Law

How Do Law Firm Compensation Models Work?

By Timothy Lynch Esq., Offit Kurman

How is a typical lawyer paid? Trick question: there is no such thing as a typical lawyer. Accordingly, there is also no true standard model for how law firms dole out compensation and rewards. Numerous factors, including region, size, structure, leadership, tenure, billing practices and practice areas, determine a firm’s financial structure, which is why practitioners—even those working in the same firm, in the same practice area with the same size book of business —sometimes take home vastly different earnings.

How to make your Annual Audit work for you

By Paul Levy, Lawrence Grant

A question that most companies find themselves asking is, is my annual audit adding value to my business? We understand perfectly that an audit of your business records can sometimes be time consuming, costly and inconvenient, but we look at it as an opportunity to conduct a review of your financial and management systems, identify any problem areas so that we can help transform your business' prospects for the future.

Hungary: Electronic court proceedings

By Dr. Attila Kovács, Kovács Réti Szegheõ Attorneys at Law

As of 1 July the rules of the Hungarian Act III of 1952 on the Code of Civil Procedure (“CPC”) provides for comprehensive changes in civil proceedings, including bankruptcy and liquidation procedures. While electronic communication with the court of registration for companies has already been institutionalized in 2008, and while the orders for payment procedures are handled electronically since 2009, the – in most cases – obligatory communication by electronic means in civil proceeding as of 1 July 2015 will be the next step to the “paperless” legal procedures.

Hybrid instruments and BEPS Action Plan 6

By Robert Worthington, Shea Nerland Calnan LLP

Hybrid instruments can significantly reduce a corporate group’s cost of capital. Group financing strategies rely on different countries’ characterisation of debt and equity. The idea is to create interest deductions in one country while having corresponding exempt dividends in another.

Impact of confidentiality clauses on litigation in the German courts

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By Dr. Karl Friedrich Dumoulin, FPS Rechtsanwälte & Notare

Confidentiality clauses are widely used in M&A and IP transactions as well as in cooperation agreements between high-tech companies and also in arbitration and mediation agreements. Therein, the parties involved usually undertake not to disclose certain confidential information disclosed by the other party in the formation of the agreement. Moreover, it is often the case that the parties also undertake not to make use of certain evidence made known in the transaction. If, at a later date, certain elements of the transaction become contentious between the parties and the case goes to court, the question arises whether and to what extent the parties and the court are bound by the confidentiality agreement, i.e. whether a party is permitted to submit to the court certain information or evidence defined as confidential in the agreement.

Implementation of USPTO Rules Under the AIA is Underway: Preissuance Submissions

By John J. Cahill and Lisa H. Wang, Gibbons

35 U.S.C. § 122(e), adopted last fall as part of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act ("AIA"), conditions third party submissions to the USPTO for consideration and inclusion in an application file. Recently, the USPTO published the final rules regulating these submissions by third parties: Changes to Implement the Preissuance Submissions by Third Parties Provision of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, 77 Fed. Reg  42150 (2012). That is to say, the USPTO provided the requirements and guidance to anyone wishing to have the Office consider patents, published patent applications, or other printed publications of potential relevance during the examination of a pending application. The new rules pave the way for a third party to limit the scope of a pending patent application, particularly a competitor's application, in a meaningful way.

Importance of determining the relevant body to take a lawsuit

By Francis P. Donovan and Jean-Philippe Bolduc, Ravinsky, Ryan, Lemoine, LLP

As part of a bailout provided by the Canadian government to General Motors during the 2008 financial crisis, over 200 GM dealerships were closed, with GM offering dealers compensation pursuant to Ontarian wind down agreements. A class action was filed in Ontario, alleging that the firm Cassels Brock and Blackwell LLP gave negligent legal advice to the dealers. Cassels Brock added 150 Canadian law firms, which had also given dealers advice pursuant to the agreements, as third party defendants.

Informal Wills and Solicitors’ duty of care

By Terry McCabe, McCabes Lawyers

‘Informal wills’ is a term used to describe instruments which fall short of being executed formally in the manner stipulated at law.

Intangible Assets

By Dr Jorge Marcos García Landa, Corporativo García Landa, S.C.

In Latin America, most legal entities have no idea of what their company is worth, which is detrimental to their own company and the legal entities that comprise it.

