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ISSUE: 160/19


In this issue: News, Reviews & Business Views Motoring: Bentley Flying Spur Gadgets & Gizmos Travel: Lithuania


In Conversation: Mike Hampson CEO, Bishopsgate Financial

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Contents In this issue... NEWS 4 IN CONVERSATION: Mike Hampson, CEO, Bishopsgate Financial



62 Welcome... In this edition, Jennifer Warawa of Sage discusses how diversifying hiring practices can help bridge the skills gap. With the current gulf in the talent needed to build a modern, digital firm, she believes the need of the hour is a commitment to building a workforce that goes beyond the traditional accounting heartlands, one that makes use of individuals with a broad range of skills, and from a broad range of backgrounds. By widening their definition of what makes a good employee, firms can equip themselves with a wider array of skills and viewpoints.

Tinker, Tailor, Seller, Spy


Hegemony is not conducive to good work


Anytime, anyplace, anywhere


Nowhere to hide


AI set to change legal sector


Better ways of working


Client at the centre of it all


Diversity at work


Monetary policy reaches its limits


Paying the penalty


Open for banking






LIFESTYLE City – Vilnius


Hotel – Grand Hotel Kempinski Vilnius


Adventure – Trakai


Gadgets & Gizmos


Motoring – Bentley Flying Spur


Profile – Levent Lezgin Kilinç


Nikolas Kairinos from Fountech explains why and how artificial intelligence (AI) is set to radically transform the legal sector, and what legal professionals and businesses need to know to take full advantage of this technology. He believes that if firms fail to embrace AI, then there is a real risk they will not be able to catch-up with the pace of technological change, thereby significantly undermining their position in the market.


Angus Dent from ArchOver gives out a clear message on how the game is up for the ‘Big 4’ and why our top auditing firms should welcome reform and not fight it. He argues why we must accept and help shape reform rather than have it imposed from the outside. Driving home the point, he outlines why we need an audit profession we can rely upon and in which we can trust. He believes the more the people in it are seen as smug, overpaid and elitist, the more they will be despised – a bit like the bankers who let down society 10 years ago.

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Caroline Hermon of SAS explores the factors that banks must take into account when considering open source analytics and how they can leverage this software without exposing themselves to risks.


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Intercontinental News RUSSIA

Eversheds Sutherland Russia merges with Tilling Peters

Ekaterina Tilling

Oxana Peters

Eversheds Sutherland has strengthened its presence in Russia through a merger with local law firm Tilling Peters, adding nine lawyers, including partners Oxana Peters and Ekaterina Tilling to its team. Tilling Peters primarily specialises in dispute resolution and intellectual property. Tilling, who was a partner in international law firms before starting her own firm, is an intellectual property lawyer. With over 15 years of experience in this field, she advises clients and represents them in court and is certified as a mediator of international and community conflicts by the Conflict Resolution, Research and Resource Institute, Inc. (CRI). She serves as an arbitrator at the Russian Arbitration Centre of the Institute of Modern Arbitration. Peters is expert in Russian litigation and arbitration areas and worked in international law firms as a partner before starting her own firm. She focuse on dispute resolution in relation to commercial and tax disputes. Tilling and Peters said: “Receiving an invitation to join such a large-scale and professional team is confirmation of the high quality of the common work we have delivered. We will continue to move in this direction and to strengthen our position on the market. We are certain that we will achieve many new victories together.” Victoria Goldman, managing partner, Eversheds Sutherland Russia, said: “We are working to expand our practice groups and to strengthen of our position on the Russian market, and this collaboration is another step in our firm’s growth strategy.” Ian Gray, executive chair, Europe said: “The merger with the team at Tilling Peters fully supports our global strategy and will provide a superb resource to our clients for their intellectual property and dispute resolution matters.”



British consumers would prefer Obama over Blair as their ideal lawyer Barack Obama would be a popular choice as a lawyer by UK consumers, while Tony Blair would be the least favourable, according to new research. The survey, commissioned by customer acquisition and digital marketing specialist for the legal sector mmadigital, sought the opinions of over 500 people who have used or considered using legal services. Barack Obama came top of the list of famous faces consumers would choose as their lawyer with 30 per cent of the votes. Nelson Mandela and Hilary Clinton were also popular choices, attracting 10 per cent of the votes each. Contrastingly, when asked to identify who they would least like to have as their lawyer, former prime minister Tony Blair received the most votes with 17 per cent. These results appear to be reflective of public perception: YouGov Ratings currently lists a 72 per cent positive opinion for Barack Obama, compared to just 18 per cent for Tony Blair. When asked what traits they would expect from a lawyer, almost a quarter of respondents answered ‘confident and committed’ (24 per cent), while 18 per cent chose ‘helpful and capable’. However, there appears to be a disconnect between the personality and characteristics UK consumers want from a lawyer, and the traits they actually associate them with. One in five are likely to affiliate lawyers as being arrogant and obnoxious, while 12 per cent

Barack Obama

would associate them as being ‘dishonest and sneaky’ and ‘picky and finicky’. Due to the legal sector increasingly embracing artificial intelligence, it is thought that the era of robot lawyers could not be far off. Many respondents were in agreement that robots could make a preferable alternative for accessing legal services because of their 24/7 availability (39 per cent), ‘accuracy and speed’ (33 per cent). Yet it looks like the legal sector need not worry just yet, as nearly half (46 per cent) believe that a robot’s lack of emotion, empathy and personality would present a challenge. Dez Derry, CEO at mmadigital, said: “As respondents identified cost and time as two concerning factors when working with lawyers, it could be a lack of transparency or understanding around what is involved in the legal process that is causing this.”


Significant disparity in food price level within EU states In 2018, the price level of a comparable basket of food and non-alcoholic beverages across the European Union (EU) was twice as high in the most expensive Member State than in the cheapest one. Denmark had the highest price level for food and non-alcoholic beverages in the EU in 2018, at 130 per cent of the EU average, followed by Luxembourg and Austria (both 125 per cent), Ireland and Finland (both 120 per cent) and Sweden (117 per cent). At the opposite end of the scale, the lowest price levels were observed in Romania (66 per cent), Poland (69 per cent), Bulgaria (76 per cent), Lithuania (82 per cent), Czechia (84 per cent) and Hungary (85 per cent). These data are published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

Highest price disparities for tobacco Comparative data on consumer price levels are also available for more detailed breakdowns of food products. For bread and cereals, price levels ranged from 54 per cent of the EU average in Romania to 152 per cent in Denmark; for meat from 63 per cent in Poland and Romania to 146 per cent in Austria; and for milk, cheese & eggs from 71 per cent in Poland to 136 per cent in Cyprus. The price levels for alcoholic beverages ranged from one to almost two and a half. The lowest price levels were registered in Bulgaria and Romania (both 74 per cent of the EU average) and Hungary (77 per cent), and the highest in Finland (182 per cent), Ireland (177 per cent) and Sweden (152 per cent).

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Intercontinental News GERMANY

Deutsche Bank signs E1B credit line to boost private sector investment in Angola Deutsche Bank, through the structured trade and export finance team, has arranged a E1billion credit line to finance private investment projects in Angola. Arranged at the request of the Government of Angola and guaranteed by its Ministry of Finance, the credit facility will be distributed through five Angolan banks with credit decisions remaining with Deutsche Bank. This new financing line will focus on agriculture, agro-industry, fishing and general industries with three objectives which include guaranteeing a greater supply of goods, services and employment for the population by supporting private projects in the relevant industries; improving the country's balance of payments by supporting projects which help to reduce imports and / or promote export-related initiatives, and having a positive impact on the lives of Angolans. To receive financing the projects must meet these three criteria. The project, which includes all Deutsche Bank regions (Asia, Europe and

America), was led by the structured trade and export finance team in Madrid, which has a longstanding relationship with Angola. This dates back to 2003, when Deutsche Bank signed the first credit line with the ministry of finance of Angola, which the Angolan government used to finance public projects in construction and civil infrastructure, the agriculture and food industry, as well as sanitation and telecommunications. Deutsche Bank is the first bank to arrange a private credit line of this kind in the country. Ignacio Ramiro, head of structured trade and export finance for Deutsche Bank Spain, said: “With this operation we are seeking to support the private sector as a driver of positive impact on Angolan society. Deutsche Bank’s long relationship with Angola includes supporting €3 billion of public sector projects. Now it is time to continue this relationship and also involve private sector initiatives. Angola’s rapid transformation is creating exciting opportunities for global companies looking to partner and invest there.”


Jumbo, Flamingo to merge into Nordics’ largest shopping and entertainment centre Mutual pension insurance companies Varma and Elo agreed on a transaction that involves the merger of the Jumbo Shopping Centre and Flamingo Entertainment Centre located in Vantaa, Finland, near Ring Road III. The value of the transaction is approximately €600million, and once it is finalised, Varma and Elo will each have a 50 per cent share in the real estate. The Jumbo Shopping Centre is visited yearly by some 12million people, while Flamingo has around 4.7million visitors. Together, they form the largest shopping and entertainment centre in the Nordics, with annual sales amounting to almost €500million. Ilkka Tomperi, director, real estate investments, Varma, said: “Combining holdings in Jumbo and Flamingo brings us advantages which help us to efficiently manage the real

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estate. The services offered by the properties to customers also support each other well. “Joint ownership makes it possible to develop the entity even better to meet consumers’ needs and strengthen the shopping centres’ position in the changing competitive arena of the Helsinki region.” Measured in sales, Jumbo is Finland’s largest shopping centre. Flamingo, which opened its doors next to it ten years ago, is known for its spa and wellness services, restaurants and specialist stores. The property also houses Break Sokos Hotel Flamingo, Finland’s largest hotel, measured by the number of rooms. “Jumbo is one of Finland’s top shopping centres. Joint ownership is a logical continuation of developing the area,” Tomperi says. The transaction is subject to approval by the competition authorities.

Appointments BARRY O’DWYER Barry O’Dwyer has been appointed Group CEO of Royal London Mutual Insurance Society subject to regulatory approval. He is expected to take up his appointment in September 2019. O’Dwyer began his career at Standard Life, a mutual insurance company, in 1988. He trained and qualified as an actuary and held a number of senior management positions in both the UK and Ireland. He was managing director, marketing of Standard Life when he left in 2007 to join HBOS. He moved to Prudential in 2009 and was deputy CEO of their UK and Europe business when he left in 2013 to return to Standard Life. Royal London is the largest mutual life, pensions and investment company in the UK, with funds under management of £114billion, 8.8million policies in force and 3,893 employees. Figures quoted are as at December 2018.

VICTORIA SHARP Victoria Sharp has been appointed president of Britain’s Queen’s Bench Division. This appointment follows the retirement of Sir Brian Leveson. Sharp will be the first woman president of the Queen’s Bench Division. The appointment of the president of the Queen’s Bench Division was made by The Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister and the Lord Chancellor following the recommendation of an independent selection panel chaired by Lord Burnett of Maldon, the Lord Chief Justice. The president of the Queen’s Bench Division is responsible for the work of the Queen’s Bench Division and is in charge of the administrative court. The work of the division consists of crime and a wide range of civil claims including personal injuries claims, negligence, breach of contract, libel and slander (defamation), non-payment of debt and possession of land. The commercial court, admiralty court and technology and construction court are also part of the Queen’s Bench Division. Sharp read law at Bristol University, was called to the Bar in 1979, and took silk in 2001. She was appointed as a recorder in 1998, a deputy high court judge in 2008 and a high court judge of the Queen’s Bench Division in 2009.


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Intercontinental News BRUSSELS

NON-PERFORMING LOANS IN EU CONTINUE TO DECLINE: BANKING UNION Efforts to reduce risks in the EU banking sector are bearing fruit, according to new figures released by the European Commission. In its fourth progress report on the reduction of non-performing loans Valdis Dombrovskis, (NPLs), the Commission vice-president responsible for confirmed that NPL financial stability, levels are continuing financial services their downward trajectory and capital towards pre-crisis levels. markets union The ratio of NPLs in EU banks has come down by more than half since 2014, declining to 3.3 per cent in the third quarter of 2018 and down by 1.2 percentage points year-on-year. Valdis Dombrovskis, vice-president responsible for financial stability, financial services and capital markets union, said: "Working out the remaining stocks of nonperforming loans is part of our ongoing efforts to make the banking sector even stronger. Our banks are now better capitalised and better prepared to withstand economic shocks. “We have recently agreed on more robust framework to regulate and supervise banks. Given this progress in reducing risks, I call on EU Finance Ministers to move forward with other measures to complete the Banking Union.” In a separate Communication on the Deepening of Europe's Economic and Monetary Union released, the Commission inviteed EU leaders to finalise the changes to the Treaty establishing the European Stability Mechanism and to make a renewed effort to advance towards the completion of the Banking Union. Together with the completion of the Banking Union, this has been deemed essential for the development of Economic and Monetary Union, and strengthening the international role of the euro. Despite clear improvements, high ratios of NPLs do remain a challenge in some Member States and deserve continued attention. Also, important strides have already been made towards full implementation of the EU's Action Plan to tackle the high stocks of NPLs. However, the Commission calls on co-legislators to quickly agree on its proposed measures around the benchmarking of national loan enforcement and insolvency frameworks, and to develop a sharper focus on insolvency in the European Semester process. Together, the Banking Union and the Capital Markets Union promote a more integrated and stable EU financial system.



5G arrives in Asia as operators invest billions rolling out next generation networks: GSMA study Asia’s mobile operators are set to invest $370billion building-out new 5G networks between 2018 and 2025, according to the latest Asia Pacific edition of the GSMA’s Mobile Economy series, published at MWC19 Shanghai July. The world’s first nationwide 5G networks went live in South Korea earlier this year, and it is anticipated that 24 Asia Pacific markets will have launched 5G by 2025. It is forecast that 5G will contribute almost $900billion to the region’s economy over the next 15 years. China is currently testing 5G across all major cities and provinces, including Shanghai, ahead of commercial launches next year. It is forecast that 28 per cent of China’s mobile connections will be running on 5G networks by 2025, accounting for about a third of all 5G connections globally by this point. Mats Granryd, director general of the GSMA, said: “Although 4G still has plenty of headroom for growth across Asia, operators in the region are now investing billions in building-out advanced 5G networks that are facilitating an array of new services for consumers, transforming industry and manufacturing, and driving economic growth. “As 5G becomes a reality, we call on governments and regulators in the region to actively shape a favourable business environment that encourages investment in advanced networks and allows operators to extend next-generation digital services to all Asia’s citizens.”

The report also revealed that more than four in five mobile connections in Asia will be smartphones by 2025, up from 61 per cent in 2018 and there were 2.8 billion unique mobile subscribers2 in Asia at the end of 2018, equivalent to 67 per cent of the region’s population. The number of subscribers is forecast to increase to 3.1 billion by 2025 (72 per cent of the population), though the growth rate is slowing as many key markets approach saturation. It highlighted that almost all new subscribers to be added in the region between 2018 to 2025 will come from six countries: India, China, Pakistan, Indonesia, Bangladesh and the Philippines. The report ‘The Mobile Economy, Asia Pacific 2019’ is authored by GSMA Intelligence, the research arm of the GSMA. The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting more than 750 operators with over 350 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and internet companies, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors.


Ethiopian broadcasters to create dedicated Ethiopian TV environment Ethiopian private and public broadcasters, and the local media market, are poised for growth following two agreements signed between SES and the Association of Ethiopian Broadcasters (AEB), and the Ethiopian Broadcasting Cooperation (EBC) that will result in the creation of a dedicated Ethiopian TV environment. Ethiopia currently has more than four million TV households that access television service via satellite.

The consolidation of Ethiopian content into one prime TV neighbourhood under a new orbital location means that the AEB members comprising private broadcasters will be able to easily expand their audience reach. Together, these 14 members of the association control more than 50 per cent of the viewership of Ethiopia and will be able to foster healthy advertising markets that will strengthen the development of the country’s free-to-air (FTA) market.'

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Intercontinental News UNITED KINGDOM

Legal profession launches Women in Law pledge The Law Society of England and Wales, the Bar Council of England and Wales and the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) joined hands to launch a Women in Law pledge at the Law Society’s international symposium on gender equality. Law firms, local law societies, barristers’ chambers and organisations outside the legal sector were invited to sign their name to the pledge, which is supported by the justice secretary David Gauke, and aims to build a more equal profession for all. Organisations who sign the pledge committed to support the progression of women into senior roles in the profession by focusing on retention and promotion opportunities; set clear plans and targets around gender equality and diversity for their organisation; and publish their action plan and publicly report on their progress towards achieving their goals.

Law Society president Christina Blacklaws said: “As a profession which strives to uphold justice, the legal profession must be at the forefront of the fight for gender equality and diversity in the workplace,” “In signing the Women in Law pledge, legal organisations across the country will hold themselves accountable for gender equality in their workforce and commit to creating a more diverse profession.” Richard Atkins, chair of the Bar Council, said: “This pledge reflects the joint understanding between the legal professions of the importance of diversity. It will allow chambers and organisations in which barristers work to demonstrate their commitment to a balanced and equal future for all. “It is an important step forward in the drive for equality which the Bar Council is proud to support.” The pledge is supported by the justice secretary David Gauke and other organisations also contributed to this initiative.


Patrick Drahi buys Sotheby’s for $3.7B BidFair USA, an entity wholly-owned by media and telecom entrepreneur as well as art collector Patrick Drahi, has acquired Sotheby’s, the British-established US multinational corporation headquartered in New York City for $3.7billion. The transaction would result in Sotheby’s returning to private ownership after 31 years as a public company traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Tad Smith, CEO, Sotheby’s, said: “Patrick Drahi is one of the most well-regarded entrepreneurs in the world, and on behalf of everyone at Sotheby’s, I want to welcome him to the family. “Known for his commitment to innovation and ingenuity, Patrick founded and leads some of the most successful telecommunications, media and digital companies in the world. He has a long-term view and shares our brand vision for great client service and employing innovation to enhance the value of the company for clients and employees. “This acquisition will provide Sotheby’s with the opportunity to accelerate the successful program of growth initiatives of the past several years in a more flexible private environment. It positions us very well for our future and I strongly believe that the company will be in excellent hands for decades to come with Patrick as our owner.” Drahi said: “Sotheby’s is one of the most

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elegant and aspirational brands in the world. As a longtime client and lifetime admirer of the company, I am acquiring Sotheby’s together with my family. We look forward to getting started with Tad and the wonderful members of his team to define our future.” The closing of the deal is subject to customary conditions, including regulatory clearance and shareholder approvals, but is not subject to the availability of financing. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019 following shareholder approval. The new and extended facilities are for general corporate purposes, comprising a $9.77billion 12-month revolving credit facility with a 12-month term-out option at the borrowers discretion, and a 12-month extension option; and $4.65billion 5-year revolving credit facility with two 12-month extension options. ABritish–Swiss multinational commodity trading and mining company with headquarters in Baar, Switzerland, and a registered office in Saint Helier, Jersey, Glencore is one of the world’s largest global diversified natural resource companies and a major producer and marketer of more than 90 commodities. The Group's operations comprise around 150 mining and metallurgical sites, oil production assets and agricultural facilities. As of 2015, it ranked tenth in the Fortune Global 500 list of the world's largest companies.

