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Ascertus Accomplishes Significant Business Growth in 2019 and Strengthened Presence in Mainland Europe

iManage Work cloud deployments increase 34%; revenue growth split equally between law firms and corporate legal departments  

London, U.K. – 14 January 2020 – In 2019,Ascertus Limited has achieved significant all round business growth including revenue, headcount, new partnerships and expansion into Europe, the company announced today. With revenue increase split equally between law firms and corporate legal departments, the key driver for the business upsurge has been a sizeable move by customers (34%) to the iManage Cloud, underpinned by the need for improved security, built-in business continuity and reduced maintenance overheads. Ascertus provides information and document lifecycle management solutions to professional services organisations and corporate legal departments across industry sectors in EMEA.

“The cloud has truly come into its own as a technology deployment platform,” Jon Wainwright, Sales Director at Ascertus Limited, explained. “In 2019 we have seen major take up of iManage Cloud by corporate legal departments of all sizes and in the law firm space, by mid-tier organisations. This clearly signals a maturity in mindset – cost isn’t the only consideration for cloud adoption, elements such as disaster recovery, in-built security and the advantages of always being on the latest version of the solution has been deemed more important. We see this trend and line of thought across Europe.”

Ascertus has not only reinforced its presence in the UK, the company has strengthened its foothold in Europe, especially in Ireland and the Nordic and Scandinavian countries. Additionally, Ascertus has made significant inroads into the pharmaceutical, finance and insurance sectors.  

2019 saw the company enter into partnerships with Xakia, a provider of matter management systems for in-house legal departments; DMC Canotec, a supplier of managed printer services and document management systems; and Smart Time, a provider of timekeeping software for lawyers. 

Wainwright added, “Our aim is to offer customers the most comprehensive set of solutions across the document and information management lifecycle and so although iManage is our key business partner, we are always looking to strengthen our relationships with our other current partners, plus enter into meaningful partnerships with suppliers of complementary solutions. This approach enables us to design and tailor solutions that are best suited to customers’ business requirements.” 

Ascertus grew its headcount by 15 percent in key roles such as professional services, support, pre-sales and training. These roles are key to ensuring a superior client service and customised and efficient solution delivery. 

In 2020, Ascertus will concentrate efforts on further improving the services and support the company provides to existing clients. For example, Ascertus customers will benefit from a new client portal, supported by Hubshare, a collaboration and secure file sharing platform.  

About Ascertus Limited

Ascertus provides information and document lifecycle management consultancy, software solutions and IT support services to law firms and corporate legal departments. Based in Central London, the company offers a full range of professional services – from consultancy, business analysis and project management; to software implementation, training, documentation and technical support – delivering bespoke email, contract and document management solutions in on-premises and privately hosted environments. The company has successfully delivered and managed some of the largest iManage Work installations at customer sites in the UK. For more information, visit:

Broadstone Acquires the UK’s Leading Supplier of Specialist IPMI and Employee Benefits to Far Eastern Companies

Broadstone, one of the UK’s leading employee benefits and pensions consulting businesses, has announced the acquisition of 3HR Benefits Consultancy. This move represents Broadstone’s third acquisition in as many months following the recently announced purchases of Liverpool-based CS Financial Solutions and Thomson Dickson Consulting located in Glasgow.

Founded in 2008, London-based 3HR Benefits Consultancy is a subsidiary of 3HR plc and provides specialist employee benefits and international private medical insurance (IPMI) support and services to more than 200 Japanese, Korean and Chinese blue chip companies in respect of their UK and European expatriate employees. The company is the leading UK benefits consulting firm specialising in the Far Eastern market and dominates the sector with a number of Fortune 500 clients.

Commenting on this latest acquisition, Broadstone Group CEO, Grant Stobart, said: “As part of our strategy to grow all areas of our business we must identify and then capitalise on emerging trends and opportunities. This is another outstanding acquisition for Broadstone and adds further scale in a buoyant sector. 3HR Benefits Consultancy is one of the UK’s leading providers of specialist IPMI and employee benefits services to Far Eastern groups operating in the UK and Europe and the respect and authority they have built up in this sector is very impressive. Acquiring this niche business with its quality client base and experienced staff will provide clients with access to Broadstone’s wider service offering.

“2019 continues to be a year of targeted but vigorous expansion for Broadstone,” concluded Stobart.

Terence Bennett, CEO at 3HR plc, said: “Over the past few months we have been actively seeking ways of further developing our benefits consultancy and expatriate medical insurance business and have now found the ideal partner in Broadstone. This deal is an important step in the evolution of our business and will ensure that we can continue to further strengthen the service we offer our clients and the personal and professional development of all of our staff.”

Xavier Woodward, from Broadstone’s private equity parent, Livingbridge, commented: “This acquisition further strengthens Broadstone’s offering and provides access to a new client base. We are delighted to welcome 3HR Benefits Consulting on board as we continue to execute on a strong M&A pipeline.”

