November 7, 2014 nº 1,565 - Vol. 12

"Stolen sweets are best."

Colley Cibber

In today's Law Firm Marketing, how to overcome two costly excuses prospects make

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  • Top News

UN committees outline states' obligations to end harmful practices against women and girls

The UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Committee on the Rights of the Child on Wednesday released a joint recommendation on the obligations of states towards the prevention and elimination of the harmful practices inflicted upon women and girls. This first collaboration between the two committees delineates the obligations set forth by CEDAW and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and offers guidance to states on legislative and policy measures, among others, which can be taken to eradicate the harmful practices. The groups also provided strategies for implementation at all levels of government. The joint recommendation echoes the Convention on the Rights of the Child along with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women which view these types of harmful practices as human rights violations and require states to take the necessary steps towards eliminating them.

EU to press Luxembourg over tax breaks amid fresh allegations

The European Commission is to press Luxembourg over new allegations it offered tax breaks for more than 300 global companies. But Commission chief and ex-Luxembourg PM Jean-Claude Juncker will not handle the probe. Pepsi and Ikea are among those accused of making deals with Luxembourg to save billions in tax in other countries. The revelations were published in a report by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). The suggestion that multinational companies channel profits through Luxembourg-based subsidiaries in order to minimize their tax bills is hardly new. This research shows just how widespread the practice has been, and the extent to which it has effectively been endorsed by the Luxembourg authorities. The important point is that these arrangements are not in any way illegal as far as the companies themselves are concerned - in fact many of the leaked documents are so-called "comfort letters" from the Luxembourg authorities specifically endorsing individual schemes. Companies created complicated accounting and legal structures that move profits to low-tax Luxembourg from higher-tax countries where they're headquartered or do lots of business. In some cases, it adds, companies enjoyed tax rates of less than 1% on profits moved into the European duchy. The probe paints "a damning picture of an EU state which is quietly rubber-stamping tax avoidance on an industrial scale". Read more, click here.

Movers and shakers

The office Barretto Ferreira e Brancher - Sociedade de Advogados has recruited the former general counsel of São Paulo gas distributor Comgás to head up a new energy practice, opened in response to increased work the firm believes will come from the massive investment Brazil will need to solve its energy crisis. Leonardo Lerner, 63, joined the firm last month as a senior consultant. (Click here)

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  • Crumbs

1 - In oil baron's divorce, company lawyer plays star role - click here.

2 - Supreme Court Examines Sarbanes-Oxley: Business of Law - click here.

3 - Thai PM considering lifting martial law in some areas - click here.

4 - Supreme Court hears arguments on disclosure of security information - click here.

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  • MiMIC Journal

PBOC confirms new liquidity tool as it holds off easing

China's central bank has published details on its latest tool to provide liquidity as it refrains from across-the-board cuts to benchmark interest rates.

China's trust assets expand least since 2010

China's trust assets grew the least since 2010 in the third quarter as regulators tried to limit shadow banking risks and investors grew more wary of defaults.

China poised to resume broker IPO approvals after 3 years

China's securities regulator pledged to review Guosen Securities Co.'s application to sell shares, signaling that it's poised to resume approvals for initial public offerings by brokerages after a three-year halt. The China Securities Regulatory Commission's review will be on Nov. 14, it said on its website yesterday. Guosen, which is based in Shenzhen, plans to sell as many as 1.2 billion shares, according to a draft prospectus from June.

  • Law Firm Marketing

Enhance your image and nurture relationships: how to overcome two costly excuses prospects make
By Trey Ryder
 
Why do clients and prospects make excuses? And what do those excuses mean?
 
The excuses you regularly hear are really symptoms of other problems:
 
Excuse #1: "Too expensive." Prospects don't appreciate the value of what you're offering, choosing to focus on price instead. (Also, "too expensive," if true, could mean you're reaching the wrong audience; you should redirect your message so you reach qualified prospects.)
 
Excuse #2: "Too busy." Prospects don't understand the importance of what you're offering, so they ignore your suggestions and claim they're too busy.
 
The purpose of a competent marketing message is to make sure prospects understand the depth of their problem -- and the solutions you can provide. When you hear excuses, they demonstrate the failure of your marketing message. Obviously, you're reaching people who don't appreciate the depth of their problem -- and the importance of solving it NOW!
 
Part of the issue is Credibility. When prospects trust you, they are more likely to follow your advice. So another problem is that your marketing program does not establish a high enough level of trust for prospects to do what you suggest.
 
Part of the issue is Importance. Prospects must understand the terrible problems they will create if they don't act soon.
 
Part of the issue is Urgency. Motivating people to take action is hard. Motivating them to take action AND write a check is even harder.
 
Part of the issue is Convenience. Over the past year, I've carefully watched marketers in all types of businesses. Those who achieve the greatest marketing success are those who make their message and their services very convenient for their prospects. Convenience is hugely important, especially in a world where no one has enough time.
 
