Asia Pacific

Sit, Fung, Kwong & Shum acts for Lau

We acted for Mr. Joseph Lau, Luen-hung in the distribution of all the 74.99% shares in Chinese Estates Holdings Limited indirectly held under a discretionary trust founded by him. Chinese Estates is company listed on the Main Board of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (Stock Code: 127) with market capitalisation of over HK$20 billion. After the distribution on 1 March 2017, Mr. Lau Ming Wai (the son of Mr. Joseph Lau) and Ms Chan Hoi Wan (the spouse of Mr. Joseph Lau), as trustee for her minor children Lau Chung-hok and Lau, Sau-wah, indirectly hold shares representing approximately 24.97% and 50.02% of the total issued share capital of Chinese Estates respectively.

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Fair go mate – Why funding of CLCs should be increased, not decreased

Community Legal Centres (CLCs) are independent, not-for-profit community organisations providing equitable and accessible legal services. They support those in our community who are disadvantaged socially, economically or culturally, and often provide their only access to legal services. In doing do CLCs correct societal imbalance and give support and a voice to those who otherwise would not have it.

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Will you be caught within the expanding cover of the Retail Leases Act?

The recent decision by the Supreme Court of Victoria in CB Cold Storage Pty Ltd v IMCC Group (Australia) Pty Ltd [2017] VSC 23 endorses a wider interpretation of what is considered a ‘retail premise’ for the purposes of the Retail Leases Act 2003 (Vic) (RLA). As a result of this decision, it is clear that the ‘ultimate consumer’ test could be satisfied by either commercial or private consumers and that most service businesses will be found to be involved in the ‘retail provision of services’ and subject to the RLA. As a consequence, leases which have previously been considered to fall outside the scope of the tenant friendly RLA provisions may, in fact, be regulated by its provisions, without landlords or tenants realising.

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Hall & Wilcox a finalist in two categories at the 2017 Australasian Law Award

Hall & Wilcox is delighted to be named a finalist in two categories at the 2017 Australasian Law Awards.

These are:

  • Law Firm of the Year (101-500 lawyers)
  • Law Firm Leader of the Year (>200 employees) – Tony Macvean
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Important Amendment to Thailand’s Anti-Corruption Act

Amendment 3 of Thailand’s Anti-Corruption Act, the Organic Act on Counter Corruption B.E. 2542 (1999) (the Act), came into effect on July 10, 2015. The amendment was influenced by the U.K. Anti-Bribery Act and by the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and its enforcement agencies. Under the Act, Thailand now complies with international standards for anti-corruption. The amended Act covers offenses and punishments relating to bribery amongst state officials in Thailand, foreign countries, and officials from international organizations. The National Anti-Corruption Commission can now investigate and file suits in Thailand and in foreign courts against Thai and foreign state officials, individuals in the private sector, and international organizations. A major objective of the amended Act is to compel Thai companies to draft and implement anti- corruption policies that will help prevent corrupt practices before they can happen.

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New law: where does the new client fit in?

Amid the potential for new technologies to transform legal delivery, the most exciting change we are currently seeing is clients who expect more.

So much of the talk around innovation in legal services misses the one vital element of the whole equation. Technology is and will continue to play a huge role, but something bigger is happening: focus on the client.

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What happens if you are from the UK or own assets in the UK?

Beware of the dreaded inheritance tax and changes to it from April 2017!

Approximately 1.3 million Britons now live in Australia and Brexit may only increase this number! Many think that moving to Australia means they no longer need to worry about UK tax, but often they are not fully aware of the tax and in particular the inheritance tax (IHT), implications of moving here.  Similar issues can arise for Australians owning UK assets, which has become more attractive because of the exchange rate and individuals working abroad. With information sharing between tax authorities now the norm, it is no longer possible to ignore this.

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Talking Tax – Issue 69

ATO guidance

Residency test for companies – central management and control

Australian business groups with overseas operations are reminded to take care following the outcome of the High Court decision in Bywater Investments Limited & Ors. v Commissioner of Taxation; Hua Wang Bank Berhad [2016] HCA 45, and the recent release of Draft Tax Ruling TR 2017/D2 by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

The draft ruling sets out the Commissioner of Taxation’s view on the application of the central management and control test for companies following the landmark High Court decision.

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ASEAN TODAY – REGIONAL LEGAL AND BUSINESS NEWS – FEBRUARY 2017

Scaling-Up Nutrition Movement
The ASEAN Secretariat met with the United Nations (UN) Scaling-Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement Coordinator earlier this month to address food security and malnutrition in the region. The UN hopes that ASEAN will be a gateway for the sharing of best practices and knowledge to help end malnutrition in the region and in all SUN countries. The SUN Movement’s operating principle is that everyone has the right to food and good nutrition. The Regional Report on Nutrition Security in ASEAN Volume 2 published in 2016 shows that stunting and wasting in children five and under is a severe public health problem in the ASEAN member states. An estimated 5.4 million children suffer from low weight-for-height and 17.9 million suffer from low height-for-age.

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Talking Tax – Issue 68

Legislation

Treasury Laws Amendment (2017 Measures No. 1) Bill

The Treasury Laws Amendment (2017 Measures No. 1) Bill (Bill) has been introduced to allow investors who used an interposed trust to invest in early stage investment companies (ESIC) and early stage venture capital limited partnerships (ESVCLP) to access the concessional capital gains tax (CGT) treatment available to other investors. The amendments give effect to the original intent of the legislation as part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda.

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