Winkler Partners Recognized by Legal 500, CorporateINTL, Asialaw, Chambers

Winkler Partners is pleased to be honored by the Asia-Pacific Legal 500, CorporateINTL, Asialaw Profiles, and Chambers for its work in several key practice areas.

The Asia-Pacific Legal 500 ranked Winkler Partners in the top tier for Employment, praising its “intelligent and likeable team”. The Legal 500 also ranked the firm in second tier for Dispute Resolution (recommending partner Chen Hui-ling), Insurance, Intellectual Property (“highly regarded for trade mark and copyright work…Peter Dernbach and Christine Chen are excellent”), Projects and Energy, and TMT (headed by Steven Hanley). Winkler Partners was also recommended for its Corporate and M&A practice.

European business monthly CorporateINTL named Winkler Partners “Advisory Firm of the Year in Taiwan” 2010 for Dispute Resolution, Litigation, and Insolvency/Bankrupty. The firm was also short listed in the Corporate, Employment and Intellectual Property fields.

In related news, Asialaw Profiles 2011 recommends Winkler Partners for Dispute Resolution (“a very talented law firm”), Intellectual Property (“understands Taiwan’s market well”), and IT Telco & Media (Steven Hanley “comes highly recommended”).

The UK-based legal directory Chambers ranked Winkler Partners for its work in Corporate/M&A (“…well placed to work with international corporates doing business in Taiwan.”) and Intellectual Property (“…has long-standing relationships with a number of large international companies.”). Chambers also for the first time ranked Winkler Partners in Dispute Resolution (“This firm has proven to be wonderful and we have been very impressed.”) and Employment (“…worked alongside some of the world’s most renowned law firms”).

New Financial Reporting Requirements for Taiwan Insurers

The Financial Supervisory Commission has released amendments to two parallel sets of directives regulating financial reporting requirements for life insurers and asset insurers. A publicly report insurer may now rely on the professional judgment of its accountant to determine whether companies in which the insurer has invested must also be audited by the insurer’s accountant.

Previously, a relatively rigid set of criteria such as capitalization or revenue of the invested company triggered the auditing requirement. Winkler Partners believes that this new requirement may actually cause greater caution and concomitant scrutiny of financial records by Taiwanese CPAs because the emphasis on professional judgment opens up an increased risk of malpractice or administrative liability for accountants. To learn more about medical malpractice lawsuits, read more here.

In addition, insurers are now required to report precise figures for compensation of all directors, supervisors, and CEOs (general manager in Taiwan nomenclature) under certain circumstances. These circumstances include a capital adequacy rate of less than 200%, after-tax losses for two consecutive years, or failure to increase capital after being ordered to do so by the Commission. The insurer must also report exact compensation of individual director, supervisor, or CEO if the individual pledges more than 50% of the shares she holds or does not hold a minimum number of shares over a three-month period. These new requirements take effect retrospectively as of 1 January 2008.

Previously, all insurers were required to disclose compensation ranges for directors, supervisors, and CEOs by class rather than individual. If the circumstances listed in the preceding paragraph do not apply to an insurer, the insurer may continue to report compensation ranges, rather than exact figures. The new requirements are part of a general trend by the Commission to regulate the activities and qualifications of the directors, supervisors, and officers of financial institutions and listed companies.

The new amendments are to the Directions Governing the Preparation of Financial and Business Reports by Non-life Insurance Industry and the Directions Governing the Preparation of Financial and Business Reports by Life Insurance Industry.

For more information on the new directives or the Winkler Partners insurance practice, please contact Chen Hui-ling.

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