Latest Posts

Interns at some firms well paid

Summer is nearing, and workplaces everywhere are awaiting the arrival of this year’s interns to help out on extra projects and shoulder the seasonal load. But among certain companies, they’re likely doing more than getting coffee and making copies. Or at least, they’re being paid that way.

According to a new report by the jobs site Glassdoor, the 25 best-paying companies for internships each pay their median summer worker more than $4,500 a month.

That amount, if it was paid over the course of a full year, would be north of $54,000, exceeding the median annual pay for a U.S. worker, according to Glassdoor’s own local pay reports ($51,350), and the annual figure calculated from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest weekly earnings data for full-time wage and salary workers ($44,460).

Topping the list was Facebook, where the median pay for interns is $8,000 a month, according to the reports from the newest analysis. That’s $1,800 more than the $6,200 the social media giant reportedly paid interns when Glassdoor last issued its last highest paying internship report, in 2014. The next three were Microsoft (which pays a median $7,100 a month); ExxonMobil ($6,507) and Salesforce ($6,450).

Interns are “doing real work with real deadlines and very high expectations,” said Scott Dobroski, Glassdoor’s community expert, in an interview. “But they’re getting hired at a level that’s much more than the average U.S. worker.”

Glassdoor’s analysis is culled from self-reported salary numbers offered by current or recent interns (those who have completed an internship within the past year) and includes only companies that have at least 25 reports. Dobroski notes that the numbers are a median – sought-after engineering interns with specialized skills likely make more than summer workers in the marketing department – and that the more limited differences between experience levels and job categories for interns allow for the smaller sample size.

Among the top 25, the list remains heavily technology focused, with 16 of the top 25 in tech or tech-related fields, along with finance, oil and gas, and consulting firms. At all but three of the 16 companies that made repeat appearances from 2014, the median pay went up, sometimes sizably, with seven seeing percentage increases of 10 percent or more. (Emails to representatives from the top four companies to confirm Glassdoor’s numbers were not immediately returned or companies declined to confirm the data.)

Some firms well known for high summer pay – investment banks, say, or law firms – might not be represented if there are not enough salary reports from interns to meet the sample size, Dobroski said. That was the case with firms such as Goldman Sachs or Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, he said.

Geography also plays a role: Companies with large employee populations in big coastal cities, such as Bloomberg (No. 7) or the many tech firms on the list, end up paying more, even to interns.

“Part of it is definitely driven by geography,” he said. “More than half of them are headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area or New York.”

Dobroski says Glassdoor does not have data on whether the lawsuits in recent years over paid versus unpaid internships – or the general attention paid to that issue – may have had an influence on an increase.

“But what we see anecdotally and hear from employers and in policymaking is a push toward paying for interns, as well as guidelines within companies that they’re being treated more like full-time or part-time employees,” he said.

“They’ve no longer just come in for baby-sitting. The internship is designed for you to get experience.”

Go to Source

Law school assistant dean receives lawyer award

Stephen Rispoli of Baylor Law School has been named the recipient of the 2017 Outstanding Young Lawyer of McLennan County Award.

The Outstanding Young Lawyer Award is presented each year by the Waco-McLennan County Young Lawyers Association to a young lawyer with qualities including, but not limited to, professional proficiency, service to the profession and service to the community.

He was presented the award by U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey C. Manske.

In the fall of 2014, Rispoli proposed and developed the annual MCYLA Pro Bono Challenge. This program has led to a resurgence in pro bono activity among the bar in McLennan County, and the challenge has been met and exceeded for two consecutive years.

The program led to the McLennan County Young Lawyers Association winning statewide honors — the Award of Merit from the State Bar of Texas and the Deborah G. Hankinson Access to Justice Award from the Texas Access to Justice Commission — as well as local recognition in a Lone Star Legal Aid Pro Bono Award.

Rispoli also has been integral in the formation of Legal Mapmaker, a practice development template for young lawyers to build successful law firms, while also addressing the widening access to justice gap.

