Monthly Archives: April 2014

St. Petersburg International Legal Forum Invites Lawyers from around the World, June 18-21, 2014

ST PETERSBURG, April 29, 2014/PRNewswire/ —

On June 18-21, 2014 St. Petersburg will host the key event for the Russian and international legal community, IV St. Petersburg International Legal Forum.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140429/683625 )

This year, the Plenary Session will convene under the topic “The Concept of Rule of Law in Legal Systems: Key Takeaways and Future Prospects”. The Forum business programme is structured around ten tracks and will include more than 50 discussions in the form of panel sessions and roundtables involving lawyers, politicians, business leaders and representatives of cultural institutions from around the world:

  • International Law/ Rule of Law,
  • Corporate Practice/ Compliance,
  • Standards of Legal Profession/ Law Practice Management,
  • Litigation and Arbitration Practice,
  • Finance/ Investments,
  • Competition/ Trade,
  • Smart Society,
  • Environment/ Resources,
  • Private Law,
  • Cultural Heritage.

The Forum offers exclusive opportunities for discussing major legal, economic, and social changes, building new business contacts, exchanging experiences and best practices with colleagues from different countries, acquiring useful information from distinguished experts and opinion leaders, and forecasting future legal trends.

The programme also features a number of satellite events, including industry breakfasts, business lunches, conferences organized by partners of the Forum and award ceremonies.

The social programme comprises various tours and excursions, gala dinners, and performances in the best theatres.

The Forum will be held in the magnificent attractions of St. Petersburg – the new stage of the Mariinsky theatre and the Eastern Wing of the General Staff Building, owned by the State Hermitage Museum.

Registration, current list of participants and description of the sessions are available at http://www.spblegalforum.com The Forum was established in 2011 by the Ministry of Justice and is supported by the President of the Russian Federation. In 2013 over 2500 delegates from 63 countries took part in 56 discussion sessions. Users from more than 50 countries and 200 cities followed the event on the Internet while the audience reach in social networks comprised more than 500 000 people.

“The Regional Economic Outlook and Indonesia,” Published in Bisnis Indonesia

Published in Bisnis Indonesia, April 28, 2014

Asia is well positioned to capitalize on the largely favorable global trends and enjoy steady growth in 2014−15. Recent policy actions taken to address vulnerabilities have started to bear fruit. With vigilance and further reforms, the region should remain resilient to global risks and continue to be a dynamic force driving the strengthening global recovery. In the case of Indonesia, its economy is weathering the transition to the new tapering environment well, reaping the benefits from the decisive macroeconomic policy actions taken since mid-2013. The focus on stability and the shift to greater policy flexibility, underpinned by macro-tightening and financial deepening measures, have bolstered confidence and improved market sentiment.

These are the conclusions in our latest Regional Economic Outlook, which are based on the following arguments: First, global activity has been firming up, and this is expected to help Asia’s exports. The growth momentum has gathered steam in the United States and the euro area, thanks to a reduction in fiscal tightening and still accommodative monetary conditions. And while some large emerging market economies have been struggling, overall growth in most emerging markets continues to provide support to the global recovery.

Second, the largest economies in the region are also doing relatively well, despite some challenges. In China, the unveiling of the government’s reform agenda has boosted sentiment, and growth should moderate only slightly to 7.5 percent in 2014. Meanwhile, Abenomics has lifted confidence and inflation in Japan, and growth there should remain above trend at 1.4 percent in 2014. This favorable external environment is benefitting much of the rest of the region, together with healthy labor markets and robust credit growth in many economies. The overall outlook for Asia is one of steady, robust growth of about 5.5 percent in 2014−15. While this is no longer as stellar as a few years ago, it remains enviable by international standards.

Third, external risks have receded in Emerging Asia, including when compared to some emerging economies in other regions. Asia’s emerging markets moved swiftly to address their vulnerabilities following last year’s market turbulence, and now have stronger macroeconomic fundamentals.