Node4 Acquires Virtual Private Cloud Provider Secura to Further Enhance its Managed Cloud Offering

Strategic acquisition to broaden Node4’s reach in the Software-as-a-Service vertical

Derby, UK, May 15 2019 – Node4, the UK-based hybrid cloud, data centre and communications managed services provider, has today announced it has acquired virtual private cloud provider, Secura. The fifth and largest acquisition made in Node4’s history, will see Secura become part of its already comprehensive portfolio of services, and strengthen its managed cloud hosting offering to the Software-as-a-Service (“SaaS”) market.

Through its secure, scalable virtual private cloud offering, Secura has built an impressive presence in the independent software vendor (ISV) market, with over 70% of its customer base operating in this vertical. The deal presents a huge opportunity for both Node4 and Secura to enhance the range of services they offer to both existing and new clients. Secura customers will benefit from Node4’s broader range of services including database and DevOps management via Node4’s N4Stack division, as well as accessing Node4’s enterprise grade infrastructure service.

The acquisition of Secura, which was recently named VMware’s VCPP Cloud Partner of the Year 2019, will provide Node4 with a market-leading cloud offering to the SaaS vertical, and add within the region of 35 highly skilled employees and over 110 customers. Node4 will also benefit from Secura’s rapidly growing Azure Public Cloud services which complements the significant investment Node4 has made in its N4Stack Azure offering. Led by its highly experienced executive team, Secura has achieved impressive organic growth rates of over 40% year on year and is forecast to hit close to £5m of revenues for their year ending June 2019. With the addition of Secura, Node4’s total annualised run-rate revenues will be close to £55m with £20m coming from cloud services.

The Secura management team will remain with the business and continue to deliver on their proven growth strategy with the support of Node4. The acquisition also comes at a time where Secura has recently increased its presence in Manchester with the opening of a new office, a key geographic region where Node4 has been looking to expand its footprint. Together they see a major opportunity for a range of customers across the North West to benefit from their exceptional range of value-added services.

“We are delighted to welcome Secura to the Node4 family and look forward to working together to offer our customers a wider range of services,” said Andrew Gilbert, Node4, CEO. “We’ve worked hard to find a business that is aligned with us both strategically and culturally and believe that Secura ticks all the right boxes for us. As we look to continue to grow Node4, it is important to work with those who can complement our offerings, and this is being achieved by adding Secura’s services to our portfolio.”

“We are tremendously excited to be acquired by Node4,” said Secura CEO, Ollie Beaton. “Node4 and Secura are a fantastic fit and we can see huge benefits for all our customers in the expanded range of solutions and expertise we can offer. Node4 has really exciting growth plans for the managed cloud hosting market and we’re delighted to be part of them.”

Node4 was advised on the transaction by Pinsent Mason LLP (Legal), PwC (Financial and Tax Due Diligence), Deloitte (Tax Structuring), whilst the Vendors were advised by KPMG.

About Node4
Established in 2004, Node4 is an innovative and trusted Managed Services Provider that offers unparalleled end-to-end IT infrastructure and services, technical expertise and innovation, all fully managed and flexibly deployed across the company’s own infrastructure fabric.

Its Services Gateway provides access to a powerful suite of technology solutions such as connectivity, cloud and data centre hosting, public cloud, data services, collaboration and security which enable the design and delivery of complex technology infrastructures for UK businesses in every sector.

Node4 owns and manages data centres located in Derby, Leeds and Northampton, as well as having dedicated space in a Slough data centre and points of presence in London and Manchester. They are all connected via our national fibre network which has interconnects to all major UK carriers. It is headquartered in Derby with other offices in London, Reading and Nottingham.

Node4 delivers intelligent, efficient and scalable hybrid IT solutions underpinned by exceptional Service-as-a-Standard for customers focussed on transforming their businesses to succeed in the digital age.

Sectigo Acquires Icon Labs, Delivering Industry-First End-to-End IoT Security Platform

Creates Market Differentiation by Combining Embedded Device Security with Purpose-Built, Third-Party Certificate Issuance and Lifecycle Management

ROSELAND, N.J. – May 9, 2019 – Sectigo (formerly Comodo CA), the world’s largest commercial Certificate Authority (CA) and a leader in web security solutions, has acquired Icon Labs, a provider of cross-platform security solutions for embedded OEMs and Internet of Things (IoT) device manufacturers. Sectigo’s expanded IoT Security Platform will provide device manufacturers, systems integrators, enterprises using connected IoT, and entire interoperable ecosystems, with the industry-first ability to use purpose-built IoT issuance from a trusted third-party CA. The platform will seamlessly harden device security with embedded tools to protect the integrity of data in transit and at rest, as well as ensure the integrity of all executed code by leveraging multi-phase secure boot.

IHS Markit forecasts that the IoT market will grow from an installed base of about 15 billion devices in 2015 to more than 75 billion in 2025. As the market grows, attacks rise and securing connected devices across the ecosystem becomes more imperative. SonicWall’s 2019 Cyber Threat Report found that the number of detected attacks against IoT devices and networks escalated to 32.7 million in 2018 – a 217 percent increase.

“Icon Labs has been growing and addressing this challenge by securing the device market for more than two decades. For the first time, embedded security technology is combined with device authentication and identity management to provide customers with a complete IoT security platform that solves many of the challenges presented by the rising number of threats,” said Bill Holtz, CEO, Sectigo.

