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Whether they lived a long, happy, and productive life or were taken away suddenly, the pain of loss is equal. However, when we lose a loved one due to the neglect of someone else, it adds another layer of unfathomable emotions.

Filing a wrongful death lawsuit won’t change what happened, but it does have some benefits. It could bring much-needed emotional closure and help loved ones to move forward. It could also ensure that those who were financially dependent on the deceased have one less worry. Those in the Sunshine State should contact a Miami wrongful death lawyer to learn about what rights they have as a victim.

What Is the Florida Wrongful Death Act

The Florida State Wrongful Death Act is complex and a wrongful death lawsuit should only be filed by a competent attorney. Without the help of a personal injury attorney, filing a wrongful death lawsuit would prove to be far too difficult for the average layperson.

Florida law states that a wrongful death occurs if a person or an entity causes someone’s death due to a wrongful act or negligence. Although this has a wide range of interpretations, there are certain circumstances where it’s applicable. Most wrongful deaths occur in the following ways:

● A negligent incident such as a car accident

● Medical malpractice

● Defective products

● Intentionally or unintentionally during the committing of a crime

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Florida?

If the deceased person had a legal will, the person who was named their executor would be the one to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This would be either for themselves or on behalf of the deceased’s family. In Florida, there are 3 requirements as to who can be the deceased personal representative. The requirements are:

● Be at least 18 years of age

● Be of sound mind

● Not have a felony conviction

If the deceased individual didn’t have a will with an executor named, another person can act as their representative and file the lawsuit. This person is typically:

● The spouse or legal partner of the deceased

● A child of the deceased, either a minor or adult

● A parent of the deceased

How To File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Florida

First, you’ll need to hire a lawyer who has experience with wrongful death lawsuits. A case of this nature should never be filed without proper legal counsel. Although each case is unique, here’s a loose outline of what to expect:

● Filing the lawsuit - Once you’ve selected a lawyer and given them all of the evidence required to prove neglect, they will file the lawsuit with the court. The defendant or defendants will be officially notified of the lawsuit.

● The Discovery phase - During this phase, both sets of legal teams (plaintiff and defendant) will meet on several occasions to exchange information. This phase can be time-consuming and can include depositions with witnesses and others who can provide an expert opinion.

● Pre-trial settlement or pre-trial motions - Many wrongful death lawsuits never go to trial. Sometimes during the discovery phase, mediators or arbitrators are brought in to help avoid a costly and lengthy trial. If a settlement is made, the case ends there. If not, it will go to trial.

● Trial and verdict - If your case does go to trial, you’ll have the option of choosing between a jury trial or one where the judge alone makes the decision. If your case is successful, you’ll either be awarded a settlement or the defendant will appeal the case.

A judge or a jury trial is always a risky matter because even if it goes well and you win the case, the defendant has the right to appeal. This will result in a new trial and could add months or longer to the lawsuit. Fortunately, a large number of wrongful death cases are settled during the discovery phase.

Final Thoughts on Florida Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Saying goodbye to a loved one is never pleasant. It’s even worse when their death was caused by neglect, either intentional or not. Working with a Florida personal injury attorney can help you to gain some closure and also to be compensated for any damages.

A wrongful death lawsuit can be a complicated and complex maze to weave. Patience is key, but under the guidance of your lawyer, it could be time well spent. Never attempt to file a lawsuit of this nature alone. Let the experts guide you and allow them to do what they do best.

Finance Monthly hears from Richard Kershaw, partner at Hunters Law LLP, on how changes in markets can impact divorce settlements and whether there may be a chance to reopen them after they have been finalised.

Over the past twelve months, as COVID-19 has raged around the globe, the FTSE 100 index has seen significant volatility, hitting a high of 7156 and a low of 4993. With asset values in a state of flux, a divorce settlement reached shortly before the outbreak of the pandemic may now look significantly unbalanced if the assets retained by one party were heavily invested in a sector badly hit by the crisis. How does the family court deal with this?

The family court places a high value on the finality of divorce settlements to enable both parties to move on, and encourages taking a long-term view. It does, however, allow for the re-opening of settlements in very limited circumstances. There have been attempts to bring market volatility within that framework, with the latest effort, FRB v DCA (No 3) [2020] EWHC 3696 (Fam), relying on the financial consequences of COVID-19.

The couple were both from extremely wealthy families, and the divorce proceedings had been highly acrimonious, focusing on the wife’s concealment of the child’s paternity and the husband’s attempts to minimise his assets. A judgment of 28 February 2020 made an award of £64 million to the wife. At a hearing on 27 March 2020, four days after the UK’s first national lockdown started, the husband stated his preference to settle the award in cash rather than by transferring some of his investments, and volunteered to make the first payment by 30 September 2020.

