Eye on IPBA

Issue #39 August 2017




Issue #39 August 2017

The IPBA Secretariat
Roppongi Hills North Tower 7F
6-2-31 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0032
Tel +81 3-5786-6796 FAX +82-3-5786-6778
E-mail: ipba@ipba.org

Topics: IPBA Membership News • IPBA Committee News IPBA Leadership Activities 
28th IPBA Annual Meeting and Conference in Manila 2018  
IPBA Local and Regional Events • IPBA-Supported Events

Dear [[first_name]] [[last_name]] Esq.,
IDK about you, but DAE sometimes feel a sense of FOMO? The ins and outs of SM have me SMH, and TBH, it's hard to keep up. HT to those who can figure it out! (*Translation below.)
If you can decipher the sentence above, you are young enough to be well versed in the language of social media, and would be a perfect fit to join the proposed Young Lawyers Committee! This ad hoc committee is aimed at bringing together members of a certain age (to be determined), to help drive the association into the future. This new committee proposal is just one of the great initiatives by our enthusiastic members. Read the section on IPBA Membership News below for more details. Several more IPBA members around the world are holding events in the upcoming months; this fall we have a healthy schedule from September onwards. See the details at the bottom of this issue.
James Jung, Chair of the Legal Development and Training Committee, has just organized a social event to be held at the College of Law Australia and New Zealand (COL) on October 10th in Sydney, Australia. If you're attending the IBA Conference in Sydney at that time, be sure to stop by the College of Law for "nibbles and drinks", and to talk with James and IPBA President Denis McNamara! Thanks go to the COL for their generous support of this event. Click on the flyer at left for details and registration information.
I Don't Know about you, but Does Anyone Else sometimes feel a sense of Fear of Missing Out? The ins and outs of Social Media have me Shaking My Head, and To Be Honest, it's hard to keep up. Hat Tip to those who can figure it out!

IPBA Membership News

  • IPBA Membership Leaders have responsibility for a particular jurisdiction or region. Jurisdictions that have 25 or more members are eligible for a Jurisdictional Council Member; currently there are 21 such jurisdictions in the IPBA. Jurisdictions with a large number of members or wide geographical areas are represented by an At-Large Council Member; by the IPBA Consitution, there are six such leaders. The IPBA President nominates a Regional Coordinator to help build up membership in selected regions; at the moment there are three Regional Coordinators. Contact the appropriate Membership Leader if you have any questions about membership in your jurisdiction or region!
  • Contact the IPBA Secretariat if you haven't received your copy of the printed IPBA Membership Directory, which was distributed earlier this month. You can also find the most current membership directory online, 24/7, in the Member Only section of the IPBA web site. Keep your own profile updated so that others can find you easily!
  • The ad hoc Young Lawyers Committee proposed by the Membership Committee is taking shape! One thing to decide: how young is "young"? Currently, the age cutoff for the Young Lawyers membership category is 35, and there is discussion as to whether or not "young" should go into the 40s for the committee. Contact the Membership Committee Chair, Anne Durez, or Vice-Chair Tatsu Nakayama, if you are interested in taking part!
  • The IPBA Journal September 2017 issue is in the layout process and will be published in mid-September. Soon the Publications Committee will send out a call for articles and professional updates for the December 2017 issue, so get your articles ready! The Committee also welcomes items for the Members' Notes section, a good forum in which to let other IPBA members know if you've changed firms, published an article, received a professional award, or finished a big case. 

IPBA Committee News

This month we have updates on employment and immigration laws as well as international trade updates.

Employment & Immigration – Frédérique David (France) – Chair

From Indrani Lahiri - India

The Code on Wages, 2017 Bill has been introduced in the Lok Sabha (Lower House of the Parliament of India) on August 10, 2017. The proposed legislation intends to amalgamate, simplify and rationalize the relevant provisions of the following four Central labour enactments relating to wages: (a) the Payment of Wages Act, 1936; (b) the Minimum Wages Act, 1948; (c) the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965; and (d) the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976. This amalgamation is expected to facilitate (i) the implementation and removal of the multiplicity of definitions and authorities without compromising on the basic concepts of welfare and benefits to workers; and (ii) bring about ease of compliance of labour laws, thereby promoting setting up of more enterprises and in turn creation of employment opportunities.

The Bill provides for all essential elements relating to wages, equal remuneration, its payment and bonus.

It proposes a National minimum wage for different geographical areas so as to ensure that no State Government fixes the minimum wage below the national minimum wage notified for that area. It also proposes to provide for payment of wages in (i) current coins; or (ii) currency notes; or (iii) cheques; or (iv) through digital or electronic mode.

The Bill has not been passed by the Parliament of India thus far and is hence yet to come into force.

