25 March 2012

Shanghai labor lawyer

Our Shanghai employment lawyer explains how a well drafted Shanghai employment contract is import to firms. A recent outplacement client of our Shanghai law firm called to let us know how excited he was to receive a very generous offer from a potential employer. Multiple phone screens, rescheduled interviews, in-house interviews, group and video interviews finally led to an offer.

The company faxed over a 12-page employment agreement. Stunned by the length, he called us. He said: "How do I interpret this thing? I need a law degree!" Fortunately, the offer was clearly stated and after a short counter-offer, our client accepted the assignment and the terms.Many people at all levels of search put very little into thinking about the what-ifs of or details in the employment contracts. Most in search focus their efforts on obtaining quality interviews if they really are smart. Jobseekers in general don't even think about the nuances of offers or really how much money, benefits and opportunities they will leave on the table during the negotiation process. Negotiation processes start the moment you decide to search, the second you release your resume to an employer.

Here are a few questions we ask our senior level jobseekers:

  1.     Who has more lawyers, you or a prospective company seeking qualified applicants?
  2.     Who is more prepared to negotiate the terms of any employment agreement, you or the prospective company or organization you propose to work for next?
  3.     Who is most likely better equipped to control the conversation during the initial stages of the interview, the middle stages and the offer/counter-offer stages?
  4.     How much power and control do you have during the process of the interview?
  5.     Legally, what questions can an employer ask you? What are the gray areas that they probe for and hope you offer information on?
  6.     How can you guide the discussion with an employer that will influence your offer and tip the scales more in your favor as a jobseeker?
  7.     How can you avoid damaging your offer?
  8.     How can you guide negotiations by providing outstanding written documentation and detailed reference information to build you argument for a higher salary band and more attractive overall offer?

Yet it never surprises me to see the look on the faces of many of our clients or groups we speak to about these issues. It does not seem to matter if you make six figures plus or you are early in your career life. One of our clients said it this way: "The song remains the same; employers play the music and you gotta dance to it." Well, at least that's how it feels in what we call an employer's market. An employer's market means this: for every quality position that will be advertised there are a very high number of at least minimally qualified applicants. That means that unless you have a totally unique skill set you will not and should not expect to be in rare air. In other words, lots of competition exists today for any quality position advertised.

19 March 2012

Shanghai lawyer

In a Shanghai divorce, property division begins at 50/50. Division of debts begins at 50/50. But property division is also called equitable division in Florida. The key is the word "equitable." This means the court is allowed to decide these issues in a way that brings fairness to the outcome. Sometimes this means the split will not be 50/50. A good example is in alimony situations. If one spouse does not have income earning capability, the court may compensate by awarding a larger proportion of assets.

Common Property Distribution questions and answers

Everything is in one persons name. Does that mean it is not marital property? Probably not. Titles, deeds, or possession does not necessarily determine whether property is marital or non-marital. The Court can change ownership details with one stroke of the pen. What really matters is fairness and common sense.

18 March 2012

Shanghai franchising lawyer

Our lawyer's extensive history representing both franchisors and franchisees enables it to assist multi-unit franchisees and area developer clients in achieving their business objectives and staying one step ahead of competitors. The firm's experience and unique perspective also mean working with attorneys who can anticipate issues and offer more all-encompassing solutions that carry both short- and long-term benefits.

For multi-unit franchisees and area developer clients, the firm can assist in negotiating the area development agreement, including important aspects such as development schedules and payment arrangements. In practice, the firm assists its multi-unit franchisee and area developer clients in all matters relating to:

15 March 2012

Shanghai company setup lawyer

Below is our Shanghai business incorporation lawyer advise you how to set up a representative office in Shanghai.

Why Register a Representative Office?

Shanghai has established itself as a reputable financial and regional trading centre. . It is the world’s busiest port and a top location for investments in the Asia Pacific region.  Factors such as strategic location, a competitive workforce, pro-business environment and forward looking economic policies have enabled Shanghai to be the world’s gateway to Asia.