Just before the first payment was due, the husband applied to re-open the settlement on the basis that his assets were held in countries, or underpinned by businesses, hard hit by the pandemic (his assets included interests in the international hotel sector, commercial property and care homes). His application failed for a number of reasons, including his failure to provide detailed evidence on the alleged decline in value of his interests - the court noted that his interests were diverse and some may have benefitted from the financial consequences of the pandemic. It was also significant that, after the pandemic had already hit, the husband had declined the option of satisfying the award in shares rather than cash, which would have shared the financial risk between the parties, and had instead volunteered the payment schedule.

The family court places a high value on the finality of divorce settlements to enable both parties to move on, and encourages taking a long-term view.

Crucially, the court said it is “essential” to take a “long term” view, as most commentators consider that the world economy will recover within the next couple of years to pre-COVID-19 levels. Therefore, orders will not be re-opened simply due to significant fluctuations in value; market fluctuations are to be expected and go both ways. This reflects the approach taken by the court in the wake of the 2008 financial crash. For example, in Myerson v Myerson (No 2) [2009] EWCA Civ 282, the court refused to reopen a divorce settlement even where the husband’s business interests had declined in value to such an extent that the settlement would give the wife more than 100% of the assets.

Following this judgment, anyone hoping to re-open their divorce settlement due to the financial impact of COVID-19 will need to think very carefully before making an application. Even substantial fluctuations in asset values are unlikely to persuade the court that the settlement should be re-opened. A claim where a general economic recovery would not assist in the particular case - for example where a business has gone bust due to the pandemic - might have a better chance of success, but the claim would still be speculative.

What, then, can be done? For those currently negotiating divorce settlements, careful consideration should be given to the level of risk attached to each asset when dividing the family’s resources. One party may be willing to take on more risk in return for a higher proportion of the overall assets, or the parties may prefer to share both the assets and the risk equally. However, a settlement that does not take risk into account has higher prospects of unfairness.

For those whose settlements have already been finalised, there may be areas of flexibility worth exploring to relieve immediate financial pressure. In respect of the capital settlement, if there are sums still to be paid then it is possible to apply to the court for (or, if possible, negotiate) a delay in payment to ease cashflow concerns. If the settlement required the sale of assets, or the extraction of cash from a business within a certain timeframe, but the current financial climate would make this a poor time for the transaction, then an application to defer it may assist. The court will need to be satisfied that there is a genuine financial need for the delay rather than simply a preference for it.

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Ongoing maintenance for a former spouse or for children is always subject to variation, both up or down, and if the pandemic has significantly decreased the payer’s ability to meet the agreed payments then a prompt application to vary should be made. If the reduction is likely to be temporary the recipient may be open to agreeing a short-term decrease in payments, especially as many people have found their spending levels reduced during lockdown. As ever, any application will need to be supported by detailed evidence.

Managing divorce settlements can be challenging at the best of times, and economic turmoil adds to the challenges. Whilst the court is unlikely to reopen past settlements, in many cases options do exist for mitigating the impact of the crisis.

Today, you can use video conferencing software and project management tools to facilitate coordination and communication in a team that’s spread across multiple locations. Consequently, a global workforce is gradually becoming the norm for companies, irrespective of their size and niche.

This isn’t surprising considering the awesome benefits that global recruitment and remote work offer. To begin with, it introduces cultural diversity and multiple perspectives in your team. This can go a long way to encourage innovative thinking and creative problem-solving among your employees.

It’s crucial when you want to break into new markets and expand your business internationally. Also, when your employees work remotely from the comfort of their homes, it can increase their productivity and efficiency. Recruiting employees in certain countries can even be more economical than hiring from your home country.

Having said that, building a global workforce comes with its own set of obstacles. From managing multiple time zones to ensuring complete transparency - you need to overcome various hurdles.

However, the biggest challenge of recruiting employees across the globe is managing payroll. From compliance issues to payment delays - you’re likely going to face various problems while paying international employees.

In this article, we’ll discuss some of the most common challenges you’ll have to overcome to pay employees overseas. But let’s first take a closer look at the different employment models you can use to build a global workforce.

How to Build a Global Workforce

Typically, if you’re looking to recruit international employees, you’ll likely use one of the following employment models:

Independent Contractors

This is a common choice for small and mid-sized businesses. Instead of recruiting full-time employees, you hire freelancers on a contractual basis. It saves you the trouble of providing any benefits, bonuses, and other incentives. When hiring contractors though it’s important that they are contractors to avoid the risk of misclassification.