Sectigo provides highly scalable and reliable certificate issuance for connected IoT devices used in many verticals. Sectigo IoT Manager, part of the company’s expanded IoT Security Platform, provides specialized management capability for trust interoperability, so that connected IoT device vendors, service integrators, or consortiums can securely build out, scale and manage their device ecosystems. The technology leverages automation via both open source and proprietary technologies to ensure secure provisioning and lifecycle management.

Sectigo IoT Security Platform

With the acquisition of Icon Labs, Sectigo is the first trusted third-party Certificate Authority to offer end-to-end security for every connected device from the point of manufacture and throughout the entire lifecycle. Icon Labs’ security modules can be used as point products to meet specific security requirements or as an integrated foundation for developing a secure device by securing the device itself rather than relying on security at the perimeter.

Benefits of the Sectigo IoT Security Platform include:

– Secure Boot – Provides embedded software APIs that ensure software integrity from the initial “power on” to application execution and enable developers to securely code sign boot loaders, microkernals, operating systems, application code, and data. Upon system startup, Sectigo verifies the integrity of code and data before execution and before permitting installation or updates. Sectigo also stores a secure audit log for system boot processing and other services.
– Embedded Firewall – Works with Real Time Operating Systems (RTOS) and Linux to configure filtering rules and offers deep packet inspection for industrial protocols, including CAN bus.
– TPM Integration – Offers certificate storage integration in Trusted Platform Module (TPM) compliant secure elements.
– Secure Remote Updates and Alerts – Ensures security components have not been modified, offers authentication from the OEM, and issues alerts if firmware validation fails.
– On-Premise CA – Expands Sectigo cloud-based CA to also enable an on-premise CA, providing role-based user management, high-performance issuance on site, and remote device audits. This allows signed device manifests to be added during manufacturing, then remotely validated.

“By joining Sectigo, Icon Labs is contributing to a powerful advancement in connected device security. We are securing IoT devices and the convergence of traditional IT systems and Operational Technology (OT); that is, the hardware and software that detects or causes changes in physical processes through direct monitoring and/or control of physical devices,” said Alan Grau, Founder of Icon Labs.

“With the addition of Icon Labs, Sectigo ensures overall system integrity by enabling complete visibility and control over each IoT device lifecycle and providing embedded technologies to further secure the integrity of the device, its identity, and its data,” explained Jason Soroko, CTO of IoT, Sectigo. “Now the experts in protecting digital identities are also the specialists in utilizing and protecting digital identities in constrained embedded environments found in IoT devices used in every operational vertical, from automotive to healthcare, and from industrial control systems to smart cities.”

Icon Labs, which will maintain its own brand as a subsidiary of Sectigo, is the second company acquired by Sectigo as the company accelerates its growth and expands into new segments. In August 2018, Sectigo acquired CodeGuard, Inc., a global leader in website maintenance, backup, and disaster recovery. CodeGuard has since expanded internationally, achieving more than 45% YoY growth in 2018.

About Icon Labs

Icon Labs provides cross-platform security solutions for embedded OEMs and IoT device manufacturers, as well as professional services to assist customers with production, integration, customization, and development of unique solutions. Founded in 1992 and based in Iowa, Icon Labs is privately held, with more than 100 customers worldwide using the company’s intelligent, secure, networked devices. Icon Labs products have been deployed in applications including communication infrastructure equipment, transportation systems, satellite communications, and industrial control devices.

About Sectigo

Sectigo (formerly Comodo CA) provides web security products that help customers protect, monitor, recover, and manage their web presence and connected devices. As the largest commercial Certificate Authority trusted by enterprises globally for more than 20 years, and more than 100 million SSL certificates issued in over 200 countries, Sectigo has the proven performance and experience to meet the growing needs of securing today’s digital landscape. For more information, visit

How to Hire a Great Business Lawyer?

A good foundation is crucial in starting any business and one of the pillars that keep a business stout and upright is a great business lawyer. As a business owner, you want to allot your focus and energy in running and growing the business while someone else is on top of understanding the legalities that surround the business. Just how crucial is it to have an attorney right at the very beginning of your business journey?

The Challenge

Almost every aspect of your business would call for an effective business attorney – from choosing the business type upon putting up the company, to writing contracts, resolving business claims and issues, and navigating mergers and acquisitions, to name a few. A common mistake businesses make is holding off hiring a business lawyer until they need one. Here are some of the aspects of a business in which a business lawyer plays an integral role.

  • Preparing contracts with clients and suppliers. Business lawyers know how to make contracts iron-clad in order for all parties to be well-protected. When signing a contract for any reason, your attorney will be in charge of spotting issues and negotiate revisions to contracts with loopholes that can potentially put you in unnecessary liabilities in the future.

  • Securing intellectual properties through trademark and copyright protection. While patents and copyrights are handled by intellectual property specialists, your business attorney can help you with these as they are part of legal networks. It would be an advantage if your business lawyer can also help you acquire patents and copyrights.