International Commercial Arbitration – Lost? Take a glance at our Road Map! – Part I

By Patrizia Giannini, S4B Solutions 4 Business

In general – or, roads you can drive down in your sleep! – International commercial arbitration (ICA) involves a business-related dispute among citizens of different nation-states, including investor-state arbitration between foreign private parties and state entities, according to bilateral investment treaties (BITs). ICA is private, but parties may contest the agreement to arbitrate, or the award, in Court.

It’s a 1-1 draw between employers and employees

By Merrill April, Memery Crystal LLP

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) could be accused of presiding over a “game of two halves” in two recent decisions relating to employee sickness absence. Team Employer will be pleased by the decision in Metroline West Ltd v Ajaj[1] that “pulling a sickie” can be a ground for dishonest gross misconduct. However, in Private Medical Intermediaries v Hodkinson[2] the EAT found that an employer’s correspondence with an employee on sick leave amounted to constructive unfair dismissal, showing the importance of careful management of sickness absence.

Italy reforms enforcement procedures and forced selling

By Dr. Mariagiulia Signori, COMMA 10

In Italy, debt collection has undergone considerable changes. By means of two urgent reforms, important measures have been taken. L. 162/14 – November and L.D. 83/2015 – June, were issued to improve the efficacy of both the collection of receivables against debtors and sales of seized assets by public auction.

Italy: Mediation in civil disputes

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By Dr. Mariagiulia Signori, COMMA 10

Italy regulated the extra – judicial proceedings for ADR with Legislative Decree No. 28/2010, which made provision for mediation becoming a preliminary condition for judiciary proceedings. This term of law was examined by the Italian Constitutional Court which, in its judgment No. 272/2012, declared the unconstitutionality of the legislative decree No. 28/2010 as it stipulated compulsory mediation.

Jurisdiction and Cross-Border Commercial Mediation in the EU

By Prof. Dr. Renate Dendorfer-Ditges & Philipp Wilhelm, DITGES PartGmbB

Mediation is increasingly considered as an alternative to settle commercial cross-border disputes. Regularly the question is raised whether the result of mediation will be enforceable. In this respect, it is advisable to draft the final agreement enforceable according to the law of that state in which enforcement is expected, e. g. as a notarial deed (see sec 794 para 1 no 5 German Code of Civil Procedure/ZPO), a settlement reached among attorneys (see sec 796a, sec 796b ZPO), or a settlement concluded by the parties before a court (see sec 794 para 1 no 1 ZPO).

Kentucky Court Recognizes Lien Based on Stock Purchase Agreement

James Dressman, III, Dressman Benzinger LaVelle psc

In a recent decision, the Kentucky Court of Appeals sent a clear message to lending institutions. Namely, to carefully examine existing due diligence practices prior to extending financing to borrowers. The case, Fifth Third Bank v. Rogers et al., concerned five brothers that organized multiple corporations and served as their sole shareholders and directors. After the death of a brother and pursuant to the terms of an existing Stock Purchase Agreement, the deceased brother’s estate offered his stock to the corporations and remaining shareholders. After failing to elect to purchase the deceased brother’s stock, the Estate initiated an action to have the corporations dissolved and their affairs wound up in accordance with the Stock Purchase Agreement.

Kentucky Employers Beware: Your Non-Competition Agreements May No Longer Be Valid

By Nicholas Birkenhauer, DBL Law

Kentucky courts have always strictly construed employee non-competition agreements against employers and in favor of employees. This means that any ambiguities, or other questions, in a non-competition agreement will be resolved in favor of the employee. For this reason, it has always been important for Kentucky employers to pay careful attention when drafting non-competition agreements. This is even more true today, in the wake of a 2014 Kentucky Supreme Court case which significantly altered the requirements of employee non-competition agreements in Kentucky.

Largest Class Action in South African Legal History Launched

By Izak Potgieter, Heyns and Partners Inc.

TA South African court recently gave the green light to launch the largest class action suit in the country’s legal history, when two pensioners were granted permission to institute a lawsuit against the massive parastatal, Transnet.

Legal assurance

By Frank W.M. Sonsma, Alea Management B.V.

Labour law in several countries contains prevailing mandatory provisions aimed to protect the rights of the employee. This concept of law is regarded as justified since the employee is perceived to be the weaker party (“the employee as the modern version of a slave”).