From compliance issues to payment delays - you’re likely going to face various problems while paying international employees.

Direct Hires

In this model, you recruit part-time or full-time employees from a foreign country and make them a part of your global payroll. This requires you to keep a tab on the taxes and labor laws in their host country. You will also have to establish a legal entity in the host country before you can directly recruit international employees. This is known as the global payroll model, to distinguish it from the contractor and global PEO models even though all 3 global workforce models require paying and a ‘payroll’ to your overseas hires.

Global PEO

The global PEO or professional employer organisation model allows a company to use a professional services company to hire and become the employer of record for the employee in the overseas country. The global PEO is responsible for handling all employee-related responsibilities, including payroll processing, tax management, benefits management, etc. Recruiting through a global PEO simplifies the overseas talent acquisition and onboarding process enabling you to hire overseas without having to first open a local entity.

Challenges of Paying International Employees

Unless you have partnered with a global PEO who will undertake the payroll and ensure that your employees’ salaries are in accordance with local payroll taxes, you’ll have to manage payroll for your international employees. Even if you have recruited freelancers, you will still need to ensure that they’re paid the right amount at the right time.

Here are a few common challenges you’ll encounter when paying employees overseas:

1. Compliance Across Multiple Jurisdictions

Every company has its own set of labour laws and tax legislation. Even if you’re establishing a legal entity in a foreign country, you’ll need an expert to guide you through the local laws.

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If you fail to adhere to these regulations, your company might be liable for financial penalties. That’s why compliance is the most common problem you’ll experience when paying international employees. This can become particularly challenging when you need to keep a track of multiple laws across various jurisdictions.

Hiring independent contractors doesn’t exempt you from the purview of compliance. This is because if you exclusively work with a freelancer for a long period, it could potentially make them look like full-time employees in the eyes of the local jurisdiction.

2. Manual Processing Across Multiple Payroll Calendars

If you’re working with many contractual employees across the globe, they’re likely going to follow diverse payroll calendars. Monitoring these calendars and making manual payments in a timely manner can be excruciatingly difficult.

Also, when you’re paying employees in different countries, you need to account for various processing delays. While in some countries, the bank processing time is only a few hours, others can take days or weeks to complete a transaction.

You need to factor in these delays in your payroll calendar to ensure that your employees get paid on time, irrespective of where they’re located.

3. Moving Money Across Borders

Wiring money to different countries isn’t the same as making a bank transfer in your home country. You need to consider various factors, including the currency exchange rate and processing fees.

Manually tracking these details on a regular basis is going to be challenging. Also, depending on the number of overseas employees, you might end up spending a lot of money on processing fees.

Wiring money to different countries isn’t the same as making a bank transfer in your home country.

Global Payroll is the Solution

If you’ve had any experience in hiring and paying overseas employees, you’re likely be already familiar with the concepts explained here. For those taking their first steps in hiring abroad, this post should give you an idea about some of the complexities involved.

What steps is your company taking to simplify the process of paying overseas employees? Share your tips in the comments section below.

Insurance companies want to make as much profit as possible, so they may not always obey all the rules. What you may not know is that insurance companies are required to do certain things when you file a claim. When they do not, they may be in violation of the law.

Unreasonable Delays

Insurance companies sometimes delay the start of an investigation into a claim with the hope that you will simply give up on it. Most state laws have deadlines for when an insurance company must accept or deny a claim. These deadlines may range from 15 to 60 days. If your insurance company delays investigation beyond those dates, they may have violated the law.

Failure to Conduct Investigation

Your insurance company is required to act in good faith and provide you with a fair deal. They must investigate any claim you file, even if it is simply sending an adjustor to review your damage. If you submit a claim after your car is damaged while parked on a street and your insurance company denies the claim without sending out an adjustor or refuses to look at estimates you have collected, they are not acting in good faith.

Deceptive Practices

If your insurance company fails to provide you with important information, they may be in violation of the law. This could include:

Your insurance company is required to act in good faith and provide you with a fair deal.

Offering Low Settlement Amounts

Although insurance companies try to offer low settlements in order to increase their own profits, they are not allowed, under the law, to purposely offer far less than they know your claim is worth. If you have provided estimates for damage repairs and your policy has adequate coverage to pay those claims, the insurance company may not offer you less than the lowest estimate you received.

The insurance company can also not refuse to pay a valid claim that is a covered event on your policy. For example, if you have no-fault insurance coverage and are struck by an uninsured driver, your insurance company must cover the damages and any injuries.