From Trent Sutton - United States

A Signal of Increased Scrutiny of U.S. Visa Petitions. Recent Actions by the U.S. Department of State (DOS) and Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) indicate that employers seeking to hire foreign workers will likely face a more stringent visa approval process. The DOS recently amended its Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) to include reference to Executive Order 13788, also referred to as the “Buy American Hire American Executive Order.”  The FAM provides U.S. Consular offices with guidance on the adjudication of nonimmigrant and immigrant visas that reflects law, regulation, and current policy. Employer should anticipate that this change may result in more restrictive adjudications of visa petitions (potentially including increased delays).

The RAISE Act Unveiled.  On August 2, 2017, President Trump unveiled the revised RAISE (Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment) Act, previously introduced by Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and David Perdue (R-GA) in February 2017. The revised RAISE Act would reduce legal immigration to the United States to 500,000 individuals annually by reprioritizing worker skills over family relationships. In essence, the bill would create new parameters for obtaining a green card for U.S. company employees and decrease family immigration numbers.

New York Issues Final Paid Family Leave Law.  The New York Paid Family Leave Benefits Law (“PFLBL”), passed last year and effective January 1, 2018, will provide eligible employees with a paid, job-protected leave of absence, starting at 8 weeks in 2018 and eventually reaching 12 weeks by 2021. Employees may use paid family leave to bond with a new child, to care for a family member with a serious health condition, or to assist with family obligations when a family member is called to active military service.  The wage replacement benefits, with certain exceptions, will be funded through payroll deductions, cover 50% of the employee’s average weekly wage commencing in 2018, subject to a statutory cap, and reach 67% or the statutory cap by 2021.  The final regulations were adopted on July 19, 2017.  The most pertinent changes between the proposed and final regulations include changes to coverage of full-time and part-time employees, calculation of average daily rate for daily leave, and how the law interacts with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.

International Trade – Jesse Goldman (Canada), Corey Norton (United States) – Co-Chairs

From Corey Norton – United States

Trade Still a Hot Topic – A Couple Highlights for August 
President Trump is mad that Canada and Mexico are being “very difficult” in NAFTA negotiations.  Meanwhile, Mexico says it will not negotiate “by Tweet.”  Stay tuned for the fate of NAFTA now that negotiations have begun. 

Looking East, the United States has formally launched a “Section 301” investigation into whether Chinese practices “related to intellectual property, innovation, and technology … encourage or require the transfer of American technology and intellectual property” to Chinese companies unfairly.  A hearing in October to obtain interested party views and subsequent briefing could result in new restrictions on the ability of Chinese products to enter the U.S. market.

IPBA Leadership Activities

IPBA President Denis McNamara just returned to New Zealand from his travels to New York for the American Bar Association's Annual Conference. While there, he attended a get-together organized by Ken Stuart, which attracted several "experienced" IPBA members who have been active with the IPBA for many years.

In mid-September Denis will represent the IPBA at the LAWASIA Conference in Tokyo. While in Tokyo, he and past IPBA Officers from Japan will attend a signing ceremony for an MOU between the IPBA and the Japan Federation of Bar Associations. This is the second MOU signed with a local bar association, the first being with the Korean Bar Association in 2014. There could be MOUs signed with more local bar associations in the near future, as they become interested in the IPBA and its activities.

Denis will then travel to Sydney in October and liaise with members in Australia regarding IPBA business, and attend the social event described above at the College of Law Australia and New Zealand. Then, it's on to the Mid-Year Council Member in London in November.

28th IPBA Annual Meeting and Conference in 
Manila, Philippines
March 14-16, 2018

Fostering Seamless Cooperation in ASEAN and Beyond

Only 194 days until the Conference!

  • The Super Early Bird rate ends on September 30th! Take advantage of the cheapest available rate and register now!
  • We are still accepting applications to the IPBA Scholarship Program! The deadline is September 30th.
  • The Conference schedule is posted on the official conference web site. Committee sessions for the Conference are well into the planning stage and will be posted to the web site when details are confirmed.

IPBA Local and Regional Events 2017

Sept 14 Europe-Asia Arbitration Day: Corporate Acquisitions and Resulting Disputes Geneva, Switzerland
Sept 25 3rd IPBA Asia-PAC Arbitration Day Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Nov 5
Date change!
Investment in the Emerging Markets - the APEC Perspective Da Nang, Vietnam
Nov 13 Forces of Change: Modernisation and a Shifting International Landscape (English and Asian Perspectives on How Legal Systems Adapt) London, England


3rd IPBA East Asia Forum Seoul, Korea

IPBA-Supported Events 2017

August 28-September 1 AIJA Annual Congress Tokyo, Japan
October 6 ALB Philippine Law Awards Manila, Philippines
October 18 ALB's "Japan Corporate Compliance and Governance Forum" Tokyo, Japan
October 19-20 marcusevans' "IP Law Asia Summit" Tokyo, Japan
October 26-27 Duxes' 10th China Anti-Corruption Compliance Summit Shanghai, China

Check the IPBA web site for details! IPBA members can enjoy discounted registration rates at most events.

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