Foreign entities that are keen on exploring the viability of doing business in Singapore, or are interested in using Singapore as a launch pad into the Asia Pacific, may wish to set up a Representative Office (RO).  A RO has the benefit of allowing a foreign entity to assess the business environment in Singapore before deciding to set up a permanent establishment.

Documents need to prepared before setting up a RO in China

(1) Parent company’s certification for subject qualification (such as Certificate of Incorporations or Articles of formation or Equivalent document) shall be notarized by the competent department of you own country and then verified by the Chinese embassy there.

15 March 2012

Shanghai sales contract lawyer

Below is some tips our Shanghai contract drafting lawyer discussion how to draft a purchase contract from your Chinese supplier.

Sales And Purchase Agreement  is a legal contract that obligates a buyer to buy and a seller to sell a product or service. SPAs are found in all types of businesses but are most often associated with real estate deals as a way of finalizing the interests of both parties before closing the deal. Sales and purchase agreements are also found in the upper supply chains of many large, publicly-traded companies. They are set up to help both the suppliers and the purchasers forecast demand and costs, and become increasingly important as the size of the deals increases. 

As a rule, it is important for an attorney to review all agreements of any significance (you set the risk threshold). This is especially true with the contractual terms and conditions for any sale or purchase of goods — international or otherwise. Even a seemingly inconsequential agreement can become a major headache if another party’s terms and conditions trump yours.
A comprehensive review of the relevant contracts surrounding a particular sale of goods can easily entail reviewing a master purchase or sale agreement; the seller’s documents related to the sale (i.e., the quotation, sales order invoice) or the purchaser’s RFP or e-mail soliciting quotations or bids; and the purchase order. If there is a bill of lading or a contract of a freight with a shipper, those documents should be reviewed as well.

15 March 2012

Shanghai intellectual property lawyer

Our Shanghai lawyer share insights on the subject matter. At this Shanghai law firm, we regularly update this blog and please come back if you are interested in our legal service or for your information.

Experts on the Law and Technology:

Intellectual property disputes often have complex scientific and technical questions at their core. Understanding the law, therefore, is only part of a winning formula. To make critical split-second decisions in the courtroom, or successfully impeach a well-prepared expert, litigators must have a fluency in the technology involved.

At this law firm, we don't just have the patent law expertise but also the technical and scientific skills and industry experience needed to give our clients a home field advantage in any courtroom. We’ve mastered the art of guiding a judge through technical complexities to understand the core of a dispute. Our litigators are not just advocates, but also teachers: we teach the judge and jury the principles necessary to understand the case, so as to help reach a successful outcome. Our technical depth also allows us to think one step ahead of our opponents in creating aggressive trial strategies and in choosing the optimal time and venue for litigation.

15 March 2012

Shanghai international arbitration lawyer

Our Shanghai lawyer share insights on the international arbitration matter. At this Shanghai law firm, we regularly update this blog and please come back if you are interested in our legal service or for your information..

A.  Commercial Arbitration and Mediation Center for the Americas (CAMCA) (http://www.adr.org/sp.asp?id=22092)
The Commercial Arbitration and Mediation Center for the Americas provides commercial parties in the Americas with a forum for the resolution of private commercial disputes and is designed to be consistent with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  It is the joint creation of the AAA, the British Columbia International Commercial Arbitration Centre, the Mexico City National Chamber ofCommerce, and the Quebec National and International Commercial Arbitration Centre, and it is governed by representatives from each group.  Its Arbitration Rules and  Model Clause  (http://www.adr.org/sp.asp?id=22092) are found on the American Arbitration Association's Web site.  The Web site is in English, French, and Spanish.

B.  European Court of Arbitration ( http://cour-europe-arbitrage.org/index.php?lang=en ) [English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Arabic]
Headquartered in Strasbourg with departments throughout Europe, the European Court of Arbitration is a private organization that specializes in swift, affordable arbitrations.  It is an open body, with regulations and compromise clauses applicable to anyone.  In addition, unlike most arbitral institutions, there is no designated list of arbitrators; parties select their own.  You can find  links under "Standard Agreements" on the home page to Arbitration Clauses and Rules.

