EXPERT BLOGS


LEGAL ISSUES WITH RAJAN CHETTIAR

Service plus

Professional lawyer-mediator and collaborative lawyer RAJAN CHETTIAR recaps on 11 years of servicing the legal needs of expats in Singapore.

Having spent a number of years with one of the largest and oldest law firms in the Lion City working within the Corporate and Litigation departments, Rajan Chettiar eventually decided to branch out and establish Rajan Chettiar LLC. The firm was founded to use law as a tool to assist individuals and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in solving their legal problems practically, efficiently and cost-effectively. Rajan also had an interest in divorce law, as he wanted to help individuals and their children solve personal family problems in his own unique style and with a sense of eloquence.

A well-known family lawyer, mediator and one of Singapore’s first collaborative lawyers, Rajan and his firm reach out to both the expatriate and local communities across the island and are prominent in many areas such as Domestic and International Family Law Practice, Personal Laws Practice, Corporate Services and Alternate Dispute Resolution Practice.
The boutique family law firm has seen exponential growth over the last 11 years, starting as a one-man firm and growing into a 13-member company. Now, with a team of legal, paralegal and support services, lawyers and staff, Rajan Chettiar LLC offers a comprehensive suite of legal services and has a plethora of experience working with clients from Australia, the United Kingdom, Europe, the United States, China and India with international and cross border family law issues, delicately handling the various foreign and cultural nuances pertaining to mix marriage couples and their children.

Each client’s problems are approached in a holistic and practical manner, with solutions customised to individual cases. Litigation is often used as a last-resort approach, as the firm prefers to use alternate dispute resolution methods – an active proponent of this practice long before its promotion and use in Singapore. The firm is also recognised for its personable, friendly, caring and empathetic approach in its services.
Information technology and social media play a huge role in reaching out to potential clients to inform them of the various services offered. One of the first few firms on this island nation to self-promote on Google, Yahoo and other digital platforms, clients can easily contact members of the firm via email and mobile during and after office hours, including weekends.

Rajan Chettiar LLB (Honours), Barrister-at-law (Middle Temple) UK, Mediator, Collaborative Lawyer

About RAJAN CHETTIAR

Rajan Chettiar is a professional lawyer trained in the field of family and commercial mediation. He is also a trained collaborative lawyer and is qualified to oversee matters such as couples looking to resolve marital, child, financial and property issues before filing for divorce, or individuals seeking protection against family violence. A volunteer court mediator, Rajan offers family and commercial mediation services, including settling employment and commercial disputes to avoid litigation. Providing legal solutions for all your personal and corporate problems, he invites you to email your queries or comments to him on a no-obligation basis.

Rajan Chettiar LLC
112 Robinson Road, #05-04
Robinson 112 (S) 068902
Tel:    6533 6451   Fax: 6532 4566
Email:    rajan@rajanchettiar.com
Web:    www.rajanchettiar.com

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Posted by Rajan Chettiar & Co Tue, 30 Sep 2014 04:46:00 GMT


THE SINGAPORE WINE FIESTA 2014

Who could say no to 310 wines for $55? Well, maybe not full bottles at this bargain price, but at least when you sample tipples and take part in the Singapore Wine Fiesta 2014 you will experience wine from all corner’s of the globe, sipping until your heart’s content.

The Singapore Wine Fiesta 2014, which is supported once again by DBS, will host a record number of 40 masterclasses this year, double the number from last year. This is in response to a growing awareness and interest in wine. Another highlight is the Winemaker’s Table Dinner on opening night THursday october 23 where guests can sample 60 iconic wines.

DBS and POSB cardholders will enjoy special discounts on tickets. Mr Anthony Seow, Head of Cards & Unsecured Loans, DBS Bank Singapore, says: "At DBS, we are always looking for unique platforms to engage our customers. With the increasing interest in wine appreciation among our customers, we are delighted to work with The Straits Wine Company on this event to offer them exclusive privileges and experiences. By leveraging on our deep consumer insights and the ability to form strategic partnerships, we have been able to offer a strong benefits programme that is relevant to our customers’ lifestyle needs."