Misrepresentation of the Law

There have been instances when insurance companies purposely misrepresent the law or the language of a policy in order to avoid paying a claim. Insurance agents have a duty to be truthful in their statements, and making false statements may be a violation of the law. In court, you must prove that the statements made were intentionally false in order to mislead you.

Threatening Statements

Any insurance company that makes threatening statements to a policy holder may be prosecuted under the law. If an insurance agent tells you that if you file a claim, they will file legal action against you, it is important that you contact your state insurance board as well as an attorney right away.

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What to Do When Your Insurance Company Breaks the Law

Did your insurance company break the law when they processed—or failed to process—your claim? If you believe your insurance company has violated the law, it is important that you reach out to an insurance attorney to learn what rights you may have. The only way to keep these companies operating the way they should is to hold them accountable when they are on the wrong side of the law.

The cost hospitals put into fighting liability claims, as well as possibly unnecessary testing to preemptively protect doctors from being sued, undercuts the funding that they can use on patient care. The cost of medical liability to the healthcare system is hard to pin down exactly, but it is estimated to be anywhere from $50 billion to over $150 billion annually.

Those may sound like big numbers (because they are), but concerning healthcare spending as a whole, they represent a fairly small percentage of the budget. Liability costs make up the smallest of the four main expenditures of the healthcare system, which are:

Many studies of the cost of medical malpractice insurance are performed by groups with strong biases. The figures they present are often shaded by their desire to make the numbers fit with the picture that they are trying to paint. This is part of what accounts for the wide discrepancy in the estimated costs.

The Two Sides

The two main sides with a vested interest in the cost of medical liability in the healthcare system are doctors and hospitals vs lawyers and patients. Clearly, no matter which side you are on in the dispute, any system that has patients and doctors pitted against each other is a system that needs fixing.

Doctors and Hospitals

Doctors and hospitals argue that the high cost of liability protection both limits the money they have available for patient care and puts their patients through unnecessary medical testing. The risk that doctors face of being sued at some point in their careers is very high. Nearly half of physicians over the age of 55 have faced a lawsuit at some point in their careers.

The cost hospitals put into fighting liability claims, as well as possibly unnecessary testing to preemptively protect doctors from being sued, undercuts the funding that they can use on patient care.

Doctors argue that to protect themselves from being sued by a patient, they are forced to run extra tests that they don't deem necessary to diagnose a condition just so that they can say they did them should a patient claim negligence. They argue that patients bear the brunt of the cost, as they are left to face a higher bill for tests they don't need.

Hospitals argue that the cost of fighting malpractice lawsuits has a significant impact on their budgets and leaves them with less money for equipment and staff. This hinders their ability to provide their patients with the best medical care possible.

Lawyers and Patients

On the other side, you have lawyers and patients who sue doctors and hospitals when they feel that they have not received the best possible care due to the negligence or incompetence of a physician.

Lawyers and patients argue that the tests that many doctors claim to be unnecessary are, in fact, quite often responsible for preventing misdiagnosis. They believe that hospitals and doctors should be held accountable for any mistakes they might make in the care of their patients. Some of the common causes of medical malpractice cases include:

Patients who were harmed and families affected by birth injury may speak to a lawyer about claiming compensation. Lawyers say they should. Doctors do not agree.

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What’s the Solution?

There is no simple solution to the problem of medical malpractice costs in the healthcare industry. The fact is some doctors are negligent, and some lawyers pursue frivolous lawsuits. As long as the two things occur, there is going to be a problem with unnecessary costs.

Doctors and hospitals tend to argue that the solution is to put a cap on damages from a malpractice lawsuit. Studies have shown that even with a cap, doctors still tend to run extra tests to protect themselves.

A possible partial solution to the problem would be to remove doctors from the legal part of the equation altogether. Patients who feel they are the victim of doctor error can sue the hospital directly and not the doctor. Doctors are at risk only through some form of disciplinary system by the hospital or medical board in which they face suspension of their license and termination of employment should they be determined to be at fault, but not by direct financial loss.

This would potentially reduce doctors performing truly unnecessary testing, as they would not feel the direct impact of a lawsuit and far fewer doctors would be affected by lawsuits overall. However, this is still far from a perfect solution.

Wait a minute — before you delve deep into the coverage options at your disposal, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind. Here’s your checklist for buying personal liability insurance; rather, here are a few things you must ask yourself before purchasing an insurance plan.

Does It Aid You, Oh Globetrotter?

Oftentimes, your insurance does not cover liabilities taking place anywhere but locally. While the average insurance provider will not be concerned with travelling, we know the importance of it. Travelling is an addictive yet life-changing interest to possess. Not just that, logically most people travel in some form or fashion, and staying insured during such times seems like the smarter thing to do.

