Monday, 27 July 2009

New law firm [updated]

Lawyers are supposed to be your best friend when your rights are violated by the government -- or you need to ensure they won't be. At least, that's what it says on the label.

And blogging is supposed to be a great way to promote your business (it works for me anyway even when all I can link to is a creaky old website ripe for redevelopment).

So put those together and we see lawyer Stephen Franks using his blog to help launch his new legal partnership in which he hopes to help make client's businesses work better "by cutting legal mumbo jumbo down to size." Clients he's targetting include:
  • Directors who want a second opinion after being scared into paralysis by legal warnings and complexity,
  • Businesses threatened by new law coming down the parliamentary track;
  • Investors wanting to know their real balance of risks if they have to ignore some parts of securities law to raise capital
"We see a real gap for public law legal advice tied to deep commercial experience," says Stephen. Given that one of his chief competitors, Geoffrey Palmer, is almost completely unencumbered by commercial experience, that gap would appear to be a large one.

I wish him well.

UPDATE: Cactus Kate offers an object lesson in how good lawyers can cut through the bullshit when your rights are violated by the government. The subject is tax, and all those many morons who "think that avoiding tax is theft." The latest target for this envy-ridden attitude is, of coure, the BNZ, courtesy of one of the finest examples of non-objective law in recent years used to justify the theft of the BNZ's profits.

Message from Cactus to all the morons who think that avoiding tax is theft, which in this case includes (disgracefully) Bernard Hickey:
I say the initial taxation is the real theft and avoiding tax is not a criminal offence, it is a civil matter which is often decided by litigation and the "toss of the bench" through the Courts. He confuses avoidance with evasion. This is a common mistake.
But he is not alone. . .
No, he's not. Read Cactus's whole post to see some of the others and to learn why they're wrong -- and to discover for yourself (if you haven't already) the nightmare's nest of non-objective law that is the tax code. In which other area of law could defendants be told by a presiding judge, for example, that "Technical compliance with the law is never enough."

And just contemplate for a moment too that Cactus isn't just right legally, but she's also right morally. Your honestly gotten profits are rightfully yours to do with as you please, whether that's spending, reinvesting, or baking into pies. They're not "society's profits" -- they're yours. You made them, you rightfully get to say what happens to them.

I say that's the correct ethical standpoint on tax. I say that only a "redistribution-of-wealth" supporter would disagree. I say that it's the initial taxation that is the real theft, and that avoiding tax should not be a criminal offence at all -- it should instead be a moral imperative.


  1. I think its silly to think we can run a complex society without taxes, so its really about correct prioritizing what we should pay for.

    My suggestion is we produce a list of 100 items that we currently support with taxes and get that out in a referendum. Each eligible voter can list a max of three items.. 2 being essentials and one being a favourite hobby horse.

    My list would be policing, defence (a force of 100,000 permanently employed and paid for by the UN in various trouble spots).. and a Ministry of Wine and Cheese.. this would be staffed by fat men and women and would include Marianne Hobbs (who is a genuine raconteur). This would be our meeting and greeting facility for overseas big wigs.
    Human equity for the obligatory Maori and skinny person would be in the person of Eric Rush.. this would save me having to pay his after dinner speaking fees.

    It would be interesting to see how the rest of the population prioritizes the list.


  2. "I think its silly to think we can run a complex society without taxes, "

    Can to offer an argument?

  3. It works for Monaco.

  4. In ancient Roman times some 20 to 30 percent of the European population were slaves. Most Romans could not conceive that it is possible to have a society were nobody is a slave. Today, slavery has been abolished and we live in that society the Romans could not conceive. Nevertheless, most people today cannot conceive that it is possible to have a society where every transaction is voluntary. They think that taxes are inevitable and that young people must be forced to go to school. They don't see that an advanced society requires the absence of coercion and that pointing a gun at the head of people in order to extract wealth is not just primitive but morally wrong.

  5. "Tax negates concepts of freedom and individual rights. It means that each is a slave owned by an authority." - Dolan DeCosta



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