Another first for the Singapore Wine Fiesta is its new central location at Clifford Square, in between One Fullerton and The Fullerton Bay Hotel, where visitors can enjoy their wines as well as a spectacular view of Marina Bay as well as the city skyline. Ms Lim-Sheehy co-founder and event organizer says: "Every year, we offer a wide range of quality wines to the general public, bearing in mind that people are different and tastes are different.We don’t believe wine appreciation should be intimidating and impersonal. Instead, we feel that anybody and everybody can appreciate wine and that each person is free to forge his or her own special wine journey. That’s why at Wine Fiesta, you get to experience more than 310 wines for just $55. We want as many people as possible to enjoy and explore and have fun with wine.”

THE SINGAPORE WINE FIESTA BOTTLE SELFIE CONTEST
To stand a chance to win a pair of tickets to the Singapore Wine Fiesta 2014, just go to any The Straits Wine Company shop and take a selfie with the special Wine Fiesta bottle. Post your photo on Instagram and Facebook with the hashtags #winefiestasg and #mystraitswine. Ten winners will be selected, based on how innovative and creative their photos are. While you’re at it #FinderFind to share you pictures with readers of The Finder here in Singapore. See you at the Fiesta!

EVENT DATES
23 October Thursday - Winemakers’ Table Dinner: 6.30pm - 10pm
24 October, Friday - Wine Fiesta Day 1: 4pm - 10pm
25 October, Saturday - Wine Fiesta Day 2: 12pm - 10pm
26 October, Sunday - Wine Fiesta Day 3: 12pm - 9pm

VENUE
Clifford Square (Next to The Fullerton Bay Hotel) 80 Collyer Quay Singapore 049326

TICKETS
Tickets for the Singapore Wine Fiesta 2014, which takes place from October 23 to 26, are priced at $55 nett and are available from SISTIC. Tickets for the opening night wine pairing dinner at $228 ++ are also available from SISTIC. DBS/POSB cardholders are entitled to special rates as follows:

INFORMATION www.winefiesta.com.sg

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Posted by SPH The Finder Wed, 24 Sep 2014 03:23:00 GMT


CRACKING UP

Dr Christina Liew of SMILEFOCUS explains  Cracked Tooth Syndrome and the importance of early detection and treatment.

Do you experience sudden or sharp pain when chewing, whether frequently or otherwise? Then you may be suffering from Cracked Tooth Syndrome (CTS). This condition is challenging for a dentist to diagnose as tooth fractures are often hard to see and cannot always be detected by an x-ray. Everyday stress can cause us to grind or clench our teeth which, over time, can cause fractures. If you have large fillings or have undergone root canal treatment, the risk is even greater. Let’s take a moment to discuss symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of cracked teeth.

Symptoms & Diagnosis
The symptoms of CTS can be inconsistent. You may only experience pain when biting or chewing certain foods, or when chewing food in a certain way. And often there will be no constant ache – as with cavities or abscesses. Hence the warning signs of CTS can be present for many months, but are difficult to pinpoint.
For this reason, CTS can be difficult to diagnose – your dentist will need to do a thorough examination, focusing on the specific area of pain. An x-ray may also be taken to rule out other causes and if CTS is suspected, a bite test will be given to help isolate the area of fracture.

Treatment
Treatment depends on the location, direction and extent of the crack. These can vary from superficial cracks in the cusp, which can be restored with a crown, to deep splits in the root of the tooth. Some cracks only affect the tooth’s enamel, while others affect the pulp and may also require a visit to an endodontist for root canal treatment and possibly a crown, which may be necessary to strengthen the tooth.

Early identification of teeth susceptible to CTS can help to avoid more serious problems in the future. If you experience pain upon biting or chewing, however infrequently, then contact your dentist – the longer a cracked tooth remains untreated, the more complicated the eventual treatment can be.

