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Leading ESG lawyer joins Ben McQuhae & Co in London

Hong Kong boutique law firm Ben McQuhae & Co has strengthened its environmental, social and governance (ESG) advisory practice with the appointment of Paul Watchman.

Watchman, who is also an honorary professor of the School of Law of the University of Glasgow, will be the global head of climate change and ESG transition, based in London.

“Climate change and ESG transition will continue to profoundly impact every business in every economy, and we want to support and accelerate change,” said founding partner Ben McQuhae.

“I have no doubt this will be a deeply rewarding journey for all of us and I look forward to seeing what we can build together.”

Watchman is a recognised leading figure in all areas of ESG and, through a long association with the UN, he closely scrutinises law firms and their developing ESG practices.

He has advised a wide array of clients internationally and has been influential in the development of policy, business and financial practice, legal norms and voluntary codes and standards.

He led the Freshfields team and was the principal author and project head of the UN report on fiduciary duties, known as The Freshfields Report, which was published in 2005 to provide legal foundation for ESG investment.

Watchman’s appointment represents Ben McQuhae & Co’s first expansion to build a multidisciplinary strategic advisory firm to support more clients in more key markets.

Established in 2021, Ben McQuhae & Co focuses on supporting clients to build sustainable finance and pledges to be a net-zero carbon law firm.

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.

Once you have documented and reported everything that has occurred, you can then contact your attorney. Shuman Legal has some of the best lawyers and helps you find the fault in your accident.

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

YKVN corporate partner moves to Tilleke & Gibbins in Vietnam

Southeast Asian regional firm Tilleke & Gibbins has strengthened its corporate and commercial practice in Vietnam, hiring Tram Ngoc Bich Nguyen from Vietnamese law firm YKVN as a partner in Ho Chi Minh City.

Tram, who spent 16 years at YKVN and had been a partner since 2019 based in Ho Chih Minh City, advises clients on domestic and cross-border M&A transactions involving Vietnamese companies engaged in a broad range of business sectors.

She focuses on foreign investment and corporate matters, M&A, real estate, e-commerce, fintech, and data privacy, with expertise in advising foreign and multinational clients on investment in Vietnam, ranging from market-entry stage to expansion, corporate governance, internal rules and regulations, fundraising, restructuring, commercial transactions and employment.

In the real estate sector, Tram has a strong legal background in development, construction, management, operational and lease activities. She also assists multinational corporations in their adherence to local data protection laws and advises on issues such as platform and social network operations, terms and conditions, vendor contracts, e-contracting, cybersecurity, and data privacy.

Tram Ngoc Bich Nguyen

Changes To Family Law Must Come From Practitioners, Not Politicians

Lawyers can sit around waiting for parliament to make its recommendations and legislative updates, but it is more important for family lawyers to change the culture around divorce and related disputes.

Practitioners across the spectrum have been quick to criticise the newly announced parliamentary inquiry into the family law system, but change has to come from within the profession and those who deal with clients going through separation and divorce, argues one divorce coach and mediator.

Why mediation is needed

In conversation with Lawyers Weekly, Anne-Marie Cade, who is the founder of mediation coaching firm Divorce Right, said that one of the biggest issues is that there are many cases caught up in the court system that should not be there to begin with.

Most lawyers you speak to will tell you, she noted, that around 85 per cent of cases settle before going to trial.

“Most of those cases need not have been filed to begin with if clients were educated on their options at the preliminary stages of their matter and a different approach was adopted by the lawyers. There needs to be a bigger focus on early intervention strategies,” she posited.

“Processes like mediation are very effective if done early in the process. Clients need to be educated on the process of mediation and coached and prepared, so they are in the correct mindset before they attend mediation.”

However, this does not happen, Ms Cade said.

“In most cases, they are referred on to mediation at the early stages with little or no guidance and most mediations then fail as the parties go in ill-prepared. Papers then get filed in court and mediation is used in the later stages of the process as a last-ditch effort after all the nasty allegations have been made and the matter has become so acrimonious that parties are entrenched in their positions,” she said.

“An evaluative form of mediation is then used wherein they are forced into an agreement to avoid going off to court. Most often neither party is happy with the agreement and it is a recipe for disaster because they come out of the system with no skills on how to manage their co-parenting relationship which only leads to more conflict which in turn damages the kids.”

The onus is on the profession to act

“We can all sit around waiting for the politicians to make changes. None of the changes made will be ideal,” she continued.

“We are all quick to criticise but I think change has to come from within the legal profession as well as from other professionals who deal with clients going through separation and divorce. We need to change the culture around divorce and how it is done.”

Legal professionals in family law need a better understanding of conflict, how it can be resolved and better client management, Ms Cade surmised.

“There is no single method. It is necessary to create enduring solutions to conflicts, not just adopt a bandaid approach. It is necessary to think in non-traditional ways about possible solutions,” she explained.

