Australian Firm Victimized by an ''International Scammer''
An Australian law firm, based in Perth, has been victimized by what local authorities are calling an ''international scammer.'' In May, the firm received an e-mail by what claimed to be a Chinese export company requesting representation to chase a $900,000 debt from an Australian company.
The scammer told the firm that the threat of any legal action led to the company promising payment.
The Perth firm was tipped off to a possible scam when they received a $400,000 check two weeks later in which the debtor was listed as the ''remitter.''
Major Fraud Squad detectives tracked down the source of the letter, finding that it had come from Canada.
After that the scammer ended further contact with the firm.
Perth Detective Sergeant Bernie Iriks had this to say: ''Invariably, the law firm would have received a request from the scammer to draw against the check and remit funds to him resulting in a loss to the law firm when the check was eventually dishonored.''
He added, ''It is our experience that scammers have a run on a particular industry before moving on to their next scam, so the community needs to be vigilant. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.''
Arent Fox Opens Insurance and Reinsurance Branch in New York
Arent Fox, a Washington based law firm, is expanding amidst the global economic downturn. The firm will be launching an insurance and reinsurance branch in New York.
Last month, Arent Fox added five lawyers to the new unit, which will litigate cases for and against insurance companies, as well as representing the industry's regulatory matters before to Congress. They will also advise insurers on their own insurance and investments.
Arent Fox has high hopes for the new unit.
''The reality is insurance is countercyclical or at least non-correlated to the economy,'' said chairman of the new insurance and reinsurance unit.
''Everyone needs insurance and disputes arise. There are always regulatory issues to be addressed that have nothing to do with whether the stock market is up or down.''
Latham & Watkins Establishes New Litigation Practice in Hong Kong
Latham & Watkins has established a new Asia litigation practice, making a lateral hire from Jones Day 's Hong Kong office.
Simon Powell, a Hong-Kong lawyer, has joined on to the new Latham outfit. He is said to be one of the regions top insolvency and litigation specialists. Powell was acting as special counsel on Asia litigation for the Lehman Brothers estate prior to joining Latham last week.
After successfully expanding its European litigation practice over the past ten years, Latham turned their sights toward Asia.
London-based partner and vice chair of global litigation John Hull, says that Asia holds potential in the ''pent-up demand'' for litigation advice for the firm's clients. He added, ''It was obviously the logical next step for us.''
Latham will take a two-pronged approach to their Asian litigation plans, searching for high-end local representatives, in addition to ''export'' work. The latter meaning that the firm would represent an Asian client in U.S. litigation.
Latham is among the world's largest firms, boasting nearly 2,000 lawyers. Their presence in Asia has soared over the past decade, where they now have offices in Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore and Tokyo.