BRIEFS FCA PROPOSES BAN ON SALE OF CRYPTODERIVATIVES TO RETAIL CONSUMERS The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is proposing rules to address harm to retail consumers from the sale of derivatives and exchange traded notes (ETNs) referencing certain types of cryptoassets. The FCA considers these products are ill-suited to retail consumers who cannot reliably assess the value and risks of derivatives or ETNs that reference certain cryptoassets (crypto-derivatives). This is due to inherent nature of the underlying assets, which have no reliable basis for valuation, the prevalence of market abuse and financial crime in the secondary market for cryptoassets (e.g. cyber theft), extreme volatility in cryptoasset price movements, and inadequate understanding by retail consumers of cryptoassets and the lack of a clear investment need for investment products referencing them. FCA estimates the potential benefit to retail consumers from banning these products to be in a range from £75million to £234.3million a year.

CLIS CONTINUE TO ANTICIPATE EASING GROWTH MOMENTUM IN MOST MAJOR ECONOMIES Composite leading indicators (CLIs), designed to anticipate turning points in economic activity relative to trend six to nine months ahead, continue to anticipate easing growth momentum in most major economies. Easing growth momentum remains the assessment in the United States, Japan, Canada and the euro area as a whole, including Germany and Italy. In France, the CLI continues to point to stable growth momentum. The CLI for the United Kingdom now points to growth momentum stabilising, albeit around historically low trend growth rates. However, large margins of error remain due to continuing Brexit uncertainty. Among major emerging economies, the CLIs continue to signal stable growth momentum in China (in the industrial sector) and India and now also in Russia and Brazil‎.


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In conversation....

Mike Hampson CEO, BISHOPSGATE FINANCIAL MY NAME IS MIKE HAMPSON AND I CO-FOUNDED BISHOPSGATE FINANCIAL IN 2009 AFTER 25 YEARS’ EXPERIENCE IN THE FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY WITH ROLES INCLUDING MANAGING DIRECTOR FOR THE FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS BUSINESS OF ABN AMRO TRANSACTION BANKING, IT DIRECTOR AT MORGAN STANLEY AND DIRECTOR AT CREDIT SUISSE FIRST BOSTON RESPONSIBLE FOR SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT IN EUROPE. At Bishopsgate Financial I am actively involved in client programmes, using my business experience and technical knowledge to define strategies and plan change management programmes. I have a strong track record in large scale operational transformation including outsourcing and offshoring as well as considerable experience in ensuring that smaller projects deliver against business goals. As a specialist in the transaction banking and payments industries, I have an in-depth understanding of the latest technological advances which can help to transform an organisation as well as proven strategies for working with teams of all sizes to deliver sustainable change.


Bishopsgate Financial has a proven track record delivering change in the banking sector. Our services include consulting,

managed services and resourcing. Our engagements range in size from a single consultant through to large teams across multiple locations. We are one of the fastest growing consultancies in the UK and have helped deliver some of the industry’s most challenging transformation projects. This success comes from an unwavering passion for providing real and transformative change for clients, deploying the right people in the right place. We also provide talent pools on interim or a permanent basis; and Military Talent Programme, which provides ex-military personnel the ability to build on their inherent leadership skills and qualities by providing intensive industry specific training. Indeed, our core values shape our culture and form the strong foundations our business is built on. We judge all our actions in terms of being fair, we aim to treat all of our business interactions, people, customers and suppliers fairly at all times.


Our team has years of experience operating at senior levels across major financial institutions. Supporting this is a specialist consultant pool, spanning an equally diverse set of skills. All of this means we are uniquely positioned to provide insight into the broader industry, analysing the priorities

and opportunities for change leaders. Our mission is to enable our financial services clients to be successful in delivering change into their organisations responsively and cost effectively. We engage with clients across the professional services spectrum. Having successfully delivered some of the industry's most challenging transformation projects, we share our own insight through our publications and industry events to help change professionals plan for the years ahead.


As a founder of the business, I have been instrumental in the business development and sales area, over the coming year we are looking to build out the team to pick up responsibility in these areas, freeing me up to focus on strategic development of the company. I am particularly excited about some of the products that we have been developing and having more time to develop and bring these to market is something that I relish.


I am very much consensus driven in decision making and I am always keen to give people space to try things their own way. Right now we are looking to build out our team in order to take Bishopsgate from a start up to a scale up business.


2018 was a record year for us but we have found that the client decision making has slowed down in 2019, in large part driven by the overall economic uncertainty.


Intercontinental Finance & Law • 160/19

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As a specialist in the transaction banking and payments industries, I have an in-depth understanding of the latest technological advances which can help to transform an organisation as well as proven strategies for working with teams of all sizes to deliver sustainable change. We have spent the time developing new product offerings that we think will bring significant value to our clients and potentially disrupt the market.


Our goal is to be the leading business supporting clients to deliver change in the banking sector. We have been investing for the last 18 months in product developments that we believe will deliver a better value consulting offering than our competitors and also a high quality and more reliable resourcing offering than the current providers, we believe this will put us in a unique position in the market. Right now we are focussed on the banking sector, and within that sector our focus is on delivering regulatory and change programmes. Our goal at the moment is to stay within the sector and to start offering different services. Data science and AI are two areas we are particularly looking at. Our focus is growth, we believe that there is a plenty of scope for this and that our new product offerings will help to drive that. Our goal is to be the leading change provider in the sector. If we focus on achieving that who knows what other opportunities might present themselves. l

www.bishopsgate-financial.com Intercontinental Finance & Law • 160/19


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Tinker, Tailor, Seller, Spy HOW NATIONAL SECURITY CONCERNS ARE IMPACTING TECH M&A There is, of course, no such thing as a ‘simple’ cross-border merger and acquisition (M&A) transaction. In addition to agreeing the basic deal terms – and documenting them – the parties will usually have to contend with multiple anti-trust, and possibly other regulatory, reviews and filings around the world. Glafkos Tombolis

EVEN SO, M&AS DEALS IN THE TECH SECTOR ARE INCREASINGLY GAINING AN ADDITIONAL LAYER OF COMPLEXITY THANKS TO A CONCERN THAT MAY SEEM TO BE DIVORCED FROM THE WORLD OF START-UPS AND INNOVATION NATIONAL SECURITY. There was a time when the national security regimes of individual countries would only ever become engaged in practice on M&A deals where the underlying business of the target or bidder concerned traditional military ‘assets’. But this has changed. What we are seeing now is the routine vetting of M&A transactions, which involve the acquisition of or investment in technology in its broadest sense. There are a number of reasons for this but, most crucially, the shift largely reflects the changing geopolitical landscape. As global geostrategic alliances change shape, national security has become increasingly balkanised. M&A or other corporate transactions can provide a route into a country’s national security infrastructure and therefore compromise territorial integrity, so governments, acting through


the instrumentality of their local regulators, are closing the proverbial shutters to keep foreign companies out. As well as this, the capacity of technology to be used in multiple applications is increasing exponentially. Many advanced legal systems around the world already recognise the existence of ‘dual use’ goods, which could potentially serve both civilians and military applications and, as a consequence, require a license from their respective government before exporting them. What we are seeing now is the use of export control licensing regimes as an instrument of foreign policy. The recent export restrictions placed on US businesses by the US government in connection with its evaluation of Huawei as a grave national security risk is an example of this, although these appear to have been lifted by Donald Trump following the G20 summit in Japan.

Worldwide view There is evidence that the law is trying to catch up with technology outside the US too. National security regimes across the world are being bolstered to cover potential

investors acquiring an interest in all manner of tech, such as connected products which are distributed in homes, businesses, government buildings or even institutions like the UK’s NHS. For this reason, new areas of focus for national security regulators are companies designing microchips, Internet of Things products, security services and products, quantum computing, quantum-based technology, nanotechnology and the design of firmware with cryptographic functionality. Largely, this is due to greater awareness and distrust - of how much data companies are storing on their users and who they share that data with. The possibility of hostile third parties acquiring technology or information which could be used against governments and citizens is a very real threat. Largely because of this, the UK is looking at further updating its foreign investment regime imminently, reflecting the seriousness with which governments are taking the national security threat. Europe has gone some way in tackling this through the EU General Data Protection Regulation (or GDPR), which is designed to

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control access to European citizens' data outside of Europe. The EU is also in the process of introducing EU-wide national security laws. There is talk of introducing equivalent privacy legislation in the US – although this currently looks unlikely to be passed, given the legislative gridlock that prevails. The US already has in place a comprehensive national security vetting regime, administered by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (or CFIUS), a US Federal inter-agency group with the authority to review certain foreign investments in US businesses. CFIUS has adopted a very interventionist approach during Donald Trump’s presidency, taking steps to block a number of tech M&A transactions, such as the acquisition of Lattice Semiconductor, an Oregon-based business, by a subsidiary of a private equity fund backed by Chinese investors in 2017. Similarly, in March 2019, the US asserted for the first time that foreign control of a social media app could have national security implications. CFIUS used its

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powers to require a Chinese firm that owns Grindr, a gay dating app, to sell it as it was concerned that Beijing could use personal information to blackmail or influence American government, military or intelligence personnel. It looks likely that CFIUS will continue to exercise its wide-ranging powers, not least thanks to legislation that was enacted last summer conferring on it even broader competence and covering a wider range of potential reviewable transactions.

What does this mean for tech M&A?

It is almost inevitable that cross-border M&A deals in the tech sector will take longer to compete, if they complete all. Potential acquirers or investors will have to take much more time when conducting due diligence on target assets and technology in order to

assess the gravity of their national security risk. As well as this, detailed regulatory analysis will need to be undertaken at the outset of the transaction in order to determine the degree of execution risk. This may well result in the relative increase of domestic M&A deals; there is already evidence of this trend emerging in the US. Assuming a transaction is economically compelling but does have an elevated national security risk, the parties will need to carve out potentially significant time to agree on allocation of risk and costs between them in the event that the relevant government agencies decide to block the deal before it closes or, as in the case of Grindr, seek to unwind the deal post-closing. As a whole, increased national security risk would not kill tech sector M&A, but it will make it a whole lot harder to do. l

Glafkos Tombolis is partner at Kemp Little, a boutique technology-focused law firm based in London, UK. It specialises in TMT, but also has expanded into other practice areas such as corporate, litigation, and employment. It was listed among the Financial Times ‘Most Innovative Law Firms’ list for 2009.



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Hegemony is not conducive to good work WHY THE BIG FOUR NEED TO EMBRACE REFORM BEFORE IT RUNS THEM OVER In response to the latest report from Britain’s department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) into the future of auditing, it is clear that radical reform of the auditing profession is now inevitable and long overdue. The Big Four’s monopoly of the largest audits – last year they were responsible for all but 11 of the FTSE 350 constituents – is under particularly close scrutiny and people in high places have finally realised that relationships between the top audit firms and their clients have become far too cosy. Angus Dent


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COMPANY ACCOUNTS HAVE TO BE TRUTHFUL. NOT JUST FOR THE BENEFIT OF THAT COMPANY, OR OF THE REGULATOR BUT FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE WHOLE ECONOMY. A free market economy cannot function if people do not trust financial reporting – the whole thing collapses into a kleptocracy. Account audits also form the basis on which suppliers provide credit and of investment decisions by banks, funds and P2P lenders. You cannot reliably decide whether to provide goods and services or to invest in a company if they are cooking the books. With all that said, the role of the auditor is clearly an essential one. However, the Big Four auditors have been letting us all down while building their own mega-businesses. Radical reform of the auditing profession is now inevitable, long overdue and should be welcomed. Unchallenged dominance brings lethargy and bloat. Deloitte, KPMG, EY and PwC are the Henry VIIIs of auditing. They are used to being applauded simply for existing. They have built a joint brand on seeming unassailable – an image that their equally giant courtier-clients are quite happy to propagate – and they have been wallowing in it for so long that they no longer feel the need to bend to the needs of others. It is also an oligopoly built on mutual dependence. They need each other to preserve a façade of competition. It is ironic that while the Big Four bask in notoriety, the Government is getting itself into a flap over the anti-competition vices of tech giants like Facebook, Amazon, and Google. Those companies may be creeping into all aspects of our private lives but the Big Four have done the same and arguably more successfully. Why should the regulators feel any different about that? Just because there are four names in the ring does not mean it is not a closed circle.

Customers as guilty as auditors

One of the major problems has been that the Big Four’s clients  including the high street banks, by the way  have been content not to be questioned too closely about their financial accounts. They have been more than happy to part with fat audit fees to have them signed off by a big, prestigious auditor. Historically, this was seen to be good for the image, but not anymore. Such relationships have led to neglect, complacency, failure and, ultimately, huge loss of reputation for all the parties involved. The drop in standards has been driven by arrogance. This is a classic of the genre ‘business leaders caring about the wrong things’. It is ridiculous that a particular brand stamp on the accounts should be valued higher than accuracy and quality. When organisations focus on flashy status symbols – whether that is using the CEO’s mansion as loan collateral, jumping into an IPO before the company is ready, or cosying up to the biggest accounting fish in the pond – the business always suffers in the end. Short-term growth is no substitute for long-term sustainability. Who waits wins.


The upshot is that the Big Four’s colossal girth is not just bad for the accountancy market and the economy as a whole – it is bad for individual companies, luring them into bad practice in return for a pat on the head.

Long arm of the law

We are starting to see the upper echelons wake up to the problem, albeit slower than one would hope. Rachel Reeves MP, chair of the UK’s Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee (BEISC), recently launched her report into the future of audit to the ICAEW in which she referred to ‘incompetence, obfuscation, and sometimes fraud’ – scathing words, indeed. She also referred to 27 per cent of audits being ‘below standard’. These are the canaries in the mine. We will hear more politicians picking up the theme as the run-off of the Big Four’s business model grows and more potential fraud comes to light. The question is: how will the firms react? The best option is to change with the times. There is no shame in sensing the direction of the market and pivoting to stay ahead of the game – in this case, by releasing your stranglehold on the FTSE 350. It hurts in the short term, but it guarantees your business in the long term.

Impact on us

Not that it is likely to cut much ice in the boardrooms of the Big Four but there is also a broader need for reform. The capital that would be unlocked to the market if they reduced their dominance would be like rain on a dry field – the accounting, consultancy and finance sectors would be given a huge new lease of life. A simple start would be to say that the Big Four could only have a maximum of around sixty audits each of the FTSE 350 companies – that would spread things around and force some of the smaller FTSE 350 companies to seek the services of other audit firms. Two years later, the number of these audits that can be conducted by the Big Four could be dropped to 40 each and so on. This would force more effective competition and give the bottom half of the top ten an incentive to invest in technical departments, or club together and put more money in to a body like the ICAEW, for example, knowing that they would get more work than they are currently able to snag. At present, they do not invest in audit services for larger companies because they see little or no return on it as a result of the Big Four’s oligopoly. That needs to change. The bottom line is that auditors must be trustworthy and reliable. If the industry does not change starting from now, it will go the same way as the high street banks – ending up despised and distrusted. It is time for the Big Four to embrace change before it is forced upon them. l

Angus Dent is CEO of ArchOver, a UK-based business lending platform connecting businesses requiring finance with investors seeking an alternative asset class for their investment portfolio. The company has delivered over £95million of funding to UK businesses, having paid over £5million in interest and delivered lender returns of up to 11 per cent annually.

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Anytime, anyplace, anywhere REDEFINING AGILE WORKING MODELS TO ATTRACT AND RETAIN TALENT The financial services sector must redefine outdated and irrelevant employee attraction and retention models and embrace agile working to appeal to the next generation of workers. Brands, however well-known, cannot rely on traditional models of promotion and financial rewards to improve employee satisfaction. Offering flexible working is not agile working. Individuals need to feel trusted and empowered – and that demands a radical rethink of working models. Adam Kene


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Corporate structure

Where rigid, hierarchical corporate structures were once the norm, the younger generation is increasingly unwilling to compromise personal ambition to meet corporate goals. Instead, young people actively seek out working environments that celebrate innovation, individuality and drive. They want to feel motivated and empowered to make a difference, not constricted, or even lost, in strict organisational structures. If financial services organisations are to attract top talent, they need to incorporate the kinds of working practices that this generation has come to expect. They should make establishing truly agile working practices a priority. Promoting an environment of trust in which employees feel motivated is crucial to this and will go some way to tackling issues of staff retention in the sector. The current merry-go-round of staff between companies every couple of years is a sign of limited job satisfaction that needs to be addressed by firms. This will also help to tackle the endemic inability of financial organisations to create a motivated workforce. The promise of a promotion or salary boost is not enough for a generation who want to feel part of something. This generation is willing to work hard, but individuals want to do so on their own terms. A lack of motivation and commitment has a knock-on effect on the quality of client or customer satisfaction. Instead of being given the freedom to focus on how to deliver the best possible outcomes for clients in their own way, employees can get caught up in internal power games in a bid to win a promotion or bonus. The goals of business, clients and employees are fundamentally misaligned. Change is required. Adding flexible working models to a dated, hierarchical business model is not creating the truly agile working environment now required.

Agile working in practice

Modern working practices are no longer the preserve of trendy start-ups and creative industries; they are increasingly being adopted by legal and financial organisations too. Staff at Morgan Lewis, for example, have the option of working up to two days a week from home, while Linklaters is piloting a scheme in its German office that will allow associates the option to take a pay cut in return for reduced working hours. Some companies, like Baker McKenzie and Ignition Law, have gone further, adopting agile working policies that include alternative working hours and remote working. This has allowed employees to work around family and leisure commitments and, in some cases, spend

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long holidays abroad or even work around other day jobs. These firms have seen the value in both establishing a motivated workforce and attracting the best people for the job, regardless of their location.

Benefits and pitfalls

A sense of purpose and excitement is at the heart of a successful, engaged and dedicated workforce. Instead of micromanaging every minute of the day, this means empowering and trusting individuals to do the job that they were employed to do. Redefining agile working means moving away from the constraints of a strict working schedule and leave entitlement, and letting staff manage their own hours in line with specific objectives. If an individual wants to spend all day with a client, for example, drilling down to truly understand their needs and the opportunity for R&D tax credits to support the business’ ambition for innovation, that is fantastic. Drop the children at school every morning? Want to take every August off to go travelling? Fine. As long as an employee is meeting their targets and is able to adhere to the company code of conduct, then how, where, and when the job is done is, essentially, up to them. Transparent performance, target and conduct measures are essential to ensure everyone is working towards the same goals and understands what’s expected of them. Problems will occur in any working model and it is essential that there are structures in place to address issues if they arise. It is also important to establish what motivates each individual. Goals will differ.