Dr Christina Liew BDS (Melbourne)
Originally from Australia, Dr Christina Liew relocated to Singapore in 2000. Her interest lies in cosmetic work and minor oral surgery such as wisdom teeth extraction, plus general dentistry in both adults and children.

Cosmetic Dentistry Tel: 6733 9882 Family Dentistry Tel: 6834 0877 Orthodontics Tel: 6737 7632 Implant & Restorative Dentistry Tel: 6834 0877

smilefocus
1 Orchard Boulevard
#08-02, #08-08 & #14-02
Camden Medical Centre (S) 248649
Web:    www.smilefocus.com.sg
 

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Posted by smilefocus Fri, 29 Aug 2014 04:09:00 GMT


TAX RETURNS

Have you recently moved to Singapore from Australia and neglected to address your taxation responsibilities while living abroad? Australian property tax and expatriate tax expert STEVE DOUGLAS breaks down the circumstances that require you to lodge an Australian tax return annually.

Q: My family and I relocated to Singapore about six months ago. Do we still need to lodge an Australian tax return even though we’re based here now?

A: If you’ve earned a taxable Australian income within the Australian financial year, which runs from July 1 to June 30, you will definitely need to lodge a tax return. Failure to do so will result in a fine of up to A$850 per person for each year, so it’s very important to check your income history. When you live overseas as an expatriate or if you are a non-Australian citizen investing in Australia, you will be classified as a ‘non-resident’ for Australian tax purposes. If you fall under this category, taxable purposes and items are much less for you when living out of Australia, as compared to Aussie-based citizens whose assessment relates solely to an Australian-sourced income including wages or director’s fees for work performed in Australia, profits from any Australian-based business activity or rent you may have received on an Australian property. Let’s take a closer look at these three scenarios,

If you have a rental property in Australia, you are required to lodge a tax return, even if the expenses on your property are greater than the rent. This is to your own advantage, as you will benefit financially in the future when your tax return report is carried forward. The Australian Taxation Office has recently been allocated millions of dollars for tracking property owners who rent out their property but fail to declare it on their tax return. So it’s best not to take any risks and delay lodging your tax return; the authorities will be able to identify and chase you up with potential fines if you do so.

If you are sure you are going to be living abroad for an indefinite period (over two years, according to the Australian Taxation Office), you will not need to declare any non-Australian-sourced income from the date you left Australia to take up your overseas posting. However, if you are just on temporary assignment, the Australian Government will tax your overseas earnings.

It’s important to note that after your first year of staying abroad, you will be entitled to a tax refund on the tax you paid for the few months of salary earned in Australia just before relocation. Do not let this boon slip away; ensure you complete your tax return early. You are required to lodge your tax return by October 31 if you decide to file it yourself. However, if you need additional time, seek Australasian Taxation Services, who can arrange for an extension of time to file your return.

While completing your tax returns, consider some capital gains tax issues on any shares you may have had when you left Australia. Under Australian tax law, you are deemed to have sold all your Australian non-property assets at market value on the date of departure, even if you haven’t actually sold those assets. If there is any capital gain, then you may be entitled to a 50 percent tax discount if the assets had been owned longer than 12 months. It is possible, however, to defer this capital gains tax by making a written election in your tax return, requesting officials to delay taxation until the sale of the shares sometime in the future.

Lastly, make sure you inform your banks in Australia of your status as an expatriate living abroad. As a non-resident, your earned interest is no longer subject to income tax. It does, however, attract a 10 percent Non-Resident Withholding Tax, which the banks will deduct at the time interest is credited into your account. Once the 10 percent is paid, no further tax is applicable on this interest in Australia. 

BOOK YOUR
PLACE NOW!

An ATS Promotion
Learn more about what to expect in Australian property trends at the SMATS 9th Annual Market Update, September 30 2014 at the Pan Pacific Singapore. Register at www.smats.net or call 6293 4148 for more information.

