The large-scale shift to telework brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic is prompting businesses around the world to explore new avenues to engage with clients and friends. Harris Bricken is no exception, and we are happy to provide this podcast series: Global Law and Business, hosted by international attorneys Fred Rocafort and Jonathan Bench.

In Episode #33, we are joined by Adam Bathgate and Korin Knights, lawyers at the Bermuda office of Walkers, an international law firm. We discuss:

We’ll see you next week when we sit down with Uday Garg, managing partner at Mandala Capital.

This podcast audio has been transcribed by an automatic transcriber.

Fred Rocafort  0:09 

Global law and global business go hand in hand, but never seem to keep pace with each other, developing and developed nations wax and wane in their importance in the global stage while consumption and interconnectedness both increase, laws and regulations change incessantly, requiring businesses to stay nimble. How do we make sense of it all? Welcome to Global Law and Business hosted by Harris Bricken International Business attorneys. I’m Fred Rocafort,

 

Jonathan Bench  0:39 

and I’m Jonathan Bench. Every week we take a targeted look at legal and economic developments in locales around the world as we try to decipher global trends in law and business with the help of international experts. We cover continents, countries, regimes, governance, finance, legal developments, and whatever is trending on Twitter. We cover the important the seemingly unimportant, the relatively simple and the complex.

 

Fred Rocafort  1:04 

We hope you enjoy today’s podcast. Please connect with us via email and social media to comment and suggest future topics and guests.

 

Today we are delighted to welcome two lawyers from the Bermuda Office of Walkers, a leading international law firm which has been recognized by chambers and partners for its depth of expertise in offshore transactional work. Adam Bathgate joined Walker’s Bermuda office in 2020 and he is a partner in the corporate finance funds and insurance group. He specializes in banking and finance transactions involving Bermuda companies and partnerships. He is admitted in Bermuda and formerly practice in the Cayman Islands, as well as England and Wales, the latter to forming a single jurisdiction for those of you who might not be too familiar with the UK system, Adam holds a bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Oxford. Korin Knights joined Walker’s Bermuda office in 2019 and works in the same group as Adam. He is admitted in Bermuda, holds a Master’s from the University of law Moorgate in London, and an LLB from the University of Wales in Cardiff. Adam, Korin, welcome to Global Law and Business.

 

Adam Bathgate  2:23 

Thank you, Fred. Delighted to be here.

 

Korin Knights  2:25 

Yes, thank you. Definitely. It’s a pleasure, gentlemen.

 

Jonathan Bench  2:28 

I’m sure this is a particularly exciting episode for Fred who hails from the Caribbean, specifically Puerto Rico. We know Bermuda is not geographically in the Caribbean Sea, but it is considered part of the Caribbean region. And it is in fact an associate member of CARICOM, the Caribbean community, you are our first guest from the region. So could you set the stage for our listeners by explaining Bermuda status, in particular, its relationship with the UK?

 

Adam Bathgate  2:53 

Sure. Bermuda is what is nowadays known as a British Overseas Territory. These are a collection of territories, all of which have a constitutional and historical link with the United Kingdom. They are essentially remnants of the former British Empire, and 14 of them left. Bermuda is the oldest overseas territory it was settled in 1609. While it is an overseas territory, it’s essentially self governing. executive authority is officially vested in the crown and exercised on the Queen’s behalf by a governor who is the de facto head of state he’s or she is usually career diplomat in the UK, Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The governor appoints the premier following an election and has certain residual powers. he appoints the Commissioner of Police and that sort of thing. The NIDA has its own constitution, which provides for self government with a bicameral parliament. It’s the oldest continuously sitting legislature in the in the new world and first sat in 1620. So because of that it has its own legal system is based on English common law, but very supplemented by the Muta statutes and acted by its parliament and by local case law. Now, English decisions, persuasive, but not technically binding. The ultimate right of appeal from the Bermuda courts is to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London, while Bermuda is largely as we’ve discussed self self governing the UK remains responsible for for defense and foreign affairs say that Bermuda won’t have any overseas embassies or things like that, they’ll just have a couple of representative offices in London and in Brussels.

 

Jonathan Bench  5:12 

And how much does the weather factor into your decision to relocate from the UK to the Caribbean? Just off the cuff question.

