Regions

Lidings Bolsters its Tax and Customs Practice With Hire of the New Counsel

Lidings, the leading Russian law firm advising major Russian and foreign companies on all aspects of Russian law has announced Denis Khramkin joining its Moscow office as Counsel. Mr. Khramkin, a seasoned legal professional in the sphere of taxation, will become a valuable addition to the firm’s Tax and Customs practice.

Prior to joining Lidings Denis Khramkin has successfully headed the department of taxation methodology of one of the largest oil and gas companies in Russia, worked at such prominent international law firms as DLA Piper and Deloitte as well as at the Big Four’s PricewaterhouseCoopers.

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White House Issues Call to Action on Non-Competes – Employment Law This Week

The top story on Employment Law This Week:  The White House is calling on states to combat what it describes as the “gross overuse of non-compete clauses today.”

The call to action recommends legislation banning non-competes for certain categories of workers and prohibiting courts from narrowing overly broad agreements. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman answered the call immediately, announcing that he would introduce relevant legislation in 2017. Our colleague Zachary Jackson, from Epstein Becker Green, comments.

Watch the segment below and see our blog post on this topic.

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Workplace culture no excuse for sexual harassment

The Fair Work Commission has dismissed a former employee’s unfair dismissal application1, finding that the employer’s workplace culture was not to blame for the employee’s sexual harassment.

The employer (an unidentified airline) summarily dismissed the employee from his position as a Cabin Crew Supervisor following an investigation into multiple allegations of sexual harassment, including that the employee had:

  • shown explicit images of a crew member to other crew members while in flight
  • repeatedly made inappropriate and unwanted sexual comments and advances to a number of fellow crew members, including lewd observations about passengers.

The employee denied the allegations. However, on consideration of the evidence (including evidence given by eight cabin crew members) the Commission found that the alleged conduct did occur and that it was serious misconduct. Therefore, the employer had a valid reason for the dismissal.

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BREXIT – the EU Passport Opportunity for Malta

BREXIT – Britain’s momentous decision to leave the European Union has put into question what rights will British nationals and companies located in Britain have in relation to the European market? In particular, there is doubt whether the passporting rights pursuant to European directives will continue to apply.

Malta offers a number of advantages to individuals and companies looking for a secure and stable entry point into the European market.

Malta, a full EU member, has transposed all applicable EU directives into its domestic law, particularly in relation to the financial services sector, covering such areas as Funds, Investment Services, Pensions etc.

Added to which, Malta’s long term, special relationship with the UK, provides UK located individuals and businesses comfort in the face of the forthcoming Brexit changes.BREXIT – Malta’s Opportunity

Why Malta?

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HOWARD & HOWARD RATED AMONG NATION’S BEST LAW FIRMS BY U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT AND BEST LAWYERS®

Royal Oak, Michigan, November 3, 2016:  Howard & Howard has been ranked in the 2017 “Best Law Firms” list by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers® in the following areas:

METROPOLITAN TIER 1

  • Ann Arbor
    • Litigation – Intellectual Property
  • Troy
    • Commercial Litigation
    • Energy Law
    • Litigation – Patent
    • Patent Law
    • Trademark Law

Press Release Best Law Firms 2017

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Webinar, Nov. 30: Year in Review – Trade Secrets and Non-Compete Developments

Many businesses progressively fear that their trade secrets and valued business relationships are at risk of attack by competitors – and even by their own employees. Do you know what it takes to protect those critical assets in the ever-changing world of trade secret and non-compete law?

Join Epstein Becker Green attorneys Anthony J. Laura,  Robert D. Goldstein, and Peter A. Steinmeyer on Wednesday, November 30, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. EST for a complimentary, 75-minute webinar hosted by Practical Law.  This webinar offers insights into recent developments and expected trends in the evolving legal landscape of trade secrets and non-competition agreements. This webinar will focus on how to navigate this developing area and effectively protect client relationships and proprietary information. Topics will include:

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The Independent Worker: An Interview with Gene Zaino, CEO of MBO Partners

Gene ZainoGene Zaino, a nationally recognized expert in the contract workforce market, launched MBO Partners to re-invent the way independent consultants and organizations work together. MBO Partners provides technology solutions and personal service that both simplify and expedite business processes for self-employed professionals including: incorporation, contract setup, billing, financial management, payroll, tax compliance, and health and retirement benefit programs. MBO Partners also provides access to the largest network of “engagement ready” enterprise companies, as well as portable benefits to independent workers.  Zaino is a major force in the independent workforce movement, committed to making it easier for self-employed professionals and their clients to work together.

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Non-dom tax changes – IHT periodic charges and offshore trusts

Well advised non-doms know that UK situated assets should never be directly held by their offshore discretionary trusts.  To do so would subject the offshore trust to periodic charges to UK Inheritance Tax (IHT).  These charges comprise the entry charge, the ten year anniversary charge, and exit charges, where value leaves the trust after creation.

To avoid these charges arising, it has been commonplace for UK situs assets, such as UK real estate, to be owned by an offshore company, which in turn is wholly owned by an offshore trust.  The trust’s asset is the shares in the offshore company – non-UK situs, so the trust is not subject to periodic IHT charges as it does not directly own UK situated assets.  As a result, many non-doms have no understanding of what periodic charges are and when they apply.  However, if the Government’s proposals in their August Further Consultation come to pass, ignorance of IHT periodic charges could cost non-doms and their offshore trusts.

With the proposed move towards transparency, for IHT purposes, of offshore structures owning UK real estate from April 2017, non-doms owning UK residential property where a trust is involved in the structure will suddenly find, in many cases for the first time, that the periodic charges to IHT will start to bite on their trust.
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The importance of innovation and competitiveness

I am on the board of the Committee for Melbourne, an apolitical not-for-profit member based organisation with a passion for shaping Melbourne as a leading global city.

Recently I attended a Committee for Melbourne lunch featuring Geoff Culbert, President and CEO of GE Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

Geoff spoke to the group about the vital importance of innovation to drive Australia’s competitiveness.

Geoff drew an interesting parallel with sports. Australians are passionate about sports. There was an uproar after Australia finished tenth on the medals tally at the Rio Olympics! Yet, we don’t approach innovation and business leadership with the same fervour. Australia is routinely ranked below 20th in global innovation indexes and this hardly raises an eyebrow.

Geoff commented that culture is critical to driving innovation and that our culture needs to change. He says that Australia needs to regain its optimism and energy if we are to become a truly innovative country, and drive growth. This means that we need to be more willing to embrace change and remove barriers.

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Application of the FLSA’s Tip-Credit Requirements Remains Hotly Disputed

Over the past year, there has been an increased discussion of Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) requirements for tipped employees. The courts have focused on a number of issues related to tipped employees, including addressing who can participate in tip pools and whether certain deductions may be made from tips. While the FLSA requires employers to pay a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour in most cases, Section 203(m) of the FLSA provides that employers may take a “tip credit” and pay as little as $2.13 per hour to employees who customarily and regularly receive tips, so long as two criteria are satisfied:

  • the employee’s wages and tips are at least equal to the minimum wage, and
  • all tips “received” by a tipped employee are actually retained by the employee or added into a tip pool that aggregates the tips of a group of tipped employees.

Notably, 29 CFR § 531.55 states that a “compulsory charge for service . . . imposed on a customer by an employer’s establishment, is not a tip . . . .” However, some states (such as New York) have their own requirements for determining whether a service charge will be considered a “tip.”

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