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The five women who inspire me the most

What Jim Rohn would say to a Mum Entrepreneur?

Two books that helped me stop being a guilty and exhausted working mother

The Chinese Mums in Business Club is Launched

5 books worth reading this summer for Mothers in Business

The 5 inspirational quotes I am living by….

The LCN Interview: Edward Zeng

The LCN Interview: Caroline Ma

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The five women who inspire me the most

Happy International Women’s Day everyone! Wherever you are, whoever you are (daughter, mother, sister, mother of daughters and father of daughters etc), today is not only a day to celebrate women and girls worldwide, it is a day to celebrate equality, fairness and humanity.
We’ve been on the planet for a long time and women have only recently been given the opportunities we so deserve. International Women’s Day was big and widely celebrated in China when I was growing up. One of my childhood memories was that my mum would have a day off on 8th March and feel very proud. Her mother was a hardworking uncomplaining homemaker all her life. Watching them live their lives was like holding a mirror up to the limitations that could easily have been mine. My mum has been a great supporter of me pursuing my dreams. And I am so grateful that I am living in a country which has such a long history of respecting and celebrating women.
To celebrate this year’s International Women’s day, I list the five women who inspire me the most; who I look up to and make me feel humbled; who remind me how incredibly lucky we are as women.

  1. Sara Blakely, mum of 4 and the inventor of SPANX. She is fearless, grateful, funny and so real. Just like her husband said on her birthday: “Wife, Mum, Daughter, Sister, Boss, Philanthropist. She wears so many hats…and wears ALL with love and class.” If you follow her on Instagram, you will know what I mean. My favourite quote of hers is “Be Scared and Do it Anyway!”.
  2. Michelle Obama, the former First Lady of United States. She is authentic and she is the girl from the South Side. She is the ultimate role model for all working mothers. As she mentioned in her book ‘Becoming’:” Motherhood became my motivator. It dictated my movements, my decisions, the rhythm of every day.” She struggled to keep her work and life balance. She was the default parent for looking after the children when they were little. She used to get up at 4:45am so that she could join a girlfriend for a 5am workout and then be home by 6:30am to get her girls up and ready for their days. This routine gives her back the calmness and strength, two things she feared she was losing. She is one of us!
  3. Ellen DeGeneres, the American comedian and the host of “the Ellen Show”. She is undeniably funny with a big heart full of love and acceptance. She speaks loudly about the fact she is a married lesbian. She contributes to this world by making people laugh, giving normal people generous surprises and building a campus in Rwanda to protect critically endangered mountain gorillas. She lifts my spirit up every time I see her.
  4. Mimi Thorisson, the half Chinese and half French food book author and mom of 8 (2 of them are step children). She created the famous food blog http://mimithorisson.com alongside her photographer husband. They live in Medoc, France with their children and countless dogs. The thing I admire about her and her husband is that they somehow manage to live their everyday like their last day – full of good food, good wine, children running around with dogs in a big French countryside house. My favourite quote of hers is that “I am not good at deadlines. I am happy just to stop whenever my children need me.” What a spontaneous way to live and she lives it beautifully and peacefully!
  5. Emma Watson, the Hermione Granger we know so well and the beauty from “the beauty and beast” later on. She is also a book lover who hides books in tube stations for fellow bookworms. Most importantly, she is one of the most famous campaigners for women’s rights. She is also one of the youngest members of the Gender Equality Council advising the G7 this year during the French Presidency. As a mother of 3 daughters, I feel so grateful that a public figure like Emma devotes so much time to giving women and girls’ rights the prominence that they should have!

Which women inspire you at this moment? Don’t forgot to inspire others women whenever you can as we are all sisters living on the mother earth.

What Jim Rohn would say to a Mum Entrepreneur?

Jim Rohn
My husband and I have this habit of asking the question of what a famous successful public figure would say or do if he/she was in our situation.
Last week, I was having one of those days where I was trying to finish work on time and get to the bottom of that never ending to do list, but I didn’t. Everything after that was just a blur for me; I rushed to pick up the big kids from school and the baby from nursery; left – overs from last night calmed the screaming hungry crew. I was clearly having a silent melt down.
Stopping me in the midst of a very compelling feeling ‘sorry for myself’ routine talk that happens when you have days like this one, my husband Paul stopped me in my tracks, and asked me what Jim Rohn would say to me at this very moment…

Here are the 10 quotes I think Jim Rohn would want to remind me of

  1. Success is nothing more than a few disciplines practiced every day.
  2. The only way it gets better for you is when you get better. Better is not something you wish, it’s something you become.
  3. All leaders are readers.
  4. Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do.
  5. Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better. Don’t wish for less problems, wish for more skills. Don’t wish for less challenges, wish for more wisdom.
  6. Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.
  7. Learn how to be happy with what you have while you pursue all that you want
  8. Let others lead small lives, but not you. Let others argue over small things, but not you. Let others cry over small hurts, but not you. Let others leave their future in someone else’s hands, but not you
  9. If you are not willing to risk the usual you will have to settle for the ordinary.
  10. Don’t spend major time on minor things

Which quote of Jim Rohn inspires you the most at this very moment?

Two books that helped me stop being a guilty and exhausted working mother


It is a never ending conversation among my fellow women/mother entrepreneurs, colleagues in the professional world on the topics of “Can we women (even more strongly, mothers) have it all?” and “Do we ask too much when we want a fulfilling job we love and at the same time the family life our female instincts are longing for?”
Are you like me, sometimes or the majority of time, you feel like a worn-out super girl buried under guilt and exhaustion and still refusing to take the damn super girl outfit off?

We are women, we are mothers, and we are also entrepreneurs, business leaders, colleagues and home makers. The roles we carry together can either be a recipe for a manic, stressful and chaotic life, or a powerful combination to inspire us to be more. Like Jim Rohn says:“The greatest value in life is not what you get; the greatest value is what you become.” This leads to the question of “what does have it all mean to us?” From my experiences of talking to countless inspiring mothers, it doesn’t simply mean keeping our jobs while having children in tow. It is more about mental satisfaction from being self-expressed through work and motherhood, and even more precisely, from “being more” through those journeys.
What does “being more” mean here? It could mean:

  • We each embrace our role as a contributor to our work place even as a leader of a growing business, without feeling frustrated, tired and unwilling to take on any more risk.
  • We each take responsibility for ensuring that everyone in our company is clear about our big vision, and is rowing the boat in the same direction.
  • We are working on the business to create documented systems so that we can confidently let go of the reins when our children need us without feelings of guilt or conflict.

The good fortune we have as women is that we can handle so much and we don’t give up. I am glad that I am one of them and I am raising three daughters to join them. With this in mind, not giving up the desire of  having it all has lead me to find the following two books which have helped me to redefine my daily routines and my work life; and most importantly, the first time it feel like I am having it all and we all can have it all.
The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra — we women are so prone to the twin enemies fear and worry; we are constantly evaluating, classifying, labelling and analysing which is why we love gossip and chatting. But all this creates a lot of turbulence in our internal dialogue. We worry about our children, our husbands (can also be classified as our another child), our parents, our friends and then the last ourselves! American writer and founder of Success Magazine, Dr. Orison Swett Marden identified FEAR and WORRY as the two most powerful enemies of peace of mind, health and prosperity because they undermine everything.  This book gives us practical guidance to calm our mind down and help us to access the true potentiality already within us. It sounds cliché but it is true and a must read!
Traction by Gino Wickman — the past 8 weeks has been an incredible journey for me and our team at LCN as we embraced the tools from the Traction book to give us more clarity as individuals and as a company at large. The most beneficial thing for me in this is that I finally have a grip on our business and with the documented systems in place, it means I can physically and mentally can let go of the reins when my children need me without feeling guilty and exhausted. To all the mum entrepreneurs and managers, working more time doesn’t make you a productive achiever. Less is more if you have the right systems.
We’ve all had moments when the juggling didn’t work, when the wheels all fell off, and that’s OK! It’s about having the clarity of what “having it all” means to you specifically. It’s about what you want to become through this life journey of yours. It’s about learning to prioritise the balls we are juggling and knowing when to say no. Just remember that ‘have it all’ doesn’t mean we do everything ourselves. We can’t do everything and we shouldn’t feel guilty if we don’t. We also shouldn’t feel guilty if we ask for help (or have a cleaner or nanny, etc). Nor should we judge other women if they do!

