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Sustainability Reporting: To What End?
TSMP Law Corporation, October 2019

Activists and government leaders are sounding the death knell for our planet unless something is done about climate change. But while sustainability is important, sustainability reporting may not be the answer.In a headline-hogging speech at the UN last month, 16-year-old environmental activist Greta Thunberg berated politicians and business people for doing too little to arrest climate change, ruining the globe for future generations.High-profile scandals back up her claim...

The Hong Kong Protests – Could This Happen in Singapore?
TSMP Law Corporation, September 2019

The two financial centres have long been considered twins, but where do the similarities end and the differences begin? Hong Kong, now entering its 15th week of protests, has been filled with increasingly incendiary rhetoric and escalating violence. This past weekend saw protesters lighting fires at an MTR station entrance, just outside the uber-luxe Bulgari boutique in Central...

What’s in a Name?
TSMP Law Corporation, September 2019

A rose, said Shakespeare, by any other name would smell as sweet. But while the Bard may know his flowers, he clearly was no expert on branding Apples.   Rodrigo Duterte, the Filipino president, would like to change his country’s moniker “because the Philippines is named after King Phillip”. He appears to be eager to distance his nation from its colonial past, the said monarch being a 16th century ruler of Spain...

Conventional Thinking
TSMP Law Corporation, August 2019

The Singapore Convention cements the Lion City’s reputation as a dispute resolution hub, making mediation easier to enforce globally. Clients who come to see me about commercial disputes often ask for the same thing: fast resolution. I tell them that there are two tried-and-tested ways to resolve financial claims. First, you can litigate in court and have a judge make a legal ruling on the dispute, in the full gaze of the public...

SGX: A Captivating or Just a Captive Market?
TSMP Law Corporation, July 2019

The SGX has beefed up delisting rules, making it harder for controlling shareholders to privatise listed companies. Is this a victory for minority shareholders, or yet another restriction that will make us a less attractive listing venue?   We all knew it was coming...

Time to Take Another Bite of S-chips
TSMP Law Corporation, July 2019

Numerous corporate governance scandals over the past 15 years involving S-chips have tarred these mainland-operating, Singapore-listed companies with the same brush. But do all S-chips deserve their bad reputation?It was meant to be one of the Singapore Exchange’s (SGX) success stories. One of our biggest skincare companies, Best World International saw its profits grow almost 40 fold between 2013 and 2017. It was valued at S$1.8 billion at its peak in February 2019...

Fake Meat Good, Fake News Bad
TSMP Law Corporation, June 2019

For businesses who care about their brands, Pofma may be not be such a bad idea after all.Beyond Meat Inc. makes cows happy and cardiologists sad. Its Beyond Burger uses no meat and has no cholesterol, and contains less fat, fewer calories and more protein than a typical burger...

What the Dickens is Up With Audit Firms?
TSMP Law Corporation, May 2019

It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of incredulity. Blazing yellow sun. Lapping blue waves. Tanned beach bods and a palm tree’s silhouette swaying against an orange sky. Once ubiquitous, the California Fitness logo that hints at its fabulous lifestyle offering has vanished from Singapore. In its heyday “Cali”, as its legions of fans called it, was not merely a gym, it was a status symbol...

The SGX and the New Capital Market
TSMP Law Corporation, April 2019

We bemoan the lacklustre stock exchange and complain that the government isn’t doing enough. We point to greener trading pastures in Hong Kong. Is it time to re-look at the role of the stock market and how we benchmark ourselves?This February,Bloombergpublished an article headlined The Incredible Shrinking Singapore Stock Market, which stated that overthe past five years, more companies had exited than joined the SGX, leading the bourse to suffer a net outflow of S$19...

Big Data Bad Brother
TSMP Law Corporation, March 2019

Corporations and governments are ferreting out and squirreling away voluminous, detailed and private information about each and every one of us – and they are not afraid to use it. Should we be worried? Singapore’s Health Minister recently revealed that confidential details of 14,200 HIV-positive people, stolen from a government public health database, had been leaked online by a disgruntled US citizen who had been in a romantic relationship with a local doctor...

Copyright: An Upgrade is Available
TSMP Law Corporation, February 2019

From re-sharing cat videos to creating memes, tweaks in our three-decade-old Copyright Act will help clarify what’s permissible and what’s verboten as we continue to indulge in our insatiable appetite for social media. Chinese New Year Eve, 2019. Social media was ablaze with a viral video (YouTube link) of an altercation between a Malay Gojek driver and his Chinese passenger objecting to a route that would incur ERP charges...

Doggone It!
TSMP Law Corporation, February 2019

Pet owners do not get damages at law for the wrongful death of their pets, even when caused by fraudulent and unscrupulous profiteers. Should they? For many affluent “parents” of “furkids”, it is a familiar routine come Christmas or any other holiday season: stopping by at an expensive boarding facility on the way to the airport to drop off their precious pets, rather than leaving the cute critters home alone...

