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Copyright in Copyright office & Patent, Design and Trademark registration in Bangladesh : A path to financial stability

Copyright in Copyright office & Patent, Design and Trademark registration in Bangladesh:

The Copyright registration held in Copyright Office;  and Patent, Design and Trademark registration in Bangladesh is under Department Patents, Designs and Trademarks (DPDT). The Patent, Design and Trademark registration in Bangladesh in monitored under Ministry of Industries and Copyright registration supervised under Ministry of Cultural Affairs. Any individual or his/her representative such as a law or IP law firm in Bangladesh can easily apply for Patent, Design, Copyright and Trademark registration.

Copyright in Copyright office & Patent, Design and Trademark registration in Bangladesh: Overview

In broad “patent” means the exclusive right granted by a government to an inventor to manufacture, use, or sell an invention for a certain number of years. “Design” can be defined as an outline, sketch, or plan, as of the form and structure of a work of art, an edifice, or a machine to be executed or constructed. It can also be an organization or structure of formal elements in a work of art like composition; or the combination of details or features of a picture, building, etc.; the pattern or motif of artistic work.( Source: http://www.dictionary.com)

In general “trademark” is any name, symbol, figure, letter, word, or mark adopted and used by a manufacturer or merchant in order to designate his or her goods and to distinguish them from those manufactured or sold by others. A trademark is a proprietary term that is usually registered with the Patent and Trademark Office to assure its exclusive use by its owner.( Source: http://www.dictionary.com)

In common terms “copyright” is the exclusive legal right, given to an originator or an assignee to print, publish, perform, film, or record literary, artistic, or musical material, and to authorize others to do the same. (Source: https://www.google.com/)

Copyright in Copyright office & Patent, Design and Trademark registration in Bangladesh : Bangladesh scenario

It is repeatedly apparent in Bangladesh that lot of “creative talents” received an untimely and inhuman death because of poverty, even some time they died of lack of basic needs such as food, shelter and medical treatment. However, in developed countries such as USA and UK creative/intellectual persons live a wealthy life. The most crucial reason behind such economic status of such people in Bangladesh is the absence of “intellectual property law” practice especially the “copyright law” since the law related to patent, design and trademark is generally practiced in standard level in corporate and business environment. Before denying the possibilities someone should consider the consequences of having “copyright” registration from national copyright office.

The Copyright law allows authors or originators to be financially remunerated for their talents and labours which they have been put in creating something original. The monetary remuneration works as a motivation to them to continue their creation.

The person or enterprise who holds the copyright is the only one legally able to reproduce, change, publish, sell, distribute, rent or perform the copyrighted material. With the lack of copyright protection, it will be easy for anyone to claim such work as their own and to exploit it without giving any recognition or compensation to the original creator. Copyright law also protects the authors or originators of derivative (or new) works: For example- Dramatizations, translations, adaptations, abridgments, arrangement, and other alterations of literary or artistic works. There is one of the reasons behind creation of copyright laws that it give authors or originators exclusive rights to their creation for a certain time which is at least lifetime of the creator plus 50-60 years( it varies in different countries).

The copyright laws are not only for the creator’s benefits, it benefits the public too. One of the purposes of copyright law is to promote “the progress of science, useful and recreational arts”. The public benefits in at least two ways: the authors and inventors continue creating original works that these authors or originators may not have developed if there is lack of copyright law and secondly, these creations are freely usable by the public once the limited time has passed. It should also be noted that authors and copyright holders are not necessarily the same people. The author or the creator of the work usually owns the copyright.

However, if an employee created the work as part of a job, the employer automatically holds the copyright. The Copyright registration certificate from copyright office gives copyright owner the legal rights with important implications for those works that creates businesses to them. These include the exclusive right to make and distribute copies; sell, rent or license the work; display or perform the work publicly; and to create new works based on the original copyrighted work. So apparently copyright law helps to build business and commercial venture where thousands of people’s livelihoods are involved. In Bangladesh “Intellectual Property Law” draw its attention towards the government and that is why several statues enacted by Bangladesh Parliament. The government enacted separate extensive Law and Rules in relation to “copyright law” and they are Copyright Act 2000 and Copyright Rules 2006.

