Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Braving the Shitstorm/ Yes, I'm still bitching about it

It's so innocuous how these things start.

At a meeting between clients and advisers to discuss the structure of a transaction, Smoot asks the Indo tax adviser - doesn't this particular approval need to be obtained by 1 August? Indo tax adviser, miffed that I am intruding upon the hallowed grounds of his authority and knowhow, replies in a loud voice which is clearly audible to all: "That's where YOU are wrong, Smoot. It is not necessary at all to get this approval until year end when the accounts are finalised."

The client then mumbles something which must have gotten the gears moving because the Indo tax adviser says in his next breath "Actually, given the specific facts of this transaction, it would be necessary to get that approval by 1 August after all. SMOOT - please ensure that [blah blah blah blah blahdeeblah] gets done by this Tuesday. Please ensure that ... please ensure that ... we are depending on you to ..."

I ask you. Who would not be pissed. Basically 3 entire days to draft all the documents for the entire transaction as well as corporate resolutions for all of the parties concerned and to open the bank accounts as well as trading accounts for one of them. Do-able. Then last evening during a telephone call, Indo tax adviser's colleagues in Singapore start to hedge and say that even if we get everything done now, it's still impossible to get the approval. When asked to clarify this statement, she hedges the hedge and says it is unlikely, although not impossible. When asked to clarify this statement, she tap dances all over the place and at one point, even giggled girlishly. I hate it when women use that tactic to get out of a difficult situation.

So basically I have a horrible deadline imposed by the Indo tax adviser (which I'm pleased to say I met) but the tax advisers have still hedged on their obligation to get things done in time. Clients are keeping quiet, but I'd love to be able to hear what they are thinking. I do know that they have appointed another tax adviser on the sly.

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