Arming the Silent Minority
TSMP Law Corporation, January 2019

Minority shareholders – often forced to silently accept the rule of the majority – should be given a voice. In May last year, Jerry Low, a minority investor in Asiatic Group (Holdings), wrote an open letter to the management highlighting concerns regarding the SGX-listed company’s poor performance, juxtaposing this against the high remuneration enjoyed by its senior management team...

A Case of Foot in Mouth Disease
TSMP Law Corporation, December 2018

Whether you are a business pushing out an edgy ad campaign, or one with an unsolicited media crisis on your hands, in the age of the Internet you are just keystrokes away from things going “viral”. It is important to be prepared. Like many bad ideas, it started innocuously enough. In late November, Dolce & Gabbana uploaded a series of videos on its social media platforms that starred a young Chinese woman wearing a red sequin dress...

A Future-Ready Justice System for Singapore
TSMP Law Corporation, November 2018

While the motivation behind the Civil Justice Commission’s consultation paper – aimed at enhancing the Court system – is laudable, the proposed introduction of litigation scale costs may hurt Singapore’s standing as a global litigation hub. In 2015, the Chief Justice established the Civil Justice Commission (CJC) to review Singapore’s civil justice system, with the goal of transforming and modernising the litigation process...

Disasters – Natural and Man-made
TSMP Law Corporation, November 2018

Companies wanting to do good through corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives face a quandary: how to ensure their aid is going where it is needed most. [Editor’s note: Last month, our firm was honoured to have won the President’s Volunteerism and Philanthropy Awards (PVPA) in the Small and Medium Enterprises category...

Is News Dead (or Have Reports of Its Demise Been Greatly Exaggerated)?
TSMP Law Corporation, October 2018

Traditional news organisations are facing a battle for survival but will they find a new mission in the battle against Fake News? Stefanie Yuen Thio shared her views in an article published by the Business Times on September 15, 2018...

The Human Instinct to Embrace Inequality
TSMP Law Corporation, September 2018

It’s crazy. It’s real. It’s awry. A secretly, stupendously rich man falls in love with a poor girl. His mother declares her a gold-digger. Much gnashing of teeth ensues. Beyond its simple rom-com plot, however, the film Crazy Rich Asians has a less palatable aspect to its story: inequality and our apparent acceptance of it...

Death of a Residential Property Market
TSMP Law Corporation, August 2018

Cooling measures in the form of increased ABSD and tighter LTV limits may be frosting the recent recovery in our property market. Friday July 6:After a few years of drought in the residential property market, the heavens opened a few months back and rained en bloc sales, to the excitement of a market that had been turning frigid from inactivity...

The Long March of the Mei Nü
TSMP Law Corporation, July 2018

Walking the tight rope between making strides for women’s rights and being too strident So, the Trump-Kim Summit has successfully concluded in Singapore, with the Leader of the Free World shaking hands with the Supreme Leader of one of its most coldblooded dictatorships. Looking at these two scions of privilege, it is hard not to be struck by how much they have in common, united not just by their comically bad hair, but also by their low regard for women...

Privacy is Dead
TSMP Law Corporation, June 2018

Privacy is Dead - But we never wanted it anyway, muses Adrian Tan. Over the past few weeks, our inboxes were bombarded by emails about privacy. Companies wrote to us, in a state of panic, because of the General Data Protection Regulation. That is a new European Union law that recently came into force. Among the many things that the GDPR does is to regulate the export of personal data outside the EU...

A Brave New World
TSMP Law Corporation, May 2018

By this time next year, Singapore will have a rather different employment regime from any it has had since independence. One aspect of this needs to be carefully thought through. About ten years ago, a distressed Norwegian client consulted me. His company’s Singapore office had a toxic employee who not only performed poorly and shirked responsibility, but was also habitually insubordinate to management and offensive to his peers...

Sustainability Reporting
TSMP Law Corporation, April 2018

Population growth has become the be-all and end-all for economic prosperity, but how on Earth can we cope with the extra billions of people? While “leafing” – or should I instead say “scrolling” in today’s need to sound tech savvy – through the news websites, the two subjects seemed to have captured the media’s attention: immigration and plastic...

En Bloc Roadblocks
TSMP Law Corporation, March 2018

With collective sales on the rise again, it is timely to examine factors that challenge such deals in the current cycle. It was a saga worthy of a soap opera. In 2007, Horizon Towers was on the verge of breaking the then en bloc price record when, over a period of more than two years and several flip-flopping court and Strata Titles Board (STB) decisions, minority owners eventually blocked the transaction...

Beware Geeks Bearing Gifts
TSMP Law Corporation, February 2018

Technology’s dark side may well be the silent threat to democracy. A year ago, Americans installed a reality TV star in the White House who doesn’t seem to let the facts get in the way of a good tweet. Trump’s shambolic management style has given America’s enemies a perceived opportunity to drive their country’s agendas...

 

 

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