School days return for local lawyers
Solicitors in Hong Kong will be going back to school in the new year. Every single one of them.
It is mandatory. Every lawyer (there are 5,000-odd of them) will be enrolled in Risk 101: How not to fleece clients, be negligent and end up on the wrong side of the law.
The aim of the Risk Management Education Programme is to 'enhance the level of professional competency', with a view to 'reducing errors and omissions in their practices', according to the Law Society.
This in turn will hopefully reduce the number of claims being made against the lawyers' insurance.
Excellent - lawyers being taught how not to be sued.
What price cooked books, destroyed books, lost books or just no books at all?
A buffet lunch for two at the Mandarin Oriental, three pairs of designer boxer shorts or a round-trip cab ride to the airport.
All the attention may have been on bankrupts this year, but not a thought was spared for Hong Kong's more 'creative' company directors who were merrily taking investors for a ride.
The Official Receiver's Office has just put out the fiscal 2002 report card for directors who ran companies into the red.
An impressive 222 of them were convicted for the above offences.
Magistrates hit them severely. In the piggy bank. A measly average fine of HK$757 was handed down to offenders.
Fair enough, we all lose things. Socks, mobile phones, a few million.
A LOT OF FROTH
Subtle creatures, these advertising slogans.
HSBC has found itself on the receiving end of a lawsuit for its 'the world's local bank' catchphrase.
Apparently it sounds similar to 'the world's local brewer', which is what Belgian brewery Interbrew calls itself.
Legal action is being taken in Belgium, the Netherlands and France.
Beer, banks, yes, it has to be said, the two are easily confused. The only real difference is that the former offers better returns on your investment.
The two companies haven't exactly come up with the most innovative of slogans. More entertaining was Coors' decision to use its 'Turn it loose' campaign in Spain.
It was translated as 'Suffer from diarrhoea'.
In Italy, a campaign for Schweppes Tonic Water backfired when the name was translated as Schweppes Toilet Water.
A recent advertisement for a mobile phone takes top prize, however. Its campaign ran: 'The Arthur Andersen partner was on his cell phone when he said 'Ship the Enron documents to the Feds', but his secretary heard 'Rip the Enron documents to shreds'.
'It turns out that it was all just a case of bad cellular.'
OFF THE PAGE
Two American authors have just published a book about men which is completely blank.
The 96-page Everything Men Knew About Taking Care of Themselves Before Women Came Along was researched from a survey of shoppers in Texas. Research for the title, that is.
'We're making fun of men, but the reality is, there's a serious problem,' said one of the authors, Lindy Schweiger, quoted in Ananova.com.
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority is just oozing festive spirit and humour.
In this year's Christmas Quiz, penned by Joseph Yam Chi-kwong for avid readers of his online Viewpoint column, this year's conundrum is to match a number of untitled charts with their title. Clues can be taken from the monthly statistical bulletin.
Is it monthly turnover at the stock exchange, or the amount of customer deposits in Hong Kong? Foreign currency reserves, or the spread of 1-month Hibor over Libor?
Sadly you may find your mind wandering over to that really interesting linoleum nearby before you discover the answers.
Quote Of The Day
'We believe consumers can tell the difference between a bank loan and a pint of Boddingtons.'
An HSBC spokesman on brewer Interbrew's decision to sue the bank over its allegedly similar marketing slogan