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Geoffrey PHOTO

New Attorney General appointed

The Prime Minister appoints Geoffrey Cox QC MP as Attorney General.

Commenting on his appointment as Attorney General, Geoffrey Cox QC MP has said:

“It is an honour to be appointed Attorney General for England and Wales. I look forward to building on the successes of my predecessor and I want to thank Jeremy Wright for his distinguished four years in the role.”

“The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) is a unique and historic government department. I am proud to be joining the AGO, which has the highest staff engagement score in central Government. I look forward to working with the Solicitor General to play my part in making law and politics work together at the heart of the UK constitution.”

The Prime Minister appointed Geoffrey Cox QC MP as Attorney General on 9 July.

As the Government’s chief legal advisor, Geoffrey Cox will advise the Government and attend Cabinet. The new Attorney General will also oversee the work of the Law Officers Departments which include the independent prosecuting authorities, the Crown Prosecution Service and Serious Fraud Office, and the Government Legal Department and HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate.

Geoffrey Cox will cease all private practice as a barrister, as previous Law Officers have done on appointment.

The Attorney General and Solicitor General also carry out a number of functions in the public interest, such as considering unduly lenient sentences, and take action when there has been a contempt of court. These functions are carried out independently of their role as Government ministers.

Notes Geoffrey Cox QC MP was appointed Attorney General for England and Wales on 9 July 2018. He replaces Jeremy Wright QC MP who is now Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

The Solicitor General, Robert Buckland QC MP, remains in post.

Geoffrey Cox’s Biography:

Geoffrey Cox has been MP for Torridge and West Devon since May 2005. He lives in West Devon, near Tavistock, with his wife, Jeanie and his family. They have a daughter and two sons, Charlotte, James and Jonathan who attended the local school. Geoffrey was born and brought up in the West Country.

Geoffrey Cox QC was called to the Bar in 1982 and made Silk in 2003. He co-founded Thomas More Chambers in 1992.

Geoffrey Cox has appeared in many high profile cases receiving national and international publicity from trial to appeal before the Court of Appeal, the Privy Council and the Supreme Court. His advocacy has been described by a professional court journalist in a recent book as “extremely persuasive”.

Geoffrey is a member of the Criminal Bar Association.

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Siskinds is the highest ranked law firm in Canada and 16th in North America

Siskinds LLP is the highest ranked Canadian law firm and 16th ranked North American law firm in the Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) Securities Class Action Services Top 50 Report for the year 2017. The report lists the top 50 plaintiff-side law firms ranked by the total dollar value of the final class action settlements occurring in 2017 in which the law firm served as lead or co-counsel. Siskinds has been the top ranked Canadian firm for seven out of eight years from 2010 to 2017 and was second in 2014.

The Siskinds class actions team has offices in London and Toronto, and affiliate offices in Montreal and Québec City. The team, comprised of 25 lawyers admitted to practice in Ontario, Quebec, New York State and the District of Columbia, acts exclusively for plaintiffs. Over the years, Siskinds’ class action team has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for class members in Canada and elsewhere. Siskinds Desmeules, Siskinds’ Quebec affiliate, was separately ranked at position 19 in North America and was tied as the 2nd highest ranked Canadian firm.

Michael Robb, a partner in the group, stated, “This recognition is the product of a lot of hard work and dedication by our outstanding team.” Daniel Bach, a partner in Siskinds’ Toronto office, said, “We are pleased that our clients continue to place their trust in us and that we are able to deliver results for them.”

ISS is the world’s leading provider of corporate governance and responsible investment (RI) solutions for asset owners, asset managers, hedge funds, and asset service providers. ISS’ solutions include: governance research and recommendations; RI data, analytics and research; end-to-end proxy voting and distribution solutions; securities class-action claims management; and global governance data and modeling tools. A copy of the ISS Securities Class Action Services Top 50 Report can be found at www.issgovernance.com/library/top-50-2017/.

For further information: Charles Wright, Partner, 519.660.7753, [email protected]; Michael Robb, Partner, 519.660.7872, [email protected]; Daniel Bach, Partner, 416.594.4376, [email protected]; Siskinds LLP, 680 Waterloo Street, London, ON N6A 3V8.