For this, you need to check whether your insurance provider covers liabilities that take place off-premise. In other words, check whether your liability coverage is spanned across more than just local areas. Planning your finances is an arduous task, especially if you like to travel, and liability coverages here are a lot trickier. Try not to acquire insurances that do not cover such damages, even if they come with more benefits. Unless you are someone who likes to be burdened by the weight of the four walls surrounding you, global coverage is quintessential.

Are You Sporty Enough?

Try not to take this in the literal sense of the term. We are in no way asking you to get personal liability coverage just because one fine day you would want to go putt-putt. Think of it this way—you decide to practice throwing a ball in your backyard with your child. You happen to hit someone else on the street, or damage someone’s property (such as a phone) by accident. Not only does that prove that you are a bad thrower, but also makes you responsible for damages incurred.

This is a very real use-case of personal liability insurance. Ensure that your provider has sports-related liabilities covered at your residence, for such cases are pretty ubiquitous, and dare we say, expensive to repair. While you can learn how to throw ball better and more accurately next time, you need to ensure that the liabilities from that front are taken care of. On that note, such personal liability coverages are pretty extensive in the kind of damages they cover. Ensure that you pick a policy that covers multitude of damages, and of course, learn how to throw better.

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Who Let the Dogs Out?

Granted that pets are not just a great companion but a must in some cases, but it only takes a moment for things to go wrong. While your pet is the most amiable companion around you, it only takes one bad day for a third party to face the brunt of your pet’s primal instincts.

Here too, personal liability coverages and questioning stances about them is mandatory. Ask your insurance provider whether these damages are covered too. On that note, it is pretty sensible to get liability coverage spanning such scenarios, considering how common pets are at households. Damages caused by pets to a third party is surely not under your direct control, but it does not hurt to cover such specific liability cases, does it?

Does It Cover Legal Expenses?

Ah, the irreparable damage. The kind of damage that you get sued for. Damages carved out of unforeseen circumstances have very little control from your end, as is the case with lawsuits that come out of it. If your coverages don’t suffice the needs of the damaged party, chances are, you might need a good lawyer. Wait — liability insurances might cover that too?

It is important for you to look for coverages that will manage your lawsuit too. In this world plagued with capitalism, lawyers aren’t getting any cheaper. This is where your personal liability coverage should come in handy. Ask your provider whether liability coverages cover legal costs, for it might be useful, irrespective of whether you are found responsible for the said damages.

To Conclude

As with most other policies, getting to know the ins and outs should be of utmost importance to you. Try to put some extensive research into looking for the kind of insurance that is right for you. As with most other things in life, personal liability coverages should be subscribed according to your specific lifestyle. Once you cover the basics of liability insurance, ensure that you cover other specific scenarios. After all, indecision is fatal, but so is uncertainty.

You need to protect yourself and your children, if you have any, during this process. A critical part of this is making sure your finances are protected as well.

The last thing you want to do is make a mistake that can cost you your home, savings, or retirement. Until your divorce is finalised, follow these three tips to keep your money safe. If you don’t, you may find paying for the next stage of your life to be a struggle.

Don’t Blow Your Budget

Now is not the time to reach into your joint checking account to splurge on a vacation, no matter how badly you need it. It’s okay to use your joint account for the usual expenses, but keep in mind every financial move you make is going to be under scrutiny. If a judge gets the impression you are trying to take more than your share, it could come back to haunt you later.

One big expense you’ll have that is out of the ordinary is a divorce lawyer. Your soon-to-be ex will have one, too. If your divorce is amicable, you may be able to come to an agreement about how much is fair for you to each take out of your accounts to use for this purpose.

If you are at each other’s throats and you can’t agree on anything, filing for a legal separation may be the best option. This would force you to come to an agreement about how you are allowed to use your money until your divorce is finalised.

It’s okay to use your joint account for the usual expenses, but keep in mind every financial move you make is going to be under scrutiny.

Know the Value of Your Assets

You and your ex need to evaluate and clarify your assets to make sure you know what they are and how much they are worth. This could include any of these types of property and investments:

Once you’ve identified all of your assets, you’ll need to identify what belongs to you, what belongs to your ex, and what belongs to both of you. If you can’t agree how to divide the assets that belong to you both, this may be decided during mediation or negotiations in court.

Get an Attorney and a Financial Advisor

You may be considering skipping hiring an attorney because you are still on reasonably friendly terms and you believe you can handle negotiations yourselves. Divorce laws are complicated, and they differ from state to state, so it pays to follow the advice of specialist attorneys.

