Monthly Archives: November 2016

Hall & Wilcox adds to commercial dispute resolution team

Leading independent business law firm Hall & Wilcox has added to its Melbourne commercial dispute resolution practice with the appointment of Hamish McNair as senior associate.

Mr McNair joins Hall & Wilcox from Norton Rose Fulbright. He brings diverse experience in disputes involving breach of contract, corporations law, consumer law, equity, financial services, product liability, real property and intellectual property.

He has advised on disputes in several industries including healthcare, technology, finance, government, pharmaceutical, property, retail and transport. Mr McNair has acted for clients in relation to complaints made to the Australian Human Rights Commission and has appeared for clients at inquiries conducted by the New South Wales Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC). He is a member of the NSW Young Lawyers Civil Litigation Committee.

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Hall & Wilcox boosts Sydney Private Clients practice with two new appointments

Leading independent business law firm Hall & Wilcox has added further depth to its Sydney Private Clients team by appointing two new special counsel, Eileen Meehan and James Whiley.

Eileen Meehan has extensive experience in estate planning, and joins from Bartier Perry, where she was consulting to the private clients team. Eileen was previously a Director in PWC’s private clients team specialising in estate planning.

James Whiley has specialist expertise in estate planning, dispute resolution and succession planning for high net worth clients. He was previously at Bartier Perry where he was responsible for a large portfolio of clients. Prior experience includes a succession and estate planning role at PWC and a senior role at a leading private client team in an international London-based law firm.

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Holiday Networking is Coming.

cqatth9oyuw-liz-bridgesThe end of this week marks the beginning of December, and we all know what that means…

Holiday party invitations are coming. 

For introverts like me, holiday parties are probably not high on your list of exciting December “to dos” – it’s not that we don’t love them; it’s just that they’re rather exhausting. Extroverts may see them as a chance to enjoy a bit of relaxation with friends and meet new people. But no matter how you view holiday parties, they are definitely a key opportunity to network.

Whether you’re a networking pro or feel like there’s room for improvement, every networking experience is a chance to hone your skills. Recently, we held our Regional Conference of the Americas, and invited David Ackert, President of The Ackert Advisory, to facilitate a type of speed-dating session that we refer to as our “referral rendezvous.” We matched our lawyers in groups of 3-4 people, and they had 25 minutes to talk and connect with each other – some of them have known each other for many years, while others were meeting each other for the first time.

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ILN Today Post

HOWARD & HOWARD’S STEVEN M. VAN BEEK NAMED TO MICHIGAN LAWYERS WEEKLY “UP & COMING LAWYERS” CLASS OF 2016


Royal Oak, Michigan, November 29, 2016: Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC is pleased to announce that attorney Steven M. Van Beek has been named to Michigan Lawyers Weekly “Up & Coming­­ Lawyers” Class of 2016. The 30 Honorees were selected by a committee based on criteria including those who have established a name for themselves in the legal community, go above and beyond, and display the ambition, drive, determination and accomplishments that set them apart among their peers — in their first 10 years in practice.
Steven M. Van Beek concentrates his practice in the area of financial regulations. He represents credit unions throughout the country to help ensure they comply with the regulations and guidance issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the National Credit Union Administration, the Federal Reserve Board as well as the underlying legal statutes. Beyond the regulations, Mr. Van Beek has intimate knowledge of the operational issues facing credit unions and best practices credit unions can follow to reduce compliance, strategic and reputation risks.

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ILN Today Post

Cleaver Fulton Rankin shortlisted for business award

Cleaver Fulton Rankin has been shortlisted in the Employer of the Year category ahead of the UTV Business Eye Awards 2016.

Staff from the firm will find out if they have been successful at the awards ceremony at the Belfast Waterfront tomorrow evening.

Karen Blair, managing director of Cleaver Fulton Rankin, told Irish Legal News: “We are delighted to have been shortlisted for Employer of the Year in the UTV Business Eye Awards recognising the collective and fulfilling environment in which we operate at Cleaver Fulton Rankin.

“We continually invest in the development of staff and organise events and activities with a firm-wide commitment which contributes to our positive working environment, and therefore our high staff retention rates.

“We are really looking forward to attending the awards ceremony on Thursday 24th November to acknowledge and celebrate the work and achievements of both leading individuals and organisations across Northern Ireland.”