While some are motivated by moving up the corporate ladder, others will have broader definitions of success. In an agile working model, success is defined by matching individual and client goals, not those of hierarchy and speed of promotion. A business culture that actively encourages input from individuals at every level, through employee forums and open debates, will help create an environment in which employees feel valued. This can reinforce trust and help to foster a sense of employee purpose. A company culture that is predicated not just on winning business but on helping companies to innovate and succeed globally can be bolstered by agile ways of working and a motivated workforce.


In a bid to attract and retain staff, many firms have adopted versions of agile working. But a nod to flexi-working or remote working is not the same as creating a truly empowered team. To make a substantive difference, this generation of individuals must be allowed to take control and explore their entrepreneurial spirit within the corporate environment. If the financial services industry is to evolve and meet the needs of clients and employees, it’s crucial to shake off entrenched practices and redefine ways of working. Agile working models create positive working environments in which employees are passionate and loyal – resulting in a knock-on effect on client engagement and retention. Redefining working models will empower and motivate employees to drive business and deliver the best value for clients. l

Adam Kene Adam Kene is managing director at Kene Partners, a specialist R&D tax consultancy based in the UK. The company assists innovative organisations receive access to government funds set aside to encourage innovation.



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Nowhere to hide BULLYING AND SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN LEGAL PROFESSION NEED TO BE STAMPED OUT FOR EVER The time for change is now by ensuring that affected individuals can speak up, confident that they will be protected, with the necessary support provided. It is also crucial that training on appropriate behaviours should be offered across teams, including at senior levels. This issue will not be going away any time soon until this happens. Bettina Bender


What is sexual harassment and bullying?

As the IBA report was global, a more generic, rather than country specific, definition was


adopted of what behaviour might qualify as sexual harassment or bullying. Sexual harassment Sexual harassment was defined as typically involving unwanted sex-related behaviour. The report summarised that whilst there is no one legal definition, most do involve some reference to the ‘conduct being unwelcome or unwanted and which has the purpose or effect of being intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating

or offensive’. It is also highlighted that the prevention of sexual harassment has become a prominent issue with legislative prohibitions around this conduct in a majority of jurisdictions worldwide. Bullying The report found that ‘workplace bullying is typically understood as exposure to aggressive behaviour or incivility by supervisors, colleagues or third parties’. Different to sexual harassment, many

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jurisdictions do not have a separate express legal prohibition on bullying and bullying often needs to be linked to related discriminatory or unlawful conduct to give rise to a claim.

IBA report findings

The key findings of the report include: One in three female respondents and one in 14 male respondents stated they had been subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace, with one in two female respondents and one in three male respondents having been affected by bullying in the workplace. The report found that in 57 per cent of bullying cases and in 75 per cent of sexual harassment cases this is not reported. The reasons for this appear to be the status of the perpetrator in the organisation, the fear of repercussions, and the conduct or incident being widespread in the organisation. A further finding of the report is that policies and training overall are not have the desired effect and people working in organisations with policies and training overall are just as likely to be bullied or sexually harassed as workplace which do not have policies or training. Of the respondents who stated they have experienced bullying, 65 per cent leave their workplace. Of those who experienced sexual harassment, 37 per cent leave their workplace.


The report finds that change is needed and provides 10 recommendations, which include: 1. Raise awareness 2. Revise and implement policies and standards 3. Introduce regular, customised training 4. Increase dialogue and best-practice sharing 5. Take ownership 6. Gather data and improve transparency 7. Explore flexible reporting models 8. Engage with younger members of the profession 9. Appreciate the wider context 10. Maintain momentum The report acknowledges that change will not happen overnight and that some of the underlying issues, rather than being unique to the legal world, reflect wider issues in society which need to be resolved.

Cultural and financial impact of bullying and sexual harassment

The report acknowledges that the legal profession is by no means alone in facing these issues and highlights that ‘a 2018 report of the European Parliament found that, at any


one time, five to 10 per cent of the European workforce is subjected to bullying at work’. Particularly sexual harassment cases across a number of industries have been in the headlines since the Harvey Weinstein scandal led to the #MeToo campaign. The #MeToo movement has also changed public perception of what is acceptable and respectful behaviour between colleagues and this has shifted attitudes fundamentally and that is to be welcomed. What has also changed is a feeling that people who

have been at the receiving end of sexual harassment, and also increasingly bullying, are now able to speak up. It is also common ground that the unseen impact of lost productivity, staff sickness absences, staff turnover, HR and other management time and possible legal fees to deal with issues arising as a result of workplace bullying or sexual harassment need to be brought into the mix if the true economic cost of bullying and sexual harassment is to be assessed, quite aside from the PR damage to companies and the impact on individual careers.

Key considerations for corporate employers, their boards and senior executives

For employers, the real question is not how to prevent claims by employees, but how to prevent bullying and harassment in the workplace in the first place. For many that will require a culture change and zero tolerance at the highest levels of management. So what are the key issues for firms, both legal and financial, in dealing with bullying and sexual harassment There are two key issues to consider here: 1. what is the best practice approach to take when facing an allegation of sexual misconduct or bullying 2. what can and should companies do to manage the risk of potential future complaints of sexual harassment/ misconduct and bullying

I. Facing an allegation of sexual misconduct It is imperative to conduct a confidential, full and prompt investigation once any allegation of sexual misconduct or bullying is raised to allow a full assessment of the facts. The alleged victim and alleged perpetrator should be offered psychological support. A special leave of absence should be considered as an option for the individuals concerned at an early stage. In some instances, the worst perpetrators can be successful and profitable for the business and consider themselves untouchable as a result. When assessing which approach to take, thought will have to be given to any regulatory and criminal aspects, the impact on the individual who has been the subject of any sexual harassment or misconduct, and the firm’s values, public face and PR implications. While an investigation process can be timeconsuming and costly, one of the positive outcomes of a good internal investigation can be an opportunity for an employer to manage the associated risks and ascertain system or management failures which may have contributed to the original bullying or sexual harassment. The process provides an opportunity to adapt internal policies and systems and offer bespoke training to try to reduce the risk of similar behaviour in future. II. Managing the risk going forward It is good practice for a company to have in place a comprehensive set of policies which set out the behaviours expected for all staff including at senior levels. Any policies will not be effective without regular training. Awareness training is essential as it helps understanding of the expected standards of behaviour, the concepts of harassment, bullying, discrimination, and victimisation. It is also key to convey an understanding of the sanctions which will be imposed in case of any breaches and the legal risks, including potential individual liability of an alleged perpetrator in some jurisdictions. A key senior person or persons should be appointed to whom any concerns regarding sexual harassment or bullying can be reported on a confidential basis. It is vital that those who experience harassment or bullying know that they are protected and that there are clear steps which they can take to raise any concerns and that these will then be properly investigated. If employees feel they are able to raise concerns regarding inappropriate behaviour, this may go some way towards providing the firm with an opportunity to address and manage any possible risks, both to its staff and itself, at an early stage. l

Bettina Bender is partner at Winckworth Sherwood, a UK-headquartered law firm providing a range of legal services to a diverse range of clientele including some of the UK’s largest businesses and institutions, housebuilders and developers through to investors, professional partnerships, family offices, not for profit organisations, and private individuals. The firm traces its history back to the late 1700s when John Ellis, one of its founders, started practicing law in the City of Westminster in London

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If firms fail to embrace artificial intelligence, then there is a real risk they will not be able to catch-up with the pace of technological change, significantly undermining their position in the market. The importance of the legal sector understanding what AI toolsets exist, and how they can best make use of them is the way forward for the industry. WHENEVER A SECTOR FACES A NEW TECHNOLOGY OR TREND, QUESTIONS INEVITABLY ARISE ABOUT HOW IT WILL DISRUPT THE DAY-TO-DAY OPERATIONS OF KEY PLAYERS. And today, many businesses are turning a keen eye to artificial intelligence (AI) to explore how they stand to benefit from this revolutionary set of tools. Unlike other industries such as finance, the legal sector is unlikely to be the first example that springs to mind when we consider the main industry readily embracing AI adoption. Perhaps this comes down to the perception that AI toolsets are too complicated, expensive, or indeed simply irrelevant for non-tech businesses to use. Having worked with businesses across different sectors to help them leverage AI, I am confident that the legal sector is ripe for disruption. The interest is certainly there, and going forward we must work towards debunking myths surrounding this technology, and instead spread awareness about how it can be used. After all, we cannot ignore the current knowledge gap facing legal organisations when it comes to AI. Research by the Legal Practice Management in 2018 found that 73% of law firms in the UK were still not using AI in any way. In the US, a survey of senior executives by RELX Group placed the legal industry in last place when it came to the adoption of AI and machine learning (ML) technologies. Before we delve into the practical applications of AI in the legal space, let’s first consider the proliferation of this technology in recent years.

The current state of AI

Despite the evident knowledge gap within the legal sector, we cannot overlook the fact that AI is making sweeping changes across most industries. Its unparalleled ability to augment human workers and automate time-consuming, costly and repetitive tasks has meant that few organisations are not positioned to benefit from the costefficiencies on offer from AI. Significantly, much of this uptake has occurred within the past decade. Given the falling barriers to adoption, AI toolsets are today within reach of more businesses than ever before, opening the doors to help

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explore how these solutions can improve workplace efficiency. According to Gartner, enterprise use of AI grew 270% over the past four years, with 37% of organisations having implemented AI in some form. Due to the ability to tailor AI toolsets to specific needs, organisations are also using this technology in a myriad of different ways. While AI is clearly drawing interest from progressive legal firms (a study of London law firms by CBRE revealed that 48% are using AI), the sector still has a lot of catching up to do to truly realise its potential.

How can legal firms employ AI in their own offices?

For those who only have a topline understanding of existing AI toolsets, it might come as a surprise how simply they can be implemented. Let’s then consider a few ways that AI can be deployed in legal practices.

Document management and drafting

Needless amounts of time and effort is expended by lawyers on analysing records and locating necessary information, before then using this to inform a contract or decision. Much of this burden can now thankfully be delegated to AI. To offer one example, lawyers can now conduct ‘smart searches’, whereby they can ask AI software a question that they are seeking the answer to, such as, “what are all the cases of whiplash car injuries in London 2017?” The AI will then search through digital data stores to find documents containing relevant matches. (ML) plays a significant role here, and means that AI tools are constantly positioned to reactively learn and improve. Thanks to ML capabilities, AI will learn to refine results over time to ensure that they revert only the most relevant information. To put this into perspective, traditional search engines

simply scan for keywords while lacking this more sophisticated function. Following the research stage, AI can even be employed to draft professional documents. Lawyers can simply specify what points or arguments they would like to raise, and AI can then automatically generate a legally-sound paragraph based on previous examples of similar documents. On the whole, this means legal professionals spend less time on repetitive tasks, and more on valuable and higher-level assignments.

Risk analysis and prediction

The ability of AI algorithms to spot patterns in data is also powerful for plotting trends and predicting the future outcomes of cases. AI systems are able to make assumptions, test and learn autonomously, which means they can evaluate historical data and insights to determine likely consequences of different scenarios. What’s more, it does so at a speed which cannot be matched by humans. But how does this work in practice? Say a firm is dealing with a personal injury case; AI tools can be used to predict likely arguments and decisions that the case could incur by comparing it to previous cases as well as conducting a thorough analysis of the history of the defendant. Using this information, it could advise whether the case might be dismissed due to a lack of evidence, or else the prospect of its success. It’s important to realise, however, that the potential of AI in the legal sphere goes far beyond the examples mentioned here. Indeed, AI solutions exist for a whole range of different tasks, and each law firm will have different requirements for AI based on where they feel the majority of their time and resource is being wasted. Thanks to custom AI solutions, which can be tailored to the individual needs of a firm, companies large and small can now try their hand at tools that will help streamline their organisation. l

Nikolas Kairinos is founder and CEO of Fountech.ai, a company specialising in the development and delivery of intelligent AI solutions for businesses and organisations.



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Better ways of working HOW TOP FIRMS ARE RESPONDING TO FIERCE MARKET COMPETITION Legal firms are facing an increasingly competitive marketplace. Whilst they are growing through winning business organically, they are facing crippling real estate costs, fierce competition from non-traditional legal services companies, and pressure from clients to explore new ways of working. However, the situation is spurring law firms on to investigate new ways to reduce costs, compete more effectively in the market and work differently. Jeremy Hook


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Most legal firms (74 per cent) say that a top three priority is moving back office services off-site to better leverage real estate, while almost half (49 per cent) say they are contemplating offshoring or nearshoring of in-house creative services, which do not generate fees but still require increasingly precious office space, in the next 12 months. Just 25 per cent of law firms are seeking to drive efficiency by reducing office space, so it seems the majority of practices feel increasing office space is inevitable. However, there is a willingness to consider whether certain services need to be on-site and that centralising services, or spreading back office service delivery across locations, could better leverage office space and introduce cost efficiencies.

Introducing agile working ONE OF THE GREATEST CONCERNS FOR LAW FIRMS IS THE HIGH COST OF REAL ESTATE, SAYS NEW RESEARCH FROM WILLIAMS LEA AND THE LAWYER. Indeed, real estate costs rank the second highest expense for legal practices after salaries. Despite these costs, 50 per cent of legal firms are committing to increase real estate capacity over the next three years.

Onshoring and nearshoring services The good news is that the leading driver triggering that increase is organic business growth (79 per cent), followed by acquisition (67 per cent). These factors naturally drive law firms to increase their office space, and thus incur additional expenses; however, there are limits to this style of expansion. Some firms are finding that they would need to move offices to be able to grow, which can often be a long-winded and costly process. Therefore, there is a growing and committed focus among legal firms to maximise the use of office space in the most efficient way and moving some office functions off site is one way they can get some valuable floor space back.

Another route to efficiencies being considered by law firms is agile working – the ability to work as seamlessly from any location as on-

for embracing agile working, followed by reducing real estate costs (14 per cent). As for employees, agile working was popular too, with 48 per cent of them wanting their employer to offer flexible working hours, rising to 82 per cent among millennials who have a higher appreciation for a good work/life balance. It is clear that law firms are focused on attracting the best talent, being flexible to client needs and reducing costs through becoming more mobile and using new technology to support improved ways of working.

The problem with paper Agile working is clearly popular with both law firms and their employees, but new approaches are required to foster an environment in which lawyers can work seamlessly from anywhere. For this goal to be achieved, law firms must face their problem with paper. Often the legal process involves several iterations of, what can be, very large documents – all which must be printed, reviewed and revised. Retaining online and paper versions of these documents for lawyers travelling, or working off-site, is a huge challenge for law firms.

However, strides are being made to meet this challenge too.

site. This is not surprising, given the amount of regular travel that legal practitioners do in their professional lives, but the more recent widespread availability of reliable mobile internet and the proliferation of secure cloudbased services have made working from a coffee shop, train or even from the garden much easier. Almost two thirds (63 per cent) of law firms have adopted agile working, a further 22 per cent are considering it, with just 15 per cent of legal practices showing no interest. Alongside boosting efficiency and saving on office space and costs, agile working is seen as crucial to employing and retaining the best legal professionals by an overwhelming 72 per cent of firms. Responsiveness to client demand (15 per cent) was the next reason

Of the responding practices, 76 per cent confirmed that they had a paperless/digital strategy to address just this. Furthermore, the law firms involved in the survey said they are dealing with the issue of paper use by working directly with practice areas to seek opportunities to reduce its use. The benefits of such a strategy are clear, with full digitisation of records slashing operating costs for law firms by 20 per cent. The automation of certain repetitive admin tasks, such as client billing and legal document outlines, unlock further efficiencies. While improved efficiency of space and working is the key driver for all law firms to adopt new processes from agile working to automation – these new adaptations set a strong base for firms to not only compete more effectively in today’s fierce marketplace, but to also future proof their work flow and office space manage for years to come. Nevertheless, what is important is that law firms tackle the issue of efficiency with an open mind and to keep in mind the longterm potential of changing the way they work today to ensure they are agile in the future. If they respond in the right way, the fires of competition today will forge a stronger company for tomorrow. l

Jeremy Hook is managing director at Williams Lea EMEA, a UK-based global provider of skilled business-critical support services to financial, legal and professional services firms. Founded in 1820 as a print shop in London the company has grown to be an outsourcer with international presence. The Group employs approximately 11,500 staff across the globe, with key locations in the Americas, EMEA and Asia Pacific and is owned by Deutsche Post DHL. Its clients include brands in sectors such as financial services, life sciences, legal, retail, FMCG, apparel, investment banking, automotive and public sectors.

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Client at the centre TIGHTENING UP LABORIOUS LEGAL PROCESSES TO DELIVER BETTER CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE The professional services industry is forecasted to grow 5.4 per cent by 2020, reaching almost $5trillion in worth, according to the Professional Services Market Global Report. It seems that more and more, companies are relying on the expertise of external professional services, like legal firms. This trend will likely continue as companies look to leverage the strategic minds of specialists in a cost-effective manner. Andrew Filev WORKING WITH EXTERNAL CLIENTS REQUIRES PROJECTING EXTRA CONFIDENCE IN YOUR TEAM. MANAGING MULTIPLE PROJECTS AND CLIENTS EFFECTIVELY IS DIFFICULT TODAY. Legal professionals need new tools to provide a seamless client experience, while also demonstrating that you’re hitting your milestones on time. This includes being able to track billable hours easily and translate that time into measurable value. Wrike’s report ‘From Process to Automation: The Professional Services Work Management Benchmark Report’ surveyed those who work in the professional services industry, including legal, to get an idea of the challenges they face every day. The results showed that many professionals feel they lack visibility into project status, waste a lot of time pouring over administration tasks, and are frequently hindered by internal communication challenges.


Often the challenges arise due to the lack of context in legal collaboration. Subject matter experts are often copied on emails last minute to review documents, and they need to read dozens of emails on the threaded history to catch themselves up with the conversation. Still, they’re missing essential pieces of the puzzle, and their teams need to take time out of their days to forward them documents or brief them on the matter. That means everyone loses time from their day on something that should (in theory at least) be as simple as a single click. This could be overlooked as admin issues or attributed to individual weaknesses in time management. But the ability to collaborate with colleagues does not just affect internal working culture – it affects the service delivered to clients, too. These issues were also cited as the leading cause of churn and frustration among clients. Even if the clients do not churn, it is just plain embarrassing

when your clients can tell your firm does not have its act together. It is all too easy to miss deadlines if communication and processes are not aligned between the company and its clients. When deadlines are missed with one client, it impacts resources allocated to others. Being able to show clients how resources equate to value clearly is vital. But when firms have to spend a lot of time on manual or time-intensive processes for resource management  namely tracking billable hours, as we will soon cover  they risk frustrating their workforce and maybe even burning them out. Let us take a look at the more specific processes that legal firms are still having to spend time on.

