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NORTON ROSE FULBRIGHT AND HENRY DAVIS YORK ANNOUNCE A COMPELLING COMBINATION FOR THE AUSTRALIAN LEGAL MARKET

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NORTON ROSE FULBRIGHT AND HENRY DAVIS YORK ANNOUNCE A COMPELLING COMBINATION FOR THE AUSTRALIAN LEGAL MARKET
  • With around 160 partners in Australia, we will be the second largest global law firm and in the Top 5 overall, with offices in Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney 
  • Market leading practices in key industry sectors, particularly financial services, government and infrastructure 
  • A distinguished client base of Australia’s most iconic businesses and government departments

Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright and Australian law firm Henry Davis York announce their intention to combine their businesses to create one of Australia’s most compelling and dynamic law firms.  The proposal for an intention to combine was approved by an overwhelming majority of partners in both firms.  The two firms will work towards finalising the details of the proposed combination with a view to commencing the integration of the businesses later this year.

At a time of significant change for the industry, this proposed combination will provide a powerful new offering to clients who will benefit from the increased scale and depth drawn from two highly compatible firms. This will be particularly evident in the key industry sectors of financial services, government and infrastructure, where both Norton Rose Fulbright and Henry Davis York have established and well-respected teams.

A core focus will be assisting corporate and government clients to manage their exposure to risk through a comprehensive team of risk advisory and regulatory experts that will be market leaders in this growing area.

The combination will also create opportunities for our people to collaborate on the very best local, regional and global work.

Norton Rose Fulbright global chief executive Peter Martyr commented:

“There is a sense of real momentum in our global business right now. The combination proposal in Australia with Henry Davis York is occurring as we join forces with premier New-York based firm Chadbourne&Parke and continue to integrate into our business our new colleagues from Vancouver-based firm Bull Housser.

“The addition of Henry Davis York will give us the critical mass we need in Australia to take full advantage of the steps already underway, at a global level, to modernise our business through the implementation of our 2020 business transformation strategy. This combination will allow us to bring the benefits of this transformation to more clients.”

Norton Rose Fulbright managing partner in Australia Wayne Spanner commented:

“We have admired for some time the way Henry Davis York conducts its business, and we couldn’t be happier that our two firms wish to come together. Our complementary approaches to client service and deep expertise in core industries will create a compelling offering for corporates and governments, not just in Australia but in Asia Pacific and beyond.

“We were ahead of the pack when we announced our game-changing merger with Norton Rose in 2010. We see that the Australian legal market is ripe for the next phase of consolidation and we are satisfied that this combination will bring us another first-mover advantage that will significantly strengthen our brand and footprint in the market.”

Henry Davis York managing partner Michael Greene commented:

“The partners and I have been considering for some time how we could take a proud and respected Australian law firm and re-engineer it for the future. After consulting with our clients, we felt the time was right to look to join forces with an elite global law firm to continue to provide them with an even greater level of service and industry expertise.

“Following our recent investment in our continued growth, particularly in establishing a Canberra office, we are particularly enthused about what this proposed combination will deliver to our long-standing financial services, government and infrastructure clients.”

The respective firms will now work towards a formal combination launch date later this calendar year. Upon that launch, the combined firm will be known as Norton Rose Fulbright.

Visit: http://www.nortonrosefulbright.com/hdy/

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Bitcoin, ether hit fresh highs

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Bitcoin, ether hit fresh highs 1

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Bitcoin hit a fresh high in Asian trading on Saturday, extending a two-month rally that saw its market capitalisation cross $1 trillion a day earlier.

The world’s most popular cryptocurrency rose to an record $56,620, taking its weekly gain to 18%. It has surged more than 92% this year.

Bitcoin’s gains have been fuelled by evidence it is gaining acceptance among mainstream investors and companies, such as Tesla Inc, Mastercard Inc and BNY Mellon.

Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization and daily volume, hit a record $2,040.62, for a weekly gain of about 12%.