As the association’s vice president and chair of the Pro Bono Committee, Rispoli has ensured that meetings are run efficiently and that the high school mock trial runs smoothly while hosted at Baylor Law School. In addition, he serves on national and statewide pro bono committees, as well as on the city of Waco’s Zoning Board of Adjustment.

Rispoli’s title is Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and Pro Bono Programs.

Go to Source

The gig economy comes to law

… basis to review documents for law firms and corporate legal departments.
… with contract work. Three-quarters of law firms with more than 250 lawyers … to greater price competition among law firms and a willingness among general … the cost of the process.
Law firms are attempting to create efficiency …
Go to Source

MEPs Accuse Major European Banks, Law, Tax Firms of Acting as Offshore Middlemen

The Panama Papers exposed 213,634 offshore entities served by Mossack Fonseca, a Panama-based trust company, which provided MEPs — and the public — with valuable information for better understanding of offshore structures. Mossack Fonseca had a market share of approximately five to ten percent of the market and incorporated entities across 21 jurisdictions.

But almost 90 percent of all these offshore entities were incorporated in just four jurisdictions: the British Virgin Islands, Panama, the Seychelles and the Bahamas, according to the Greens in the European Parliament.

​The European Parliament Panama Papers inquiry committee (PANA) has now released a report into its investigation into the middlemen who help their clients to dodge taxes or launder dirty money, which found that there are several types of intermediaries, be it banks, law firms, accounting firms or other tax advisers that can help clients and usually it takes several of them to establish offshore structures, each of them having a specific role.

“Intermediaries can provide advice upon request but also pro-actively approach clients to offer them offshore schemes to avoid paying taxes, for example. Intermediaries can intervene at different stages: they can provide advice to customers, they can support the creation of offshore structures (registering and domiciling them for example), and/or they can assist with maintenance work (managing the daily paperwork or providing nominee directors),” the report found.

Offshore Inability

According to the Green group of MEPs in the European Parliament, a key difficulty pointed out by the study is that many of the intermediaries advising European citizens are located outside of Europe, which may make it harder to regulate them.

As the European Commission prepares to present a legislative proposal on future rules to deter promoters of aggressive tax planning schemes, the Greens have a few ideas to suggest. 

“One idea is simply to consider these middlemen as co-perpetrators of the infraction if the offshore structure is deemed to have breached the law. We already oblige these intermediaries to check that their clients’ assets are clean and are not the proceeds of crimes (e.g. drug trafficking, corruption, tax evasion),” the group said.

“In the same way, we can request bankers, lawyers and accountants not to get involved in setting up offshore structures that aim at breaking the law. If they do, they could then be prosecuted for the same crimes as their clients. This would have a tremendous deterrent effect and reduce the role of intermediaries in the illegal offshore business,” the Greens said.

Go to Source

Tencent’s Silicon Valley Data Center Opens While Foreign Firms Lack China Access

Tencent’s Silicon Valley data center, which is the company’s first data center in the U.S., has commenced operations.

Tencent will build four additional overseas data centers in Frankfurt, Mumbai, Seoul, and Moscow to handle the continuous expansion of its overseas cloud computing businesses. Tencent’s target customers are Chinese enterprises who want to expand businesses abroad and multinational companies who want to expand businesses in China or other parts of the world. All those data centers are expected to be put into operation in 2017.

Tencent has more than ten data centers in operation in mainland China. The company started overseas expansion from 2014 and it already set up data centers in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Toronto.

China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba also established data centers in foreign countries. Like Tencent, Alibaba is also expanding overseas cloud computing businesses.

In 2016, China’s Cloud Infrastructure as a Service market scale reached USD1.47 billion, a year-on-year increase of 68%. Alibaba held 40% of the market share and its largest foreign competitor Microsoft held 5% market share.

While kudos should be given to Tencent for its aggressive overseas push, it is playing in a lopsided game against its foreign counterparts in China. Tencent can open, run, manage, and own its own data center facilities in the United States, but Chinese law prohibits a company like U.S.-based Rackspace from full ownership of its data centers in China.