  • Transacting with landlords and real estate sellers. In terms of dealing with properties, and this includes leasing and warehousing, a business lawyer can thoroughly review contracts and agreements to make sure that you are getting into a fair and legitimate deal with a seller. Your lawyer must have a standard “tenant’s addendum” that contains provisions in your favor, which can be included in the printed lease document.

  • Knowing the tax consequences of your business transactions. You want to make sure that you do not encounter unnecessary tax liabilities while on business. While your accountant takes care of preparing and filing of taxes, having a business lawyer means you have somebody who knows how to register your business for both federal and state tax IDs, and understands the tax consequences of your business transactions.

Venues for Finding an Attorney

In your search for a great business lawyer, make use of various resources. This will garner more options and give you the ability to make a valid judgement. There are many channels that you can utilize and here are some of them:

  • Referrals. It is important to understand that every lawyer has their own strengths, and one way to gauge whether a lawyer is best fit for your particular problem is to seek the advice of people who have experienced the same. Find out who they hired at the time, and gather leads from there. However, relying solely on referrals might not give you reliable leads as the relationship between the business owner and lawyer will depend on how they respond to each other’s style and personality.

  • Local Bar Association. A bar association is a professional organization of lawyers serving different purposes. Most bar associations make referrals based on specific areas of law, which can help you find a lawyer with the right expertise and area concentration. However, there are services that make referrals without concern for the lawyer’s level of experience. Seek out referral services that work under programs certified by the American Bar Association.

  • Online Services. Sites such as Upcounsel can aid in finding and connecting with top-rated business attorneys who can provide a wide array of business law services for startups and large businesses alike.


Hiring a business lawyer is a major investment for any business, which is why optimal sourcing techniques are very crucial in this process. Not finding the right lawyer for your business will cost you money, and can potentially lead to long-term consequences for your company. Watch out for these red flags when making a decision:

  • The lawyer is not well-versed in the language of your business. In order to properly represent you, your business lawyer must speak your language and understand the field in which you are operating.

  • The lawyer is learning on the job. Your business should not be your lawyer’s on-the-job training. If you see that the lawyer is doing something completely new to him, he may not be the best candidate to represent your business.

  • The lawyer comes up with extra costs. Hiring a business lawyer should be a well-calculated move, and needless to say, it should be cost-effective. Surprise and extra costs must always be kept to a minimum.

Choosing an Attorney

After exhausting your resources to find the right business lawyer and coming up with a short list of candidates, it is time set up interviews. In your initial meeting, be ready and upfront in describing your business and your legal needs. Make sure to express that you are interested in building a long-term relationship. Take careful notes of what the lawyer says and does during the interview, and pay attention to these aspects:

  • Experience. Begin by asking how long they have been practicing law and their areas of expertise. Assess whether their expertise is aligned with the needs of your business.

  • Ability to communicate. It is crucial that you and your business lawyer have rapport, and you can gauge this as early as your initial interview. Your lawyer must be able to express himself clearly, without the use of too much jargon or legalese.

  • Availability. Ask the best way to reach him and how quickly he responds to phone calls or emails. Will he be available after business hours? This is crucial in your working relationship.

  • References. Ask the history of business and cases he had handled in the past, and see if they are similar with yours. You can also ask for a list of clients you can contact to ask about his competence, service, and fees.

  • Fees. Ask about his rate and the payment terms – flat, hourly, capped, etc. It is important to get this information as you can use it when you compare your candidates. However, do not decide based on the rate alone. The lowest rate may not be indicative of quality work.

This article was originally posted on UpCounsel

Which Countries Offer a Passport Without Applicants Having to Migrate?

A few countries in the world grant individuals full citizenship without the trouble of moving there and all other difficulties associated with it. Under such programs, these countries simply require a financial contribution or real estate investment in exchange of providing individuals and stakeholders a second citizenship in a period of two to six months. For wealthy and affluent businessmen and entrepreneurs who do not have the option of immigrating without disrupting their lives, these programs are ideal as they can provide them and their families with the ability to obtain a second passport in a swift and convenient manner.

Below are the most prominent countries in the world that provide people with full citizenship without ever residing there:


Number one on the list is Cyprus. This is due to the fact that it is the only country that grants investors a European passport in only 6 months without ever re-locating. The passport allows access to 145 countries visa-free and most importantly the possibility to live and work anywhere within the European Union. Obtaining a Cypriot nationality comes with a price tag of Euros 2 Million in luxury real estate, however, for wealthy businessmen becoming a European national is the best option for their families and businesses, certainly well worth investing in. These individuals have also realized the investment power in Cyprus’ booming real estate market. In addition, according to the Cypriot citizenship law, an investor is eligible to sell the property after 3 years, keeping one lower in value for Euros 500,000. This provides investors with the opportunity of making a profit while retaining full citizenship status.


Grenada is a Caribbean country that has seen a great surge in demand for its citizenship. Grenada is special because is the only country in the Caribbean with a citizenship program which allows citizens to apply for an E-2 visa which grants them residency in the USA. The Grenadian passport is the only Caribbean passport that allows visa-free access to China, which can be a major advantage for stakeholders with business operations and ties with China. Grenada grants its passport for a USD 200,000 financial contribution to the country’s National Transformation Fund. The country’s passport holders do not need to relocate to Grenada, and they will also get visa-free access to 120 countries including China, Schengen states, and the United Kingdom.