Steve Douglas is the co-founder and Managing Director of Australasian Taxation Services (ATS), established in Singapore in 1995. ATS provides specialist taxation services to people of any nationality investing in Australian property, as well as Australian expatriates living overseas.  Areas of specialisation include the Australian taxation aspects of property investment, as well as expatriate and migration planning.

Australasian Taxation Services
10 Jalan Besar
#17-01 Sim Lim Tower (S) 208787
Tel: 6293 3858   
Fax: 6293 4332   
Email: tax@smats.net    
Web: www.smats.net
 

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Posted by smats Fri, 29 Aug 2014 03:54:00 GMT


BROTH RESTAURANT CALLS IT A DAY

BROTH: CLOSING SEPTEMBER 28 2014

Last Booking Now Being Taken

The delicious story of a golden oldie on Duxton Hill

The year was 2001, just one month before the 9/11 attacks on the US, when BROTH opened its doors on Duxton Hill on a cobble-stoned lane dotted with picturesque restored shophouses catering to a rapidly growing international community eager for decent places to eat. At the time, and in stark contrast to the sophisticated appeal associated with this popular dining destination today, the area was rather rowdy, dotted with pubs and a scattering of seedy late-night haunts. The party atmosphere still exists, without doubt, but with a welcomed maturity for good food, great friends and a plethora of choice when it comes to eating and drinking, wining and dining or just having a tipple or three with your girlfriends or mates.

     The beginning was tough for BROTH. The global economy was in shock, and customers were scaling back their spending and putting a lot more thought into their choice when it came to discretionary spending. Having trained as apprentice chef under Maggie Beer in South Australia, Steven Hansen, owner and executive chef of BROTH, learnt the importance of focusing on excellence in food preparation, presentation and service standards. And his travels across the globe prior to setting up shop in Singapore - with stints as head chef in Hong Kong, the Bahamas, Mauritius and Switzerland - gave Steven the confidence to stay, strive and survive, superbly able to adapt to the changing economic landscape Singapore was experiencing at the time.

     "Thankfully my formative years in the business taught me the benefit of adapting quickly to market demands. My small team and I pulled through with untold long days and even longer nights establishing BROTH as a new kid on the block with a strong ethos to deliver quality in even the most uncertain of times. We went on to win the title of ‘Best New Restaurant’ awarded by Wine & Dine magazine."

      Despite being in the northern hemisphere, BROTH follows the Australian seasons and changes the menu every three months. Maggie’s influence on Steven’s personal style shines through in the importance of flavour over presentation. In some ways rustic yet always refined in quality, there is a sort of sophisticated, countrified elegance associated with this dining experience, where the focus is always on great taste.

     Over time, golden oldies began to emerge, and during the past 12 years, three items have appeared consistently, from day one, on every seasonal menu, delighting the large base of loyal regulars who come back, time and time again, to enjoy modern Australian interpretations of great food made with excellent ingredients - an entrée of baby spinach and portobello mushroom salad with crispy shallots, sun dried tomatoes and raspberry vinaigrette dressing; a main of lamb loin in a green coat on rosemary potatoes and fine beans with mint jus; and for a deliciously naughty endnote, the supernova pavlova with whipped cream, bananas, passionfruit and berries.

     When you have the opportunity to visit BROTH, these golden oldies won’t disappoint. And yes, everything is made from scratch at BROTH. The bread and dressings are prepared daily, and the mayonnaise is made in-house. For the actuary at heart, it’s also interesting to note that in its 12 years of operation, BROTH has served over 20 tonnes of lamb loin, 20 acres of baby spinach, and enough egg whites to make a pavlova the size of Singapore’s new National Stadium (well, almost).

     But what is a restaurant without a loyal service crew. Compared to the industry average (one year), BROTH has a very low turnover rate (three years), which Steven insists is paramount to the longevity and success of this dining institution.

     The service philosophy behind BROTH is to portray intelligence without being pretentious. The service crew are trained to be confident without being pompous and to speak to guests as equals - as friends - without being intrusive. And there is no mandatory 10 percent service charge imposed here. Instead the guests are invited to tip voluntarily if they find their experience exemplary. So what keeps Steven Hansen on top of his game?