China’s laws related to Internet Service Provider disallow full foreign ownership of data centers in China. So Rackspace, Amazon Web Services, and others must partner with Chinese companies like Tencent, Huawei, or Alibaba to co-host or piggyback on top of the Chinese companies’ services in mainland China.

Go to Source

RERA to boost housing demand, protect buyers, say realty firms

NEW DELHI: Developers expect housing demand to recover with the implementation of the real estate law from May 1 as it will protect buyers from unscrupulous players, while prices will remain stable due to huge unsold inventory.

The two apex bodies of real estate developers-CREDAI and NAREDCO-feel that the implementation of this law will bring a paradigm change in the way Indian real estate sector functions, but see some “teething” problems initially.

The two bodies wanted the government to exclude ongoing projects from the ambit of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016, passed last year by Parliament, but their suggestions were not included in the law.

“It’s a paradigm change in the real estate sector. It will protect buyers who have purchased flats in the past. The regulator under the RERA should find ways to help complete ongoing projects and provide relief to home buyers,” NAREDCO Chairman Rajeev Talwar said.

CREDAI President Jaxay Shah said the RERA will increase transparency in the sector and boost the confidence of both domestic and foreign investors. He, however, said there will be some “teething problems”, initially in the implementation of this law. Asked about the impact on prices, Shah said: “Supply will dip during this year but demand will improve as buyers will have increased confidence to invest in the property market.”

Prices will remain stable now but rates could rise by 10 per cent in next six months, he added. JLL Residential (JLLR) Chairman Anuj Puri said this law literally holds the key to the future growth of the Indian real estate as it has the potential bring transparency to clean up the sector. He said the time has finally come for homebuyers in India to breathe free and invest confidently.

“No more will unscrupulous smaller builders or even larger organised developers are able to take buyers for a ride,” he added. Asked about the impact of this new law on supply-demand, Puri said the supply is expected to decline in the interim period, but demand will rise as home buyers and investors confidence will improve with the implementation of this law.

“Prices will remain stable till unsold inventories are sold. This will take at least 9 months and thereafter we can see some upward movement,” he added. JLL India CEO and Country Head Ramesh Nair said the RERA definitely needs to be implemented in letter and spirit by all the states as this law aims to clear opacity in the Indian real estate sector and make it more buyer-friendly.

Anshuman Magazine, Chairman, India and South East Asia, CBRE, said, “In the long run, we feel that the establishment of a regulator will prove beneficial for the sector. With investor confidence returning to the sector, resulting in greater institutional capital inflows in the long term, we can expect to see the segment in revival mode.”

However, he said the developers may be cautious initially about announcing new launches till they get a proper understanding of RERA’s various components. According to Tata Housing’s Head of Marketing Services, Rajeeb Dash, unorganised or small developers will find it difficult to manage their businesses after the implementation of RERA.

“With RERA coming in buyers or investors will look at branded projects as they do not want to get stuck. Smaller players or the unorganised market will find it difficult to survive in such a situation. “We will witness a lot of mergers and acquisitions. Though wiping out of the small players will take time, maybe 2-3 years, but there will be an impact,” he said.

Dash further said many developers will tie-up with branded players as partners. Sunil Sharma, VP-CRM & Marketing, Mahindra Lifespaces, said, “With demonetisation behind us, the Indian real estate sector is showing early signs of revival. The implementation of the Real Estate Act 2016 can accelerate growth in end-user and investor interest, leading to an overall gain in momentum for the sector.”

The RERA is a progressive law, which will make project registrations mandatory, with a clear timeline for completion, and specifications published, Chief Strategy Officer Sunil Mishra said, adding that this legislation will benefit buyers, developers, and agents.

Go to Source

SHAREHOLDER ALERT: Pomerantz Law Firm Investigates Claims On Behalf of Investors of BRF S.A. – BRFS

May 05, 2017 (ACCESSWIRE via COMTEX) — NEW YORK, NY / ACCESSWIRE / May 5, 2017 / Pomerantz LLP is investigating claims on behalf of investors of BRF S.A. (“BRF” or the “Company”)

BRFS, +1.93%

Such investors are advised to contact Robert S. Willoughby at or 888-476-6529, ext. 9980.