Saint Lucia:

The citizenship by investment program being offered by this beautiful island in the Caribbean has become a major international player. It namely rose to fame because with a recent change in the legislation the citizenship program became more affordable and because it does not require you visit the country at any point in time. A USD 100,000 contribution to St. Lucia’s National Economic Fund or an investment in a Government-Approved project in St. Lucia will lawfully grant you a second passport allowing you instant visa-free travel to 123 countries worldwide including the Schengen zone and the United Kingdom as well as other notable international business and tourist hubs such as Singapore and Hong Kong. With the launch of The Ritz-Carlton Resort in St. Lucia, that is set to open its doors in 2021, the resort is set to be a major contributor to the country CBI program.


Another favorite country among citizenship by investment programs without the need to immigrate is the Commonwealth of Dominica. It is one of the most cost-effective programs and allows visa-free access to 118 countries. The program has been established since 1991 and it grants an individual full citizenship rights for a financial contribution of USD 100,000 to the country’s Government Fund. Another investment option is Dominica’s Government-Approved real estate projects such as Kempinski Hotel, through which investors have a tangible investment with a profitable potential.

Saint Kitts & Nevis:

This Caribbean country allows you to acquire its citizenship without immigrating and living in it at any point in time. It requires a financial contribution of USD 250,000 to the Sugar Industry Diversification Fund (SIDF) or a real estate investment of USD 400,000 in any Government Approved project. St. Kitts passport offers visa-free travel to 129 countries included Schengen states and United Kingdom.

Antigua & Barbuda:

Unlike other countries in the Caribbean, Antigua does require you to visit the country for at least 5 days before granting you its citizenship, which is certainly worthwhile as the country is stunning. The citizenship program requires a minimum financial contribution of USD 250,000 to the National Development Fund or a USD 400,000 in the country’s Government-Approved project. Its passport allows you visa-free access to 129 worldwide including all of the Schengen zone, UK, Singapore, Hong Kong, and other first world countries.


This is the last country on our list. We chose to mention Portugal in this list because it technically could grants you citizenship without moving or living in the country. The major difference with Portugal and the rest of the countries on the list is that an individual need to obtain a Residency card in Portugal and maintain the card for a period of 5 years, subsequently obtain Permanent Residency and after year 6 he or she could be eligible to apply for Portuguese citizenship, provided that they have a basic knowledge of Portuguese language. The initial residency card is granted after an initial investment of Euros 500,000 in real estate anywhere in Portugal and must be renewed a couple of times over the first 5 years. Once your citizenship is granted, according to the law your passport is irrevocable. Each country, with the exception of Portugal, process the citizenship in a timeframe of two to six months, the period varies from one country to the other and from case to case.

Corporate Governance

Institute of Company Secretaries of India –
“Corporate Governance is the application of Best Management Practices, Compliance of Laws in true letter and spirit and adherence to ethical standards for effective management and distribution of wealth and discharge of social responsibility for sustainable development of all stakeholders.”

Standard and Poor – “Corporate Governance is the way a company is organized and managed to ensure that all financial stakeholders receive a fair share of the company’s earnings and assets.”

Objectives of Corporate Governance: –
Corporate Governance is aimed at creating an organization which maximizes the wealth of shareholders. It envisages an organization in which emphasis is laid on fulfilling the social responsibilities towards the stakeholders in addition to the earning of profits. The objectives of Corporate Governance is to ensure the following:

1. Properly constituted Board capable of taking independent and objective decisions.
2. Board is independent in terms of Non-Executive and Independent Directors.
3. Board adopts transparent procedures and practices.
4. Board has an effective machinery to serve the concerns of the Stakeholders.
5. Board to monitor the functioning of the Management Team.
6. Properly constituted Board capable of taking independent and objective decisions.
7. Board is independent in terms of Non-Executive and Independent Directors.
8. Board adopts transparent procedures and practices.
9. Board has an effective machinery to serve the concerns of the Stakeholders.
10. Board to monitor the functioning of the Management Team.
11. Board remains in effective control of the affairs of the Company.

Elements of Good Corporate Governance:-

1. Role and Powers of the Board.
2. Legislation
3. Management Environment
4. Board Skills
5. Board Appointments
6. Board Induction and Training
7. Board Independence
8. Board Meetings
9. Board Resources
10. Code of Conduct
11. Strategy setting
12. Financial and Operational Reporting
13. Monitoring the Board Performance
14. Audit Committee
15. Risk Management

Secretarial Standards:-
The Institute of Company Secretaries of India has issued the following Standards in order to maintain the uniformity of procedure with regard to the Board Meetings, General Meetings, Payment of Dividend, Maintenance of Registers and Records, Recording of Minutes and Transfer and Transmission of Shares.

A brief detail of these standards is given as under: –

SS1 – Meetings of Board of Directors: –
The Secretarial Standard -1 deals with the meetings of the Board of Directors. It deals with the various aspects of the conducting the Board Meetings, the frequency of such meetings in a year, Quorum required for the meeting, powers of the Chairman in such meetings, and recording of minutes of such meetings.

