We Are Launching #WeAreResilient to Build Connections and Support Charities
Given the unexpected and extreme overlapping of our home and work lives during the past few weeks, feeling connected while staying apart has emerged as a common challenge. As a way to address our current reality while continuing to build critical connections within our network, SCG is launching the #WeAreResilient! social media initiative. Whether it’s virtual happy hours, pets unknowingly interrupting important conference calls, unique home office setups, favorite Zoom backgrounds, clever recipes or creative teaching techniques from parents now deputized as teachers, we want to show the world how resilient, resourceful and truly incredible our members are! With that in mind, we invite you to share photos, videos and/or narratives that offer moments of joy and “cuteness,” tips, insights, and working from home best practices. Your submissions will be posted—and tagged with #WeAreResilient!—in SCG’s online Instagram community to further unite our network while building our community’s presence through shared social platforms. During April and May, any member who offers a submission will be entered into raffle drawings to win a $500 donation to his/her preferred charity. Raffles will occur for every 30 submissions and you can be entered in more than one raffle, but you can only win once. Please email your pictures, videos and/or short narratives to Diane at dcase@scglegal.com.

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As countries begin to lift their ‘stay at home’ orders, businesses—law firms and their clients included—face a new reality regarding their responsibility to protect the health and wellbeing of staff, clients, vendors and more. How can we ‘get back to the office’ in a way that keeps everyone motivated while decreasing the anxiety for those who might be at risk of becoming ill is the question we are being asked. Below are some resources that offer guidance on how to return to the office that may be of interest to your firm.

And … don’t forget to continue promoting SCG’s COVID Member Alerts, which now includes more than 300 legal alerts and more than 80 webinars and podcasts.

Annual and Midyear Meetings: The Year & Beyond
SCG has canceled its September 2020 Annual meeting due to the pandemic. Several webinars, small group dinner roundtables (via Zoom) and other programming are being curated to offer some of the content and connection/networking opportunities that would have been available at the on-site meetings. Regional in-person events—where possible, taking safety into account—are in the early planning stages for the fall/winter. Below is the expected schedule for our large 2021 meetings. A call for panel ideas and speakers for these events will be issued this fall and promotion will begin early next year.

     2021 Midyear Meeting – Lisbon Portugal
     May 27-28 at the Altis Grand Hotel

     2021 Annual Meeting – San Francisco, CA
     September 24 – 26 at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins Hotel

     2022: The Annual meeting will be held in Toronto and the Mid-Year meeting will be held in Berlin.

New Webcast Series: Conversations That Connect & Inform
SCG is launching a new webcast series called GlobalSpin to provide pandemic-related news and information about industries and government actions around the world for members and their clients. Each 20-minute (or less) webcast will feature a conversation between two partners from different firms in different countries sharing facts, points of view and predictions on topics ranging from legal, regulatory and social issues (in their diverse environments) to the future of the political landscape. If you are a voting representative, please expect an invitation to participate.

New Webinar Series: Foresight and Emerging Issues
Now more than ever law firms must be one step ahead of whatever issues may affect their business and that of their clients … today and in the future.

A few weeks ago, I participated in a U.S. Chamber of Commerce webinar entitled Foresights 2020 featuring Chris Pallaris, founder of i-intelligence and co-founder of Post COVID Future Resource Center, as the keynote speaker. The webinar explored how, in light of COVID-19, the world is changing, and Chris articulated what we can all do to anticipate the implications of these changes for our organizations.

I contacted Chris after the event and invited him to present to SCG members. On July 21 and August 11 at 10 AM EDT, he will keynote two different webinars (which will also be recorded for on-demand). The first webinar—Strategic Foresight—will introduce a unique portfolio of analytic skills, including resources that support predictive reasoning to identify both macro and micro trends and other indicators that can assist in successful decision making and impact our future business environment. The second webinar—How Will COVID-19 Fundamentally and Permanently Alter Our Lives and Business Practices—will map a post-pandemic landscape through current trends.

In addition to Pallaris’ presentations, the following informative webinars will also be part of this series. Please look for invitations to attend/participate and do feel free to forward all invitations to others in your firm as well as to clients.