 

Adam Bathgate  5:24 

So I grew up in England, as you probably tell from the way I speak. And then when I when I left it was to Germany where the climate isn’t much better. So I’d be lying if I didn’t say that the the climate was it was a big factor. And to be honest, I think a move back is something that I’d find quite difficult having spent would have been in in Cayman and now Bermuda for a decade, so I’ve definitely gone soft. I’ll put a coat on a lot earlier stage than in my family when whenever we’re back there. And yeah, a bit more sensitive to temperature changes than they used to be.

 

Jonathan Bench  6:04 

And I was thinking that Bermuda diplomacy is not that big of an issue because everyone comes to Bermuda, right? Bermuda doesn’t have to go looking for relationships with others, right? They just come for the sun, and then you can do business while you’re there.

 

Adam Bathgate  6:16 

And that’s right. They’re very friendly, welcoming people and people want to come here. So that’s that’s it’s quite works out well for everyone.

 

Fred Rocafort  6:24 

I spent quite a bit of time in Hong Kong over the years and the city does have a rather large expatriate community, a lot of a lot of Brits, of course, and certainly for for a lot of them, the weather is an important factor. I mean, I’ve heard those sentiments echoed by by long term expatriates who really, really wonder if they could adjust to the weather, weather back home, as Jonathan just just alluded to, obviously, Bermuda is a well known tourist destination, it the proximity to the United States, especially to the eastern seaboard is a big factor. However, it is also well known as a as an offshore financial centre for in fact for I venture to say that in a place like Hong Kong, that’s how it’s best known rather, rather than because of the tourism. So for listeners who are unfamiliar with with the offshore industry, could you help explain just what that means? And in general terms, how does a particular jurisdiction become an ofc or an offshore financial center?

 

Adam Bathgate  7:38 

It’s a great question. I’m glad you asked it, I think probably the best way in which I can answer that is to speak about what offshore financial centers or international financial centers are, and then to speak about what they’re not. So an offshore financial centers as you’ve named it, an international financial center as they prefer to call themselves that they’re essentially jurisdictions that facilitate the international flow of capital. It’s not a club in any sense. They do share certain characteristics. And because they have certain common interests, they do work closely with each other in some respects, so that those characteristics include specialized legal institutions that sort of based around your high quality specialized legal systems and institutions, that will engender investor confidence in the rule of law and in the fairness of, of court processes and arbitrations. Most of the well known ifcs or ofcs, have legal systems like Bermuda based on English common law, and they will also have specific local legislation that is tailored to commercial rather than retail transactions. The second characteristic is the is tax neutrality, these jurisdictions facilitate cross border investment, income or capital is being deployed is going to be taxed in the investors country of residence or domicile and in the source country of the investment, but it’s facilitated through an IFC, then it’s not going to be taxed in the jurisdiction in which that capital is pool so it allows cross border investments to be made from from investors in multiple jurisdiction without a third layer of tax being being incurred. So that’s that makes IFC is ideal for for pooling investment across jurisdictions in that way. The third feature is a high level of regulatory compliance the reputation of jurisdictions like immutability pends on respect for the rule of law and the robustness and integrity of the legal system, so stringent compliance with international regulatory standards are commonplace. And then examples of this, Bermuda being one of the early adopters of fatca.

 

