OLN is proud to sponsor Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce’s Free Ride Day (29 May 2013). Aside from the fact that Free Ride Day demonstrates goodwill to the people in Hong Kong who can ride these two most historic and symbolic methods of transportations in Hong Kong - the tram and the star ferry for free. We also see it as an opportunity to promote something we believe is of tremendous benefit to people of Hong Kong – FreeWill 2.0.
FreeWill 2.0 is a re-launch of our FreeWill campaign which began in September 2011. We, OLN pledge to prepare and attest a professionally drafted, simple Will for any donor who contributes HK$2,000 to the Hong Kong based charity, the Child Welfare Scheme (CWS).
Come and join us, take the free rides and make a free Will!
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- Optional Description Check out the latest news on Free Ride Day and FreeWill
We are delighted that one of our Associates, Olivia Kung has received sponsorship from the Hong Kong Law Society to attend the Inter-Pacific Bar Association (IPBA) 23rd Annual General Meeting and Conference (the “Conference”) in Seoul from 17-20 April 2013.
Despite the threat of war from North Korea, it has not dampened the spirit of the Conference. This year the Conference has attracted over 1400 lawyers from all over the world to attend. It has provided an excellent opportunity for lawyers from different countries and jurisdictions to network, exchange ideas and experiences as well as establish relationships and bonding between law firms and lawyers.
The Conference was a success and the host has introduced guests to both traditional and modern Korean culture. Apart from seminars, the host has also arranged a series of special entertainments. For example, the Event Dinner was held at Dramia, a very special site where numerous Korean historical TV dramas have been filmed, and Olivia has bravely taken part in one of the dramas which was shown at the dinner party the following evening. The K-Pop Dinner was another highlight of the Conference where popular K-POP stars were invited to perform for the guests and the dinner was broadcasted in a Korean TV channel.
The host has also kindly arranged a Young Lawyers’ Night where lawyers could let their hair down and get to know each other in a less formal environment.
As a delegate of the Hong Kong Law Society, Olivia has also visited the Korea University School of Law where Mr Huen Wong, the Vice President of the Hong Kong Law Society gave a lecture to the students.
Olivia has also attended a formal meeting with the Korean Bar Association to maintain the strong relationship between the Hong Kong Law Society and the Korean Bar Association.
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A recent article by Steven Barentzen a Corporate Counsellor based in the US, talks about the alleged overbilling practice of law firms, in particular large, international ones.
There is added incentive for large law firms to overbill as partners are under pressure to maximise profits in a way that mid-sized firms are not. Associates also have sky high billing requirements – some reportedly must bill 2400 hours per year! Again, this is common practice for international law firms, but virtually unheard of in mid-sized, domestic ones.
Another way that international law firms run up costs is by overstaffing a case. They have hundreds of partners, associates, trainees not to mention support staff including legal executives, paralegals and secretaries who are drafted in to work on cases. But are all of them really needed as often as they are used? According to Barentzen and a number of lawyer members of the International Business Law Consortium, the answer to that is a resounding, no!
OLN is a mid-sized law firm and with good reason. It was a strategic, business decision to remain thus. If Barentzen is to be listened to then small – mid-sized firms are the firms to go to if you want a “superior and more attentive service”.
If you are interested in reading the Barentzen’s article, “How to Protect Against Outside Counsel Overbilling”, then please see the attached.
- Title Alias Law Firm Overbilling
- Optional Description An interesting article by Steven Barentzen on Overbilling by large international firms
HKIPEx, Hong Kong’s first Intellectual Property trading platform, launched on Thursday 18th April 2013. Vera Sung, Head of IP at OLN, Elodie Dellavolta an experienced IP practitioner, Wendy Fu and Scherzade Westwood attended the launch party at the Miramar Hotel in TST.
HKIPEx approached Sung a year before the launch to ask OLN to be one of three law firms partnered with the trading platform, due to Sung’s wealth of experience in a broad range of IP matters in Hong Kong and the PRC.
OLN are proud to be partners with HKIPEx and wish them a prosperous first year of trading!
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Scherzade Westwood of OLN attended the Women of Our Time talk organised by the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Hong Kong. It was a great opportunity to network and meet potential new members of W@OLN, the women's network of Oldham Li & Nie. A lot of interesting and controversial issues concerning women in the workplace were discussed, including, the sustainability of women in work, whether women are really an asset or a liability as board members and how to be an inspirational woman leader.
Whether women are an asset or liability for corporations and whether their presence allows a company to be sustainable is a tricky question. But the general consensus is women are an asset for corporations for many reasons:
- Women have a very different perspective to men – remember the old saying, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus? It is completely true. Women can spot things men wouldn’t for the simple reason that we are different. And we should embrace those differences, not deride them.
- One of the panellists said that a study found that corporations are 20% less likely to go bankrupt if they have even just one woman on the board of directors.
- Women have an ability to multitask!
- And they rally together especially in the face of adversity.
- We are also a lot more grateful if we do get into high level positions, because inevitably, it will have taken that much more battling on our part to get there.
But there are clearly still a lot of people out there who need to be convinced that women are an asset to boards and in high level positions in corporations.
Only 9% of Hong Kong listed companies have women on boards, compared with 17% of Fortune 500 companies in the States. One of the panellists recommended that a way to combat this problem would be to find a way to reduce the tenure of board members.
With the continuing rallying of women’s networks, chambers of commerce such as the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Hong Kong supporting the series of talks called “Women of Our Time”, and events by organisations such as TWFHK promoting awareness of women’s issues, we greatly hope that these statistics will improve in time.
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