  • Drive Client Loyalty and Build Business by Understanding the Voice of Your Client
  • Getting Back to the Office – A Panel of Member Firms Who are Back
  • Crisis Communication in Uncertain Times
  • Third-party Finance Opportunities – Litigation Finance is Prepared for Post-COVID Challenges
  • Social Media Best Practices – What You Should Know While Working from Home
  • “There is no going back’: How COVID-19 is Forcing Courts into the Digital Age

#SCGThrive: Lawyer Well-Being Week
As we cross 100 days in COVID-19 ‘lockdown,’ attorneys and law firm professionals continue to find innovative ways to cope with uncertainty and the new ‘work-life’ balance. To assist individuals in meeting the challenges our next 100 days might hold, SCG will continue to add well-being webinars and resources in the #SCGThrive series. 

News From the Network
Adams and Reese is pleased to announce Stephen C. Wolf, CPA, CLM has joined the firm as Chief Operating Officer, based in the firm’s New Orleans office. As COO, Wolf oversees all operational aspects of the firm, including financial management, administration, technology and information services, human resources, facilities, and risk management. Wolf will also be heavily involved in the planning and execution of the firm’s strategic goals and to ensure its continued financial strength and operating efficiency, working closely with the Adams and Reese Executive Committee in this capacity. Click here to read the full announcement. Also, Adams and Reese is pleased to announce Dana F. Bird, CPA has been promoted to Chief Financial Officer. Bird, who joined Adams and Reese in 2016 as Controller, is based in the firm’s New Orleans office. As CFO, Bird heads day-to-day financial management of the firm and oversees all accounting and finance activities. Working closely with the firm’s Chief Operating Officer, Bird is an integral part of planning and executing the firm’s strategic goals and ensuring its continued financial health and success. Click here to read the full announcement.

Wynn Williams is delighted to announce three promotions within its national team. The firm would like to congratulate Katherine Binsted, promoted to Senior Associate in the Corporate & Commercial Team, and James Anson-Holland and Courtney Donaldson both promoted to Associate in the Dispute Resolution Team. Click here to read the full announcement.

Guzmán Ariza is pleased to share with you our most recent publication, the “Legal Practice Guide to Real Estate in the Dominican Republic 2020”, published by the prestigious British legal directory Chambers and Partners, Global Practice Guides, co-authored by partners Alfredo A. Guzmán, Julio A. Brea-Guzmán and Fabio J. Guzmán Ariza. Click here to access the document.

Szecskay has published an article on how UK-based insurance companies providing cross-border insurance services to Hungary can prepare for 1 January 2021. UK-based (re)insurers which are now providing cross-border insurance services to Hungary will lose their passporting right 1 January 2021, due to the fact that they will automatically become third-country (re)insurers. Click here to read the full article. Szecskay has also published an article on the Hungarian Trust, a unique legal solution in Hungary, that can help family businesses with asset protection and succession planning. This form of Trust has existed since 2014 but has experienced increased demand during the ongoing crisis. Click here to read the full article.

Chambers USA Guidea preeminent legal ranking and resource guide named Parsons Behle & Latimer among the top law firms in Utah in its 2020 issue. Parsons Behle & Latimer received Chambers’s highest ranking (band one) in the practice areas of Environment, Natural Resources Regulated Industries as well as Commercial Litigation. In the Real Estate practice area, Parsons received the second-highest ranking – band two and a band three ranking in the areas of Corporate, Mergers and Acquisitions and Intellectual Property. In 2020, Their Labor and Employment department rose to band two. Click here to read the full press release.

In May 2020, the SEC adopted a temporary rule to make it easier for existing businesses to raise up to $250,000 through Regulation Crowdfunding (“Reg CF”).  In this video, Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp Corporate & Business Transactions partner Mark Hiraide explores this development further, and addresses the key questions you need to consider in order to take advantage of this rule. Click here to watch video.

In its 2020 edition, the legal directory Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business has recognized the law firm of Robinson+Cole in all six practice area categories that the publication covers in Connecticut. In addition, 20 lawyers were individually ranked from Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, including one that has been recognized nationwide. Click here to read the full press release. Robinson+Cole Litigation Section co-chair Rhonda J. Tobin was selected by the Hartford Business Journal for inclusion in its 2020 “Women in Business” recognition. Ms. Tobin is among 15 honorees who demonstrate business success, confidence in themselves and their organizations, and a strong track record of professional leadership. Click here to read the full press release.

