News

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.

2018 Summer internship

Winkler Partners is looking for a law student intern for summer 2018. 1Ls and 2Ls are all welcome.

The basic qualifications include good analytic, research, and writing skills. The successful candidate will probably be a native speaker of English or someone primarily educated in English who is currently a law student.

The successful candidate will also likely be able to speak Mandarin and must be able to read traditional Chinese with reasonable proficiency. We will consider candidates who speak other Chinese languages such as Cantonese if the candidate can read traditional Chinese.

Duties would include writing updates on legal topics and light case work for 30-40 hours per week. The internship is (very) modestly paid but the successful candidate will need to cover at least travel costs to Taipei.

We regret that Taiwan’s laws currently preclude us from obtaining work authorization for candidates with Chinese citizenship (including Hong Kong and Macau) unless the candidate is a dual national. Offers to successful candidates will be conditioned on our ability to receive work authorization.

Please send a resume, a brief writing sample, and a cover letter explaining your interest in an internship in Taiwan to personnel@winklerpartners.com by 1 February 2018.

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.

2016 Taiwan employment law overview

Winkler Partners’ Christine Chen has contributed an overview of employment and employee benefits in Taiwan to Thomson Reuters’ Practical Law.

These resources are drafted in a question and answer format that allows practitioners to easily compare Taiwanese employment laws to the corresponding laws in other jurisdictions. The overview covers all recent amendments to employment law in Taiwan, including the October 2016 increases in the minimum wage, the May 2016 amendments to the Act for Gender Equality in Employment as well as future proposals for reform.

Practical Law provides similar resources for many jurisdictions around the world. A full list of contents, including employment laws in other countries, can be viewed here. A useful country Q&A tool is also available, allowing practitioners to compare employment and employee benefits across two or more jurisdictions at the same time.

Christine regularly provides information on Taiwan’s employment legislation, most recently for the World Bank’s Doing Business report and Littler Mendelson’s Guide to International Employment and Labor Law.

For more information on employment and employee benefit matters in Taiwan, please contact Christine Chen at cchen@winklerpartners.com or +886 223112345 ext. 307.

WP represents a third of the world’s biggest brands

Each year Interbrand releases a list of the most valuable brands in the world. Winkler Partners represents 35 of the brands that made the Best Global Brands 2016 list, 10 of which are in the top 25. Interbrand measures both company brand value and product brand value in compiling its list.

Brands such as Facebook, whose value increased 48% year on year, and Amazon, whose rose 33%, show that increasingly, the brands with the most value are associated with technology and the Internet. The most valuable brand in the world is still Apple, which saw a 5% rise in its brand value over 2015, while electric car company Tesla made it into the list for the first time. 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, Hermès and Gucci.

Winkler Partners currently represents 35 of these top global brands of 2016, an increase from 25 in 2015, and 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 2016 can be found here.

Scotch Whisky mark registered in Taiwan

The Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (TIPO) has announced the registration of certification marks for “SCOTCH WHISKY” in English and Chinese characters (蘇格蘭威士忌) by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA). The SWA have heralded the registrations as “a legal breakthrough” that will give consumers even greater confidence in the quality of what they are buying as well as a further boost to Scotch Whisky producers exporting to Taiwan.

According to the SWA, Taiwan is the fourth biggest market for Scotch by value with exports worth £75 million in the first six months of the year. It is also the third biggest overseas market for Single Malt with exports worth £41m in the first half 2016.

These geographic certification mark registrations in Taiwan will make it more straightforward to take legal action against anyone trying to produce or sell fake Scotch in the future. Winkler Partners’ Christine Chen, who represented the SWA in their application for the marks, agrees: “These marks will help us, together with the SWA, pursue producers and sellers of fake whisky in a more effective fashion, and offer the Taiwanese public greater protection from potentially harmful counterfeits. We are grateful to our colleagues at the TIPO for their professionalism in approving the applications of these marks”.

Following its accession to the WTO in 2002, Taiwan amended its Trademark Act to protect geographical indications (GI) against misuse in line with TRIPs by allowing the registration of geographic certification and collective marks. To date, Taiwan has granted 51 geographic certification marks and 45 geographic collective marks. Of those, 62 protect domestic products such as Alishan High Mountain Tea and Chi-Shang Rice, while a further 34 protect foreign products including Darjeeling tea from India, Awamori (a distilled rice liquor) from Okinawa, and Prosciutto (Parma ham) from Italy.

“Scotch Whisky” has been registered as a GI or certification/collective mark in a number of jurisdictions around the world including the EU, Canada, China, Australia, India, Malaysia, Panama, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam, Macao, Peru, and the Dominican Republic.

For more information on certification marks or other intellectual property matters in Taiwan, please contact Peter Dernbach at pdernbach@winklerpartners.com and Christine Chen at cchen@winklerpartners.com.

 

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