And the ABC DS common reporting standards cross border region setup to facilitate the exchange of tax information, immutable data IFC that also have stringent compliance with the anti money laundering and counter terrorist financing standards promulgated by the Financial Action Task Force against cross border organization. And the third example would be the adoption of beneficial ownership registers aimed at transparency and facilitating compliance with and cooperation with with law enforcement and regulatory authorities. on shore in those beneficial ownership registers are to be made public in Bermuda from 20 to Bermuda and other ifcs have also adopted economic substance regimes in response to the initiative mounted by the US Code of Conduct group. And one World Bank study that was conducted a few years ago found that none of the British Crown Dependencies or Overseas Territories allowed a company to be established without the person doing so providing proper due diligence identification materials. And actually three quarters of onshore OECD countries allowed it. So you know, for high levels of regulatory compliance as a kind of essential for jurisdictions like that. The fourth factor is a high quality service sectors or major offshore law firms like workers recruit lawyers with experience in major onshore financial centers and jurisdictions, and are also large accounting and audit firms present here, including all of the big four major banks, the numerous fund administrators, in terms of what I have these are not I mean, I think I can use this opportunity to dispel a few myths hopefully, the first being this idea of tax havens, the the idea that that I’ve seen is exists so as to allow people to charge taxes. And the reality is that taxes are and they always will be due in the jurisdiction where the where the money is made, and where it’s being distributed. And what what IFC do is, they just provide a tax neutral platform so that additional layers of activity like like the pooling of, of investor capital, from multiple jurisdictions don’t incur additional taxes above and beyond what is ordinarily paid. In the investors home jurisdictions and in the jurisdictions where the capital is invested. linked to that is the myth that IFC is deprive countries of tax revenue. I mean, again, that’s not quite true. And the reality is that, that large countries don’t compete as such with with offshore centers, because offshore centers just yield the tax base back to onshore jurisdictions. What I mean by that is, if you live in country x and pay tax in country, why, then country x will give you a tax credit for the money that you’ve paid to y. So that you’re you’re not taxed twice, because there is no direct taxes imposed in offshore financial centers. And x in that scenario, will confer no tax credits, meaning that the tax bill in country x wouldn’t be reduced in that way.

 

Then there’s the idea that there’s there’s millions of dollars stashed in offshore bank accounts. Again, the reality is that money just doesn’t sit unused in offshore accounts, you know, that just wouldn’t be a good investment. But what is the return on on cash these days, is pretty limited. So, instead, the capital is invested through ifcs into into other jurisdictions and just put to work in those places so as to increase investor returns or or to reduce risk. So limited, cash just doesn’t sit here doing doing nothing. And that the fourth myth that I think I’d like to try and dispel is the idea that these places are secrecy jurisdictions which helped to shelter clients from from law enforcement and from tax authorities. Without as I sort of alluded to earlier, offshore centers were among the first jurisdictions to sign tax information exchange agreements with the USA. With the UK, they were among the first aside of the fact, they were early adopters of the common reporting standard. So they’re really world leaders in sharing tax information, beneficial ownership registers, they exist now they’re going to be made public in a couple of years. But they are right now available to law enforcement authorities and competent authorities following a valid request. So they’re not there to to help people hide.

 

Jonathan Bench  15:47 

And would you say that investment in an IFC, you know, having capital, they’re ready to deploy or involved in different projects? Does that facilitate future investment in the IFC, I mean, there’s got to be an external benefits to the IFC for offering that opportunity, and also to investors who say, well, I’ve got capital tied up, you know, in Bermuda, I might as well buy some property there, or maybe I’ll get a special investor visa or something like that, are those options available as well?

 

Adam Bathgate  16:16 

Oh, we’ll talk about the the opportunities available to international investors in terms of coming here and setting up a physical presence later on. But the the fact that capital is deployed here, and sort of provides the biggest, the biggest part of the economy and it gives people like, like code and me jobs, and it’s not just law firms around here that will we’ll get on to this in a second. But Bermuda is really the world’s international risk capital. So there are insurers and reinsurers here with with substantial physical presences. And that really provide jobs to do a lot of bermudians and to to foreign workers here. That the the the access to capital really is one reason why why they choose to to establish here and and why service providers will also set up here just to be around that that community of businesses that are seeking to deploy capital has been raised from external sources.

 

Jonathan Bench  17:30 

And so you made a good segue into this question I wanted to ask, which is how Bermuda is differentiating itself from other IFC, as you said, it’s the center of the IFC universe, so to speak. So can you elaborate on that more?