Christopher Yetka of Larkin Hoffman, won a significant victory, obtaining the first award of bad faith damages in Minnesota’s Federal District Court after an evidentiary hearing in the Selective Insurance Company of South Carolina v. Amit Sela case. There have been a number of awards in state court since the bad faith statute was enacted, but this is the first ruling of its kind in Federal Court. On April 21, 2020, Judge Patrick Schiltz issued an order which, in addition to confirming $493,789 in hail loss damages stemming from a prior jury trial, awarded $214,394.50 in bad faith damages pursuant to Minnesota Statute §604.18. “This case is a vindication for Mr. Sela, who was accused of fraud by his insurance carrier and forced to prove he did nothing wrong when all he wanted was payment for his hail-damaged property,” said Yetka. “Instead of protection, he got unfounded accusations.” The opinion addresses a number of important issues apart from being the first of its kind in the Minnesota Federal District Court. Click here to read the full announcement.

Walch & Schurti Attorneys at Law Ltd becomes Schurti Partners Attorneys at Law Ltd. The reason for the change of name is the resignation of our partner Ernst Walch. Everything else remains as usual:a legal team led by internationally trained lawyers with admissions in seven different jurisdictions; the effort and expertise to provide legal services of the highest international standard to our clients, and; comprehensive, practical and solution-oriented legal advice.

Rifkin Weiner Livingston congratulates its partner and Government Relations Division co-chair Eric Bryant for successfully managing the congressional campaign of former U.S. Representative Kweisi Mfume, who won the special election primary to fill the seat vacated by the death of former U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings. Click here to read the full announcement. Rifkin Weiner Livingston also announced John (JR) Reith has been appointed RWL Chief Operating Officer and Camille Fesche and Brad Rifkin have been named co-chairs of the Firm’s Government Relations Division.  This news follows the announcement that long-time RWL partner and respected colleague Eric Bryant has been appointed Chief of Staff to Congressman Kweisi Mfume, after successfully managing his most recent campaign. Click here to read the full announcement.

DeWitt law firm announced the inclusion of four of its attorneys in the 2020/21 Intellectual Property (IP) Stars list of highly recommended IP practitioners, as released by Managing Intellectual Property IP Stars. The IP Stars are private practice IP professionals who have been highly recommended by their peers and clients. DeWitt and its attorneys David Biek, Joseph Miotke, Charles Sara and Christopher Scherer are listed as top patent and trademark practitioners in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Click here to read the full press release.  DeWitt also announced its inclusion in the world’s leading resource to Patent Professionals, the 2020 IAM Patent 1000 guide.  The guide recommends the Intellectual Property (IP) practice of the firm and its attorneys Eric Chadwick, Joseph Leone, Joseph Miotke, Charles Sara, and Christopher Scherer as top patent practitioners.    In addition to IAM’s recognition, Miotke, Sara and Scherer were recently designated as 2020 “IP Stars” by Managing Intellectual Property Magazine, the definitive guide to leading IP firms and lawyers. Click here to read the full press release.

Mills & Reeve has recruited high-profile, pioneering technology lawyer and founder of Technology Law Alliance, Jagvinder Singh Kang, as its new International Head of IT. This high-profile partner appointment, sends a clear message to the legal industry, that Mills & Reeve is determined to go “head to head” with the Magic Circle and other leading law firms in the field of technology law. Click here to read the full announcement. Mills & Reeve appoint Melanie Grimshaw as planning partner to support the firm’s national planning practice and its burgeoning Manchester real estate team. Previously at Pinsent Masons, Melanie specializes in all aspects of development planning, highways and compulsory purchase. Melanie also advises promoters and those affected by nationally significant infrastructure projects, particularly in the transport and energy sectors. Click here to read the full announcement.

The United States Senate passed S. 945, the “Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act” (the HFCAA), by unanimous consent on May 20, 2020.  The HFCAA was first introduced in the Senate on March 28, 2019 by Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) and co-sponsored by Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD).  On the same day of the HFCAA’s passage in the Senate, Representative Bradley Sherman (D-CA) introduced companion legislation in the United States House of Representatives that is identical to the HFCAA. The HFCAA, which amends the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, (i) imposes potential trading prohibitions for non-compliance with certain audit-related requirements, and (ii) mandates additional reporting and disclosure requirements on reporting issuers whose securities are listed for trading on any U.S. securities exchange or are traded “over-the-counter” in the U.S., in each case effectively limiting access to U.S. capital markets for non-compliant reporting issuers. Click here to read the full alert by Patterson Belknap‘s Jean-Claude Lanza, Herman Raspe and Gerald DeSantis.

