I’ve been debating whether or not I wanted to jump on the bandwagon and address yesterday’s social media debacle with Kenneth Cole.  If you’re not familiar with what happened, both Nancy Myrland and Gini Dietrich wrote great posts that also recap it here and here.

I decided that I did want to add my two cents – I was certainly dismayed by Cole’s tweet yesterday, though not surprised.  If you’ve driven down the FDR in Manhattan over the last ten years, you’ve seen his snarky political billboards on the side of the road.  Why I think non-politicians shouldn’t use their power and money to push their political philosophies on the rest of us is a whole other post, but I thought Cole really stuck his foot in his mouth yesterday.

As Nancy mentioned in her post, he needs some serious crisis communications work – we had a speaker on this very topic back in 2007, so I thought I’d dig through my conference report archives and share some of his wisdom with you.  Although I’m particularly disgusted by what Cole said yesterday, social media and other gaffes can happen to the best of us, and we need to know what to do if we’re in the same situation.


Continue Reading Communication Crisis – My Two Cents on the Kenneth Cole Scandal

Yesterday, part I discussed the Chinese and Hong Kong perspectives on the global financial crisis and its effect on their business. Part II will talk about the Vietnamese perspective and the justice systems in China and Vietnam.

Peter asked Phan Nguyen Toan from LEADCO what he was seeing in Vietnam, saying that a number of US companies are looking to Vietnam as an alternative for production and manufacturing. Phan agreed that Vietnam is similar to China, in that they didn’t suffer much from the economic downturn. He cited their recent entry into the international community as one reason for this. He said they are struggling in some ways, saying that a company recently opened a big factory, where they were planning to recruit 10,000 workers. After two years, they had only been able to hire twenty percent of the qualified workers. He added that they were also facing additional issues of poor infrastructure, particularly the seaport, airport, and transportation systems. 

However, Phan noted that they have some distinct advantages in Vietnam as well, such as the lower costs for good resources. Secondly, he said that the Vietnamese people tend to be very hardworking and eager to learn. The country is rich in natural resources. Phan added that the population of Vietnam is very young, with about 50% being under 35.


Continue Reading How Has the 2009 World Economic Downturn Affected the Asia Pacific Region? A Re-cap from 2010 Annual Meeting (Part II)

In addition to our regular Annual Meeting, we also had a special session for our Asia Pacific delegates to discuss the strengths of the firms in the region, recent cases they had been handling, and the interesting and important question of "How has the 2009 world economic downturn affected the Asia Pacific Region?" This question prompted a discussion of the current marketplace that may be of greater value than just to the attendees.

Scott Guan from Jade & Fountain in Shanghai kicked off the discussion with an update from China, saying that they hadn’t been hit as hard by the global financial crisis as some of the other markets. The effects that they’d seen were mostly in the areas of cross-border work, as well as foreign-related financing, M&A, and capital markets work. He’d seen a greater impact of the crisis on multinational law firms in China, who have had to lay off a lot of lawyers.  

But this has turned out to be an opportunity for a local law firm with international expertise, such as Jade & Fountain.  The firm was recently ranked as one of the top 10 fastest growing Chinese firms by the Asian Legal Business journal. Scott said that because there are so many qualified lawyers on the market from these multinational firms, who his firm wouldn’t have had access to in a more prosperous economic situation, they have been able to actively recruit these attorneys. Because of the firm’s well-designed partner incubation system, the firm has brought in attorneys from Allen & Overy, Freshfields, Allens Arthur Robinson, Baker & McKenzie and Jones Day.


Continue Reading How Has the 2009 World Economic Downturn Affected the Asia Pacific Region? A Re-cap from 2010 Annual Meeting (Part I)