Processes ripe for disruption by automation

According to Wrike’s research, nearly a third of legal professionals cite manual or time-intensive processes for resource management and/or tracking billable hours (31 per cent) and keeping projects on track and hitting deadlines (32 per cent) as their most prominent work challenge. In fact, nearly a third (30 per cent) said that they spend two to three hours tracking billing hours every week, and almost two fifths (38 per cent) spend the same amount of time sending project status update emails, generating status reports, or having status update meetings each week. It’s surprising and disheartening that our respondents are still spending so much time on routine tasks and processes in an age when automations are readily and cheaply available that can reduce these pains. Our respondents seem to agree, with nearly a third

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of it all (29 per cent) saying that automating administrative and/or repeatable tasks like status update notifications, project creation, and task assignment would have the most significant positive impact on their team.

Delays are symptoms of poor visibility and collaboration

When it comes to project delays, two fifths (40 per cent) said their projects are sometimes delayed. This is a serious problem when you consider that delays were cited by nearly a third (29 per cent) as the number one reason for churn or frustration among their clients and nearly half (48 per cent) said on-time delivery of client projects is how success is measured for their job. Projects cannot go to plan if those in the team are not aligned, and over twofifths blamed internal working processes as the most common reason for such delays. A fifth (20 per cent) cited conflicting priorities or inaccurate planning, resource management, and time allocation as the reason for said delays. A further fifth cited either disorganisation within their team and no clear workflow processes in place or miscommunication with internal and/or external stakeholders. According to the research, the majority (58 per cent) of legal firms use two-three tools to manage projects and communicate with their teams and clients. These tools may include email, spreadsheets, and chat apps to name a few. Using too many tools can also make collaboration difficult because details can easily get lost across them causing miscommunication, delays, and even more administrative work as people have to aggregate information from multiple places to give full context, which is especially critical when new team members are added into projects. The ability to retain your processes and workflows while accommodating clients’ needs and how they like to organise

their projects will set you apart from your competition. It requires unprecedented levels of flexibility and communication, but is worth it when you consider the time that could be saved – and project delays avoided. Practical tips for tightening up timeconsuming processes There is good news for those who want to avoid client churn and employee burnout due to many changing requirements and not enough time. Here are some easy-toimplement, work management best practices to incorporate into your project workflow: 1. Use templates and forms to organise incoming work. There is a reason that pilots still run through a checklist every time they fly – templates for success work. This will ensure that you’ve considered all the elements of the project that need to be considered before you get started. 2. Implement project kick-off meetings. This meeting should take place with your client to make sure that you’re all on the same page. This is a great way to understand their expectations and communicate the value of your service. 3. Use effort-centric resource allocation. Try to allocate specific tasks to specific people with timeframes. The more granular you can get, the more chance everyone involved will know exactly what they need to do and get it done on time.

4. Break projects into tasks and subtasks. Most overriding larger tasks will have subtasks within them that need to be done. You can use Gantt charts to visualize the process and see where any conflicts might occur. 5. Track projects in a timeline or calendar. Knowing what tasks are coming down the pipeline helps when prioritising, assigning and scheduling tasks, as you can see who is busy during which time period and assign tasks out accordingly to avoid conflicts. 6. Replace disparate tools with a centralised repository for all projectrelated information and collaboration. A work management platform should act as a single source of truth, eliminating the need to manually consolidate notes across systems and keeping all communication in context and chronological order. Collaboration is crucial to getting the job done on time and up to standard. All work management tools or processes should support client collaboration and add value to the work process for your team and your clients. Remember, work management isn’t just for employees – it also helps hit your KPIs and keep customers happy, returning for more jobs in the future, and earning their referrals for future clients. l

Andrew Filev is the founder and CEO at Wrike, a collaborative work management platform. Founded in 2006 and headquartered in Silicon Valley, Wrike currently has 19,000 customers, including Hootsuite, Tiffany & Co., and Ogilvy, with two million users across 140 countries.

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Diversity at work HIRING FROM WIDE TALENT POOL COULD BRIDGE SKILLS GAP With the current gulf in the talent needed to build a modern, digital firm, the need of the hour is a commitment to building a workforce that goes beyond the traditional accounting heartlands one that makes use of individuals of a broad range of skills, and from a broad range of backgrounds. Jennifer Warawa TALENT SCARCITY AND THE SKILLS GAP HAVE BECOME VERY REAL CONCERNS IN THE UK. The country is currently in a period of high employment, and at the same time, uncertainty surrounding Brexit has caused a reduction in immigrant labour, reducing the talent pool further. For accountancy, the skills gap issue is even more acute because it is already an industry with a very limited talent pool. When asked to describe an accountant, it is likely that many of us would describe a very similar person. For a variety of reasons, accountancy as a profession attracts a very specific group – often male,


university-educated, usually from a Russell Group university. Hiring from such a small pool means that the squeeze on talent is even tighter in this sector. Our recent research shows that 90 per cent of accountants worldwide believe there has been a cultural shift in accountancy. While traditional bookkeeping skills remain important, there is a movement from a transactional industry to one focused on consultancy and partnerships. As the profession itself is shifting, the traditional training and hiring processes need to adapt to encompass the different skills required to fulfil these roles. To tackle talent scarcity, much of the focus

in accountancy so far has been on upskilling existing employees or finding innovative ways to attract talent from abroad. Although these are valid ways to combat the skills gap, accountants can go further.

Benefits of diversified workforce By broadening the pool of potential employees to include a wider skillset and then investing more in training these employees, businesses can mitigate the impact of talent scarcity by discovering talents that standard hiring practices might not uncover. Rather than looking for homogenous talent, HR professionals hiring accountants can go further by

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shifting their focus to redefine the types of candidates that they consider to be desirable, as well as how they train them. Our research has found that a third of businesses are actively looking to diversify their workforce. With the current shortage of the skills that are needed to build a modern, digital firm, accountants must build a workforce that goes beyond the traditional accounting heartlands  one that makes use of individuals with a broader range of skills, and from a broader range of backgrounds. By broadening their definition of what makes a good employee, businesses can equip themselves with a wider array of skills and viewpoints. This is useful from a strategic standpoint as it enables the company to provide a more complete picture of client needs. From an operational perspective, it also gives access to valuable, non-traditional skills like data science and coding. Additionally, a diverse range of backgrounds and skillsets brings with it a wider base of experiences and viewpoints, enabling firms to engage on a consultative level with a more varied client base  which in turn provides the opportunity to boost the bottom line.

Prioritising diversity: practical steps It is all well and good deciding that your business is ready to employ a more diverse workforce, but how do you ensure you action this new strategy and avoid falling into old stereotypes and practices? Here are some practical ways to get started. More and more companies are seeing the value of offering employees flexible


working practices and implementing flexitime or home working. By offering more flexible working practices, accountancy can accommodate the needs of a more varied talent pool such as working mums or carers. Additionally, by investing heavily in training and upskilling, you can unlock hidden skills in existing employees that they might not have realised they had. This investment will also enable employers to train different candidates so that everyone is adding as much value as possible across the business. For example, having open training sessions could reveal numeracy or presenting skills in employees in roles that aren’t currently capitalising on these talents. Whatmore, providing additional training for those who have raw talent but may not have been through the traditional training channels, can help bridge the gap between their background and potential. Another area to consider re-evaluating is your recruitment process. One interesting method being used by Bremont, a UK-based luxury watch manufacturer, is the concept of open application days. The company opens its doors to anyone who wants to try their hand at watchmaking, from high-school dropouts to long-time craftspeople. They are then given technical challenges, during which Bremont gets the chance to detect whether the candidates have the basic manual aptitude required for the job, rather than screening candidates based on their CVs. It then takes on those with potential and invests in training them over the next two years.

Hiring in this way also enables companies to consider candidates without prejudice or preconception and therefore broaden the talent pool considerably, ending up with a highly-trained and loyal workforce.

Changing culture Whichever strategies work for your practice, the main challenge will be the shift in perspective and working practices that are required to accommodate an evolving workforce. HR will need to work with line-of-business teams to help them understand the value that a broader hiring programme can bring the business and how any traditional resourcing challenges can be overcome, for example, in an always-on customer services function. With a new and more diverse workforce, understanding and knowing your employees is even more complex and important. Data analytics or ‘people science’ will be an essential element of a successful diversification strategy. By using analytics to better understand your employees, facilitate tailored individual KPIs and perform continuous performance management, companies can get new hires bedded in as quickly as possible and ensure that people management processes are as effective as possible. A more diverse hiring strategy increases the chance that businesses will hire the right person for the right role and give them access to a wider range of ideas and viewpoints. Diversifying hiring practices should be a strategic imperative for the good of the business – the possibilities are huge. l

Jennifer Warawa is executive vice president at Sage, a UK-headquartered multinational enterprise software company listed on the London Stock Exchange and also a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. With offices in 24 countries, it is the UK's second largest technology company and the world's third-largest supplier of enterprise resource planning software (behind Oracle and SAP), the largest supplier to small businesses, and has 6.1 million customers worldwide.

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Monetary policy reaches its limits RISING RECESSIONARY RISKS SHIFTS FOCUS TO FISCAL FALLBACK OPTIONS As central banks will be unable to provide the same amount of stimulus that they deployed during previous crises, the next downturn will call for a fiscal response. However, in a fragmented international landscape, global economies would struggle to deliver a coordinated response to a recession through either monetary or fiscal means. Silvia Dall’Angelo AS THE CURRENT US EXPANSION HITS ITS 10TH BIRTHDAY, SIGNALS ABOUT THE OUTLOOK HAVE BEEN MIXED. RECENT US ECONOMIC DATA HAS BEEN SOLID, WITH Q1 GDP SURPRISING TO THE UPSIDE AND SOLID EMPLOYMENT GROWTH. However, consumer and business surveys – which are running at elevated levels – have shown cracks in recent months. The US’ expansionary fiscal stance has undoubtedly supported economic performance over the past 12 months, but this effect is likely to fade, particularly in the second half of 2019. At the same time, following the Fed’s dovish turn at the beginning of this year, monetary policy looks set to remain fairly accommodative. However, the US yield curve is now flashing amber with respect to recession risks. The inversion of the yield curve at the end of March pushed the New York Fed’s recession probability to almost 30 per cent, a high within the current cycle.


The longer the current accommodative setting for monetary policy lasts, the easier it is for financial imbalances to build up. In turn, this implies that the financial system is more vulnerable to even small shocks. Further escalation of US-China trade tensions and the potential contagion into other economies threatens to tip an already vulnerable system into a recession.

Monetary policy: options exhausted

Today, we are navigating the late-expansion stage of the business cycle, in which the space for monetary policy is extremely constrained. Worryingly, central banks have little ammunition to respond to the next downturn. Nominal policy rates globally have been trending downwards in recent decades; they are now running at

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levels that are low by historical standards and close to their lowest limit, the socalled effective lower bound (ELB). In a world where it is possible to hold cash, the ELB is around zero or slightly negative. In order to adopt an accommodative monetary policy stance, central banks need to set their real policy rate below the equilibrium real rate – the interest rate that keeps the economy operating on an even keel – the so-called r*. During the next recession, central banks will be unable to provide the same amount of stimulus that they deployed during previous crises. They will not be able to move the real policy rate significantly below a low r* by cutting nominal interest rates – and they will hit the ELB more often. Low inflation expectations can be deemed as another constraint, as they imply that the floor for the real interest rate is higher than it should be. Unconventional monetary policy tools also look less attractive than in the recent past. Negatives rates – currently deployed across the eurozone and Japan – could damage banks’ profitability. Quantitative


Easing has shown diminishing marginal returns, while also contributing to higher wealth inequality. As such, the response to the next downturn may need to come from fiscal policy.

Fiscal policy: the only fallback

After years of intense focus on monetary policy, discussions about the appropriateness – and even desirability – of large fiscal deficits has taken centre stage. In particular, the fact that interest rates are running below nominal growth rates in the US and most developed economies implies low fiscal costs of higher public debt. In the current configuration, there is a case to use public debt, notably to fund productivityenhancing spending, such as the funding of public infrastructure projects. However, public debt as a share of GDP is already high across developed countries – at almost 100 per cent – suggesting that the space for fiscal stimulus is limited. Further, while accommodative monetary policy is keeping rates low, high debts might lead to higher interest rates,

particularly if financial markets come to doubt their sustainability. That said, monetary and fiscal policies face other challenges. To be effective during a financial crisis, international coordination is necessary. However, in an increasingly fragmented international landscape, in which the fortunes of multilateralism are falling, it is unclear whether the response to current and future global challenges and crises will be effective. l

Silvia Dall’Angelo is senior economist at Hermes Investment Management, an investment management firm providing public and private markets investment strategies and engagement services to institutional and wholesale investors, operating worldwide. Established in 1983 as the principal manager the BT Pension Scheme, the company employs 200 investment and stewardship professionals, with 448 total staff, in its London head-office, Singapore and New York.

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2019 TO BE RECORD YEAR FOR ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING FINES Between January to April of 2019 alone, the combined value of antimoney laundering (AML) penalties given out was over 70% of the total awarded in the whole of 2014 – the year which currently holds the record for highest total value of fines. It is also nearly double the value of AML fines from the entire of 2018 ($4.27billion), despite the number of penalties being roughly a third (9 in January-April 2019 vs 29 in 2018). It seems therefore that 2019 is all set to be a record breaking year where the successful imposition of AML fines worldwide is concerned. Wayne Johnson


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2002 to April 2019


January to April 2019

Total value of penalties

Number of penalties

Total value of penalties

Number of penalties

Total value of penalties

Number of penalties















Europe excl. UK














Latin America





















EVER SINCE THE FINANCIAL CRASH IN 2008, THERE HAS BEEN AN EVER-GROWING FOCUS ON THE IDENTIFICATION AND PREVENTION OF MONEY LAUNDERING AND OTHER FINANCIAL CRIMES AT FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS. Since 2014, total AML penalties have remained above a billion dollars every year, perhaps reflecting the increased regulatory focus on this area since the Panama Papers were leaked in 2015. Multi-million dollar fines are becoming the ‘norm’, and 2019 looks set to be the biggest year yet in terms of the value of fines handed out by regulators, with $7.7billion of AML fines already imposed in January to April 2019, compared to $1.16billion in the same period in 2018. Given their significance in the global financial markets, it is not surprising that the focus for fines remains predominantly on banks, although we are increasingly seeing the spotlight land on companies in other industries, such as legal, gaming and cryptocurrency. This shows that there is a growing recognition that these sectors are also prime channels for money-laundering, and we expect to see this shift to nonfinancial services businesses continue in the coming months and years. Although not currently the case in 2019, overall, US-based regulators have been the most active over the period in which our research was carried out. Again, this is not a surprise as the US financial market is the biggest in the world and it also has a transparent regulatory culture, which not all jurisdictions do. This transparency is shared by the UK, which is the second most-active jurisdiction when it comes to AML penalties. The current US administration has also been increasingly focused on sanctions, suggesting greater future enforcement actions by US regulators. Given the progressive enhancements made to AML regulations over the last decade or so, many may be surprised at the number and size of fines that have been imposed. However, the reality is that it takes quite a while for the fines to work through the system, so that is something that is bound to have an impact on the figures we see. There is also the possibility that some of the

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banks have simply taken the view that fines are a cost of doing business.

Business imperatives vs crime prevention With such high levels of awareness about financial crime and significant investment in prevention, this research does beg the question: how are criminals still managing to find the means to profit? A survey carried out by Refinitiv revealed that what are thought of as business imperatives often outrank crime prevention. While 98 per cent of respondents claim they are under pressure to increase turnover, 45 per cent claim this is extreme pressure. This is far higher than the extreme pressure they feel under to improve regulatory safeguards (35 per cent) and prevent financial crime (32 per cent). These statistics show that banks have widely differing priorities, with compliance and preventing financial crime currently falling further down on the list. With financial crime and the importance of meeting obligations having been top of the agenda for some time, many would have expected banks to be operating under robust and effective AML programmes. However, in an environment where profits are falling, banks are under pressure to bring in new business and grow their existing customer base. This means a key focus is to reduce time to revenue by ensuring customers are onboarded quickly and efficiently, and compliance processes that slow down this process can be the cause of significant frustration.

Solving the problem with technology This is where technology comes to the fore. Implemented correctly, new technologies such as automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) can transform compliance from a stumbling block into an enabler of good business.

Many in financial services are already seeing the benefits of automation and technology, and what implementing these tools into their existing processes can do, with new technologies proving almost twice as successful at performing KYC checks on clients. More is being done to realise the potential of effective technology powered by trusted data, with investment in improvements in detecting and preventing financial crime expected to increase by over 50 per cent in the next 12 months. However, there clearly needs to be more of a focus on this across the board if there is to be a change in the number of firms receiving sizeable fines.

Looking forward We are yet to see significant action on the criminal front, and I do wonder if this is one major change we see in the future when it comes to setting punishments for falling short on AML compliance. Financial Action Task Force (FATF) certainly support the view that prosecution is not being used in the way it should: its research, looking at the US particularly, revealed that two thirds of assessments show that States are not effectively prosecuting, with FATF ‘working through its evaluation and follow up processes to strengthen prosecution efforts’. What is certain, however, is that technology will play a major role in AML compliance and how organisations keep up with ever-changing regulations going forward. The right technology not only enables firms to demonstrate to regulators that they are serious about meeting their obligations, but also supports business growth when implemented properly. In today’s fast-moving world, firms who are slow to adopt will fall behind in more ways than one, which they simply cannot afford to do if they want to survive. l

Wayne Johnson is co-founder and CEO at encompass corporation, a provider of Know Your Customer (KYC) automation software for the banking, finance, legal and accountancy sectors. Founded in 2012 in Sydney, the company now has offices in Glasgow, London, and Singapore.


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OPEN FOR BANKING WHY BANKS CAN DEPEND ON OPEN SOURCE ANALYTICS Open source software used to be treated almost as a joke in the financial services sector, where the big players were the tried and tested reputable vendors.Today, it is a hotbed of innovation, particularly in areas where digital transformation is the top priority, such as data science.That being said, open source software is by no means a panacea and the question remains around whether the rewards outweigh the risks. Caroline Hermon

BANKS SEE OPEN SOURCE AS A HOTBED OF INNOVATION – AND A GOVERNANCE NIGHTMARE. DO THE REWARDS OUTWEIGH THE RISKS? Open source software used to be treated almost as a joke in the financial services sector. If you wanted to build a new system, you bought tried and tested enterprise-grade software from a large, reputable vendor. You did not gamble with your customers’ trust by adopting tools written by small groups of independent programmers. Especially with no formal support contracts and no guarantees that they would continue to be maintained in the future. Fast-forward to today, and the received wisdom seems to have turned on its head. Why invest in expensive proprietary software when you can use an open source equivalent for free? Why wait months for the official release of a new feature when you can edit the source code and add it yourself? And why lock yourself into a vendor relationship when you can create your own version of the tool and control your own destiny? Enthusiasm for open source software is especially prevalent in business domains where innovation is the top priority. Data science is probably the most notable example. In recent years, open source


languages such as R and Python have built an increasingly dominant position in the spheres of artificial intelligence and machine learning. As a result, open source is now firmly on the agenda for decision makers at the world’s leading financial institutions. The thinking is that to drive digital transformation, their businesses need realtime insight. To gain that insight, they need AI. And to deliver AI, they need to be able to harness open source tools. The open source trend encompasses more than just the IT department. It’s spreading to the front office too. Notably, Barclays recently revealed that it is pushing all its equities traders to learn Python. At SAS, we’ve seen numerous examples of similar initiatives across banking domains from risk management to customer intelligence. For example, we’re

seeing many of our clients building their models in R rather than using traditional proprietary languages.

