KWM committed to US expansion, hires tax expert

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King & Wood Mallesons has hired a former China National Offshore Oil Corporation legal counsel to strengthen its US operation.

Jun Kang joins from Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP as a partner in New York, with experience of the US market but also a background in law in China.

The firm has re-confirmed its commitment to the US market and this latest appointment follows three last year.

“Our US-based partners are all accomplished practitioners within their respective fields,” said Jack Wang, managing partner of KWM US. “The appointment of Jun signifies our commitment to the U.S., reflects the growth opportunities we see in this market and furthers the firm’s globalization efforts.”

Global firms increasing trainee, NQ associate pay
Two global firms have announced increases in the salaries paid to trainee lawyers and newly-qualified associates.

Allen & Overy has increased salaries by up to £2,000 (AU$3,500) and announced that it has retained 80% of its trainees this year. That brings NQ associate pay to £83,000 (AU$145,155).

Clifford Chance has also increased pay for trainees and associates by 4%. NQ associates at the firm will be paid £91,000 (AU$159,146).

Lawyers for “gay wedding cake” baker allege state is targeting him
Several officials of the US state of Colorado are named as defendants in a case brought by the baker at the centre of a wedding cake controversy.

Jack Phillips hit the headlines around the world last year after he was taken to court for refusing to bake a cake for a gay wedding.

Although the court ruled in his favour, he and his lawyers believe that the state is targeting him unfairly due to his religious beliefs.

The allegation follows a visit to Phillips’ store by an attorney asking him to bake a cake to reflect gender transition. He declined this request too and the state filed a new lawsuit against him.

A countersuit by Phillips, filed by lawyers at the Alliance Defending Freedom states: “For over six years now, Colorado has been on a crusade to crush Plaintiff Jack Phillips…because its officials despise what he believes and how he practices his faith.”

“The arbitrary basis on which the state is applying its law makes clear that its officials are targeting Jack because they despise his religious beliefs and practices,” said ADF Senior Counsel Jim Campbell. “Jack shouldn’t have to fear government hostility when he opens his shop for business each day. We’re asking the court to put a stop to that.”

Colorado’s state governor, attorney general, director of its civil rights division, and several members of the civil rights commission, are among the defendants named.

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