The Chinese Mums in Business Club is Launched


In June 2018, I was most delighted to co-launch the Chinese Mums in Business Club (CMIBC) with my amazing Co-Founder, Sally Maier-Yip.
The CMIBC is an independent networking organisation for Chinese (and culturally Chinese) mums in business, either running their own business or working in an organisation, in the UK and worldwide.
Through our annual programme of special moments and events, our vision is to Inspire and Empower Chinese mums in business to reach their full potential.
Inspired by the ‘Mastermind’ meetings described in the classic book ‘Think and Grow Rich’, our intention is that our ongoing meet-ups will be an opportunity to share our business challenges, ask for guidance and different perspectives and discover new and possible solutions. And most of all, our collective knowledge and expertise from different business sectors and mutual coaching will:
1: Create a fun, loving and inspirational place for Chinese mums to network and social and seek support in a safe, confidential and supportive environment.
2: Represent a voice from those mums and create opportunities for Chinese mums to meet other culture background mums in business.

OUR NEXT EVENT
On 20th November, we are organising our second working lunch for Chinese mums who are running their own business. Click here for the full invitation.
In this working lunch, we will share real-life experiences from our personal journeys to create documented systems, including accountability charts and weekly scorecards – and results and challenges so far (the good, the bad and the ugly). We would love to hear your own stories of how you have worked “on” your business rather than “in” your business, and which approaches have worked for you.
If you are interested in joining us on 20th November, do drop me an email: xiaofang.sutton@lcnlegal.com. Seats are very limited. We look forward to hearing from you soon.
With our very best wishes,
Xiaofang Sutton and Sally Maier-Yip 
Co-Founders, The Chinese Mums in Business Club
Join us on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/cmibclub/ 

5 books worth reading this summer for Mothers in Business


Inspired by Bill Gates’ article “5 books worth reading this summer“, I thought hard and pulled together a list of 5 books worth reading for mothers in business. “Mother” alone is already a profession in its own right. “Mothers” and “business” together more sound like multi-tasking often leading to guilt and stress. These five books all share a common theme of finding peace in the chaos of being a mother while working for/running businesses. Some serious, some funny, some bold and some extremely soul comforting. Happy reading!
Traction, by Gino Wickman. Let’s start with something a bit businessy and serious! Nothing particularly new if you are a big business books reader. However this book has the ability to allow us to have a bird’s view on your business or your management team if you are holding a serious role in corporates. It stimulates you to think your company’s vision, core values and inspire into the WHOLE team to row the boat together in one direction. This book will make you work smarter rather than harder which is so important when we have multiple roles in life.
French Children Don’t Throw Food, by Pamela Druckerman. If, like me, you wonder how French mothers can still be sexy, chic and confident after having children (and you are a bit jealous), you will find some answers in this book. Whether you are a Chinese mother living in the UK like myself or an American mother living in Paris like the author Pamela, it’s all about finding your own way, what kind of parent you want to be, and what kind of relationships you want to have with your children – not just when they are young but also in their adulthood, as we reap later depending on what we sow now.
Conversations with God, by Neale Donald Walsch. Don’t be put off by the title if you are not a religious person. Give it a chance as it is the most inspiring and enlightening book I’ve ever read. “Enlightenment is understanding that there is no where to go, nothing to do, and nobody you have to be except exactly who you’re being right now.”
For Better, For Worse, by Damian and Siobhan Horner. This is a wonderful book for anyone who is feeling challenged by the messiness of marriage and the chaos of family life. It’s a true life account of a husband and wife – written in their own voices – who take a break from their working lives and take their two small children (one and two years old respectively) in a small boat through the canals of France, from North to South. I’m looking forward to re-reading this one.
In Love With the Mystery, by Ann Mortify. Unlike the other books on this list, this one is to be dipped into, and not necessarily read from cover to cover. It consists of short passages on life and spirituality. What is extraordinary about ‘In Love With the Mystery’ is the depth and beauty of the observations – perfect as a focus for evening reflection or morning mediation.

The 5 inspirational quotes I am living by….

We are living in a world full of inspirational stories with people who have achieved extraordinary things. In fact, we have always been. Those great people have no limitations on sharing their wisdom with us, the rest of the world. Nowadays, with social media so integrated in our life, it has never been easier for us to have access to or exposed to inspirational quotes. I don’t know about you, but I am a big fun of inspirational quotes. I just love the positive energies coming out my heart whenever I am reading them. It makes me feel connected with the people who said the quotes. It strengthens my belief on a daily basis that Life is beautiful and full of miracles. So today, I am sharing some of my all time favourite quotes I am gathering over the past couple of years which have become the light house of my daily life; the reminder of living my life with values and principles close to my heart; most importantly — living my life with integrity and making a difference in the lives of my children and the people we are associated with.

First thing first, this is the one most close to my heart. It is the constant reminder of the importance of self-acceptance, self-unconditional love. We have all been through the stages of letting ourselves down which leads to self-loath. We just need to constantly remind ourselves that everyone (literally everyone on this planet) is a product in progress.

This is the one which helped me change my paradigm towards life generally. There are always two sides to every story. Sometimes, we can be so stubborn that we are blind with other alternatives while we so focus on our own way of thinking. When you are open to other people’s way of thinking and perspectives, it is just like a light in a dark room and leading you to another door which you never know it is there before.

Well, I am sorry for the ‘F’ word. But it is so true and it is just what we needed majority of the time. We are so used to overwhelming ourselves with our inner fears and countless worries. And we are so allowing ourselves to accept all of the excuses dragging us down. The fun fact is that a lot of what weigh you down isn’t yours to carry. So stop worrying how it’s going to happen and start believing that it will. AND just F**** Do it! You will be amazed with the result and how much you expand.

OK, Let’s be honest with ourselves. We all have some people in our dark closet. If we are allowed legally and morally, we would like them to disappear — I mean literally disappearing in this planet. And then back to the reality, unfortunately, we can’t physically or magically make people disappear. But we can be proactive and control our own thoughts and emotions and decluttering those people out of our life. Make it a point to think intentionally and to be positive. Let go of the past by forgiving yourself and others. It does you no good to hold onto resentment, so forgive and forget and then bless those who you forgave.

Finally, 4 simple rules to have a fulfilling day, everyday. If we can leave the worries about our future to future, be peaceful of our past, focus on all of our energies and time on today, just today. Look for the good in others and try to see the best in all that you do by being accountable for your own actions. You will be amazed by how peaceful and happy you can be and how much you can make progress in the different areas of your life. After all, the Sky is the limit!