 

Adam Bathgate  17:42 

Well, I mean, at a basic level, I mean, each of these ifcs might be said to have a particular speciality. These are with the British Virgin Islands, it’s holding companies with the Cayman Islands, you could say it’s investment funds, because there is a degree of overlap between jurisdictions. So there are holding companies and funds here. Shares companies in Cayman and so forth. bermudas speciality, if you want to put it in those terms, until now has has been insurance and reinsurance. As of last year, there were over 1200 insurers and reinsurers set up in Bermuda holding total assets in excess of $800 billion and writing gross premium in excess of approximately 100 and $50 billion dollars. So that I say they stats as of 2019 is the most recently once available in terms of the regulatory environment. NIDA has full equivalence with EU solvency two regimes so it allows insurers and reinsurers based here level playing field access to the EU market. It’s also been granted us reciprocal and qualified status by the National Association of insurance commissioners. The Bermuda monetary authority celebrated its 50th anniversary last year. We like to regard that as a as a world respected regulator with a risk based framework. I just support the the insurance sector that the BMA has developed the belief of solvency capital requirement as as a risk based capital model that enhances the capital adequacy framework for that sector. A couple of other ways in which permit likes to distinguish itself it’s in innovation and being an early adopter. It was actually the Bermuda market that created the world’s first captive insurer in in 1962. And we’re going to get on to this a little later, but the Bermuda government has a strategy of encouraging the development of In the FinTech sector, again, Bermuda was an early adopter. In that respect, it adopted a digital asset business Act, which is a landmark piece of legislation, which provides for the licensing and supervision of digital assets, business activities. And we adopted that and a time when many jurisdictions whether onshore or offshore had done. So. ASD, the final factor, it’s maybe less relevant in the current global pandemic, but it’s accessibility, but we’re sort of in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean here, New York’s a 90 minute flight away and London is, is six hours. So it’s a lot closer than than the Caribbean. Say that’s, that’s not so relevant right now, when when everyone’s doing things remotely, and we’re all sick of Zoom by now, but certainly post COVID, that that’s going to be an important factor.

 

Fred Rocafort  21:01 

That’s been a fantastic introduction to to Bermuda, and, and more specifically to its to its financial sector, if we could now turn in a more personal direction. We always like to learn about our guests as persons, not not just the not just learn about their, their jurisdictions, and then their areas of practice. So starting with you, Adam, and and we already talked a little bit about this in the context of, of weather, but how does working in Bermuda compared to your experience in in both London and Munich? What are some of the things that that you miss? And conversely, what are some of the things that you would not want to give up by? By leaving Bermuda?

 

Adam Bathgate  21:48 

Good question, as you kindly illustrated earlier, but my background onshore was a finance lawyer. I did I did a lot of debt transactions. So that that’s still most of most of what I do there. The key difference, I guess, is that you onshore in, in, in London, and in Munich, I was in the middle of a deal, I’d be the one, drafting the main, the main deal documents, and I’d be negotiating the commercial terms on behalf of our client. And I’d actually be in the room when when major issues were being argued over and thrashed out. And as a result of that, and being in the same same city, I’d have a lot more direct client contact. The difference, doing those deals from the Bermuda side is that we were still doing the same, the same kinds of transactions, but we only focus on on the Bermuda elements. So maybe we’ve got a Bermuda guarantor, somewhere in the structure. So all we do is, is look at Sal we do but it’s actually key for the for the lenders credit risk is is we look at can that company give that guarantee, and is there anything in the documents, that’s going to be problematic when it comes to, to enforcing that that guarantee, for example, so it’s necessarily a smaller role. And we we have more interaction with the firms that are running a deal, the kind of firm they used to work for, rather than with the client itself. So what that means because the roll was much bigger. In my former life, I’d only have a one or two deals on at any one time, but I’d be fully immersed in them, I mean, fully properly in an in an intense way, until they closed and then it’d be on onto the next one. Here, we have a greater number of deals on the go at any one time, but because of the less of workload on each, it means we’re better able to juggle them around I suppose and better able to manage by my own time. So coming back to to answer your questions about what I miss and what I when I wouldn’t want to want to give up I think what I’ve missed is actually the accessibility of clients and just having them so easily available in the same city and being able to, to reach out for them and go and meet to market our capabilities, which are just to go for coffee or lunch, have a beer and see what’s on their mind and where they think the markets at. That’s more of a process when we’re when we’re so far away. I mean up until this year, it would involve you having to get on a plane and plan out a trip and making sure we had enough meetings lined up to make it worthwhile. That is now practically impossible. So there’s a lot of zoom chats and, and so forth and it’s really common with most have us it’s something that, you know, I think we’ll all be glad to see the back of but before long way, what I wouldn’t want to give up is just having that that greater control over my time. I mean, the type of clients that I’m working for and and the quality of the work I do is is the same. But again, just just having that just had that smaller involvement on each deal means that I can sort of shuffle things around more easily while still getting done what I need to do, and there’s there’s less chance of that the 5pm phone call blowing up my entire evening.

