Law

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.

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Law

Germany introduces a statutory minimum wage

by Michael Wendler, Wendler Tremml Rechtsanwälte

On 1 January 2015, the Minimum Wage Act (MiLoG) came into force in Germany, which fixes the minimum hourly rate at €8.50. Around 3.7 million workers in the low-pay sector will benefit from the new legislation, with their wages rising as a result. A statutory minimum wage is now in force across every sector of 22 of the 28 EU member states, with the exceptions being Austria, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Italy and Sweden.

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Law

Non-Profits Be Mindful: You May be Required to Pay Employees for Volunteer Time

By Nick Birkenhauer, DBL Law

Employees who work for not-for-profit organizations can be some of the most committed and caring employees in the workforce. Indeed, it is not unusual for non-profit employers to hire employees who are motivated by a passion for the organization, or the organization’s cause, as much as a paycheck. Beyond their regular job duties, these employees may wish to give back to their organization, outside of their normal work day, in a volunteer capacity. For instance, a clerical employee at an animal shelter may wish to volunteer at a weekend pet adoption event. While volunteer events like these often benefit all involved – the employer, the employee and those served by the employee’s volunteer services – it is imperative that employers treat employee volunteerism appropriately and with caution.

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Law

Data Breaches Come in Many Forms

By Dennis Kennedy, Dressman Benzinger LaVelle psc

Reports of data breaches are appearing in the media at an alarming rate. No one industry is safe from cyber attacks. In fact, recent attacks have been made against financial institutions, retail outlets, and health insurance companies. Most recently, Anthem announced a data breach affecting more than 80 million current and former customers. While cyber attacks across various industries have been grabbing the headlines, data breaches come in many forms.

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Law

New requirements for New Zealand Limited Partnerships

By Meryl Duval, Morrison Kent

Recent changes to the law mean that all new and existing New Zealand Limited Partnerships must now have at least one general partner resident in New Zealand.  While all Limited Partnerships registered since 1 September 2014 are already under the new regime, those registered prior to 1 September 2014 now only have until 28 February 2015 to comply.

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Law

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.

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Law

Major changes in Dutch employment law

By Jeffrey L. Kenens, TeekensKarstens

On 18 February 2014 the Dutch House of Representatives adopted the legislative bill for the Work and Security Act that was submitted on 29 November 2013. The Dutch Senate has endorsed it on 10 June 2014. The Act leads to fairly drastic changes in Dutch employment law. It has partly taken effect as per 1 January 2015. The other part of the Act will take effect as per 1 July 2015. In this note, I briefly mention the major changes in Dutch employment law without elaborating too much. Please note, that for the purpose of this brief news article no deviations possibly provided for in collective labour agreements have been taken into account.

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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.

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