News

Taiwanese dolphins listed as endangered

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the United States has issued a ruling on a petition by several US-based environmental groups which lists the Taiwanese humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis taiwanensis) as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”). This ruling will further help efforts to protect this population of dolphins that live in shallow waters off Taiwan’s west coast.

In their ruling, the NOAA outline the steps they took to reach this decision, including a review of the petition and all available information as well as a public consultation period to determine whether the dolphins should be listed as threatened or endangered. The low population (currently under 100), ongoing over-development of coastal areas, fresh water diversion and other factors led them to determine that the dolphins warrant listing as endangered. An endangered species is any species which is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range. The NOAA gave the following reasons for the listing:

  1. the best available information indicates that the subspecies has a critically small population of less than 100 individuals, which is likely declining;
  2. the Taiwanese humpback dolphin has a very restricted range, occurring only in the shallow waters off the western coast of Taiwan;
  3. the subspecies possesses life history characteristics that increase its vulnerability to threats, including that it is long-lived and has a late age of maturity, slow population growth, and low rate of reproduction and fecundity;
  4. the subspecies is confined to limited habitat in a heavily impacted area of coastline where ongoing habitat destruction (including coastal development, land reclamation, and fresh water diversion) contributes to a high risk of extinction;
  5. the Taiwanese humpback dolphin is experiencing unsustainable rates of fisheries interactions,including mortality and major injuries due to bycatch and entanglement in fishing gear; and
  6. existing regulatory mechanisms are inadequate for addressing the most important threats of habitat destruction and fisheries interactions.

By being listed as endangered, the dolphins are protected under US law and prohibit actions by federal and state agencies or persons subject to US jurisdiction, including those at high sea, that would cause harm to the animals and their habitat. While no population of Taiwanese dolphins live in areas subject to US jurisdiction, such a decision by the US government holds considerable weight and provides further momentum to conservation efforts on the ground in Taiwan.

Winkler Partners has been a long term supporter of Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association, and in particular, their efforts at protecting the dolphins and their habitat. You can read more about our support of Wild and the dolphins on the 1% For The Planet website here.

2017 Environmental Report

Winkler Partners has at its core, a commitment to environmental protection and sustainability, as well as a commitment to the constant professional development of our staff. In 2006, we established a Green Office Department, to undertake the greening of the office, implement methods to reduce our use of energy, promote the use of environmentally friendly products and services, design rainwater collection and conservation systems, reduce our carbon emissions and advocate for green office initiatives throughout our community by way of open visits to our office and roof garden. As part of that commitment, we will be publishing annual reports on how we are performing. At a glance, in 2017 we managed to:

  • Cut our total emissions by 57% over 2016′s total. Our total emissions for 2017 were 44 tons CO2e.
  • Install solar panels which produced 5,274 kilowatt hours of electricity in the last four months of 2017. By doing this, we saved a total of NT$24, 546 (approx. US$835) from our energy bills between August and December 2017. We were also able to sell 10% of the energy generated back to the grid for use by other customers.
  • Reduce overall electricity usage by 2%. Since 2004 we have reduced electricity usage by 56%. Anyone can make the same reductions by using air-conditioning sparingly, installing energy efficient lighting and setting computers to sleep.
  • Reduce our water usage by 3%. We increased the amount of rainwater we can collect from our roof and installed water-saving toilets throughout the office.
  • Implement a carbon offset policy for air travel, which accounted for 65% of our total 2017 emissions. We do this by partnering with fellow B Corp ClimateCare.
  • Reduce single-use cup and lunchbox container waste by 19%. Total waste however increased by 2%, mainly due to an increase in staff numbers.

Goals for 2018

For the coming year, we plan to continue our energy saving initiatives to further reduce our carbon footprint by 5%. To achieve this we will be increasing monitoring of air-conditioning/heating loss from open windows and doors as well as turning off all computers and extension cables after one hour. Staff training will also be increased. The full report is available in English here and in Chinese here. For inquiries regarding our energy saving initiatives or B Corporation certification, please contact James Hill at jhill@winkerpartners.com.

As part of our mission to contribute to the wider community, the general public is welcome to visit our roof garden to learn about urban farming and our green office program. To arrange a visit, please contact City Shen at +886 (0)2 2311-2345 ext. 346 or cshen@winkerpartners.com.

WP recognized as Employer of Choice

Winkler Partners has been named by Asian Legal Business Magazine as an Employer of Choice for 2018, the fourth year in a row. Only three law firms in Taiwan were given the award this year.

The survey was conducted in February 2018 by asking employees at law firms across Asia for their opinion on salaries, firm reputation, work life balance, career advancement opportunities among other criteria. Asian Legal Business notes that a Winkler Partners’ colleague stated that the firm ‘is the ‘healthiest’ place I have ever worked. The firm cares deeply about its people, community and clients’.