15 March 2012

A.  International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) (http://www.iccwbo.org)
The dispute resolution procedures of the International Chamber of Commerce specifically target international business disputes.  ICC arbitrations are confidential and offer the parties the choice of arbitrators, place of arbitration, rules of law, and language of the proceeding. The ICC has several dispute resolution mechanisms. The current ICC Rules of Arbitration (http://www.iccwbo.org/court/arbitration/id4199/index.html) are available in PDF and HTML formats in 13 languages.  In force as of january 1, 2012, the 2012 Rules of Arbitration can be found in English, Portuguese, Spanish, French and German.  Model or Suggested Clauses (http://www.iccwbo.org/court/arbitration/id4114/index.html) for each of the ICC's dispute resolution procedures can be used in contracts and business agreements. The ICC Model Arbitration Clause is available on the Web site in over 35 languages.

B.  International Court of Arbitration (ICA)   (http://www.iccwbo.org/court/arbitration/id4400/index.html)[In English, Spanish, French]
The International Court of Arbitration was established in 1923 as the arbitration body of the ICC.  It has administered over 17,500 arbitration cases involving parties and arbitrators from about 200 countries and territories.   The ICA oversees the arbitration process and regularly reviews the progress of pending cases.  One of the Court's most important functions is to scrutinize and approve all arbitral awards.  A detailed explanation of the ICA arbitral process is available in English (http://www.iccwbo.org/uploadedFiles/Court/Arbitration/810_Anglais_05.pdf).
The ICA Awards page (http://www.iccwbo.org/court/arbitration/id4096/index.html) lists sources for redacted extracts of ICC arbitral awards.  These are available by subscription.  The ICC International Court of Arbitration Bulletin,  published since 1990,  contains previously unpublished extracts from ICC awards with commentaries as well as articles.  To find out where an award has been published, you can enter the case number in a search box on the Awards page.  

15 March 2012

Shanghai international arbitration lawyer

Our Shanghai lawyer share insights on the international arbitration matter. At this Shanghai law firm, we regularly update this blog and please come back if you are interested in our legal service or for your information.

Although we try a large number of cases every year, the vast majority of cases are resolved when we win summary judgment or achieve an early settlement consistent with the client’s instructions. It generally is possible to fashion the roadmap to summary judgment or settlement within the first several weeks after the filing of the complaint or receipt of a demand letter. Therefore, we attempt to control the focus and pace of every case from the outset by adhering to a handful of essential guidelines.
First, our Shanghai trial lawyer conduct an early case analysis. We interview the key witnesses and collect the key documents. This step may seem obvious – indeed, to be expected – but we believe that important interviews and document reviews are too often postponed until critical witnesses are prepared for deposition. The time to prepare the initial litigation analysis is within the first four to six weeks. This preparation not only helps us litigate to win (if that is the client’s objective), it also helps us assess weaknesses in cases and settle them cost-effectively at the earliest possible stage before our adversaries have mastered the facts and before our clients have incurred substantial fees.
Second, Shanghai litigation attorney collaborate with our in-house contacts to form a unique strategy for each case. If requested, we place our early analysis and strategy in writing and provide associated case budgets. We staff our cases leanly.
Third, despite the individuality of each case, we recognize that aspects of employment litigation have become a legal “commodity.” Therefore, we use our cutting-edge technology and extensive library of work product from previous cases to streamline the implementation of the chosen strategy.
Our associates spend many hours each year in litigation skills training and mock trials with our partners to enhance their trial capabilities. Our continuing investment in training great trial lawyers yields results as we often are called upon to try difficult cases that present enormous potential exposure.
If the case is one that the client concludes should not be litigated, we attempt to secure the most advantageous and early settlement possible. In this regard, we make considerable use of alternative dispute resolution to contain costs and manage litigation risk. We also are vigilant in helping employers to compel arbitration when appropriate.
In light of our experience and record of success, on a number of occasions we have been substituted in just before trial for other law firms that have been unsuccessful in resolving a case by motion.

Consult our English speaking Shanghai lawyers for free preliminary consultation. Shanghai lawyer reminds you that the law discussed above may change over time and may not apply to current situation when you read this blog.