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Geneva Group International AG Zürich, a joint-stock company incorporated under Swiss law with Swiss company registration number CH-170.3.020.433-0 whose registered office is at Schaffhauserstrasse 550, CH-8052 Zurich, Switzerland, (hereinafter referred to as "GGI") is in charge of the data supplied to this Website and the processing of such data. This website is managed by GGI. The goal of this target group is to develop additional sustained and diversified business opportunities on the basis of these relationships.

For the purposes of this Privacy Statement, member firms, correspondent firms, associated firms of GGI and other companies assisting GGI in running and maintaining this website are together described as Partners.

GGI provides information and documentation on World Wide Web sites, such site(s) being known as the GGI Internet (hereinafter referred to as the "Website"). This page contains the information gathering and use policies adopted by GGI in connection with the Website. These policies are subject to periodic review and any changes will be included within this section of the Website.
GGI is not responsible for the privacy policies of third party sites to which links are provided (including sites of Partners of GGI). The privacy policies on these sites should be checked before providing any personal information to these sites.

GGI is committed to the protection of personal information supplied by clients and prospective clients and other users of this Website. GGI provides further support and specialised services for Partners most of whom are situated outside Switzerland in countries which may not afford an adequate level of protection for personal data. Personal information submitted to the Website may be transferred to other Participant Firms outside of Switzerland to the extent necessary to meet the purpose for which the information was submitted. In submitting personal data to this Website in connection with a request for support and specialised services, the individuals concerned consent to the transfer of their personal data outside Switzerland to the extent necessary to comply with the request.

Collection of information

GGI will only collect and use personal data voluntarily and openly provided to this Website. Authorised users are able to browse the Website without disclosing any personal information. An authorised user of this Website may choose to provide GGI with limited personal data as required in order to register for certain services; once registered the information will only be used for the specified purpose(s). If you provide any data by completing the appropriate spaces on this Website or by sending a message to GGI by any means (particularly e-mail) you confirm that you agree that GGI may save, analyze and/or use the date for any purposes, including, but not limited to sending information and brochures to you. You may revoke your consent to the further use of the transmitted data by GGI at any time by sending an e-mail to GGI.

GGI reserves the right to save information regarding the domain name and/or IP-address of users of the GGI Website or their providers' for administrative, statistical and/or other purposes. The IP address indicates the location of the authorised users' computer on the Internet. GGI does not require registration for access to the Website.

It will normally be clear when personal information is being collected. The information required is the minimum necessary to enable GGI to deal with the services requested, but additional information may be requested in order for GGI to provide the most appropriate response. If such additional information is requested it is highlighted and its provision is voluntary.

We do not solicit sensitive personal data through the Website except where legally required to do so, e.g. for the purposes of retaining information for inclusion in the GGI directories of Partners, their principals and their professional expertise. We would suggest information of this nature is not provided except where such data is for inclusion in GGI directories of Participating Firms, their principals and their professional expertise.

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GGI will provide personal information to third parties in the following circumstances:
 
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Information collected from authorised users of the Website will be kept in order to provide the required services as well as for statistical purposes. Once the service has been completed all information will be destroyed in accordance with GGI's data retention policies. Where the information has been collected in connection with an expression of interest in working for GGI or a Partner it is agreed that GGI may use, hold and destroy personal data supplied in connection with the initial expression of interest in accordance with GGI's standard recruitment procedures:
 
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Where the authorised user of the Website has provided additional information, personal details will be retained for a period of time reasonable in the context of the nature of the request.

If these conditions are not acceptable the site should not be further used.

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GGI has implemented accepted standards of technical measures and security policies that are aimed at protecting the personal data it has under its control from:
 
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All GGI personnel are required to keep personal information confidential and only authorised persons have access to such information.

Please note that the Website contains links to other sites (including sites maintained by Partners) which are not governed by this privacy statement.

Additional general conditions governing the Legal Disclaimer and the Privacy Statement

The rejection of any liability and/or responsibility regarding the Website and its content and other terms and/or conditions contained in this legal information are also applicable to all companies associated or affiliated with GGI, particularly GGI member firms (Partners).

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The Legal Disclaimer and the Privacy Statement indicated above shall be governed by and are construed in accordance with Swiss substantive laws (excluding the rules of the conflict of laws) and the courts of Zurich, Switzerland shall have exclusive jurisdiction in any possible dispute.


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