May 9, 2016

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing congratulates Taylor Wessing and Alsulaim Alawaji & Partners Law Firm on their association

Taylor Wessing and Alsulaim Alawaji & Partners Law Firm announce their association today. Through the association they will provide clients with a robust mix of international and local advice to enable their clients to navigate the complex inbound and outbound opportunities the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and more broadly, the Middle East market has to offer, utilising the combined strength of both firms in areas such as M&A, litigation, project financing and restructuring. Furthermore, it enables Alsulaim Alawaji & Partners Law Firm to draw on Taylor Wessing's recognised sector expertise in the technology, media & communications, life sciences, private wealth, energy, intellectual property, consumer & retail and hotels & leisure sectors.  All these are growing industries within the Middle East and provide clients with investment opportunities further afield. Alsulaim Alawaji & Partners Law Firm is an established Kingdom of Saudi Arabian firm with four partners based across two offices in Riyadh and Jeddah.  Alsulaim Alawaji & Partners Law Firm is internationally focused, delivering litigation and corporate advice to a large range of clients including many high net worth families as well as institutional clients. Commenting on the new association, Tim Eyles, Managing Partner, Taylor Wessing UK said: "This is a really exciting opportunity for our respective firms and enables us to put the strength of our global family at the disposal of a broader range of clients." Osama AlSulaim the Chairman of AlSulaim AlAwaji & Partners Law Firm said: "Our association with Taylor Wessing is part of our strategy to provide a highly professional international legal service in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; it also benefits our clients by providing access to experts around the world through the Taylor Wessing family." The new association is part of Taylor Wessing's international strategy to grow through mergers and associations.  The firm already has 28 offices across Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the US with more than 1,200 lawyers and global revenues £239.8m (FY 2014/2015).  This further strengthens Taylor Wessing's on the ground capability across the Middle East facilitating greater support for the firm's clients.
May 5, 2016

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Head of Intellectual Property and Technology Practice Jonathan Kok quoted in The Straits Times

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing’s Head of Intellectual Property and Technology Practice, Jonathan Kok, was quoted in The Straits Times article titled “No 'fast lane' fees to Singapore telcos: Netflix” The article was first published in The Straits Times on 4 May 2016.      No 'fast lane' fees to Singapore telcos: Netflix Netflix did not pay fees to Singtel or StarHub for faster access to their broadband customers despite paying ISPs in the United States Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd Date: 4 May 2016 Author: Irene Tham Netflix has said that it did not pay any fees to local telcos for smoother streaming to Internet users here, marking a prominent victory for proponents of a democratic Internet in Singapore and globally. In an interview with The Straits Times last week, Netflix chief Reed Hastings was asked if the United States video-streaming giant had paid fees to Singtel or StarHub. His reply: "No." This is despite two calls made by Singtel chief executive officer Chua Sock Koong over the past two years that telcos should be allowed to charge major Internet content providers - like WhatsApp, Facebook and YouTube - for consumers to have faster access to their content. "We are big believers in Net neutrality and the open Internet," said Mr Hastings, who was here to meet local employees. In the United States, however, Netflix signed a multi-year deal paying Internet service providers (ISPs) such as Comcast and AT&T for faster access to their broadband customers. The deals were cited by Ms Chua to justify her argument. Ms Chua's call stemmed from telcos losing voice and messaging business to Internet services like WhatsApp, which get away with not paying for using telcos' infrastructure. These deals go against the idea of a democratic or neutral Internet where every online content provider is treated equally by ISPs. This means no "fast lanes" for content providers that pay extra for prioritisation, or the blocking and "throttling" - or slowing down - of lawful content and services. Without neutrality, it is feared that consumers could end up having to pay more to access the Internet. ISPs could, say, package services sold to consumers and charge different fees. A basic service would give access to just e-mail and social networks. "Premium" might let consumers stream videos and music, while "Super Premium" would allow downloads. While the Federal Communications Commission in the US last year approved rules in favour of protecting Net neutrality, carriers in Singapore are allowed to sell fast lanes to content providers. The Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) also does not ban throttling outright, but requires ISPs to ensure that user access to legitimate websites does not slow down to the point where online services become "unusable". Proponents of a neutral Internet are urging the local authorities to regulate the space to prevent small companies from being penalised when ISPs sell fast lanes. "When telcos are allowed to create fast lanes, it creates an unlevel playing field. Smaller players will not be able to negotiate and will end up paying," said Mr Benjamin Tan, managing director of SuperInternet. If the local authorities don't step in, "gangsters will rule", he said. Technology lawyer Jonathan Kok, partner at RHTLaw Taylor Wessing, said that even if various charging schemes are allowed, there must be regulatory oversight to prevent discrimination. "Telcos should not be allowed to charge WhatsApp a high fee as it is deemed to be a competitor," he said. Separately, Netflix also said it has struck "peering" agreements with both Singtel and StarHub for the free exchange of Internet traffic between their servers. But peering is not the norm here, with local toll charges costing two to three times more than international ones. Industry regulator IDA had proposed in a consultation paper - released in February last year (2015) but now closed - that regulation was not necessary as there had been "no evidence" of market failure, such as the abuse of dominance by Singtel or StarHub. Consumers also do not suffer due to these payment arrangements. IDA has yet to issue its decision.
May 5, 2016

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Head of Litigation and Dispute Resolution Practice Roderick Martin featured in Asian Legal Business and Commercial Dispute Resolution

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing’s Head of Litigation and Dispute Resolution Practice, Roderick Martin, was featured in the May edition of the Asian Legal Business and Commercial Dispute Resolution in relation to his recent appointment with RHTLaw Taylor Wessing.  The article highlights the appointment of Roderick Martin as Senior Partner and Head of the Firm’s Litigation and Dispute Resolution Practice. Mr Martin brings with him a wealth of experience in the legal career since 1972 and specialties comes in many forms, such as, civil litigation, admiralty and shipping, as well as loan and security documentation including conveyancing, liquidations and receiverships. Mr Martin was previously a Senior Partner at his firm Martin & Partners and was also a Senior Partner at Ramdas & Wong.   The articles featuring Roderick Martin regarding his appointment can be found as per the below: RHTLaw picks new litigation and dispute head – The full article dated Tuesday, 3 May 2016 can be found in Asian Legal Business New disputes leader for RHTLaw Taylor Wessing – The full article dated Wednesday, 4 May 2016 can be found in Commercial Dispute Resolution.
May 4, 2016

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Head of Private Wealth Practice Tan Choon Leng featured in The Edge Singapore article titled “Spotlight on Shadowy Money”

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Head of Private Wealth Practice Tan Choon Leng was featured in The Edge Singapore article titled “Spotlight on Shadowy Money”. The article discussed about the Panama Papers leak which involved many country leaders and well known celebrities. It also highlighted the current trend of corruption, money laundering, tax evasion and offshore tax havens. Such cases have garnered a strong public interest and have made many headlines in the media. Choon Leng gave his opinion on how to overcome and manage the risks involved in investments made with offshore companies. He commented that, “For some transactions, good planning can make the difference between a profitable and non-profitable investment.” The full article dated Monday 2 May 2016, can be found in The Edge Singapore.