May 29, 2017

RHT Rajan Menon Foundation raises $264,000 for beneficiaries at its third annual Charity Golf event 2017

RHT Rajan Menon Foundation Charity Golf 2017 was featured in The Straits Times article titled “Charity Golf tournament raises $264,000 for beneficiaries”. The article was first published in The Straits Times on 26 May 2017. Charity golf tournament raises $264,000 for beneficiaries Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Date: 26 May 2017 Author: Aaron Chan SINGAPORE - Over a quarter of a million dollars was raised on Friday (May 26), at RHT Rajan Menon Foundation's third annual golf charity event held at the Singapore Island Country Club. A total of 40 companies and individuals donated $264,000, which will go towards two primary beneficiaries - The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund and Singapore Management University Pro Bono Centre - as well as two selected organisations, namely the Singapore Red Cross Society and National Gallery Singapore. Over three years, the foundation has raised more than $600,000. One of its key donors is Qilin World Capital, who has been a supporter since 2015. Qilin's co-managing partner, Mr Raymond Lau, said: "Both the primary beneficiaries were set up to support children and youth from less fortunate circumstances. (Our company) believes that the right financing tools can help cultivate a culture of socially responsible individuals and provide educational development to the next generation." RHT Holdings's chief executive Mr Jayaprakash Jagateesan, who was speaking at the event's gala dinner on Friday said:"As leaders of the corporate world, we have the influence to inculcate the spirit of giving within our organisations, encouraging fellow colleagues and friends to behave in a socially responsible manner." The RHT Rajan Menon Foundation was established in 2015 and supports a variety of causes.
May 17, 2017

“Motherhood is more than just a Sunday in May”, Family and Matrimonial Law Partner Michelle Woodworth shares 5 tips with divorced mothers for Mothers’ Day

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Family and Matrimonial Law Partner Michelle Woodworth wrote an article published in AsiaOne titled “The divorced mum's guide to surviving Mothers' Day”. The article was first published in the 12 May 2017 edition of AsiaOne. The divorced mum's guide to surviving Mothers' Day Source: AsiaOne Date: 12 May 2017 Author: Michelle Woodworth Mother's Day is when most families look forward to celebrating their mothers, but for divorced mums, commemorating motherhood in the void of a family nucleus may not be a jubilant Sunday. As a family lawyer, I've had clients tell me that their first few Mothers' Days post-divorce were the most difficult. "A sad and lonely time", as one client described it. On a day where social media feeds boast pictures of intact-family celebrations, typically orchestrated by dads taking charge of helping to pick out presents, flowers or surprising mum with breakfast in bed, divorced mums can feel as though they are missing out. Being a mother takes an inexplicable amount of sacrifice, courage and strength - regardless of marital status. That deserves to be celebrated, affirmed and appreciated. As a mother who adores her daughter and as a daughter who admires her mum, I understand that motherhood is more than just a Sunday in May. Here are five tips to celebrating you: 1. Remember that you have a cause to celebrate Take charge to make this day special by planning the day to make it meaningful. Consider roping in your own mum, sisters, aunts and have a multigenerational celebration. Celebrate the day Singapore-style with food, food, food! Prepare ahead by pre-arranging with your ex for your children to spend Mothers' Day with you if arrangements dictate otherwise. 2. Set aside time for your children Remember that you can make this day about celebrating your children in as much as it is about celebrating you. Step out of the day-to-day routine and do something different with your children. Take your younger kids to the beach or even to a trampoline park. If your children are older, share life experiences over a drawn out meal. 3. Relinquish old expectations and create new family traditions It may be challenging to celebrate Mothers' Day without a spouse's help, but things can get easier. Establish new traditions with your children so that they will look back with fondness when they are older. Over and above all else, do not feel guilty about the divorce. 4. Connect socially through a support group Mothers' Day may be a good time to look out for other divorced mums who may be spending the day alone. Make plans with them, be it over coffee, sharing stories, or exchanging tips on juggling home and work lives. Encourage one another! 5. Love yourself Reflect on and recognise your achievements, notwithstanding the inevitable struggles in raising your children. Avoid comparing yourself with other mums. Be optimistic and keep your chin up! Know that you are unique; yesterday, today, tomorrow and always! And to all mothers out there, a very happy Mothers' Day! Michelle Woodworth is a Partner at RHTLaw Taylor Wessing, Court-appointed Child Representative, Senior Mediator under the Law Society Mediation Scheme, and an IMI and SIMI certified Mediator.
May 2, 2017