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An attorney can also make the divorce proceedings quicker and take some of the stress and burden off of you. You can let them handle the paperwork, negotiations, and anything else that is taking up so much of your time that you have no energy left for self-care.

A financial advisor is also critical during this time, especially if you aren’t very financially savvy or you have valuable assets. If your spouse has been handling most of the bills, you may not understand enough about your expenses to be sure you walk away with enough to start over.

Even if you and your ex agree on most things and you agree this is for the best, divorce can still be an emotional time. Having impartial professionals on your side who can speak in your best interest can make this process much easier for you both.

Do you have an equal passion for both justice and crunching numbers? You undoubtedly know what economics is and you’ve likely heard of forensics, but do you have any idea what forensic economics is? Who knows, maybe this is the career path you were meant to take. Let’s find out.

What You Need to Know About Forensic Economics

According to the National Association of Forensic Economics (NAFE), forensic economics is classified as the application of economic theories and methods to legal matters. It’s a scientific discipline and those who work in the field are almost always master’s degree or PhD holders.

Someone who works in forensic economics is called a forensic economist. Economics and accounting are completely different as are forensic economists and forensic accountants. Though the roles are similar in nature, there are a number of factors that differentiate one from the other. Two of the biggest differences are the scope of work and the salaries associated with each.

What do Forensic Economists Do?

While of course it can differ from industry to industry, a forensic economist is generally tasked with conducting research, preparing reports and formulating plans that are aimed at specifically addressing economic problems relating to monetary or fiscal policies.

Forensic economists are well versed in services such as economic damage calculation and litigation consultation. They are often called upon to act as expert witnesses in a court of law. Their common areas of practice include:

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How Much do Forensic Economists Earn?

Now, onto the good stuff. How much do forensic economists earn? Considering the scope of their work and the academic credentials behind their names, it should come as no surprise that forensic economists earn a pretty penny. The average salary of a forensic economist in the US is around $124,430, which is approximately $60 per hour, with an average bonus of $4,405 per year.

The entry-level salary for those with one to three years of experience is $86,457 while those with eight years of experience or more behind their name can earn up to $154, 814. Again, much like the scope of work, the salary of a forensic economist largely depends on the industry in which they work and the company or organisation that employs them.

A forensic economist can work anywhere from smaller organisations or cottage businesses to one of the Big Four firms. This is also one job that accommodates remote working—unless your presence is required in court of course—so it’s a career path that caters to working mothers and those that prefer working solo.

Final Thoughts

Forensic economists are remarkable people who can take numbers on a piece of paper and paint a picture of a hard-done-by single parent who struggles to make ends meet. They’re people who can review pre-incident records and come up with accurate figures that represent a business’s loss of earnings. They fight for the little guy and big guys alike, so whoever hires them benefits from their expertise and they leave a positive legacy.

Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) could soon join London, New York and Hong Kong in the world’s top 10 global financial centre rankings, thanks to new government laws affecting expatriates.

This is the bold message from Nigel Green, the founder and CEO of deVere Group. The observation comes as the UAE cabinet on Sunday approved new legislation that allows expatriates to remain in the country long after they retire.

Mr Green affirms: “Dubai and Abu Dhabi are perennially popular destinations for ambitious expatriates looking to embark upon or further their careers because of the incredible possibilities offered in terms of finance, trade and commerce, plus the famous ‘can do’ attitude and the low tax environment in these destinations.

“But they will become even more attractive locations for overseas talent thanks to the government passing these new laws that allow expats to stay on in the UAE long after they retire.”

He continues: “With Dubai and Abu Dhabi becoming ever-more appealing relocation destinations, recruiting more top talent here will inevitably become easier for companies that are based in these emirates.

“In addition, I believe that it will help drive further driving confidence in the UAE as a place for overseas firms to do business and invest.”

Mr Green goes on say: “Dubai is already recognised as one of the most powerful financial centres in the world. But this new legislation will not only galvanise this position, but significantly strengthen it.

“This confirms my view that over the next decade, we can expect it to become one of the world’s top ten international financial hubs to rival and more aggressively compete with stalwarts such as London, New York and Hong Kong.

“Dubai and Abu Dhabi are helped in this regard by having an independent regulator, an independent judicial system, a global financial exchange, a stable, pro-business government, a high proposition of high net worth individuals, a dynamic business community, world-class infrastructure and telecommunications, English as its defacto business language, and their enviable geographical location and time zone.”

The deVere CEO concludes: “We fully welcome this progressive policy shift by the UAE government. It will encourage even more people to come, stay and invest for the long-term in the country, which will further boost its sustainable economic growth.”