The LCN Interview: Edward Zeng

We are delighted to feature an interview with Edward Zeng, the highly experienced, Shanghai-based Senior Partner of HanSheng Law Offices and co-founder and senior parter of Shanghai Kingfaith Consulting company. Edward Zeng and his team have extensive experiences of helping MNEs to manage their Customs compliance issues in China. As you will see from the interview, these Customs issues are closely related to Transfer Pricing.
What do you see as the biggest mistake which multinational corporates make in managing import tariffs on imports into China from related parties?
The biggest mistake, I would say, is underestimation or being unaware of China Customs-compliance risks in their management of trade and supply chain, and even in their mergers & acquisitions in relation with China.
Import tariff is just one of many customs issues that MNEs must pay high attention to.
China Customs administers an extensive range of responsibilities. Traditionally, it collects customs duty, VAT and consumption tax on imports and import-related license fees and royalties, controls the security and legality of import and export activities, supervises customs controlled zones and bonded operations, imposes administrative penalties on non-compliance and IPR infringements, and conducts criminal investigation into smuggling.  As the new institutional reform of China’s State Council is rolling out, China Customs’ responsibilities further expand to include all the functions of entry-exit inspection and quarantine that used to be performed by other agencies. The large scope of China customs’ law enforcement dictates that there is substantial amount of customs-compliance risks, besides tariff issues, to be managed by enterprises in their cross-border transaction and supply chain management.
Customs-compliance risks may also lie in mergers & acquisitions in relation with China, as the target company may have compliance problems or other customs liabilities that are yet to be exposed and will be attached to the buyer.  For example, the target company may have manufacturing plants in customs controlled zones and irregularities in their operations may not have been discovered by Customs; or capital equipments imported by the target company under tax-concessions are still within customs supervision period and may be liable for tariff and taxes.
Moreover, risks may exist in relation with third-party service providers, such as customs brokers and logistics service providers that are commonly involved in the supply chain operation. The third-party service providers usually regard “fast customs clearance” as their first priority and attach low importance to customs compliance. This poses potential risks for enterprises, as Customs will always hold the final importer or exporter accountable in cases of non-compliance. Luckily some enterprises have realized this and made efforts to put in place sound screening and managing procedures in respect of third-party service providers.
If any one of such risks materializes, an enterprise may suffer from a customs investigation that may suspend the manufacturing or distributing operation, or disruption to supply chain due to greater inspections at border, or administrative penalties for non-compliance, or even criminal investigation and possible seizure of goods that the enterprise cannot afford. What’s more important, the administrative penalties and criminal investigations may have serious implications for the management personnel of an enterprise.
What are the factors that contribute to customs compliance risks faced by multinational corporates?
One major factor that contributes to compliance risks is the complexity and technical difficulty of customs issues. Our experience with clients indicate that most enterprises were confused facing customs enquiry or audits, which is quite understandable.
China customs enforces a specialized legal system that features an intricate web of international agreements, laws, government regulations, decrees and orders, and is very different from the fields that enterprise management or general legal practitioners are familiar with. Besides, variations in practice even make the issue more complex.
Take customs valuation for example. Customs valuation determines the price base for the tariffs and taxes payable and thus transaction prices declared by enterprises are subject to strict customs examination and auditing. However it is quite sophisticated in legislation and becomes even more complicated in practice. Which elements or items of price should be included in the transaction value requires careful consideration and legal assessment, especially in the case of transfer pricing within companies group.
Customs valuation issues affect matters as diverse as license fees & royalty, rental charges, “assists” (materials/engineering/development provided by the buyer free of charge or at reduced costs for use in the production or sale for export of the imported goods), commissions and brokerage, the proceeds of subsequent resale/disposal/use of the imported goods, warranty arrangement, the expenses related with financing interest/technical training or assistance, etc.
Customs valuation is also closely connected with the trade mode and business arrangement, as the same price item that shall be added to the transaction price in one trade mode may not be dutiable if the business arrangement varies.
On top of that, the transfer pricing policy and its implementation as a whole is quite likely to be questioned and rejected by the customs authority even when the transfer pricing is accepted by the tax administration. Customs and tax authorities adopt two different, even conflicting sets of rules and methodologies as regards transfer pricing issue. The ground for rejection by Customs is that the related party transaction influences the transaction price based on Customs examination in accordance with customs valuation rules.
Noticeably, transfer pricing is drawing increased attention from China Customs. A number of industry-wide customs audits of TP have been initiated targeting automobile, pharmaceuticals and other industries. Many MNEs have been audited and typically substantial amount of tariff and taxes were subsequently collected. A recent development is that, since 2016 the importer is required by law to declare at time of entry (a)“if the buyer and seller are related” and (b)“if their relationship has influenced the transaction price”. This legal requirement implies that China customs has singled out related-party transaction (TP) as a major customs issue. As a result, importers shall make truthful declarations about these two items, otherwise consequences and punishments will follow. That brings more compliance risks to MNEs besides uncertainties in their TP arrangements and financial implications and burdens.
The good news is that the conflict between customs valuation and transfer pricing has been realized by the international community and joint WCO-OECD conferences were held in this respect. Besides efforts made at the international level, domestic customs and tax authorities are also encouraged to strengthen dialogue and exchange of information. With ongoing reforms in international tax regime and implementation of BEPS around the globe, it is expected customs regulation of TP issue will also evolve. We will keep following its development and hopefully it will be less of a headache for businesses.
Which types of imports tend to carry the highest risk from a Chinese Customs perspective?
To answer this question, we may look at it from the “enterprises” rather than “imports” angle. As part of its constant innovation efforts, China customs has moved its work focus from supervision of consignments of goods to regulation and management of enterprises behind imports and exports. A full set of enterprise management rules and regulations have been enacted to guide and incentivize enterprises to promote their customs compliance. Meanwhile specialized units and staff have been put in place to carry out the accreditation and management of enterprises.
Those accredited by customs will be granted privileged treatment in their customs processes. However, enterprises which have a poor compliance record or which have infringed customs laws will be “blacklisted”, and their imports or exports be rated as high-risk and consequently attract greater border inspections and other “troubles”. Moreover, under the state initiative of building social credit system, other ministries or government agencies will join China customs to impose punishments together on enterprises with poor customs compliance records. In other words, enterprises’ infringement of customs laws and regulations may lead to consequences in other areas of their daily business in China.
To sum up, the risks of imports are closely associated with customs-compliance level of the importing enterprises. Enterprises must adjust and upgrade their mindset, shifting their risk-management focus from each consignment of imports to “enterprise” as a whole.
What specific requirements apply in China as regards the form or content of intercompany agreements, to support Customs compliance?
At this stage, there are no specific requirements by China customs as to intercompany agreements.  However, intercompany agreements, especially in relation with distribution, licensing, R&D, marketing services, play a vital role in Customs audits of TP and other processes. They form a key part of basic documentation requested by Customs and are usually under close scrutiny of customs officers. Customs officers examine the agreements generally to identify the trade, financial and licensing arrangements, and specifically to discover clues as to customs valuation & other issues and to search proof in favor of customs claim. Besides, any inconsistency or conflict of the agreements with other documentation may be used to challenge enterprises’ claim or defense.
In practice, you will see a lot of customs decisions quote clauses and words from the intercompany agreements as evidences to support the conclusion. Meanwhile, in our experience it isn’t rare that some agreements, being unaware of customs issues, “voluntarily” revealed their problems to Customs. Therefore, the content of intercompany agreements is of great importance in relation with customs audits and examination though there is no specific requirement as regards the form of those agreements yet.
What’s to be noted, China Customs has been making constant efforts to regulate transfer pricing issues. It is reasonably expected that more concrete rules will be developed as to related party transaction and TP, under which documentation requirements will probably be also put in place.
How would you describe the approach of the China Customs officers in enforcing compliance? How do you expect this to change over the coming years?
If the approach of the China Customs officers in enforcing compliance is to be summarized into two key words, I would use Aggressive and Comprehensive. As has already been witnessed by many MNEs, China Customs have been quite “aggressive” in auditing enterprises on their licensing fees & royalties and TP lately. Major industries and a large number of MNEs have already been covered. According to our observations, this momentum will keep building due to the following developments.
China Customs has carried out unprecedented reforms in recent years, along with large-scale legislative amendments. These reform efforts will on one hand greatly expedite customs clearance, on the other hand reinforces enterprises management and regulation prior to and post customs clearance. One of the prominent changes is that enterprises in most cases will go through the customs declaration process free of customs verifications, and the duties will be calculated and paid based on their self-assessment. In doing so the onus for ensuring declarations to be accurate has totally moved to the importers. Besides, with decreasing customs control at border, post-clearance audit will inevitably be strengthened as the major force to enforce customs control and compliance. We have seen more human resources being deployed to specialize in post clearance auditing operations and KPIs being formulated as to their performance in audits.
In this context we reasonably expect that China customs will be more aggressive and comprehensive in enforcing customs compliance. It wouldn’t be rare that a lot of irregularities or non-compliances that have accumulated unconsciously by an importer during the course of 1 to 3 years will be exposed together in front of customs auditors.
How did you get into working on customs duty related legal matters?
I started my career in the IP field and gradually built my team to help clients deal with various IP affairs in China. China customs enforces IP protection at border and my IP law practice afforded me the chance to have interaction with China customs, which aroused my interest in a wide range of customs issues. As we counseled more and more MNEs on their businesses, we found that they were faced with increasing Customs compliance issues. In my first such case, as I still remember clearly, my client was audited by local customs in relation to its manufacturing plant in a customs controlled zone. Later on an increasing number of customs cases with respect to licensing fees & royalties and transfer pricing were brought to us by our clients for advice. Then we were engaged to advise on their general customs issues, to review their customs compliance, and to assist them with their responses to customs audits and inquiries, etc.
To achieve the top level is always our pursuit in providing legal services to our clients. As we expanded our customs law practice, we also strived to bring our team to the top level in this area. We are very lucky to have Harvey Lee join us, who is a customs and trade compliance expert with abundant expertise and in-depth understanding of customs issues. I believe his presence in our team will greatly enhance our ability to provide top-notch services to our clients in customs issues.
Who has been the most influential role model for your professional life?
The most influential role model for my professional life is Professor. XinLiang Tao, a senior IP lawyer, whose accomplishments have received a lot of acknowledgments and  rewards, including ALB “Top 15 Lawyers” in 2015, MIP “The Star of Trademark and Patent” in 2015 and 2016, Asia Law Profiles “The Market Leading Lawyer” in 2016, Chambers Asia-Pacific “Masters in IP litigation” from 2014 to 2018.
I was very fortunate to work with Professor Tao in Dentons Shanghai for four years, which much furthered my understanding of providing legal services and enhanced my faith in legal profession. His outstanding professionalism and high ethical standards set a great role model for me and will always be my goal of pursuit in my career.
In a movie of your life story, which actor would you like to play you?
I guess it must be James Spader, who played Alan in Boston Legal very successfully. Boston Legal is also a big success liked by a lot of viewers, especially legal practitioners. Among all the roles in this TV series, Alan played by James Spader impressed me the most. Alan is a super talent. He is eloquent, witty, persistent in his career path, caring for friends and has a lot of compassions and strong sense of justice. These personalities attract me very much.
What would be your dream job if you didn’t work in law?
If I didn’t work in law, I wish I would be a diplomat. Then I would be able to travel a lot to see different cultures around the world, so that I can help bridge the difference between them and make my contribution to international peace and development.
What is your biggest extravagance?
My biggest extravagance took place in the first year I joined the workforce after graduation from college. I still remember the monthly salary then was only 1000 RMB, but I spent over 10,000 RMB on an IBM laptop which I had long desired. Friends and colleagues around me were all jealous of me but thought it was too big an extravagance. However it was worthwhile as I took it as a precious gift given to myself.
What do you do to relax?
I usually go for a stroll to relax. Breathing in fresh air in the woods will refresh my mind and body. Sometimes I also play volleyball and the teamwork throughout the match is quite enjoyable.
What piece of advice would you give your 18-year-old self?
I would tell my 18-year-old self “get to know what you like and what is suitable for you.  Listen to the seniors to see what advice they will give you. Then set the right direction, otherwise every step would distance you further from your goal.”