15 March 2012

Shanghai international arbitration lawyer

Our Shanghai lawyer share insights on the labor and employment matter. At this Shanghai law firm, we regularly update this blog and please come back if you are interested in our legal service or for your information.

Representing Employers and Employees in and around Shanghai: Our Shanghai lawyer has enjoyed considerable success representing both employers and employees in a broad range of non-competition, non-solicitation, and confidentiality agreement cases, employment discrimination actions and wrongful termination claims. We fashion strategies for employers calculated to win - whether through litigation, arbitration, mediation or settlement - by thoroughly analyzing claims of sex, age, race and handicap discrimination, or wrongful termination, and by demonstrating our clients' adherence to the letter and intent of the laws at issue. We also represent the interests of executives and employees who are negotiating employment and severance agreements or asserting termination-related claims.

Examples from our Employment Litigation Practice:

Non-competition, Non-solicitation, and Confidentiality Agreements:  We have obtained emergency, temporary, preliminary, and permanent restraining orders enforcing non-competition, non-solicitation, and confidentiality agreements on behalf of employers in numerous instances. In one case, we obtained a preliminary injunction enforcing a non-compete and confidentiality agreement against a former executive of a business recently acquired by our client and then successfully defended the injunction against multiple attacks until it expired. The litigation helped our client negotiate a multi-million dollar reduction on the final payment of the acquisition. We have also defended start-ups and employees against former employers seeking to restrict fair competition. In numerous instances, we negotiated quick resolutions, saving our clients substantial legal fees.

Breach of Contract:  We have successfully defended companies against breach of contract and related claims. We have also represented employees asserting their contractual rights. For example, we represented, six former executives of a software company in breach of contract cases against their employer's parent corporation. We successfully and quickly resolved the claims through mediation.

Discrimination - Race, National Origin, Sex, Age, Religion, Disability/Handicap, Military Service, and Genetic Information

In numerous proceedings before the employment government, we have obtained "lack of probable cause" findings on a wide variety of employment discrimination claims against our employer clients. We have also won summary judgment in discrimination cases brought in the trial and appeal courts.

Harassment: In a multi-plaintiff case in the Shanghai Court alleging sexual harassment, we obtained partial summary judgment for our employer client disposing of most of the plaintiffs' claims on the ground that the conduct alleged was not so pervasive or serious as to constitute a hostile or offensive work environment. We arbitrated the remaining claim and obtained a favorable finding for our employer client.

Wrongful Termination, Whistleblower, Retaliation: We obtained summary judgment for our employer client accused of firing an employee for conducting a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability investigation and of invading the employee's right to privacy. We then negotiated a final resolution that involved the employee paying part of our client's costs.

Wage and Hour Claims: We help companies avoid litigation by counseling employers on wage and hour compliance, including classifying independent contractors and "exempt" employees. Yet, for those times when it is necessary, we have experience successfully defending against allegations of failure to pay overtime and of employee misclassification.

Terminations, Layoffs, and the Worker Adjustment: We obtained summary judgment for an employer in which the plaintiff alleged that she was selected for layoff because she was pregnant. We then successfully defended the judgment on appeal.

Hiring and Employee Retention Issues: From offer letters to executive employment agreements, we have negotiated and documented employment arrangements on behalf of employers and employees. We have counseled employers on day-to-day employment issues, including reasonable accommodations, family and medical leaves, employee privacy questions, and disciplining troubled employees. We have also advised executives being investigated for workplace misconduct, ranging from frivolous sexual harassment allegations to potentially criminal wrongdoing.

Employee Handbooks and Policies: We have drafted employee handbooks and workplace policies for employers in a variety of industries. We strive to customize policies to reflect a client's unique culture and to foster an informed and productive workforce.

Local Counsel: In numerous cases, including non-competition, discrimination, and fraud cases, we have served as local counsel for employers based outside of Shanghai.

Consult our English speaking Shanghai lawyers for free preliminary consultation. Shanghai lawyer reminds you that the law discussed above may change over time and may not apply to current situation when you read this blog.

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