Earlier this year, Dubai was revealed as the number one city for graduates seeking a career in financial services, whilst London didn’t make the top ten, in an annual deVere Group survey.

Of the findings at the time, Mr Green noted: “This survey highlights that the next generation of financial services professionals are open to look beyond the traditional and more established global financial hubs.

“It underscores how cities like Dubai, Barcelona and Cape Town are increasingly important international financial centres.

“The fact that Barcelona this year is second-placed and London – currently the world’s most important global financial hub – does not make the top ten is interesting.

“Could it be that the respondents believe mainland Europe’s international financial centres offer more opportunities than post-Brexit London?”

(Source: deVere Group)

Anomi Wanigasekera, LLM (Wales), Attorney-at-Law is the Partner in charge of the Intellectual Property Group at Sir Lankan Julius & Creasy law firm. She holds Diplomas in Intellectual Property Law, International Trade Law, Banking and Insurance Law of Institute of Advanced Legal Studies of the Incorporated Council of Legal Education and has extensive experience in contentious and non-contentious Intellectual Property Law matters. She has extensive experience in the full range of enforcement, management and transactional matters pertaining to intellectual property law, including representing clients before the National Intellectual Property Office, acting for multinationals as well as Sri Lankan conglomerates in respect of infringement actions, applying for injunctions and search and/or seizure orders. She also overlooks the drafting and reviewing of contracts and advises on regulatory compliance matters.

As a thought leader who’s been involved in several complex Trademarks, Designs and Infringement cases, Mrs. Wanigasekera caught up with Finance Monthly to discuss Intellectual Property in Sri Lanka.

 

What is the most common mistake that companies make in regards to their patenting?

One of the key mistakes that corporation make is delay in filing the patent applications - once the patented products/process is publicised, the novelty is lost.

 

When it comes to patenting, how has increased use of technology impacted the protection of unique inventions?

The local inventors are more aware of IP protection and we see an increase in the number of patent filings in Sri Lanka.

 

Moreover, with the globe being more interconnected than ever before, how much easier or difficult does it make to keep on top of updated laws? What other impact has globalisation had for this sector?

Being fully up-to-date is a must. Globalisation has a positive impact with regard to technological development as far as patents are concerned, as it makes it very easy for companies to check if their idea for an invention exists already.

 

How has the IP sector changed over the years in Sri Lanka?

Sri Lankan IP Law is based on WIPO Model Law.  Code of Intellectual Property Act No. 52 of 1979 came into operation in 1980 and thereafter, in 2003, the Intellectual Property Act o. 36 was enacted which is TRIPS compliance and is the current law in operation.

 

What future developments are you looking forward to? What developments and regulations do you think the island could adopt from other jurisdictions?

Sri Lanka is considering having a separate act for geographical indications and plant varieties, as well as examining the option of acceding to the Madrid Protocol within the next two to three years. We are also considering to introduce the protection of utility models.

Additionally, Sri Lanka’s National Intellectual Property Office has been computerized and the validation process has been completed and expects to be fully automated within the next few years.

RSM Malta is a professional services and advisory firm with a strong team of professionals with decades of experience assisting clients from a range of industries. The firm’s goal is to be the firm of choice to leading businesses in Malta, offering an excellent and personalised service.

To hear about Tax in Malta, this month Finance Monthly spoke with Dr Timothy Zammit, who has recently been made partner at RSM Malta within the tax and corporate services unit, after having joined the firm in 2010 as a tax lawyer. Together with a team of professionals, Timothy is responsible for assisting clients with their corporate and tax advisory needs.

 

As a newly appointed Partner at RSM Malta in the tax advisory and corporate services, what are the key services that you assist clients with?

Together with fellow tax partner, George Gregory, and a team of financial and legal professionals, I assist clients with enhancing their fiscal efficiencies through the setting up of companies, special purpose vehicles and corporate restructuring while providing transactional support in acquisitions, mergers and divisions, together with business succession planning while ensuring clients’ full compliance with their tax and corporate obligations. I also advise clients on matters including personal taxation, benefitting from one of the tax residence programmes, taking up residency in Malta and applying for Maltese citizenship.

 

How complex is the tax system in Malta?

Malta’s tax system is fully compliant with EU Directives and also includes a number of elements that are attractive to both businesses and individuals. Malta is the only EU Member State that has maintained the full imputation system while imposing tax according to the nature of the income’s source. A cornerstone of Malta’s tax system is that universal taxing rights are claimed on persons (both individuals and companies) that are both resident and domiciled in Malta. Malta has also been moving towards a system based on final taxation at source, primarily on property transactions, in the past years. It is the interoperation of these complexities that makes Malta such an attractive option.