The LCN Interview: Caroline Ma


We are honoured to interview Caroline Ma, the Managing Partner of Stanley & Partners – the Shanghai-based Real Estate Investment Management firm which pioneered the real estate investment banking service industry in China by providing a bridge between international capital providers and domestic developers. Caroline is the co-head and founding member of the investment, research & consultancy team.
Why did you get into property?
I was offered a scholarship on studying real estate in university so it was an easy choice for me. My father was a property developer when I was growing up. There are some family influences there.
Who has been the most influential role model for your business life?
Dr Stanley Chan, the Founder of Stanley & Partners.  Dr Stanley Chan has been a career mentor for me since my third year in university.
What’s the one thing you would like to know about investing in UK property development project?
How to manage the whole process and what to expect in different stages of the development.
What’s the biggest obstacle you think Chinese property developer would face if they invest in UK?
Currency control/moving funds from China into UK, and the uncertainty around the UK leaving the EU.
What’s the number 1 reason you think Chinese investors invest in UK property?
Well-established education system and asset risk diversification.
What would you want UK developer and construction firms to know about you?
In addition to our investment management and investment banking services, we also provide market analysis reports on proposed projects in China, including reports on how government policy may affect a development in a particular location. Our partnerships have been developed over a period of 16 years, and enable us to find co-investment partners for projects. Our clients include Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and LaSalle Investment Management and Wells Fargo, as well as Chinese developers and financial institutions.
In a movie of your life story, which actor would you like to play you?
Someone who is elegant, graceful and stylish.
What do you do to relax?
Travel. I especially enjoy traveling with my team which I think is a great way for team building.
What’s your favourite holiday destination?
South Africa.

LCN Legal为英国开发商与中国投资者举办地产开发融资结构研讨会

2016年3月17日,LCN Legal为有意投资英国房产开发项目的个人投资者和家族办公室举办了一场有关融资结构的非公开研讨会。该活动需凭邀请函入场,其举办地为伦敦丽兹酒店(Ritz Hotel)。
我们邀请了24名活动嘉宾,其中包括多名房产开发商、中国投资者及家族办公室。他们所代表的机构有:伦敦总部基地(ABP London)、Aston Currency Management、CBH Europe Limited、Chase New Homes、中国移动国际有限公司(China Mobile International)、David Tang & Co、Doyen Group、Eco-Res Limited、HengStone Development、汇丰银行(HSBC)、MAW Properties London、Menzies LLP、Millbank Group、NICG Group、020 Property Ltd、Vantage Properties and Management Ltd和Wellesley Finance Plc。
本次研讨会由LCN Legal的联合创始人Paul Sutton先生和李晓芳女士主持,并由Tudor Roberts、Leiza Bladd-Symms及其他LCN Legal团队成员提供协助支持。
本次研讨会由四大主题组成:

以下内容选自与会嘉宾对此次活动的评价:
“非常棒的一场研讨会。这是我很久以来度过的最有意义的两个小时。”
“很有意思的一场研讨会,组织得非常好,举办得很成功。”
“重点突出、主题明确、紧跟时事。”
Yong
Yong
Yong
Yong

LCN最新发表了关于如何投资英国房地产开发项目的指南

LCN刚刚公布了一个新的免费指南。该指南是专为正在考虑投资英国房地产开发项目的国际个人投资者和家族办公室撰写的。
您需要考虑:

本指南还概述了对房地产开发项目进行投资时,个人投资者最常用的六种结构。这些结构包括:

如果您想了解更多,并下载该指南,请点击以下链接:
免费指南:如何投资英国房地产开发项目

众筹平台应该采取何种后援措施以保护投资者?

众筹为企业和项目提供了高效的接触投资人的机会,反向亦然。但是,除非投资者受到保护,这个市场是不可持续的。集资产业和全球金融服行业仍处于寻求解决这个问题的发展阶段。随着众筹平台规模化以及交易量的上升,强大的后援系统和流程安排成为一项必备要求,而再不是一个“可有可无”的选择。这些后援安排,将在 P2P平台发生问题时发挥作用 – 无论是出于破产,欺诈或是操作上的原因 。
本月初,我们LCN律师事务所(LCN Legal) 就这一重要议题举行了非正式的研讨会。本次活动服务于市场化的借贷平台,金融机构和媒体,并专注于为P2P平台提供后援服务安排。该活动与Capita Mortgage Services协办,并在伦敦的Hoxton Hotel举行。
来宾来自英国领先的众筹平台,如Crowd2Fund,LendInvest,八达通投资(Octopus Investments),Proplend 和Wellesley & Co,诸如英国地铁银行和苏格兰皇家银行的金融机构,服务提供商Capita Asset Services和德勤重组服务部,以及Altfi(国际新闻网站的另类金融部门)和伦敦Fintech播客。
此次圆桌重点讨论了一些棘手问题:

讨论出的关键点列出如下:

该活动已经预定一空。如果您想加入以后活动的轮候名单,请联系Xiaofang Sutton (xiaofang.sutton@lcnlegal.com)
_SJP4028 (2)
_SJP3928-2
_SJP3929-2
_SJP4067
_SJP4035 (2)