For your marketing program to succeed, it must do all these things:
 
> Firmly establish your prospect's legal problem and its importance
 
> Offer solutions that only you can provide
 
> Prove that paying money to you is not a high cost -- but, instead, an essential and wise investment -- in fact, the best investment they will ever make
 
> Clearly point out what people lose by not hiring you now!
 
Your marketing message must be air tight, without any holes. And you need effective ways to deliver your message to your prospects.
 
For marketing success, your marketing program must deliver a competent message that puts everything in the right perspective.

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© Trey Ryder
FREE LAWYER MARKETING ALERT: If you'd like to receive Trey Ryder's weekly Lawyer Marketing Alert, send an e-mail to Trey@TreyRyder.com. Write "Subscribe LMA" in the subject line and write your name and e-mail address in the body of the message.

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  • Historia Verdadeira

Deuda

Una corte de Londres dio a los acreedores no reestructurados de Argentina un plazo de dos semanas para oponerse a declaraciones de un poderoso grupo de inversores en una disputa por el pago de US$ 280,49 mlls. en intereses. (Presione aquí)

Energía

La compañía Enel Green Power – EGP - suscribió un contrato de suministro de energía a largo plazo con la Empresa Nacional de Electricidad - Endesa Chile - por un valor aproximado de US$ 2.300 mlls. A través de un comunicado explicó que dicho contrato también prevé la venta de "certificados verdes" por unos plazos aproximados de 20 y 25 años para dos proyectos de energía eólica y tres proyectos fotovoltaicos, respectivamente.

Hidroeléctrica

La empresa española de energía y medioambiente Abengoa construirá una central hidroeléctrica de veinte megavatios (MW) en Arequipa, Perú, que implicará la inversión de más de US$ 50 mlls. La empresa española desarrollará la ingeniería, el diseño y la construcción de la central, y aclaro que no participará de los activos después de que estén finalizados.

  • Brief News

Obama and Republican leader pledge to work together

The US Senate's new Republican leader and Obama have both promised to end the political gridlock that has so frustrated American voters. Republicans made historic gains in the mid-term elections and now control both legislative chambers. Incoming Senate leader Mitch McConnell said he would make the ineffective Senate function and pass bills. mObama said he was "eager to work with the new Congress to make the next two years as productive as possible". The election campaign was characterized by widespread frustration expressed by voters about the inability of Congress to work together.

Mind the rising activist tide, experts say

Companies need to be prepared for hostile incursions as activist investors multiply and their collective wallet grows thicker.

Bitcoin firm head charged in first-of-kind Ponzi case

A Texas man who ran a firm that claimed to make virtual currency-based investments was accused of masterminding a $4.5 million Ponzi scheme in what US prosecutors said was a first-of-its-kind case tied to bitcoins. Trendon Shavers, founder of Bitcoin Savings and Trust, raised at least 764,000 bitcoins by promising investors a return of as much as 3,641 percent, prosecutors said. Instead, he used bitcoins from new investors to cover payments owed to earlier clients, while also tapping into the currency to pay for his own Las Vegas gambling and spa treatments, they said. At the peak of his scheme in 2011 and 2012, Shavers held about 7 percent of all bitcoins in circulation, they said.

Libya high court dissolves UN-backed parliament

Libya's Supreme Court on Thursday declared the UN-backed elected parliament unconstitutional. The ongoing crisis in Libya has created two rival parliaments, one based in the nation's capital Tripoli, and the other, which was declared illegitimate by the high court, based in the northeastern city of Tobruk.

Jihadists 'using cruise ships' to reach Middle East war zones

Would-be jihadists have been travelling on cruise ships to reach conflict areas in the Middle East, Interpol has said. The international police body said some of those trying to join militant groups in Iraq and Syria had used cruise lines to get to countries including Turkey. It said checks to passenger lists should be extended from airlines to cruise operators before the issue became more of a problem. No figures were put on how many militants had travelled in this way.

Gay marriage bans upheld in four states

A US appeals court has upheld bans on gay marriage in four states, a ruling that increases the chances the Supreme Court will soon rule on the issue. Judge Jeffrey Sutton of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals wrote definitions of marriage should not be changed by the courts. The 2-1 decision is the first at the appeals court level in favor of gay marriage opponents. Read more, click here.

Investment firm raises new $2.1 billion fund for Latin America

The Advent Latin American Private Equity Fund VI is thought to be the largest such fund ever raised for Latin America, topping Rio de Janeiro-based Gávea Investments' $1.9 billion fund, which it raised in 2011.

Russia opens oil price-fixing probe against top firms

Russian state inspectors have opened an inquiry into major Russian oil firms suspected of market rigging to push up petrol prices nationally. The Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS) is investigating Bashneft and Lukoil - both privately-owned - as well as state-owned Rosneft. The FAS says many deals between Russian oil firms on the commodities exchange this year look suspicious. Russia's state revenue has been hit by plunging world oil prices.

Tax on sugary drinks passed in first US city

The US city of Berkeley in California has voted in favor of a tax on sugary drinks, the first specifically targeting soda consumption in the US. However, nearby San Francisco has not backed a similar measure. Although final votes were still being counted, Berkeley - which required a simple 50% majority - backed the measure with the support of about two-thirds of voters. San Francisco failed to achieve the two-thirds majority needed.

