Law heavyweights add pressure on Chinese premier
Law experts from Australia, Pakistan, Britain, Europe and North America have called for China’s President Xi Jinping to release those held after a crackdown on rights lawyers and advocates in mainland China. The South China Morning Post reports that the international call is for the detained lawyers to have access to counsel, for their whereabouts to be revealed and for their other rights to be honoured. In a letter to the Chinese premier the legal experts say that China “is in breach of its international obligations as well as Chinese domestic criminal law and constitutional principles.”
This sector is experiencing strong M&A growth
The biopharmaceutical industry is in a period of rapid mergers & acquisitions according to management consultants EY. Its study found that M&A in the sector hit a record US$300 billion in 2015 with many companies seeking to create more focused businesses and close persistent “growth gaps”. For 2016, EY forecasts that biopharma firms may need to merge to fight back against consolidation in their customers’ sectors which will bring greater power to purchasers of drug products; and divestitures will account for around 25 per cent of the sector’s M&A activity.
Bar Council moves pupillage timetable
The Bar Council in England & Wales has announced that it will move the pupillage timetable from 2017 allowing trainee barristers to know the outcome of their applications before committing to the expensive Bar Professional Training Course. It will also avoid clashes between exams and pupillage interviews. The decision follows a period of consultation with students and chambers. The Bar Council said it will work with the minority of respondents who highlighted challenges as a result of the change.
Drunk who punched Uber driver on video sues victim
A former restaurant chain executive is suing an Uber driver that he assaulted claiming that he is now a victim. In November Benjamin Golden was sued by the driver and a video of the attack went viral. At the time NBC News reported that the former Taco Bell exec had been extremely drunk at the time of the assault, did not remember it, and wanted to apologise to the driver having accepted “full responsibility”. However, Entrepreneur magazine reports that Golden is now claiming that he has suffered stress and anxiety as the result of the video’s proliferation, which also lost him his job, and that he is now seeking $5 million in damages.