The LCN Interview: Lynzi Wang

We are delighted to feature an interview with Lynzi Wang, the Founder and Commercial Director of Zillion International, which provides bespoke Chinese business language training and culture acclimatisation programmes in the UK.
Why did you come to UK in the first place?
I first set my foot on the land in Summer 2007 as a tourist, then I found myself very attracted to its culture and the mosquito- free summer. So after I graduated from university in China in 2009, I came for my Masters degree in the subject of Economics of Education, at the Institute of Education, UCL. Sometimes I wonder whether I would change my mind had I come to UK in the winter time for my first visit.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome when you started doing business in the UK?
Getting out of my comfort zone. People who set up on their own normally have a certain client base to start with, whether it is through family members, people known from previous work, friends or other social acquaintances. However, establishing yourself out of your comfort zone is the key to the initial success of the business. Convincing strangers to buy your product, your service or your idea is much more difficult than to pitch to someone you know. It requires wide but targeted networking activities, delicate interpersonal skills, excellent selling techniques and perseverance. Besides, the service that you provide should be adjusted to the market need at all times. So sticking to a set way of doing things, or in other words, staying in one’s comfort zone, may do your business more harm than good.
What do you most like about the UK?
Apart from the mosquito-free summer that I mentioned above, I guess it’s the diversity of the culture and public’s general tolerance of people from different backgrounds. People always make comparison between major Chinese metropolitan cities, such as Beijing and Shanghai with London. In terms of infrastructure, financial performance and cultural diversity, I believe Beijing, Shanghai has come to a similar level compared to London. But getting a green card (permanent residence) in China is far more difficult than here in UK. So I am personally very impressed by the welcoming gesture of UK government and its people, it shows strength and confidence.
What do you see as the biggest opportunities in the UK for Chinese businesses?
There are so many areas that Chinese businesses can benefit from partnering with / investing in UK. The contracts that have been signed around the Chinese President Xi’s state visit to UK demonstrated the vast areas and industries that our two countries could collaborate in. As the biggest and with the most impactful area, I would choose the transformation of scientific and technological achievements. The foundation of research in UK is solid, rigorous and well structured and the legal framework for the transformation and the industrialisation is quite mature. Business in related industries, such as pharmaceutical companies, specialist material manufactures, and chemical engineering industry etc.
What do you most want Chinese people to know about the UK?
The so called “royal elegance”(优雅贵族范儿) is not defined by the luxury brand used or lavish banquet arranged. Don’t be surprised if you are introduced to a Lord who dresses like a normal man in suit, and whose house is not shining with gold and silver. The true nobility comes within a person, it’s the generosity to those who don’t have, the mercy to those who are suffering and the grace in dealing with ups and downs in life.
What is the best piece of business advice you have been given?
Be your clients’ partner, and grow with them; Not to be seen as the “service provider”, for which can be easily sourced elsewhere.
What would be your dream job if you didn’t work in business?
Probably as a behavioural profiler at the Behavioural Analysis Unit (BAU) dealing with serial homicide killers. To be a profiler, one needs to be knowledgeable, sharp in observation and good at making connections through details. Like doing business, it’s all about reading people’s minds and see what they want and their next move. Maybe I have watched too much US TV drama Criminal Minds. BTW, the new season 11 has come out. For those who enjoy it, don’t miss out.
What is your biggest extravagance?
Travel, bags, clothes, property, spa treatments … not sure which one can be classified as the biggest. But in terms of impact on life, I would say it’s the decision that I made coming to UK for further study. Because through that decision, I have gained my degree, met my husband, found a job and then years later, founded my own company. So instead of been an “extravagance”, it is more likely to be a wise investment.
What is your favourite destination?
The city of Osaka in Japan – a unique place that presents itself with the combination of new and old, east and west, historical culture and modern entertainment. The street food is the best, very diversified too. People there are more friendly than those in Tokyo (the current capital city), and less rigid than those in Kyoto (previous capital city of Japan). Perfect combination in every way.
What piece of advice would you give your 25-year-old self?
For the first 40 years of your life, don’t be afraid to do what’s in your mind. For the second 40 years in your life, don’t regret a thing that you’ve done. I don’t think there will be a third 40 years, but it there is, I’d say, forget everything if you haven’t already.

The LCN Interview: Sally Wang

We are delighted to feature an interview with Sally Wang who is the Founder and Director of SJW UK Property Investment Ltd which helps overseas buyers with their property purchases in the UK. She is also the author of the book “Buy Smart, what you need to know when investing in UK properties” which will be published in the UK and USA this October, before its publication in China with a leading Chinese publisher. The book is available on Amazon by following this link. english final version
Why did you get into property?
After I graduated from Nottingham University in 2004 and got a job in London with a work permit allowing me to stay here longer, it seemed to be the next natural move to buy a property for myself to settle down and have some sort of base. From there, I developed interest and passion about property.
Who has been the most influential role model for your business life?
Well, quite a few. The first couple of names came to my mind were Oprah Winfrey and JK Rowling.
What’s the one thing you would want overseas investors know about investing in UK property?
“Difference” – Be aware of the differences, respect them and make use of them. That’s why I wrote the first bilingual business book (in English & Chinese) <Buy Smart: What you need to know when investing in UK properties> 《智慧买家:英国置业三部曲》
What single thing would make your business life easier?
To work with like-minded professionals will make my business life easier and more fun, I am lucky I do have some of those around me at the moment, which I appreciate very much.
In a movie of your life story, which actor would you like to play you?
Haha, that’s a cheeky question. If I have a chance to get a movie made out of my life, I would love to play it myself…. Currently, Helen Mirren is one of my favorite actresses and human beings.
What would be your dream job if you didn’t work in property?
I am doing my dream job at the moment in the way that I wanted. However, if I were not working in property, I would love to be a full time professional writer.
What do you do to relax?
Read, write and walk.
What is your favourite holiday destination?
Thailand, Morocco, or any places that are colorful, exotic and chaotic.
What’s your biggest extravagance?
I am a saver not a spender, but I do have a soft spot for antiques and things to do with dogs.
What piece of advice would you give your 25 year old self?
Everything that happens is to help you to understand yourself better, so not to worry too much but do live consciously.

LCN 人物专访:汤姆 ·朱厄尔(Tom Jewell)