     "Whenever a team member does move on it is always personally satisfying for me to see them taking great leaps forward, going on into leadership roles with larger organisations where they are in hot demand for their expertise honed under the BROTH brand that is renowned for excellence and quality. I have always encouraged a philosophy of promotion from within and I have never had the need to advertise for new staff." 

     "I thrive under pressure and adore competition. It keeps us on our toes and reminds us all that we constantly need to stay relevant and fresh. But amongst the maniacal frenzy of new restaurant openings with the latest fad in food, some short lived, some that will catch on and hold for years to come, I’ve come to the conclusion that restaurant years are like dog years. We’ve been around long enough to know what works and what doesn’t."

     BROTH was the first restaurant on Duxton Hill back in 2001. They have seen an incredible metamorphosis in the neighbourhood over the past decade and they honour the food and beverage industry with their style of excellence. It’s good grub. On your first visit, stick with the golden oldies mentioned above, and then take little epicurean steps when you go back! Here’s to the next 12! The Finder and all past empolyees of The Finder publication wish all the team at Broth a fond farewell!

INFORMATION 21 Duxton Hill Tanjong Pagar Call 6323 3353 sales@broth.com.sg www.broth.com.sg

John Gordon managing editor
 

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Posted by SPH The Finder Fri, 29 Aug 2014 03:34:00 GMT


ARTISTIC TOUCH

Soon to be published The Finder September 2014 Issue sneak peek feature article with Rex Turnbull

In a time where art is flowing into Singapore at a rate of knots and international exhibitions continue to grace our shores with works by established and emerging artists – both local and international – it’s refreshing to know that there are smaller, yet important art collectors, enthusiasts and supporters in Singapore who aim to present art, and more importantly artists, in a casual yet congenial environment, away from the pretence of what some would say, a stuffy gallery.

The Finder caught up with artist Rex Turnbull who has visited Singapore on a number of occasions and returns as a guest of THE ART CLUB SINGAPORE to present a talk about his work and to meet local expatriates and Singaporeans interested in his style of art and painting. “My paintings entice the viewer to journey ‘through the mirror’ into other worlds where my imagination and constructed landscapes are strangely familiar and yet unknown,” says Rex. Landscapes are imbued with an intense stillness that contrast life’s frenetic pace – slow art, which quietens the mind and stimulates the imagination. “Like Wyeth and Smart, I try to imply narratives that are never explained. I remember visiting a gallery in New Zealand where two ladies were discussing my work. One was giving a detailed and intelligent diatribe as her interpretation of the painting and even though her explanation was amazing, it had nothing to do with the real story. But that’s art – very subjective and what one sees, another may not.”

Born in New Zealand, Rex grew up amid beautiful landscapes which fostered his passion to capture the many changing moods of his world. In 1974, Rex made a life changing decision to enter a painting in the prestigious Kelliher Art Prize – New Zealand’s equivalent of the Australian Wynne Prize for landscapes. Rex was declared the winner and his immediate response was to travel, which soon culminated in him being Art Director for Harrods. “Very quickly I had learned to move seamlessly between being a painter and graphic designer – an ability that shaped my career, my view of the world and the way I paint.”

Rex has had his work showcased in several exhibitions such as ‘Representation and Reaction’, which was curated in honour of the Kelliher Art Prize. The exhibition included his painting, Last Puha Before the Storm, and toured throughout New Zealand between 2003 and 2005. In 2003, Rex founded the LINO Magazine and in 2007, was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, London, for the magazine’s influence on the international design stage. At the same time, Rex made his debut entrance in the Wynne prize with his piece Louise’s Room and was accepted as a finalist. Commissions soon followed along with offers of representation in Australia and around the world. In 2009, his entry to the Wynne prize, The Project, was also accepted as a finalist, as was his 2014 entry Long Walk Home to Gunning which can be seen at the Art Gallery of NSW until September 28. Rex describes this exhibition, aptly titled ‘Journey’, as “retrospective with works dating back to 1973. It tracks my time developing a style and much of the work is from my private collection which has never been seen before.”

