‘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.”
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:
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.
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”.
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.
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.
[this article will be published in an upcoming issue of SKRINE’s Legal Insights]
By Lee Shih and Khong Siong Sie
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.
(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 →