SS2 – General Meetings: –
The Secretarial Standard -2 deals with the General Meetings. It explains the procedure of conducting the General Meetings, the frequency of meetings in a year, Quorum required for the conduct of the meeting, powers of the Chairman in such meetings, recording of minutes of such meetings, a procedure of voting, etc.

SS3 – Dividend: –
This Secretarial Standard pertains to Dividend. It illustrates the calculation of amount payable as a dividend, declaration of dividend, Treatment of Unpaid Dividend, and Transfer of Dividend to Investor Education and Protection Fund(IEPF).

SS4 – Registers and Records
This Secretarial Standard enumerates the various Registers required to be maintained as per statutory requirements. It requires the following registers to be maintained:

Register of members and Debenture holders.
Register for Contracts u/s 301.
Register of Directors u/s 303.
Register for Transfer of Shares.

SS5 – Minutes
This Secretarial Standard deals with the recording and signing of Minutes of the Meetings.

Minutes should contain:
(a) The appointment of the Chairman of the meeting.
(b) The presence of Quorum.
(c) The fact that certain registers and documents were available for inspection.
(d) The number of members present in person including representatives.
(e) The number of proxies and the number of shares represented by them.
(f) The presence of the Chairman of the Audit Committee at the Annual General Meeting.
(g) The presence if any, of the Auditors, the Practising Company Secretary who issued the Compliance Certificate, the Court appointed observers or scrutineers.
(h) Reading of the notice of the meeting.
(i) Reading the report of the auditors.
(j) Summary of the opening remarks of the Chairman.
(k) Summary of the clarifications provided.
(l) In respect of each resolution, the type of the resolution, the names of the persons who proposed and seconded and the majority with which such resolution was passed. Resolutions should be written in the present tense.

SS6 – Transfer and Transmission of Shares
This Secretarial Standard deals with the procedure of Transfer and Transmission of shares held singly and jointly. The register and records pertaining to transmission should be preserved permanently and kept in the custody of the secretary of the company or any other person authorized by the Board for the purpose.

Factors Influencing the quality of Corporate Governance:-

1. Integrity of the Management
2. Ability of the Board
3. Adequacy of the Process
4. Quality of Corporate Reporting
5. Participation of Stakeholders
6. Quality of Corporate Reporting

Committee Reports on Corporate Governance:-

Narayana Murthy Report on Corporate Governance: –

Corporate Governance is beyond the realm of Law. It stems from the culture and mindset of management and cannot be regulated by legislation alone. Corporate Governance is all about openness, integrity, and accountability.

It is a key element in improving the economic efficiency of the firm. Credibility offered by Corporate Governance also helps in improving the confidence of the investors – both domestic and foreign. It involves a set of relationships between a company’s management, its Board, shareholders, and Stakeholders.

Kumarmangalam Birla Committee on Corporate Governance: –

All companies are required to submit a quarterly Compliance Report to the Stock Exchanges within 15 days from the end of financial reporting quarter.

The Report has to be submitted by Compliance Officer or by the Chief Executive Officer after obtaining due approvals, on the following clauses:-
Board of Directors
Audit Committee
Shareholders/ Investors Grievance Committee
Remuneration of Directors
Board Procedures
Report on Corporate Governance

CII – Desirable Corporate Governance: –
Corporate Governance helps in maximizing the long-term shareholder value. It is more a way of business life than a mere legal compulsion. Four ideas, which should be the guiding force of company’s philosophy on Corporate Governance are:-

– Transparency
– Accountability
– Disclosure
– Value Creation.

The Code of Business Conduct and Ethics helps to ensure compliance with legal requirements and other standards of Business Conduct. All company Employees and Trainees are expected to read and understand this code of ethics, comply with all applicable policies and procedures, and ensure that all agents and contractors are aware of, understand and adhere to these standards.

The Company expects all employees, agents, and contractors to exercise good judgment to ensure all employees, agents, and contractors and to maintain competitive, efficient, positive harmonious and productive Work Environment and business organization.

Insider Trading:-

Insider trading is the trading of a corporation’s stock or other securities (e.g. bonds or stock options) by corporate insiders such as officers, key employees, directors, or holders of more than ten percent of the firm’s shares. Insider trading may be perfectly legal, but the term is frequently used to refer to a practice, illegal in many jurisdictions, in which an insider or a related party trades based on material non-public information obtained during the performance of the insider’s duties at the corporation, or otherwise misappropriated.
Prohibition on dealing communication or counseling on matters relating to inside trading: –

3. No insider shall –
(i) either on his own behalf or on behalf of any other person, deal in securities of a company listed on any stock exchange when in possession of any unpublished price sensitive information; or
(ii) communicate, counsel or procure, directly or indirectly, any unpublished price sensitive information to any person who while in possession of such unpublished price sensitive information shall not deal in securities.

(iii) Provided that nothing contained above shall be applicable to any communication required in the ordinary course of business or under any law.

3A. No company shall deal with the securities of another company or associate of that other company while in possession of any unpublished price sensitive information.