To see the works of more artists like Rex who portray style, personality and depth of expression, contact The Art Club Singapore. Its founders are two passionate entrepreneurs with a healthy love of art and understand that acquiring art is a deeply personal journey of self-exploration, contemplation and sharing. All Art Club artists are full time, mid to late career professionals, who have established names for themselves in their own parts of the world. The Art Club endeavours to present the visual artworks of such talented and select Western artists to art lovers, students and collectors in Singapore and the region.



INFORMATION The Atrium 530A Geylang Road Singapore 389486 Call 6324 4844 kloedi68@yahoo.com.sg www.facebook.com/TheArtClubSingapore www.rexturnbull.com www.theartclubsingapore.com

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Posted by SPH The Finder Thu, 28 Aug 2014 05:32:00 GMT


WELCOME TO THE SEPTEMBER ISSUE

I’ve always seen September as a turning point in one way or another. As a lad growing up in Australia it was the change of seasons, from winter to spring – hardly the case these days, now living in Singapore, where relatively no differentiation is possible from one season to the next. I do miss the seasons, although I prefer living in the Lion City for its close proximity to dozens of travel destinations just waiting to be discovered. Cambodia for its Angkor Wat, Thailand for its long sandy beaches, Malaysia for its dive spots, Vietnam for Halong Bay’s intense beauty, and I’m yet to visit Myanmar and Laos – I’m slowly working my way north, one retreat at a time.  In this issue, our travel guru David Bowden serves up five flavoursome food trails, including a couple down under, namely Adelaide and Tweed Valley, a foodie assault in Chiang Mai to deluxe Michelin star-rated restaurants in the great gambling emporiums of Macau. What’s not to like.


Speaking of food, as you may have noticed from our cover title “Tasty Bites”, we also have The Finder Eat and Drink Collection to whet your appetite. Our dedicated team of taste testers visited some delicious tables around town, so when next you’re making a dining reservation, you have some reliable recommendations at hand.

More importantly, on our cover you will notice a beautiful young Swiss-born expatriate woman, Dominique Schell. Dominique is a sarcoma survivor. She was diagnosed with bone cancer at the young age of 10. After many months of chemotherapy and surgery, Dominique’s treatment was a success, even when the shocking statistics stood at only one in three children with childhood cancer surviving.

Dominique shares her story, while acting as an ambassador for the Kick Sarcoma Foundation, a new Singapore foundation established originally in Australia by Dr. Sarah-Grace Moshi, who will be hosting The Silk Road Soiree, a gala charity fundraising event in part dedicated to the maritime Silk Road and 50 years of harmonious trade relations between Australia and Singapore. Join The Finder on October 4 2014 and treat yourself to a night of entertainment, inspiration, fun and above all, giving back, while raising awareness for sarcoma cancer research!


And don’t miss the Heart Mind, Body Festival, back for its eighth incarnation, held over three days September 26-28. Get in touch with over 40 wellness specialists, all in one location from natural wholesome organic products, gem vials, angelic therapy and pranic healing through to psychic channelling and spirit medium drawing. There’s something for everyone in this issue of The Finder. Go forth and discover. Enjoy!

And don’t forget to secure you tickets to the hottest F1 Event of the season - The Podium Lounge Singapore 2014

The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia will undergo a dramatic transformation into a glamorous ultra-lounge featuring Singapore’s largest pop-up island bar, a dizzying overhead catwalk and VIP balconies offering a magical party experience. Sept 19-21, Tickets from ($188) www.podiumlounge.com

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Posted by SPH The Finder Tue, 26 Aug 2014 06:53:00 GMT


WELCOME TO THE AUGUST ISSUE

I’m living a nightmare. I’m a crazy arts buff and there are too many choices this month. The world comes to the Lion City with festivals at every corner – from National Day celebrations to a variety of Mid-Autumn events across Chinatown – to exciting arts related programmes including the brilliant line-up associated with the Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA). After presenting theatre in Singapore for three decades, SIFA allows you to engage intimately with the arts, encouraging audiences of all nationalities to understand the performing arts from an up close and personal perspective. I’ve taken a deeper look at the SIFA programme which includes 12 international productions over six weeks. I would have never expected to be getting this kind of cultural hit when I first moved here over six years ago – we do live in quite a unique location, with its cultural diversity – although some may beg to differ, I urge you to discover the arts while living in Singapore.

