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REWIND: International Business News #5

Posted on August 9th, 2010 | Author: admin

  • Outsourcing to India Draws Western Lawyers.  The legal outsourcing industry has taken off in India as money-conscious U.S. firms are hiring lawyers in India to do tasks such as document review and contract management. Now, to make this process more successful, Indian legal outsourcing firms are actively recruiting lawyers from western countries, such as the U.S. and the U.K. Surprisingly, these lawyers are considering the move since revenue from legal outsourcing firms in India is expected to reach $440 million this year. Outsourcing remains a contentious issue in the U.S. as jobs at home are lost, but experts say the outsourcing of legal jobs that can be done at a more cost-effective price with the potential for western lawyers in India remains an option for U.S. firms and lawyers.
  • India Seeks Harsher Punishment for Bhopal Gas-Leak Accused.  Officials from the Indian government have filed a petition to seek harsher punishments against U.S.-owned Union Carbide Corp., in its negligence of the 1984 gas leak in Bhopal, India. Amnesty International calculated that the tragedy killed a combined 22,000 people, while Union Carbide estimated only 3,800 deaths. In the 1996 ruling, the charges of culpable homicide were weakened and Union Carbide local unit officials faced only 2 years in prison. Michigan-based Dow Chemical Co., acquired Union Carbide in 1999 and the Indian government said it will pursue the liability case to gain further compensation for victims of the leak. However, a Union Carbide spokesman said the company is not subject to Indian jurisdiction since the operation of the Bhopal plant was under Union Carbide India Ltd.
  • How to Sell Online in China.  China’s online consumer market is a relatively untapped market that holds great potential for multinational companies who understand the Chinese online population. Chinese use the internet to communicate via instant messaging more than any other country, and this is not only limited to the young population, but to all reaches of the Chinese population. For multinational companies to be successful in the Chinese online market, they must accurately target the right consumers, while still maintaining consumer loyalty. Though many domestic firms have taken advantage of these opportunities, there is still time for foreign entrants. China’s online population is projected to reach 650 million in five years, which leaves sufficient time for foreign companies to find ways to successfully tap into the market.
  • CRC Wins U.K. Ruling on Lehman Client Money-Accounts.  New York-based CRC Credit Fund Ltd., Lehman Brothers Inc., and Lehman Brothers Finance AG can have claims to billions of dollars that weren’t put in separate accounts with the Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s U.K. unit, when Lehman Brother International Europe collapsed in 2008. CRC and Lehman Brothers appealed the ruling that clients whose money was not properly separated into “client money” accounts would be treated as unprotected creditors in the UK insolvency case; leaving clients with only a fraction of the money they were owed. This is a huge step in investor protection, which now means clients whose money was not properly handled by firms, can still be protected, and in this case, included in the pool of accounts that had been separated. Lehman is seeking $3 billion and CRC is seeking $76 million in money that should have been separated, a significant amount for those clients hurt in the 2008 collapse.
  • Google Will Sell Brand Names as Keywords in Europe. Google has announced it will change its search policy to allow third-party advertisers to buy trademarked terms. Prior to the March ruling by the European Court of Justice, brands such as Louis Vuitton, could file trademark complaints against Google to prevent third-party advertisers from appearing in results alongside their trademarked names. Though brand owners argued that to protect brand value they should be the only ones allowed to use their trademarked terms, the court ruled that Google had respected trademark law. The companies now will be shown in Google results alongside third-party advertisers selling their products. Though the decision benefits the basis of the internet giant’s revenue, AdWords, it comes as a blow to trademarked brand owners.

Compiled and summarized by Aylin S. Khor