We were previously recognized as one of three Taiwan-based law firms in 2016 and 2017, and as the sole Employer of Choice in 2015. You can view the entire article here.

WP welcomes new associates

We recently welcomed several new members to our legal and consulting teams.

Hsin-hsin Cheng joins Winkler Partners from a well-known Taiwanese law firm where she handled civil and criminal matters. Hsin-hsin will be focusing on data protection, intellectual property enforcement and employment matters. She is a member of the Taipei Bar.

Autumn Chiu will be supporting our intellectual property team with prosecution and protection matters. She previously worked at an intellectual property law firm in Taiwan helping clients obtain trademark registrations in the United States, the European Union, Japan, Korea and Singapore.

Woang-ling Huang joins Winkler Partners with a focus on trademark prosecution and intellectual property-related disputes. She previously worked in-house at a Taiwanese conglomerate focusing on trademark strategy and disputes involving copyright and patents in several Asian, North American and European markets.

Peter Lavelle joins our intellectual property team with a focus on trademarks. He previously worked at intellectual property firms in Canada and China. Peter is a barrister and solicitor with the Law Society of Upper Canada. He also interned at Winkler Partners in 2014 as part of our international intern program.

Jeremy Olivier joins Winkler Partners Consulting with a focus on corporate services, including assisting clients with business management matters.

WP recommended by the Legal 500

Six of Winkler Partners’ practice areas have been recommended by The Legal 500 as part of their research into legal service providers in the Asia Pacific region for 2018. For the first time, our employment practice was ranked in the first tier with Partner Christine Chen also listed as a Leading Individual. The Legal 500 notes that we helped clients navigate recent changes to the Labor Standards Act and that employment disputes are a particular strength.

Our insurance practice, led by partner Chen Hui-ling was ranked in the top tier for the sixth consecutive year, and was noted for our strength in D&O insurance. The Legal 500 says that Hui-ling “has extensive insurance litigation and arbitral expertise”. Michael Fahey is also mentioned for his support of cross-border matters.

In intellectual property, practice head partner Peter Dernbach was listed as a Leading Individual. The Legal 500 mentions that we have “notable expertise acting for international brands in enforcement and prosecution matters” and singles out our work on behalf of the Scotch Whisky Association. Partners Gary Kuo and Christine Chen are recommended for IP litigation.

The Legal 500 notes that our TMT practice has a niche in over-the-top (OTT) content and Internet of Things, citing our work with several multinational clients in connection with their services in Taiwan.

Finally our dispute resolution and corporate/M&A work were also recommended. The Legal 500 notes that we represent international clients across an array of commercial litigation matters, including the enforcement of foreign judgments and that our corporate practice, led by Gregory Buxton, “has extensive experience handling trans-Pacific and cross-Strait, inbound and outbound transactions”.

The Legal 500 has been ranking law firms worldwide for over 25 years, with a special attention to practice area teams who are providing the most cutting edge and innovative advice to corporate counsel. You can read the latest Legal 500 Asia Pacific rankings here.

WP represents a third of the world’s biggest brands for the second consecutive year

Interbrand has released its 100 Best Global Brands list for 2017. Winkler Partners represents a third of the brands that made the list for this year, and half of the top ten.

Brands such as Facebook (8th), whose value increased 48% year on year, and Amazon (5th), whose rose 29%, show that increasingly, the brands with the most value are associated with technology and the Internet. The most valuable brand in the world for the 5th consecutive year is Apple, which saw a 3% rise in its brand value over 2016, while Netflix (78th), an entertainment and on-demand media provider, made it into the list for the first time. Two other brands that made their inaugural entry in the list are luxury car manufacturer Ferrari (88th) and software solutions provider Salesforce (84th). Social media, ecommerce, software and IT solution providers as well as familiar hardware manufacturers feature heavily in the list, as do consumer goods and several luxury fashion brands including Louis Vuitton (19th), Hermès (32nd) and Gucci (51st).

Winkler Partners currently represents 32 of these top global brands of 2017, a slight decrease from 35 in 2016, and an increase from 25 in 2015, and just 18 in 2010. Brands that we have worked with are active in many fields, including fashion, software, hardware, consumer goods, ecommerce, beverages and media.

The full list of Best Global Brands 2017 can be found here.

WP welcomes new associates

We recently welcomed several new members to our legal team.

Brian Yang joins Winkler Partners from a well-known Taiwanese law firm. He will be focusing on intellectual property enforcement matters, investments, employment and dispute resolution. Brian is admitted to practice in Taipei.

Danny Yang has joined our Legal Translation Department, where he will be specializing in the translation of securities laws, contracts and government documents.