Ether is the digital currency or token that facilitates transactions on the ethereum blockchain. In the crypto world, the terms ether and ethereum have become interchangeable.

Ether futures contracts launched on derivatives exchange CME earlier this month.

(Reporting by Vidya Ranganathan; Editing by William Mallard)

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World Bank pushing for standard vaccine contracts, more disclosure from makers

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World Bank pushing for standard vaccine contracts, more disclosure from makers 2

By Andrea Shalal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The World Bank is working to standardize COVID-19 vaccine contracts that countries are signing with drug makers, and is pushing manufacturers to be more open about where doses are headed, as it races to get more vaccines to poor countries, the bank’s president said on Friday.

World Bank President David Malpass told Reuters he expected the bank’s board to have approved $1.6 billion in vaccine funding for 12 countries, including the Philippines, Bangladesh, Tunisia and Ethiopia, by the end of March, with 30 more to follow shortly thereafter.

The bank is working with local governments to identify and fill gaps in distribution capacity, after they purchase vaccines under a $12 billion World Bank program, and also to standardize the contracts they are signing with manufacturers, he said.

The bank’s International Finance Corp, its private financing arm, has $4 billion to invest in expanding existing production plants or building new ones, including in developed countries, but needs more data on where current production is headed, he said.

“We are eager to be investing in new capacity, but it’s hard to do because you don’t know how much of the existing capacity is already committed to the various off-takers,” Malpass said in an interview with Reuters. New or expanded plants could be used to produce other types of vaccinations in the future, he said.

The bank’s funds could be used to expand plants in advanced economies, if the production was earmarked for developing nations, he said.

Malpass welcomed Friday’s pledge by the Group of Seven rich countries to intensify cooperation on the pandemic, saying it could help jump-start deliveries of vaccines to poorer countries, which are lagging far behind rich countries in getting shots in arms.

Data compiled by Our World In Data, a scientific online publication, showed Israel was leading the world in COVID-19 vaccinations, with nearly 82 of 100 people vaccinated, while India and Bangladesh reported less than one person per 100, Many African countries have not started at all.

Malpass said he was heartened by news about new vaccines coming down the road, and about Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE seeking permission to store their vaccine at higher temperatures, which would ease another obstacle to deliveries in lower-income countries.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Heather Timmons and Leslie Adler)

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Google to evaluate executive performance on diversity, inclusion

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Google to evaluate executive performance on diversity, inclusion 3

By Paresh Dave

(Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s Google will evaluate the performance of its vice presidents and above on team diversity and inclusion starting this year, the company said on Friday in one of several responses to concerns about its treatment of a Black scientist.

Timnit Gebru, co-leader of Google’s ethical artificial intelligence research team, said in December that Google abruptly fired her after she criticized its diversity efforts and threatened to resign.

Alphabet and Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai ordered a review of the situation. While Google declined to share specific findings, the company announced on Friday it will engage human resources specialists during sensitive employee departures.

Pichai in June said that by 2025, Google aims to have 30% more of its leaders come from underrepresented groups, with a focus on Black, Latinx and Native American leaders in the United States and female technical leaders globally. About 96% of Google’s U.S. leaders at the time were white or Asian, and 73% globally were men.

As a result of the investigation, the company also expanded a commitment announced in June to devote more resources to retaining and promoting existing employees, including by expanding a team addressing disputes among workers and their managers.

The diversity component of executive performance reviews was not previously announced, and the company did not immediately share details about what would be measured and how pay would be affected.

Alphabet for years had rejected proposals from shareholders and employees to set diversity goals and tie executive pay to them.

Irene Knapp, a former Google employee who advocated for one such proposal at a 2018 shareholder meeting, said on Friday, “I am pleased that they met our demand from 2018, which was a bare minimum that should have been easy to do immediately.”

Evaluating managers on diversity goals is becoming more commonplace. McDonald’s Corp on Thursday tied executive bonuses to diversity.

(Reporting by Paresh Dave; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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