wasteful, but they may also pose an obstacle to pursuing an otherwise legitimate trademark registration. To successfully register a trademark in the U.S., a business is required to use the trademark on or in connection with its products and/or services, but the law has different requirements for each.

U.S. TRADEMARKS FOR PRODUCTS

For a trademark associated with products, advertising alone, such as use in a brochure or on a website, is not normally enough. The mark must be placed in any manner on the products or on the containers of the products, or on tags or labels affixed to the products. If the nature of the products makes such placement impracticable, then it may be acceptable for the mark to be used on displays associated with the sales of the products. Additionally, the products must be sold or transported in interstate commerce.

The simplest way to satisfy this requirement is to put the trademark directly on the products, such as by incorporating the mark into the mold of molded products, stamping or printing the mark onto the products, or applying a tag or label to the products carrying the mark. The mark could also be applied to the packaging or container of the products.

For an example of displays associated with the sales of a product, the mark can appear with the product in a catalog or on a website, but there are specific requirements for those uses. If used in a catalog, the mark must be accompanied by a description or picture of the product, and the same catalog page generally must include ordering information such as a phone number or a web address. If used on a website, the mark must still be accompanied by a description or picture of the product, and the webpage must include the direct ability to order the product, such as a “Buy Now” or “Add to Cart” button on the webpage.

U.S. TRADEMARKS FOR SERVICES

For a trademark associated with services, the mark must be used or displayed in the sale or advertising of the services, and the services must be rendered in interstate commerce. That is, the services must be rendered in more than one state, or in some other way in interstate commerce, or in the U.S. and a foreign country, and the company rendering the services is engaged in commerce in connection with the services.

ENSURING CORRECT U.S. TRADEMARK USE: THE ABCD TEST

To ensure that your trademarks, aside from being placed on the products or used in connection with the sale of services, are being used correctly, use this ABCD test:

  1. Adjective: Use the trademark in the position of an adjective describing the product, followed by the common descriptive noun for the product. For example, use “KLEENEX tissue” not simply “a KLEENEX,” or “XEROX photocopier” rather than simply “the XEROX.”
  2. Brand identification: Properly identify the status of the trademark as a brand with the appropriate trademark symbol e.g., ® for a registered mark and ™ for a mark not yet registered.
  3. Consistency: Be strictly consistent in displaying the mark. If the trademark is punctuated, capitalized or colored in a certain way, it is critical to maintain the same formatting. Any change of any of those properties could be considered a change to the mark, that is, adopting a different mark. Such consistency will also help ensure that others recognize that this is a trademark and not just another word. While it makes sense for a company to adopt a different mark from time-to-time, such changes should only be done intentionally, after careful thought and transition planning, rather than by accident or in a casual attempt at creativity.
  4. Distinctive: Use the mark in a way that is distinctive, that sets it off from surrounding text, such as in a different typeface, color or capitalization
Article by;

Nicholas A. Kees
Alexander C. Lemke
Godfrey & Kahn S.C.

What are the best practice areas for solo attorneys?

So, you’ve decided to take your practice solo, congratulations! You’re taking the steps to tackle your legal career goals on your terms, and that’s something to be excited about. Before you get too ahead of yourself, have you considered what are the best practice areas for solo attorneys?

Whether you’re moving away from a law firm or starting out solo, there are several business decisions you must consider if you want to be successful. If you haven’t done so already, you’ll want to get a good grasp on the practice areas you will focus on. This will determine your services, marketing, and entire business model.

Motivation and values

A good starting point when deciding what areas your solo practice will specialize in is finding your ‘why.’ In fact, all attorneys (solo or firm-based) should understand their ‘why’ for going into the legal industry.

This is your main motivation for wanting to practice solo law and will be your driver towards a fulfilling career. Some attorneys look to practice solo because they have more control over their billable hours and greater earning potential. Other attorneys are passionate about a specific practice area and feel they can make a bigger impact on their own. Neither option is better than the other, but it’s important to understand your motivations and values behind your practice. You’ll find more fulfillment and come across more genuine.

Practice areas

Bankruptcy law

This area of law is perfect for solo attorneys who are good with numbers and financial literacy. Many of your clients will owe money to another entity and have declared bankruptcy. For this reason, you’ll need to be comfortable evaluating financial documents to best represent your client. Additionally, if you don’t love going to court, bankruptcy law is for you. Most cases are settled outside of the courtroom. 

Civil litigation law

Litigation attorneys or trial lawyers are people who are quickly adaptable and enjoy a busy environment. Civil litigation typically involves disputes between parties seeking monetary damages or judgement based on non-criminal accusations. Since civil litigation law is broad, It’s best for solo attorneys to specialize in specific areas, like family law or medical malpractice.

This area of law is best suited for solo attorneys who can handle being pulled in many directions while also maintaining organization. Civil litigation often involves working very closely with clients, being in court, and out-witting your opposing counsel.

Employment law

Employment attorneys spend most of their time assisting the employer-employee relationship. This involves reviewing employment contracts, discrimination suits, termination, lay-offs, settlements and more.

Employment law is a great area of practice for solo attorneys who enjoy advocating for the rights of their clients. To best represent your clients, you’ll need to stay up to date on employment and labor legislation and be ready to have difficult conversations. The employee-employer relationship can be sensitive and guiding a client through legal proceedings while also maintaining a sense of empathy can be difficult to manage.