我们非常荣幸的采访了汤姆 ·朱厄尔。他是新成立的房产中介‘The Home Cloud’的创始人及总经理。在成立‘The Home Cloud’之前,汤姆是一名职业板球运动员,在英国萨里郡(Surrey)板球俱乐部效力了六个赛季。
你成立‘The Home Cloud’的初衷是什么?
我成立‘The Home Cloud’ 的主要目的是想给大家在买房或租房过程中提供方便和渴求的透明度。我现在在房产买卖领域工作,自己也经历了买卖房产的具体过程,我能深切体会到大多数人对繁琐的程序摸不着头脑,对收费不合理的无所适从。在现代社会中,我坚信一定会有更好的方法促成房地产交易。我花了很大一部分时间在创建‘Home Cloud’的理念上。我们采用最先进的在线门户技术,并与传统的面对面客户交流相结合。我们的客户现在能够在网站上24/7的查询他们的房产买卖进度,同时我们通过降低办公费用和建立一个专业的营销团队去最大程度的曝光推销客户的房产,也为客户省下了将近50%的房产中介费用。
从一个职业动员在的做企,你是如何看待转变的?
职业运动和商业活动有很多相似之处,两者之间的转换对我来说是一个很自然的过程。在最后三年的职业运动员的生涯中,我同时在好几个房地产中介公司兼职,在那里的经验也让这次的转换更加游刃有余。当然,我会想念打板球的,但是转换到商业世界的时间对我来说是刚刚好。我能够把我在职业运动员生涯中学到的东西运用到现在的商业活动中。
职业和商业生涯影响最大的人?
在我的运动生涯中,我从来没有一个特别的榜样。但我身边一直有很多可以值得我信任的人。当大家都看到成功的时候,每个人都想给你一些建议。对我来说最重要的是我能够过滤出哪些建议可取,哪些建议不可取,这样可以防止我转移注意力。总来的来说,我父亲对我的事业有很大的影响,他对商业的热情已经深深的感染了我。他一直都是我的一个坚实的共鸣板。
职业动员在管理他的个人财务时的挑是什么?
大部分的职业运动员的职业生涯是有限的,同时他们在很年轻的时候就达到了收入的顶峰,然后他们的收入逐渐减少,这通常与大部分人正好相反。这意味着,在他们有限的运动生涯中如何有效的管理他们的钱对确保退休后有足够的生活来源是至关重要的。我们和很多职业运动员合作帮助他们投资房地产为以后退役后的生活做保障。
在你的家乡Surrey, Berkshire and Hampshire,房地的投机会有什么特
显然非常多不同的因素造就一些地方更具吸引力。对于Surrey, Berkshire and Hampshire这三个区域来说,吸引人们来这里居住的5大因素是:物有所值,通往机场和伦敦的便利交通,在金融和科技领域有很好的就业机会,好的学校,大量天然的自然风景区。由于这几个因素,这里的房价在过去的12个月已经上涨了13.2%(相比英国北部区域只增长了4.3%)。
于中国的房者来三个区域的吸引之在哪里?
最关键的一个吸引之处是教育质量很高。据英国国家教育监管机构(Ofsted)统计,在萨里郡(Surrey)有超过80%的学校被评为 “优秀”或“良好”。正如萨里郡负责学校和教育的议会内阁成员琳达· 凯美尼所说:“这些数字更加强调了萨里郡在整个英国的公立学校的教育实力。”除了优秀的公立学校,这三个区域也有全英最推崇的私立学校。卡尔特修道院(Charterhouse),惠灵顿(Wellington),圣凯瑟琳(St Catherine’s),布拉德菲尔德(Bradfield)和温彻斯特(Winchester)是这三个区域私立学校的代表。他们给在校的学生提供独特的和一流的学习和实践机会。
大部分的学生都会继续接受大学高等教育。久负盛名的牛津大学仅距位于伯克希尔的泰晤士河谷几英里之外。除了良好的教育水平外,这里人们的生活质量与英国其他地方不分上下。这里生活环境安全,提供可以与伦敦媲美的设施和服务,但你会购买到信价比更高的房产。便捷的高速公路体系让从这里前往首都伦敦更加的便捷,同时也有通往首都希思罗机场的直达高速公路。
在一部述你的生活故事的影里,你想要哪个演扮演你?
我的女朋友非常喜欢美国演员查宁·塔图姆(Channing Tatum)。所以我应该不介意由他来扮演我!
你的放松方式是什么?
除了平时早上的健身房训练,在过去的12个月里,不幸的是我并没有太多的时间放松,但一有机会我会在周日下午坐在电视机前放松调整来迎接下一周的工作。
你最喜的度假地点是什么?
这个是一个很好回答的问题。。。南非的开普敦。在我还在职业板球队的时候,我有幸随队周游世界,但是开普敦一直是我的最爱。
你会16的自己什么忠告?
你的成绩未必完全定义你的人生轨迹……并从现在开始建立一个储蓄账户会支付自己的第一个房产的定金做准备!

The LCN Interview: Tom Jewell

We are delighted to feature an interview with Tom Jewell, Managing Director of a new estate agency called The Home Cloud. Prior to launching The Home Cloud, Tom had six seasons as a professional cricketer with Surrey County Cricket Club.
Why did you decide to set up The Home Cloud?
I set up The Home Cloud in order to give people more convenience and transparency when selling or letting their property. Whilst working in the industry and buying and selling property myself, I felt too that too many people were left in the dark with progress, fees weren’t justified and in our modern society I knew that there had to be a better way to broker property transactions. It took me the best part of 12 months to create The Home Cloud concept, using the best of online technology and mixing it with a responsive face to face customer experience. We are now able to keep busy customers up to speed on progress 24/7 via their own online portal on our website whilst saving them up to 50% on their estate agent fees by reducing our office overheads and building a dedicated marketing team that concentrates on giving their property maximum exposure.
How have you found the transition from your sporting career to your current business activities?
Professional sport and business have many similarities and transitioning between the two has been a fairly natural process for me. During the last 3 years of my playing career I gained experience in a number of different property companies which made the switch slightly easier. Obviously I will miss playing cricket, however moving into the commercial world came at the right time for me and I’ve been able to take all the things that I learnt whilst playing sport with me.
Who has been your most influential role model for your sporting and business career so far?
In my sporting career I never really had a particular role model, I just had great people around me who I trusted. Wherever there is success there are plenty of people who are willing to give their advice. The key for me was filtering that advice and working out what to take and what to ignore which stopped me being pulled in lots of different directions. In general my father has played a huge part in my career so far, his energy for business has rubbed off on me and he continues to be a solid sounding board.
What challenges do sportsmen and women face in managing their personal finances?
Most professional sportsmen and women, even if they are successful, have only a limited amount of time in which to make their money. They also reach their top career earnings at a relatively young age and then their earnings tail off, which is generally the reverse to most people. This means that how they manage their money during their sporting career is vital to ensuring that they have enough to finance their lives later down the road. We work with many professional athletes who want to invest some of their career earnings in property to ensure that they can continue to build wealth throughout their non-competing years.
What is special about the property investment opportunities in your ‘home patch’ of Surrey, Berkshire and Hampshire?
There are clearly a huge variety of factors that can make some areas more desirable to live than others. In recent years we have seen an influx of people being drawn to the allure of the counties of Surrey, Berkshire and Hampshire for five main reasons; value for money, transport links to airports, ports and London, great employment opportunities with modern IT and financial services businesses, quality of schools and access to areas of outstanding natural beauty. Due to these factors house prices in these counties over the last 12 months have gone up in value by 13.2% (in comparison with the north of the country which has grown by 4.3%).
What makes that area attractive for Chinese property investors?
A key reason is that the quality of education is so high. Ofsted rates over 80% of Surrey’s schools as either “outstanding” or “good” and as Linda Kemeny, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Schools and Learning, said: “These figures reinforce the fact that Surrey has some of the best state schools in the country”. In addition to this these counties also have some of the most highly regarded private schools. Charterhouse, Wellington, St Catherine’s, Bradfield and Winchester are just some of the schools in the area that offer unique and top class opportunities to their pupils. Most students will progress to further education and Oxford University is only a few miles from the Thames Valley in Berkshire. In addition to education the quality of life is probably as high as anywhere in the UK. It is safe, has access to all the services and amenities as London but can offer better value for money than property in the capital. Motorway access to London is superb, the M4, M3 and M40 all lead into the capital from the area and access to Heathrow is straight off the M4.
One of the reasons property in Surrey, Berkshire and Hampshire is such a good investment is because of the huge demand from those working and commuting into London on a daily basis. Living in London has become out of reach for many people as house prices in the capital have risen to such high levels. However moving into Surrey, Berkshire or Hampshire does not have to mean a complete change of job and lifestyle for those nervous about leaving their fond memories of London behind. Indeed, transport links in areas such as Guildford, Reading and Basingstoke could often mean less of a commute to work than those poor souls hacking their way through the London transport system on a daily basis.
In a movie of your life story, which actor would you like to play you?
My girlfriend has the hots for Channing Tatum, so I suppose I wouldn’t mind being played by him!
What do you do to relax?
Other than early morning visits to the gym, relaxing unfortunately hasn’t featured much in my life over the last 12 months, however I do get a chance on Sunday afternoons to get in front of the television and switch off before starting another week on Monday!
What is your favourite holiday destination?
This one is easy … Cape Town, South Africa. I was fortunate enough to travel all over the world whilst playing cricket, however Cape Town was always a favourite for me.
What piece of advice would you give your 16 year old self?
Your grades will not necessarily define your trajectory in life … and start paying into a savings account to save the deposit for your first property!

