How A Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help You

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

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

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

Reach DBA attorney for more details.


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

A criminal defense lawyer can help navigate the criminal law system properly, such as writing counter-affidavits, processing bail in Pico Rivera or the place of the incident, and court trials. For instance, a criminal defense attorney can assist the defendant in contacting a trustworthy agent. That way, the defendant can obtain bail to exercise rights and prepare a strong defense.

Your lawyer reviews the evidence, such as closed-circuit television (CCTV) photos and videos, against you and raises potential defenses to help reduce or eliminate penalties and duration of imprisonment. Examples of possible defenses include establishing a strong alibi, self-defense, and involuntary intoxication.


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

Negotiating to reduce the severity of the sentence or punishment is called a plea bargain. Your criminal defense lawyer can negotiate a plea bargain if you’re found guilty. Plea bargains can be arranged before filing a charge or after the jury deliberates on the case’s verdict. Your lawyer can help with a plea bargain or pleading guilty to a crime with less punishment.

Aside from legal expertise, an experienced criminal defense lawyer has a vast network of professional connections to help negotiate acceptable outcomes for your case. As an expert negotiator, a criminal defense attorney seeks outcomes advantageous to the defendant but consistently deals with others honestly and legally.


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


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


Making Sense of Company Registration Requirements in Hong Kong

Starting a business in Hong Kong can be daunting, especially when it comes to understanding the company’s registration requirements. Many entrepreneurs struggle with navigating the complex process of registering their businesses and complying with all legal regulations in order to operate smoothly. 

Fortunately, there are several resources available that provide clear guidance on how to register a business in Hong Kong – from choosing a company name, selecting the right structure for your business, filing any necessary documents and more.

Is Registering A Company In Hong Kong Difficult?

With the right knowledge and resources, it is possible to successfully and easily establish a business in Hong Kong

The company registration process is easier than it may seem. In fact, the process can usually be completed in a matter of days. 

Before starting the registration process, it’s important to understand the different types of companies available and their specific registration requirements.  

Depending on the type of business activity that will be conducted, additional documents such as a Memorandum and Articles of Association may be required.

The Companies Registry offers a range of services, including the registration of companies and their subsequent management. It also provides guidance for compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. 

The registry also has a dedicated team to answer any questions about company formation and provide advice on corporate governance matters.

In addition to registering with the Companies Registry, businesses operating in Hong Kong must also register with the Inland Revenue Department (IRD). 

Companies must provide detailed financial statements, as well as proof of their annual income and expenditure. 

Businesses may also be required to obtain a business license from the relevant government department or statutory body. 

Main Types Of Company Structures In Hong Kong

When registering a business in Hong Kong, it is important to consider the different types of company structures available.  

The most common type of company structure used by local businesses is the limited liability company (LLC). 

This type of entity allows the owners to limit their personal financial risk, as they are not liable for any debts or obligations incurred by the company. 

Other types of company structures include the unlimited liability company, private limited companies and public limited companies.

The Costs Involved In Registering A Company In Hong Kong

The costs involved with registering a business in Hong Kong depend on the type of structure that is chosen. Generally speaking, setting up an LLC will cost less than an unlimited liability company. 

The other costs involved include the registration fee, which is based on the company’s authorized share capital, and the stamp duty fee, which is a flat rate of 0.1% for companies with an issued share capital of up to $50,000.

Professional fees such as legal and accounting services should also be taken into consideration when registering a business in Hong Kong. 

Requirements For Incorporation & Compliance

Incorporation in Hong Kong is a straightforward process, however it does come with certain steps and requirements that must be met. 

Companies are required to consider the various registration and compliance issues associated with setting up a business in such an important financial hub. 

Registration Requirements: 

Companies will need to register their business with the Companies Registry in Hong Kong, providing various documentation proving the legality of their business. 

This includes proof of identity for anyone involved in the company, such as directors, shareholders and secretaries. 

Companies must also provide a proposed company name that has not already been used by any other business and submit an application form with all relevant details to be registered. 

Compliance Requirements: 

Companies must also comply with various legal requirements and regulations, such as the Companies Ordinance

They will need to have a registered office in Hong Kong, as well as a company secretary who is a resident of the city. 