“This involves an understanding of human behaviour and neuroscience, it involves shifting mindsets of both lawyers and clients and for this to be effective some of these changes have to come from within the legal profession.”

There is a social urgency, she espoused, to incorporate and develop transformative peacemaking practices into the work lawyers do in the family law space.

“We also need to work on ourselves as lawyers, so we see things differently. We can’t be that effective adviser beyond our own level of personal development,” she said.

“We are helping people who are embroiled in conflict and as lawyers we need a certain awareness of our own biases and engage in skill building, so we are equipped with the tools to deal with these issues so we can help our clients better.

“We can then integrate these learnings into how we deal with our clients. It may involve simple interventions at the very early stages. It’s important that we incorporate 21st century learnings into our work. Everything about the Australian family is changing but the way we approach divorce is still hopelessly outdated.”

Better understanding trauma

The trauma of divorce is not understood well enough, monitored or managed, Ms Cade added.

“There is a plethora of new service offerings available now to help clients manage even the toughest issues and make them more bearable and workable so they can reach resolution with minimal conflict,” she reflected.

“It’s necessary to embrace these new and different approaches to lead to better outcomes for our clients. Clients may be resistant to spending their money at the initial stages of the process to get this kind of help so it’s incumbent on lawyers to educate clients about the benefits of adopting these approaches so clients get the help they need and are able to sort their issues out in an amicable and peaceful manner instead of having to resort to litigation.”

It’s necessary for lawyers to look for big picture solutions and be peacemaking problem solvers, she concluded.

“Clients expect a gladiator approach when they see a lawyer so it’s up to us to show our clients that there are more constructive ways in which to resolve their matters. There is a collective responsibility on us as legal professionals to lead the change and make the difference.

“If we adopt this approach it will help clear the decks for the more complex cases that do belong in the court system and hopefully those cases will get resolved in a timelier manner.”

White & Case Advises Copeba on Its Acquisition of Ned Stevens

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

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

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

New Family Business Law

Regulates the benefits, incentives and work of family businesses, governance, management, transfer of shares and dispute resolution in order to enhance their role in the national economy.

On 10 October 2022, Decree-Law No. (37) on Family Businesses was issued and published in the Official Gazette and it will come into force three months after the date of publication, i.e. from 10/01/2023. The law has identified the family companies as any company established in accordance with the provisions of the Companies Law, and most of its shares are owned by persons belonging to the same family and are registered in the specific register prepared for this as a family business. As per this law, the Council of Ministers shall, upon the recommendation of the Minister of Economy, issue a decision specifying what is meant by one family.

Objectives of the Law

This Decree-Law aims to achieve the establishment of a comprehensive and accessible legal framework to regulate the ownership and governance of family businesses in the UAE, facilitate their transmission across generations, support the continuity of family businesses, enhance the role of the private sector in economic growth and community contribution in the UAE and provide appropriate mechanisms to resolve disputes associated with them and attribute their contribution to the UAE economy and competitiveness.

Types of servings and their transition

The Decree-Law also regulated how shares are transferred between members of the same family and between them and others from outside the family, and how each partner disposes of his share.

The shares were determined by two basic types according to the benefits granted to each type. The first type is called shares category (A) in which the partner has the right to vote in the general assembly of the company and receive his percentage of the profits.

The second type is called category (B) in which the partner is entitled to receive profits only without the right to vote in the general assembly. The decree authorized the memorandum of association to stipulate the conditions governing the conversion of shares (B) into shares (A) or vice versa and to be stipulated such as the passage of time or any other conditions, and it also allowed the  provision to divide shares (A) or (B) into categories according to the number of votes or profits allocated to them.

The Memorandum of Association may provide for other categories shares that differ in value, voting power, profits, priority rights and other rights or privileges, provided that the responsibility of the partner is to the extent commensurate with the rights and privileges allocated to each of those shares.

Bankruptcy and insolvency of family member shareholder

The Decree-Law also regulated the bankruptcy or insolvency of the partner in the family business and the right of any partner to have the right to priority purchase of the partner’s share at the price and within the period determined by the court hearing bankruptcy or insolvency.

The death of one of the partners was also organized, and the director of the company acts as the guardian of the shares of the  deceased partner, and supervises the procedures for transferring ownership to his heirs, each according to his legitimate share, and takes the procedures to amend the memorandum of association, after settling any rights or debts that may be related to these shares in favor of the family company or others, unless there is a provision in the Memorandum of Association to the contrary.

