News

WP closed for a public holiday

Winkler Partners will be closed on Monday, 1 March for a public holiday. Please direct any urgent matters to info@winklerpartners.com which will be monitored regularly. We will return to normal working hours on Tuesday, 2 March.

Please note that government offices in Taiwan will also be closed for the holiday. Any specified governmental deadline that falls on the above date will be automatically extended to the next working day, Tuesday, 2 March 2021.

WP ranked as top IP firm

Winkler Partners has been ranked as a top tier firm for intellectual property (enforcement and litigation) by the World Trademark Review. Only three law firms in Taiwan appear in the top tier for 2021.

In their annual WTR1000 report, The World Trademark Review says that our firm is a “leading player in litigation and the go-to firm for multinational and top-dollar brands” and has been “growing its sports entertainment and media work, as well as over the top-related trademark matters”. They also note that we “are responsive, detail-oriented and flexible when clients have budgetary concerns”.

Individually, the World Trademark Review also recommends partners Peter Dernbach as “a standout choice when it comes to IP strategy, protection and enforcement”; Christine Chen as “a leading figure in anti-counterfeiting and IP enforcement”; and Gary Kuo, who ”regularly deep dives into myriad civil and criminal litigation cases”.

We were also ranked in the second tier for prosecution and strategy.

You can read the full WTR1000 rankings for Taiwan here.

WP featured in article on family-friendly work environments

Winkler Partners’ child friendly policies were recently featured in an article by Social Enterprise Insights that looked at how businesses in Taiwan can do more to support families. This is an English translation of the original Chinese-language article.

To work or to parent—does it have to be either/or? Family-friendly work environments support healthy child rearing

Author: Yu-Ching Su

When Patty Chen joined the law firm Winkler Partners, a certified B Corporation, as a secretary, she wasn’t yet married, and was focused on forging her career. Today, nearly 20 years later, she is the mother of two children, aged 7 and 4. But she has never had to step away from pursuing her career ideals.

During her work life, she has never fretted that others might look askance at her taking maternity or parental leave, nor feared for her job security after taking leave. On the contrary, her employer Winkler Partners makes special efforts to give its employees an environment conducive to child rearing, surpassing the requirements of Taiwan’s Labor Standards Act. It invites employees to bring their children to work, so they can keep their kids close to them without sacrificing their professional aspirations.

Taiwan law entitles women to 8 weeks of maternity leave and men, 5 days of paternity leave. Both parents may apply for unpaid parental leave during the period before their child reaches the age of three. From Winkler Partners’ perspective, the law sets only a bare minimum standard. More than a decade ago, to improve on this standard, the firm began collecting suggestions from employees, holding firm-wide discussions, and drafting and revising proposals. It ultimately decided to extend maternity leave to 12 weeks for female employees and paternity leave to 30 days for male employees.

“This process began with our employees themselves voicing their needs, our listening to their needs, and after mutual discussion and revision, putting new systems in place to satisfy each proposal to the greatest extent possible,” explains Firm Partner Peter Dernbach, who takes pleasure in helping each employee balance the varying demands of work and family encountered at different stages of life.

Outlooks like this are not found at every workplace in Taiwan, however.

Taiwan’s Act of Gender Equality in Employment requires employers to provide employees with benefits including maternity and paternity leave, flexibility in working hours, and family care leave. However, a 2020 survey by the Womany Media Group found that less than 30% of respondents felt supported by their workplace in this regard. Many parents of both sexes encounter negative pressures from the workplace when it comes to applying for leave, which can deprive them of the opportunity to enjoy this basic right.

The Ministry of Labor’s 2018 Survey on Employment Equality at the Workplace likewise shows that female employees have suffered unequal treatment in the workplace related to their pregnancy or giving birth. Most prevalently, this takes the form of obstacles to applying for leave. Because prevailing attitudes in society and the workplace are often less than friendly to the needs of employees to balance work and parenting, the matter of applying for leave is a common cause of emotional stress for employees.

Improving this state of affairs will depend on business and government becoming more attuned to the needs of the public and taking steps to create childcare-friendly workplace environments, so that everyone can enjoy the right to work-life balance.