An Overview of the ILO Constitution on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work

The International Labour Organisation adopted the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work in 1998. Although this process started in 1995 at the Copenhagen World Summit for Social Development, it was finally adopted in 1998 and since then it has been gaining pace. The features of the Declaration serve as its identification of the core standards; they are applicable to all the Member States irrespective of the fact whether they have ratified the Conventions.

Notably, the Declaration conferred upon the international community equal importance for human rights, liberalization of international trade, improved labour standards at the national level, and a decentralized system of labour standards implementation making the standards more readily palatable to employers. However, due to the problematic nature of the international enforcement mechanisms, some scholars have criticized these labour standards as impractical. In this regard, the main criticism states that issues pertaining to trade and labour must be kept separate as bringing labour issues into the World Trade Organisation would mean imposing trade sanctions to issues such as child labour.

The preamble of the ILO provides for universal support and acknowledgement in promoting fundamental rights at work and also for their universal application. The principle of ‘freedom of association’ has been expressly stated in the Constitution, but the principle of ‘equal work for equal pay’ is only interpretative in nature. There isn’t any express mentioned about equal work for equal pay in the Constitution. In a nutshell, the Constitution speaks for social justice, issues relating to the regulation of the hours of work, regulation of labour supply, prevention of unemployment, protection of workers against sickness or injury, living wages, protection of children and women, provision for old age, protection of workers interests in countries other than their own and other measures. In contrast to this, the 1998 Declaration relatively promised less number of commitments. It did not provide for workplace safety, limits on work hours, freedom from workplace abuse, neither minimum, nor fair or living wage.

Although the labour organization’s monitoring and supervising standards have gained international acknowledgement, countries such as U.K. and U.S. have criticized the system for lacking proper follow-up mechanism. In this regard the Organization claimed that follow-up being not mandatory is more of a strictly promotional nature providing a global picture of the state of implementation of each category of fundamental principles and rights. Such a defence cannot be easily accepted. Hence creating a proper follow-up mechanism remains a target to be achieved in the near future as that would mean a positive contribution towards the expansion of future international labour rights regime.

Coping With The Pressure Of A Bankruptcy Case

Nobody wants to be in a situation where they have to file up a bankruptcy case, but if you end up being in a situation where bankruptcy is the only option. Then you can cope up with this with the help of bankruptcy attorney, as they will be able to guide you through this process real quick and help you sort out most of the work easily.

Filing for bankruptcy process can be really difficult as well as annoying, as it involves a lot of paperwork, continuous attending the meeting and going for interviews and questioning sessions. Bankruptcy process will definitely affect the smooth quality of life you were spending but not just that, your business handling scenarios will also have a huge impact as you might make certain tough business decisions really fast because of not having a proper state of mind. This issue is most probably going to affect you completely and this way you might really end up in depression. But a proper step must be taken in order to get back your daily life, if not that at least have a sound mind and simple living. This can be possible if you follow out certain steps for yourself in order to make the bankruptcy process successful plus deal with your health issues as well together, which is possible if you have professional bankruptcy attorney by your side to guide you through the process and handle most of your pressure-giving works.

Now You Must Be Wondering How You Can Make The Bankruptcy Process Successful And Focus On Your Health Together. This Sounds Difficult But It’s Actually Possible If You Follow Up These Below Pointers.

  • Accept Your Feelings

Losing a business just because of bankruptcy can feel really similar with losing your loved ones, as you have invested not just your finance but you have invested your time, care, dedication, efforts and a lot of other things to make your business a success. The position that your business hold at present  is all your hard work, so when it comes to losing it, the situation becomes very painful, for that matter accepting it is very difficult but you have to accept the feeling, as the truth is in front of you, no matter what you do, you are not going to change what is happening, the only thing you can do is accept that you are suffering from bankrupt, don’t let your negative emotional behavior burry you deep and keep you away from positive energies.

  • Have A Team You Can Trust

Sad but true when you are facing bankruptcy, the team who stand up with you in order to build your business, is going to get reduce, the strength of your team will end up becoming lesser and lesser as you are not able to provide them the salary because of running short with money, this might sound really bad but it is something that is going to happen for sure.  So when you trim up your staff, you need to understand that the team must me all of them who has the ability to be beside you, who will help you and support you, who will stand strong with you. Keep your staff minimum to people who are worth it.  Even your Camden County bankruptcy attorney can make a good decision for you so be sure you with the team you hold up. As a business owner, it is powerful enough handling everything coming at you;

  • Don’t Hesitate to Ask Attorney the Tough Questions

The bankruptcy process can be definitely stressful because the law that involves this process is really complicated. If you have any question do not forget to ask them, do remember that any queries you have you must not keep it within you definitely have to make a proper judgment. Don’t be confused or tensed, this professional will solve your problems for sure. A good attorney will really feel nice to help you because it is their responsibilities to give you proper judgment as well as it is their profession. A good professional is going to be quite happy to help you with no matter questions you have got. Your professional person is also the simplest person to clarify how the law applies to your unique situation.