 

Jonathan Bench  25:37 

Korin, we’re interested in hearing about your experience as in Bermuda and working at a global law firm. Do you find that having local perspective changes the way you approach work on Bermuda in law matters?

 

Korin Knights  25:53 

As a corporate lawyer it is slightly different to my colleague, Adam’s, just because as he sort of explained his his background comes from the onshore world and then on to the offshore world. Whereas for me, my career has started just only in Bermuda in terms of the work that I do. And having trained at one global firm to then coming over to Walker’s so for my my own perspective, I found that because we’re still dealing with sort of big international clients, from the Bermudian perspective, you know, they still will demand high quality of service, I call it legal advice. And, and in that respect to the the requirements are still the same. So I think just where we add another layer of quality is in terms of our relationship with the regulators here, do to bring it to being relatively small, and in terms of just the population, but also the circles in which these deals are getting done. We are we’re often in contact with, you know, the premier monetary authority and the Registrar of Companies such that it’s really easy for us to pick up the phone and get get them on the phone, if you know we’re having issues getting a deal done or so that we can kind of circumvent any small, niggly things that might come up, which would otherwise delay, the bigger deal getting done. And I think clients, that’s something that clients really appreciate, because they really rely on us to make sure that those things so we can just sort of handle them in a way that’s convenient for them. And I think from the third perspective, my being a medium working at a global firm, just on a more local basis is something that I think adds value to younger Bermudians who are considering a career as a corporate lawyer, you know, they will look at a firm like Walker’s in the size at work is is globally and think that you know, this is good, this is a firm that is given Bermudians opportunities, is giving Bermudians a platform to really sort of develop their legal skills and, you know, end up on fantastic podcasts and really sort of get their name out there in terms of being a quality offshore lawyer. And that, you know, it’s not necessarily the case that you have to have had a long career or a long sort of training process in in an ultra firm, that you can actually have a successful career as a lawyer coming in, sort of from the offshore side. So those are the kind of three main elements that I think as being remeeting advantageous.

 

Fred Rocafort  28:25 

Thank you for that. So being late November here in the United States, I’m sure most of our listeners in the US don’t need to be sold on the merits of Bermuda as a vacation spot. However, what else should we know about Bermuda’s economy? Besides the fact that it’s an IFC and a tourism destination? Are there opportunities for foreign entrepreneurs that may perhaps not think of Bermuda as a possible place to explore opportunities overseas?

 

Korin Knights  29:00 

What the Bermuda government did on the heels of the pandemic and realizing that they wanted to keep our borders open as much as possible, to the extent possible and safely, they passed the legislation allowing foreign entrepreneurs to come to Bermuda. And this legislation simply allows them to apply for a one time work permit, which would last a year, I think they have to be over the age of 18. And what that allows them to do is to sort of just be in Bermuda, live in Bermuda, but still do their conduct their work as if they were living in any other jurisdiction that had come from well, whether that be the United States or Europe, and so that they use as a creative way to sort of get more people into the island have them kind of boosting the local economy. And it’s something that I think we’ve seen, actually a fair bit of demand for there’s been, I think, to date, around 500 applications have been approved by the government for this and in a time where, you know, we already having restricted travel. I think that’s something that they’ve seen as a positive On the other side of it, and Adam alluded to it a little bit earlier with regards to FinTech. This is something that I think, has been a real sort of pillar and positive light for Bermuda in the last three years. As Adam sort of said earlier, the digital asset legislation that Bermuda passed was really the first comprehensive regime regarding FinTech and allowing entrepreneurs to come to Bermuda and set up their own FinTech or inshore tech businesses. Under this sort of legislation, it allows for the entrepreneurs to come to Bermuda and apply for one of two licenses. One is a license where their company is put into what’s called a sandbox. And in that sandbox, they will work with the Bermuda regulators and the monetary authority to sort of strengthen their business model, they’ll get guidance on how that they can, how they can pass necessary approvals, and all the while still doing business. And that will allow them to do business from a local perspective or an international perspective. The second type of license that they can apply for, you know, provided that their business is already established, they can apply straight to have a digital asset business in Bermuda. And these sorts of things can allow them to do initial coin offerings, open digital wallets, really, it kind of opens the door completely to the entire FinTech world, which is something that Bermuda is quite proud of. And it’s all hands on deck and trying to make that sort of the next pillar of our economy next to being reinsurance center, you know, and and within walkers, we have our own global FinTech team that is always willing and able to collaborate with with clients and make sure that they get the accurate advice that they need. Those currently are the most recent developments in terms of foreign entrepreneurs and having them come to Bermuda along with everything else that my colleagues already advised.