 
Founded by playwright Bertolt Brecht, the Berliner Ensemble will present Peter Pan. OK, this is not your typical adaption of the well-known children’s classic. This is more like a fairy tale on steroids. A deliciously surreal revisiting of this children’s classic will transport you into a fantastical underworld of musicality, choreography, imagery and storytelling. The music score is by an American sister duo named CocoRosie. Their music has been described as ‘freak folk’ with elements of pop, opera, electronic and hip hop. There will be only three performances of Peter Pan at the Drama Centre in early September. This will sell out, so book now.
 
My other top pick is Sambaso, an ancient divine dance performed by kyogen masters across two generations, Japanese Living National Treasure Mansaku Nomura, and his son Mansai Nomura. Triumphantly received at the Guggenheim Museum, New York in 2013, Sambaso arrives at SIFA 2014 along with the comic kyogen play Boshibari (Tied to a Pole). Mansaku Nomura dances Sambaso on August 28 while his son, Mansai Nomura acts in Boshibari. Interestingly, on the second and closing night of the performance on August 29, the father and son will switch roles with Mansai Nomura performing Sambaso. You will better understand how theatre can transcend from one generation to the next – quite seamlessly. Performed at the newly refurbished Victoria Theatre, tickets are from $40-$100 through SISTIC.
 
 
Then we have Tim Garner Productions once again pushing the LGBTQ envelope with their adaptation of an American Classic The Boys in The Band at the Alliance Francaise Theatre from August 7-16, a play performed by a multi-international cast of brilliant young actors. So, whatever your poison, there’s something for everyone here this month.
 
We would also appreciate if you would #FinderFind your favourite event and share your cultural journey with The Finder readers. Be social and enjoy it all!
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Posted by SPH The Finder Wed, 06 Aug 2014 04:35:00 GMT


The importance of communication and understanding within a lawyer-client relationship

Professional lawyer-mediator and collaborative lawyer RAJAN CHETTIAR explores the importance of communication and understanding within a lawyer-client relationship.

Divorce proceedings are often fraught with emotion. It wasn’t until I became involved in my own divorce proceedings that I truly understood the client’s position. A family law practitioner is not only a lawyer, they become a confidante, walking the last part of the client’s journey through marriage with them. The client often emotionally exposes his most vulnerable self to the lawyer and the lawyer needs to understand the personal traits of his client – his background, his marriage, and the problems associated with it. This helps to build a good professional relationship – yet the relationship is also intimate.

Someone once said to me, “When you really care it shows, and when you pretend to care it also shows.” A family lawyer is a professional with a heart. In my view, a divorce lawyer needs to be empathetic, caring and supportive. He must have a genuine desire to help others.  Counselling and people management skills are certainly useful qualities in a divorce lawyer. For me compassion, my love for people and a deep desire to help them, motivates me in my family law practice.

The client often has many endless fears, which should be immediately addressed to ease emotional discomfort. This usually takes the form of various telephone calls, SMS messages and emails – even after office hours and on weekends. Marital problems typically arise during the evenings and weekends, and clients like to have ready access to their lawyer. Often divorce lawyers have to serve their clients beyond the call of duty. My clients have all my contact numbers and are encouraged to call me at any time. To the client, their matter is the important case his lawyer is handling. If your lawyer does not have the time, patience or seem interested, you will only feel frustrated and angry, and may take your case to another lawyer. The process of building trust within a lawyer-client relationship then begins all over again.