  • Sleep Properly

Make sure you do not have to stay up really late and think about the problem, night thinking is not going to give you any results. Try to get at least proper sleep so that you have a relax and chill mind, every morning you wake up fresh and plan or start up your day with good positive energies. If you do not sleep properly you will be depressed and stressed out every morning, so make sure you are good enough with sleep and get the best results for you.

  • Realize That Bankruptcy Is Your Best Option

Business owners might find that filing for bankruptcy is simply the best choice for their own mental health. This isn’t a choice that somebody else will bring you, but having smart advice will facilitate. A financial skilled will assist you to decide if your company contains a reasonable likelihood of recovery or if bankruptcy is really the most effective way to go. If you do decide to file for bankruptcy, attempt to not consider it as “giving up.” consider it as beginning fresh. Before you’ll be able to succeed, you need to first settle for failure without worrying.

10 Benefits Of Quality Law Firm Website Design

Law firm website design is one way where you can try to make your website really appealing, as internet is a place where any business like law firms can grow successfully only if they have amazing content, and best design that appeals and convinces the visitor to seek services, so you can with the help of website designers make you law firms or attorney’s site better.

Responsive web style simply suggests that creating websites that can adapt to the size of the visitor’s viewpoint. The goal is for content to render differently looking on the device or screen size in order that visitors have an optimal expertise no matter how they access a website. The primary advantage of responsive Law firm website design is that sites load quickly with none distortions, therefore users don’t get to manually resize something to look at content. We all know that quality web design may be a valuable investment, but what are the important advantages of hiring an expert designer? Is that the tag worth it? Can a website that appears smart bring in business?  It all depends on the type of website design you prepare that creates visitors; basically, the website that attracts the visitors is going to hit the top position. There are many things that creative website provides you, not only good visitors but also a number of unique different things that you must know so that you plan on hiring a good law firm web design service provider for your attorney’s website.

  • Consistent

Professional designers trust the big picture. They produce a visible language for your brand that’s consistent across totally different contexts. Your website, logo, business cards, and even your Twitter profile got to form a coherent whole. Brands that have a standardized visual language build a more memorable impression than those who appear as if 5 completely different side-businesses. Therefore law firm website design suggests that the main first feature on attracting visitors and retaining them is consistency and it should be maintained effectively.

  • A lot of Visitors Visits Your Page

You’re not searching for clicks. You’re looking for visitors who flick through your website and get to understand who you’re that’s what you main motto is. Keep in mind that the majority people can leave after one glimpse at your website if you do not have an appealing website. It takes one thing special to stay them interested, including willing to buy your product or service. Therefore whenever you plan on Law firm website design these things comes as one of the priorities that you must follow.

  • Call To Action

Calls to action are the sign-up, buy now, and learn a lot of elements of your website. Where they’re on the online page, how they appear, and what they are saying can verify what number a lot of people conceive to obtain one thing from you. These call to action buttons acts as a feature to attract the visitor, the reason why you are holding up a website is to gain visitors so they reach you and call you, so this is the main feature that should be present on every page so that visitors interact with you.

  • Distinction From Competitors

Good-enough websites simply don’t cut it any longer. Within one business, there are several sites that look similar. They assert the proper stuff, the look isn’t too offensive, but they don’t build the effort to speak up and say why they’re special. Quality means that distilling all of your distinctive selling points into one coherent visual message. So Law firm website design helps to make you a superior one with the unique style, amazing content, and consistency on every page and so on. Trust me if you offer same but your website differs in a lot better way, you are going to win clients for sure.

  • Form, Structure, And Purpose of Content

Content and style got to be absolutely aligned on your website with the help of Law firm website design you can achieve it well if implemented properly with good service providers. Most of the people will not place in the effort to understand what you’re trying to say. Massive blocks of small text, confusing navigation, and obscured calls to action can flip visitors away. Designers work together with your content in order that it’s clear and directs people to what you would like them to do.

  • Polished Details

The choice of fonts, the spacing of text, and distinction are details that build a difference in the overall quality of your website. These sorts of nuances may not seem that important, but they have an effect on how clear and useful the positioning is.

  • Objective Perspective

You are the professional on your own business; however, you’re not a professional in web design. Generally, there must be a compromise between what you would like and what works for the online. Quality comes only when an expertise or professionals try to achieve it. So when it comes to professional approach towards your Law firm website design you need to hire the one who provides amazing services and also has an amazing experience in building effective websites.

  • Less Payment

Law firms Businesses that attempt to get a “good deal” and commit the promise of obtaining high-quality design services for an inexpensive price usually find you paying more than they need to. Why? They understand that prime quality really will cost money and get another designer to re-do their website. This should not be your motto in order to make an effective Law firm website design. It is a onetime investment that you do for results or outcomes quicker.

  • Reliable Partnership

Law firms and attorneys as an owners and web designers got to work along to make a website. The method involves communication and compromise. If you’re happy with the result, the online Law firm website designer you worked with is your go-to for changes and new additions.

  • Room For Development

Quality style builds a solid foundation for the improvements you’ll wish to make when the initial website is finished. whether or not you want to feature a new product or serviceFeature Articles, the positioning can already have a strong enough aesthetic that you just don’t have to go back to face one.