Family Business Management

It also organized the distribution of profits and how to manage the family company, the  appointment  and dismissal  of the director, his powers and responsibilities, and the organization of the governance of family affairs in relation to its relationship with the family company, through the establishment and organization of the work of councils and committees, such as the Family Association, the Family Council and the Family Office, which are specialized – each in the  field of tasks entrusted to him – to manage the affairs of the family and codify its relationship with the family business, including the education, training of its members and their work in the family company and its subsidiaries and entrepreneurship initiatives, and is concerned with the separation of ownership of the family company.

Family asset governance is about the ownership and governance of the family business, overseeing family investments, organizing charitable work and its own community contribution initiatives, and it contributes to the control of conflicts of interest and the reconciliation of views on disputes that may arise between family members and between them and partners.

Dispute Resolution

The Decree-Law also stipulated that the mechanism for settling disputes of family companies is to be established, whether in the memorandum of association the formation of a council of partners, family members or third parties, the purpose of which shall be to consider disputes that may arise between partners, between them and family members and between them and the family company, and to try to reconcile them.

Family Business Dispute Resolution Committee

The Decree-Law also provided the establishment of a committee in each Emirate called the “Committee for the Resolution of Family Business Disputes” by a decision of the Minister of Justice or the head of the local judicial authority, specifying its composition and the system of its work in the settlement of disputes of family businesses, chaired by a judge and assisted by two experienced and competent persons in the legal, financial, and family business management fields. The urgency it deems appropriate to maintain the continuity of the family business, prevent the interruption of its business or affect its reputation or financial position throughout the period of consideration of the dispute.

Benefits and incentives of family business companies

The Decree-Law on the benefits and incentives of the Most Successful Family Enterprises also decided, and made the Council of Ministers, upon the proposal of the Minister of Economy, and after coordination with the concerned stakeholders and the competent authorities, issue such decisions as it deems appropriate for the benefits and incentives granted to family owned companies registered in the Registry, and the controls, requirements related to these benefits and incentives, as well as the competent local authority, authorized for corporate affairs in each Emirate or Free Zone Authority, to grant any other benefits and incentives to family businesses in accordance with the controls and requirements issued in this regard.

Reda Hegazy  is a Partner  at Alsuwaidi & Company.

Reda is listed Legal Consultant in the Government of Dubai Legal Affairs Department, a Member of the DIAC 40, Young Practitioners Group in Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC), a certified arbitrator and member of the International Commercial Arbitration Centre (ICAA) in Sharjah (Tahkeem).

Glen M. Lindsay joins Leaders in Law as the Real Estate Litigation Law Member in Florida, USA

Leaders in Law the leading platform in its field, is delighted to welcome Glen M. Lindsay as our exclusively recommended & endorsed Real Estate Litigation Law expert in Florida, USA.

Born in Houston, Texas, Glen M. Lindsay earned his B.S. in Communication Studies and Philosophy from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois where he was a four-year recipient of the Thomas J. Watson Memorial Scholarship and a joint JD/MBA (Finance) from the University of Miami where he was a Graduate Assistant to Prof. Ann M. Olazabal, Esq. researching issues related to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act.

Glen’s practice concentrates primarily on business, regulatory and real estate litigation with an emphasis on matters involving fraud and/or deceptive business practices as well as matters at the intersection of commercial litigation and government regulatory compliance.

In 2019, Glen secured an order of dismissal in federal court in a matter of first impression successfully arguing that when attempting to secure a maritime lien on a vessel that designated as a “blocked asset” by the Office of Foreign Asset Control (“OFAC”), the party seeking imposition of the maritime lien must obtain licensure from OFAC prior to bringing an admiralty action. Versilia Supply Service SRL et al. v. M/Y Waku, 0:18-cv-62975-Cohn/Seltzer (Apr. 16, 2019).

Prior to joining Saavedra-Goodwin in 2016, Glen was an attorney with two NLJ 350 law firms where he represented numerous Fortune 500 companies focusing primarily on consumer finance and federal regulatory compliance matters.

Glen has an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and has been selected as a Rising Star since 2018 by Florida Super Lawyers, a distinction earned by only 2.5% of lawyers. Glen is a member of the Broward County and American Bar associations.

Glen is admitted to the bar in Florida, the U.S. District Courts for the Southern, Middle and Northern Districts of Florida, and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

Dentons Strengthens Dutch Tax Practice With The Hire Of Partner Sebastiaan Wijsman

Amsterdam—Global law firm Dentons has strengthened its Tax practice in the Netherlands with the appointment of Sebastiaan Wijsman as a partner He joined the Amsterdam office along with associate Joost Boon on September 1, 2022.

With more than 17 years of tax advisory experience, Sebastiaan has built an excellent reputation as a leading lawyer with a particular focus on Dutch tax matters in the real estate sector. He started his career at Deloitte and then spent 12 years at DLA Piper, where he set up the VAT / Indirect Tax practice in the Netherlands. He advises multinationals, real estate funds and project developers on Dutch VAT, transfer tax, financing, tax due diligence, as well as other tax matters. He also has extensive experience in structuring complex real estate projects, joint ventures and investments. He frequently advises on the purchase and sale of real estate portfolios and the restructuring of real estate entities.