Ireland Stapleton Pryor & Pascoe is proud to announce that Julie M. Walker has joined the firm as a Director. Ms. Walker has extensive experience as a trial lawyer representing individuals and businesses in federal and state courts as well as in arbitrations and mediations across the country. She has tried multiple jury and bench trials to verdict in Colorado and other jurisdictions. She has handled complex litigation for all types of businesses in a variety of matters involving construction, professional liability, product liability, qui tam, financial services, complex torts, employment and commercial litigation. Ms. Walker also has experience assisting licensed professionals in responding to regulatory inquiries or disciplinary matters.

Australian member firm Hall & Wilcox is pleased to announce 59 of its lawyers have been recognized in the 2021 Best Lawyers in Australia list, based on peer review of each lawyer’s professional expertise and likelihood to refer work. Partner John Gray was awarded ‘Lawyer of the Year’ for ‘Information Technology, Sydney’ and Partner Martin Ross was named ‘Lawyer of the Year’ for ‘Sports Law, Melbourne’. Click here to see the full list. Also, as part of the firm’s Smarter Law approach, Hall & Wilcox has launched a market-first app that allows international clients to quickly assess whether they need Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approval for different types of acquisitions. The app takes account of recent Federal Government FIRB rule changes due to COVID-19 that reduce the monetary threshold for notification to $0. Cross-practice teams have been busy working on a wide variety of matters, including advising Amorepacific, the world’s 12th largest cosmetics company, on its investment in Australian luxury skincare brand Rationale; advising ASX300-listed property group, Arena REIT on its $70 million capital raising; and acting for Pacific Infrastructure Partners in its acquisition of Sargon Capital Assets.

Starting June 1, 2020, Romanian law firm Vernon|David announces the promotions of Roman Ivanov and Sergiu Bivol in the position of Partners. Roman and Sergiu will complete the team of partners consisting of Charles Vernon, Daniela David, Diana Neagu, Maria Nica and Corina ?ig?na?. Click here to read the full press release.

WeirFoulds LLP’s Commercial Leasing Group is pleased to launch part one of the second season of WeirTalking Leasing – a legal podcast series highlighting the top commercial leasing trends in Ontario and Canada. The first few episodes of season two explore trending topics including changes to the Construction Act that impact leases, distribution center leases and co-tenancies. The discussions are geared toward all facets of the commercial leasing landscape, providing insights, tips and reminders to both new and seasoned landlords, tenants, property managers and others, on some of the most important – and evolving – areas of commercial leasing law. For first time listeners of the series, season one, released in September 2019, explored cannabis and leasing law, unattractive properties, terminating leases and more. Click here to learn more. WeirFoulds‘ Lisa Borsook joins The Prosperity Project to help stop COVID-19 from setting back Canadian women. Economic insecurity, increased caretaking responsibilities, and domestic violence are just a few examples of how women and young girls are disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Prosperity Project (TPP) is a new not-for-profit organization working to mitigate these impacts and ensure women are supported through this crisis. Click here to read the full article. WeirFoulds is also pleased to announce that Partner Raj Anand has been appointed Chair of the Board of Governors of the Law Commission of Ontario (LCO), effective April 16, 2020. Raj practices in the areas of human rights, constitutional and administrative law, labor relations, civil litigation, professional negligence and discipline. He is a former Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission and was an elected bencher of the Law Society of Ontario from 2007 to 2019. Raj has held an extensive list of professional titles throughout his career and received a wide array of awards. Click here to read the full announcement. In March 2020, The Advocates’ Society, the Ontario Bar Association, the Federation of Ontario Law Associations, and the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association established an E-Hearings Task Force (the “Task Force”) to work towards the expansion of virtual access to the courts during the COVID-19 crisis. Co-chairing the Task Force is Marie-Andrée Vermette, WeirFoulds partner and chair of the Commercial Litigation Practice Group. Click here to read the full article.

During the stay at home orders, many Fraser Trebilcock employees have missed the day to day interactions with one another. In a fun way to get everyone at the firm together, we have a weekly Happy Hour via Zoom on Friday afternoon, to help relax the transition from the workweek to the weekend. As another way for individuals to receive updates and view content, Fraser Trebilcock has created an Instagram account (@frasertrebilcock). Also, along with other recent changes, including the delay of COBRA deadlines and premium payments, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) released new model notices that employers may use to comply with the notice obligations under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA). Click here to read the full article.

