5 Things I Hope to Achieve During Pupillage

Guest writer Shi Jing shares the 5 things she hopes to achieve during pupillage. Having completed the Bar Professional Training Course with an overall grade of Outstanding, Shi Jing is about to commence her pupillage at one of the top legal firms in the country.

So you have completed 4 years of legal studies and you are about to embark on your pupillage journey. Aside from hoping to be retained by your firm, what are the 5 things you hope to achieve during pupillage? Every pupil has different priorities and goals and here are the 5 things which matter most to me. Continue reading

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5 tips from an intern on making the most of a law firm internship

Crystal Wong

Guest writer Crystal Wong, who has three law firm internships under her belt, shares her tips on making the most of those short stints.

Being an intern gives you a good platform to engage in an out-of-classroom and out-of-this-world experience. Internships give you a glimpse of how the legal scene unveils itself in a practical manner. I interned in Peter Ling & van Geyzel (PLVG) in Kuala Lumpur during my summer break in August 2017, and it turned out to be one of my favorite experiences.

Having now experienced internships in three different law firms, here are my 5 tips to make the most of your internship.

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The #LexTech17 conference — exploring the impact of legal tech and innovations on legal practice

The LexTech Conference 2017 — Malaysia’s first legal tech conference, which aimed to raise awareness on legal tech and to promote technology adoption — was held on 4-5 November 2017. Among the legal tech experts and innovators, lawyers, general counsel, and other interested parties who assembled from all over Asia, was our own intrepid reporter Janice Tan Ying. She prepared this report on what she managed to glimpse of the future of law. You can read our other coverage via the #LexTech17 tag.

‘Blockchain’, ‘Smart Contract’, ‘NewLaw’. Dubbed the ‘uberisation’ of legal services — is this just fleeting hype, or are these new legal tech trends here to stay? If it is the latter, will it disrupt the livelihoods of legal practitioners, or enable lawyers to enhance their practice? While these buzzwords may sound like gobbledygook (read: tech jargon) to the everyday lawyer, talk about impending ‘disruption’ in the legal industry is rife.

According to Malaysian Bar President George Varughese, “legal technology is still somewhat an enigma in this region”. He said this during his welcoming address at #LexTech17 — the inaugural LexTech Conference 2017 which took place on 4-5 November 2017 in Cyberjaya. He also added — “Some of us know it well and welcome it with an embrace but many of us are threatened by its penetration and understandably so. It’s disruptive, it’s innovative and it’s necessary.”

Image 1 Malaysian Bar President George Varughese delivering the conference welcoming address
Malaysian Bar President George Varughese delivering the conference welcoming address | Photo credit: CanLaw Asia

Jointly organised by CanLaw Asia and Brickfields Asia College (BAC), the two-day conference saw the region’s leading legal practitioners and legal tech innovators come together to share their ideas and solutions on legal innovation. Topics that were discussed throughout the expert panel and breakout sessions on both days centred around four issues: The role of regulators and accelerators in legal innovation, blockchain and smart contracts, Artificial Intelligence (AI) in legal research, and how legal practitioners can future-proof their practice.

The following are four key themes from the conference:

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Three Grappling Legal Issues in Esports

Esports. More than 150 million viewers globally and a multimillion industry. It is expected to soon exceed US$1 billion in 2019. Richard Wee, Lesley Lim, Bryan Boo and Vincent Lim introduce us to three legal issues surrounding the esports industry.

The evolution of esports from its inception to a world-wide phenomenon is truly fascinating. What began as just a few friends playing against each other on the computer or a gaming console has today become multi-million dollar tournaments such as The International 2017, a Dota 2 tournament, boasting a total prize pool of $24,687,919.00, with the champion team taking home a massive $10,862,683.

Governments and organisations around the world are recognising the potential in esports. Even major television channels like ESPN and Fox Sports have jumped into the fray. With the Olympic Council of Asia’s announcement that esports will be included in the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, it is no wonder that traditional sports organisations are starting to acquire their own esports team, like the Dallas Cowboys’ owner acquiring esports organisation compLexity Gaming. Amidst all the hype, we look at 3 legal issues that the industry has to grapple with. Continue reading

LexisNexis’ Gaythri Raman & Min Chen share their legaltech insights ahead of #LexTech17

The LexTech Conference 2017 will be held in Cyberjaya on 4 & 5 November 2017. Visit the event website for more information. TheMalaysianLawyer.com is a media partner of #LexTech17, and our readers can use the promo code LEXTECHTML when purchasing the tickets to enjoy a 10% discount. You can read our other posts on the conference via the LexTech17 tag.

There are some exciting panels and speakers lined up for #LexTech17, and we managed to speak with two of these speakers, both from LexisNexis, to get a preview of some of their thoughts on legal innovations and technology.

Gaythri Raman is the Managing Director of LexisNexis Southeast Asia, and at the conference she will be sharing about “Legal Innovations We Should Look To Accelerate”.

Min Chen is the Vice President & Chief Technology Officer Asia Pacific of LexisNexis, and the title of her conference topic is “AI in Legal Research”.

Gaythri Min Chen
Min and Gaythri

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5 things I learned from pupillage that law school didn’t teach me

Guest writer Janice Tan Ying has recently completed her pupillage, and has been retained as an Associate in one of the most well-regarded tax teams in Malaysia.

Call to the bar
An exuberant and fresh-faced Janice on the day of her Call to the Bar of England & Wales, before commencing pupillage in Malaysia. Post-pupillage photo not supplied for comparison of exuberance or freshness of face.

Pupillage. The budding legal eaglet’s nine-month rite of passage (read: baptism of fire) into a career at the Bar.

These nine months will shape and mould your career and personal development. Your pupillage period may be the springboard towards a flourishing legal career, or one that will (gasp shock horror!) turn you off practice permanently.

These are the five key takeaways that I have gleaned from my pupillage journey. They are by no means hard and fast rules, but are my personal take on some of the usual ‘how to’ advice dished out by lawyers.

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Tax Implications Arising from the Companies Act 2016

[this article will be published in an upcoming issue of SKRINE’s Legal Insights]

By Lee Shih and Khong Siong Sie

INTRODUCTION

The Companies Act 2016 (“Act”) has come into force on 31 January 2017, except for the provisions on registration of company secretaries and corporate rescue. This article will highlight five tax implications on companies as a result of the Act.

tax

(1) SME OR NON-SME

The Act’s introduction of no-par value shares may have an impact on the preferential tax rates enjoyed by certain small and medium enterprises (“SMEs”).

Resident SMEs with a paid-up capital in respect of ordinary shares of RM2.5 million and below at the beginning of the basis period for a year of assessment are taxed at a preferential tax rate of 18% (instead of the normal rate of 24%) for the first RM500,000 of its chargeable income. Such SMEs must not be part of a group of companies where any of their related companies have a paid-up capital of more than RM2.5 million.

With the introduction of no-par value shares, the moneys in the share premium account and capital redemption reserve become part of the company’s share capital, subject to a transitional period of 24 months. This merging of share premium and capital redemption reserve may result in some SMEs losing the preferential tax rate once their merged share capital in respect of ordinary shares exceeds RM2.5 million.

Losing such preferential tax rate may translate into liability for an additional tax of up to RM30,000.00. Further, there may be a loss of other benefits such as the unlimited claim on special allowances for small value assets and exemption from having to provide an estimate of tax payable for the first two years of operations. Continue reading