 

Jonathan Bench  31:50 

You’ve mentioned that Bermuda is quite entrepreneurial, you know, being a first adopter in many ways. We understand that it’s currently considering a bill to legalize cannabis, opening the door for cultivation, research, retail and other activities. Our firm has a very active cannabis practice, both in the US and internationally. And we would love to hear your insights on this legislation in Bermuda.

 

Korin Knights  32:12 

Okay, so cannabis is one of those things that can always be a little bit sensitive, depending on how we’re discussing it. But I think from Bermuda’s perspective, it’s something that the Bermuda government as seen as a potential opportunity to further increase foreign entrepreneurship to the extent possible. Currently, cannabis is still a control drug, it has been decriminalized up to the possession of it has been decriminalized up to seven grams. However, the use of it the importation or selling of it is still illegal. To that extent, we do have scope for medical marijuana. However, there is a bit of a process you have to go to an individual or company would have to go through in order to be approved for that would have to be approved by a minister of national security. And to date, I don’t think too many have actually successfully applied for that license. Now, having said that, cannabis now has recently been considered by our Bermuda monetary authority as as something that they can get around in terms of supporting and approving funds, or reinsures, where there has been some sort of cap cannabis structure, cannabis facing business within a structure. They have come out and issued guidance on this subject. And they’ve said simply, they will approve the Bermuda fund or Bermuda reinsure, who has, is involved with a company that is involved with the selling of cannabis or dealing with cannabis in any way provided that there is no criminal conduct at the federal level anywhere throughout that business structure. So as far as we would understand this wouldn’t you know, if there were businesses in Canada, and they wanted to have some kind of structure in Bermuda, that wouldn’t be an issue for the premier monetary authority. However, there would probably be issues. If that business, for example, did business in America where it’s still, as we understand illegal at a federal level.

 

Fred Rocafort  34:36 

Well, gentlemen, this has been a really informative session. So I’d like to, first of all, thank you for for having joined us, but before we let you go, we’d like to ask you for recommendations as soon as we do have all of our guests on that way in addition to what you have shared with our listeners today, you can provide all us with the additional opportunities to gain from from your insight. So is there anything that either or both of you would like to recommend today?

 

Adam Bathgate  35:09 

Yeah, mine is a book called The Spy and the Traitor by a chap called Ben MacIntyre. He’s written a number of books about mid century spies. This is a story of Ollie Gordievsky, who’s the most significant British agent in the Cold War. He was fairly high up in the KGB. At one stage, he was the resident or the head of the KGB delegation of the Soviet Embassy in London and with some of the information that he was passing to EMI six, on the Soviets attitude to military exercises that the NATO was undertaking, and the paranoid that infested the Politburo and the upper ranks of Soviet society at the time he was he was able to almost avert a potential nuclear war when the Soviets missed misread the the exercise able Archer as a potential first strike. Eventually, he, he was recalled to Moscow under suspicion in 1985, and sent an emergency signal to his mid six handlers by appearing at a pre designated point holding a Safeway shopping bag and the my six agent of knowledge, the message is being received by walking past eating a Mars bar. And miraculously, they were able to spirit him out of a Soviet Union, over the land border into Finland, and they’re from their backpack to safety in the UK. It’s a it’s a really amazing story. Again, if you didn’t know it was, it was true, you might say it was almost too wild to be believed. But the way it’s written is also very appealing, I find as well, it’s it’s history, written, like a novel, and is gripping in exactly that respect. So it’s something I greatly enjoy.

