Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday news and notes

1. UBS got pushed one more week, till August 10. Looks like it might settle. From the WSJ blog:

In a major break in a massive tax-evasion investigation, UBS AG and the governments of Switzerland and the U.S. have reached a settlement that could force UBS to turn over identities of thousands of account holders, a Justice Department attorney told a U.S. District Court judge Friday morning. ...
Stuart Gibson, a Justice Department tax division attorney, didn’t detail the settlement in a conference call with Judge Alan Gold that included lawyers for UBS and the Swiss government.
A hearing scheduled for Monday in Miami was postponed until Aug. 10, at which point more details are expected to be released. The judge scheduled another conference call with parties in the case for next Friday.
The Internal Revenue Service has demanded the identities of 52,000 U.S. account holders at UBS. UBS and the Swiss government have claimed that turning over those names would violate Swiss bank secrecy provisions.

2. Julie Kay special for the Herald on law firms cutting pay:

As law firms continue to lose money in a tough economy, their cost-cutting has moved from layoffs to a new strategy -- slashing lawyers' salaries.
Several firms in South Florida have instituted across-the-board salary cuts for lawyers in recent weeks -- the latest being Holland & Knight, one of South Florida's largest firms, which announced cuts of up to 10 percent Wednesday.
``Law firms have been forced to manage more carefully all of their expenses,'' Holland & Knight Managing Partner Steve Sonberg said in a statement. ``Like many other firms, Holland & Knight is reducing the base salaries of its associates, with limited exceptions.''
The reductions, Sonberg said, would range up to 10 percent. The firm is also chopping salaries of some non-lawyer ``senior counsel and other professionals,'' with an average overall reduction of 7 percent, he said.
Other firms to reduce lawyer salaries in recent weeks include Akerman Senterfitt, Squire Sanders and Ruden McClosky. Carl Schuster, managing partner at Ruden McClosky, said the across-the-board measure was in place until the end of the year when the firm hopes
to reinstate the original salaries.
He wouldn't disclose percentage cuts at the Fort Lauderdale firm.
Becker & Poliakoff cut lawyers' salaries 12 percent in 2008, but reinstated the original salaries three months later and repaid lawyers the difference, according to managing partner Alan Becker.

3. Next week I won't be able to blog, so we will be very very lucky to have the wonderful Vanessa Blum as our guest blogger. If anyone else wants to pitch in, let me know.


Rumpole said...

This USB thing has me worried. Just what is the yearly interest rate on unpaid taxes?



FYI .....

Former federal judge Abner Mikva yesterday castigated prosecutors for making headline-grabbing remarks at press conferences before trial, potentially tainting the jury pool. The onetime chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and former White House counsel was speaking at the panel on public corruption investigations.

Cap Out ....

Jay said...

The IRS interest rate is determined at the beginning of every quarter.

Right now the rate is 4%. Don't worry if you cannot pay your tax, I can definitely help you to settle your liability.