A fool’s paradise?

However, despite its current popularity, the open source software model is not a panacea. Banks should still have legitimate concerns about support, governance and traceability. The code of an open source project may be available for anyone to review. But tracing the complex web of dependencies between packages can quickly become extremely complex. This poses significant risks for any financial institution that wants to build on open source software. Essentially, if you build a credit risk model or a customer analytics application that depends on an open source package, your systems also depend on all the dependencies of that package. Each of those dependencies may be maintained by a different individual or group of developers. If they make changes to their package, and those changes introduce a bug, or break compatibility with a package further up the dependency tree, or include malicious code, there could be an impact on the functionality or integrity of your model or application. As a result, when a bank opts for an open source approach, it either needs

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to put trust in a lot of people or spend a lot of time reviewing, testing and auditing changes in each package before it puts any new code into production. This can be a very significant trade-off compared to the safety of a well-tested enterprise solution from a trusted vendor. Especially because banking is a highly regulated industry, and the penalties for running insecure or noncompliant systems in production are significant.

What use is power without control?

When it comes to enterprise-scale deployment, open source analytics software also often poses governance problems of a different kind for banks. Open source projects are typically tightly focused on solving a specific set of problems. Each project is a powerful tool designed for a specific purpose: manipulating and refining large data sets, visualising data, designing machine


learning models, running distributed calculations on a cluster of servers, and so on. This “do one thing well” philosophy aids rapid development and innovation. But it also puts the responsibility on the end user – in this case, the bank – to integrate different tools into a controlled, secure and transparent workflow. As a result, unless banks are prepared to invest in building a robust end-to-end data science platform from the ground up, they can easily end up with a tangled string of cobbled-together tools, with manual processes filling the gaps. This quickly becomes a nightmare when banks try to move models into production because it is almost impossible to provide the levels of traceability and auditability that regulators expect.

of open source analytics software – its flexibility and rapid innovation – without exposing themselves to unnecessary governance-related risks. The language a bank’s data scientists choose to write their code in should not matter. By making a clean logical separation between model design and production deployment, banks can exploit all the benefits of the latest AI tools and frameworks. At the same time, they can keep their business-critical systems under tight control. l

Language doesn’t matter

The good news is that there’s a way for banks to benefit from the key advantages

Caroline Hermon is head of adoption of artificial intelligence and machine learning at SAS UK & Ireland, a business analytics software and services provider with the largest independent vendor in the business intelligence market. An American multinational developer of analytics software founded in 1976 and based in North Carolina, the company develops and markets a suite of analytics software (also called SAS), which helps access, manage, analyse and report on data to aid in decisionmaking. The world's largest privately-held software business, its software is used by most of the Fortune 500.

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IT IS OUR PLEASURE TO INTRODUCE TO YOU THE INTERCONTINENTAL FINANCE MAGAZINE’S 100 LEADING FIRMS LIST, FEATURING THE BEST FIRMS FROM THE WORLD OF LAW, FINANCE AND PRIVATE EQUITY The honourees on the list have been chosen in accordance with their business practice, depth of knowledge and service rendered to clients. ICF recognises that partnering with the right service provider in today’s highly-competitive world is of utmost importance to organisations who mean business and would settle for nothing less. Our list provides you that cutting edge you need with a roster of names that is a veritable Who’s Who of the business, finance and legal world. Featured are the crème de la crème who can advise you on all corporate matters.

Congratulations to all our Top 100 Leading Law Firms

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Posse Herrera Ruiz Davis Advisory www.davisadvisory.com.au



Basilio Advogados www.basilioadvogados.com.br


Canada Christodoulos G. Vassilliades & Co. LLC www.vasslaw.com

Zu'bi & Partners www.zubipartners.com

McCarthy Tetrault LLP www.mccarthy.ca

Belgium Costas Tsirides & Co Llc www.tsirides.com

AFSCHRIFT www.afschrift.com

PatentAxis Inc. www.patentaxis.com

Czech Republic

Gurlich & Co. AMBOS NBGO

Rogerson Law Group




Equador Botswana


Lee, Tsai & Partners Piyush Sharma Attorneys & Co. www.sharma.co.bw


Quevedo & Ponce www.quevedo-ponce.com


Railas www.railas.fi

Waselius & Wist www.ww.fi


Intercontinental Finance & Law • 160/19

Congratulations to the Law Office of Ramni Taneja being voted one of ICFM’s TOP100 Law Firms for 2019

Desai & Diwanji focuses on core areas of commercial and finance activity: corporate and M&A; capital markets; banking, finance, insurance; project finance; energy, natural resources and infrastructure; aviation; admiralty & maritime; technology, media & telecommunications; life sciences & pharmaceuticals;outsourcing; real estate & construction; litigation & dispute resolution; employment, employment benefits and executive compensation; outsourcing. The firm is privileged to work with an impressive array of high-calibre corporations, financial institutions, funds and governments and believes that its continuing success relies on building and sustaining the trust of its clients.

Lentin Chamber, 3rd Floor, Dalal St, Fort, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400023, India

+91 22 2265 1682

www.intercontinental- finance.com




Fox Mandal www.foxmandal.in

Cabinet Plasseraud www.plass.com

Anand and Anand www.anandandanand.com

Germany HSA Advocates www.hsalegal.com

Busse & Miessen www.busse-miessen.de

AZB & Partners www.azbpartners.com

Law Office Of Ramni Tanjea www.ramnitaneja.com

Kather Augenstein www.katheraugenstein.com

BTG Legal www.btg-legal.com

Mundkur Law Partners www.mundkur.com

Knierim & Kollegen www.knierim-kollegen.com

D. H. Law Associates www.dhlawassociates.com

O.P. Khaitan & Co www.opkhaitan.com

Pohlmann & Company www.pohlmann-company.com

Desai & Diwanji www.desaidiwanji.com

SIWE www.si-we.d


PPT Legal www.pptlegal.gr

Intercontinental Finance & Law • 160/19


www.intercontinental- finance.com


Dalla Verita' & Partners www.dallaverita.it

Gianni, Origoni, Grippo, Cappelli & Partners www.gop.it

Lubis Ganie Surowidjojo www.lgsonline.com

S.K. Srivastav

Spadafora De Rosa Law



NKN Legal www.nknlegal.co.id

Subramaniam & Associates (SNA)

Ughi e Nunziante - Studio Legale



Japan Sanger & Co www.legalconsultantjakarta.com

Tuli & Co www.tuli.biz

YUASA and HARA www.yuasa-hara.co.jp

Israel Jersey VERITAS LEGAL www.veritaslegal.in

E.Schaffer & Co. www.schafferlaw.co.il





Hermawan Juniarto www.hermawanjuniarto.com

Corbett Le Quesne

Annunziata Associati www.acfirm.it

PPT Legal www.pptlegal.gr


Intercontinental Finance & Law • 160/19

Hechanova & Co. Inc. (HCI) – Founded on August 19, 2005 by Atty. Editha R. Hechanova, a seasoned IP practitioner, with the help of her siblings and several close friends, the humble beginnings of HCI has continued to make history. With over 10 years of solid IP experience and unparalleled expertise, we take pride in being one of the country’s leading firms in the field of patent and trademark protection and prosecution.


Hechanova Bugay Vilchez & Andaya-Racadio (HBVAR) – The firm was established in the Philippines as Hechanova Bugay & Vilchez on January 2006 by a group of like-minded and innovative lawyers with over 15 years of experience in their own fields of specialization. On March 2014, to strengthen its tax practice, a new partner was admitted, and the firm is now known as Hechanova Bugay Vilchez & Andaya-Racadio, Lawyers. The firm believes that lawyering is not just a profession but a way of life where opportunities to practice the core values of leadership, innovation, relationship and integrity are boundless. Makati G/F Salustiana D. Ty Tower, Paseo de Roxas cor. Perea Street Legaspi Village, Makati City, Philippines – 1229 Hechanova & Co. Inc. T: +63 2 804 2317 / 893 4878 /888 4293 / 812 6561

Hechanova Bugay Vilchez & Andaya-Racadio T: +63 2 893 5553


SERVING THE WORLD FROM AFRICA We maintain the best standards of professionalism, ethics and integrity. We recognise that every client is unique and to that extent, our service to each client is personalized as if it were our only client.

Phone: +234 (0)70 8589 9820 Email: lagos@abukapartners.com.ng


www.intercontinental- finance.com


Lebanon Natividad Abogados Abou Jaoude & Associates Law Firm


G. Elias & Co. www.gelias.com


T & A Legal

Oscos Abogados



Tumi Law Firm www.tumilawfirm.com

Nepal Luxembourg

Tokunbo Orimobi LP www.tolegalgroup.com

Pradhan, Ghimire & Associates www.pradhanlaw.com


EY www.ey.com/lu/en/home


Nicaragua Kabraji & Talibuddin Guy Jose Bendana-Guerrero & Asociados



Berdeja Abogados SC www.berdeja.com.mx


Vellani & Vellani www.vellani.com

Abuka & Partners www.abukapartners.com




Alfaro Ferrer & Ramirez www.afra.com


OMC Abogados & Consultores www.omcabogados.com.pe

Intercontinental Finance & Law • 160/19


www.intercontinental- finance.com



BEZEN & PARTNERS www.bezenpartners.com


Spain Fichte & Co www.fichtelegal.com



Maio www.maiolegal.com

DivinaLaw www.divinalaw.com

Sweden CALC Delphi




Switzerland Hechanova Bugay Vilchez & Andaya-Racadio www.hechanova.com.ph

ABR Solicitors


Weinmann Zimmerli



The Netherlands

AVONDALE www.avondale.co.uk

CMS Rui Pena & Arnaut www.cms.law/en/PRT/

Heussen www.heussenlaw.nl

Boult Wade Tennant www.boult.com

Trinidad and Tobago SPASS - Santos Pereira & Associados www.spass.pt

J.D.Sellier+Co. www.jdsellier.com


Intercontinental Finance & Law • 160/19


T & A Legal is a Full Boutique Law Firm based in Lagos,

We promise an effective and efficient service delivery

Abuja and Ibadan, Nigeria.

while using our network to your advantage. Our people get the job done expediently without compromising

At Tunde and Adisa Legal Practitioners (T & A Legal),

professional standards, to ensure a faster trunaround

we provide first class global legal and advisory services to

time on work given. This of course is not without a

clients with special interest in Corporate Governance &

personalised client-focused approach.

Compliance, Commercial Practice, Intellectual Property, Employment & Immigration, Real Estate, Taxation,

We believe strongly in integrity, excellence, hard work

Dispute Resolution, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)

and innovation. We therefore strive to acquire intelligent

and Public Private Partnerships. We also offer services

young minds that are creative in thinking, in tune with

relating to Debt/Asset Recovery, Business Advisory, Legal

current events and result oriented in nature.

Risk Consulting, Bank Searches and Probate Matters. T & A Legal’s industry strength includes Retail, Real Estate & Construction, Agriculture, Telecommunications & Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Tax, Energy & Power, Government & Public Sector and Mining & Solid Minerals.

Tel: +234 818 141 1811 Email: contactus@tundeadisa.com


We were founded in 1994. Challenging corporate finance litigation and transactions – especially mergers and acquisitions, capital markets work and structured lending – have always and will always have a central place in our repertoire. We have become one of Nigeria’s leading business law firms. We have always had an international outlook. We have a reputation for, and an outstanding record of, carrying out critical, innovative and complex work to the highest standards. We have advised and represented our clients on several of the most significant recent developments in Nigerian business law practice, particularly in the fields of sales of businesses, infrastructure financings denominated in hard currencies and tax and securities law disputes. +234 1 460 7890 / 280 6970 gelias@gelias.com


www.intercontinental- finance.com


Imprima www.imprima.com

Liquidity Services Inc. www.liquidity servicesinc.com

Carter Perry Bailey LLP www.cpblaw.com

Maalouf Ashford & Talbot, LLP Intercorp Group Cavendish Corporate Finance LLP




Sadis & Goldberg SIA Group



FMConsult www.fmconsult.co.uk

Fulcrum Chambers

Venezuela USA

Demotech, Inc.

Rodner, Martinez & Asociados





HGF Limited

Hill, Farrer & Burrill LLP www.hillfarrer.com


Samuriwo Attorneys www.samatt.co.zw

Wintertons www.wintertons.co.zw

Intercontinental Finance & Law • 160/19


Kabraji & Talibuddin is a corporate and commercial law firm in Pakistan with a market-leading and innovative practice focused on project finance and energy, mergers and acquisitions, and dispute resolution.

The firm was formed in Karachi in 1997 by the

The firm brings together an award-winning

two name partners who have over 60 years

team with diverse experience to provide a

of legal experience between them. Kairas

full range of legal services. From routine

Kabraji is prominently recognised in Pakistan

matters to complex transactions and

and abroad as one of the country’s leading

disputes, clients benefit from the team’s

corporate and commercial lawyers. Salman

collective expertise through continuous

Talibuddin is independently recognised as a

and valuable partner involvement in each

renowned litigation and dispute resolution

matter handled by the firm.

lawyer who has acted in several high-profile and major disputes.

406 - 407, 4th Floor, The Plaza at Do Talwar Block 9, Clifton, Karachi-75600 , Pakistan

+92 21 35838871 - 76 kandt@kandtlaw.com


TO INTERCONTINENTAL FINANCE MAGAZINE'S TOP 50 GLOBAL LAW EXPERTS FOR 2018 THE FOLLOWING LAWYERS HAVE BEEN RECOGNISED BY INTERCONTINENTAL FINANCE MAGAZINE AS ONE OF THE TOP 50 GLOBAL LAW EXPERTS IN THE WORLD TODAY. ICFM is a monthly magazine and is distributed to our 158,500 strong corporate database. We hope our Top 50 Global Law Experts will help you to make informed decisions as to what firms or individuals to assist you in corporate matters, whether of a transactional nature, financing or simply ongoing assistance to ensure your businesses are applying good governance in all areas.

Congratulations to all our Top 50 Global Law Experts


Belgium - China


De Broeck Van Laere & Partners

Didier Van Laere is a business lawyer at the Brussels’ Bar and the Ghent’s Bar, specialized in tax and corporate law. He obtained a Master degree in law at the University of Ghent and a special Master degree in tax law at the University of Brussels. Didier

E: dvl@dvp-law.com

Van Laere is one of the two founding partners of the law firm

T: +32 2 4230 042

De Broeck Van Laere & Partners (1998). His practice includes

F: +32 2 4230 032

corporate tax work, mergers & acquisitions, restructuring and...



Thierry Afschrift


With over 30 years experience in domestic and international tax law and white-collar crime law, Professor Thierry AFSCHRIFT leads the firm’s practice and advises individuals and a significant

E: avocats@afschrift.com


number of major companies and banks, in reorganizations, tax

T: +32 2 6464 636

planning and tax litigation. He has often appeared as a “pioneer”

F: +32 2 6443 800

in respect to the developed argumentation in the dynamic field of


tax law... READ MORE HERE

Principal Partner of Piyush Sharma Attorneys & Co. a Law Firm established in 2014 after the dissolution of Sebego Piyush Sharma Attorneys & Co.


Didier Van Laere

Sharma & Co. The Principal Partner has set up a Firm with four

E: sharma@sharma.co.bw

Attorneys and support staff to cater to the needs of Botswana’s

T: +267 3 191 622

growing Commercial and Property market. Prior to this, he

F: +267 3 910 321

was Co-founding Partner of Sebego Sharma & Co.; Member of the International Bar Association; Law Society of Botswana;


Botswana Institute of Arbitrators... READ MORE HERE

E: abasilio@basilio advogados.com.br T: +55 21 2277 4200 F: +55 21 2210 6316 www.basilioadvogados.com.br

Grandall Law Firm


as well as in arbitration. Bachelor of Law from Universidade

Cândido Mendes, worked in large offices of Brazil, among them, Sergio Bermudes’ firm, where she worked during eleven years. She was also a partner of Trench, Rossi e Watanabe Firm (Baker & McKenzie), being responsible, in Brazil, for the civil and


Basilio Advogados

Ana Tereza Basilio is a specialist in civil and commercial litigation

commercial litigation area, from July, 2002 to December, 2005. She is a post graduate in... READ MORE HERE

Mr. Wang has represented legal service for numerous worldfamous companies include: General Motors Co. of U.S.A, General Motors China, The ABB Group of Switzerland, AT & T Inc. of

E: wangweidong@ grandall.com.cn

U.S.A., General Electric Company, IBM Corporation, U.S.A.,

T: +86 10 6589 0600

Japan, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, CLP Power Hong Kong Limited,


Electricité de France, China 999 Group, Qinshan Nuclear Power

Siemens AG, National Power of U.K., Export-Import Bank of


Ana Tereza Basilio

Weidong Wang


Piyush Sharma

and China Datang Corporation... READ MORE HERE



China - France Broad & Bright, founded in 2004, is a full-service Chinese law firm providing a broad range of specialized legal services in multiple


practice areas for domestic and international clients, Among the firms in antitrust law practice in China. The antitrust team of

T: +86 10 8513 1818

Broad & Bright has extensive and expertise in the competition

F: +86 10 8513 1919


www.broadbright.com/en/ zycy_fy.htm

Graduated from University College London in 1996. He was

Alexandros Tsirides


Lincoln’s Inn in 1997 and completed his Master of Laws in 1998

E: alexandros@tsirides.com

called to the Cyprus Bar in 1999 and joined the firm. In 2004 he

T: +357 2 5820 810

was elected, and was until 2006, the treasurer of the Limassol Bar

F: +357 2 5359 772

Law and Trusts. Languages: Greek... READ MORE HERE

The law office GÜRLICH & Co was founded on 1st February 2002. All members of the firm are experienced lawyers possessing outstanding professional expertise in various branches of law.