 

Fred Rocafort  37:16 

What about you Korin?

 

Korin Knights  37:17 

Yeah, so I have two short recommendations. One is a book that I have just got, just had the pleasure of finishing and that’s 12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson. You know, it’s unfortunately not a really exciting spy thriller. But it is a book that is centered sort of around improving one’s life through things that they can control. And, you know, I do enjoy listening to lectures by Jordan Peterson. And reading his book was was a real inspiration for myself. And then the second is Joe Rogan’s podcast, the Joe Rogan Experience, I think, whenever I have the time, I’m switching on his podcast because I think whatever guest he has on time is incredibly interesting. And, you know, the idea of being on a podcast was pretty exhilarating for me after having listened to one for a few years now. So I think, you know, those two things for me are mainly mainstays as they were.

 

Fred Rocafort  38:21 

I have to endorse both of those recommendations. I’m also a fan of Rogan and also of Jordan Peterson. I thought the the Joe Rogan interview with Snowden recently I thought that was that was absolutely brilliant. definitely worthwhile. Almost should be required. Listening to for anyone interested in international affairs. I don’t I might have even recommended here on the on the podcast, not sure. And Adam, I’m a big fan of anything having to do with espionage. So I’m going to be on the lookout for for that book. Jonathan, what about you?

 

Jonathan Bench  39:04 

Mine is much more light, lighter than even the suggestions so far. This is an article in the Nikkei Asia paper called Nintendo Chief Plots Post Animal Crossing Future. So I grew up as a gamer, right? I mean, I was probably four or five years old when the first Nintendo came out. And so I’ve always been a fan of Nintendo, and my kids and I play on our on our Switch now. And so it’s fun for me to read, you know, as an international business lawyer to read about Nintendo planning its future, you know, how it’s basically how it’s grown, along with a lot of other gaming companies this year during the pandemic as even clausing gamers, you know, have delve deeper into their clauses to find the old games you know, as we’ve been a lot of us who’ve been stuck at home. So it’s, it’s fun to read, you know, not not a super long article, but it’s fun to see kind of how Nintendo has grown and also how it plans to pivot and keep trying to grow market share. And I don’t play Animal Crossing. So it’s kind of fascinating to read. I’m not in that kind of group of people who does. But it’s fun to to get the inner workings of a company like Nintendo. And this was an exclusive article. So it’s fun to read from the insider’s perspective. Oh, Fred, what about you something a little more serious than video games, I assume?

 

Fred Rocafort  40:23 

A little bit a little bit more. Um, so as listeners will, or some of our listeners will know. And Adam, Korin, you, you might or might not know, our firm has a very, very strong China practice, it’s definitely something that that is always in our minds, anything, everything that that’s happening with China, although of course, we do try to branch out and I think this This podcast is evidence of that. But we, on a very regular basis, keep keep coming back to China related topics, and today is no exception. So recommending an article titled how China seeks to Redefine Global Norms and Keep the West at Bay, by Simon Shen sh e n. This is from the Hong Kong Free Press published on let’s see the 22nd of November of this year. And you know, there’s a lot being written about China at all times. It’s hard sometimes to to find articles that that have a different take on or at least look at things from a from a slightly different angle who and I think this this article manages to do it, there’s a lot of the stuff I read about China does seem a little repetitive. But this was one of those articles that that that jumped out at me as something a little bit different. So if you know if you’re not a china junkie, like I am, um, then this might be one of those periodic articles that that you can you can pick up, as always, we will be including links to to all of the all of the recommendations. So again, Adam, Korin, thank you so much for well, first of all, for the recommendations and just more generally for for for being our guests. I really, really enjoyed the show.

 

Adam Bathgate  42:25 

Thanks for having us on. It’s been it’s been a real pleasure.

 

Korin Knights  42:27 

Yes, sir it’s been a pleasure.

 

Jonathan Bench  42:32 

We hope you enjoyed this week’s episode. We look forward to connecting with you on social media to continue discussing developments in Global Law and business. and tune in next week for another episode. We’ll see you then.

 

Transcribed by https://otter.ai