The company will also need to appoint at least one director and one shareholder, both of whom must be over 18 years of age and must not have been disqualified from being director or shareholder. 

Companies must also file an annual return with the Companies Registry each year, which includes details on the directors, shareholders and company secretary as well as other financial information. 

Additional Considerations: 

In addition to these requirements, companies may wish to consider a number of other factors that may affect their business. 

These could include things such as the type of ownership structure, any tax implications and how to protect against risks associated with setting up in Hong Kong. 

Key Considerations For Long-Term Success

Starting a business in Hong Kong may seem as an overwhelming task, especially when it comes to company registration requirements, but with the right knowledge and guidance, entrepreneurs can successfully navigate the process and establish their business for long-term success. 

By understanding these points ahead of time, you can ensure a smooth transition into launching your new venture.

Determine The Type Of Business Entity

The most common business entities established in Hong Kong are limited companies, private companies, and partnerships. 

Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, so make sure to research the different types carefully before deciding which is best suited for your business’ needs.

Secure A Hong Kong Business Registration Number

All businesses in Hong Kong must apply for a business registration number (BRN) from the Companies Registry. 

The BRN is used to identify the company and its business activities.

Determine Your Company’s Capital Structure

After registering your company, you need to decide on its capital structure – that is, the amount and composition of share capital. 

The Companies Registry also requires that all companies have a minimum paid-up capital of at least HKD $10,000 to begin operations.

Appoint Directors

Companies registered in Hong Kong must appoint at least one director who is either a permanent resident or citizen of the city. 

It is important to note that public companies must have at least three directors.

Open A Bank Account

After your company is registered, you will need to open a bank account in the name of your business and deposit the minimum paid-up capital. This helps prove the existence and financial health of your company. 

Obtain Licenses And Permits

Depending on the type of business you operate, you may need to obtain licenses or permits from the relevant government departments. 

Make sure to research all applicable laws and regulations beforehand.

Maintain Compliance

Companies registered in Hong Kong are subject to periodic reporting requirements and must ensure that their records remain up-to-date. 

Companies must also keep proper records of their financial accounts and file an Annual Return with the Companies Registry. Failing to do so can result in hefty penalties.

Final Word

With the right knowledge and resources, it is possible to successfully and easily establish a business in Hong Kong. 

Whether you are looking for a company registration or simply want to open an account with one of the local banks, understanding all the requirements can help make sure that everything goes smoothly.


Global Awards 2022 is now LIVE!

Congratulations to all winners on an excellent year!

The Leaders in Law – 2022 Global Awards commemorates those who have been successful over the past 12 months & have shown excellence not only in their expertise but in service.

You can view the 2022 Winners in the Publication below. Congratulations again to all Winners on a superb 2022!

View the 2022 Global Awards: Award Winners 2022 – Leaders in Law (


White & Case advises Merck KGaA on acquisition of Erbi Biosystems

Global law firm White & Case LLP has advised Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany (Merck), a leading science and technology company, on its acquisition of Erbi Biosystems, the developer of the Breez 2-ml microbioreactor technology platform.

The acquisition of US-based Erbi Biosystems strengthens Merck’s portfolio of therapeutic proteins and creates future development opportunities, including in the area of cell therapies. The transaction is part of the company’s strategy to accelerate innovation through targeted acquisitions of small- to mid-sized high impact companies.

The parties have agreed not to disclose financial details. The acquisition was completed on December 1, 2022.

Merck KGaA, headquartered in Darmstadt, Germany, is a leading science and technology company active in the healthcare, life science and electronics sectors. The company employs approximately 60,000 people and in 2021 generated sales of €19.7 billion in 66 countries.

US-based Erbi Biosystems maintains a research and development and manufacturing in Massachusetts. Its products are used in the US, Europe and China.

The White & Case team which advised on the transaction was led by partner Stefan Koch (Frankfurt) and included partner Victoria Rosamond (New York), counsel Samantha Rozell (Chicago) and associates Caitlin Powell Gimpel (Milan), Christian Sperling (Frankfurt) and Tyrone Crawford (Washington, DC).


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.”