Similarly the person or enterprise who holds the patent, design and trademark is the only one legally own rights of such intellectual work of the creators or owners. With the lack of patent, design and trademark protection, it will be easy for anyone or any business or organization to claim such work as their own and to exploit it without giving any recognition or compensation to the original creators or owners. The patent, design and trademark registration in Bangladesh gives the owners the legal rights with important implications for those works that creates businesses to them. Relevant laws regarding patent, design and trademark are:

Patent and Design: Patents and Designs Act, 1911

Trademark:     The Trade Marks Act, 2009

Trade Mark Rules, 2015

The above features show the list of possibilities (not an exhaustive list) can be achieved only by accepting the opportunity available under the laws of Bangladesh. Implementation of Patent, Design, copyright and Trademark registration in Bangladesh became important aspect in the business community from last decade. But still we have  a long journey ahead.

Copyright in Copyright office & Patent, Design and Trademark registration in Bangladesh : A path to financial stability

Written By: Sheikh Saiful Islam Rajib

Hindu-Muslim Marriage, other Interreligious Marriage, and Court Marriage in Bangladesh: A comprehensive analysis of Law of Marriage in Bangladesh.

Hindu-Muslim Marriage, other Interreligious Marriage, and Court Marriage in Bangladesh: Overview

Being a secular country with regard to religious beliefs the marriage system in Bangladesh is far from encumbrances. When it comes from a Muslim perspective it poses different problems and misconceptions about the process as well as the existing law being not well defined people suffer from broken marriages to different lawsuits ranging from child custody to inheritance. With regard to Hindu marriage system, one thing can be said is that the system is naive since only in 2012 the Government of Bangladesh has formulated the Hindu marriage Registration Act even where the criterion for registration is kept optional. The law related to Cross religion marriages in Bangladesh are nothing but far reaching and the issues are far more complicated. Thus a simplified approach in understanding the law of Marriage in Bangladesh is attempted in this article titled “Hindu-Muslim Marriage, other Interreligious Marriage, and Court Marriage in Bangladesh: A comprehensive analysis of Law of Marriage in Bangladesh” so that any layperson can divulge what’s in it or not.

Hindu-Muslim Marriage, other Interreligious Marriage, and Court Marriage in Bangladesh: Bangladesh Scenario

 

Court Marriage in Bangladesh- Some clarification:

Court Marriage in Bangladesh is a well-known and accepted concept or idea that someone can be married through Judicial Court and such marriage in that court is legally valid. But an idea like Court Marriage in Bangladesh greatly accepted among lay people is incorrect. Jurisdiction of such courts or locally, in popular name, known as Court Marriage in Bangladesh is not a marriage at all, rather a declaration or permission from such judicial court. Even after acquiring such permission marriage will only be completed and legally valid when someone pays certain marriage registration fee to Kazi and fills out and sign the marriage registration form and completes the marriage registration under Muslim Marriage & Divorce Registration Act 1974 and Muslim Marriage & Divorce Registration Rules 1975.

 

 

According to Bangladeshi Civil Law, all marriages in Bangladesh entail proper Marriage Registration and later that leads to acquiring marriage certificate which is the principal document of marriage. It should be noted that the document and relevant procedures are known as “Court Marriage” is the supplementary document which has no significance without a marriage certificate.

Note: Authorization of a marriage in the name of Court Marriage in Bangladesh is not a marriage at all. Hence, the concerned parties/ couple must participate in their religion formalities and legal formalities (i.e.  registration procedure) to solemnize a valid marriage. Notary public authenticated documents have little worth to prove a legal claim regarding the validity of a marriage. It basically ensures originality of a document or certifies a formal declaration.

Hindu- Muslim & other Interreligious Marriage in Bangladesh:

In Bangladesh, family laws are personal, meaning that such matters are governed by the religious laws of the individual concerned. If someone is Muslim then Muslim law will regulate his/her marriage related issues.

However, under the Special Marriage Act of 1872, mix religion/cross marriage is possible among persons professing certain specified different religions namely Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, and Jain as well as among persons declaring themselves as non-believers (atheists). There will be a different scenario if any of the parties to the marriage is a Muslim. That is, under the Muslim law, a Muslim girl cannot get married to a boy possessing any other religion. Though, a Muslim male can marry any girl, who is a follower of any Kitaab, e.g. a Christian or a Jews only. Hence, a girl cannot get married under the Special Marriage Act 1872 if she declare herself as a Muslim and the boy declares himself as a Christian.