So far so good for Asia, but this outlook assumes that risk factors remain dormant. An unexpectedly rapid tightening of global liquidity would affect the region. Domestic vulnerabilities could magnify the impact: as interest rates rise, vulnerabilities stemming from pockets of high corporate leverage and household indebtedness would come to the fore. In addition, economies with weaker fundamentals would be hard hit, similar to what happened a year ago when markets abruptly revised their expectations of future U.S. monetary policy. Asia is also facing various risks originating from within the region. These include a sharper-than-envisaged slowdown and financial sector vulnerabilities in China, a waning impact of Abenomics, and political tensions and uncertainty.

In Asia, a continuation of the recent macroeconomic and structural policy momentum would help keep risks at bay, maintain investor confidence and sustain the region’s growth leadership. Decisive progress on structural reforms is critical. The specific agenda varies across the region: in China, vigorous implementation of the government’s reform blueprint would put growth on a more sustainable path; in Japan, further product and labor market reforms would prevent the return of deflation and low growth; and in many emerging, frontier and developing economies, as well as in Pacific Island countries and small states, lifting regulatory impediments, boosting infrastructure and continuing to promote trade and financial integration are appropriate.

Focusing on our near-term outlook for Indonesia, growth is projected at 5.4 percent in 2014. The main reason for the moderate expected slowdown compared to 2013 is the likely impact of tighter financial conditions on investment growth. At the same time, private consumption growth should remain supportive, boosted by election-related spending. In this context, the current account deficit is projected to narrow to 3.0 percent of GDP in 2014 from 3.3 percent of GDP last year, although the adjustment would likely be larger absent the partial ban on mineral ore exports. With inflation expectations well anchored, the headline rate is expected to decline to 5.5 percent by December 2014—that is, return to the upper bound of Bank Indonesia’s target band.

For Indonesia, macroeconomic and financial policies are expected to continue to be geared toward reducing macro-imbalances and safeguarding financial stability. Here, maintenance of the current monetary policy stance should slow the pace of credit growth, anchor inflation expectations, and contain external pressures, supported by continued bond yield and exchange rate flexibility. The fiscal policy stance will need to support this effort in ensuring that budget performance this year and next further buttress external adjustment and contain vulnerability to funding reversals. At the same time, policies need to carve out adequate space for social protection and infrastructure spending. Thus far in 2014, supportive inflows from abroad and careful management of financing needs have helped minimize pressures.

Looking ahead, structural reforms remain essential to strengthening competitiveness, bolstering investor sentiment and improving jobs and growth prospects. They become all the more important for Indonesia as tailwinds abate from buoyant commodity prices, strong emerging market demand, and extraordinarily accommodative global financial conditions. Under these circumstances, a growth strategy could usefully focus on three objectives: export diversification, financial deepening, and employment generation. The first will require a more concerted push to address infrastructure and logistics bottlenecks and to ensure that the trade and investment climate is outward oriented, with a view to expanding the export base and moving manufacturing up the global value-added ladder. The second centers on strengthening intermediation capacity in the financial sector and broadening the investor base. The third needs to be supported by further education reform and adequate labor market flexibility to ensure that Indonesia has a globally competitive labor force and fully exploits its demographic dividend. Not an easy set of challenges, but not insurmountable either, with recent macro-policy measures a testament to the resolve of policy makers in ensuring Indonesia’s economy remains a dynamic force.

China Legal Pioneer Edward Lehman Awarded 2014 DePauw University Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award for Management and Entrepreneurship

BEIJING, April 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — DePauw University awards Edward Lehman (Connect on Linkedin), resident in mainland China for the past 27+ consecutive years, with the 2014 Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award for Management and Entrepreneurship. The award is presented each year to one alumni by the DePauw University Alumni Association in conjunction with the McDermond Center for Management and Entrepreneurship. The McDermond Center for Management and Entrepreneurship is named for Robert C. McDermond the 1931 graduate of DePauw who endowed the Center and its prestigious Management Fellows Program in 1980.