LCN人物访谈:布瑞特· 阿莱格里木

我们非常荣幸地采访了布瑞特·阿莱格里木(Brett Alegre-Wood)。布瑞特热衷于帮助所有人建立自己的房地产投资组合,他是“3+1计划”(The 3+1 Plan)的作者,“3+1计划”是一本关于房地产投资的书,该书获得了2010年英国非小说类人民图书奖(People’s Book Prize)。他创办了一系列成功的企业,其中包括YPC集团,该集团帮助全球投资者寻找和管理房地产投资项目。他同时还是房地产开发商Bastien Jack的主席。
什么选择房地
从我十几岁开始,我的父母就翻新改造房产,所以他们应该是我的房地产启蒙老师。很快我就意识到房地产是一个很赚钱的行业。从90年代末,我开始教授其他人如何投资房地产。
在你的职业生涯中,你最有影响力的榜
在创业初期,我有几个导师(不著名的)帮助我。自从来到英国,我不得不重新建立自己的人际网络。我非常想道出几个非常有名的人物来,但事实是对我影响最大的人就是其他非常成功的商业领袖。
关于投英国房地产,你最想海外投者了解什么?
在你投资之前,自己做足功课。不能只看光滑的宣传册,不能只听销售人员的一面之词。
哪件事情会你的工作生活容易些?
我们每个人都要接受如何有效的使用电子邮件的培训。现在每天我收到的一部分邮件更多的是大脑垃圾而不是对我们大脑有用连贯的思想-完全是浪费时间。
在一部述你的生活故事的影里,你想要哪个演扮演你?
休格·兰特 - 很多人都说我们长的很像(尤其是我留长发的时候)。他可能会介意我的澳洲口音。
如果你没有从事房地,你的理想工作是什么?
国家总理,但我可能是一个很差劲地总理,因为我比较固执,顽固并且爱说大实话:)
你的放松方式是什么?
我训练拳击,搏击,游泳和高温瑜伽。我也喜欢旅行,但是现在我的孩子们都很小旅行只能暂时往后推了。
你最喜的度假地点是什么?
我们在科斯塔布兰卡(西班牙的一个地方)拥有一个度假屋,那里是一个非常放松的地方,我在那里完成了我最近三本书的写作。这个地方适合我们全家人的需求。除此之外,尼泊尔仍是我最喜欢的国家,它是一个无序的混乱和充满冒险的完美组合。
你生活中最大的奢侈是什么?
每年的新加坡汽车大奖赛。我和其他的12个来自澳洲和英国的朋友每年都会在这个时候狂欢三天。过去是四天,但现在我们都年龄大了。除此之外,我有三个年龄不到5岁的孩子,还有一个即将降临,所以他们是我的另一个奢侈,但他们是我的全部,任何东西都不换。
你会25的自己什么忠告?
专注,把书放下再打个电话。我认为人们花太多时间阅读而没有足够的时间把学到的东西运用到实践中去。当我做到这一点的时候,我的生活彻底改变了。

The LCN Tax Interview: Zakir Vahora

We are delighted to feature an interview with Zakir Vahora. Zakir is the Global Tax and Treasury Manager at All Saints, the fashion retailer headquartered in Spitalfields, London.
Why did you get into tax?
I first came across tax during my Chartered Accountancy training. I found tax to be challenging and a good tool to help save money, but for me it would lead me to a career path that would make me part of a highly regarded successful professional community that thrives on constant tax law changes. I have further found tax to be a useful tool in generating shareholder value/enhance EPS. In elections all you hear politicians talk about is tax, highlighting its relative importance to our daily lives.
Who has been the most influential role model for your professional life?
I have been fortunate to have worked closely with a handful of highly skilled and intelligent and well acquainted financiers/professionals from whom I have learnt so much so quickly. These individuals inspired me and gave me honest constructive feedback. The experiences enabled me to gain inner strength and skills/knowledge to be successful. To this day, they bring a smile to my face whenever I remember them.
What do you see as the biggest trend affecting the tax world over the next 10 years?
In my view ten years is a long time in tax but I would say current discussions around BEPS, transfer pricing, global unity against tax avoidance/evasion and the digital industry, are likely to be the key areas affecting not just tax but global economies. I see tax authorities becoming more sophisticated in dealing with transfer pricing metrics and investigations. I feel more needs to be done to provide clear tax guidance to help multinationals have a clear path.
What is your pet hate when dealing with advisers?
Any advisor that wastes time and money is not good. Those that try and sell ideas that carry no weight but are a mere distraction to generate future tax fees. Fortunately, I’ve worked with good advisors. Many senior boardroom directors are now well trained to know this as well as are tax partners.
In a movie of your life story, which actor would you like to play you?
I do like George Clooney and Dwayne Johnson. Both are smart, sophisticated, liked and strong willed – no messing about. George is cool and firm standing and Dwayne has a nice smile and makes me laugh. My life story is a roller coaster ride and I’m sure both would portray me well.
What would be your dream job if you didn’t work in tax?
A nursery school teacher faced with a classroom of four year olds screaming, laughing and making a real mess. A dream job as I would simply sit back take sweets out to give to the children rather than facing up to complex tax/treasury planning ideas. I’m sure I’m missing the point here as nursery/reception schooling is so important, hard and stressful.
What is your biggest extravagance?
Buying designer clothes and then not wearing them. My three children are also a loving extravagance worth every moment. I would never reverse the clock.
What do you do to relax?
Coming home and playing games (hide and seek) with my three young children and listening to their stories of the day. They make me laugh. Out of home life, I like swimming, Wing Chun martial arts and recently Krav Maga, although swimming zaps my energy.
What is your favourite holiday destination?
A few places rather than a single one. I like South East Asia and the Middle East (historical sites and there are many). India is also a lovely place full of energy and diversity. USA/Japan/China are also places I like re culture.
What piece of advice would you give your 25-year-old self?
Always keep a positive mental attitude and be assertive with your peers. Learn quickly from your mistakes, stay focused, set clear goals in mind, never let anyone undermine you or throw you off your set course, respect people and spend quality time with your family and friends.

英国期房购买全攻略

对于许多海外投资者而言,购置英国住宅房产类期房的想法非常具有吸引力。如果您相信英国的房产价格会持续走高,并且想要参与该资本的长期增长,那么这一想法也同样适合您。
有一点很重要,即懂得区分“期房”(off plan)与“现房”(new build)的投资机会。“期房”意味着您决定购买的房产还尚未建好。该房产可能会在未来12个月,或更久以后才能完工。如果在此期间及其以后,房产的价格上涨了,则对您有利,因为您只需支付一笔相对较少的资金,就能受益于从现在起直至其完工这段时间内的市场增长。当然,这种安排也不乏风险,其中就包括这样一个事实:您支付的预付款无法获得担保;如果开发商将来破产了,这些预付款就会面临风险。
相比之下,“现房”房产通常是指最近刚刚建成,或即将建成的房产。如果您相信房产价格会在一段时间内保持平稳,或会在短期至中期内有所下降,那么购入这类房产就会是您的置业良策,还有可能助您取得最大限度的折扣优惠。
一旦相中您认为合适的房产或住宅小区,那么您可以参考以下有关英国期房置业流程的简要概述:

  1. 谈判协商——通过谈判协商,您一般能够争取到低于开发商标价的折扣价格。在市场行情看涨的情况下,通常可获得4%至8%的折扣优惠。在市场陷入停滞或行情走低的情况下,可能会享受到更多的折扣优惠。如果您是通过代理商购买房产,则该代理商应该已经为您协商好了一个折扣价。须谨记的是,开发商报出的标价未必如实反映了该房产当前的实际市场价值。所以,您需要自己对此做出判断;并听取必要的建议。
  1. 预付定金——为预定房产,买家一般会向开发商支付一笔定金。通常,每一处房产的定金大概为2000英镑。在这一阶段,您并未进入实际购买程序;但是,您如果决定放弃购买,则已付的定金不予退还。您需要向开发商提供各种个人信息。您还会收到一份内容详尽的文件包,内含您已预定的房产及其所在住宅小区的详细信息。开发商将为您设定签订房产购买合同的最后期限——通常为自预定房产之日起大约3到4周内,而签订房产购买合同则称为“合同交换”(exchange)。
  1. 交换准备——您需要指定一名律师为您处理购买事务。房产开发商和您的律师都会要求您提供身份证明文件——只有在您提供该文件材料后,您的购买程序才能继续推进。如果您尚未采纳税务建议,那么您应该去采纳,从而找到拥有该房产的最佳方式(如,以个人名义拥有、夫妻联名拥有、或通过某一公司或信托机构来拥有)。您还应确保能通过自筹或贷款而获得购房所需的全部资金。
  1. 合同交换——进行至这一节点意味着您已确实保证会购买该房产。您的律师会向您发送一份有关该房产的报告及其购买合同。您则需要向该律师的客户账户汇入交换合同所需的保证金(通常为购买价格的5%或10%),您已经支付的定金应从中刨除。尽管开发商可能会告诉您该建筑的预计完工日期,但将其最后完工期限明确列入合同中的做法并不常见。这就意味着,如果该建筑延迟完工,您将不能享有获得赔偿的权力。
  1. 阶段付款——阶段付款(stage payment)是购买合同中的一种条款,指开发商一般会在合同交换后的6至12个月内要求买家支付的另外一笔款项。通常,这笔款项的金额与合同交换时支付的保证金相等。届时您需确保通过您的律师按时完成支付。
  1. 完工准备——开发商应定期向您告知建筑施工的进展情况;在施工的后期阶段,您会经常有机会前往该住宅小区实地参观。您如果打算使用银行贷款或其它贷款来完成款项支付,则应提前安排到位。您应将相关细节信息提供给您的律师,以便他/她能为您进行法律安排。开发商将会向您和您的律师发出一份正式通知,告知该房产已完工,以及您必须在某个具体日期前完成房产购买。您如果打算将该房产出租,则应联系代理商提前将该房产推向市场,以便在您完成购买后可以尽快落实租户。
  1. 购买完成——进入此阶段意味着您已实际持有该房产。您须支付购买价格的剩余款项,以及相关费用,比如土地印花税(Stamp Duty Land Tax)。同样地,上述费用亦需通过您的律师进行支付。
The LCN Interview: Dai Le