However, the option of marriages among non – believers (atheists) under the Special Marriage Act 1872 still remains open for a Muslim girl. When a marriage is solemnized under the Special Marriage Act 1872, the bride and the bridegroom have to sign a Declaration which states as: “I do not profess the Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Parsi, Buddhist, Sikh or Jaina religion” or (as the case may be) “I profess the Hindu, or the Buddhist, or the Sikh or the Jaina religion”.
Interpreting the words of the aforesaid Declaration, it seems that a Muslim girl may either declare herself a non-believer i.e. professing none of the religions or she may declare to profess any one of the religions listed there in i.e. she professes the Hindu, or the Buddhist, or the Sikh or the Jaina religion. Marriage is only allowed between persons declaring to profess any one of the religions specifically mentioned in the second part of the Declaration.

The Problem in The Special Marriage Act of 1872:

The above scenario reveals some lacuna or problem in The Special Marriage Act of 1872.according to  the analysis of the above scenario under the Act  it is safe to opine  that a Hindu and a Muslim – or a Buddhist and a Muslim, etc. – cannot marry under any law in Bangladesh, and hence are denied their constitutional right to equal treatment. The Special Marriage Act further contradicts Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that “[m]en and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family”.

Moreover, The Special Marriage Act of 1872 does not provide sufficient protection to those married under it. For example, the Act doesn’t contain the clear provisions on maintenance of wife and children, the legitimacy of children, custody of children, guardianship of children, and also the Act reflects certain disadvantages in the rights of inheritance.

Marriage Registration under Special Marriage Act of 1872 in Bangladesh:

If the parties of marriage are from different religion then the “Special Marriage Act-III of 1872” is applicable to them. In that case, they have to contact different marriage registrar like Kazi in Muslim Marriage. Here, Marriage Certificate is the principal document like other marriages.

Since there is no specific governmental instruction in Bangladesh regarding Hindu/Buddhist/Christian marriage registrations, the applicant should contact the City Corporation relevant department for Marriage registration, the priest who solemnized the marriage or the administration of the Church/Temple where the marriage was solemnized.

Muslim Marriage in Bangladesh:

If the parties to the marriage merely admit their consent, it doesn’t necessarily assure the validity of that marriage.  It has to be completed in certain legal format. For example- marriage contract cannot be conducted in plain paper or filling up the photocopied Kabin-nama form. A marriage has to be registered. The parties to the marriage and witnesses have to properly and fully fill out the form and sign in the Marriage Registry Volume Book in front of the Kazi who is the representative of the Marriage registrar and receive a marriage registration receipt. Parties of the marriage can get Kabin-nama showing the marriage registration receipt after 1 week from the marriage. In the case of an emergency Kabin-nama can be collected within a day. The Kazi will do the religious formalities too. He will recite Surah for marriage and ask for the consent of the parties to the marriage.

 

Muslim Sunni Marriage Procedure in Bangladesh:

Mandatory requirements of Marriage:

1. Minimum Age of the female or bride must be 18 years. She must have to bring- National ID card or School Certificates for example-SSC/JSC/JDC certificates or n Passport or Birth Certificate
2. Minimum Age of the male or groom must be 21 years. He must have to bring- National ID card or School Certificates for example-SSC/JSC/JDC certificates or Passport or Birth Certificate.
It should be noted that for the proof of age both bride and groom must show any of the following documents: National ID card or School Certificates for example-SSC/JSC/JDC certificates or n Passport or Birth Certificate. No affidavit or any other documents will be accepted without those certificates to reveal the actual age.
3. Declaration or offer of marriage by one of the parties and acceptance (Kabul) by the other party.
4. Minimum two witnesses must be present. In the case of a female witness, it will be counted as- 1 male=2 female. For example, the total witness in a marriage can be two male or 2 females and one male.
5. One person will be present as Guardian or informally called Ukil/ Ukil Baba of the parties.
6. Dower money or Denmahar(in Bangla)  must be decided by the Guardian of the parties or by the Parties to the marriage.
Marriage Registration Fees:

Marriage Registration Fees:
Marriage registration fees are fixed by the government on the basis of Dower Money.
1. For each 1000/- (One Thousand Taka) of dower money, registration fee is 12.50/- (Twelve Taka and Fifty Paisa)
2. For each 1, 00,000/- (One Lac Taka) of dower money, registration fee is 1,250/- (One Thousand Two Hundred and Fifty Taka)
3. After 4, 00,000/- (Four Lac Taka), for each Lac registration fee is 100/- (One Hundred Taka)

According to Muslim law, marriage is a civil contract and doesn’t require cultural or social formalities. Like any other contract, it has two parties. Since it is a very important contract for everyone as it enables someone to choose his/ her life partner, it is very important that the contracting parties take every precautions and sincerity while entering into such contract. If the parties don’t have “full knowledge” about what they are doing while entering into the marriage contract. As partial knowledge is dangerous because in future it may produce lots of complicacy that may lead to divorce and legal suit/case. So it can be strongly advised that someone should take professional help, for example-lawyer, to complete such important agreement.