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ILN Today Post

Non-possessory pledge

On May 3, 2016, the Decree Law 3 May 2016, no. 59, containing “Urgent provisions on enforcement and bankruptcy proceedings in favor of investors in banks in liquidation”, entered into force and introduced a new form of credit guarantee, the so-called non-possessory pledge.

This Decree was converted into Law no. 119 of 30 June 2016 and published in the Official Gazette no. 153 on July 2, 2016.

Article 1 of Decree Law no. 59/2016 stipulates that “Entrepreneurs registered in the Business Register may place a non-possessory pledge in order to guarantee the credits granted to them or to thirds, whether current or future, determined or determinable and with a forecasted maximum guaranteed amount, relating to the business activity of the enterprise”.


Antonello Corrado
Giovanna Canale
Silvia Viceconte

This new form of security is aimed at combining the need for corporate finance – the debtor that can offer this form of guarantee must be an entrepreneur registered in the Business Register – with the interest of the creditors for the realization of their right and for the certainty of the timeframe of credit satisfaction.

The pledge is granted through written deed and is published in a dedicated register (the “Register of Non-possessory Pledges”) held in computerized systems of the Revenue Agency. From the date of registration, the pledge becomes effective and enforceable against third parties, both in enforcement and bankruptcy proceedings.

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Status of proposed reduction of bankruptcy term to one year

In December 2015 the Federal Government announced proposed reforms to insolvency laws as part of its National Innovation Statement (NIS).

The NIS includes a controversial proposal to reduce the current minimum bankruptcy term from three years to one year. The rationale is to encourage individuals who innovate to ‘fail quickly’. This proposal has received a lot of attention in the mainstream press and we have received many queries regarding the status of this proposed reform.

The Government called for submissions – which closed on 27 May 2016. 72 submissions were received, including from Australia’s peak insolvency body – ARITA and various law societies and insolvency practitioners Australia-wide.

The proposed reform forms part of the Government’s second tranche of insolvency reforms, which according to the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services are being progressed.

However, since the Federal election, the progress of the mooted reforms appears to have slowed.

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NLRB Majority Strikes Down Overly Broad Employee Handbook Policies

Our colleagues Lauri F. Rasnick and Jonathan L. Shapiro, attorneys at Epstein Becker Green, have a post on the Financial Services Employment Law blog that will be of interest to many of our readers: “Policies Prohibiting ‘Insubordination or Other Disrespectful Conduct’ and ‘Boisterous or Disruptive Activity in the Workplace’ Struck Down by NLRB Majority.”

Following is an excerpt:

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Following an Appeals Court Decision, Pennsylvania Adopts New Payroll Regulations

On October 21, 2016, a Pennsylvania appeals court found that a group of franchisees were in violation of the state’s Wage Payment and Collection Law (“WPCL”) when they required employees to be paid with payroll debit cards. While the WPCL only permitted wage payment in cash or check, the Pennsylvania court noted that voluntary use of payroll debit cards may be an appropriate method payment. In this case, the court held that mandatory use of payroll debit cards was not lawful, as it may subject the employee to fees without his or her consent.

Two weeks later, on November 4, 2016, the Pennsylvania legislature adopted new legislation amending the WPCL and officially including payroll debit cards as a permissible form of payment by employers, provided that several conditions are met. The new law takes effect on May 5, 2017.

Under the new law, the use of payroll debit cards is permitted if, among other things:

  • The payroll card account is established at a financial institution whose funds are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or the National Credit Union Administration;
  • The employer does not make the payment of wages, salary, commissions or other compensation by means of a payroll card account a condition of employment or a condition for the receipt of any benefit for any employee;
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Policies Prohibiting “Insubordination or Other Disrespectful Conduct” and “Boisterous or Disruptive Activity in the Workplace” Struck Down by NLRB Majority

Once again seemingly appropriate work rules have been under attack by the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”). In a recent decision (Component Bar Products, Inc. and James R. Stout, Case 14-CA-145064), two members of a three-member NLRB panel upheld an August 7, 2015 decision by an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) finding that an employer violated the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA” or the “Act”) by maintaining overly broad handbook rules and terminating an employee who was engaged in “protected, concerted activity” when he called another employee and warned him that his job was in jeopardy.  Member Miscimarra concurred in part and dissented in part, arguing that the Board should overrule applicable precedent interpreting the Act.

Factual background

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