We’ve got your back in child rearing! This Taiwan business firmly believes in offering benefits surpassing legal requirements

Businesses taking the right actions is key to creating a family-friendly workplace environment. For example, Winkler Partners, a law firm with some 60 employees, not only provides more maternity and paternity leave than is required by law, it also has voluntarily created a childcare space at its office. (Article 23 of Taiwan’s Act of Gender Equality in Employment requires employers having 100 employees or more to provide childcare facilities and measures.)

Winkler Partners has set up a modest-sized childcare area, and its employees are welcome to invite their parents or a nanny to come to the office and help take care of their kids. For employees’ children who are already in kindergarten or elementary school, Winkler Partners, in cooperation with the Department of Early Childhood and Family Education of National Taipei University of Education, has arranged for students of the department to come to its workplace and engage the kids in after-school play and learning activities.

Patty Chen shares that being able to bring her kids to the office has spared her a lot of inconvenience and slog: “Because the kids usually travel with me to and from work, we can keep a shared daily routine, and I’m not burdened with having to separately coordinate the kids’ schedules after leaving the office,” Patty says. “Also, having the nanny and kids at the office means I can look in on them whenever I want, which puts my mind at ease.”

Winkler Partners has been implementing its unique childcare system for 16 years now. Peter Dernbach observes, “Since we began letting employees bring their children to work, our employee turnover has decreased, and our colleagues feel closer to each other.

But does having kids present in the office environment cause distraction for the employees as a whole? The key lies in the design of the work areas and leisure and childcare areas. At Winkler Partners, the leisure and childcare spaces are in a corner of the office at a slight distance from the main work areas. The sounds of children laughing and playing may occasionally carry into the work areas, but not to a degree that interferes with employees’ ability to concentrate on their jobs.

What are other countries doing? Some possible directions for public policy and social innovation

From an international perspective, Northern European countries, which rank relatively high in birthrate worldwide, use policies including moderately shortened or flexible working hours and lengthened maternity, paternity, and parental care leave to create a balance between family life and work.

Standards adopted by the International Labor Organization call for countries to legislate a minimum of 14 weeks (approximately 3 months) of maternity leave for female employees. According to a study by the US-based Maternal and Child Health Journal, maternity leave makes a crucial contribution to new mothers’ physical health and ability to cope with stress.

In Denmark, which is recognized for having a high level of public well-being and happiness, women are entitled to 18 weeks (approximately 5 months) of paid pregnancy and maternity leave during the period before and after giving birth. Their spouse is entitled to 2 weeks of leave after the birth. There then follows an additional 32 weeks (approximately 8 months) of parental leave that the two spouses can freely share between them. This system promotes the sharing of responsibilities within the family, and lets both parents have ample time to spend on childcare. Denmark furthermore has the lowest average working hours in the world, with workers working an average of around just 7 hours a day. This further helps both parents to balance their time spent on work and child rearing.

Sweden, which is well reputed for gender equality and child-friendliness, provides each working parent with 480 days (around 16 months) of flexible maternity, paternity, and parental leave that don’t expire until 8 years from the child’s birth (or adoption) and can be broken up and taken in periods of months, weeks, days, or hours, according to the specific needs of each family. Sweden also offers another special childcare benefit: parents can claim a payment of up to 80 percent of their usual wage if they need to stay home from work when their child is unwell.

In 2020, the Finnish Government announced that it would extend paid parental leave for both parents from 2-4 months to 7 months. Finland is also well known for promoting flexible working hours and remote work mechanisms, which help working parents tailor their work times and places to best meet their needs and balance family life and work.

Countries around the world are actively introducing legislation and promoting cooperation between businesses and government to improve workplace environments. In Japan, some private businesses have launched programs to help mothers tend to both family and work. Mama Square, a Japanese company launched in 2014, operates as a customer service center that provides a staffed daycare center for its employees. This setup benefits the employees, whose work time is freed up by the on-site nursery workers. It also solves the company’s problems of high turnover of service staff and difficulty of recruitment.

“Declining birthrate is a shared issue facing government, families, businesses, and society. Each of these can address it in different ways. What businesses can do is, when employees face the life challenges that come with having children, we can provide a better work environment, so that our employees can work with greater peace of mind. In turn, they can perform better in their work, and provide better service. This is definitely a winning situation all around,” says Peter Dernbach with conviction.