 

In your opinion, are there any unique advantages of conducting business in Malta from a tax perspective?

While Malta’s corporate tax rate is one of the highest in Europe at 35%, at a time where there is a trend of lowering corporate tax rates, the full imputation system offers a business-friendly environment, while eliminating economic double taxation. Malta’s tax system provides shareholders the right to credit the tax paid by the company to their personal tax liability. Where the shareholders’ tax rate is lower than the 35% corporate tax rate, they may apply for a refund between their applicable tax rate and that of the company. This is available to both residents and non-residents, offering a favourable and business-friendly tax environment.

Malta not only offers an attractive tax regime. The ‘can do’ attitude that is adopted by the authorities in regulating and doing business in general, coupled with the Mediterranean lifestyle gives investors a very appealing option.

 

How do you help your clients mitigate their tax liability whilst remaining fully compliant with tax laws?

When dealing with cross border businesses, an international tax advisor can never only look at the situation in one jurisdiction – as any solution is only a solution if it works in all the right jurisdictions. It is through the availability of reliable professionals globally with the right experience and background being part of RSM, that we may truly assist clients ensuring that they are fully compliant.

 

 You’ve recently been made Partner – what does this mean to you? How will your current responsibilities change? What are the goals that you’re arriving with?

Being made Partner in a firm with 170 professionals is a strong vote of confidence by my fellow Partners that gives me renewed enthusiasm to continue contributing to the firm’s growth and solidifying RSM’s position as the mid-tier firm of choice. My role as Partner comes at a challenging time where the industry is facing a multitude of challenges, ranging from changes to tax systems globally in the light of the financial crisis, BEPS and the trend of full disclosure and exchange of information to the industry disruption that will be caused by technologies such as the Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence in the coming years. The challenge is to be able to help identify and adopt the right approach that will guarantee our clients’ continued future success while ensuring that they are fully compliant with their obligations in all the jurisdictions that they operate.

 

Website: www.rsm.com.mt

Phone: +356 2278 7000

Marlene de Sousa Teixeira is Founding Partner of Teixeira & Guimarães, specializing in Banking and Finance and advising and representing both national and global companies. Marlene believes that today’s society needs focused, assertive and faster answers, and that the standard model of a full-service legal firm is becoming less attractive. Here she offers her insights into dispute resolution in Portugal and the challenges that her clients face.

 

Can you provide a brief overview of the dispute resolution process in Portugal?

The dispute resolution process in Portugal, from a technical point of view, has considerably evolved in the past. Being from a different nature when compared to common law countries, the process is based on Civil Law and its general and abstract legal standards apply to generality and abstraction of situations and where judge-made law has a different value than that of common law countries. This results in better legal certainty in regards to the different kind of economic players, since the kind of interpretation of the ruling is also determined legally.

In regards to less positive aspects, in Portugal, we are faced with frequent delay in the delivery of verdicts. However, this does not mean the decisions are more or less fair, or that the quality of the verdicts is not good enough.

 

How important can it be to resolve disputes as quickly as possible? What are the challenges you face as a lawyer tasked with understanding the technical nature of a business so that a speedy resolution can be found?

The resolution time of a dispute should always be a variable to be taken into account in all matters that relate to coming up with a solution. Understanding the technical nature of a business will not help you make a faster or slower decision. It is clear that if you understand the core of a business, you are going to be assertive and efficient, but the problem is not going to be settled faster because of your know-how. Yet, the know-how will provide you with several other advantages and will introduce you to more hypotheses.

 

Which types of disputes are you normally called upon to help resolve? How do you develop the best strategy for resolving a dispute?

Usually, I am called to intervene in cases of financial, banking and civil nature – that is my main area of expertise. In fact, T&G was the first law firm in Portugal to be certified by the new standard EN NP ISO 9001:2015 within credit litigation.
Regarding the strategy procedures, the best way to think about it is getting to know the interests in a dispute, because a good strategy doesn’t necessarily mean a winning strategy. In many circumstances, a good strategy means acting in a certain way, regardless of the verdict.

 

Are there any business sectors that are particularly prone to commercial disputes? What do you attribute this to?

In the past few years, Portugal has witnessed the development of our financial industry. A number of national courts are clogged with mortgage foreclosures and debt recovery lawsuits on unsecured credits. It is clear that a lot of these litigation proceedings were due to the economic situation.

Although this has improved in the past few recent months, it is easy to identify a pattern and easily predict that lawsuits related to foreclosures or debt recovery will definitely continue to be relevant.

 

Website: http://www.tesg.pt/

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