Poyner Spruill LLP is pleased to announce partner Mike McIntyre as the recipient of the 2020 Liberty Bell Award. Mike was selected by the Young Lawyers Division of the North Carolina Bar Association for his commitment to strengthening our democracy and promoting civic engagement.  Law Day is celebrated annually by the NCBA, the YLD and the North Carolina Bar Foundation on the first Friday in May, as proclaimed by the governor. The event commemorates the rule of law, our governmental and legal processes, the justice system, civic engagement, and our protected freedoms. Click here to read the full press release.

GvW Graf von Westphalen has advised Miron Technologies on the acquisition of the personal dosimetry service facility (“AWST”) from Helmholtz Zentrum München Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt (GmbH) („HMGU“) in the context of an auction process. Click here to read the full press release. Also, GvW Graf von Westphalen has advised the technology company Ubimax in the successful closing of a Series B financing round. Fielmann Ventures GmbH is joining as a new investor. In addition, one of the existing investors, Westcott LLC (Dallas, Texas), is increasing its stake in Ubimax. Click here to read the full press release.

Adler Pollock & Sheehan Senior Counsel, Susan Leach DeBlasio, has received the prestigious Associate Justice Florence K. Murray Award from the Rhode Island Bar Association.  This esteemed award is presented to an attorney or jurist who has shared his or her legal talents and time to influence women to pursue legal careers, opened doors for women attorneys, or advanced opportunities for women within the legal profession, and has been a recognized mentor for women in every sense of the word. Click here to read the full press release. Also, Adler Pollock & Sheehan‘s Kelly Kincaid was elected to serve as President of the Rhode Island Women’s Bar Association for the 2020-2021 membership year.  She has been a member of the Rhode Island Women’s Bar Association since 2007 and joined the Board of Directors in 2014. Click here to read the full announcement.

DSM Avocats à la Cour has been voted Best Workplace Luxembourg by Great Place to Work! Each year the Great Place to Work® Institute rewards organizations where it is good to work in over 60 countries. In 2020, the Institute celebrates its 10th edition in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg for the occasion it rewards 20 enterprises that make confidence a vehicle for performance and well-being in the workplace. This year is DSM Avocats à la Cour’s first time in participating in the category of Small Companies, which represents organizations of 20 to 49 persons.

It is with great pleasure that Dunton Rainville welcomes Me. Simon Labrecque as a partner in the Commercial and Transactional Affairs Group. Called to the Bar in 1998, Me. Simon Labrecque practices business law, commercial law, transactional law and corporate taxation. He focuses primarily on mergers and acquisitions, sales of businesses, financing, corporate taxation, transactional taxation and venture capital. Click here to read the full press release.

CNPLaw LLP is proud to announce that our partner, Ms. Tan Min-Li, has been recognized in the 12th Edition of Best Lawyers in Singapore for Corporate Law and Mergers and Acquisitions Law. She has been listed in Best Lawyers since the 2014-15 edition.  CNPLaw also acted as Singapore counsel for a Singapore-based telecommunications start-up, AirGSM Pte Ltd, in its restructuring through a share swap with its US-based holding company, AirGSM Holdings, Inc. Click here to read the full press release. CNPLaw advised Axcelasia Inc., a company listed on the SGX-ST engaged in the provision of tax advisory and business consultancy services, in its divestment of principal subsidiaries to the Hong Kong Tricor group for a consideration of RM69.7 million. Click here to read the full press release.  CNPLaw is proud to announce that the firm has been appointed to be on the Singapore Medical Council’s (SMC) Panel of Legal Assessors for the second consecutive year. This appointment makes it the 7th panel that CNPLaw is on within the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry. Click here to read the full press release. CNPLaw also advised a local private real estate fund on its joint venture for a real estate investment project in respect of commercial and industrial property in Singapore. The joint venture leverages the breadth of expertise of the Client’s group of companies to manage assets and property in Singapore. The target property is envisaged to be developed based on similar concepts and design established by the Client in the current property market. CNPLaw acted as Singapore counsel to a local online e-commerce platform operator in its series B fundraising exceeding S$3.5 million from key market players. This strategic investment was completed in May 2020 and allows the Client to leverage on the investors’ strong presence in Asia Pacific. Having advised on previous fundraising rounds, the Client commended CNP for its help as CNP continues to support the Client in its rapid regional expansion with this successful milestone.