Yves Faguy

Q&A

Singapore’s ambitions for the legal industry

Par Yves Faguy décembre 11, 2018 11 décembre 2018

Singapore’s ambitions for the legal industry

 

Singapore wants to modernize the delivery of legal services to achieve two aims: to make justice more accessible to regular users and to position itself as Asia’s – if not the world’s – state-of-the-art legal hub. Already considered by some the preferred seat for arbitration in Asia, it has recently allowed third-party financing for arbitration-related disputes. On the access-to-justice front, the country is looking at the implementation of scale costs for litigation. CBA National caught up with Mark A. Cohen, CEO of Legal Mosaic, who has recently returned from a residency period at the Singapore Academy of Law, to share with us his impressions.

CBA National: What’s most striking to you about the legal industry in Singapore?

Mark A. Cohen: Well, first of all, it’s the alignment of the different stakeholders —from the Singapore Academy of Law to regulators to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and law schools. They are all focused on improving legal delivery and education, and making Singapore a major regional, if not global, legal player. This effort feeds off Singapore’s enormous success in financial services and fintech and its standing as a dispute resolution and commercial center. I’m just wowed by the thoughtfulness of their game plan to achieve these objectives. I’m also impressed by the understanding and focus on the need to retrain lawyers and legal professionals as well as to take a global view. I’m also impressed by their ability to execute. Singapore is small and nimble, but its resources, brainpower, and global standing is formidable. There’s also a real sense of urgency in this and other initiatives they undertake.

N: Why is there a sense of urgency?

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Law firms

Changes in the marketplace that call for innovation

Par Yves Faguy novembre 21, 2018 21 novembre 2018

Changes in the marketplace that call for innovation

“An innovator is someone who makes a change in Year One that everyone else has to make in Year Five.”

Michael Torpey knows that from experience. As a practitioner in the 1990s, he spotted an opportunity after the U.S. Congress passed a new law designed to limit frivolous securities lawsuits. It required the first plaintiff filing a securities class action to publish a notice informing potential class members of their right to move to be named lead plaintiff.

“I figured out then that I [knew] where all the cases were being filed around the country,” Torpey said during his keynote address at the CBA’s Law Firm Leadership Conference this month in Toronto. Most of the securities litigators at the time were in New York and San Francisco, he explained. So he prepared an information package for everybody that got sued, paid some visits to some of the targeted companies, and volunteered his time to assess their case.  “For the next two or three years, I got 50 percent of the cases that were filed in the whole U.S,” he said. Apparently, nobody else had thought of doing that, until a couple of years later, when “everybody had thought of it.”

“I had an advantage that went away,” says Torpey, now the managing partner at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe in San Francisco, named by the Financial Times as the most innovative law firm in North America in 2016 and 2017. There’s a lesson in that for law firms, he adds. “If your innovation is good, you get a little bit of edge for a little while. And if it’s not good, even though you spent a lot of money and nobody is following it, well you’re out of luck.”

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Cour suprême

Les juges doivent veiller au respect des droits linguistiques

Par Yves Faguy novembre 16, 2018 16 novembre 2018

Les juges doivent veiller au respect des droits linguistiques

Toute personne, y compris le témoin, se présentant devant les tribunaux fédéraux doit pouvoir exercer librement son droit de s’exprimer dans la langue officielle de son choix. C’est ce qu’a tranché la Cour suprême du Canada en rendant sa décision dans l’arrêt Mazraani.

« C'est une très belle décision qui répond aux attentes de l'ABC en matière de droits linguistiques et d'accès à la justice », affirme Me Nicolas Rouleau qui a représenté l’Association du Barreau canadien dans son intervention dans cette affaire. « La décision vient clairement confirmer l'égalité du français et de l'anglais devant les tribunaux fédéraux. »

La décision tournait autour d’un litige impliquant un ex-représentant d'Industrielle Alliance, Kassem Mazraani, qui réclamait l'admissibilité à l'assurance-emploi. Mazraani, un anglophone unilingue se représentait seul. Cependant, les témoins et l’avocat d'Industrielle Alliance, qui, à titre d’intervenant, avait un intérêt dans le résultat de la décision, demandaient de témoigner en français. Encouragés par le juge, ils ont dû s’exprimer en anglais. Industrielle a porté en appel le jugement de la Cour candienne de l’impôt,  qui a tranché en faveur de Mazraani, aux motifs que les droits linguistiques de ses témoins avaient été enfreints . La Cour d’appel fédérale a ordonné la tenue d’une nouvelle audience devant un juge différent.

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Q&R

Penelope Simons et comment obliger les entreprises à respecter les droits de la personne

Par Yves Faguy novembre 14, 2018 14 novembre 2018

Penelope Simons et comment obliger les entreprises à respecter les droits de la personne

 

This week, the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB) published its 2018 report, concluding that most of the 100 companies reviewed are failing to live up to their duties under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.  Prior to the report’s release, CBA National interviewed Professor Penelope Simons of the University of Ottawa and the recipient of the 2018 Walter S. Tarnopolsky Award, recognized for her contribution to human rights, domestically and internationally, about how to address corporate complicity in human rights abuses.

CBA National: Can you give us a sense first of where we’re at in terms of corporate accountability for human rights violations?

Penelope Simons: This issue has been debated globally for decades. But in the early 2000s, the United Nations Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights adopted the Draft Norms on the Responsibilities of Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises which were submitted to what is now the Human Rights Council. The HRC rejected them. The Norms were drafted in mandatory language and were essentially a blueprint for a treaty that would impose binding legal obligations on business actors. Both states and businesses were strongly against the development of such obligations. However, the HRC did appoint, Harvard professor John Ruggie, as the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Business and Human Rights. He developed a policy framework and the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) to operationalize the policy framework. In 2011 the Human Rights Council unanimously endorsed the Guiding Principles. This was an important step forward, to have widely accepted document addressing business and human rights. However, the UNGPs are also flawed in a number of ways.

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Fintech

Prudence canadienne face au système bancaire ouvert

Par Yves Faguy novembre 8, 2018 8 novembre 2018

Prudence canadienne face au système bancaire ouvert

 

Les Canadiens recherchent ce qui est familier quand vient le temps de gérer leurs finances. Par exemple, ils se tournent vers leur institution financière principale pour la plupart de leurs besoins, même s’ils se doutent qu’ils pourraient souvent bénéficier de meilleures options ailleurs. Pas surprenant, donc, que peu de gens se soient encore intéressés au phénomène du système bancaire ouvert, qui se répand partout dans le monde, en particulier en Europe, aux États-Unis et dans certaines régions de l’Asie.

Qu'est-ce que le système bancaire ouvert? Mieux connu sous le nom anglais d’Open Banking, c’est un modèle émergent façonné par un mélange d’innovations financières, de changements des habitudes de consommation et de forces réglementaires, et par lequel les banques sont incitées à accorder à des tiers un accès aux données de leurs clients. Cette ouverture se fait par l’entremise d’interfaces ouvertes de programmes d’applications (API), qui permettent aux programmeurs de travailler de développer de nouveaux produits financiers.

For the consumers, the appeal is in getting better rates on lending rates and more transparency on financial products. 

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