Age and life experience often enable a lawyer to help their client effectively. I am also a divorcee and I do not hesitate to share my life lessons with my clients. At the same time, I also apply any lessons learned from my clients to my own new marriage. After all, marriage is often the most significant life-long relationship in a person’s life, it needs to be nurtured and any hiccups should be promptly attended to.

 

Rajan Chettiar  LLB (Honours), Barrister-at-law (Middle Temple) UK, Mediator, Collaborative Lawyer

 

ABOUT RAJAN CHETTIAR

Rajan Chettiar is a professional lawyer trained in the field of family mediation. He is also a trained collaborative lawyer and is qualified to oversee matters such as couples looking to resolve marital, child, financial and property issues before filing for divorce, or individuals seeking protection against family violence. A volunteer court mediator, Rajan offers family and commercial mediation services, including settling employment and commercial disputes to avoid litigation. Providing legal solutions for all your personal and corporate problems, Rajan Chettiar & Co invites you to email your queries or comments to him on a no-obligation basis.

 

 

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Posted by Rajan Chettiar & Co Fri, 27 Jun 2014 03:45:00 GMT


Exporing the emotional issues of divorce

Professional lawyer-mediator and collaborative lawyer RAJAN CHETTIAR explores the emotive issue of divorce, recounting his own frustrations as he realised his unhappy marriage should end.


 

As a lawyer with counselling skills (and as a divorcee myself) I offer empathy, support and proactive solutions to people experiencing marital problems. Turmoil and confusion loom in the minds of those suffering marital problems. They often feel distressed and experience pain, anger, betrayal, and loss. Trying to cope with their emotions, they may speak to family members and friends, who offer care and support, but who can also add to the confusion.  

People experiencing marital problems need clarity of mind – free of emotion – before they contemplate starting legal proceedings. You can achieve this clarity through counselling and soul searching. Ask yourself the following: “What do I want out of life?”  “What are the problems in this relationship?” “Are there any possible solutions?” While some of you may find success with counselling, others may see no other solution than to contact a lawyer.  

My clients usually find relief in expressing their emotions. They often cry as they explain their circumstances and I always ask, “Is reconciliation an option? If so, what steps have you taken to achieve this?”  If reconciliation is a possibility – however remote – we can then discuss the emotional challenges and possible resolutions. I recently helped a new client reconcile with her husband – she also gained some basic advice on divorce law! 

Following an initial consultation with a lawyer, you may delay in taking further action; this isn’t unusual. One of my clients stayed in a failed marriage for seven years. Another was so frightened of her husband she feared for her safety and discontinued proceedings. Another client ignored the problem, and others simply felt embarrassed. Suffering from low self-esteem and poor self-worth, they felt hopeless about their situations, but unfortunately, they continued to suffer. 

I must admit I felt a sense of personal failure during my own divorce. I kept asking myself, – “Why did this happen to me?”  “What did I do wrong?” – I was extremely angry, but at the same time, I did want to end an unhappy marriage. My inner voice told me to move on. There were lots of tears and sleepless nights, and I spent a lot of time alone – working late, locked in my room or travelling alone. After I made up my mind to end my marriage, I engaged a lawyer and didn’t change my mind – despite objections from family and relatives. And, I did find happiness again.

 

Rajan Chettiar  LLB (Honours), Barrister-at-law (Middle Temple) UK, Mediator, Collaborative Lawyer 

 

ABOUT RAJAN CHETTIAR

 

Rajan Chettiar is a professional lawyer trained in the field of family mediation. He is also a trained collaborative lawyer and is qualified to oversee matters such as couples looking to resolve marital, child, financial and property issues before filing for divorce, or individuals seeking protection against family violence. A volunteer court mediator, Rajan offers family and commercial mediation services, including settling employment and commercial disputes to avoid litigation. Providing legal solutions for all your personal and corporate problems, Rajan Chettiar & Co invites you to email your queries or comments to him on a no-obligation basis.

 

 

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Posted by Rajan Chettiar & Co Fri, 27 Jun 2014 03:31:00 GMT