Muslim Shia Marriage in Bangladesh:

Shia and Sunni Muslims are two very distinct sects of Muslims and should not be confused with each other. Each has a unique set of customs, traditions and even ceremonies. The way that a Shia and Sunni marriage is solemnized differs greatly in various countries of the world. But in Bangladesh, the legal requirements for Shia and Sunni Muslim marriage are not so different because Muslim Family Law doesn’t allow Muta (non-permanent) marriage, though the social customs, traditions, and ceremonies might differ.

According to Shia law marriage in Islam can be of two folds:

  1. Marriage through a regular contract which is called “permanent”, and
  2. Muta marriage – a non-permanent marriage for a fixed term.

 

Muta is distinguished from regular, permanent marriage on the basis of its nature. As it is temporary it does not reflect any far-reaching consequences. For example, Muta marriage does not create mutual rights of inheritance between the man and the woman, but children conceived while it exists are legitimate and capable of inheriting from both parents. All that is needed for Muta is a valid contract with a mention of the specified period accompanied by a fixed amount of dower. It is important to note that for a valid Muta two witnesses are required as is also required for the permanent marriage.

 

Shia and Sunni matrimony consist of very different marriage formalities. In a Sunni marriage ceremony, it is mandatory to have two adult consenting males present for the entire length of the ceremony as witnesses. Such witnesses are not required as per the law and rules of Sunni divorce as it can be done in the presence of only the husband or the wife.

In regard to Shia marriage, the procedure is totally different as in this instance where the witnesses are mandatory required to be present in the event of a divorce and not while the marriage takes place.

Hindu-Muslim Marriage, other Inter-religious Marriage, and Court Marriage in Bangladesh: A comprehensive analysis of Law of Marriage in Bangladesh.

Written By: Sheikh Saiful Islam Rajib

An analysis of Divorce, Divorce law and Divorce lawyer in Bangladesh

Divorce, Divorce law and Divorce lawyer in Bangladesh, An Overview:

An analysis of Divorce, Divorce law and Divorce lawyer in Bangladesh is an attempt to explain the Muslim Divorce law in Bangladesh.  Divorce, in short, a legal dissolution of a marriage by a court or other competent body. So in particulars, Divorce is the termination of a marriage or conjugal union, the canceling and/or rearranging of the legal duties of marriage, thus disbanding the ties of marriage between a married couple under the rule of law of a particular country and/or state. The law and provisions for divorce as stated in the Muslim Family Law Ordinance, 1961 is a codified law deals with the Muslim Marriage and Divorce in Bangladesh. when a man or woman or both mutually decide for dissolution of their marriage, then a Divorce lawyer in Bangladesh can play a vital role as saving a husband (mostly)  or wife, while he/she was going through an emotional episode because of the divorce, from prison, compensation  or any other trouble that might cause from the legal suit of the other party to the marriage.

A brief step by step analysis regarding Divorce, Divorce law and Divorce lawyer in Bangladesh is as follows:

 

Divorce in Bangladesh:

In Bangladesh, at present days the Divorce has become a legal issue and such legal issue always addresses and deals with all three stages of divorce, that is, prior to sending the Divorce Notice, at the time of 90 days statutory waiting period and after the expiration of the statutory period. Though Divorce occurred in between the husband and wife but sometimes it affects more than the couple e.g. their close family members and relatives socially. Divorce is a legal matter but sometimes it involves social impact too especially around the couple’s family.

It is a common scenario in Bangladesh that a  simply divorce between to human being raises many legal issues that consequently leads the couple to the courts. In such situation, the divorce lawyers/ divorce attorneys can become the faithful and confident friend to such couple for a safe way out from such complications. So, to avoid jail, compensation or unwanted hassle,  it is strongly advised if someone go through a divorce , he/she must receive professional help like hiring a Divorce lawyer in Bangladesh.