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Deputy Head of Litigation & Dispute Resolution Nandakumar Renganathan interviewed by The Sunday Times on fraudulent investment schemes related to land-banking and gold buy-backs

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Deputy Head of Litigation & Dispute Resolution Nandakumar Renganathan interviewed by The Sunday Times on fraudulent investment schemes related to land-banking and gold buy-backs The article was first published in The Sunday Times on 30 April 2017. Title: A legal expert's views on investments Source: The Sunday Times © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd Date: 30 April 2017 Here are some FAQs on fraudulent investment schemes posed by The Sunday Times to Mr Nandakumar Renganathan, deputy head of litigation and dispute resolution practice, RHTLaw Taylor Wessing. Q How can retail investors protect themselves when investing in gold and land-banking schemes? A The strongest power that investors have is in deciding whether to invest in a product. People generally associate investments in gold and property as safe investments and, no doubt, companies which sell dubious products take advantage of this. Often, investors are led to the investment by friends. They come into contact with agents of the company selling these products and are enticed to refer other friends to the investment through some benefits. Investors gain confidence when their friends say: "I have put money into this investment and it gives me a 20 per cent return." The focus must be on the investment product, not the anticipated return. In my experience, things just go awry when investors focus on the return rather than what they are investing in.   Q What should investors consider when assessing such investments? What are the typical red flags? A Investors should ask certain critical questions - what am I getting when I buy into this product? For example, if I am informed this is a property in Brazil, the questions to be asked before one invests are: •When was this company that sells this product incorporated? •Who owns this company? •Who are you entering into a contract with? Often, investors are misled into thinking they have invested with a Singapore company when, in actual fact, they have entered into a contract with a company overseas with the same name. •What am I getting for my investment? This is a critical question. If you are getting some share in a property, is that property going to be registered in your name? If it is merely that the company is collecting the money and the property is not vested in your name, you have a right only to receive payment from the company. There is no interest in the property. •Who owns the property? There have been occasions when companies that sell the products do not own the property. •How much debt does the company have? If you are investing into a company, you should know the risks associated with the business. •When you have a "guaranteed return", who is promising it? If the return is promised by the company, then the financial strength of the firm is critical. •Is the intermediary offering the investment product regulated in its home country by a competent regulator? If the investment product is regulated in Singapore, it would need a prospectus registered with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). If there is no prospectus and someone offers an investment product, that is a criminal offence in itself. •Is there a Singapore-based distributor of the investment product, and is the distributor regulated by the MAS? •Look out for the MAS Investor Alert List for instances of offers of investment products that are unlicensed. After investors have made their inquiries, they should have an idea of risks involved in making the investment.   Q What is the impact of the new regulation on firms offering land-banking schemes? A The MAS has closed a gap in the law by introducing new regulations relating to land-banking here. These products will be dealt with as collective investment schemes. This means that the managers of such schemes will need to be licensed by the MAS. These products need to be accompanied by prospectuses approved by the MAS. These measures seek to ensure that there is robust regulatory oversight on the managers (who have to be fit and proper persons). They also ensure that investors have access to all material facts to help them make informed decisions. In short, these ensure transparency and accountability in relation to the products being offered, as well as on the intermediaries offering the products.   Q Will aggrieved investors have any recourse against the company? A Investors can claim against the company and its officers if there has been fraud involved. They should approach their legal advisers and the authorities as soon as possible. If the investors are quick enough, they may even be able to secure an injunction from the court to freeze the assets of the company. If the company has the money with it, chances of recovery are better. One reality that investors should be aware of is that people who set up companies with a fraudulent purpose in mind plan ahead to move the money out as soon as they receive them. It becomes challenging to trace the money much later.   Q Any other tips? A The final question to be asked is "Is this too good to be true?" Investors should be wary of anyone saying you can double your money in three to four years. If they feel it is too good to be true, they should decline to invest.
May 2, 2017