The investigation concerns whether BRF and certain of its officers and/or directors have engaged in securities fraud or other unlawful business practices.

[Click here to join a class action]

On March 17, 2017, news outlets reported that Brazilian federal police raided the offices of BRF and dozens of other meatpackers following a two-year investigation into alleged bribery of regulators to subvert inspections of their plants. The probe, known as “Operation Weak Flesh,” had uncovered about 40 cases of meatpackers who had bribed inspectors and politicians to overlook unsanitary practices such as processing rotten meat and running plants with traces of salmonella. Police arrested three BRF employees, as well as 20 public officials.

On this news, BRF’s share price fell $0.99, or 7.73%, to close at $11.81 on March 17, 2017.

The Pomerantz Firm, with offices in New York, Chicago, Florida, and Los Angeles, is acknowledged as one of the premier firms in the areas of corporate, securities, and antitrust class litigation. Founded by the late Abraham L. Pomerantz, known as the dean of the class action bar, the Pomerantz Firm pioneered the field of securities class actions. Today, more than 80 years later, the Pomerantz Firm continues in the tradition he established, fighting for the rights of the victims of securities fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty, and corporate misconduct. The Firm has recovered numerous multimillion-dollar damages awards on behalf of class members. See

SOURCE: Pomerantz LLP

Copyright 2017 ACCESSWIRE

Go to Source

SHAREHOLDER ALERT: Pomerantz Law Firm Reminds Shareholders with Losses on their Investment in Citizens Financial Group, Inc. of Class Action Lawsuit and Upcoming Deadline – CFG

May 05, 2017 (ACCESSWIRE via COMTEX) — NEW YORK, NY / ACCESSWIRE / May 5, 2017 / Pomerantz LLP announces that a class action lawsuit has been filed against Citizens Financial Group, Inc. (“Citizens” or the “Company”)

CFG, -0.99%

and certain of its officers. The class action, filed in United States District Court, Southern District of New York, and docketed under 17-cv-03079, is on behalf of a class consisting of investors who purchased or otherwise acquired Citizens securities, seeking to recover compensable damages caused by defendants’ violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

If you are a shareholder who purchased Citizens securities between March 18, 2016 and March 29, 2017, both dates inclusive, you have until June 26, 2017 to ask the Court to appoint you as Lead Plaintiff for the class. A copy of the Complaint can be obtained at To discuss this action, contact Robert S. Willoughby at or 888.476.6529 (or 888.4-POMLAW), toll free, ext. 9980. Those who inquire by e-mail are encouraged to include their mailing address, telephone number, and number of shares purchased.

[Click here to join this class action]

Citizens offers banking products and services through its two operating segments – Consumer Banking and Commercial Banking – with a purported focus on providing local delivery and a differentiated customer experience. As part of a broader initiative to increase revenue, the Company recently implemented a program that invited customers into branches for a financial checkup (or “Citizens Checkup”).

The Complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s business, operational and compliance policies. Specifically, Defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (i) Company employees were falsifying information related to the Citizens Checkup program; (ii) as a result, the Company’s reported Citizens Checkup figures were inflated; and (iii) as a result of the foregoing, Defendants’ statements about Citizens’ business, operations, and prospects were false and misleading and/or lacked a reasonable basis.

On March 29, 2017, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Company claimed that 400,000 Citizens Checkup meetings occurred in 2016, but that eleven current and former Citizens branch employees in five states claimed that information about some meetings was fabricated by those employees or others as they struggled to meet goals set by the bank.

On this news, the Company’s stock price declined $0.54 per share to close at $34.49 per share on March 29, 2017, on unusually heavy trading volume.