Harvard secretly photographed classrooms to monitor attendance

Some 2,000 Harvard undergraduates, as well as some faculty, were photographed in lecture halls at the school last spring as part of a university study into student attendance. Harmless enough, right? Well, those photographs were taken without those students' knowledge or permission. And that has some people upset. Peter K. Bol, Vice Provost for Advances in Learning at Harvard to deliver a long, prepared a statement explaining the practice. Bol said since he got the job, he'd been hearing stories of more and more students skipping class. So, he wanted to get some hard data to support the anecdotes, without biasing the sample. Bol says the study was approved by the University's Institutional Review Board, and after the data was analyzed, the photos were destroyed.

Brazil: The land of many lawyers and very slow justice

Brazil is teeming with law schools and lawyers. But the wheels of justice in the country turn slowly — most cases take years to resolve and sometimes even decades. Judge Laurence Mattos in Sao Paulo says he has an extraordinary workload. "Today we have 1,660,000 cases in progress in just my department," he says. His department consists of five judges. "We get to a point in which administrating all this is practically impossible. We are able to do the best we can — with even some reasonable efficiency ... but it feels like something out of control," he says with startling understatement. He explains that the law as it stands in Brazil means that his court basically has to act as a collection agency. Part of the issue is that Brazilians are litigious. Really litigious. There are 95 million cases in the country right now — or one lawsuit for every two people. Brazil's 1988 Constitution "created many rights ... and people discovered that they could litigate to get them." Here is another telling statistic: Brazil has more law schools — some 1,240 — than the rest of the world combined. And they have turned out some 800,000 lawyers — which means there are more lawyers per capita in Brazil than in the US The judicial system hasn't kept pace with all that lawyering. There are 16,000 judges in Brazil, and many positions aren't filled. (Click here)

California approves penalty reduction for some low level crimes

California voters on Tuesday approved Proposition 47, a ballot initiative reducing the penalties associated with certain low-level drug and property crimes, receiving 58 percent voter approval. Under the measure, crimes related to possession of drugs for personal use and theft of property worth $950 or less are to be charged as misdemeanors unless the defendant has prior convictions for certain serious crimes. Individuals currently serving sentences for the newly adjusted offenses will be able to petition the court to have their sentence reduced. California Secretary of State Debra Bowen's office expects Proposition 47 to affect around 40,000 offenders annually. The projected savings, totaling in the hundreds of millions of dollars, will be used to fund school programs and mental health and drug treatment.

  • Daily Press Review

Libyan court rules elected parliament illegal
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

Putin: Nazi-Soviet pact was legitimate; Britain to blame for Hitler's march into Europe
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

Labour 'must pull together' to win
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

This may be the oldest photo of a person
CNN International, London, England

Karolina Kurkova wows at the German GQ Awards in figure hugging mesh midi dress
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Teacher turned down for job in South Korea 'because of alcoholism nature of the Irish'
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Luxembourg's attractive company tax leaks tempt scandal
EuroNews, International news, Ecully Cedex, France

Hollande 'won't seek second term' if unemployment continues to rise
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Earthquakes pose threat to historic monuments in Istanbul
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

Thunderstruck: AC/DC fans in shock as drummer faces murder plot charge
Independent The, London, England

Major Ukrainian TV provider drops Russian channels
Moscow News The, Independent, Moscow, Russia

More than 600 US troops complained of chemical agent exposure in Iraq
Telegraph The, Conservative daily, London, England

Sophia Loren's withering 'side-eye' glance at Jayne Mansfield explained at last
Telegraph The, Celebrity news, London, England

Trade pact at the top of APEC agenda: official
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Gov't Cancels Billion-Dollar Fighter Jet Contract with BAE
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

In pics One World Trade Center reopens
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

Associate prof, 3 others arrested for supplying explosives to Maoists
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

In possible breakthrough, Abe and Xi likely to hold brief talks at APEC
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

3 Malaysian Muslims win court bid to cross-dress
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

Ukraine President cancels trip over protests in eastern Ukraine
Straits Times, Pro-government, Singapore

'We might hold it there'
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

Obama, Republican leaders test will for compromise
Taiwan News, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Bank of America taking $400million litigation charge
The Economic Times, Business, Mumbai, India

Leaked files expose global companies' secret tax deals in Luxembourg
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Harper's first day in China heavy on economic ties
Globe and Mail The, Centrist daily, Toronto, Canada

Liberty Reserve Brought Down By 'Joe Bogus': How The Feds Arrested Arthur Budovsky
International Business Times, Business news organization, New York, U.S

When Is a Corporate Media Group Too Powerful?
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Home Depot says about 53 million email addresses stolen in breach
Reuters, Business News, New York, U.S

Ebola surging in Sierra Leone amid lack of treatment centres - U.N.
Reuters, World News, New York, U.S

Province to consider changes to conflict of interest law
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

UN 'lacks resources' to fight Ebola
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

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