Richard Gürlich E: info@akrg.cz

by a qualified office staff. Besides, on a case to case basis, we

T: +420 2 2210 1591

would invite for cooperation many other external specialists and

F: +420 2 2210 1590

services in the Czech and English... READ MORE HERE

After an initial experience in an in-house legal department in a leading retailer, Bérénice joined the IP Department of a well-known firm in the cosmetics field. After joining Cabinet


Bérénice Dejardins E: dejardins@plass.com

Design Attorney and contributed to the growth of the legal

T: +33 3 2814 1490

department by managing portfolios of trademarks, designs and

F: +33 3 2814 1495

consumer goods), and SMEs... READ MORE HERE

After starting her career as an in-house lawyer in the electronics industry, Guylène joined Cabinet PLASSERAUD in 1990. She actively developed the firm’s legal department and became a


Guylene Kiesel Le Cosquer

partner of the firm. In addition to managing her own portfolio of


clients and overseeing cases of other IP professionals in the legal

E: kiesel@plass.com

department and drawing on her broad experience in Industrial Property, she is a regular speaker conferences in France as well as abroad on a host of subjects... READ MORE HERE



PLASSERAUD in 1999, she qualified as a Trademark and

domain names for clients, leaders in their areas (high technology,

Gürlich & Co

Currently, the firm consists of many lawyers who are supported

free-lance lawyers. This law firm is fully capable of offering legal


with specialisation in Commercial and Corporate Law. He was

Council. He specialises in Litigation, Contract and Tort, Company


Broad & Bright E: yao_feng@broadbright.com

called to the English Bar as member of the Honourable Society of


various practice areas, Broad & Bright is one of the leading law

law practice, including merger control review, quality service


Yao Feng

T: +33 1 4016 7000 F: +33 1 4280 0159 www.plass.com


Germany - India


Dr Christof Augenstein has been active as a litigator for more Property in 2007, enforcing intellectual property rights such

Kather Augenstein

as patents, trademarks, and designs in litigation. His advice, in

E: augenstein@katheraugenstein.com particular in extensive, technically complex patent infringement litigation, is valued by clients around the world. He has been

T: +49 211 5135 360


than 10 years and has become a Certified Specialist in Intellectual

widely recommended in directories (Best Lawyers, IP Stars,

F: +49 211 5135 3622 www.katheraugenstein.com

Legal 500, JUVE) for his legal... READ MORE HERE

Dr Claus-Peter Martens

Lawyer. Specialist Lawyer for Administrative Law Partner


and planning law, air pollution control and installations, Project

Focus: Waste, residual pollution and soil protection, construction management, Public Private Partnerships, Industrial Estates

E: claus-peter.martens@ sammlerusinger.com T: +49 30 2639 509 - 190 F: +49 30 2639 509 - 600 www.sammlerusinger.com

Dr Eugen Popp

Law, environmental and nature protection, administrative


Practice area: Public Commercial Law

law in trade and industry Foreign languages: English, French Education... READ MORE HERE

Meissner Bolte

Dipl.-Ing. (Master of Science-Mech.-Eng.); Dipl.-Wirtsch.Ing. (Master of Business and Administration), Master of Laws (LL.M.), German and European Patent and Trademark

E: mail@mbp.de






T: +49 89 2121 860

and law at the Technical University of Munich and Ludwig-

F: +49 89 2121 8670

Maximilians-University of Munich; PhD in patent Law; Master


of Laws degree from the Open University of Hagen, Germany...


Dr Christof Augenstein


Juan Pablo Carrasco de Groote

Partner at CENTRAL LAW in Guatemala. Graduated Bachelor


CIG. He has continued his legal studies and obtained different specializations: in Arbitration Law and Alternate Dispute

T: +502 2383 6000

Resolutions in Loyola University; Specialization in International Mergers & Acquisitions, College of Law of England & Wales; Executive Program in Legal Issues... READ MORE HERE

Ramni Taneja

Born in New Delhi, India, on 4th December 1955, and educated in Mumbai, India, and London, England Ramni Taneja completed her school education through Grey Coat Hospital, Westminster,

E: ramni@ramnitaneja.com

London, England, United Kingdom, as a consequence of which

T: +91 11 4155 2051

she obtained the University of London, General Certificate of

F: +91 11 4155 2053

Education, Ordinary Levels and Advanced Levels, between 1972-




Ramni Taneja


has a MSC. in Mercantile and Competiveness Law from USAC/

E: guatemala@central-law.com F: +502 2361 3317


in Laws from Universidad Francisco Marroquin, Guatemala and

1974. She obtained her BA Honours [First Class Honours] Degree in English Literature [Major]... READ MORE HERE



India - Indonesia Rustam Gagrat is the Senior Partner of Gagrats in Mumbai and of Gagrat & Co. in New Delhi. Mr. Gagrat’s Practice Areas cover


Aviation Law, Banking and Finance and Corporate (M&A). Mr.

Rustam Gagrat Gagrats

Gagrat qualified as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England

E: rjgagrat@gagrats.com

and is also admitted as an Advocate of the Supreme Court of

T: +91 22 6752 9037 - 52

India. He obtained a BA (Hons) in Law and an MA from Downing

F: +91 22 6752 9053

College, Cambridge University and has also done the PIL at The

Harvard Law School... READ MORE HERE

Vishwang is the Managing Partner of Desai & Diwanji, one of the largest and oldest law firms in India. He practices corporate


and finance law and specializes in mergers and acquisitions,

Vishwang Desai

Desai & Diwanji

private equity, buy-outs, spin-offs, de-mergers, divestitures,

E: v ydesai@desaidiwanji.com

project and structured finance, infrastructure and energy

T: + 91 22 3984 1000

project development, cross-border transactions, FDI, corporate

F: + 91 22 2265 8245

governance, competition and regulatory issues. He has been involved in complex restructurings... READ MORE HERE

Ignatius Andy started his law career at Kanaka-Legal Study


Bureau as researcher from 1990 until 1991, when he was still a student at Parahyangan Catholic University, Bandung. Soon

E: ignatius.andy@ignatiusandy.com

& Taira S. as associate concentrating at commercial dispute

T: +62 21 5150 350

resolutions and corporate commercial matters until 1996. He

F: +62 21 5150 351

joined Hadiputranto, Hadinoto & Partners in 1996 as associate in

Dr. Ganie is the Managing Partner, and one of the founders, of Lubis Ganie Surowidjojo. He graduated from the Faculty of Law


Ignatius Andy Law Offices

as he graduated cum laude, in 1992 Andy worked at Makarim

Banking & Finance Practice Group... READ MORE HERE

of the University of Indonesia and holds a PhD in Law from the


Dr. Mohamed Idwan ('Kiki') Ganie

University of Hamburg. Dr. Ganie is admitted to the Indonesian

Lubis Ganie Surowidjojo

Bar (PERADI) since 1984. Dr. Ganie specializes in commercial

E: ganie@lgslaw.co.id

transactions and commercial litigation, including alternative dispute resolution and has acted as an expert in a number court and arbitration proceedings... READ MORE HERE

Mr Arief Tarunakarya Surowidjojo specializes in corporate law, corporate and project finance, particularly capital markets,


Ignatius Andy

merger & acquisition, mining, environmental, commercial

T: +62 21 8315 005 F: +62 21 8315 015 www.lgsonline.com

Mr Arief Tarunakarya Surowidjojo

litigation and alternative dispute resolutions, he has acted as the

Lubis Ganie Surowidjojo

lead lawyer in hundreds of IPOs, rights issues and other capital

E: surowidjojo@lgslaw.co.id

market transactions, in addition to another in excess of 100 M&A deals... READ MORE HERE

T: +62 21 8315 005 F: +62 21 8315 015 www.lgsonline.com



Indonesia - Japan


Mr. Timbul Thomas Lubis

Mr. Timbul Thomas Lubis obtained his law degree (S.H.) from the

Lubis Ganie Surowidjojo

degree in law (LL.M.) in 1981 from the University of Washington

to the Indonesian Bar in 1977. He went on to obtain a masters in Seattle, USA. Mr. Lubis has also completed an Accounting

E: lubis@lgslaw.co.id

Management Program at the Management Institution at the

T: +62 21 8315 005

University of Indonesia. In addition to being a member of the

F: +62 21 8315 015


Faculty of Law, University of Indonesia in 1974 and was admitted

Indonesian Bar Association... READ MORE HERE


Osamu Yamamoto

Osamu Yamamoto is a patent attorney, and a managing partner


of YUASA and HARA, and is the acting Chief of the Chemical

pharmaceutical research and worked in the field of development at a chemical company for around ten years before specializing in intellectual property. Mr. Yamamoto has represented a variety

F: +81 3 3246 0233

of companies in the fields of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals,


diagnostics, and foods... READ MORE HERE

Hajime Watanabe

Hajime Watanabe is one of the founding partners of STW

STW & Partners E: hajime.watanabe@stwlaw.jp T: +81 3 3596 7303 F: +81 3 3596 7330 www.stwlaw.jp

& Partners. His main areas of practice are antitrust and competition laws, dispute resolution and intellectual property litigation. He also has assisted a number of clients with antitrust aspects in their commercial transactions and the establishment of compliance structures based on his extensive experience in


T: +81 3 3270 6641


Section. Mr. Yamamoto has experience in biotechnology and

E: yamamoto-ch@ yuasa-hara.co.jp

cases in Japan and other jurisdictions. He obtained an LLB from the University of Tokyo in 1985... READ MORE HERE

Satoko Niiya is one of the founding partners of STW & Partners.

STW & Partners E: satoko.niiya@stwlaw.jp

Her main areas of practice are corporate, M&A and dispute

resolution. Since November 2105, she has been serving as a partner in a Japanese private equity firm, Integral Corporation,

T: +81 3 3596 7305

dedicating herself to implementing various M&A transactions.

F: +81 3 3596 7330

Ms Niiya obtained an LLB from the Kyoto University in 1992 and


was admitted in Japan to the Tokyo Bar Association in 1994...


Satoko Niiya


STW & Partners

Shin’ichiro Yoshiba is one of partners of STW & Partners. His

main areas of practice are licensing, IP related M&A transactions, and IP litigation and dispute resolution involving infringement

E: shinichiro.yoshiba@stwlaw.jp of patents, trademarks and copyright. He has considerable T: +81 3 3596 7317 experience in handling IT-related legal issues and disputes F: +81 3 3596 7330 regarding various types of internet services and IT system www.stwlaw.jp


Shin’ichiro Yoshiba

development. He regularly provides comprehensive legal advice on litigation/dispute resolution,... READ MORE HERE




Japan - Mexico Wataru Sueyoshi is one of the founding partners of STW & Partners. His main areas of practice are IP Law and Corporate


Law. He obtained an LLB from the University of Tokyo in 1981 and was admitted in Japan to the Daini-Tokyo Bar Association in

E: wataru.sueyoshi @stwlaw.jp

1983. He joined Mori Sogo (now, Mori Hamada & Matsumoto) in

T: +81 3 3596 7301

1983 and established STW & Partners in 2007. Mr. Sueyoshi was

F: +81 3 3596 7330

the Visiting Professor, University of Tokyo Graduate Schools for Law and Politics from 2013 to 2016... READ MORE HERE

Nelson Ihachi Ashitiva is the Senior Partner and Head of Strategy at Ashitiva and Company Advocates, a firm he founded 5 years


ago with partners Ken Ashimosi and George King’ori. A practicing

Nelson Ihachi Ashitiva

he is also a Commissioner of Oaths, Notary Public and an

E: info@ashitivaadvocates.com

Arbitrator and Associate of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators

Carlos Abou Jaoude is the founder and managing partner of Abou Jaoude & Associates Law Firm. His multidisciplinary expertise



Ashitiva and Company Advocates

ADR specializing in corporate restructuring.... READ MORE

and international experience in a broad range of industries in both the public and private sectors include Corporate Law, Banking &

T: +254 20 2710 880 T: +254 722 764 732 www.ashitivaadvocates.com

Carlos Abou Jaoude Abou Jaoude & Associates

E: c.aboujaoude@ajalawfirm.com

Finance, Mergers & Acquisitions, Capital Markets & Securities,

T: +961 1 395 555

Tax & Succession Planning, Structured Finance, Financial

F: +961 1 384 064

Restructuring & Insolvency, Telecommunications, Media, Project


Development & Finance and Privatization.... READ MORE HERE

Shankhnad Ghurburrun has many years of experience in advising international and domestic clients on white collar crime, asset


advocate of the High Court of Kenya with 10 years of experience,

of the United Kingdom. Nelson focuses on Commercial Law and

recovery and anti-fraud matters, in both Mauritius and the

Shankhnad Ghurburrun

Seychelles and regional cross border matters. GEROUDIS has its


own in-house intelligence team, and often collaborates with state

E: sanjeev@geroudis.com

authorities in the development and elaboration of commercial crime legislation in Mauritius. The firm has full service capabilities with around 20 Forbes 100 clients... READ MORE HERE

1977 was a good year for beginnings. The first Apple Computer went on sale, The Clash released their first album, Star Wars


Wataru Sueyoshi STW & Partners

opened in theaters, and as for real space exploration the Space

T: +230 2103 838 F: +230 2103 912 www.geroudis.com

Dario U Oscós Coria Oscós Abogados

In Mexico City, there was another sort of launch: Oscós Abogados

E: doscos@oscosa bogados.com.mx

Law Firm was founded by its senior partner Darío U. Oscós Coria.

T: +52 55 5550 2829

Oscós Abogados is a boutique law firm abounding with a team of

F: +52 55 5550 1273

Shuttle made its first test flight and Voyager I & II were launched.

professional lawyers.... READ MORE HERE



Nigeria - Philippines


Aham Eke Ejelam SAN

Called to the Nigerian Bar in August, 1985. LL.B (Hons.) (1984)

Principles Law Partnership

of Nigeria on the 22nd of September, 2014. Member, Chartered

University of Science and Technology. Made a Senior Advocate

E: aham.ejelam@principleslaw.com Institute of Arbitrators (UK). Member, International Bar

Association. Member, Commonwealth Lawyers Association.

T: +234 84 302 576


University of Nigeria. LL.M (2000) from the Rivers State

Member of the Executive, Nigerian Bar Association, Port


Harcourt Branch... READ MORE HERE

Miannaya Aja Essien, SAN, CArb., FCIArb

Principles Law Partnership is a firm of legal practitioners,

Principles Law Partnership

an extensive range of legal services in areas of litigation,

arbitrators, notaries public and registered capital market

E: info@principleslaw.com

Corporate and Commercial law, Banking law and Secured Credit

T: +234 84 361 582

Transactions; trademarks and trade names, intellectual property,


consultants in Port Harcourt and Lagos. Principles provides

Capital market, Environmental, electricity, oil and gas law,


receivership, liquidation... READ MORE HERE

Akabogu & Associates E: emeka@akabogulaw.com T: +234 1453 5940 T: +234 80554 61557 (DL) www.akabogulaw.com

Akabogu is a widely recognised expert in the field of maritime law and policy in Nigeria. He is the Senior Partner at the law firm, Akabogu & Associates, which is active in shipping, maritime, petroleum and international trade representation. He has served and continues to serve on a range of national committees and initiatives on maritime development including the Ministerial


Emeka Akabogu

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Badaruddin F. Vellani

Mr. Badaruddin F. Vellani is an Honours graduate in Chemical

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(London). He is a senior partner at Vellani & Vellani and has over

Leicestershire and a Barrister-at-Law of the Middle Temple

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35 years experience in commercial matters, including corporate

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Nilo T. Divina is a leading counsellor and authority in Philippine corporate law and litigation. He founded the Firm in 2006, and has been the firm’s managing partner since. He grew the

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firm from a crew of nine lawyers to the present complement of

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50 attorneys and counsels. He is also the dean of the Faculty of


Civil Law of the University of Santo Tomas, one the Philippines’ leading law schools. Mr. Divina’s experience spans some 25 years



Nilo T. Divina


Engineering from Loughborough University of Technology,

of appearing before courts of all levels... READ MORE HERE




Singapore - Turkey She has more than 35 years of experience of work in IP, including


patents. According to the most reputable Russian and foreign magazines, Dr Vakhnina is one of the leading IP professionals in Russia. She was recommended by Russian business newspaper

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Vedomosti and the website www.pravo.ru as one of 2011’s best

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Russian lawyers and as one of 2012’s best Russian lawyers for IP.

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In 2010 / 2011 / 2013 / 2014, she was listed as a leading legal expert by Who’s Who Legal... READ MORE HERE

Mr Ajaib Hari Dass is a consultant with Haridass Ho & Partners, a


law firm in Singapore which he co-founded. He is an Advocate and Solicitor, Commissioner for Oaths and Notary Public. Graduated

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Temple in 1975 and called to the Singapore Bar as an Advocate &

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Banking division of One Legal LLC. She is also a founder of the


Haridass Ho & Partners E: mail@hhp.com.sg

Tracy Chen co-heads the Corporate, Corporate Finance & law corporation. Having been in corporate practice since 1988,


Tracy Chen

One Legal LLC

Tracy has been actively involved in various aspects of the practice

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and particularly in corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions,

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Her clients include listed entities, small and medium enterprises, multinational clients... READ MORE HERE

Marla Bojorge is the owner of Bojorge & Associates, an international corporate and immigration law firm located in Valencia, Spain. The firm specialises in finding the right legal


Ajaib Haridass

(Honours) degree, he was admitted as a Barrister-at-Law, Middle Solicitor in 1976. He has more than 43 years of continuous legal


Marla Vanessa Bojorge Zúñiga

solution for each client’s unique circumstances. Ms Bojorge

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previously practised in Switzerland (Tribunal de Première

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Instance – Suisse) and the United States (Kavanagh Maloney & Osnato LLP Manhattan, New York), and is a member of theInternational Bar Association (IBA).... READ MORE HERE

Since October, 1982, Mr. Tsai has indulged himself in experiencing all phases of intellectual property laws from preparation to prosecution and then to litigation of patent, trademark, copyright,

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C. F. Tsai

Deep & Far

circuit layout, trade secret, unfair competition and license before

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instances of courts in this country and other countries. Brain

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waves, perseverance and stamina are considered to be most

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important factors of a successful character.... READ MORE HERE



from the University of London in 1974 with a Bachelor of Law

experience and specialises in shipping... READ MORE HERE


Dr Tatyana Vakhnina Vakhnina and Partners



Taiwan - USA


Felix Wang is an attorney at law based in Taiwan with over 10

Felix Wang


labor law, securities law, cross-border M&A, and antitrust law.

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Mr. Wang has handled various M&A deals across industries,

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including life insurance, food, management services, cable

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television, communication equipment, application software, lodging, and container shipping. He also advised on premerger


filings for a wide range of multinational... READ MORE HERE

Mehmet Nazım Aydın Deris

Mehmet Nazım Aydın Deriş graduated with first class honours


spoken command of Greek. Mr. Deris has been shareholder and

He is fluent in French, English, Italian and German and has a manager since July 1971 of the firm Deris Patents & Trademarks

Mr. E. Kerim Yardimci

Founding Partner and Executive Board Member at Deris, Kerim


Kerim’s international expertise is complemented by his extensive

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attorney locally and internationally. Fluent in English and French, network. Kerim’s innovative approach to intellectual property litigation, complex court proceedings and portfolio management has helped drive Deris’ status as a top, forward-thinking IP law firm... READ MORE HERE

Gary P. Naftalis is co-chair of Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel of the 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America by The National Law Journal and as one of the Top 10 Lawyers (Top Point Getter) in New York by Super Lawyers. Mr. Naftalis is a Fellow of the

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and corporations... READ MORE HERE

The Entrepreneur Law Center, P.L. E: khamner@entrepreneur lawctr.com T: +1 407 6014 980 F: +1 407 6014 981


One of the nation’s leading trial lawyers, he was selected as one


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LLP, where he co-chairs the firm’s extensive litigation practice.