Litigation Partner Eugene Quah quoted in The Straits Times on how third-party collectors of donations should explicitly clarify they are not from the charity to avoid creating false impressions

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Litigation Partner Eugene Quah was quoted in The Straits Times on how third-party collectors of donations should explicitly clarify they are not from the charity to avoid creating false impressions. The article was first published in The Sunday Times on 29 April 2017. Doubts over some donation drives Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Date: 29 April 2017 Author: Priscilla Goy and Ng Jun Sen Some people here have grown wary of local appeals for donations of everyday items like newspapers, clothes and books to foreign charities. They have even gone online to share their experience of receiving fliers about such donation drives, hoping for clarification. Eunos Crescent resident Ethan Guo, who works in the charity sector and is in his 30s, alerted The Straits Times to one such flier he received two weeks ago. He was so sceptical, he made a police report. On April 20, he saw people collecting the donated items and said: "The people did not look like charity workers or wear anything to identify themselves as such at all." He may be right to doubt the credibility of some of them. For instance, a donation drive here on Oct 14 last year claimed to be by the Children's Heart Foundation, a charity in the United States, and featured the logo of the charity's Oregon chapter. But when ST contacted the charity's executive director, Mr William Foley, he said he did not know of anyone here donating to or raising funds for it. The charity was also not behind the fliers distributed here. Although a Singapore number was listed in the flier, nobody answered calls and there was no reply to text messages. Then there were fliers about two separate drives - Jan 30 last year and April 20 this year - to benefit the same charity called Child Africa, which helps poor children in East Africa. The first listed the collector's name "John" with a phone number. The other listed the collector's name "Dave", a different phone number and an e-mail address with a "hotmail.com" suffix. Educator Donna Kok, 43, saw the second flier and said: "The Hotmail address flagged to me that this may not be a legitimate donation drive." ST tried calling the Singapore numbers. "John" did not take the calls but "Dave" did, and agreed to meet yesterday. They both refer to Mr Dave Wong, 36, who used to work in a recycling company but has been unemployed for four months. His fliers have popped up in Eunos Crescent and Yishun but Mr Wong declined to say where else he had distributed the fliers. Speaking in Mandarin, he said his charity drive is for real and showed letters signed by the charity's managing director, Ms Julie Solberg. Child Africa, which has offices in Kenya, Uganda and Norway, replied to ST to say it is aware of donation drives here. Mr Wong, who said he was too busy giving out fliers and collecting items to reply to e-mails and calls, said he donates about 70 per cent of the proceeds from selling the items he collects to the charity, with the rest covering operating expenses. Under the House to House and Street Collections Act, a licence is required if a fund-raising appeal is made through "visits from house to house" - so what about these fliers? RHTLaw Taylor Wessing partner Eugene Quah said "visit" refers to "situations where there is face-to-face contact". But featuring the charities' logos in the fliers suggests the collectors represent the charities, he said. "If the (collectors) create a false impression through their fliers that they are from a particular charity, then they may be guilty of cheating under the Penal Code. They should state explicitly in the fliers that they are not from the charity but are merely assisting to collect donations for the charity." False Impression "If the (collectors) create a false impression through their fliers that they are from a particular charity, then they may be guilty of cheating under the Penal Code. They should state explicitly in the fliers that they are not from the charity but are merely assisting to collect donations for the charity." - RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Partner Eugene Quah