Monthly Archives: April 2015

Pension death benefits planning: a question of control

Before the recent pension changes were announced, it made sense, for Inheritance Tax (IHT) planning purposes, to request that any death benefits payable from a money purchase private pension on the pension scheme member’s death were paid into a separate trust (a ‘bypass trust’), usually for the benefit of the member’s spouse and family.  Structuring matters in this way would prevent what could sometimes be significant sums from being paid direct to the surviving spouse, with the potential for any unspent funds to be taxed at 40% IHT on the surviving spouse’s death.  On the other hand, by using the trust route, the spouse could still enjoy full access to the pension funds via loans made from the trust, which have the potential to be deductible for IHT purposes on the survivor’s death.

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Multistate Tax Update – April 30, 2015

The Supreme Court of Ohio (the Court) today handed down its ruling in Hunter T. Hillenmeyer v. City of Cleveland Board of Review and declared the City of Cleveland’s method of taxing nonresident professional athletes to be unconstitutional. As we previously reported, the City of Cleveland imposed a so-called “jock tax” on professional athletes based upon the number of games the visiting team plays in the city divided by the total number of games in a season. In a unanimous decision, the Court held that the use of the games-played method violates due process and, therefore, is unconstitutional. The decision of the Board of Tax Appeals was reversed and the matter was remanded with instruction that tax refunds be awarded to Hillenmeyer.

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A glimpse of the recent activity of RSS’s Business Law Group

April 29, 2015 — Despite the harsh winter — or perhaps because of it? — the firm’s Business Law Group, especially Barry H. Shapiro, has kept busy assisting businesses in deals and acquisitions.

  • In January, Barry, assisted by Nicholas Martin, concluded the purchase and financing of an interest in a commercial and office strip-centre in Dorval, via the purchase of 50% of the outstanding shares of the corporation which owned the Centre. While this is not an ideal way to purchase commercial real estate, it was the only way to achieve a divorce between the existing co-shareholders, who had been feuding for several years.
  • In March, with the assistance of articling student Anson Duran, Barry concluded the purchase of the business of Grandma Emily, a manufacturer and distributor of health-oriented snacks, cereals and bars. The purchaser is owned by entrepreneur Corey Eisenberg. All of the staff, major suppliers and customers continue with the brand Grandma Emily. The company intends to grow the brand into a nationally and internationally recognized brand name.
  • Finally, also with Anson, Barry closed the sale of a 50% interest in a home furnishings distribution business where one partner bought out the other partners after a 28-year relationship. The sale included a transfer of insurance policies on the life of the individual that controlled the selling party.
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Lidings’ Partner Elected Member of the Nominating Committee of the Russian Arbitration Association

Lidings’ Partner Stepan Guzey has been elected to join the Nominating Committee of the Russian Arbitration Association, a counselling body established to carry out the functions of RAA in assisting in the composition of the arbitral tribunal.
The main task assigned to a group of experts that includes Mr. Guzey will be to propose persons as candidates for the roles of sole arbitrators or presiding arbitrators upon receipt of a Request for an Appointment. When appointing an arbitrator, the Nominating Committee will take into consideration the nature of the dispute and the requirements for arbitrators set out in the parties’ agreement or, where possible, in the parties’ submissions. Particular attention will be given to complying with the procedure for nomination set out in the RAA Arbitration Rules and the response period for every Request received the Committee.

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Rule Changes Affect the Composition of Arbitration Panels in FINRA Disputes

By Aime Dempsey and John F. Fullerton III

For financial services industry employers that participate in arbitrations administered by FINRA, the composition of the arbitration panel may have as much, or more, of an impact on the outcome of the dispute than the facts or the law. This is because FINRA arbitrators are not bound to follow case precedent or strictly apply principals of law and can render awards based on their own notions of “fairness” or “justice.” The important process of selecting an acceptable arbitration panel, however, can be opaque, as the information that FINRA provides about prospective arbitrators often gives limited assistance to employers trying to make informed selections. Further, recent changes to the rules affecting the composition of FINRA arbitration panels, particularly in customer cases, make it even less likely that the dispute will be heard by an experienced panel.