The Pomerantz Firm, with offices in New York, Chicago, Florida, and Los Angeles, is acknowledged as one of the premier firms in the areas of corporate, securities, and antitrust class litigation. Founded by the late Abraham L. Pomerantz, known as the dean of the class action bar, the Pomerantz Firm pioneered the field of securities class actions. Today, more than 80 years later, the Pomerantz Firm continues in the tradition he established, fighting for the rights of the victims of securities fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty, and corporate misconduct. The Firm has recovered numerous multimillion-dollar damages awards on behalf of class members. See

SOURCE: Pomerantz LLP

Copyright 2017 ACCESSWIRE

Go to Source

Who is new mayor Ben Houchen? From a passion for law to his famous footballing uncle…

Aged 30, he was the youngest candidate in the race to be Tees Valley Mayor.

But who is Ben Houchen ?

Early days

Conservative Ben Houchen
Conservative Ben Houchen

He’s lived on Teesside (or Tees Valley?) all his life, grew up in one of the first 100 houses on the fledgling Ingleby Barwick estate, attended Conyers School in Yarm, where he soon realised he wanted to go to university and study law – which he did, 40 miles up the road at Newcastle’s Northumbria University.

A love of sport

As a teenager, he was a member of the Leeds Carnegie and England RFU development squads – only for three fractured vertebrae to stop him playing for a year and scupper his rugby dreams.

But sport is part of his family’s DNA, with his Fred Perry-coached grandmother reaching the first round of Wimbledon and his uncle, ex-professional footballer Keith Houchen, scoring the winning goal for Coventry City in the 1987 FA Cup Final, above.

And his own sports links were re-established when, as a corporate solicitor, he hooked up with Australia’s BLK (it stands for Beyond Limits Known) sports brand. He’s now chief executive of its Stockton-based UK arm.

Career matters

Head of Marketing Ben Azadi, Chief Operating Officer Mark Holt, Chief Executive Ben Houchen and Head of Purchasing Claire Fiddler
Head of Marketing Ben Azadi, Chief Operating Officer Mark Holt, Chief Executive Ben Houchen and Head of Purchasing Claire Fiddler

Since graduating from Northumbria Uni, the trained solicitor has worked for two Teesside law firms, specialising in commercial litigation and employment law. But his Twitter profile says he’s now “non-practising”.

And a love of politics

Conservative Tees mayor candidate Ben Houchen
Conservative Tees mayor candidate Ben Houchen

Leader of the Conservative Group on Stockton Council, he has represented the Yarm and Kirklevington ward since 2011 and was selected as the Tories’ mayoral candidate after impressing party members with his plans for “change where it’s needed and continuity where it works”.

But he’s had parliamentary ambitions too. In 2012, after the death of Sir Stuart Bell, he stood in the Middlesbrough Parliamentary by-election, but finished fourth of eight candidates after polling 1,063 votes. He also stood in the 2014 European Parliamentary election with fellow Tories Martin Callanan and Andrew Lee – and in 2010 and 2015, campaigned strongly to help his friend James Wharton bag the Stockton South seat in the UK General Elections.

Bits and pieces

The parmo at Oven

* He’s married to Rachel, the head of his languages at his old school, Conyers, and his dad’s a policeman.

* In one of his mayoral election leaflets, he said he planned to campaign for the humble parmo to receive Protected Designation of Origin status (PDO) – legislation that currently protects the likes of Champagne and Camembert.

* He worked eight hours a week in a pizza takeaway shop while at school, earning £15 – and a free pizza on a Saturday.

Go to Source

What big firms aren’t telling you goes beyond the fine print

The message from Discover landed with a digital thud in Linda Babcock’s email inbox.

“Your account information may have been compromised as part of an external data breach,” it warned. “No Discover owned or controlled systems were compromised by this incident. Because your security is important, we’re replacing your card(s) to help keep your card information safe.”

Southern Californian Babcock, 69, was relieved at first that Discover was protecting her from scammers and identity thieves. But she naturally wanted to know more about this “external security breach.”

Was it a big company she did business with frequently, such as Amazon? Was it a smaller company she might want to steer clear of in the future?