A Pathway to Slovakia Citizenship


Since 1 April 2022, anyone with a Slovak Republic residence permit and a parent, grandparent, or great-grandparent who was born as a Czechoslovak citizen in the territory of Slovak Republic may apply for Slovak citizenship via Slovakia citizenship by descent program.

This citizenship pathway is available regardless of the applicant’s place of birth or knowledge of the Slovak language, history, or culture.

Notably, those with ancestors who had lost their Slovak citizenships may also apply to become a citizen of Slovakia if certain conditions are met, making Slovakia one of the most generous EU member states in terms of facilitating a pathway to grant citizenships to foreign-born descendants of its citizens.

Aside from the citizenship pathway, Slovakia allows anyone of Slovak origins to apply for a Slovak Living Abroad (“SLA”) certificate to live in Slovakia.

In other words, Slovak Descendants who do not qualify for the above-mentioned citizenship program due to the generational limit imposed may now have the opportunity to apply for SLA certificates to reside in Slovakia.

Additionally, SLA holders may either apply for Slovak citizenship if they can demonstrate with evidence that they have contributed significantly to their respective SLA communities or maintained continuous residence in the territory of the Slovak Republic for three years immediately preceding submission of the citizenship application.


“We have received a spike in queries about the Slovak citizenship-by-ancestry program since the Slovak government announced its decision to relax immigration rules to allow ethnic Slovaks born outside of Slovakia to apply for citizenship or SLA to reconnect with their heritage,” said Mr. Jean-Francois Harvey, Global Managing Partner of Harvey Law Group, an international law firm that specializes in investment and business immigration matters.

“The recent surge in queries for Slovak citizenship-by-ancestry is hardly surprising when one considers the advantages and benefits that Slovak citizenship brings,”
said Mr. Harvey.


Becoming a Slovak citizen not only allows one to live, work, and study in Slovakia and across all the 27 EU member states without getting a visa, it also grants access to the Slovak passport, which is the world’s sixth most powerful passport in terms of travel freedom in 2022.

Holders of Slovak passport enjoy visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 156 destinations around the world, and in times of emergency, such as those caused by COVID-19, they are entitled to call for help from the Slovak government or the embassy of any other EU member states.


Those interested in migrating to Slovakia may also be delighted to learn that Slovakia currently ranks eleventh in the world in terms on its tax competitiveness, indicating that the country’s taxation regime is more favourable in comparison to those offered by popular immigration destinations such as Canada, United States, and United Kingdom.

“With over 800,000 people reported of Slovak ancestry in North America, it is possible that an astonishing number of people could qualify to apply for Slovak citizenship-by-ancestry if they delve deep into their family histories and demonstrate an uninterrupted lineage with a qualifying Slovak ancestor,” said Harvey.

 If you have ancestors who were Slovaks and you would like to learn more about the slovak citizenship-by-ancestry pathway.

Please contact us at to complete a free eligibility assessment and find out if you qualify to apply for the Slovak citizenship and passport through your ancestral links.

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.


Spanish firm Pérez-Llorca opens first Asian office in Singapore

Madrid-headquartered Pérez-Llorca will open a new office in Singapore in the first quarter of 2023, making it the first Spanish law firm to set up in the city state. The firm’s first Asian office will be at the forefront of developing its strategy in the region.

Pedro Pérez-Llorca

“The Asian economy is outperforming both the American and European economies,” said Pedro Pérez-Llorca, senior partner at Pérez-Llorca in Madrid. “We have to have a presence there, to help our clients and also for ourselves, to develop our own practice and to continue to learn, and Singapore is, without a doubt, the place to be in the Asia-Pacific”.

Senior associate Pablo Hontoria will relocate to Singapore with a small team of lawyers to lead the new office and his appointment as a partner will be proposed at the next general meeting of partners.

Hontoria started his career at Pérez-Llorca in Madrid in 2011 and worked with partner Iván Delgado to set up the firm’s New York office in 2015. He has extensive experience in advising national and international clients on M&As, transfers of assets and business units, as well as on corporate and corporate governance matters.

The new Singapore office will strengthen the firm’s international projection in collaboration with other international offices in New York, London and Brussels. Besides Madrid, the firm also has an office in Barcelona.

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.


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.


Susan Melony