This article was planned by Social Enterprise Insights and YongLin Foundation and independently produced by Social Enterprise Insights. The translation was performed by Winkler Partners Head of Translation, Paul Cox. Social Enterprise Insights has granted us permission to republish this article. The original Chinese-language article can be found here.

此專題由社企流與永齡基金會共同企劃、社企流獨立製作,由本所翻譯部主任柯保羅翻譯。本文獲社企流授權轉載,原文標題:工作、育兒只能二選一?促進友善職場環境,讓公司成為員工生育的後盾。想看原文請點

2021 Summer internship

Winkler Partners is looking for a legal intern for summer 2021. Current 1Ls and 2Ls are both 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 light case work, writing updates on legal topics, and curating content on the firm’s social media sites for 30-40 hours per week. The internship is modestly paid.

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.

As Taiwan currently restricts entry into the country due to the pandemic, we are only able to extend offers to candidates who are: (i) Taiwan nationals or permanent residents; or (ii) foreign nationals legally residing in Taiwan at the time of application.

Please send a resume and a cover letter explaining your interest in an internship in Taiwan to personnel@winklerpartners.com by 5 March 2021.

WP welcomes new associates

We recently welcomed new members to the Winkler Partners team.

Megan Chiu joins Winkler Partners as a Compliance Specialist, assisting clients establish Taiwan entities, handling company registration and compliance issues, and assisting foreign professionals apply for work authorization and residency. Megan previously worked at one of the Big Four accounting firms.

Bryan Tan previously worked at a well-known corporate law firm in Hong Kong, where he is a licensed solicitor. Bryan’s practice covers capital markets, mergers and acquisitions, private equity and venture capital investments, corporate restructurings, and other general corporate transactions. He is admitted in Hong Kong.

WP achieves carbon neutrality

Winkler Partners is today announcing that we have achieved carbon neutrality for 2020 through reducing our emissions, purchasing green energy credits, and offsetting what we can’t reduce.

Running a business has a negative impact on the natural environment and from the beginning we have looked for ways to mitigate our impact. We have installed energy efficient lighting and appliances, greened the office and built a roof garden, captured rainwater, and installed solar panels that provide around 20% of our energy needs.

But we realized that this was not enough. As more people and businesses become aware of the severity of the global climate crisis, we committed to reaching carbon neutral ahead of both the Paris Agreement (2050) and a joint commitment made by over 800 B Corporations (2030) made at the end of 2019.

In 2020 we purchased enough T-RECs (Taiwan Renewable Energy Certificates) to cover the electricity we used that was not produced by our own solar panels. This amounts to 54,000 units of electricity, or approximately 27 tons of CO2e. As in years gone by, we offset international travel, accounting for approximately 50% of the firm’s total emissions, by using fellow B Corp Climate Care‘s carbon offsetting tools. Though international travel was put on hold in 2020 due to the pandemic, we will continue to use offsetting to mitigate our travel emissions once international travel resumes. For the remaining emissions, approximately 12 tons of CO2e, we chose a Gold Standard project based in Changhua, Taiwan, which focuses on wind energy generation and reforestation of 53.8 hectares.

In addition to the above, at the end of 2020 we entered into a power purchase agreement (PPA) with a green energy supplier, in our case, Foxwell Power. Their Tainan rooftop solar installations began providing us with electricity in November and their onshore wind in Changhua County will begin generating electricity in early 2021. We expect this agreement to generate around 90% of our energy needs, with any shortfall met by purchasing T-RECs.

We hope that by sharing our experience, we can encourage businesses large and small to act and reduce their own environmental impact. If you would like to learn more about our energy reduction and carbon neutral initiatives, please contact our Green Officer City Shen at cshen@winklerpartners.com.

WP welcomes new associates

Winkler Partners recently welcomed several new members to our legal team.

Yi-Kai Chen advises domestic and international clients with enforcement and conflict resolution matters, often those involving intellectual property. He also advises clients with general legal matters in connection with their businesses in Taiwan. Yi-Kai is admitted in Taiwan.

Karen Liu joins the firm as an IP Associate, having over a decade of experience helping major domestic and foreign companies safeguard their trademark and patent rights in Taiwan and jurisdictions around the world. Karen is also certified by the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office and the Taiwan Intellectual Property Training Academy in Trademark Maintenance and Application, Trademark Application Management, Patent Technology Engineering, Patent Process Management, and Patent Search Analysis and Value-added Application.