In addition to his qualifications as a tax lawyer, he has completed the prestigious Master of Real Estate from the Amsterdam School of Real Estate.

“We are delighted to welcome Sebastiaan,” said Benelux Managing Officer Marien Glerum. “His expertise at the intersection of tax and real estate will give both our growing Tax and Real Estate practice groups a significant boost. This expansion will accelerate our growth and development strategy and help us achieve our ambition to build a market-leading Tax advisory practice in Benelux and across Europe.”

Europe Co-head of Tax, Jurjen Bevers, said: “Despite being one of the smallest countries in Europe, the Netherlands is one of the most attractive places for international companies. Having a strong Tax practice here is indispensable in order to serve our global client base, and we are happy to be able to add this top legal talent to the team.”

Sebastiaan Wijsman commented: “As the world’s largest law firm, Dentons offers an unmatched platform to meet burgeoning client needs in an increasingly complex global tax and business landscape. The energy and drive in the Amsterdam office was obvious from the first conversations. I am really looking forward to using this positive momentum to support my clients on complex tax transactions and disputes, and ultimately help them achieve their business goals.”

Since entering the Dutch market five years ago, Dentons has more than doubled the size of its Amsterdam office in terms of both revenue and headcount. The Amsterdam office currently has 116 lawyers, civil-law notaries and tax specialists.

Dentons’ global Tax practice includes more than 300 lawyers and tax advisers worldwide, including more than 130 in Europe.

About Dentons

Dentons is designed to be different. As the world’s largest law firm with 20,000 professionals in over 200 locations in more than 80 countries, we can help you growprotectoperate and finance your business. Our polycentric and purpose-driven approach, together with our commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity and ESG, ensures we challenge the status quo to stay focused on what matters most to you. www.dentons.com

 

Leaders in Law Global Awards 2022 – Sample Inclusions

Leaders in Law Global Awards 2022 winners will be selected based upon a comprehensive, independent survey of both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only firms and practitioners who have met independent international research criteria will be considered.

If you have been nominated for the upcoming Leaders in Law – Global Awards 2022, you will have the opportunity to promote your success in the upcoming publication.

Please see the samples below:

Full Page Inclusion

Half Page Inclusion

Business Card Inclusion

If you would like to be considered or nominate an expert please visit our nominations page here.

You can view our previous winners by clicking here.

Each winning applicant will be promoted across all of our social media platforms please view our coverage last year on our Linkedin.

About Leaders in Law

Business today is fiercely competitive and ensuring the selection of a knowledgeable and cost-effective lawyer when and where you need them is crucial to business success. The Leaders-in-Law platform provides immediate access to Leaders in their practice area throughout the world.

Users of the Leaders-in-Law platform vary from large multi-nationals to successful entrepreneurs. All with one aim: to quickly and easily find the Leader-in-Law they need with the correct expertise in their location.

The selection process for Leaders-in-Law experts is rigorous and many applicants are eliminated during the vetting process. The successful experts who join the Leaders-in-Law all have a proven track record of success, with their own unique attributes and knowledge of their practice area and local requirements.

 

Clarice Chen joins Leaders in Law as the Intellectual Property Law Member in Taiwan

Leaders in Law the leading platform in its field, is delighted to welcome Clarice Chen as our exclusively recommended & endorsed Intellectual Property Law expert in Taiwan.

Clarice (Tsui-Hua) Chen is the managing director of Sigma IPR. Before starting her own career in 2005, Chen worked for the largest international law firm in Taiwan for about 15 years, and was the Principal of the Patent and Technology Department of said firm. Chen excels in not only patent and trademark prosecution matters, but also the offense and defense of patent and trademark rights as well the litigation involving patent/trademark rights. She has been engaged in international IP practice since 1990, especially in patent and trademark matter. Chen has lectured for local and national organizations in Taiwan on various intellectual property topics.

In Taiwan, there are only a handful of IP firms equipped with a full-fledged chemical/biochemical team, among which the chemical/biochemical team of Sigma IPR has particularly been recognized as the most responsive, detail-orientated and disciplined. The technical fields covered by the unique chemical/biotech team include, but are not limited to, chemistry, chemical engineering, material science, polymer, semiconductor, pharmaceutical, agricultural, life science and biotechnology. In addition to the chemical/biotech team, Sigma IPR is also equipped with staff skilled in handling patent cases related to mechanics, electrics, Al, etc.

Practice Areas

  • Patent Prosecution
  • Patent Invalidation
  • Patent Infringement Analysis
  • Litigation
  • Trademark Registration
  • Trademark opposition, invalidation and revocation
  • Intellectual Property Law