For the past twenty five years, Ken Hamner has accumulated a wide variety of experience in finance, accounting, consulting, and

law. He has significant experience in structuring international and domestic transactions, equity and debt relationships, and negotiating contracts. Ken manages and directs all of the primary


Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP

Kenneth Hamner


is a highly experienced and respected intellectual property

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from the Faculty of Law at the University of Geneva in June 1968.

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Gary P. Naftalis


years of experience specializing in general corporate matters,

practice areas of the Entrepreneur Law Center, P.L., a boutique law firm with focused practice areas of business planning, international and domestic... READ MORE HERE



USA - Uganda Mr. Rami Fakhoury is passionate about immigration law. He is the founder and Managing Attorney of Fakhoury Law Group, PC


(FLG), a Martindale Hubbell AV-rated business immigration firm. Mr. Fakhoury was a pioneer in establishing an office in Mumbai

Fakhoury Law Group, PC (FLG)

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knowledge of immigration and foresight into immigration trends and policy have earned him widespread recognition. He is currently helping the State of Michigan... READ MORE HERE

om has practiced Property Tax and Real Estate Law since 1978 and has been an MSBA Board Certified Specialist in Real Property Law since the inception of that designation. Tom is


Rami Fakhoury Fakhoury

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Thomas R. Wilhelmy

highly acclaimed for his expertise in real property valuation

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WAYNE N. OUTTEN is a founding and the managing partner of Outten & Golden LLP. His practice focuses exclusively on


representing individuals in all areas of employment law. He co-

Wayne N. Outten Outten & Golden LLP

chairs the firm’s Executives and Professionals Practice Group.

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Mr. Outten’s notable cases include a recovery of $12 million in

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Mr. Martucci, who holds an LL.M. in employment law from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. practices nationally


in complex class action (employment discrimination and wage

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policy issues.” His jury work has been featured in The National

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Joseph is the Managing Partner of the Firm; he holds an LLM (SEU) from Arkansas, MA Corporate Governance from Kingston University London, Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) Makerere University Kampala and, a Diploma in Legal Practice (Dip. LP), Law Development Center Kampala. Uganda; he has worked on local


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and international projects and his current practice draws upon

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& hour) and EEOC litigation. Chambers notes “Bill Martucci is

Law Journal. Currently, Bill is involved in class action litigation


William C. Martucci




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Not only famous for its beautiful Baroque architecture, narrow Old Town streets and centuries-old history, but the lovely Vilnius – the capital of Lithuania – is also famous for its modern urban architecture, contemporary cultural scene and world-class talents. Carol Wright LITHUANIA’S CAPITAL VILNIUS IS 26KMS SOUTH OF THE GEOGRAPHICAL HEART OF EUROPE. In ambience it hints at St Petersburg with spacious grand buildings, Paris with wide, tree-lined boulevards and pavement cafes, and Rome with 50-plus impressive churches. Napoleon, warmly welcomed on his retreat from Moscow, wanted to take one of the churches back to Paris and called the city ‘The Jerusalem of the North’.


Founded in 1323 on the Vilnia River, Vilnius is very much its own proud place. Much of the old town centre was badlybombed in World War 2 but was perfectlyrestored and declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1994. This area enchants with narrow, twisting streets of yellowwashed or bare brick walls and looming church towers. It can easily be explored on foot though taxis are inexpensive. The area contrasts with modern, high-rise office blocks seen as a skyline rather than imposing on the old town. The city’s heart is Cathedral Square with its statue of the thirteenth century Grand Duke Gediminas depicting his dream leading him to found Vilnius at the junction of the Vilnia and the Neris rivers. Behind the cathedral is the former palace of the Grand Dukes now a museum. Restored with a traditional exterior, an interior of ultramodern steel and glass walkways and stairs leads the visitor through local history among

collections of weaponry, music, coins and dimly lit rooms replicating the lifestyle of successive generations of Grand Dukes. A lift to a viewing platform affords easier city overviews than climbing the steep hill to the adjacent Gediminas Tower; the remains of a much larger castle or the 140 wooden steps of the cathedral bell tower to its panoramic terrace 50metres up. Near the cathedral is one of Europe’s oldest universities with renaissance courtyards and inner rooms covered with frescoes. The bell tower of the university church of St John is the old town’s highest building and has a lift to its viewing platform and by its entrance, an example of Foucault's pendulum demonstrating the earth’s rotation. Vilnius’ bell towers also have carillons and the 61 bells of the church of St Philip and Jacob provide daily 15 minute long concerts. Among the liberal city’s Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, and Jewish churches,

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ones to visit include the seventeenth century baroque St Peter and Paul with 2,000 stucco figures, St Michael’s, now a museum of church art, and the chapel of the Gates of Dawn, crammed with votives from those helped by prayers to the gold and silver Madonna statue. Contrasting with the old, the 1980 National Museum of Contemporary Art’s concrete block stands out. Vilnius’ love of art is underlined by its wealth of sculpture and wall art. One of the most striking examples by Italian artist Millo covers the entire wall of a five storey building opposite the Hales market. Famously provocative, another showed Trump kissing Putin, now altered to show them sharing a smoke. Writers and poets are commemorated by plaques and paintings along Literatu street. More walls paintings can be seen visiting the ‘republic’ of Uzupis; a bohemian commune that has made a formerly unsavoury area fun to visit. Uzupis declared its independence in 1997 and has its own currency, government, constitution and symbol of the angel on a column in the main square. A good place to have a coffee is Uzupio Kaviné overlooking the Vilnia River by a bridge loaded with love token padlocks above a mermaid statue. International fashion labels rub shoulders with local boutiques in front of the Town Hall which contains the tourist office dispensing excellent guidance leaflets in English. Gedimino Street stretches long and straight from the cathedral to the former

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Lenin square where, once in the KGB’s HQ, many Lithuanians were tortured and executed. The building is now the Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights. Gedimino is the main commercial shopping and eating street – there is even a cat cafe – with views to the high-rise financial area. Amber galleries abound – a good one to visit with a seventeenth century basement amber museum is at 12 Mykolo street near a souvenir stall area and St Michael’s Church. The Hales Market is the central food and clothing market, with stalls providing light meals such as Jelena’s juice bar’s fruit and vegetable health cocktails. Vilnius has restaurants of many ethnic varieties, but for local cuisine, try Berneliu Uzeiga off Gedimino Street with rustic decor and waitresses in national dress. Menus include sharing boards of meats, deep fried fish or vegetables, beetroot soup with wild mushrooms, potato dumplings known as ‘Zeppelins’ with varied fillings and sour cream sauce – one is enough at a sitting. At 8 Pilies Street, just off Cathedral Square, La Crepe highlights Lithuanian history through its menu groupings. Under Russian occupation for example, recipes like chicken kiev were assimilated. Potato pancakes here are excellent and inexpensive. After meals, locals stroll the central parks nestling in a river ox-bow leading from the cathedral to riverside walks opposite Uzupis. l



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Idyllically located in the heart of Vilnius’s Old Town, directly on Cathedral Square, featuring breathtaking views over the UNESCO-listed Old Town, the Grand Hotel Kempinski Vilnius is a meticulously-restored hotel providing luxury and elegance to its discerning guests. Each of its 96 exquisite rooms and suites, restaurant, bar, wine tasting boutique, lobby, coffee place, luxurious spa and a modern conference centre offer lavish accommodation paired with impeccable service. Carol Wright

THE GRAND HOTEL KEMPINSKI VILNIUS HAS THE PRIME LOCATION IN THE CITY: OVERLOOKING CATHEDRAL SQUARE WHERE VILNIUS PARTIES ON NEW YEAR’S EVE AND ROOMS WITH BALCONIES AND WINDOW RESTAURANT TABLES ARE BOOKED LONG IN ADVANCE. On the hotel site, grand dukes, before they converted to Christianity, were cremated in pagan rites. In the midnineteenth century, an innovative architect, Mickail Prozorov, created a four-storey neo-classical structure using pioneering metal and concrete construction. After a period as state treasury, the building became a hotel in 1909. From 1921-27, when Vilnius was part of Poland, it became a theatre and concert hall. From 1940, its wide variety of uses included bookstore, chocolate factory, Jewish gym, publishing house and pawnshop. In the 1950s, under Russian rule, the place was restructured as Vilnius’ telegraph office virtually the only means of communication with the outside world, a time commemorated in the restaurant’s name. After Lithuanian independence


in 1990, the building gradually fell into disrepair. It took Kempinski four years of renovation before the hotel opened in its present form in 2012. The imposing black and white spacious lobby retains its original pillars. On one side, conference rooms are reached and on the other the bar, wine atelier and restaurant. The reception desk, where welcome drink choice and cold towel are offered at check in, features the Lady in Red, an employee wearing an eye catching scarlet dress who combines concierge and customer relations duties. Every day while a pianist plays, guests seated on comfortable sofas take British style afternoon tea. In a lobby corner, the recently introduced Cafe; a small booth, sells desserts, pastries and coffee. Past this, the glass walled Wine Boutique and Tasting Bar lined with the 300 label bottles on offer, provides a place where wine can be bought, drunk by the glass or learnt about with tastings, food pairings and masterclasses from sommelier Martynas Pravilonis who came fourth in this year’s Best Sommelier in the World contest.

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Beyond the Wine atelier is Le Salon bar and lounge with long bar on one side lined with bar stools while the window side is set with comfortable chairs and low tables for all day dining from coffee and snacks to light meals and afternoon tea. At the entrance to the Telegrafas Restaurant that follows the bar area, there is glass flooring covering a fragment of the medieval defensive city wall discovered during the renovations. In the restaurant with its prized views over Cathedral Square, menus are changed four times a year and dishes based on local seasonal ingredients are paired with wines; the chef and sommelier working closely together. The magnificent buffet breakfast embraces everything from sparkling wine and Keta caviar to arrays of cereals, meats, smoked salmon, eggs Benedict and honey from the hotel bees kept in four beehives on the roof. When guests check out they are given a small pot of honey as a souvenir. The Conference Center offers 600 square metres of meeting and banqueting space in six modern meeting rooms plus the Foyer which can accommodate up to 500 people. The biggest space is the 232 square metres Grand Dukes Hall. Facilities include natural daylight, state of art audio-visual equipment, built-in translation equipment with 670 stations for participants, 14-microphone discussion system, wifi, document camera, portable stage ad teleconferencing equipment. The basement area is occupied by the Kempinski spa and gym. The free form heated pool has an inset hot tub and alongside arched niches with hot stone benches. A stunning deep blue mosaicked steam room neighbours a large sauna with theatre style two level seating facing down over the pool through one way glass. A glass wall separates the

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pool area from a gym with cardiovascular machines open 24/7. The spa has six treatment rooms and a wide number of treatments available. The signature treatment is the Amber Experience lasting 120 minutes including body scrub using powdered amber, massage and facial. The spa says amber is ‘an intelligent mineral which targets problematic areas and amazingly adjusts its temperature to the skin. Baltic amber also helps skin cells to ‘breathe’ and soothes the nervous system’. The hotel has 83 rooms, 13 suites, and 100 staff. Each room has a colour palette of yellow brown tones and is furnished with custom made mahogany furniture. Wood is also used dramatically in the suites in large walnut wall headboards. There are large work desks, free wifi, interactive TV, safe, Nespresso coffee machine, tea making equipment and 24-hour room service. Bathrooms have heated floor and towel rack. Architectural features such as the sloping attic roofs are utilised and the two-level Cupola suite features the rounded windows looking out over the square. The Presidential suite, the largest in Vilnius with 132 square metres, includes a six-seater dining table, personal butler, separate entrance, Swarovski chandelier, Jacuzzi in the bathroom, high security alarm button and bullet proof windows. l

Grand Hotel Kempinski Vilnius Universiteto 14 Vilnius 01122, Lithuania Tel: +370 5 220 1100 Email: reservations.vilnius @kempinski.com www.kempinski.com/en/vilnius/ grand-hotel-kempinski



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The old town of Trakai, famous for its picturesque landscape and the legendary Trakai Castle, was a cradle of the Lithuanian statehood, an important military and political centre, headquarters of the Lithuanian Grand Dukes, and the capital of Lithuania. Today, Trakai attracts visitors to a wonderful place offering refuge from a hectic city life, with walks around the beautiful area or yacht trips on one of the numerous lakes. Carol Wright

FROM THE OUTSKIRTS OF VILNIUS EXTENSIVE FORESTS POPULATED BY DEER AND POPULAR WITH MUSHROOM FORAGERS STRETCH WESTWARD TOWARDS THE FORMER CAPITAL TRAKIA SET ON A SERIES OF INTERLINKED LAKES. It is under an hour’s drive from Vilnius and there are train and bus connections. Trakai is now no more than a sprawling village on the shores of Lake Galvé one of the largest at 361 ha of a series of connected lakes that can be explored on foot, kayak, yacht or tour boat. There’s even a round boat centred with a table ideal for dining on the water. Busy with Vilnius weekenders, there is a yacht club and in winter, the lakes freeze hard enough to drive a car over them and there is skating and ice fishing – roach is the main catch year round best from the


south or east shores of Lake Galvé. Fishing and camping permits can be obtained from the office in an eye catching blue building in Trakai of the 82000ha Trakai Historical National Park. Trakai makes the perfect day out from Vilnius. The visual highlight is the massive red brick castle of the Grand Dukes on one of the 21 islands in Galvé Lake. Reached by a walkway, it was started at the beginning of the fourteenth century but not finished until the beginning of the fifteenth; completed by the Grand Duke Vytautas the Great. By this time it was no longer needed as an important means of military defence but it saw a golden age of Grand Ducal lifestyle that impressed visiting foreign dignitaries. In the 1655 war with Muscovy, it was damaged and eventually abandoned. From the nineteenth century on, attempts were made to restore it but it wasn’t until

after World War 2 that the Russian rulers of Lithuania restored it to a fiery red brick glory that stands out impressively across the lake waters. The castle is, in fact, in two parts with two foot bridges. There is the defensive outer section now housing the Trakai History Museum amid a warren of steps and spiral stairs containing collections of nineteenth century European glassware and ivory walking stick heads. The Ducal Palace displays coins and things dug up in the area as well as an attempt to reproduce ducal home ambience with life size models of medieval dukes with luxuriant moustaches. On shore, fragments of the Peninsula Castle can still be seen which in its time was a massive place covering four ha and having 11 different sized towers. Trakai’s baroque church dating from 1717 has

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a sixteenth century altar painting of the Madonna said to have magical powers. More immediately magical are the coloured wooden houses with characteristic three windows in Trakai that indicate homes built by the dwindling number of the Karaite people originally a puritanical Jewish splinter group who were brought as bodyguards and settled here from the Crimea by Grand Duke Vytautas at the end of the fourteenth century and who eventually became farmers. Their history and culture is detailed in the small Karaite Ethnographical Museum. The Trakai kenesa, their traditional meeting house, is now, along with that in Vilnius, the only remaining examples in Lithuania. In their cemetery, the gravestones’ inscriptions over the years change from crumbled Hebrew to Latin. While rich in history, the main attraction is the lakes with boat trips or just idling round

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the lake edges, having a coffee and people and bird life watching. A pleasing selection of Lithuanian souvenirs are offered at tiny shed-like shops strung along the lakeside with plenty of amber, linen made into pot holders tea cloths, aprons and printed with hens, dogs, or cats; tiny ceramic wind chimes, knitted woollen items, and carved wooden articles such as spoons for cooking. Just like Cornish pasties that spread out beyond their original home, Trakai’s speciality dish is the klbina which are small Karaite pasties containing a variety of fillings. There are plentiful small lakeside restaurants serving these. One of the furthest away from the centre and souvenir shops at 63 Karaimu is a wooden chalet-like two storey affair where kibina come with a wide choice of filling from pork and cheese to venison, turkey,

chicken and mushroom, and spinach and curd. Sweet kibina are also available filed with curd or chocolate. Depending on appetite, one can precede the pasties with a herring and hot potato salad and follow pasties with a main course of Ancestors Stew of beef, potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, onions and sour cream, pork knuckle or fish steak with caesar dressing. The restaurant makes an excellent light blond beer or there is Kaas, a non-alcoholic drink made from bread. After lunch, Uzutrakis Manor Park provides a gentle stroll. Behind a white pillared manor house, French designed, disciplined gardens open out with formal parterres and linden alleys studded with sculpture. But the impressive and soothing feature is the 20 ponds that turn it into a reflection park where concerts and art exhibitions are held. l


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Gadgets & Gizmos SONY FDR-AX700 4K HDR

MSI GL75 The new MSI GL75 comes with higher-end flagship features and a brand-new design, providing a leaner Sci-Fi look with more advanced set of options crossing barriers proximate to mid-tier gaming laptops. Combining the MSI dragon spirit and high-end specifications, this gaming power laptop of MSI is now being marketed as a product that is no longer unreachable to general users. To provide maximum gaming visual experience, the most compelling feature of the GL75 is indubitably its thin screen bezel, which presents a much narrower form factor without sacrificing the position of the camera. From now on, the clearer and sharper thin bezel display is available in all series of MSI gaming laptops. Another feature is the keyboard is the key. Standing out from competitors with only a single-colour backlight, the GL75is equipped with Per-Key RGB illuminated gaming keyboard by SteelSeries also with a high-transparency silver-lining print design providing gamers with real-time game stat updates and a fantastic light show in their favourite tune. The GL75 is powered by the 9th Gen Intel Core i7 processor and real-time ray tracing graphics up to the RTX 2060, offering a performance increase of up to 45 per cent.. Furthermore, MSI's exclusive revolutionary cooling system for mid-tier GE series "Cooler boost 5" is also inputted into the GL75, dedicated thermal solutions for both the CPU and GPU with a total of seven heat pipes ensuring maximum performance under extreme gaming. The GL75 is complemented by MSI's Giant Speaker, best among the competition, five times larger and with a 40 per cent volume enhancement for captivating realism generating a top-notch auditory sensation.


The Sony FDR-AX700 4K HDR camcorder enables you to capture life just as you see it  in true-to-life 4K HDR (HLG) images with 1.0 – type stacked Exmor RS CMOS image sensor. The unrivalled performance of Fast Hybrid AF ensures that autofocus and AF tracking are exceptionally precise, responsive and reliable, so you have every chance to take fantastic shots of fleeting action. Its extraordinarily accurate AF system with 273 phase-detection auto-focus points can tenaciously lock onto and track such fast subjects as moving trains and such unpredictable ones as nimble animals anywhere within the frame. With its powerful high-speed BIONZ X image processing engine and advanced new movie AF algorithm, the FDR-AX700 achieves focus with speed, precision, and flexibility unprecedented in the Handycam lineup. With up to 273 phase-detection AF points densely covering approximately 84 per cent of the image area, the stacked Exmor RS CMOS sensor allows precise subject tracking throughout the shooting frame. The Fast Hybrid AF system with the BIONZ X imaging engine efficiently processes data from the widearea phase-detection AF sensor for high-speed focus on even fastmoving subjects. Then a combination of high-speed data readout and processing performance, plus a new

AF algorithm designed especially for movie recording ensures precise, reliable rapid subject tracking. The High Dynamic Range (HDR) technology, which represents a visual revolution, reveals a dramatically wider colour and brightness range to match the high-resolution image quality of 4K. The FDR-AX700 makes taking these astonishing HDR images easy with Hybrid LogGamma (HLG) recording – no extra processing is required. Simply connect the camcorder to an HLG-compatible Sony TV via a USB cable to immediately enjoy. You can take command of movie production with a wide range of manual controls, ergonomic button and grip design, plus a large zoom seesaw lever for fluid handheld shooting. A high-resolution electronic viewfinder and LCD touch panel make it easy to preview and monitor shots in precise detail. The dual memory card slots are versatile and convenient for extended relay recording or simultaneous backup recording.