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DAVIS MALM WELCOMES DEVON A. KINNARD TO ITS BUSINESS PRACTICE

Devon_A_Kinnard_press_releaseBoston, MA, April 24, 2015 — The Boston law firm of Davis, Malm & D’Agostine, P.C. announced that Devon A. Kinnard joined the firm as a shareholder in the Business Law area. Mr. Kinnard advises businesses on a variety of commercial transactions, including commercial loans, private securities offerings, private equity capital raises, joint venture and syndicated financings, and mergers and acquisitions. His commercial lending practice involves representing regional banks, credit unions and other financial institutions in all aspects of loan and real estate finance transactions. Mr. Kinnard also represents lenders and borrowers in letter of credit matters, and creditors in work-out, Chapter 7, and Chapter 11 matters. More…

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ILN-ergy | PART ONE PEAK OIL – Are We There Yet?

ILNergyPART ONE | PEAK OIL – Are We There Yet?
Oil and Natural Gas Boom and Bust Cycles and Their Impact On The Practice of Law

Houston, Texas, is considered by many as the energy capital of the world, certainly in respect to the oil and gas industry. Over the decades, this region has experienced several boom and bust cycles dictated by the ebb and flow of the supply and demand of oil and natural gas. Each cycle has in turn predictably impacted the legal profession servicing this sector. Presently, the industry is experiencing a bust cycle. While we are seeing some of the same trends during this present bust, there are also signs that history might not be as good an indicator of future trends as it once was. Part One of this article briefly discusses the business environment which was largely the cause of the recent boom in oil and gas prices and resultant increases in production, as well as some of the reasons for the current bust. Part Two will explore how this cycle is having or is expected to have an impact on the legal profession, and also examine ways in which these impacts might be different than experienced during prior cycles. More…

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The CBFCA and Gadens TCO roadshow report. For once, we discuss what goes on, on tour!

Following feedback from members late in 2014 and early in 2015 after Member Forums conducted by Gadens and in response to other comments by members and their clients, the CBFCA convened an “eastern states” roadshow focussed on issues relating to the grant, retention and revocation of Tariff Concession Orders (TCO).

The roadshow did not reach WA or SA but will form part of the content to be delivered at the CBFCA regional CPD Events. More…

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METATAGS IN CANADA – OPEN SEASON ON TRADEMARKS?

Designer wrote Binary number for design programThe IP bar in Canada has long been awaiting a decision from the Federal Court on the issue of the use of trademarks in a competitor’s metatags, and that decision has now arrived, with what to many is a surprising result. The Federal Court’s recent decision in Red Label Vacations Inc. v. 411 Travel Bags Limited 205 FC19 is in my view a departure from where it appeared that the courts in Canada seemed to be heading.

A metatag is a word or phrase placed in the source code of a website that enables it to be found by search engines to assist in indexing and ranking search results. Metatags are concealed in the webpage’s metadata, and are not visible to consumers.

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Former employee adequately pleads claim to prorated bonus

By Michael R. Lied Michael R. Lied, of Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC, has practiced employment, labor and immigration law for more than 30 years. A frequent author and lecturer on these subjects, he is former chair of the Illinois State Bar Federal Civil Practice Section Council and Employment Law Section Council. He can be reached at mlied@howardandhoward.com and 309­999­6311.

In October 2010, Thomas McCleary was hired by Wells Fargo Securities LLC as director of sales. As part of his compensation, he was eligible to participate in the Wells Fargo Securities Group Bonus Plan.

Among the plan’s stated purposes was to attract, retain, motivate and reward eligible participants for their efforts and contributions to the achievement of Wells Fargo’s annual financial goals, to ensure that participants complied with all rules, laws, regulations and procedures applicable to their job and to reward participants for their achievements. More…

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