Family law

Cases within family law are almost always sensitive, especially when child or separation of a household is at stake. Adding in these factors on top of upholding the law can create a stressful work environment for solo attorneys. On the other hand, family law can also be very rewarding when you are able to better your client’s lives.

Similar to employment law, solo attorneys practicing family law must be able maintain a level of empathy while also helping their clients make difficult legal decisions.

Real Estate law

Real estate attorneys assist their clients with legal property matters. This could include assisting a lender with the sale of property, drawing up contracts, titles, and litigation of tenant-landlord relationships.  This area of law is great for solo attorneys who have a knack for attention to detail. Depending on the client, real estate contracts can be long and must include specific language to protect the clients assets surrounding the property.

Solo attorneys who prefer transactional work are a great fit for real estate law. Once a contract is in place, the client will likely only contact you or need your services when there is a breach or conflict that arises.

Choose what’s best for you

At the end of the day, the practice area for solo attorneys comes down to what you want. Figuring out what you’re passionate about or what motivates you is a great first step in finding the best practice area. Next, evaluate your skill set and how you can separate yourself from the pool of solo attorneys.

Article by;

Kamron Sanders
PracticePanther

William McKinley joins Leaders in Law as the exclusive Healthcare Law member in Wisconsin, USA

Leaders in Law, the leading platform in its field, is delighted to welcome William McKinley as our exclusively recommended & endorsed Healthcare Law expert in the USA. William’s office is located in Wisconsin.

Will devotes a large portion of his legal practice towards serving his business and corporate clients, especially those in the medical and dental fields, dealing with contract, real estate, corporate, employment, and sale/acquisition issues.

Will also has significant commercial litigation experience, dealing with a wide variety of cases in small-claims, state circuit, and federal district court, along with the Wisconsin Court of Appeals.  Will has also appeared before the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Will has routinely served as local counsel for large corporations dealing with litigation in courts throughout Northeast Wisconsin.

If you require any assistance in this area, please use the contact details provided in William’s profile below or contact us at info@leaders-in-law.com & we will put you in touch.

 

An Interview with John Delaney

Role: Director
Office location: London/Dublin
Joined the team: July 2019

Why Base? 
Base is recognised within the industry as a growing Expert Witness firm focused on delivery and quality. Base has the reputation of a continually successful niche business with a healthy mix of new and repeat clients. Most importantly, it has a culture of ‘people first’. I believe that finding the right combination of people and skills creates an optimal working environment – this gives Base a great advantage to continue to grow and deliver excellent service.

What were you doing previously? 
I have spent the past 6 years working with HKA (formerly Hill International), the world’s biggest expert witness services and claims consultancy group. Prior to that, having recently moved from Dublin to London, I spent three years with Blake Newport; a commercial cost management, claims and dispute resolution firm. I’ve also worked as a contractor’s QS and PQS in Dublin, an estimator and QS for a carpentry firm in Sydney and, at the beginning of my construction career, as a labourer in Dublin, New York and Sydney.

What do you feel you bring to Base? 
I have extensive experience working in a vast range of roles across a spectrum of projects in both the construction and engineering sectors.

I think I bring real-world experience, coupled with focused educational and professional training. This has allowed me to move into and develop my role as an Expert Witness.

What would you consider to be your area of expertise? 
Quantity Surveying and the assessment and valuation of construction and engineering costs.

What are your career aspirations for the future? 
To continue to develop as an Expert. You are never quite the finished article at any stage of your career but, particularly in the world of experts, every project is slightly different and presents new challenges. I would also like to begin getting appointments as an adjudicator in the near future.

How do you see the industry changing in the future? 
The driving force for change, as with most things in life, is technology and I don’t think that’s any different within construction. However, the industry is far from innovative and is notoriously resistant to change. Processes are still very much rooted in practices that were common 40 years ago. Technology will inevitably lead to an industry that, in many aspects, will be unrecognisable to the one we know today.

[Base] has a culture of ‘people first’. I believe that finding the right combination of people and skills create an optimal working environment…

How do you see Base fitting into those changes? 
I believe that our wide exposure across different sectors places us in a great position to be able to meet these changes. Whilst many in the construction industry can spend 30 years working in one sector, the dispute world exposes you to numerous different projects, contracts and geographical locations. I think this gives Base a unique opportunity to react to changes occurring around the world and to be able to present our analysis and evidence in a coherent and considered fashion.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career so far? 
After the economic crash in Ireland, I arrived in London with limited knowledge of the UK market. I was unfamiliar with the details of the NEC and JCT contracts. Familiarising myself with the market and conveying that I was capable, competent and experienced enough to be able to transfer my skills to a different environment was an initial challenge.

What did you learn from that? 
A chartered QS has a huge number of adaptable and transferrable skills; from technical, to economic, procurement, negotiation, contractual and commercial. This means that, whether they are working for a public body, a private developer, a consultancy or a contractor, they are able to deal with a range of issues and work in a number of different environments. There are very few professions that allow you to develop such a diverse spread of experience in such a short space of time. Moving to the UK really opened my eyes to that and to the number of opportunities and directions that can be presented when you focus on developing your core QS skills, and how those skills are applicable across construction and engineering.

What would be your biggest piece of advice to those starting in the industry today? 
Develop your network from day one. Work on it constantly and it will pay dividends down the line, enabling you to reach out and find opportunities that might not be immediately obvious. It can also be great fun, people in the industry are always interesting and, if nothing else, they will understand what a QS does!