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Tribune Announces 2018 Award Winners, Attorney of the Year Finalists

The nominations are in and winners have been chosen in 10 categories for the Connecticut Law Tribune’s annual Professional Excellence Awards. Attorneys, firms, law departments and legal services organisations from throughout the state are represented in this year’s group of distinguished winners, with the coveted Attorney of the Year accolade going to one of three finalists.

All honorees will be recognised at an awards dinner on May 24 at the Bond Ballroom in Hartford. The Attorney of the Year winner will be announced at the dinner.

This year’s finalists for Attorney of the Year, followed by winners in 10 other categories, are as follows:

Attorney of the Year Finalists

– Karen DeMeola, University of Connecticut School of Law
– Aaron Bayer, Wiggin and Dana
– Thomas Behrendt, Connecticut Legal Rights Project

New Leaders in the Law

– Jarod Taylor, Axinn Veltrop & Harkrider
– Katherine Bogard, Brody and Associates
– John D’Ambrosio, Cowdery & Murphy
– Abigail Miranda, Cramer & Anderson
– Daniel Raccuia, Day Pitney
– Ron Houde, Kalon Law Firm
– Stephen Napier, Ivey Barnum & O’Mara
– Sarah Skubas, Jackson Lewis
– Dennis Durao, Karsten & Tallberg
– Peter Zarella, McElroy Deutsch Mulvaney & Carpenter
– Mathew Jasinski, Motley Rice
– Nisha Kapur, Murtha Cullina
– Robert Heinimann Jr., Murtha Cullina
– Devin Janosov, Papcsy Janosov Roche
– Edward Lefebvre, Pullman & Comley
– Kelly O’Donnell, Pullman & Comley
– Sean Stokes, RisCassi & Davis
– Meaghan Mary Cooper, Robinson & Cole
– Nuala Droney, Robinson & Cole
– Dyan M. Kozaczka, Rutkin Oldham & Griffin
– Aaron Levy, Shipman & Goodwin
– Nathan Plotkin, Shipman & Goodwin
– Robyn Gallagher, Wiggin and Dana
– Aigné Goldsby, Meehan Roberts Turret and Rosenbaum

Litigation Departments

– Murtha Cullina
– Pullman & Comley
– Wiggin and Dana
– Shipman & Goodwin

Best Mentors

– Michael Fitzpatrick, Ruane Attorneys
– Robert Brody, Brody & Associates
– Paul Iannaccone, RisCassi & Davis
– Vincent Trantolo, Trantolo Law
– Randy DiBella, Cramer & Anderson

Distinguished Leaders

– Michael K. Conway, Office of Michael K. Conway
– John Houlihan, RisCassi & Davis
– Chris Sochacki, Cramer & Anderson
– Kim Rinehart, Wiggin and Dana
– William Davis, RisCassi & Davis
– Claudia Baio, Howard Kohn Sprague & FitzGerald
– Amy Marx, New Haven Legal Aid
– David Rosen, David Rosen & Associates

Unsung Heroes

– Fred Ury, Ury & Moskow
– Marcy Tench Stovall, Pullman & Comley

Lifetime Achievement

– Henry Anderson, Cramer & Anderson
– Angelo Cicchiello, Cicchiello & Cicchiello
– Francis Morrison, Axinn Veltrop & Harkrider
– Arnold Rutkin, Rutkin Oldham & Griffin

GC Impact of the Year

– Brian Farnen, Connecticut Green Bank
– Gregory Butler, Eversource
– Moses Vargas, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center
– Francis X. Dineen, New Haven Legal Assistance Association

Game Changers

– Donald Papcsy, Papcsy Janosov Roche
– Christopher Kriesen, The Kalon Law Firm
– James Harrington, Polito & Associates
– Jessica Grossarth Kennedy, Pullman & Comley
– Keith Trantolo, Trantolo Law

Giant Slayer Daniel Casagrande, Cramer & Anderson

Officiator Chase Rogers, retired Connecticut Supreme Court Chief Justice

Fore more information about the Connecticut Law Tribune’s annual Professional Excellence Awards, please visit: https://www.law.com/ctlawtribune/

Burness PHOTO

New leadership team unveiled at law firm Burness Paull

Burness Paull has announced that Tamar Tammes will step into the role of managing partner in August, replacing Ian Wattie, with Peter Lawson confirmed as the replacement for Philip Rodney as chairman.