 

Muslim Divorce law in Bangladesh:

 

In developed countries, it is a common practice that for a divorce or separation the couple require and/or prefer lawyers or attorneys but so far in Bangladesh the parties do not always want to hire lawyers for divorce. The reason behind such attitude is not only because of the financial weakness of the couple but also the lack of understanding regarding the judicial complication they might face, commonly the husband, while they go through such divorce procedure.

In Bangladesh, even today,  there is a strong lack of practice in regard to mutual separation or divorce like the developed countries, though there is already available law for mutual divorce in Bangladesh. Naturally, when one party wants to separate from his/her partner in very few cases the other party accepts the same that leads to the party receiving divorce notice file legal suit, for genuine cause or not,  in order to stop the separation.

The Divorce law in Bangladesh includes both Muslim sharia Divorce i.e. Pronouncing of word Talaq and registration of Talaq with a Muslim Marriage and Talaq Registrar or Kazi. Section 7 of the Muslim Family Law Ordinance 1961 explains the procedure of Talaq. They are as follows:

(1) Any man who wishes to divorce his wife shall, as soon as possible after the pronouncement of Talaq in any form whatsoever, give the chairman notice in writing of his having done so, and shall supply a copy thereof to the wife.

(2) whoever contravenes the provisions of sub-sec(1) shall be punishable with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine which may extend to{ten thousand Taka} or with both.

(3) save as provided in sub-sec(5),  a Talaq, unless revoked earlier, expressly or otherwise, shall not be effective until the expiration of 90 (ninety days) from the day on which notice under sub-section (1) is delivered to the chairman.

(4) Within thirty days of the receipt of notice under sub-section (1), the chairman shall constitute an arbitration council for the purposes of bringing about a reconciliation between the parties, and the arbitration council shall take all steps necessary to bring about such reconciliation.

(5) If the wife be pregnant at the time Talaq is pronounced, Talaq shall not be effective until the period mentioned in sub-section (3) or the pregnancy, whichever be letter, ends.

(6) Nothing shall debar a wife whose marriage has been terminated by Talaq effective under this section from re-marrying the same husband, without an intervening marriage with a third person, unless such termination is for the third time so effective.”

Section 6 of the Marriages and Divorces (Registration) Act 1974 explains the registration process and requirements of Divorce or Talaq. They are as follows:

(1) A Nikah registrar may register divorce effected under Muslim law within his jurisdiction on application being made to him for such registration.

(2) An application for registration of a divorce shall be made orally by the person or persons who has or have effected the divorce. Provided that if the women be a pardanshin, such application may be made by her duly authorized Vakil.

(3) The Nikah registrar shall not register a divorce of the kind known as talaq-i-tafweez except on the production of document registered under the registration act,1908, by which the husband delegated the power of divorce to the wife or of an attested copy of any entry in the register of marriages showing that such delegation has been made.

(4) Where the Nikah Register refuses to register a divorce, the person or persons who applied for such registration may, within thirty days of such refusal, prefer an appeal to the Registrar and the order passed by the register on such appeal shall be final.”

So in summary the process of divorce in Bangladesh just in three steps for both Husband and Wife (When power of giving Divorce has been delegated in the Kabin under section 8 of the 1961 Ordinance) who are looking for separation:

  1. Give Notice in writing to other party to the marriage and Chairman
  2. Face the Arbitration Board for reconciliation ; and
  3. After expiry of 90 days receive a registration certificate from a registered Nikah Registrar (Kaji).

It should be noted that , giving notice for divorce is itself a presumption that the Dower Money (Mohrana) has been paid in full but in practice this is not the case as as in most scenarios it has been appeared that a part or full Denmahar is unpaid and then it becomes the duty of the divorce lawyers to ensure payment of dower before completion of Divorce. Furthermore,  at the time of instigating the divorce process the husband should be informed about paying three months maintenance (Iddat) to the wife and other maintenance for the children.  Just to avoid court proceedings a lawyer communicates with the notice receiver (wife) and try his/her best for negotiating all the monetary issues involve in the divorce. For the wife,  above said three steps are applicable for divorce but technically and legally she is not in a position to pay any Dower Money to her Notice receiver husband though she will be responsible for maintenance of her minor children.

The notice receiver wife can file a suit under the Muslim Family Law Ordinance 1961 for dower money and maintenance for herself and the children living with her in a family court , which in nature is a civil suit.