Chi-Hsien Nieh joins our corporate and intellectual property teams, assisting clients with investment, merger and IP transaction inquiries. Chi-Hsien previously worked as a pro bono intern at Fordham University’s Samuelson-Glushko Intellectual Property and Information Law Clinic, receiving a public service award in recognition of his work.

Ming Teng‘s practice focuses on employment law and employer-employee relations, mergers and acquisitions, company formations, restructurings and dissolutions. He also advises clients on data protection and copyright issues as well as general contract matters. He is admitted in Taiwan.

WP represents a third of the world’s biggest brands for a fifth year running

Interbrand has released its 100 Best Global Brands list for 2020. Winkler Partners represents a third of the brands that made the list for this year, including three of the top five brands and five of the top ten.

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a predictable impact on the rankings this year, with newcomer Zoom in 100th place, while other eCommerce and productivity brands such as Amazon (2nd), whose value increased 60% year on year, and Microsoft (3rd), whose rose 53%, show that some brands have been able to add value against the backdrop of social distancing measures and lockdowns. The most valuable brand in the world for the 8th consecutive year is Apple, which saw a 38% rise in its brand value over 2019, while Instagram (19th), a photo-based social network owned by Facebook made it into the list for the first time. Fashion and automotive brands saw their brand value fall or stay flat from 2019′s rankings.

Winkler Partners worked with 33 of these top global brands in 2019-20, a slight increase from 31 in 2019. 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 2020 can be found here.

WP welcomes new associates

Winkler Partners recently welcomed new members to our legal team.

Helen Chen‘s practice focuses on helping clients protect their intellectual property rights, assisting them with dispute resolution as well as advising on contentious and non-contentious employment issues, reviewing commercial contracts and advising on general civil law matters. Previously Helen worked for a Taiwanese law firm specializing in maritime law.

Niki Chen joins Winkler Partners as an Ontario-licensed paralegal, supporting our transactional, intellectual property, employment and dispute resolution teams. She previously worked for several law firms in Canada specializing in personal injury law and in Taiwan on US immigration matters.

2019 Environmental Report

Since our founding, Winkler Partners has aimed to reduce our negative impact on the natural environment, while looking for meaningful ways where we can create positive impact, both in our immediate community and further afield. In 2006, we established a Green Office Department, to coordinate office greening by implement methods to reduce our energy usage, promoting the use of environmentally friendly products and services, collecting rainwater, reducing our carbon emissions and advocating 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 our progress. At a glance, in 2019 we managed to:

  • Reduced our total emissions by 70%. Our total emissions for 2019 were 13 tons CO2e.
  • Generated 12,545 kilowatt hours of electricity via our solar panels, accounting for 17% of our total electricity needs.
  • Purchased green energy credits covering the remaining 83% of our electricity. This means that 100% of our electricity is sustainably sourced.
  • Reduced gas usage by 30% and water usage by 16%. We collected 25 tons of rainwater, used to irrigate our gardens and flush our toilets.
  • Reduced overall waste by 12%, including paper cup and bento box waste by 27%. Paper use increased by 2%.
  • Offset our international travel emissions, which in 2019 were 62 tons. We do this through a fellow B Corporation, Climate Care.
  • Planted 3,555 trees, roughly the carbon capture equivalent of our 2018 emissions, or 42.7 tons.
Goals for 2020

Net Zero. At the end of 2019, we joined over 500 B Corporations around the world by publicly committing to net zero emissions by 2030, 20 years ahead of the goals set in the Paris Agreement. We plan to reach this goal even earlier, by 2020. To that end, we will be looking for meaningful ways to offset our remaining 13 tons of emissions. We will also continue to strengthen our in-house waste reduction policies and look into improved window insulation in our offices, which we hope will reduce the amount of air conditioning used. We also plan to review our existing Green Purchasing Policy, to ensure that the firm spends locally and sustainably. Finally, we will look to offset our historical emissions since our firm was founded in 2002.

Our full environmental report is available in English here and Chinese here. For inquiries regarding our energy saving initiatives, please contact City Shen at cshen@winkerpartners.com.

 

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