Mr Lawson, who had been expected to take over from Mr Rodney, currently leads the firm’s corporate department, while Ms Tammes is head of its property and infrastructure department.

Ms Tammes and Mr Lawson will lead an ambitious three year growth plan when the current leadership team step down after 12 years at the helm of the firm.

Mr Rodney will leave the firm to pursue a number of personal projects, while Mr Wattie will be retained in a strategic consultancy role with the firm for the next 12 months to help finalise the delivery of a number of key projects.

The handover follows a year-long shadowing process designed to ensure a seamless transition with clarity of succession for both clients and staff.

Mr Lawson, who spent three years in London with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, said: “Philip and Ian have led the firm through a transformational process and will leave their roles with the firm in great shape. It is an exciting time for the firm, which has a very clear growth strategy.

“Our absolute focus is on delivering success for our clients. We have an outstandingly talented team at Burness Paull and Tamar and I will look to empower a new generation of leaders.”

In November last year, Burness Paull landed a spot on Lex Mundi global network of independent law firms when previous Scottish member Maclay Murray and Spend was taken over by Dentons.

Burness Paull estimates that more than 40% of its work is now international.

In its most recent accounts to the end of July, the firm made a £22m profit on revenue of £53.8m.

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Singapore – Major Employment Law Changes Announced

Significant changes to the Employment Act (“EA”) were announced in Parliament in March 2018. Details of the amendments are likely to be made public later this year, and these amendments are expected to become law by 1 April 2019 (“Effective Date”).

The key major changes are:

– Senior managers and executives will be covered under the EA.
– Statutory protection against unfair dismissal will be expanded.
– Part IV of the EA on working time protections will cover more employees.

More details on these upcoming changes are set out below.

1. EA extended to cover senior managers and executives

Currently, the EA applies to:

(a) All non-managerial and non-executive employees regardless of salary (“rank & file”); and

(b) Managerial and executive employees earning up to S$4,500 per month (“junior PMEs”).

The EA amendment will remove the salary cap for managerial and executive employees, so that senior managers and executives (regardless of salary, position or the confidential nature of their jobs (“senior executives”) will be covered by the EA from the Effective Date.

Effect of amendment

This major change will result in all core employee benefits under the EA being extended to senior executives, in addition to the rank & file and junior PMEs currently covered by the EA. These core benefits include:

– Annual leave, paid sick leave / hospitalisation leave;
– Paid public holidays;
– Timely payment of salary;
– Maternity protection;
– Childcare leave;

Right to preserve existing terms and conditions in employment transfers resulting from sale of business and business restructuring; and

Statutory protection against dismissal “without just cause or excuse” (“unfair dismissal”).

In particular, the extending of annual leave to all employees is significant because this statutory entitlement is currently only available to non-managerial and non-executive employees who are earning up to a specified salary cap (“Part IV employees” – see section 3 below). The announced changes now suggest that statutory annual leave is likely to be moved out of Part IV of the EA so as to apply to all employees. It remains to be seen whether any other Part IV provisions will be extended to all employees.

2. Unfair dismissal protection expanded

The implication of extending the EA to all managers and executives also means that senior executives will be entitled to statutory protection against unfair dismissal if they meet the criteria under section 14 of the EA. This means that all managers and executives, including senior executives, will have recourse to the Employment Claims Tribunals (“ECT”) if they consider that their employment had been terminated “without just cause or excuse”.

This is another important change as currently, claims in relation to unfair dismissal are heard by the Ministry of Manpower (“MOM”). From the Effective Date, employees who seek recourse in respect of both unfair dismissal and salary-related claims will not have to submit two separate claims through the MOM and ECT respectively, and can instead bring their claims to the ECT.