SAMSUNG NOTEBOOK 7 FORCE   The Samsung Notebook 7 Force is built for content creators and consumers who want superior performance from their PC and comes with nextgeneration graphics and expandable storage, and offers an immersive viewing experience in a beautiful, solid metal frame. Whether you are editing videos, streaming a movie in high-resolution, or even playing your favorite video game, the Notebook 7 Force delivers a supercharged PC experience. It features NVDIA’s latest GeForce GTX 1650 graphics, enabling up to 70% faster speeds than the previous generation GTX, and lets users run demanding graphic apps with ease. As a result of the Notebook 7 Force’s expandable storage system and lightning quick file-reading capabilities, you can manage files and apps with maximum efficiency, as well as its Gigabit Wi-Fi that lets you connect, download and upload at speed2. And with a variety of ports – including USB-C, USB 3.0, HDMI 2.0, and an SD card reader – you can connect all your devices without the need to plug in a single dongle. Despite its solid metal frame and featuring a brand-new, eye-catching design, the Notebook 7 Force measures 17.9mm in thickness, making

it durable and light. The device uses Dolby Atmos audio for sound. A reengineered Lattice keyboard and ultra-wide Precision Touchpad lets you effortlessly navigate and multitask with laser accuracy and the Notebook 7 Force allows you to intuitively and securely log in to your device with just a tap of a finger. The Notebook 7 Force will initially be available in Korea and Hong Kong, followed by the US and Brazil later in 2019.

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Cool and clever gadgets and gizmos can turn us on, particularly the ones that surprise us with their extraordinary shapes, forms and features. And the day you give into these superlative electronic devices you will wonder how on earth you ever lived without them in the first place?


APPLE IOS 13 The Apple iOS 13 introduces a dramatic new look for iPhone with Dark Mode and new ways to browse and edit photos, sign in to apps and websites, and navigate the world with an all-new map. The iOS 13 is faster and more responsive with optimisations across the system that improve app launch, reduce app download sizes and make Face ID even faster. The Dark Mode is a new dark colour scheme that works system-wide and across all native apps to deliver a great viewing experience, especially in low-light environments. It is available to third-party app developers for integration into their own apps and can be scheduled to turn on automatically at sunset or at a certain time. Using on-device machine learning, the device’s Photos curates the entire library to highlight the best images, automatically hiding clutter and similar photos to showcase significant events from the past day, month or year. Photos and videos are intelligently


The Focal Stellia is a high-fidelity headphones manuactured in France. Equipped with the brand’s very best Focal technology and providing excellent soundproofing, Stellia delivers exceptional sound quality everywhere you go. And Stellia do not fail style and sophistication thanks to its pure design and noble materials as the full-grain leather choosen for the headband and earpads. These closed-back headphones integrate an exceptional generation of speaker drivers: ‘M’shaped pure Beryllium dome, new surround, frameless 100 per cent copper voice coil are

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organised, making it easier to browse, discover and relive favourite memories, with auto play videos to bring the library to life. Apple is also introducing a new, more private way to simply and quickly sign into apps and websites. Instead of using a social account or filling out forms, verifying email addresses or choosing passwords, customers can simply use their Apple ID to authenticate and Apple will protect users’ privacy by providing developers with a unique random ID. Apple does not use Sign In with Apple to profile users or their activity in apps. After driving four million miles to rebuild the basemap from the ground up, Apple is delivering a new Maps experience with broader road coverage, better pedestrian data, more precise addresses and more detailed landcover. The new map is available now in select cities and states, and will roll out across the US by the end of 2019 and to more countries in 2020.

A virtual reality headset created by Oculus VR, a division of Facebook, the Quest is fully standalone with two 6 DoF controllers, running on a mobile chip and is priced at $399 for the 64GB version, and $499 for the 128GB version. You can now play almost anywhere with just a VR headset and controllers. Easy to set up, whether at home or elsewhere, Oculus Quest works with your environment, so you can play standing or sitting in spaces big or small. It translates your movements into VR no matter which way you are facing and provides room-scale tracking without external sensors. Look around, duck for cover, and turn the tide of the battle from anywhere in your playing space. Oculus Quest has positional audio built directly into the headset, so you can hear your teammates or what is sneaking up behind you even without headphones. With Oculus Touch controllers, you can transport your hands and gestures directly into the game. Your slashes, throws and grabs appear in VR with intuitive, realistic precision. The Oculus Guardian system is designed to remember the boundaries of your playing space and help you avoid nearby objects while you are in-game. With a similar design to the Oculus Go, the Oculus Quest, however, features a better graphics chip and active cooling. With a battery life reported to be around two to three hours, the headset weighs 571g compared to the weight of the original Oculus Rift that weighed 470g.

some of the Focal technologies which equipped speaker drivers and ensure stunning dynamics for closed-back headphones. The tiniest sound details are reproduced, the original signal audio is respected for voices of astonishing realism. Stellia uses the headband and yoke mechanical features originally developed for the Utopia headphones. The consistent curve between these two elements offers flawless comfort, regardless of the shape and size of the listener’s face and head. This comfort is enhanced by the high-resilience memory foam used for the elegant, highisolation full-grain leather earpads. Stellia is presented in a faux-leather case, in the same cognac and mocha colour scheme. A storage case houses two high-quality cables with the same materials and finishes. The first cable measures 101/8 feet (three metres) and is ideal for use at home on a high-end amplifier. The second is designed to be portable: measuring 33/8 feet (1.2m) with a 1/8" (3.5mm) stereo jack, it is the perfect solution for connecting Stellia to a portable audiophile player. The rigid travel case, in cognac and mocha woven finishes, provides effective yet stylish protection for Stellia when you are on the move


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Bentley Flying Spur SPORTS SALOON MEETS LUXURY LIMOUSINE Whether driving or being driven, the new Bentley Flying Spur offers a unique combination of limousine luxury and sports saloon performance, blending bold new road presence with world-leading interior quality and design, plus cutting-edge customer-focused technology. DESIGNED, ENGINEERED AND HANDCRAFTED AT THE HOME OF BENTLEY IN CREWE, ENGLAND, THE NEW BENTLEY FLYING SPUR SHOWCASES THE LUXURY CAR MAKER’S UNIQUE APPLICATION OF CUTTING-EDGE AND MODERN TECHNOLOGY, SEAMLESSLY INTEGRATING THE LATEST BRITISH CRAFTSMANSHIP WITH INNOVATION FEATURES. The latest generation of Flying Spur pushes the existing boundaries of refinement and attention to detail to create the finest super-luxury sports saloon ever built. The new Flying Spur showcases Bentley’s modern sculptural design language through elegant yet muscular proportions, the marquee’s latest generation of unique, cut-crystal effect LED matrix headlamps  now enhanced by chrome sleeves  and new wrap-around rear lamps with ‘B’ motifs. New 22-inch wheel designs communicate


the new Flying Spur’s unique personality and prowess. Newly-designed for the next century, a ‘Flying B’ mascot adorns the nose of the new Flying Spur for the first time in modern memory, rising from beneath a beautifully modern Bentley badge to denote the precious quality of the model. A technological tour de force, the new Flying Spur is the most advanced luxury Grand Touring sedan available today, offering a host of cutting-edge technologies as a result of its totally new and advanced aluminium and composite chassis and 48V electronic architecture. It features Electronic All-Wheel Steering for the first time on a Bentley, coupled with Active All-Wheel Drive and Bentley Dynamic Ride, delivering phenomenal handling and ride. New three-chamber air springs allow a much greater range of suspension adjustment between limousine-style ride

comfort and sporting levels of body control – a driving experience of extraordinary breadth and capability not seen in this segment before. A host of new Driver Assistance Systems are fitted to the new Flying Spur as standard, including Traffic Assist, City Assist and Blind Spot Warning, while the ground-breaking Bentley uses state-of-the-art, multi-material body construction. At the heart of the new Flying Spur is an enhanced version of Bentley’s renowned 6.0-litre, twin-turbocharged W12, mated to a dual-clutch eight-speed transmission for faster, smoother gear changes. This new TSI engine delivers 635 PS (626 bhp) and 900 Nm (664 lb.ft.), 0-60mph in 3.7 seconds (0-100 km/h time of 3.8 seconds) and a top speed of 207mph (333 km/h). A 130mm longer wheelbase means the new Flying Spur features a spacious and luxurious cabin that offers peerless comfort

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and refinement. As well as an extensive list of Single and Dual Veneer wood options, the sedan offers both Bentley’s new fluted leather seating and the unique Mulliner Driving Specification diamond quilting on the seats and an automotive world-first: three-dimensional diamond quilted leather door inserts. Such modern handcraftsmanship is combined with a host of cutting-edge technologies selected to enhance the driver’s and passenger comfort and enjoyment of the new Flying Spur. For example, the HD digital instrument panel display, the unique rotating centre console with choice of 12.3 inch digital touchscreen, beautiful analogue dials or digital detoxifying veneer, and the remote control touch screen for rear passengers all combine to make the Flying Spur’s cabin the most modern, innovative and luxurious place to travel in. Tailored specifically to the modern luxury customer, the interior can be further enhanced with a panoramic glass sunroof stretching the full-length of the roof. The new Flying Spur is available to order from this Autumn and customer deliveries will begin in early 2020.

a modern cabin of unrivalled luxury and innovation. Stylish and unique, it features new, supremely comfortable seats in 15 hide colours, with Bentley’s ‘Wing’ theme across the lower console and fascia. Sweeping horizontal veneer flows across the dashboard and into the doors, emphasising the spacious width of the cabin. An elegant, floating centre console houses a customisable 12.3-inch HD touchscreen and new Bentley ‘sculptural’ centre vents to the front and rear, housing stowage as well as inductive ‘wireless’ charging and two USB sockets for mobile phones. The industry-first Bentley Rotating Display is also now available on the new Flying Spur. When the engine start button is pressed, the veneer section in the middle of the dashboard rotates to reveal a 12.3-inch touchscreen, displaying three, customisable digital tiles. The second side of the display reveals three elegant analogue dials showing outside temperature, a compass and a chronometer. A complete digital detox can be selected on the third side, to simply enjoy the seamless wood veneer fascia continuing around the cabin.


The new Bentley Flying Spur is powered by a W12 twin-turbocharged TSI engine that

The bold exterior design of the Flying Spur is based on a new and modern vision that is unmistakably Bentley. With a wheelbase lengthened by 130mm compared to the second generation model, the new Flying Spur now has an increased road presence and stronger, more muscular lines that sweep the full length of the car. The new Flying Spur has been recreated from the ground up on a wholly new platform. Its sculpted surfaces and beautiful power lines are made possible by the use of aluminium superforming, a process first proven on the new Bentley Continental GT. Bentley has utilised the latest technologies in aluminium extrusions and castings alongside high-strength steels for the new Flying Spur, offering best-in-class body stiffness to optimise handling and rigidity.

Power and agility

sets a new benchmark in performance, agility and dynamism. The engine is developed and hand-built in Crewe. The most advanced 12-cylinder engine in the world, the unique ‘W’ configuration means that the engine is considerably shorter than an equivalent V12, benefitting weight distribution and maximizing cabin space. The Flying Spur’s new powertrain uses the very latest engine management technology, delivering noticeably enhanced performance when compared to the previous generation model. It produces 635 PS (626 bhp) and 900 Nm (664 lb.ft) of torque, accelerating the car to 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds (100 km/h in 3.8 seconds), and on to a top speed of 207mph (333 km/h). A more forward front axle position improves weight distribution in the new Flying Spur, enabling improved dynamic precision, handling and balance when coupled with active All-Wheel Drive, AllWheel Steering and Bentley Dynamic Ride. The new Flying Spur also sounds as good as it looks, thanks to an adaptive tailpipe control valve with variable position settings. The way exhaust gases flow into the rear half of the system has been tuned to provide a more discreet exhaust note inside the cabin for chauffeur-driven occupants. l

Interior The interior of the all-new Flying Spur showcases Bentley’s expertise in creating

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Levent Lezgin Kilinç A WINNING APPROACH Founder and managing partner of Turkey-based Kılınç Law & Consulting, Levent Lezgin Kilinç is a lawyer serving Istanbul in corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, and investigations cases. His list of clients includes national and international names with the roster growing every day. HAVING ESTABLISHED KILINÇ LAW IN 2014, 37-YEAR-OLD LEVENT LEZGIN KILINÇ HAS MADE A FAST PROGRESSION TO BE COUNTED AMONG THE REGION’S TOP LAWYERS, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT COMES TO FOREIGN INVESTORS AND ASSISTING THEM IN THEIR TRANSACTIONS AND ALSO ADVISES IN RELATION TO DISPUTE RESOLUTION MATTERS, BOTH INTERNATIONALLY AND IN TURKEY. He advises clients extensively on matters involving cross-border acquisitions, joint ventures, private equity investments, strategic investments, investigations and litigation across a wide range of sectors including financial services, retail, transportation, energy, and logistics and manufacturing. “I graduated from Istanbul Kültür University School of Law in 2006 and went on to do an LLM at Arizona State University three years later. Between the years of 2009 – 2011, I worked in Fidelity National Title as a Foreign Legal Counsel in the State Bar of Texas. My experience studying and working abroad has contributed to my ability to communicate effectively with international clients; approaching problems with different perspectives. “In 2011, I returned to Turkey and worked in the general directorate of Al Baraka Türk bank’s law department, within the foreign affairs division as a legal counsel for a year. Here I advised on international banking transactions and gained valuable experience that I later put into practice when advising my clients at my own Firm, Kılınç Law & Consulting.” From 2012–14, Kilinç worked at SOCAR, Azerbaijan’s State Oil Company, in Turkey. While at SOCAR, he was involved in one of the two biggest projects in Turkey, the $10.2billion Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline project (TANAP). “Being involved in a project of such magnitude was a key stepping stone in my career, which provided me with the confidence to successfully open my own practice to independently advise clients on their investment projects.”


After SOCAR, in 2014, Kilinç decided to set up his own law firm. Today, in less than five years, Kılınç Law & Consulting has established itself as a practice with an enviable portfolio of domestic and international clients across the energy sector. “We advise on a diverse range of projects, including power plants, liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities, petrochemical facilities, pipelines, oil and gas concessions, mines, renewable energy facilities and transmission lines. “At present, we provide legal services in both domestic and international areas. Our leading services include energy and commercial law, particularly providing services for corporate law, mergers and acquisitions and securities law. We also specialise in labour law, maritime law, bankruptcy and execution law as well as providing consulting services.” Personally for Kilinç, among his greatest, non-confidential achievements was advising on the new $6.3billion Star oil refinery venture in Izmir, the first such refinery to be built in Turkey for more than 30 years, which started its operations this year. “I was involved in the project finance aspect of the project at the beginning. The firm continues to provide advice to the refinery for the contracts and litigation aspects of their case." In recent years, the firm has had an increase in demand for its services in assisting foreign companies with obtaining work permits, residence permits and the acquisition of Turkish citizenship for their employees. “My experience working in the energy sector, both nationally and internationally and the increase in foreign investment in Turkey, made me realise there was a high demand in Turkey for lawyers who spoke more than one language to assist with the legal issues and procedures when investing in a large scale project. “As foreign investment continued to rise so did the demand of our services. The business has consequently expanded to meet those needs.”

According to Kilinç, there are a growing number people and companies that want to invest in Turkey. New regulations which have been passed through the Turkish parliament about Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) impact on foreign investment opportunities. The top five investors by country of origin are from Europe, particularly the Netherlands, Italy and Germany, but the firm also has a significant clientele from Russia and the Middle East. “In 2006, there were very few lawyers who had LLMs or Masters degrees from other countries, however, now there are a lot of lawyers in Turkey who have international qualifications. “Even though English is still the most desirable second language to have in business, when we look for an additional team member, we look for lawyers who are fluent in a second language other than English.” As a commercial offering, the firm is well set to provide services to foreign businesses and individuals who want to make any kind of investment in Turkey. “Turkey still has much promise in the years ahead and I want to present our firm and our country with all the benefits and advantages that are available. "My professional goal is to offer preventive precautions and/or to generate solutions for our respectable clients and also to provide the highest level of services to their individual legal issues.” The future from Kılınç’s perspective seems promising. “I am excited about our opening the London office. We also constantly recruit new fee-earners to join our evergrowing team. In 2019, we want to grow our Istanbul office by 30-35 per cent; for our Izmir office we aim for 70-75 per cent. Istanbul and Izmir are going to be around 45 lawyers. This will allow us to take on more case work and to increase our reach in Turkish and international cases.” l

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“To deal with the client in humble, honest and responsible manner, so as to create an environment of mutual faith, respect, friendship, trust and goodwill.”

O.P. KHAITAN & CO. IS A WELL ESTABLISHED, REPUTED, SKILLED AND PROFESSIONALLY MANAGED LAW FIRM BASED IN NEW DELHI. With the unique combination of a strong commercial practice and a developed litigation practice, the Firm is a full service law firm who works together and has long associations with many international law firms in different jurisdictions to facilitate and cater its national and multinational clients with immaculate, consistent and impeccable quality legal services in all main areas of Indian and International Laws. The members of the Firm are qualified from National and International Universities and have vast, extensive and rich legal experience CONTACT Tel: +91 11 4650 1000 Email: gkhaitan@opkhaitan.com

and wide national/international exposure in their respective practice areas. The breadth of experience of Firm’s attorneys as well as the depth of their expertise combined with an unlimited desire and energy to serve, have enabled the Firm to effectively and efficiently resolve the clients’ problems and to suggest practical solutions for their complex legal or mercantile issues. The Firm’s paramount concept of “Client Satisfaction” is the backbone of its work culture and the Firm takes great pride in consistently adopting the highest international standards for clients’ satisfaction.




A team of experienced professionals provides services to international Groups and high-networth individuals (HNWI). The team combines a wellestablished expertise with a thorough knowledge of corporate law and international taxation.

Tel:Â IT: +39 051 269900 UK: +44 (0)207 535 1070 info@dallaverita.it



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Profile for WideWorldMedia

ICFM Issue 160/19  

Financial & Legal Publication

ICFM Issue 160/19  

Financial & Legal Publication