How extensive was the breach? Hundreds of credit card accounts endangered? Thousands? Millions?

“These seemed like fair questions,” Babcock told me. “But when I called Discover and asked, all I got were vague answers. Nobody would say anything. Privacy considerations, they kept saying.”

All about PR

It’s a problem faced by consumers nationwide. A business gets hacked and customers are then treated like children, given only the sketchiest details so as not to bruise the delicate feelings of the hacked business.

“Companies don’t want to take the public-relations hit,” said Beth Givens, executive director of the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a San Diego advocacy group. “They know that consumers equate a data breach with carelessness.”

For that reason, it can be almost impossible for people to make informed decisions about the digital trustworthiness of businesses, which often value their own privacy far more than that of customers.

It’s always a challenge for businesses when to tell – whether to tell – customers what happened.

Rabeh Soofi, a Los Angeles lawyer who focuses on privacy matters

I’m thinking of how the telecom industry lobbied aggressively to roll back privacy safeguards requiring internet service providers to ask customers’ permission before sharing information with marketers.

Republican lawmakers voted in March to allow companies to once again share people’s info without their say-so. President Trump signed it into law last month.

Fun fact: The telecom industry spent nearly $86 million on lobbying activities last year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

California rules

When it comes to security breaches, Californians enjoy some of the toughest notification rules in the country, aimed at bringing greater transparency to such incidents. But that doesn’t always translate into openness.

The reality is that consumers will only learn details of a security breach if the company involved fesses up. And few companies want to announce to the world that their digital defenses came up short.

Under California law, customers must be notified of a breach only when it is “reasonably believed” by a business that personal information has been acquired “by an unauthorized person.”

That standard, obviously, accommodates a lot of wiggle room – although it’s not as big a loophole as some other states’ even looser requirement that notification be made only if a business thinks a breach will “harm” a customer financially.

In Babcock’s case, the breach to that “external” company was deemed serious enough by Discover to warrant a new credit card. But it’s unknown if the company involved ever issued its own mea culpa to customers.

Nobody would say anything. Privacy considerations, they kept saying.

Linda Babcock, customer who tried to get information from Discover after a security breach

Babcock said that, aside from Discover’s email, she hasn’t received any other breach notifications in recent months.

California’s law says notification must be made “in the most expedient time possible” but “may be delayed if a law enforcement agency determines that the notification will impede a criminal investigation.” Such investigations can take months.

“It’s always a challenge for businesses when to tell – whether to tell – customers what happened,” said Rabeh Soofi, a Los Angeles lawyer who focuses on privacy matters.

She said she’s represented companies that “did a lot of soul-searching about whether they really needed to disclose a security breach to customers or employees.”

Here’s another problem: The state’s notification law has no teeth.

For enforcement, it relies on Section 17200 of the Business and Professions Code, which forbids unfair practices. That law levies a general-purpose fine of $2,500 “for each violation.”

It’s unclear, though, whether this would entail a $2,500 fine for the entire incident or $2,500 for each customer affected.

Many companies might assume they face only a $2,500 overall risk in keeping quiet because no company ever has been lapped with a fine of $2,500 per individual. That could produce a staggering penalty.

Take Yahoo. The Sunnyvale company has reported in recent months that the accounts of more than 1 billion users may have been hacked. That’s a potential fine of $2.5 trillion if the company had kept mum about its security lapses – more than the gross domestic product of France.

Running the numbers

Odds are, therefore, the financial risk of keeping a breach under wraps would be on the low side – and that’s presuming authorities even came after you.

A spokeswoman for California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said she was unaware of any such prosecution ever being made.

With all this in mind, Babcock can consider herself fortunate that Discover was watching out for her.

But what about the hacking that resulted in her getting a new credit card? It turns out that credit card companies such as Discover, Visa and MasterCard often have deals with merchants under which they agree not to identify the business in the event of a security breach.

They just replace the card and tell cardholders not to worry their pretty heads.

I asked Discover for more information about the breach that affected Babcock.

No comment, a spokesman said.

Go to Source