The Supreme Court of Bangladesh held that “Talaq in any form shall not stand effective and talaq shall not be talaq in the eye of law unless provision contained in section 7 (1) of the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance 1961 is sternly complied with…”. So even Supreme Court of Bangladesh made it clear that a divorce must follow the above three steps divorce procedure otherwise such divorce will not legally valid.

If a Notice was served and Talaq was registered under Section 6 of the Marriages and Divorces (Registration) Act 1974 as stated above,  a legal Divorce or Talaq will be executed. It should be noted that Muslim Divorce in Bangladesh does not involve any court proceedings.

Divorce lawyer in Bangladesh:

The lawyers in Bangladesh who are practicing family matters under the Family Court Ordinance, 1985 are introduced as Divorce Lawyers. But none in Bangladesh are exclusively practicing on Divorce law matters, so divorce lawyers generally means the lawyers practicing family law matters. There are very few law chambers or firms in Dhaka practicing family matters among those Limpid Advisers & Co. (LAC) is one of leading Family Law practitioner in Bangladesh. In our country most of the Divorce or family matters involved with the issues of maintenance, dower, Alimony or maintenance and some other topics criminal in nature and only a divorce or family matter lawyer can get the proper remedy for you. So it can be highly suggested that whoever going through a divorce, he/she must seek lawyer’s help.

 

Legal complications in Divorce procedure:

In Bangladesh the Divorce Lawyers have been asked a very common question before starting divorce proceedings is whether his wife can file a criminal case against him or not. Giving divorce to his partner is a statutory right of the husband recognized by Muslim family laws and the wife has the same right if delegated by the husband under section 8 of the Ordinance 1961.

When we discuss about the Divorce issues, it is very important to consider regarding the laws namely Nari-O- Shishu Nirjatan Daman Ain, 2000 and Dowry Prohibition Act, 1980.

In most cases where the husband served notice for divorce to his partner/wife, then he/she,  after being informed about the Divorce Notice initiates a/several criminal case(s) against the notice sender. In all cases wife don’t admit about receiving the Notice by showing a date of occurrence prior to the date of notice. Most of the time the criminal cases have been filed before the learned Magistrate who forward majority of cases to the concerned Police Stations with a direction for taking legal steps after inquiry or to record the same as First Information Report (FIR). The sufferers who have faced such false cases under some common sections of the above 1980 and 2000 Acts for example section 3 & 4 of 1980 Act explains penalty for giving or taking dowry and penalty for demanding dowry respectively. Furthermore, section 11 of 2000 Act deals with allegation of physically hurting wife by husband or his family members while demanding dowry.

 

Divorce, Divorce law and Divorce lawyer in Bangladesh, Recommendations:

Finally , it is to be said that the process of divorce is merely an official process guided by the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961 and the Marriages and Divorces (Registration) Act 1974 . But for smooth and safe dissolution of marriage the parties to the marriage have been advised to contact with an expert lawyer in this matter.  It should be remembered that before starting divorce process someone must be very sure that Divorce is the only and last way available for him/her to solve the existing problems between them , because divorce among them may cause great impact upon their dearest family members .

An analysis of Divorce, Divorce law and Divorce lawyer in Bangladesh

Written By: Sheikh Saiful Islam Rajib

Detroit’s Lawyers Defend Billing

In court papers, lead law firm Jones Day and others that helped Detroit navigate its historic debt restructuring made a case—at the request of U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes—for why their hourly billing rates and final tab are reasonable. Officials at Jones Day, who pointed out they had already cut $17.7 million from their tab, defended the $53.7 million in fees charged for roughly 17 months’ work.

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Real estate attorney Bill Kuehling

Bill advises developers, nonprofit corporations, and public entities on a variety of real estate transactions and infrastructure finance. He has more than 20 years of experience in real estate development, public/private partnerships, land use, and municipal law, and serves as an advisor to national developers seeking tax abatements, tax increment financing, or any other redevelopment opportunities across the St. Louis region.

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For Foreign Law Firms in Australia

The gamble of doing business in Australia came into sharp relief this past week when one U.S. law firm parted ways with Australia while another global firm took its relationship with the country to a whole new level.

New York law firm Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP announced that it’s shutting down its offices in Shanghai and Hong Kong in coming months. Meanwhile, global law firm Dentons unveiled plans to merge with mainland Australia’s largest law firm.

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