Mr. Edward Lehman
Mr. Edward Lehman

Edward Lehman, a 1982 graduate of DePauw, was the first foreign lawyer to work at a mainland Chinese law firm in the history of the People’s Republic of China. He is the first foreign lawyer to be a founding member of one of China’s first private law firms. He holds the “dubious distinction” of being the longest serving Managing Director of a mainland Chinese law firm (22+ consecutive years). Additionally, Mr Lehman is the first foreign lawyer admitted by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Mongolia, and founded the first private law firm in Mongolia’s capital Ulaan Batter. Mr Lehman also founded and manages an accounting firm in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Mongolia. He also founded and manages a mainland based investment firm, LehmanBush with the son of former President George Herbert Walker Bush (41) and older brother of former President George W. Bush (43), businessman Neil Mallon Bush with offices in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Mongolia. In 2014, the China Better Business Bureau, promoting high standards in business practices in China, has appointed him as General Counsel.

In 2002, Mr Lehman was appointed legal analyst and commentator to China Central Television (CCTV News) and has appeared frequently on news segments including Dialogue, and Voices & Votes for the past 12 years. In his role as legal commentator Mr. Lehman explains Chinese laws, regulations, administrative circulars, and policies. Each year when the China National People’s Congress (NPC) meets in March, Mr. Lehman is asked to comment on new legislation before China’s law making body.

DePauw University was founded in 1837 by the Methodist Church. The university was established in the frontier village of Greencastle Indiana after the enterprising community worked diligently to raise $25,000 to support the university’s establishment. During his time there, Mr Lehman was active and involved in the university and its extracurricular activities. While attending DePauw he was President of the Student Senate, Treasurer of the Inter-Fraternity Council, a four year letterman in Track & Field, a member of the Academic Council, and a member/resident of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity.

Mr. Lehman is proud of these experiences and for his degree earned at DePauw University, and has continued to value to the outstanding liberal arts based education and lifelong friendships developed in his time at DePauw. One those friends, resident in China for the past 5 years, is fellow DePauw University Alumni, Luis R. Davila ’81 (whose wife is Deborah White Davila ’82). Mr. Davila was also honored with the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award for management and Entrepreneurship in 2005 for his role as President of RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company for the Asia Pacific Region. Mr. Lehman is proud to honor the enterprising spirit the Greencastle community and generations of DePauw students, through his work as an American Attorney working within the developing Chinese and Mongolian legal systems.

Mr. Lehman aided in the establishment of Lehman, Lee & Xu, along with three Chinese partners, in 1992 as one of the first private law firms established in mainland China and since then has served as the firm’s Managing Director. Today the firm has seven offices throughout China and in Mongolia, in addition to a network of associated offices throughout China. Mr. Lehman has personally advised many major global corporations in their establishment and corporate governance of their China operations.

The Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award for Management and Entrepreneurship was established to demonstrate the strength of the DePauw experience by recognizing the success of graduates. Mr. Lehman is humbled to be in the company of recent winners of the award:

Robert S. Apatoff ’80

 

Awarded: 2012

 

Robert R. Carpenter ’78

 

Awarded: 2011

 

Kathy Patterson Vrabeck ’85

 

Awarded: 2010

 

Mark Emkes ’75

 

Awarded: 2009

 

Angela Hicks Bowman ’95

 

Awarded: 2007

 

Janet Risi ’81

 

Awarded: 2006

 

Luis R. Davila ’81

 

Awarded: 2005

 

Tim Solso ’69

 

Awarded: 2004

 

Over his 27+ consecutive years “on the ground” in mainland China, Mr. Lehman has been a witness to many changes, “mostly for the better.” He has blazed an important trail within the legal profession in China through the introduction of modern law firm management practices. He has made many mistakes, learned lessons, and seen clients do the same, but he stays focused on the successes he has brought to his clients throughout his life’s work building a legal practice in China.

Mr. Lehman is excited to return to DePauw after an absence of 32 years. He is especially looking forward to share with DePauw students and faculty the lessons he has learned as a entrepreneur, lawyer, and legal manager during his tenure as a witness to the greatest economic transformation in the history of the world: the People’s Republic of China.

Today, Mr. Lehman’s law firm, LEHMAN, LEE & XU has seven offices throughout mainland China, two branch offices in Hong Kong and Macau with more than 250 lawyers, patent, and trademark attorneys and legal assistants providing a full range of legal services to meet the diverse need of clients worldwide.