Lewis Chen joined Winkler Partners’ Legal Information Department in 2004, but has recently transitioned to working as part of our employment and intellectual property practices.

Yen-yi Wu will be supporting our intellectual property protection and dispute resolution work, with a particular focus on trademarks. Yen-yi originally interned with us as part of our trainee lawyer program.

Yu-ti Tsai will be working as part of our intellectual property enforcement and employment law teams. Yu-ti also joined us as part of our trainee lawyer program.

WP installs solar panels to generate 18% of our energy needs

This weekend we successfully installed solar panels on our roof and once we get the all clear, will begin generating our own power later this month. The panels cover approximately 23 ping (76 square meters), or roughly half the available roof space. The panels are capable of generating 13,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually.

According to estimates by our Green Office team, this is equivalent to around 18% of our own energy needs. The panels will help us reduce our carbon footprint, as well as lowering our reliance on other energy sources. Any energy that we do not use will be sold back to the grid, so other energy users in Taiwan will benefit too. Of course, the actual amount of energy produced will depend on the number of sunny days we receive.

So, in future, the energy you use may have been generated on our roof, and our hope is that more businesses will install solar power to meet their own and others’ needs. Our commitment to install solar panels is one of Winkler Partners’ 2017 Oath of Actions for 1% for the Planet.

WP awarded B Corporation certification

Winkler Partners, a full service law firm based in Taipei, Taiwan, has become the first legal service provider in Asia to become a Certified B Corporation. According to B Lab, a non-profit that awards B Corporation certification, Winkler Partners is the 17th company in Taiwan to be certified. Worldwide, only 36 legal service providers have received certification, out of a total of 1932 companies since B Lab began awarding certification in 2007.

B Corp stands for Benefit Corporation, a type of for-profit corporate entity that places an equal importance on sustainability, working for the shared benefit of workers, stakeholders, wider society and the environment, as it does on profit making. B Corps adhere to greater accountability and transparency rules than traditional companies. Currently, 30 states in the United States, Italy and the UK (known as Community Interest Companies) allow for Benefit Corporation entities to be formed. B Lab provides certification for businesses in other jurisdictions whose corporate laws do not yet provide for registration as a Benefit Corporation.

The B Corp assessment survey covers sections on Environment, Workers, Customers, Community, Governance, and based on the answers, an Overall score is given. These scores make up our B Impact Report, which can be viewed here. Winkler Partners obtained an Overall score of 98, with 80 being the minimum score needed to receive certification.

Winkler Partners scored high for Environment, which takes into account our commitment to reducing energy usage and increasing energy savings, our extensive recycling program and measurement of our carbon footprint, the use of environmentally friendly products throughout our office, rainwater capture and our roof garden. We also scored above the B Corp median score for Workers, where our salary, benefits, diversity and work environment were evaluated; and Community, where our membership of 1% for the Planet, support for Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association and other organizations, as well as pro-bono work for Forward Taiwan were taken into consideration. Going forward, B Corp certification will allow us to effectively evaluate the ongoing contributions we make to these communities and enable us to identify areas in which we can improve.

You can read more about our commitment to our colleagues, clients and community on our B Corp profile page here. You can find out more about B Lab and the B Corp movement here. For more information on Winkler Partners’ B Corp certification, please contact James Hill at jhill@winklerpartners.com or +886 (0) 2 2311 2345 extension 535.

WP recommended by The Legal 500

Five of Winkler Partners’ practice areas have been recommended by The Legal 500 as part of their research into legal service providers in the Asia Pacific region. Our insurance practice, led by partner Chen Hui-ling was ranked in the top tier for the fifth consecutive year, and noted for a particular strength in D&O insurance. The Legal 500 notes that Hui-ling “has vast experience in the industry and has represented international insurance companies seeking to integrate Taiwan into their Greater China operations”.

Head of our employment practice partner Christine Chen was noted for “an excellent pedigree representing international corporates in employment disputes and also has a wide ranging advisory practice”. Our employment practice was ranked in the second tier overall. Our intellectual property practice was also highly recommended, with practice head partner Peter Dernbach listed as a Leading Individual. The Legal 500 mentions that we handle trademark enforcement and/or prosecution work for a high proportion of the world’s leading brands and also perform patent prosecution work. Partner Gary Kuo is recommended for his IP litigation work.

Finally our dispute resolution and corporate/M&A work were also recommended. The Legal 500 notes that we represent international clients across an array of commercial litigation matters, including the enforcement of foreign judgments and that our corporate practice, led by Gregory Buxton together with Chen Hui-ling, has a particular focus on inbound investment and venture capital deals.

The Legal 500 has been ranking law firms worldwide for over 25 years, with a special attention to practice area teams who are providing the most cutting edge and innovative advice to corporate counsel. You can read the latest Legal 500 Asia Pacific rankings here.

 

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