Legislation

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Global Law Firm Releases 2016 Survey of Litigation Trends


What does the Norton Rose Fulbright survey show for 2016?

The 2016 Litigation Trends Survey recently released by global law firm Norton Rose-Fulbright polled more than 600 corporate counsels representing companies on issues related to disputes. As we all know, preventing, managing, and negotiating business disputes are an important component of running a business. If you become involved in a business dispute, it is crucial that you contact a highly competent business attorney to advise you and provide you with viable options.


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Saturday, May 14, 2016

Lawmakers Pass the Defend Trade Secrets Act


How can my business protect its trade secrets?

Certain forms of intellectual property such as patents, trademarks and copyrights have long enjoyed protection under Federal law. Until recently, this has not been the case for trade secrets. Now that Congressional lawmakers have passed the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA), however, owners of trade secrets will have a Federal private cause of action for the misappropriation of this highly sensitive information.

What are Trade Secrets?

Information such as formulas, designs, practices, processes or patterns that are not widely known outside of a business are considered to be trade secrets. These can include things like the formula for Coca-Cola or any of Google's search algorithms.


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Friday, August 14, 2015

Congress Considering Bill to Simplify Mergers & Acquisitions Process

What are the latest advancements on federal corporate laws as relating to mergers and acquisitions? 

For many small businesses, the option of merging with another business – or acquiring it altogether – can be an attractive and lucrative way to increase productivity, grow jobs, and ultimately increase profits. Oftentimes, businesses considering this maneuver will enlist the services of a professional advisor or business broker to help set up the deal and seamlessly transition the companies involved. 

Unbeknownst to many, these consultants are heavily regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which oversees any merger or acquisition involving the “purchase/sale, exchange, or issuance or stock or debt, or a merger or business combination transaction.”  The compliance costs for these brokers are substantial, reaching almost $150,000 annually – which is, of necessity, passed on as part of the final cost of the merger or acquisition. For many small and micro businesses, these compliance costs preclude the involvement of a broker or consultant, resulting in potential pitfalls as they attempt to expand.

Fortunately, Congress has introduced a new piece of legislation known as the Small Business Mergers, Acquisitions, Sales and Brokerage Simplification Act. Under this Act, brokers and consultants would be exempt from the regulatory oversight requirements if the proposed merger/acquisition involves businesses with annual earnings of less than $25 million and/or gross revenues of less than $250 million. In addition, the exemption would only be available in situations in which the buyer intends to maintain control and ownership of the business after purchase. 

The sponsors of the bill hope that these changes will allow smaller businesses the opportunity to work with experienced professionals during the merger and acquisition process, thereby allowing businesses the opportunity to avoid any mistakes along the way. Moreover, the change would help effectuate the estimated $10 trillion worth of private companies that will be sold or transferred as the Baby Boomer generation retires. 

If you are considering a merger or acquisition and would like to discuss the best ways to accomplish your business goals, contact the South Carolina attorneys at Willcox, Byuck & Williams, P.A. today! Please call: (843) 461-3020 in Myrtle Beach or (843) 536-8050 in Florence. 


Monday, June 29, 2015

South Carolina Passes Law Prohibiting Boycotts

What are the latest laws impacting South Carolina business owners? 


In an interesting turn of events, the South Carolina legislature passed a law in early June, 2015, prohibiting the state from entering into a contractual relationship with any business actively engaged in certain types of boycotts. The legislation is unique in that it works to deter or dissuade small businesses from engaging in discriminatory conduct, even when such conduct is less obvious or overt to the general public. 

Under the provisions of Section 11-35-5300 of the South Carolina code, the term “boycott” is used to refer to a business decision rendered by a corporation that involves “blacklisting” or divesting from a certain person or corporate entity for a specific reason. Under the new law, South Carolina public entities and agencies are prohibited from entering into a contract with any private sector entity that actively decides to boycott another business or person based on that entity’s race, color, religion, gender, or national origin. 

For many small businesses, choosing not to work with a certain individual or entity is a natural component of the free trade experience. For these reasons, the legislature added to the bill the caveat that the term “boycott” is not defined to include any decision based solely on economic factors or the specific conduct of a member or director of an entity. Likewise, the bill contains an exception to the boycott rule when a divesture is applied against “a public entity of a foreign state when the boycott is applied in a nondiscriminatory manner.”

As a South Carolina business owner, it is important to understand the pivotal distinction between a lawful boycott, and one that could cost your business lucrative government contract revenue. Keep in mind that your board is well within its rights to make a calculated economic decision not to work with a certain entity or individual, provided the decision is not based on any discriminatory motive whatsoever. 

If you are concerned with corporate compliance and would like to speak with a reputable Florence and Myrtle Beach business  and corporate law attorney, please contact Willcox, Buyck & Williams by calling (843)461-3020 right away.  

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