We are delighted to present an interview with Dai Le, the founder and CEO of Diverse Australian Women’s Network. Dai is passionate about enabling Asian Australians to fulfil their leadership potential. She was born in Saigon, Vietnam and spent years in refugee camps in South East Asia before migrating to Australia in 1979. She is a former award-winning journalist, independent film-maker and broadcaster. Dai is now active in politics, including roles as Commissioner to the New South Wales Community Relations Commission and Councillor on Fairfield City Council. She also serves as a director with STARTTS, the NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors.
Who has had the biggest impact on you as a leader? Why and how did this person impact your life?
There isn’t one person who has had an impact on me as a leader. I have always been a curious person, looking, observing, searching, reading and trying to understand what was happening around me and the world. I do however look towards those who have lead before, to understand what they try to achieve with their action or decisions. For instance, Nelson Mandela, the sacrifices he made, and words he left behind for us; Margaret Thatcher, for being a woman leading the Conservatives in the UK – her determination and resilience; Winston Churchill, Hilary Clinton … and also people like Steve Jobs, Sheryl Sandberg and Oprah. Reading about these leaders has influenced my thoughts on leadership.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome when you started DAWN (Diverse Australasian Women Network)?
The biggest challenge to overcome when I started DAWN was my own fear and self doubt. DAWN’s mission was to build leadership capability; to enable and encourage culturally diverse groups, and in particular Asian Australians, to step into senior/executive roles within mainstream institutions. It is a ‘conversation’ and leadership philosophy that can be challenging for a Western society like Australia, where the majority of the ‘establishment’ and major institutions are still dominated by white Anglo-Saxon males. Although we are overcoming the ‘gender barrier’ we still have a long way to go to achieve some ‘equality’ for culturally diverse leadership. And for me, Asian Australian leadership is not reflected across our society.
Which aspects of your daily routine help you continue to grow and develop as a leader?
Focus. Determination. Optimism. These are the constant themes I remind myself of, to develop myself. I also read a lot about what others are writing and sharing in the area of leadership, gender diversity and diverse workforce. I see there are opportunities to drive the conversation around Asian Australian leadership and culturally diverse leadership overall.
Which books or other resources you would recommend to someone who wants to become a better leader?
There isn’t just one book. I just finished reading “David and Goliath” by Malcolm Gladwell. It’s a great book on identifying your ‘weaknesses’ and turning them into your ‘strengths’. Stephen Covey’s book – 7 habits of highly effective people – is another fantastic ‘leadership’ manual.
I often wake up and find an inspirational quote to start my day such as the one below. It inspires me and motivates me.
[bq type=”simple” author=”Unknown”]You fall, you rise, you make mistakes, you live, you learn. You’re human, not perfect. You’ve been hurt, but you’re alive. Think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, and to be with people you love. Sometimes there is sadness in our journey, but there is also lots of beauty. We must keep putting one foot in front of the other even when we hurt, for we will never know what is waiting for us just around the bend…[/bq]
But I think the most important thing on the journey to become a ‘leader’is to remind yourself that you’re constantly learning. You never stop learning. I make sure I read a lot and learn from other great leaders before me.
What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time?
Be prepared to ask questions. Not be afraid to make mistakes, because only then will you learn. And have the courage, although your heart might be beating 100 miles an hour, to assert yourself.
What is the one characteristic that you believe every leader should possess?
Is there just one characteristic? I think as a leader you require more than just one. For me, to be humble, to be courageous, to be diplomatic but at the same time, have the courage to speak up; to have tenacity – don’t give up.
What do you say to yourself most often when you face challenging situations on a daily basis?
Don’t give up and be patient. And that there are no mistakes or coincidences, just lessons in the school we call life.
Which book are you currently reading?
I’m reading “The Plastic Mind” by Sharon Begley. A great book about the mind and the brain. I love the subject about the ability of our brain to be rewired.
What is your biggest extravagance?
Uumm … if I have any, it would be travelling. I love to travel when I have the opportunity, and explore the cultures of the world.
What piece of advice would you give your 25-year-old self?
Seize the opportunity. And create opportunities. Don’t wait for anyone to make it happen. At the end of the day, you are the author of your life.

LCN税务专家访谈:安迪·休伊特

我们非常荣幸的采访了安迪·休伊特(Andy Hewitt)。安迪是英国全球时尚和美容产品在线零售商ASOS.com的税务主管。
什么选择税务行业?
纯属意外。我当时在一家银行做临时工,我的合同即将到期,我看到一个关于宣传加入国家税务管理局快速训练班的广告,我现在的一切都来源于那里。
在你的职业生涯中,你最有影响力的榜
我不认为我可以点出单一的一个人。在我的职业生涯中,我和相当大范围的职业人士合作过,我试图从他们每个人中学习。
认为未来十年影响税工作的最大趋势是什么?
我认为主要有两方面,一方面是在侵蚀税基和转移利润的‘世界’里,随着新法规的颁布和法院对新术语的定义,在此领域的纠纷数量的增长是不足为奇的。长远来看,最值得关注的一点是:税务监管机关将会接受越来越多的数据和信息,税务监管机关是否有能力有效的提取和分析这些数据和信息从而实现审核和查询的目标。澳大利亚的税务机关已经在现有的一个项目上尝试他们如何能更好的分析数据。相信,其他国家的税务机关会迎头赶上。有一个轻微的讽刺,在税收世界,大家认为的最大恐惧是税收在数字化经济中的能力,然而同时同样的数字化经济将会给税务监管机关提供前所未有的最强大的工具。
专业顾问打交道你最不喜什么?
不与回答解释,不了了之。
在一部述你的生活故事的影里,你想要哪个演扮演你?
使一部讲述税务主管生活的电影成功上映,我想你不得不努力寻找如何娱乐世俗的方式和加入超现实的元素。因此,我不得不选维克·李维斯。(但是如果没有放我的照片的话,那就是布拉德·皮特。)
如果你没有从事税工作的,你的理想工作是什么?
我一直都很想在电台工作。我不能想像一个比这个更好的生活,每天播放你喜爱的音乐,同时聊任何浮过你脑海的东西。
你生活中最大的奢侈是什么?
一般来说是我的孩子们,但自从我在ASOS工作后,我购买衣服的预算大幅度提高。
你的放松方式是什么?
圣诞节的时候我收到了一套鼓乐器,现在我正在努力学习打鼓。
你最喜的度假地点是什么?
我们非常幸运能在法国西南部拥有我们自己的度假别墅,所以我们每年大部分假期都在那里度过。我的孩子们非常喜欢那里,对我们来说它是让我们最放松的地方。
你会你25的自己什么忠告?
勇敢和有坚持自己信念的勇气。

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