In relation to unfair dismissal, it has been announced that the ECT will have jurisdiction over the following types of unfair dismissal:

– Dismissal on grounds other than poor performance, misconduct or redundancy;
– Dismissal of pregnant employees; and
– Constructive dismissal / forced resignation.

Second Manpower Minister Josephine Teo has said that the MOM will work with employers and the labour movement to produce a set of answers to frequently asked questions on what amounts to unfair dismissal.

3. Extension of Part IV protection to more non-workmen

The salary criteria for protection of non-workmen under Part IV of the EA will also be amended. Currently, Part IV applies to employees who are non-managerial and non-executive.

(a) Workmen earning up to S$4,500 per month; and

(b) Non-workmen earning up to S$2,500 per month.

The EA amendment will increase the salary cap for non-workmen to S$2,600 per month so that more non-workmen will be covered under Part IV of the EA from the Effective Date. Key Part IV protections include maximum working hours, mandatory rest days and statutory overtime pay.

Further, the salary cap for calculating overtime pay for non-workmen will be amended. Currently, the hourly basic rate of pay for non-workmen who earn S$2,250 or more per month is calculated based on a monthly salary of S$2,250 (even if the monthly salary is more than S$2,250). However, from the Effective Date, this cap will be increased to S$2,600.

What these EA amendments mean for employers

After details of the amendments are released later this year, employers should undertake a review of their employment documentation and procedures to ensure compliance with the extended statutory obligations, especially in relation to (i) senior executives; (ii) non-workmen earning between S$2,500 and S$2,600 (who are non-managerial and non-executive); and (iii) substantiating grounds for dismissal for all levels of employees.

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Linklaters bows to pressure and restates gender pay gap figures

Linklaters has revealed the gender pay gap within its partnership, amid growing calls for law firms to be more transparent about pay disparities among their senior ranks.

The firm, which last month became the first of the magic circle to file its gender pay gap report, revealing a pay gap of 23% for non-partner employees, has now announced that when including partners, the overall gender pay gap for all employees and lawyers rises to 60.3%.

However, when looking at partners in isolation, the pay gap is just 2.2% in favour of men.

The move comes after fellow magic circle firm Clifford Chance (CC) became the first magic circle firm to include partners in its pay gap reporting earlier this week, while Allen & Overy (A&O) is among a number of other firms now considering restating their figures to include partners.

In a statement, Linklaters said: “We appreciate the need to be as transparent as possible. Ensuring gender equality and achieving gender balance is a global strategic priority. It is embedded in our strategy and reinforced by our gender targets, which this year we exceeded, in appointing 37% new female partners. We will work hard to keep up the momentum on achieving this, and our other diversity goals.”

Linklaters’ decision to issue revised pay gap figures comes after CC revealed that the mean gender pay gap for the whole of its London workforce, including all partners and employees, is 66.3% in favour of men. The firm said that it hoped that other firms would ”demonstrate their commitment to addressing gender issues by adopting an equally transparent approach”.

Of the other magic circle firms, both Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Slaughter and May have told Advisory Excellence they will not release partner data.

Pinsent Masons also recently restated its figures to include partners, and said that it would be “engaging with the Law Society and other City law firms to seek their support in making representations to government to make changes” to what law firms are required to disclose.

Linklaters’ initial pay gap report was published in early February, and, like many of the other law firms to report early, did not include partner data. The report revealed that male staff received on average 58% more in bonuses than women, although marginally more women (78%) than men (76%) received a bonus in the year to April 2017.

There is no statutory requirement for law firms to include partners in their gender pay gap reporting, but a growing number have now made the decision to, including Dentons, Eversheds Sutherland, Reed Smith, Irwin Mitchell and Norton Rose Fulbright.

A&O and CMS have confirmed to Advisory Excellence that they are also considering issuing revised figured.

The big four accounting firms led the way by restating their figures to include partner earnings following criticism from high-profile figures such as Conservative MP Nicky Morgan, who said that by not including partners, firms were “taking advantage of a loophole” and “abiding by the letter of the law, but not the spirit”.