Duane Morris & Selvam Statement on Myanmar Operations

SINGAPORE, MARCH 6, 2021—Duane Morris & Selvam issued the following statement in response to the on-going political uncertainty impacting Myanmar.

“We continue to carefully monitor the on-going situation throughout the country,” said Leon Yee, Chairman for Duane Morris & Selvam. “That said, we believe in the long-term future for the country and its economy, as well as for Duane Morris with our strong roots there. At this time, maintaining the on-going safety of our team and clients, and concern for the people of Myanmar, remains of our utmost priority.”

“Throughout the turmoil of the past weeks, our active and comprehensive counsel to clients in Myanmar and across Asia has remained firm and steadfast. We will always be here for our clients. The relationships our lawyers have established with business leaders in the region, as well as the operational and legal resources available to clients as a local office within Duane Morris’ robust global network, has positioned us well for continued seamless delivery of substantive legal counsel,” Mr. Yee continued.

He added further that lawyers and staff located in the Firm’s office in Yangon, Myanmar, are able to work both in the office as well as remotely, and that the Firm is accommodating in-office attendance consistent with local COVID-19 conditions.

About Duane Morris & Selvam

Duane Morris & Selvam LLP is the joint law venture between Duane Morris LLP and Selvam LLC, with its headquarters in Singapore. By way of its global platform and extensive range of legal services, the firm helps companies conduct business in and out of Asia, the United States, Latin America, the United Kingdom and beyond. In addition to the excellent skills of its lawyers, clients benefit from the cultural fluency and key relationships that the firm has developed over many years of practising law throughout the region. The firm has a presence in the key markets of Southeast Asia, including Singapore, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, as well as offices in Shanghai and Yangon. Supporting these regional offices, the firm operates a series of country desks for India, Indonesia, Korea and Japan, as well as an alliance in Sri Lanka. It is regularly ranked among the region’s leading law firms by Chambers & Partners, The Legal 500 and IFLR1000.

Reopening the Workplace During the COVID-19 Pandemic: What Employers Need to Know

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Singapore’s circuit breaker period came to an end on 2 June 2020 with the government introducing a three-phased approach for transitioning into a “new normal” and resuming economic activities safely.

With certain businesses reopening, the government is encouraging continued vigilance through a mix of statutory obligations as well as guidelines from the various government ministries. In terms of statutory obligations, the updated COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020 includes specific obligations for employers, among others, to institute safe practices in the workplace. In terms of guidelines, the Ministry of Manpower has issued certain Safe Management Measures for general workplace settings and sector-specific guidelines for specific workplace settings.

This article aims to educate and provide guidance to employers operating post-circuit breaker on the requirements which may be relevant to them.

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Alternative Arrangements for Companies’ General Meetings

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We had previously written about the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act and its provisions for the Minister for Law to prescribe alternative arrangements for, among others, the holding of general meetings.

The COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Alternative Arrangements for Meetings for Companies, Variable Capital Companies, Business Trusts, Unit Trusts and Debenture Holders) Order 2020 (Order) was published in the Gazette on 13 April (and subsequently amended on 14 April 2020 and on 24 April 2020) and is deemed to come into effect on 27 March 2020.

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COVID-19 Updates for Singapore Employers: Safe Distancing, Cost Reduction and Government Support

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This article was originally published on 3 April 2020 and last updated on 27 April.

As of 27 April 2020, Singapore has reported more than 13,000 cases and 12 deaths due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the number of new cases in the local communities have started to level off, many of the new cases are unlinked, pointing to a larger, as-yet undetected reservoir of cases in Singapore. As such, there is the continued need to be vigilant in enforcing social distancing and isolation measures.

Even as countries all over the world begin increasing such preventative health measures, the pandemic is also devastating the global economy, including Singapore. During times of economic downturn and uncertainty, controlling fixed costs such as labour becomes even more pressing for companies. Businesses in almost every sector have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and many are looking to cut costs during this period of crisis. While every business faces unique considerations, the following guidance aims to clarify issues relating to safe distancing practices at the workplace, cost-saving and business continuity measures, and the available government support during this health and economic crisis for Singaporean businesses.

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Loan Obligations: Relief Measures During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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On 31 March 2020, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced a package of targeted relief measures that was rolled out together with the Association of Banks in Singapore, the Life Insurance Association, the General Insurance Association and the Finance Houses Association of Singapore to provide temporary relief for individuals and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) facing liquidity problems during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this collapsing world economy, these measures could be a lifeline to stave off bankruptcy and winding-up actions.

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COVID-19 (임시 조치) 법 2020

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2020년 4월 7일 싱가포르 의회는 다음과 같은 두개의 중대한 COVID-19 관련 법률을 통과시켰습니다:

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  • COVID-19 (임시 조치)(통제 명령) 규정 2020 (이하 “통제 명령”): 상기 임시 조치법에 의해 공표된 통제 명령은 202047일 부터 202054 까지 그 규모와 및 장소를 불문하고 모든 “social” 모임을 금지 및 통제합니다.

이 기고문은 임시 조치법과 통제 명령에 대한 주요 내용을 제공하기 위해 작성되었습니다.

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신종 코로나 바이러스 (COVID-19): 현재까지의 법적 영향 및 향후 전망

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2020년 3월 11일 세계보건기구 (WHO)는 신종 코로나바이러스(이하 “COVID-19“)의 발병을 세계적인 유행병으로 선언했습니다. 2020년 4월 14일 기준으로 세계적으로 186만 4,360명이 COVID-19 감염 확진 판정을 받았으며 사망자는 11만 8,246명입니다. COVID-19는 전 세계적으로 큰 영향을 끼쳤습니다. 각국은 국경을 폐쇄하고 지역 봉쇄를 통해 국민들의 움직임에 제재를 가하기 시작했습니다.

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COVID-19: The legislative framework for the security and use of electronic signatures in Singapore

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For most of us working from home and actively telecommuting to help stem the tide of local transmissions of COVID-19 during this crucial period, technological advancements in digital communication and remote access have been a boon.

It is thus timely to restate the guiding principles of “electronic signatures” and their use in electronic records and transactions that have become increasingly commonplace.

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Required Annual General Meetings for Singapore Companies During COVID-19 Restrictions

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The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated the implementation of safe distancing measures as well as the current “circuit breakers” by the Singapore government. Many companies incorporated in Singapore are statutorily required to hold their annual general meetings (AGMs) while such control measures are in place, which may prevent AGMs from taking place by the stipulated period.

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COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act 2020

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On 7 April 2020, the Parliament of Singapore passed two important pieces of COVID-19 legislation:

  1. the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act 2020. The Act provides temporary relief to those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and gives the government powers to make control orders; and
  2. the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020. The Control Order, issued pursuant to the Act, prohibits all social gatherings from 7 April 2020 to 4 May 2020.

This article summarizes the key features of the Act and the Control Order.

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